The best messenger bags for men improve your daily commute by providing convenience and comfort while carrying most, if not all, of your daily essentials. To help you find the best messenger bag for your needs, we researched the top 25 bags available today and started using them as a part of our daily routine. As we used the bags, we researched them based on their carrying capacity, durability and comfort, and overall convenience.
After 30 hours of using the bags on our way to and from work, we were most impressed with the Gearonic Vintage Canvas messenger bag because of its extra-durable exterior, comfortable shoulder strap, and roomy interior. We particularly like the vintage design and the combination of cotton canvas and leather. Keep reading to learn more about this stellar sling bag and the other top picks.
Top 8 Men’s Messenger Bags Compared
#1 Gearonic Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Gearonic Vintage Canvas messenger bag is durable, large, and extra comfortable, with plenty of storage space for a large laptop and all of your necessities. We also love the retro-style canvas design. This option is the perfect all-around bag for any occasion.
Read Full Review: Gearonic Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag
- Best canvas
- Heavy duty snaps
- Sleek vintage design
- Zippers can slightly stick
- Offers a more flexible less structured interior design
- Not fully waterproofed
If you’re looking for a durable messenger bag that you can use for school, work, hiking, or traveling, the Gearonic Vintage Canvas is an excellent choice. One of the best features of this bag is its design. Made from heavy-duty canvas and PU leather, the Gearonic can take a beating without long-lasting problems. Also, the rugged canvas material stands up to dirt surprisingly well, mainly because it was designed to look a little rugged. The flexible open interior makes it easy to store a wide variety of items from laptops to unconventionally shaped cameras making it easily the best messenger bag for men and our Top Pick. It’s also extremely comfortable, even when fully loaded. The only aspect of this bag that isn’t perfect is that it won’t hold up in pouring rains. Though it’s more than fine in the small drizzling rain. That shortcoming is quickly made up for by its evergreen vintage design.
We were also super impressed with the Gearonic’s overall carrying capacity. While you can purchase the bag in either a 14-inch or 17-inch size, we specifically tested the larger version. This was more than enough space to fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro, along with plenty of other items. Like all of your gadgets for men. Their canvas messenger bag features four external pockets, one internal pocket, and a large interior compartment. We wish the interior compartment was divided a bit more to separate your laptop from other items, but we can’t complain when you get so much space.
#2 Leaper Retro Sling Bag
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Leaper Retro sling bag is the only crossbody bag on our list, making it the most portable and compact option we reviewed. While small, it’s still durable, with tons of interior and exterior storage, making it an excellent option for couriers and students.
Read Full Review: Leaper Retro Sling Bag
- Best portability
- Tons of exterior and interior pockets
- Adjustable strap
- Water bottle holder isn’t very durable
- Laptop pocket isn’t padded
- Can’t comfortably fit large laptops
Measuring in at just 10 inches wide and 13 inches tall, the Leaper Retro sling bag is the smallest bag we reviewed during our research. And in spite of its smaller size, it still offers plenty of interior storage and tons of pockets inside and out. You’ll get two zipper pockets and one open pocket on the front, as well as a large inner compartment and three smaller interior pockets. Unfortunately, the Leaper sling bag’s laptop pocket isn’t padded and can’t comfortably contain a 13-inch laptop like the company claims, even without a laptop sleeve. We found it better suited for an 11-inch MacBook Air or tablets like the iPad Pro.
We liked the crossbody design the most here because it hugs your body closer than any other kind of bag and increases its overall durability because the snug strap prevents the bag from swinging around. The strap is also adjustable in size as well as orientation. You can easily swap the bottom part of the strap to the left or right side of the bag. It’s also made from durable canvas material. After researching, this bag is best for people who are always on the go.
#3 Timbuk2 Classic
Award: Best Quality
WHY WE LIKE IT: Timbuk2 is a well-known brand in the bag industry, so you’re getting a high-quality product with the Timbuk2 Classic messenger bag. With a simple design that offers tons of features, this bag is stylish and functional for everyone.
Read Full Review: Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag Review
- Durable and long lasting
- Tons of customizable options
- Doesn’t stand up well on its own
- Small interior pockets
- Not the best for electronics
The Timbuk2 Classic messenger bag is one of the most popular and sought-after messenger bags available today. One of its most stand-out features is its overall design and customizability. With over 22 different styles and four sizes, you can get whatever you need with this bag. It’s also one of the most comfortable bags on our list, with an adjustable strap that can be used crossbody or over a single shoulder.
