A Guide for Stylish Men’s Messenger Bags

Upgrade your style in 2018!

Check out our reviews and comparisons of the Best Men’s Messenger Bags

Comparison Chart

Messenger Bag Reviews - 5 Suggested Bags

 

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

The Classic Messenger Bag from Timbuk2 has an upgraded appearance, leading to a more refined and stylish yet functional look. It has a curved air mesh strap pad for maximum comfort and the brand’s innovative Double-Loop CAM buckle, that adjusts fast and gets rid of floppy straps.

It has a waterproof TPU liner and corner wings to prevent water seeping inside.

Pros

  • Versatile design means it can be used for casual purposes and for work
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around, even with a heavier load
  • Easy to wear and remove because of the enhanced buckle system
  • Shoulder strap is designed for comfort

Cons

  • Internal slash pocket has thin padding and does not have straps or Velcro to secure item
  • No open back pocket
  • Cannot accommodate laptop

Leaper Cross Body Messenger Bag

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Pros

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  • Has plenty of room to spare
  • Has lots of pockets
  • Can accommodate a laptop
  • Sturdy and sleek
  • Has comfortable and adjustable shoulder strap

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Cons

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  • Side pocket is too narrow

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Ibagbar Small Canvas Messenger Bag

The Ibagbar Small Canvas Messenger Bag is made from high-density cotton canvas and PU leather. This is an ultra-sturdy bag that has a good number of pockets and even a small hole with a grommet to allow your headphones or charger through.

It also includes a strap which you can adjust, depending on your comfort and height preferences, and is the ideal bag for traveling, school, the office, and other instances.

Pros

  • Made with durable, sturdy cotton canvas
  • Has quality leather zips
  • Lightweight
  • Has comfortable and adjustable shoulder strap
  • Washable
  • Has several pockets
  • Comes with nice price
  • Backed by 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Comes in limited color options
  • Not water-resistant
  • Pockets might be too small for some

Berchirly Military Men’s Canvas Messenger Bag

The Berchirly brand produces a lot of bag styles from sports bags to carryalls. Their Military Men’s Canvas Messenger Bag is made with high-quality canvas and it can contain your essentials, from books, smartphones, pens, wallets, down to smaller electronic devices.

It has multiple compartments plus a dependable shoulder strap and leather shoulder pad that makes carrying the bag more practical, comfortable, and convenient.

Pros

  • Has consistent color and attractive design
  • Top notch construction with reinforcements in spots that wear easily
  • Has good collection of sizes and colors to suit users
  • Has multiple pocket closures

Cons

  • Shoulder strap can be better with slight improvements
  • Interior pocket is too small

Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag

The Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag provides strong-featured hardiness for all sorts of uses. It has a large main compartment, front pockets plus side pockets that can contain a varying size of water bottles.

It has a suitable handle that is positioned in the top rear for fast and easy carrying, padded shoulder straps with adjustable length and an internal zippered pouch for smaller items. It is made from durable, genuine cotton canvas with metal fixtures.

Pros

  • Made from authentic, hardwearing cotton canvas
  • Offers lots of space
  • Can accommodate laptops
  • Has adjustable-length, comfortable shoulder strap
  • Has trendy design
  • Has convenient handle

Cons

  • May be prone to staining
  • Does not have enough zippers for closure
  • Does not hold shape satisfactorily

What is a messenger bag?

Believe it or not, the messenger bag is a tool has been used for plenty of years, dating back to ancient times when messengers traveled on foot. These days, they are a popular choice for both men and women, due to the design and functionality of this form factor.

Messenger Bag Benefits

The way that a messenger bag is constructed allows it to contain and keep fragile items safe, like your smartphone, laptop, and other electronic items, as well as papers, books, and everything you need for work and play.

A messenger bag is a nice, trendy, and stylish (yet practical) way to carry all of your everyday items in just one package.

Why are they so great? There's a number of reasons, such as:

  1. Messenger bags come in both men’s and women’s styles;
  2. They are available in a wide range of materials, from canvas to heavy duty leather;
  3. Messenger bags can be formal style for taking to work, casual for your day off, or a mix of the two;
  4. These bags can fit any kind of lifestyle and personality, and can be customized with any number of accessories to become "yours."

All the essentials you need to know about messenger bags will be discussed in this guide.

History and Design

Messenger bags acquired their name due to the purpose they serve for bicycle messengers. The bag is a cross-body type and it stays on the user’s hip or lower back when riding a bicycle.

