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Best Messenger Bags Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated: Jun 23, 2019

While most of the time messenger bags are considered a "man's" bag, in today's modern world women carry them as well. However, kind of like the women's tote bags, messenger bags are the perfect complement to any man who doesn't want to carry your typical briefcase, but still wants to be able to carry things that you simply can carry in your wallet. Equipped to carry just about anything you choose, these bags come in different sizes, shapes, materials, brands, and even colors. Now, when it comes to messenger bags, they have a variety of uses. You can use yours as a courier bag, a mailbag, a school bag, to hold your laptop, or even a diaper bag, if you so choose. The point is that these products are durable, lightweight, according to what you stuff in them of course, and made of high-quality material to boot. That is why we have decided to write a buying guide of the top 10 best messenger bags on the market to make it easy for you.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research

icon
Samsonite
97.8/100 our score
Durability
97.2
Materials
99.3
Style
98.1
Value
97.3
Samsonite
Why is it better?

Leather material

Leather removable shoulder strap

Strap is padded

Durable

Roomy

Affordable

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Samsonite
Test Winner: Samsonite
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
41
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
15k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
10
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Durability Materials Style Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Durability
97.2 %
Materials
99.3 %
Style
98.1 %
Value
97.3 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$86.78
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Durability
94.2 %
Materials
91.2 %
Style
93.6 %
Value
94.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$68.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Durability
91.2 %
Materials
90 %
Style
89.3 %
Value
92.4 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$114.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Durability
89.7 %
Materials
91.3 %
Style
88.4 %
Value
86.2 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$57.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Durability
87.4 %
Materials
84.1 %
Style
81.3 %
Value
88.3 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$29.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.5
Durability
81.2 %
Materials
76 %
Style
78.3 %
Value
71.2 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$22.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Durability
80 %
Materials
79.2 %
Style
76 %
Value
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
Durability
76.2 %
Materials
74 %
Style
73.6 %
Value
76 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$106.15
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Durability
76 %
Materials
75.2 %
Style
73 %
Value
76.2 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$12.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
71.5
Durability
71.2 %
Materials
70 %
Style
73.6 %
Value
72.1 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (04.04.20)
Amazon Link
$110.00

10 Best Messenger Bags

1. Samsonite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Samsonite
Amazon Link
Durability
97.2
Materials
99.3
Style
98.1
Value
97.3
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$86.78
Pros:

Leather material

Leather removable shoulder strap

Strap is padded

Durable

Roomy

Affordable

Cons:

Some customers reported the shoulder strap snapping in half after only a few uses

Some users reported that the product was cheaply made and wore out easily

It truly comes as no surprise that Samsonite is at the number one position on our list. They are a well-known brand, who turns out quality products, and this product is no different. Made of leather, the case features an adjustable, removable strap and a front flap to hold all of your essentials. The shoulder strap is padded for comfort, and there is a rear pocket that can hold plenty of your other business files.

Big Enough to Hold a Laptop

This fine leather case is big enough to hold a 15.6-inch laptop. This means you no longer have to worry that your laptop will be damaged on the backseat of your car, during transport from home to the office and back again.

Double Way to Carry

This case comes equipped with both leather handles and a leather removable shoulder strap. It makes it easy to carry your bag, either way, you want too, and still be comfortable doing so. It also comes in your choice of black with chrome or brown colors.

Cost and Value

One of the more expensive items on the list, it is still a great buy with the double handles and the roomy interior. It also has an elegant look about it, that makes this one a winner for sure.

2. hlc 16-Inch

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
hlc 16-Inch
Amazon Link
Durability
94.2
Materials
91.2
Style
93.6
Value
94.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$68.00
Pros:

Padded compartments

Large enough to hold a 15-inch laptop plus added accessories

Vintage Chic

Made of exceptional quality

Easy to carry

Cons:

Clasps are not as sturdy as one would assume

Tends to stain easily

The beauty of having a quality messenger bag is being able to use it for a multitude of reasons. Measuring at 15.5 by 11 and 4 inches tall this bag is not only roomy enough to hold your laptop and accessories but it's sturdy enough to be used on a regular basis. Being able to use it as an everyday bag allows you to have exactly what you need when you need it.