While the Classic may not feature any exterior pockets, it’s all about what you can carry on the inside anyway. The Timbuk2 has a water bottle holder, organizer, and plenty of spots for smaller items inside. One of the most impressive features is the unique Napoleon pocket, which allows you to reach into the bag without opening the flap. This was our personal favorite feature. Unfortunately, the Timbuk2 doesn’t feature much in the way of storing electronics, a small hiccup that’s fairly easy to overlook due to its supreme quality and reliability. So some may want to choose the best bags for electronics.
#4 Newhey Messenger Bag
Award: Best Waterproof
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Newhey Messenger Bag is completely waterproof and one of the more durable options we researched because of its leather and waxed canvas design. This bag is the best choice for anyone who needs protection from the elements.
- Very durable
- Padded laptop sleeve
- Shoulder strap is removable
- Carrying handles pull flap open
- Weight distribution slightly off
If you’re looking for weather and water resistance, you can’t do better than the Newhey messenger bag. This waterproofing comes from the waxed canvas and leather exterior material, which is also incredibly durable and long lasting. While you obviously can’t fully submerge the bag in water, we were really pleased with how well it kept spills and splashes off your belongings. This bag was the best at keeping our belongings dry and protected.
Another great feature of the Newhey is its removable shoulder strap. This is a feature you see in about half of the messenger bags on the market today, but it’s one that’s really convenient. If the shoulder strap gets in the way, you can remove it and use the included carrying handles. You might find yourself using this function more than you think because sometimes the Newhey can struggle with weight distribution from the strap. The interior of the bag is also super roomy, with a large interior compartment and a padded laptop sleeve.
#5 Egoelife LB-BBPHF18 Messenger Bag
Award: Best Satchel
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Egoelife LB-BBPHF18 is a high-quality satchel messenger bag and it’s one of the most affordable on our list, making it a great choice for anyone who needs something small and simple at an affordable price.
- Affordable price
- Excellent, eye-catching design
- Comfortable, soft cotton lining
- Not good for laptops
- Uncomfortable for long periods of use
- Strap isn’t as durable
Egoelife may not be the most recognizable brand name in the messenger bag industry, but the LB-BBPHF18 is definitely a product to be watched. It’s well made and looks great with its simple design. This isn’t the best messenger bag for large items, but there’s plenty of space inside for a smaller tablet and other items. It also includes two interior pockets for pens, sunglasses or your phone. We loved the interior soft cotton lining and felt like it was great at keeping our belongings protected.
And while we loved the simple design of the Egoelife, we have to admit that it’s not the best for laptops due to lack of padding and the extra protection we usually see in laptop messenger bags. However, if you’re not too concerned with large items in your bag, you can’t go wrong with the Egoelife, especially with how versatile and durable it is.
#6 ibagbar Classic Messenger Bag
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: The ibagbag classic messenger bag offers security, comfort, and a sleek design, all at the most affordable price on our list. If you’re on a budget, you can’t miss out on the ibagbar sling bag.
Read Full Review: Ibagbar Classic Messenger Bag Review
- Secure metal buckles
- Padded interior laptop compartment (sleeve)
- Water-resistant, durable Oxford fabric
- Magnetic clasps can be finicky
- Fabric can attract lint
- Strap pad doesn’t stay in place
The ibarbag classic messenger bag is the best budget option on our list and it’s easy to see why it made the cut. This sling bag is sleek and attractive, made from black Oxford fabric that is water resistant, durable and fits perfectly into any office environment. We were most pleased with the overall comfort the ibarbag offers, although we wish the shoulder strap padding stayed in place better during use. It can sometimes slide back and forth with your natural movements.
We were also pleased with how secure the bag is. If you’re on the train or bus, you can be sure that thieves can’t sneak into your bag without you noticing. With strong magnetic snaps and durable zipper, you have to be intentional getting into the bag, making it difficult for anyone else to access your belongings. This is a huge plus that is difficult to find in other bags.
#7 Sweetbriar Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag
Award: Best Tactical
WHY WE LIKE IT: Simple, durable, and secure, the Sweetbriar Vintage messenger bag is the perfect choice for tactical-minded individuals and outdoors enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a bag that you aren’t worried about getting muddied up, the Sweetbriar is the bag for you.
Read Full Review: Sweetbriar Vintage Canvas Bag Review
- Practical military-style design
- Excellent rear handle placement
- Comfortable shoulder strap
- Not water resistant
- No interior slip pockets
- No interior padding
There’s no two ways about it. The Sweetbriar vintage canvas messenger bag is the simplest bag on our list. It doesn’t feature a ton of bells or whistles, but it’s perfectly functional and perfect for anyone who wants something that won’t get beat up too easily. If you need a messenger bag for camping or outdoor use, you can’t go wrong with the Sweetbriar because of its durability.
