Best Messenger Bag of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

Best Messenger Bag of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparisons
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Nearly every person in the world walks around with more than just their phone and wallet, which is why having the best messenger bag is a first-rate idea for someone who is always on the go.

Regardless if you are traveling with your laptop and work papers or if you simply want a little more storage, there are plenty of messenger bags out there for you to take a look at.

We’ve found five of our favorite designs that are adaptable to everyday purposes.

​Top Five Messenger Bags Comparison Chart

Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag

LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag

Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag

Just My Style Glitter Messenger Bag

​Best Messenger Bag Reviews

1. ​Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag: Best Bag for Plenty of Storage

Designed with the everyday commuter in mind, the Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag features a practical design built out of high-quality canvas with PU leather accents. It’s the ideal model for someone looking for a messenger bag that offers functionality and still looks great while worn.

Product Highlights

The Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag's features include:

  • Laptop compatible: With the Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag, you’ll find that you can easily fit up to a 13-inch laptop, without its case, which is ideal for students or people who use smaller notebooks.
  • Multiple storage options: The Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag features more storage options than any other bag on this list as it has a zipper pocket in the front flap, the main compartment, two pockets under the flap, and four inner pockets.
  • Easy-to-close buckles: Instead of having to deal with buckles and zippers that constantly get stuck, this messenger bag is designed to be easy for everyone to use while still ensuring all of your belongings are safe and secure.
  • Versatile wear options: You not only have to wear the messenger bag as a crossbody since it can also be converted to a shoulder bag.

What's to like about the ​Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag

The main thing that we like about this messenger bag is the fact that you can put a lot of devices inside it without having to worry about space. You can pack a MacBook Pro, Surface Pro, or even an iPad Pro depending on your needs. You’ll also find that with all of the added storage pockets, you can bring everything that you need with you, which makes it easy to carry for travel.

What's not to like about the ​Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag

The amount of storage really makes the Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag stand out, but the shoulder strap is particularly uncomfortable if you’re bringing a lot of items with you. Its shoulder strap also has the tendency to shift as you wear it, which prevents the bag from staying in one place and you’ll have to make frequent adjustments to stay semi-comfortable.

PROS

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    ​Plenty of storage
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    ​High-quality pockets
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    ​Fits most laptops and tablets

CONS

  • ​Uncomfortable shoulder strap
  • ​The shoulder strap shifts

2. ​LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag: Best Bag for Versatility

With a similar utilitarian or military appeal as the Leaper bag, the LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag is a better option for people who are looking for a larger main compartment for storing their essential belongings. We especially love the combination of canvas-cotton, Crazy horse leather, and bronze metal that pulls the whole look of the bag together.

Product Highlights

The most interesting features of the LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag include:

  • Heavy-duty materials: If you’re looking for a bag that is designed to last over years of regular use, this is one of the best ones to get your hands on. It’s crafted using a combination of heavy-weight cotton and canvas and Crazy horse leather for durability.
  • Comfortable shoulder strap: Compared to other messenger bags, the LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag offers a high-density shoulder strap that is supposed to give your shoulder more support.
  • Multiple pockets: With this bag, there are many different pockets that you can use to your advantage including an interior zipper pocket, a back zipper pocket, a main storage compartment, and two locking pockets on the front.

What's to like about the ​LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag​

When you first receive the LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag, you’ll immediately notice how well it has been constructed, making it ideal for someone who is looking for a bag that will withstand wear and tear. The feeling of the cotton-canvas is unlike any other canvas messenger bag, and you can tell that there are artisan craftsman details that went into its design. Above all else, it fits more than enough items to carry to school, work, or for trips.

What's not to like about the ​LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger

​The most frustrating aspect of this messenger bag is that it doesn’t have a lot of padding, so although there’s plenty of storage, you might not want to keep your laptop in the main compartment. We also found that the shoulder strap was made of a relatively flimsy material that didn’t add as much support as advertised.

PROS

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    ​High-quality construction
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    ​Plenty of storage
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    ​Looks fashionable and youthful

CONS

  • ​Flimsy shoulder strap
  • ​Little to no interior padding

3. ​Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag: Best Bag for Convenience

Designed for people who are looking for an unassuming yet functional bag that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, the Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag is a great option. It might not have as many stylistic choices as the other bags on this list, but it offers a lot of storage and works well for plenty of purposes.

