A bag is a necessity for carrying all of your things from one place to another. Bags exists to provide functionality and convenience for carrying your personal belongings. A messenger bag is a more professional style rather than a backpack that can be seen as casual and bulky. Messenger bags also allow you to keep your belongings right next to you and not behind you so that you won’t have to worry about anything being slipped out. Messenger bags also make it very easy to grab something from the bag without having to take it off your back to do so because everything is right at your side. Though they look a bit more professional than backpacks, they can still be used casually and sporty as well as for business or travel.
Believe it or not, messenger bags are also very helpful for adventurers for their ability to stabilize the bag so their belongings don’t shift around. The strap can usually be stabilized and secured to prevent any dropping or tearing of the bag. It’s a great and versatile bag option that all kinds of different people can enjoy and for many different reasons.
Materials of Messenger Bags
Messenger bags are different from other over the shoulder bags and are not to be confused. They’re much more durable and made of better quality materials. They often have a waterproof lining. We have listed the common types of materials used below including leather, cotton, and polyester. Since messenger bags are expected to carry laptops and other important things, they’re usually more durable, made with high quality stitching, and padded and/or lined to protect the belongings inside the bag.
A favored material among those used to make bags is leather. It’s a naturally durable, waterproof, and insulating material that is also attractive to the owner. Probably the best feature of all about leather is the fact that it continues to look good when it ages. Even the smell of leather is one of the best things about it. It’s an attractive, quality material that works great for making bags. Many people stick to leather when looking for a bag because they know it’s a material they can trust.
A very common material found in most things is cotton. It’s one of the oldest and most used materials that is still enjoyed today. It’s quite a versatile material found in clothes and bags that can be casual, sporty, or professional. It’s also a very easy material to clean which is good for bags because they’re bound to get dirty after lots of use. It’s also breathable, durable, and odor-free so it’s a great simple option to turn to.
As a non-natural material, polyester is a synthetic fiber that is turned into fabric by being woven or knitted. It’s durable and more resistant to wear and tear than other materials. It isn’t breathable so isn’t as good of a choice if you have electronics in your back that could overheat.
Functions of Messenger Bags
Messenger bags are made to be durable and constructed with high-level materials. They’re also fashionable and stylish, but what can they hold? This part of the best messenger bag guide will dive into the types of things your messenger bag can carry for you.
Carry Your Laptop, Camera, and Other Electronics
Thanks to the size of a messenger bag, it’s perfect for carrying your laptop or iPad. It’s important to make sure you choose a bag with sufficient padding if you’ll be carrying electronics around on a daily basis. Messenger bags are a very durable and safe option because it’s securely strapped to your shoulders so there is no impact between your bag and its inner belongings with the ground. Messenger bags also usually come with an additional smaller padded pocket for other important things such as your camera, iPad, or phone. Since these types of items are more sensitive to breaking, make sure the bag is highly padded for support. Messenger bags are great to use for trips because it’s so quick and easy to grab your camera, for example, and snap a photo without having to worry about taking the bag off your shoulders and searching for your camera before the moment is gone.
Store Paper and other Documents
Some messenger bags are geared towards students and have special place holders for your notebook, and important papers or documents. The bag ensures they are safely kept and not getting crumpled or folded because they have their own place within the bag. This is a great feature because not all messenger bags are big enough to fit a notebook or papers without having to fold them to fit. If you’re using the bag for school this is a great option to look out for.
Hold Your Personal Items
Not only is the bag great for your electronics or papers, but it will also hold all of your other personal belongings. It’s a decently large bag so you’ll be able to carry all you need for your next trip, workday, or whatever else you plan to use the bag for.
What to Look for in a Messenger Bag
Messenger bags can be made differently high and low. Not all will be perfect for what you need or are looking for. It’s important to understand the types of features to be on the lookout for besides materials or padded pockets for your electronics. There are many types of bags out there and this will help you narrow it down.
Organization and Compartmentalization
Some messenger bags will only have one main compartment for carrying your personal belongings, but the “best” messenger bag will have several pockets that will help keep you organized and not have to sift through everything to find your chap stick or pen at the very bottom of the bag. It’ll make the search process that much easier and quicker.