The design of these bags provide the messenger with a large freedom of movement, while allocating the items’ weight in a comfortable manner. Messenger bags have to serve a number of functions:

  1. they often contain all of a person's everyday stuff;
  2. the wearer needs to access to that stuff easier;
  3. the bag also needs to keep any vulnerable items safe and free from breaking.

Because of this, the messenger bag was upgraded over time to meet all of those needs. Modern messenger bags have thus turned into a fashionable item that merges functionality and style.

This kind of bag is more than just an item to store your things in. It is also a great accessory. The styles and the materials that make a messenger bag can turn it into a stylish statement, rather than just a functional and workmanlike piece of equipment. For many stylish men, a great bag can often complete your look.

Messenger Bag Materials

Material is a factor that establishes the purpose, durability, and price of the messenger bag.

These bags can be made from a wide variety of materials that give off different vibes. Leather is timeless and classy, while sportier messenger bag models give off a more urban type of cool look. Messenger bags made with natural materials, like leather, offer a more traditional or professional style, while ones made with synthetics reflect more active or urban lifestyles.

Bags made from more distinctive materials, like rubber, offer an inimitable charm for individuals who are after a one-of-a-kind style statement. These types of bags may not be a good choice for more mainstream style, though.

Leather

If you want something classy and traditional, a leather messenger bag is recommended. This material is believed to be the oldest material employed for making bags.

To this day, leather messenger bags are sought after because, even if they succumbs to wear, the whole bag still looks good and functions even better. In fact, a leather bag that's been worn and looks weathered can look much better than a brand new bag.

Currently, top choices in leather material include the top-grain and the full-grain kind. Most experts suggest that the best messenger bags for men are made with top grain and full grain leather because both materials age better than "genuine" leather.


Canvas

Another popular choice for bag material is canvas. Canvas is typically made from linen or cotton and is woven in order to make a stronger, thicker fabric.

Because of their structure, messenger bags that are made with this material are often light, yet sturdy. This fabric also gives a casual look, so canvas bags are recommended for laid-back tasks, such as carrying school supplies and books.

The majority of canvas bags are also treated, in order to have water-resistant properties.

Plain canvas is also a good medium to extend your creativity; it is a nice material to paint or dye so, if you are the type who likes personalized items or has an artistic bent, you can go for messenger bags made with canvas.

Nylon

Nylon bags are made with versatility in mind. Nylon is sturdy and lightweight and it undergoes a special procedure in order to make it tear-resistant.

Nylon’s resourcefulness also enables it to be employed in different places. If you want something fashionable, you can opt for messenger bags made with this kind of material.

Nylon is also naturally waterproof, so you can use it in places with frequent wet and snowy weather conditions. For better water-resistant properties, some nylon bags are treated with vinyl.

Rubber

Rubber has a similar appearance to genuine leather, but it has a shinier finish. The item is naturally water-resistant, so if you want a bag to use for outdoor activities or rainy locations, you may want to choose this material.

On the other hand, rubber is not as flexible or stretchable compared with other bag materials. It's also prone to getting hot in higher temperatures, so if your climate is a hot one, this may not work for you.

Messenger Bag Buying Tips

Like with everything in fashion, all types of bags undergo a cycle with regards to popularity. Regardless of the type of bag that's in vogue, you can find them in most stores that sell men’s fashions and accessories.

Due to the ever-present demand for bags that can carry items safely and, at the same time, won’t sacrifice style, messenger bags will not lose their popularity. Messenger bags are extremely practical and convenient, and they are available in a number of styles that cater to different needs.

What to look out for when buying a messenger bag

When buying a messenger bag, design and construction is of paramount importance. Lots of styles include straps that are placed in various locations on the bag, for comfort and convenience.

The messenger bag is designed to be a functional item, so it is crucial that it can tolerate everyday usage compared with other kinds of bag.

Straps should be comfortable and well constructed. You'll be opening and closing the bag often, so the closures should be strong and the stitching and material should be of high quality. Factors like hardware (whether functional or decorative) must be fastened securely and should not fall off with normal use.

If you need a bag for use at school or work every day, you can choose a bag that has bigger and more durable straps, plus a wider flap to safeguard its contents from unpredictable weather conditions. Bags that are made from leather or canvas are good for everyday use for work and school.

Different types of bags for different uses

If you want a travel bag that you can make use of from time to time for plane rides and car rides, you can usually make do with any material. Look for something that is light, trendy and compact. Go with your preference for looks and feel - it won't let you down!

However, if you want something that will house vulnerable items like phones and computers, you have to look for a model that is cushioned or padded well, in order to keep the items safe inside.

If you're outside and in a climate with a lot of precipitation, the messenger bag you choose should be waterproof, as well. It should have a number of separate compartments to keep items from rubbing against each other.

