Best Messenger Bag Guide and Reviews

Over the shoulder messenger bags have traditionally been a staple of the urban landscape with utilitarian yet stylish combination was perfect for young delivery workers.  In the last few years the messenger bag has become a go to way to transport laptops, tablets, books and other 21st century accouterments that have forced the need for a durable bag to become a necessity.   Easier to carry than a briefcase and not as casual as a backpack, a messenger bag is a perfect mix of sophistication and practicality.   Messenger bags are primarily made with three different types of material – old school canvas, modern nylon and classic leather.  Our top bag is a leather messenger bag that would look just as good in a boardroom as it would in the second seat of a Starbucks.  The best selling nylon bag comes from Timbuk2 which originated in San Francisco on the backs of the original bike messengers.  They also come in wide variety of prices from over $100 to a classic vintage bag that’s comes in at around $20.  So let’s take a look at the guide and find out what the best messenger bag is for you.

Men’s Messenger Bag Guide

[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B004XAVT8K" cloaking="default" height="75" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="75"]Samsonite Colombian Leather [/easyazon_image]Samsonite Colombian LeatherLeatherFits up 15.6" Laptop$$$Customer Reviews Top Leather
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B00E1O3WXI" cloaking="default" height="49" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="75"]Samsonite Colombian Leather [/easyazon_image]Timbuk2 Classic Messenger BagWaterproof TPU liner. CORDURA Nylon and Weathered Canvas4.7 x 11.8 x 9.8 inches$$$Customer Reviews Best Nylon
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B00FLGZ46I" cloaking="default" height="69" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="75"]Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag [/easyazon_image]Passion Leather Messenger Bag100% genuine leather with durable canvas lining Size 18'" width x 13" height x 6" depth$$$Customer Reviews 5 Stars
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B000PDEUM6" cloaking="default" height="75" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="69"]Passion Leather Messenger Bag[/easyazon_image]Baggallini Messenger BagNylon9" wide x 12" tall x 4" deep, 16 oz$$Customer Reviews Budget Buy
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B000UN46KW" cloaking="default" height="58" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="75"]Baggallini Messenger Bag[/easyazon_image]Kenneth Cole ReactionColombian Leather 3 x 16 x 12 inches$$$Customer Reviews Best Seller
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B005HEV52G" cloaking="default" height="62" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="75"]V7 Cityline Messenger Bag[/easyazon_image]Timbuk2 Command Messenger BagOxford Nylon3 Sizes • 13", 15", 17"$$$$Customer Reviews TSA Approved
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B001E0HUOY" cloaking="default" height="54" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="75"]Kenneth Cole Reaction [/easyazon_image]Rothco Classic Messenger BagCanvas15" x 11" 6"$Customer Reviews Vintage Canvas
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B00EF16AWW" cloaking="default" height="58" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="75"]Rothco Classic Messenger Bag[/easyazon_image]Gootium Canvas Leather MessengerCanvas & Leather15.4 x 3 x 10.8 inches$$Customer Reviews Canvas & Leather
[easyazon_image add_to_cart="default" align="left" asin="B00E1MBSBI" cloaking="default" height="75" localization="default" locale="US" nofollow="default" new_window="default" src="" tag="aboutabag-20" width="73"]Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag[/easyazon_image]V7 Cityline Messenger BagNylon 9 x 2 x 11.5 inches$Customer Reviews Budget Vertical

What Material is Right for Me

When it comes to the best material for your messenger bag, you need to consider a few different variables.  What is going in your messenger bag and what conditions are you going to be using your bag in.  If you are using your satchel to carry around a laptop or tablet, you might want to consider a stronger material as opposed to carrying around something that isn’t as valuable.   Also you should consider the inner lining or padding that some bags offer to give more cushion to bumps and other contact that your bag might receive throughout the day.  Let’s take a look at the outside materials used for the majority of messenger bags.


A canvas messenger bag gives your satchel a vintage and slightly military look.  This traditional material is lightweight and doesn’t scratch or wear very easily and holds up well to a variety of environments.   The downside to canvas is that it isn’t very sturdy or supportive and if you drop a canvas bag with a Macbook in it then a lot of that force will be transferred to the computer and result in it breaking more easily.  The other downside to this material is that canvas isn’t always completely waterproof and can become moist and cause problems in wet and rainy environment.   Canvas is a relatively cheap material and is a good option for those looking for a messenger bag that fits into a modest budget.


There is a reason leather is a sought after material for luggage, purses and bags, it’s luxurious and also holds up well to abuse.   Leather is a great material for a messenger bag, it’s feels great, is waterproof and ages very well.   A leather bag can look even better 2 years from when you start using it, due to the fact that leather looks better and better as it get’s scratched and scuffed.  A leather messenger bag is a great choice if you have a more professional environment that you are using the bag in.  Even a worn leather bag holds an air of stylish eloquence that can’t be had from bags made of lesser materials.   Leather bags are great for business travel and a leather messenger bag maintains that air of professionalism without being it’s stuffy big brother the leather briefcase.


Nylon gives a little better wear than a canvas bag but isn’t usually as expensive as a leather bag.  It’s a more modern look for a messenger bag and a nylon bag will most often be paired with a waterproof liner to make it a good fit for someone hauling around portable electronics.  There are different nylon finishes and some are more similar to a canvas weave while others have a shiny or satiny finish.   Nylon holds up will to niks and scrapes and won’t tear easily.  Timbuk2, a leader in messenger bags uses Nylon on most of their bags along with canvas.  High endurance fabric like nylon is perfect for heavy duty uses, like an actual bike messenger.