As already mentioned, a padded lining for keeping your laptop safe is most likely a must. Make sure to look for it when choosing your messenger bag, especially if you’ll be using the bag for business or school. It’s so important that we decided to mention it twice!
Although this might not be a deal-breaker to some people, it’s important to remember that you’re not only carrying the contents of your bag on your shoulders, but also the weight of the bag itself. If you’re already going to be carrying around heavy electronics, the weight of the bag can actually make a big difference. If you plan on having it strapped to your shoulders all day, you may want to look at more lightweight options that won’t get your shoulder feeling as tired as soon.
Waterproof messenger bags can be quite important, especially if you’re carrying around a laptop or important documents. If you choose a waterproof bag you won’t have to worry as much about the weather or making sure you have a rain jacket that can cover you and the bag as well. Not all materials are waterproof so it’s important to look for this. Remember sometimes you’ll see a bag marketed as being water repellent but this isn’t the same as waterproof. Water repellent only holds off water to a certain point but water can still get in but waterproof means no water will get inside your bag.
Best Messenger Bags for Women: Our Top Recommendations
This messenger bag is a simple yet effective design. There are not many pockets on the outside, but the inside makes up for that with great organizational pockets. It has a lot of good features making it a great choice.
This bag is made of a durable and premium coated polyester fabric. It will last many years and its waterproof which is a huge advantage with 600 denier strength. It’s also a tear-resistant fabric that will last and it’s easy to clean stains and dirt. The bag comes in two color options in gray or black. It also features an adjustable padded shoulder strap for comfort. It also has a reflective strip for safety when walking at night.
This bag can be worn across the shoulders as a satchel or can be handheld when quickly grabbing it on the go. It has a separate computer compartment for your laptop or other electronics and can fit up to a 15.6″ laptop. It has many inner compartments for carrying all of your personal items. It features a front zipper pocket for access to quick things and a small zippered pocket on the inside for important documents. It’s a large bag and can fit all of your needs. Although it doesn’t have a water bottle pocket, there are places large enough in the bag to safely store one.
- This bag would look good on both men and women
- Can fit a 15.6″ laptop
- 2 color options
- No specific pocket for a water bottle
This bag is a gorgeous and sleek design. It comes in 10 different pastel colors. It also comes in two different sizes either a 15.6″ or 17.3″ depending on the size of your laptop or the number of items you’ll be carrying in the bag. It’s a mix of both a modern and classic design that comes together to create the perfect bag. It’s quite a stylish option. It’s the perfect professional or school bag as well as it’s great for traveling or on the go.
The bag is made with Saffiano grained eco-leather. The metal hardware has a gray-tone for a chic and classy touch to the bag. The interior is nylon-lined in a coffee color for a unique detail. The bag has a top handle for easy carrying and the strap is detachable if you want to carry it for a change instead. The bottom of the bag has 4 protective metal rivets so that the bag doesn’t get scratched or dirty when put on the ground.
The opening of the bag features an open turn-lock flap closure and zipper for the safekeeping of all your items. There are four large compartments inside the bag as well as two slip pockets and 1 zippered pocket. There is a separate laptop section that is padded in a thick foam with a Velcro strap closure that fits a 14” to 17” laptop or tablet, depending on what size bag you choose.
- 2 sizes
- 10 color options
- Turn-lock flap and zipper large interior pocket for safe storing
- Not waterproof
- No front pockets
This bag comes in a gorgeous two-tone beige and black colorway or an all-black design. It has a very stylish and chic look to it that would make it the perfect bag for professional use, school, or daily life.
It is made of durable and high-quality vegan PU leather. It is designed to protect against impact, scratches, or wear. It has a top handle for quick grabbing as well as a shoulder strap that is removable and adjustable to wear as a cross body messenger bag. The hardware is silver for a chic design.
To open the bag, it uses an open turn-magnetic snap flap closure with a large interior zipper to safely store all of your belongings. It has one padded compartment for your laptop or other electronic devices and can fit a 14” to 15.6” laptop. It has a zippered pocket on the exterior backside of the bag, two inner zipper pockets, and a cell phone pocket.