Product Highlights

The best features of the Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag include:

  • Large pockets: All of the pockets in the Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag are designed to be larger than average, as you can fit a water bottle in both of the side pockets and the two front pockets. There is also the main storage compartment with a zippered pouch for your valuables.
  • Convenient, user-friendly features: Aside from the adjustable shoulder strap, you’ll also have access to a top carrying handle if you don’t feel like wearing the bag on your shoulder.
  • Durable canvas construction: Although the Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag isn’t waterproof, it is made out of durable canvas that will help to prevent a lot of damage to the bag over time.

What's to like about the ​Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag

The Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag's simple design is one of the things that we appreciate the most about it since you won’t have to worry about dealing with buckles and too many zippers in order to reach your belongings.

We also appreciate the larger pockets on the exterior and interior of the bag, which makes it a versatile pack for anyone carrying drawing supplies, work essentials, or even textbooks.

What's not to like about the ​Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag

The one aspect of the Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag that you’ll find the most troubling is the Velcro seal under the main flap, as the Velcro is poorly placed and makes it tough to keep the bag securely closed.

Also, you might want to consider putting a protective case on your laptop or tablet if you intend on storing it in the bag, as it doesn’t have any interior padding or structured pockets.

PROS

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    ​Basic user-friendly design
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    ​Larger-than-average storage pockets
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    ​Easily accessible pockets

CONS

  • ​Doesn’t seal securely
  • ​Poorly placed Velcro closure
  • ​No interior padding

4. ​Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag: Best Bag for Protection

When you’re traveling, one of the essential accessories to have is an anti-theft bag, which is why the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag is added to this list. Designed to protect all of your valuables against theft, there are plenty of interesting features you’ll use to your advantage.

Product Highlights

The main features of the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag include:

  • Slash-proof materials: Both the exterior of the bag and the shoulder strap are built out of slash-proof materials that prevent knives from being able to penetrate your bag. You would be surprised at the sheer amount of criminals that will try to cut your bag off of your shoulder.
  • RFID-blocking pockets: Instead of carrying a wallet, you can use the interior RFID-blocking card slots and passport slot to store your most valuable belongings.
  • Removable LED light: To keep you safer while traveling at night, there is an included LED light with the bag that you can choose to remove and use separately.
  • Locking compartments: Every pocket and compartment on and within the bag is capable of being locked, which is another essential feature for people who frequently travel.

What's to like about the ​​Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag

The Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag has a great combination of easily accessible and anti-theft pockets, giving you plenty of options for storing smaller items such as your cards and your passport. It also gives you the peace of mind you need if you happen to get caught in some rain, as the exterior material is water repellant.

What's not to like about the ​​Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag

The Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag is an excellent solution for someone who is looking for a bag with limited storage, as you likely won’t be able to fit any size laptop in the main compartment.

You will also find that the bag feels stiffer than other messenger bags, which can make it slightly less comfortable to carry for an extended period of time. Also, the heavier the bag is, the more likely the straps are to unbuckle on their own.

PROS

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    ​Water repellant
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    ​Many anti-theft pockets
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    ​Reasonably easy to use

CONS

  • ​Limited interior storage
  • ​Straps will unbuckle with excessive weight

5. ​Just My Style Glitter Messenger Bag: Best Bag for Kids

Designed with the everyday commuter in mind, the Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag features a practical design built out of high-quality canvas with PU leather accents. It’s the ideal model for someone looking for a messenger bag that offers functionality and still looks great while worn.

Product Highlights

The Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag's features include:

  • Laptop compatible: With the Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag, you’ll find that you can easily fit up to a 13-inch laptop, without its case, which is ideal for students or people who use smaller notebooks.
  • Multiple storage options: The Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag features more storage options than any other bag on this list as it has a zipper pocket in the front flap, the main compartment, two pockets under the flap, and four inner pockets.
  • Easy-to-close buckles: Instead of having to deal with buckles and zippers that constantly get stuck, this messenger bag is designed to be easy for everyone to use while still ensuring all of your belongings are safe and secure.
  • Versatile wear options: You not only have to wear the messenger bag as a crossbody since it can also be converted to a shoulder bag.

What's to like about the ​​Just My Style Glitter Messenger Bag

The main thing that we like about this messenger bag is the fact that you can put a lot of devices inside it without having to worry about space. You can pack a MacBook Pro, Surface Pro, or even an iPad Pro depending on your needs.

You’ll also find that with all of the added storage pockets, you can bring everything that you need with you, which makes it easy to carry for travel.

