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Messenger Bag Buying Guide

BY Samuel Casey Insight bags
BY Samuel Casey

If you’re in the market for a messenger bag, you’ve come to the right place. Messenger bags come in all shapes, sizes, and materials these days -- but that doesn’t mean they should. To help you sort through the static, we’ve created a men’s messenger bag guide with 6 standout bags for your consideration:

1. Large Leather Messenger Bag

If you appreciate classic style and straightforward utility, a large, traditional vintage-style leather messenger bag is for you. Crafted of full-grain water buffalo leather with brass and iron hardware, this bag will hold up well over time and age gracefully. The single large flap cover maintains the classic simplicity, while a spacious interior accommodates multiple pockets and compartments for organization. An adjustable canvas strap allows for easy crossbody or shoulder carrying.

  • Price: $320
  • Dimensions: 19” x 13” x 7”
  • Weight: 7 lb 15 oz
  • Carrying capacity: generous (up to 17” laptop, cords, chargers, files, books, accessories)

2. Scaled Down Satchel Bag

A scaled down version of the traditional vintage messenger described above, this leather satchel messenger bag includes all the same style and detail, but in a smaller package. 
  • Price: $270
  • Dimensions: 17” x 13” x 5”
  • Weight: 4 lb 10 oz
  • Carrying capacity: modest (up to 15” laptop, files, small accessories)

3. Lightweight Leather Messenger Bag

If you want a leather messenger bag with all of the quality and space but minimal bulk, consider a lightweight leather messenger bag. The craftsmanship is all there: full-grain leather, antique brass snaps and rivets, padded adjustable canvas strap; but the unlined, straightforward interior allows for a lighter bag that can still pull its weight. 

  • Price: $250
  • Dimensions: 16.5” x 10.5” x 3.5”
  • Weight: 2 lb 3 oz
  • Carrying capacity: moderate (charger, files, padded sleeve fits up to 15” laptop)

4. Bison Leather Laptop Bag

If you want a messenger bag that easily converts to a briefcase, this bison leather laptop bag will serve you well. This bag has the signature messenger bag flap with crossbody strap, but adds the top carry handle for the quick grab and go option. Handcrafted in full-grain bison leather with antique nickel hardware and an adjustable leather strap, this leather messenger bag is the ultimate blend of luxury and utility.

  • Price: $450
  • Dimensions: 16” x 11” x 4”
  • Weight: 5 lb 13 oz
  • Carrying capacity: moderate (laptop, cord, charger, files, accessories)

5. Traditional Leather Laptop Bag

Maybe you want that convertible briefcase to messenger bag, but in traditional cow leather. This full-grain leather laptop bag is handcrafted of full-grain cow leather with a suede interior lining. Of course, don’t miss the signature top flap and shoulder strap for the messenger bag style -- or use that top handle for the convenient briefcase-style option. 

  • Price: $320
  • Dimensions: 16” x 11” x 4”
  • Weight: 4 lb 3 oz
  • Carrying capacity: moderate (laptop, cord, charger, files, accessories)

6. Vintage Military Messenger Bag

If your style is far more rugged than formal, a waxed canvas messenger bag may be the perfect fit. Make no mistake: this bag is as stylish as it is functional with its vintage military inspiration. Crafted of wax coated 15 oz canvas, leather trim, and hammered copper rivets, no detail has been missed. A multitude of interior and exterior pockets and compartments add character and simplify organization.

  • Price: $300
  • Dimensions: 18”(includes side pockets) x 13” x 5”
  • Weight: 4 lb 0 oz
  • Carrying capacity: generous (up to 15” laptop, cords, chargers, files, books, accessories)

Still deciding on the best bag for you? Shop our entire collection of men’s messenger bags here.

Related Articles:

Buffalo Leather vs. Cow Leather

Waxed Canvas vs. Leather

Best Men’s Work Bags

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