- 2 color options
- Many organizational pockets
- Not waterproof
This bag is made of 100% genuine rugged goat leather. The mission of the company is to create a leather bag that doesn’t use a harmful toxic tanning process to create the leather. It goes through a process of ‘vegetable’ tanning to retain its original characteristics and provide flexibility and sturdiness to the material. The leather is able to retain its blemishes and unique staining that gives the bag character and ensures no two bags are identical. Skilled artisans handcraft the bag using traditional techniques that can sometimes get lost in the mass production of modern bags. It has a heavy-duty olive green inner lining as well as quality YKK zippers and brass hardware. The shoulder strap is fully adjustable to your comfort. The bag is made with high-quality threading for additional durability.
The large interior pocket is held together by a Velcro strip to keep your belongings inside the bag. The interior compartment has a variety of pockets for storing your things with two of the pockets being zippered and 3 internal compartments. The bag can fit up to a 15” laptop with padded walls for extra cushion. The large exterior flap fastens with magnetic buttons.
- 100% Genuine leather
- Durable lining
- Many inner compartments
- No zipper closing to the interior of the bag, just a Velcro strap
This bag comes in three beautiful colors of either black, dark brown, or cognac. It has a professional, yet casual design that can be used for work, traveling, or school. It’s definitely a classy and stylish option.
This messenger bag is made of genuine full-grain cowhide Columbian leather which is very durable and ages beautifully throughout its years of use. It has a fully lined tear-resistant lining to protect against daily use. There is a removable and adjustable shoulder strap that is ultra-padded and nonslip for comfort.
The bag closes with secure tuck locks but features a buckle looking closure as a nice added detail. The front pocket has an organizer for your quick essentials and there is also a rear exterior open compartment for quick access. There are multiple interior compartments and pockets for organization including 2 interior slip pockets. The bag can fit up to a 15.6” laptop inside of its padded pocket. Another great feature is the manufacturer lifetime limited warranty that the company offers.
- Columbian Leather
- Manufacturer lifetime limited warranty
- Name brand option
- Fully lined
- Padded laptop pocket
- There are no cons to this bag
For a more lightweight option, this bag is a great choice. It comes in nine color so there is sure to be the perfect color for you. It has two large handles for quickly holding the back or throwing it on a shoulder as well as a large shoulder strap. It’s quite a stylish and classy bag that you could love for many years down the line.
The bag is made of PU leather with polyester lining. It’s both water-repellent and scratch-resistant. There are metal feet on the bottom of the bag to protect from damage or dirt. It also has double adjustable shoulder handles for easy carrying and comfort that can also be removed. It’s a very lightweight bag for its size and features compared to other bags on the market.
The bag is well organized and is divided into three sections. There is a main thick padded foam pocket that fits a 13” to 15.6” laptop. There are also two large open pockets that can fit other papers, documents, or books. There is a large zippered pocket, an iPad pocket, 2 slip pockets, 2 pen pockets, and a smaller zippered pockets. The bag is fully enclosed with a top zipper pocket to safely enclose all of your personal belongings. The zippers are a premium gold color that is resistant to rust, corrosion, and tarnishing.
- Lined bag
- Many pockets
- No exterior pockets
This super stylish and girly bag comes in 5 different colors and 4 different sizes which are unique and allow you to get the perfect bag that you’re looking for. Each of the colors is two-toned to add a bit more style to the bag. It’s a very slim option so that you can carry it around daily and not have to worry about it feeling too bulky by your side. The bag also features a beautiful bow on the outside and attached to the top handles for a cute added design.
It’s made out of durable PU leather with built-in anti-shock and waterproof foam. It’s very easy to clean and features gold-tone hardware and a belted padlock construction. It has high-quality stitches for durability. The shoulder strap is adjustable for comfort. There is also 4 feet on the bottom of the bag that allows it to stand upright and not get as dirty or scratched. The bag is fully lined with a cute polka dot design inside.