High-quality
When it comes to purchasing a long-lasting item, you want to purchase the best quality possible. Constructed out of hunter leather this messenger bag offer quality while still being chic and aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, it is lined with canvas while being crafted by artisans that have been working with leather for numerous years.

Multiple Pockets
Due to being constructed out of quality materials this bag comes with an array of pockets, that can be used to hold numerous bits inside. Furthermore, not only can you comfortably keep your laptop safe, with the added padding but the multiple zippers and buckles provide enough storage for anything you need.

Cost and Value
When it comes to the cost of this item, you’re getting an excellent value. Not only is this bag made of exceptional quality material, but its multiple padded compartments ensure you get the most out of your purchase.

3. Kenneth Cole Reaction

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Kenneth Cole Reaction
Amazon Link
Durability
91.2
Materials
90
Style
89.3
Value
92.4
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$114.99
Pros:

Roomy

Easy to organize

Comes in three color choices

Durable

Extra compartments included

Cons:

Some users reported that the leather bled onto their clothes

A few customers complained that the product didn't look like it did in the pictures

Hopping in at number three on our top 10 list is Kenneth Cole Reaction, with their Colombian leather slim design case. Featuring an adjustable strap and coming in three different colors, this is the one if you like elegance with your bags. It has a flap with a magnetic snap closure for protecting your belongings from the elements and being scattered here and there. It also features added compartments for convenience.

Comes in Three Leather Color Options

This elegant leather case comes in your choice of three colors. You can choose from black, brown, or cognac. All are gorgeous, soft, and durable, so the choice is yours. Go to work in style with this case that is able to hold all of your important papers.

Extra Compartments Included

Not only is the main chamber of this case roomy and nice, but there are also some extra compartments added, that will make your day much brighter. Included in this case are two front pockets to help you organize your papers, two pen pockets, so you're never left searching for a pen, a cell phone pocket, and three card slots to hold all of your important cards and your license.

Cost and Value

One of the more expensive cases on our list so far, the color options and the fine leather material makes this one worth checking into. Organize your day with the case and be on your way to work before you know it.

4. Timbuk2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
 Timbuk2
Amazon Link
Durability
89.7
Materials
91.3
Style
88.4
Value
86.2
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$57.95
Pros:

Weatherproof

Durable

High-quality

Comes in your choice of 14 different colors

Affordable for what it offers

Cons:

Some users reported the material fraying on the item after only a few months

Some customers left reviews stating that the zipper broke after only a few uses

Made of 100 percent polyester and available in 14 vivid colors to choose from, this medium-sized case is perfect for anyone who wants a roomy case but doesn't want it to be too big. Capable of holding most laptops, this case is TSA compliant, comes with a weatherproof flap and bag construction, for those who travel a lot and tend to get wet. It also offers an external access pocket that zips, so you can reach your cord or power brick in a hurry if need be.

Weatherproof

The last thing you need is your laptop and important papers getting soaked in the rain. That is why this case offers a weatherproof flap and the bag is weatherproof as well. Never, have to worry about losing your laptop to the weather again with this case.

Features an External Access Pocket

If you have ever had to dig through your case to find the plug for your laptop, only to have it die before you could plug it in, then you will appreciate this case even more. It features an external access pocket on the side of the case, so you can find your cord easily.

Cost and Value

The fact that the bag is TSA compliant and has a side pocket so you can reach your power cord easily is enough to recommend this item. Add in the fact that it's weatherproof, and this one moves into the must check out category for sure.