 Mens’ Messenger Bag Reviews

Samsonite Colombian Leather Messenger Bag Review

This rates as one of our top leather messenger bags for some definite reasons and the first and foremost one is the quality of leather used in this bag.  Samsonite delivers a soft and sturdy leather that is perfect for this vintage yet sophisticated messenger bag.  The bag gives off a very professional vibe and is perfect for business travel or just back and forth from the office.   It’s large enough for files and even a 15′ laptop or Macbook would fit great in this bag.  It has multiple compartments for pens, supplies, laptop accessories and more.   The Samsonite bag also has subtle tan stitching that really offset the brown leather nicely.    The great thing about this bag is the price, and the fact that you can have a great leather messenger bag for under $100.

Just awesome quality. I was considering a more expensive bag by Floto, but I’m glad I didn’t buy it. This is a great casual case. It really stands out and it’s priced just right. I highly recommend it. – Robert

Leather is soft yet durable, and I have gotten many complements since purchasing this product. – HAlexander

This bag has held up pretty well after one year of daily use. The best part is the quick easy clips on the front and the ample pocket space inside. – Danielle

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag Review

This is a seriously good looking messenger bag and comes in a wide variety of flavors and colors.  You can go flashy with this bag and a purple and silver look or just get a subtle gray with black accents, however you want to ride, this bag has your back.  Timbuk2 is a well regarded company and specialize in messenger bags that was based off design and testing in the San Francisco bike messenger community.  They have though of it all when it comes to this bag, such as the Double Loop CAM buckles that eliminate dangling straps or the waterproof liner with corner wings.   It has a number of pockets including an outside zipper pocket that’s accessible without undoing the flap.   The messenger bag is made of CORDURA Nylon and Weathered Canvas along with a Waterproof TPU liner.  The air pocket strap also makes carrying a heavy bag very comfortable.  This is a great bag and deserves a top spot on our list for these and many other reasons.

I own many messenger bags, both brand-name and off-brand. The 2014 Timbuk2 fixes every single one of my gripes about my previous model, and, in doing so, makes it my favorite messenger bag. – Illirik

I got this for college and it is terrific. It doesn`t move around on my shoulder and fits my computer and books for school perfectly. I also love that it’s waterproof. – A. JOnes

This may be the most functional bag I have ever purchased. I take it with me on every bike ride. The easily adjustable straps make filling it up and hopping on the bike so easy! – Jennifer

Passion leather Messenger Bag Review

This is a beautiful bag and is a great choice for someone who takes pride in their appearance and how they look to the world.  The tanned vegetable leather gives this bag a beautiful aged leather appearance.   If you don’t want compliments from total strangers then don’t buy this bag because everyone will want to know where you got it and think you paid way more than you did.  The Passsion Leather Messenger Bag comes with 2 small inside pockets along with 1 big compartment for your Chromebook, Laptop or Macbook.  It also has card and pen holders and a midflap along with 2 straps.  The construction is all leather along with a thick single stitch with very high quality craftsmanship.  This comes in two different sizes, a 16″ and 18″ version.  You will be very satisfied with the quality and beauty of this satchel, it’s just that good.

And it’s gorgeous, and it smells like leather, and I can look at it and know I bought a bag I’ll be using for a very long time and be happy to be using a long time. And in comparison to similar products, I spent a lot less than I could have. What’s not to love? – Janet

This is exactly what I have been looking for!!! Everyone that sees me with it wish they had one of their own. Plenty of room and compartments. It’s very durable, very nice (not overpowering) leather smell. – Daniel

I bought this for my son when he started his new job… great computer bag… looks very fashionable, very functional. The craftsmanship is awesome. The craftsman that made this “really cares”. – Kenneth

Baggallini Messenger Bag

If you need a smaller messenger bag for travel or daytrips, then the Bagallini is what your looking for.  This is a great choice if you don’t need carry a laptop or large files, but still want something to store your phone, wallet and smaller items when travelling.  It has a variety of pockets along with many zippered compartments to keep everything secure – it has enough room for a small tablet such as an iPad mini or a Kindle.   It comes with adjustable straps and is made of a high quality nylon.

I had this same bag for years. Great quality. Very well done . Useful. Good compartments design. – arborist

Great bag. Has a place for everything. Only wish the water bottle place was alittle bigger. Use it all the time. – Irene

this little pack is great for hiking. took it to alaska with me and worked perfect for storing my id’s, snacks, and a jacket. very comfortable and not too heavy. love it! – Ruth

Kenneth Cole Reaction Messenger Bag

This professional leather briefcase/messenger bag gives off a great look while staying very professional.  This is a masculine bag that is perfect for carrying a laptop to and from the office.   The bag has a padded compartment that will hold most 15″ laptops quite easily.  The bag is made of top grade full-grain cowhide and comes in 3 different color styles, black, brown and light brown.  The buckles are very easy to open and work well with the leather flap for easy access to your stuff.   The soft rugged leather is set off by a nice smooth interior lining.  There are a number of pockets, flaps and pouches to keep everything in it’s place.  This is a quality bag and would make a great choice for your messenger bag.

I think i’ve had this case for over a year now and, though I use it almost every day, it’s still almost as good as new. The case wears really well and still looks great. – Paul

Great bag — high quality craftsmanship and materials and well-designed. – Jd

I love this product. It’s both utilitarian and aesthetic. Good quality materials, professional look. – Zachary