Best Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 (April Reviews)

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 purchased the top 25 bags available today and started using them as a part of our daily routine. As we used the bags, we measured them based on their carrying capacity, durability and comfort, along with the overall convenience they provided.

After 30 hours 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 canvas and leather. Keep reading to learn more about this stellar sling bag and the other top picks.

Top 8 Best Messenger Bags for Men Compared

 #1  Gearonic Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag – 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.


Pros

  • Best canvas
  • Heavy duty snaps
  • Sleek vintage design

Cons

  • 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 unconventional shaped cameras. 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 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 along with plenty of other items. Their canvas messenger bag features four external pockets, one internal pocket and a single, 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 – 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.


Pros

  • Best portability
  • Tons of exterior and interior pockets
  • Adjustable strap

Cons

  • 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 testing. 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 pockets 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 testing, this bag is best for people always on the go.

 #3  Timbuk2 Classic – 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.


Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Durable and long lasting
  • Tons of customizable options

Cons

  • 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 different sizes, you can get pretty much 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, all on the inside. One of the most impressive features, though, 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.

 #4  Newhey Messenger Bag – Best Waterproof


WHY WE LIKE IT: The Newhey Messenger Bag is completely waterproof and one of the more durable options we tested because of its leather and waxed canvas design. This bag is the best choice for anyone who needs protection from the elements.


Pros

  • Very durable
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Shoulder strap is removable

Cons

  • 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 is getting in the way, you can simply 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 – 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.


Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Excellent, eye-catching design
  • Comfortable, soft cotton lining

Cons

  • 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 – 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.


Pros

  • Secure metal buckles
  • Padded interior laptop sleeve
  • Water resistant, durable Oxford fabric

Cons

  • 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 – 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.


Pros

  • Practical military-style design
  • Excellent rear handle placement
  • Comfortable shoulder strap

Cons

  • 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 other outdoor use, you can’t go wrong with the Sweetbriar because of how durable it is.

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 – 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.


Pros

  • Premium leather design
  • Extra durable brass fittings
  • Tons of roomy interior storage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • 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. Made from premium buffalo leather and high-quality fittings and hardware, this messenger bag is one of the most well-made products we tested on this list. 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 it doesn’t feature any kind of 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 testing, 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 are the features that can make or break your messenger bag experience, so they’re definitely 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 no problem and often provide water resistance to protect your stuff.

Messenger Bag Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Portability/Comfort
    One of the main differences between shoulder bags and 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 your 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.
  2. 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 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.
  3. Durability
    If your bag rips on the first commute after you buy it, then you’ve bought the wrong option. Of all the bag configurations out there, messenger bags should be the most durable since you’re more likely to bump them around during your commute. Buy a messenger bag made from durable materials like leather, canvas or ballistic nylon for the ultimate lifespan.

FAQs

  • What are messenger bags used for?
    The better question might be what can’t messenger bags be used for! Whether you’re a bicycle courier, student or CEO, messenger bags can solve your need for carrying your daily necessities around with you. You’d be hard pressed to find a messenger bag that doesn’t serve an exact and specific audience.
  • What can you put in a messenger bag?
    In all honesty, the sky’s the limit here. Ultimately, you’re only limited by the carrying capacity of the bag you purchase. Most people typically put things like their laptops, notebooks, phones, books or cameras in their messenger bags. Many people carry different items in their bags based on their needs for the day.
  • Are messenger bags for guys?
    Yes! In fact, the most popular audience for messenger bags is men. These sleek and stylish bags provide a super convenient option for guys who want to look good without sacrificing the need to carry multiple items at once.
  • Are messenger bags good for school?
    Messenger bags are an excellent choice for students in high school or college. While you may not be able to fit every single one of your books in there, you can still typically fit your laptop and one or two of your most important books, along with notebooks and writing utensils.