5. Ibagbar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Ibagbar
Amazon Link
Durability
87.4
Materials
84.1
Style
81.3
Value
88.3
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.99
Pros:

Water resistant

Affordable

Durable

High-quality

Has nine different pockets

Cons:

Some users reported the seams ripping within a month

Some customers stated that the case was not the color that it is in the picture

Coming in at number five on the top 10 list is the Ibagbar briefcase. Suitable for everything from work to school and even for play, this crossbody sling bag is perfect for men and women. Capable of holding up to a 14-inch laptop, this case is water resistant and has a whopping nine pockets to recommend it. Featuring padded shoulder straps, it's easy to throw across your body, and head out for a day, but still be comfortable while doing it.

Super Durable

Made of tough oxford fabric, strong buckles, and leather as well, this is a highly durable case in which to transport all your must-have items. It is also water resistant, making it a must-have for anyone who will use it for hiking or outside trips.

Water Resistant

A water-resistant case is important if you are going to be carrying important items and your laptop around with you. This product delivers with just that.

Cost and Value

This item is super affordable and super durable as well. It's well worth the price being asked for it, because of this and the fact that it's water resistant.

6. Sweetbriar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.5
Sweetbriar
Amazon Link
Durability
81.2
Materials
76
Style
78.3
Value
71.2
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$22.95
Pros:

Constructed out of 100% cotton

Comfortable to carry

Easy to clean

Comes with an abundance of features that are rare to find in other items

Excellent price point

Stylish

Comes in multiple colors

Cons:

Can feel flimsy

Buckles not as sturdy

If you’re looking for space, this is the messenger bag for you. Designed to provide comfort, be spacious and have everything you need on hand. This messenger bag is perfect for those that want a lower maintenance product that can be used daily. Not only is it efficient but it works well for a multitude of occasions, from school, to work, to the office.

Easy Carrying
Due to everyday traveling, and usage you want to find something that is easy to carry, comfortable and has just the right amount of space. This bag has a convenient handle that is placed at the top-rear for an easy adjustment. Furthermore, the strap comes padded so you can wear it for an extended time.

Durable Material
Unlike many other options on our guide, this bag is not made from leather, its constructed out of 100% cotton. Having cotton as the material of construction makes cleaning and transportation extremely easy. In addition, cotton is quite durable which is exactly what you need on hand when you travel and use your bag often.

Cost and Value
Surprisingly, this product is quite affordable. Not only does it come in multiple different colors, its easy to carry and versatile but its also unisex and comfortable. Having all these features paired with the price makes this bag an excellent choice

7. Osprey

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Osprey
Amazon Link
Durability
80
Materials
79.2
Style
76
Value
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Reflective graphics

Comes with a blinker attachment

High-quality

Lightweight

Available in three color options

Cons:

One user complained the daypack was too big for traveling

Another customer complained because there were not enough compartments

It's a day pack that comes in your choice of three different colors and features a variety of pockets. It also features reflective graphics, and even comes with a blinker attachment, for when you have to be out and about at night.

Three Vibrant Colors to Choose From

This lightweight daypack is designed with a man on the go in mind. Whether you're headed to class or to study at the coffee shop, this is the pack for you. It comes in your choice of three color options, which are black, twilight blue, or Peet green.

Includes Extras

From the compartment on the outside to carry your water bottle to the compartment on the inside for your laptop and even a front pocket for small items, this bag has a place for you to stash it all. It also includes a blinker attachment to keep you safe when out at night with increased visibility.

Cost and Value

One of the pricier items on the list, just the extras alone are worth the price. After all, who can put a price on safety and visibility at night? Check this one out, when searching for the right pack to meet your needs.

8. Thule

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.8
Thule
Amazon Link
Durability
76.2
Materials
74
Style
73.6
Value
76
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$106.15
Pros:

Made for Mac products

Durable

Extra features included

High-quality

Pretty design

Affordable for what it does

Cons:

Some users reported the pockets weren't large enough to hold their Smartphone comfortably

A few customers complained that the item started coming apart at the seams after only a few weeks

Stopping in at number eight on the list is the Thule Stravan deluxe laptop bag. It comes in a sleek gray color and is tailormade to be a precise fit for certain Mac products and an iPad. It has a dedicated compartment that is tailored for your Mac, and is made with not only additional padding to protect your laptop, but also made with scratch resistant lining as well. It features many different compartments and even has hooks on which to hang your umbrella when needed.