The number of items you plan to carry can also influence your decision. If you want something that will only carry a few items, messenger bags that are smaller and more compact in size are also available. They are more square-shaped than rectangular. These types of bags (sometimes called shoulder bags) usually come in a nice selection of colors and often have stylish designs.

Spotting good craftsmanship

Remember that a bag with complete hems, ship-shape seams, and well-secured trims are indications of excellent craftsmanship. If you are hunting for the best messenger bags for men, you have to check those factors.

If you are looking for one online, make sure that the shop or seller has a number of images where you can clearly see those details. If you're shopping online on a site like Amazon, you can check out the reviews (or read the review here on Stylish Carry).

In person, it is better to inspect the interior lining of the bag as well. A plastic lining is waterproof, which is great, but it might succumb to wear and tear more quickly than bags with a fabric lining.

Plenty of brands fuse durability and water-resistant properties by placing a waterproof plastic liner between the exterior and the interior liner made of fabric. This method helps to guarantee durability and longer wear, but it does add to the price and weight of the item.

If the model features a front flap with a 2-point closure, this is usually going to be more secure than a 1-point closure bag (but slightly more annoying to close). This is recommended for people who use messenger bags for work, school, or travel - if you're on the go, that secure closure can be super helpful.

If you are going to use the bag simply to store food or drink, it will require cleaning occasionally. Bags with leather materials are often resistant to food and drink spills, but bags made with canvas, nylon, and rubber have to be washed or wiped clean.

Adjusting your bag

Bags with adjustable straps are good for bicycle riding or jogging. In order to allocate weight in a balanced way and make carrying the bag more comfortable, it is advised that you pull the strap higher and more securely while doing those activities.

Carrying the bag in a higher position can alleviate back strain and make riding and carrying your items more comfortable.

Ultimately, it's up to you how you want to carry your bag. For those who strap the bag over one shoulder, there's always the danger of neck and shoulder pain if you're putting too much weight there. For those situations, a backpack or book bag might be a better choice, as this balances the weight more equally across the back.

Messenger Bag Care and Maintenance

You have found your dream messenger bag - now you're ready to take it on your daily trips from home to work or school, or weekend outdoor activities.

In order to keep your bag in tip-top shape and make it last a long time, it is wise to provide it with the care and maintenance it deserves. Keep your bag at its best with the following suggestions:

  1. As much as possible, try to prevent your bag from coming into contact with dirty surfaces that could tear or damage it.

    Sure, it's not easy to totally avoid doing this, especially if we are using our bag every day for work or school. Do your best, though, and you will allow your bag to last longer and help maintain its appearance.
  1. You should opt to invest in fabric protectors, or commercial sealants, for canvas messenger bags.

    Use them by following the product instructions carefully. Before applying the product on the whole bag, you can first test the product out on a small, discreet part of the bag.
  1. To get rid of dirt caused by everyday usage, you can use a stiff brush on the bag's exterior. This will take care of the dirt, without damaging the item.
  1. If you are using a leather messenger bag, you can use a regular leather cleaner and conditioner on it.

    Apply it carefully and follow the cleaner and bag manufacturers' instructions.
  1. If the leather bag gets soaked, you should remove all of the items inside it and allow the bag to dry thoroughly as soon as possible!

    If you are in a rush, it is better to use another bag until your leather bag is dry, since using a hair dryer on it can damage the leather material.
  1. For discoloration and stains, blot the stains out with lukewarm water and a soft rag or use a commercial fabric cleaner on it.

Giving your messenger bag the care and maintenance it needs will make it look great and stay clean at all times. Taking the time to care for your bag will also lengthen its lifespan, particularly for those bags that you've invested a lot of money in. 

A messenger bag is designed to be chic and functional and, with a little effort on a consistent basis, it will maintain its exceptional appearance for a long time.

Conclusion

A messenger bag can be a beneficial party of any individual’s wardrobe. 

Men’s messenger bags are items that are not only functional, they can also be as fashionable and stylish as the clothing that a man wears. The bag complements a man’s wardrobe and can extend the formal or casual style that he exudes.

A messenger bag also leaves the hands free to do anything, making it a super useful piece to own for someone on the go. The bag also dangles securely on the wearer’s body, helping to prevent the possibility of theft or slipping.

If you want the best messenger bags for men, you have to keep in mind a number of factors: materials, colors and the manner in which you will be using the bag. Keep maintenance and care in mind, and a great quality messenger bag will last you a long time!

Want to read more? Check out our messenger bag reviews here.