On the outside, the Sweetbriar may look simple, but the interior offers tons of functionality. You get a large main compartment as well as roomy front and side pockets for water bottles or other gear. Unfortunately, there isn’t much padding to speak of here, which makes this sling bag sub-optimal for electronics like laptops, cameras, or tablets.,
#8 KomalC Leather Messenger Bag
Award: Best Leather
WHY WE LIKE IT: Made from premium Full Grain Hunter buffalo leather, the KomalC leather messenger bag provides a timeless and vintage design with tons of premium features like brass fittings and an adjustable shoulder strap. This messenger bag is great for business executives and people looking for refinement.
- Premium leather design
- Extra durable brass fittings
- Tons of roomy interior storage
- Not water resistant
The KomalC leather messenger bag is refined, classy, and sleek, making it the perfect choice for anyone who wants to bring a little more luxury into their daily lives. This messenger bag is one of the most well-made products we researched on this list, made from premium buffalo leather and high-quality fittings and hardware. While we were wearing this bag around town, we couldn’t count how many heads we turned.
Unfortunately, this bag is a little pricier than other options on our list and doesn’t feature any water resistance, but these are small downsides that are easy to overlook in the long run. The interior is roomy and spacious, with plenty of pockets for holding your stuff. The main compartment is also divided, making for easier organization and separation between your laptop and other large items.
How We Decided
The best messenger bags take a hybrid approach to comfort, portability, and functionality. During our research, we specifically looked for bags that effortlessly combine all three features to create the best customer experience, without valuing one over the other. As such, we only considered messenger bags that hold everything you need for a day out of the house without inhibiting your movement or sacrificing your overall comfort during the commute.
With these goals in mind, we favored bags that feature things like side or front pockets for extra storage space that doesn’t get in the way, a padded shoulder strap for maximum comfort, and carry handles that can be used in lieu of the shoulder strap for those tighter commutes on public transportation. These features can make or break your messenger bag experience, so they’re must haves.
We also considered bags of all shapes, sizes, and materials. We preferred bags made from materials like waxed cotton, ballistic nylon, and canvas. These are the most durable kinds of messenger bags because they can take a bump or scratch with no problem and often provide water resistance to protect your stuff. Leather and bridle leather are other options, but bridle leather is typically more expensive.
Messenger Bag Buying Guide
As you shop for the best men’s messenger bags of 2023, make sure you consider the factors below. Unless you’re after the top laptop bags for men, which aren’t too different than even the best men’s shoulder bags, you should always keep comfort, usability, and durability top of your mind.
The Most Important Features to Consider
One of the main differences between shoulder bags and great men’s messenger bags comes into play when you look at overall portability and comfort. Shoulder bags tend to be larger and bulkier than messengers, with fewer options that allow you to maneuver around without the bag getting in your way. Messenger bags are usually designed to better hug your body and often include an additional stabilizing strap that you can wrap around to better help distribute weight and keep the bag close to you. However, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for portability. The best messenger bags are still comfortable for everyday carry and commuting by using a strap with padding. If you plan to use your messenger on a bike ride, it’s important that you find one with zippered pockets so nothing falls out as you ride. Or leave all your everyday items in the central pocket of the bike messenger. You may also want to consider a compact messenger if you want less to deal with while you bike.
- Carrying Capacity
Your everyday messenger bag simply isn’t going to carry as much as a backpack or full-sized shoulder bag. You’ll want to consider how much interior storage space there is in the bag you purchase and if it’s big enough for your daily needs.
- For example, a good laptop messenger bag is designed to carry your computer with ease in its included laptop pocket, while a courier bag is better suited for carrying packages or correspondence with a single interior pocket. These are two completely different use cases, and the best products for each use case will be much different from one another. Some people need a zippered exterior pocket for easy access to certain items while also keeping them secure.
- If you value a padded laptop compartment where their devices can be safely transported and plan on using your messenger bag for a laptop on a daily basis, make sure it can fit your laptop before you purchase, since there are 17 and 15-inch laptops out there. Or if you can’t find a bag with a designated padded laptop pocket nor want to buy a laptop bag, you can put your laptop into a padded sleeve and place it in the body of your bag along with your other everyday essentials.
If your bag rips on the first commute after buying it, you’ve bought the wrong option. Messenger bags should be the most durable of all the bag configurations out there since you’re more likely to bump them around during your commute. Buy a messenger bag with a construction made from durable materials like leather, canvas, or ballistic nylon for the ultimate lifespan.