Quick Access to Your iPad

It features a pocket for your iPad and then makes it possible for you to reach that same iPad without having to open the main compartment.

Extra Features

From the extra compartments to the durable material and from the umbrella hooks to the additional foam padding, this laptop case has it all in the way of extra features and durability on the go.

Cost and Value

One of the more expensive items in the buying guide, this one is designed to hold certain Macs, making it worth the money if you are a Mac person. Add in the extra features, and if you own a Mac, this one's for you.

9. Outdoor Research

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Outdoor Research
Amazon Link
Durability
76
Materials
75.2
Style
73
Value
76.2
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.99
Pros:

Water resistant

Flap and cinch closure

Perfect for research that needs to be done outdoors

Nice straps

Cons:

One customer reported it would be better if the pack had a zipper closure

For the outdoorsman that want a messenger bag to take on the trail with them, the Outdoor Research Range Finder is a perfect choice. Whether you're hiking the trail or climbing a mountain, this waterproof bag is just the right choice for carrying your personal items. Available in one size and in a pretty coyote color, it features a laptop sleeve for when you are ready to get back to technology.

Water Resistant

This item is water-resistant, making it the perfect choice for taking on day hikes or even just taking it to the local coffee shop when it's storming.

Features a Flap and Cinch Closure

You don't have to worry about stuck zippers or meddlesome snaps with this product. It has a handy flap and cinch closure to recommend it instead.

Cost and Value

This is the most expensive item on the list, but it is durable and water resistant, making it worth checking out during your search.

10. Chrome

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
71.5
Chrome
Amazon Link
Durability
71.2
Materials
70
Style
73.6
Value
72.1
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$110.00
Pros:

Lightweight

Weather-proof

Comes with extras included

Affordable for what it does

Durable

Cons:

One consumer reported the pack as being too small to hold everything he needed

Last, but not least, coming in at number 10 on the list is the Chrome Mini Metro Welterweight case. Designed with women and men in mind, it's the perfect choice for either, whether you need it for work, play, or school. It comes in two different color choices to choose from and features an aluminum buckle and even an integrated bottle opener. It's lightweight, durable, and has a weatherproof lining to recommend it as well.

Extras Included

From the chain mounting loops to the bottle opener, this case has you covered. What more could you ask for?

Weather Proof Lining

The last thing you want is for your stuff to get wet when going from one place to the other in your travels, or even on the way to work. This case features a waterproof lining to keep that from happening.

Cost and Value

Another of the more expensive items on the list, it's worth the price just because it's waterproof and comes with extra features as well.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Different bags are going to have different durability levels. You can’t expect the same amount of durability out of a cheaper bag, as you can a more expensive one. It’s important to read the reviews when purchasing a case like this to ensure the materials the case are made of will hold up to everyday use. The top-rated on our list is made of materials that are extremely durable and able to stand up to everyday wear and tear just fine.

Materials

The materials that the bag you are considering is made out of is important as well. The top-rated on our list range from being made out of polyester to durable canvas and from Oxford fabric to the finest Colombian leather. This is where knowing what you are going to be using the case for comes in handy. After all, you wouldn’t want to carry a designer leather case around with you to do research in the wide outdoors, but by the same token, you don’t want to carry a durable canvas bag that is extremely casual to the office.

Style

Along with the materials, types, and purpose comes the appeal and design of the entire product. You want something that will reflect your personality, whether it’s a casual, canvas bag or an elegant leather case that speaks volumes about who you are. The top-rated on the list come in a variety of styles and designs to appeal to whatever type of personality you are.

Value

Of course, if you are on a budget, and let’s face it, most of us are, the price of the product has to be taken into consideration as well. The top-rated on our list range in price from around $20 to over $140, according to the extra features included, and materials they are made out of. Remember, that while you don’t want to sacrifice quality and durability in order to get a cheaper price, you do often have to stick to your budget. Luckily, the top-rated on our list come in different price points, are durable, and able to fit almost any budget you have set for yourself.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
Whats the purpose?