Latest Messenger Bag Reviews & Buyer Guides

 

 
Mixbag Transformer Bag Review

Mixbag Transformer Bag Review

We are always on the hunt for the best bags. Laptop bags are a tough thing to buy. We all have different everyday needs that don’t always associate with anyone else’s. And we don’t just use the bag to it’s fullest, we use it to our most benefit…but at the…
Win an Ogden Made Messenger Bag from Gadget Review (contest)

Win an Ogden Made Messenger Bag from Gadget Review (contest)

Made from durable and rugged CORDURA 1000D fabric, the Ogden Made Messenger Bag ($125 value) should last the test of time or really whatever you throw at (or in) it. Each of these bags are handmade, and includes the company’s custom x-pac ripstop fabric.  There is also room for a…
The Faraday Tote Is The Urban Badass Bag You’ve Been Looking For

The Faraday Tote Is The Urban Badass Bag You’ve Been Looking For

Our search for the best messenger bag brings us to this beauty. Not too long ago, a bag was a bag…at least to men (definitely not women).  But that’s rapidly changing, as evidenced by companies such as Jack Spade, which makes not only clothing but a wide variety of trendy…
Timbuk2 Commute Messenger and Power Q Bags Provide Juice on the Go, On Sale Now for $199

Timbuk2 Commute Messenger and Power Q Bags Provide Juice on the Go, On Sale Now for $199

Most phones, hard at work, would be hard pressed to go a full day on a single charge.  The resolve?  Carry an external battery pack on your person at all times.  And that pretty much explains Timbuk2’s newest bags, the Power Commute Laptop Messenger and the Power Q Backpack.  They…
Clyde St. Messenger Review

Clyde St. Messenger Review

Is this the best messenger bag? It’s hard to find a bag that’s both comfortable to carry and capable of meeting your actual daily needs. I’ve relied on messengers and backpacks, slings and camera cases, some bad and more worse. There’s often a light at the end of the tunnel,…
Powerbag Lets You Charge on the Go

Powerbag Lets You Charge on the Go

While the PowerBag is simply a bag with a rechargeable battery included in the $140 price tag it does include a set of gadget like pockets and USB cables directly integrated into its body.  The bags are compatible with mini-USB, micro-USB and Apple 30-pin devices.  So yeah, they’ve got pretty…
Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger Review

Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger Review

[Rating: 4.5] Let’s find out of this is the best messenger bag. Pros: Excellent build design and fit for any selection of camera equipment Protects bag contents magnificently Shoulder strap is easily adjustable and can be upgraded with add-ons High customization with camera equipment placement Cons: No top strap for…
Timbuk2 Snoop Bag Will Appeal To Paparazzi Types

Timbuk2 Snoop Bag Will Appeal To Paparazzi Types

Update: Checkout our Timbuk2 Snoop Camera bag review. Timbuk2 finally managed to squeeze into their product line a camera friendly bag called the Snoop.  Perhaps the name is an attempt to appeal to paparazzi? Inside you’ll find a padded lens and camera compartment, with enough room at the rear to…
Booq Bags ‘Taipan Shadow’ Messenger Bag Is All I Need

Booq Bags ‘Taipan Shadow’ Messenger Bag Is All I Need

This bag has all the makings of the best messenger bag. Booq Bags is at it again.  This time around they’ve released the Taipan Shadow.  Though it lacks any ninja throwing stars, the Shadow is a durable messenger bag with a built-in padded 15-inch laptop compartment.  It’s always difficult to…
New Skooba Slim CheckThrough Messenger Bag Brings You One Step Closer To Levitating Through AirPort Security

New Skooba Slim CheckThrough Messenger Bag Brings You One Step Closer To Levitating Through AirPort Security

For the past 8 years or so, anyone flying with a laptop has at one point or another been frustrated by airport security protocol. As the market soon dictated, there became a need for a laptop bag that was TSA compatible. I saw a really nice one by Case Logic…

 

Back to top button
Close