The company offers a one-year warranty for replacement or refund of the product which is a nice customer service feature. The padded compartment inside the bag can fit up to a 15.6″ laptop and has a Velcro strap to keep it in place. There are 8 compartments within the interior of the bag. It also has a trolley sleeve for connecting to your luggage if the bag is used for travel.
- 5 colors options
- 4 different sizes
- One-year warranty
- The bag is slimmer than others so may not fit as much
There are ten different color options for this bag including one that has a camo design and one with a floral print. It is a mid-size bag and not quite as large as some that are on the market but it’s also less bulky when over your shoulder and for long days of carrying the bag. It is a great option for both men and women with its diverse color palette and casual and simple design. It can be dressed up or down for professional, school, travel, or everyday use.
It features the signature striped fabric lining of Herschel bags. The interior bag has a hanging internal zippered pocket and there is a front zippered storage sleeve. It has a top handle for easy carrying and an adjustable strap for comfort.
It’s water repellent but not quite waterproof so it will work for small amounts of water. The main compartment is comprised of one large pocket with only a small zippered pocket. There is no padded spot for a laptop. It’s quite a simple bag but if you don’t plan on carrying much it can be a great option because it won’t be nearly as bulky as other bags.
- Many color options
- Simple design
- Smaller in size
- Not many pockets
This messenger back has a pretty standard design as far as messenger bags go. It is the type of size and shape usually seen among traditional messenger bags. It has quite a large number of pockets for organization. It also comes in two sizes of 15.6” or 17.3” and four different colors including black, blue, coffee, and gray. In all of the colors, the zippers, handles, and straps have a brown accent color that offsets the bag rather nicely. It’s a great option for both men and women.
The bag is made of a high-quality durable canvas with a PU leather trim. The shoulder strap is both adjustable and removable and there are nice top handles for easy grabbing of the bag on the move. The bag has a polyester lining to protect against daily use. Another cool feature about this bag is there are backpack straps that can be hidden so if you have a long commute and want to switch from carrying the bag on your shoulder to your back it’s very easy to do so.
It can fit up to a 17.3″ laptop in a roomy compartment with a telescopic belt that provides additional protection. There are two different main zippered compartments that each have interior pockets. They’re categorized as a daily compartment with space for your water bottle or daily needs as well as a business compartment for your laptop and important papers and documents. Within the main compartments, there are additional pockets to organize your belongings such as pens, books, or anything else you have. There are 6 front pockets with zippers to conveniently carry your most used items. There is also one back zipper as an anti-theft pocket or to hide the back straps which is a nice detail. There are also two magnetic snap pockets. The bag is lightweight for easy carrying and ergonomically designed to ensure equal distrobution of the items within the bag so that it is most comfortable on your shoulder.
- Two main compartments
- Additional backpack straps
- Many pockets
- Not waterproof
This bag comes in 3 different colors include black, gray, and pink all of which are two-toned. It’s a great simple, casual, and professional style for both men and women. It’s a good size bag that can fit many things especially your business and personal needs.
The bag was made with durable, water-resistant polyester and RPET which is a recyclable material. It’s a simple yet great design. The handles are made of a durable, padded vegan leather material and the shoulder strap is adjustable and padded.
The laptop compartment is fully padded with EVA foam for optimal protection. The bag can fit up to a 15.6” laptop and there is a separate padded pocket that fits up to a 12.9” tablet. The laptop pocket is even TSA friendly! It is in a separate DIGI Smart pocket for quick TSA scanning when traveling. It has anti-theft RFID pockets for your valuables. The bag also has a trolley sleeve for connecting to your luggage on the go. There are many pockets within the bag for organizing your belongings. There is an additional storage pocket that can fit notebooks, papers, and important documents. There is a front organizational compartment that can carry your pens, sunglasses, or other smaller accessories.
- Anti-theft RFID protection
- TSA friendly
- Made with recyclable materials
- Water resistant, not waterproof
We hope this guide has helped to figure out what you’re looking for in the messenger backpack that’s right for you because there are so many different styles, features, and materials to be aware of. Now that you’ve determined what you’d like your bag to consist of, you’re ready to pick out the perfect messenger bag for your needs. There are so many options which is why we;ve helped narrow them down to some of the best!