The very first thing that needs to be decided when searching for this type of product is what you will be using it for. Are you going to be using it for camping or instead you are using it as a carry-all for clothes when you're traveling? Maybe, you are using it to cart your laptop and manuscript to the local coffee shop, so you can work on your novel in peace, or perhaps you need a professional looking bag to take to work with you. The purpose that you have for the item is paramount to what type of product you look for.

Multiple Uses

Messenger bags serve more than one purpose. They keep your gear contained, so you don't have to chase it down the street. The thing to remember, however, is that no two of these products are the same. As stated previously, they come in different, well different everything! So, when it's time to go out and find one of these items to hold your belongings, you don't want to get in a rush. There's more to it than just going online, finding the first one you run across, pointing, clicking, paying and having it delivered to your door.

Other Factors to Consider

Effectiveness

Whether you are a highly organized person or a person who lays things around willy-nilly, you are going to want a bag that speaks to organization. Each of the top-rated on the list has different pockets, compartments, and other features that make it easy to organize everything you need in such a way that it is easy to reach when you need it to be. After all, who wants to go to the office and look messy and disorganized, because you can’t find the things you need to start your workday?

Adjustability

If you ride a bike, hike a lot, or walk to school, then an adjustable strap, a padded one preferably, is something you want to have on your case. Most of the top-rated on our list have adjustable, padded, straps for maximum comfort. You want to be able to adjust the strap as needed, so your shoulder is not killing you at the end of the day.

Advanced Features

It's important to remember that some of these cases come with extras that jack the price of them up a little. The best products on our list have extras included, such as hooks to hang your umbrella, water bottle pockets, and even access points to get to your iPad or power cord easily. The choice of which extras you want, or need, is a personal preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is a Messenger Bag and What Are They Used For?

a:

A messenger bag is a case that is used for a number of different things. They are used by men and women to carry everyday essentials around with them in one place. They usually come with roomy compartments, extra compartments, and room to fit a laptop. They have been used for everything from diaper bags to school bags and from professional briefcases to a pack to take camping.

q: Will this Hold My Laptop?

a:

Most of the top-rated on this list are designed to hold laptops. However, it’s important to read the description to see if that particular case will hold the size of the laptop you have. It is important to look for a case that will not only hold your laptop but is padded to protect it as well. Most of the top-rated on this list take extra steps with materials to ensure the laptops are safe and protected.

q: Is this Case Waterproof?

a:

Many of the cases on our list are water and weatherproof, helping to keep your items dry. Again, it’s important to make sure you check the description of the case you are considering to see if it is made of waterproof material.

q: Is this Case Well Padded?

a:

Of course, most people who use these types of cases, carry laptops that they want to be protected from harm. The best products on our list are well padded and come with extra features to ensure your laptop and all of your gear is protected from harm.

q: Are there multiple different types of bags?

a:

When it comes to messenger bags, there is an abundance of them. The key is knowing what type of bag you need and how often you will use it. If you’re seeking a bag to carry your laptop and accessories without needing it to be fashionable and chic, consider a leather satchel. Whereas, if you seek a functional bag that is easy to clean you want to go for a cotton version. Leather is easily stained, so you want to be very careful with what you carry in the bag or around it. Cotton bags can be thrown in the wash making them an easier option to select from.

q: What is the best size to choose?

a:

Just like material, the size of the bag depends on your personal needs. Before purchasing you want to take into consideration how big your main item is. Is it an 18-inch laptop? Or a 12-inch tablet? Knowing how big your main item is will ensure you get the right size. Likewise, you want to look into your personal style. If you prefer to carry most things in your pocket having a bag with small compartments could be the perfect option for you. While if you want to have less room but be chicer you want to go for a larger bag with less space but grander appeal.

q: Do these bags come in multiple colors?

a:

Depending on the bag you select you might come across a bag that does have a multitude of color options. However, this will mainly occur with bags that are made out of cotton.