What's not to like about the ​​Just My Style Glitter Messenger Bag

The main issue with the Just My Style Glitter Messenger Bag is that the front of the bag is constructed to be very flimsy, and so coloring it can be quite a chore for younger children. The material also feels relatively cheap, which doesn’t give you much hope for keeping it in a pristine condition for even a year.

PROS

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    ​A fun activity for kids
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    ​Plenty of storage for small to medium items
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    ​Easy for kids to carry

CONS

  • ​Poorly constructed
  • ​Coloring flap is very flimsy

BUYER'S GUIDE

Choosing a messenger bag is more than finding a design that you think looks good with every outfit, as you’re going to want to find one that has plenty of safe storage for your most important belongings. There are plenty of key features to keep an eye out for when you start shopping, and they are:

​1. Types

One of the first things to consider is the type of messenger bag that you should be interested in, as some are designed for particular purposes, such as carrying laptops. An excellent suggestion for knowing the type of messenger bag to look for is to make a list of everything you’d expect your bag to do; this will help you narrow down your selections and find the one that is most adaptable to your needs.

​2. Size

Size is another incredibly crucial key feature to keep an eye on, as you’re going to want to make sure that you have more than enough space for everything you typically travel with. People who use tablets and laptops are going to want to find a messenger bag that allows at least a 16” laptop to fit comfortably, as you won’t want to switch your bag every time you upgrade your device.

It’s also important to think about storage, as you’ll want to make sure that you have access to both interior and exterior pockets for things such as your smartphone, keys, wallet, and snacks. However, you’re not going to want a bag with too much storage since you might find yourself bringing too much with you on trips and it will make the bag somewhat overbearing.

​3. Materials

There are plenty of different materials used to craft messenger bags and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. The most common material you’ll see is either full canvas or a canvas-cotton blend, which is a durable and high-quality material that you can rely on.

The main downfall of canvas material is that it’s not weather resistant, which puts your valuables at risk if you get caught in a torrential downpour.

Another popular material could be leather or faux leather, depending on your preferences. Leather gives off a professional and high-quality appeal, while still gives you the benefits of weather resistance.

Over time though, leather will wear down and will be prone to tears, especially if it’s faux leather.

​4. Brand

As with most other items, brands aren’t necessarily the most important thing to consider when it comes to messenger bags, as relatively unknown brands can construct items that are far more high quality than known brands.

With that being said, if you know a bag brand that you trust, then it’s best to stick with a brand that you’ve tested and used to your fullest advantage.

​5. Style

What makes messenger bags so phenomenal is that they have plenty of different styles to choose from, especially if you find one that has versatile carrying options. For example, many messenger bags allow you to convert them into single-shoulder carry bags or even let you carry them in your hands.

We recommend finding a multi-wear design as it gives you more options than a generic sling-style messenger bag.

​Best Messenger Bag FAQs

​1. How to wear a messenger bag?

Deciding how to wear a messenger bag is easy, especially if you have one that is easily convertible from one type of bag to another. The best way to figure out how to wear your messenger bag is to load yours up with all of the items that you’ll bring with you daily and then determine whether wearing it as a cross-body or using the single-shoulder strap is preferable.

As another important note, always make sure that you take the time to adjust the carrying strap so that it sits comfortably on your shoulder.

​2. What is a messenger bag?

Messenger bags are a type of bag that has been popular for hundreds of years, as they made their first appearance on the mass market for paperboys and couriers. These bags are specifically designed to make it easier to carry essential belongings such as laptops, folders, and papers, without being too over-encumbering.

​3. What messenger bag should I get?

Deciding on what messenger bag you should get is all based on your personal preferences. You will need to ask yourself a couple of questions such as, "What will I carry in the bag?" and "What style am I looking for?"

The best way to know how to choose the right messenger bag is to use the key features we discussed.

​4. What to put in a messenger bag?

One of the things that people love the most about messenger bags is that they are so versatile that you can carry relatively anything in them, ranging from baby diapers and bottles to textbooks. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not going to want to overstuff the bag as this can wear down on the shoulder strap and make the bag very uncomfortable to wear. 

We also recommend taking advantage of as many storage pockets as possible to keep all of your valuables organized.

​5. What size messenger bag should I get?

Deciding on the size of the messenger bag you should invest in is again dependent on what you intend on bringing with you daily. If you’re someone with a laptop, it’s recommended that you find a messenger bag that gives you a couple of extra inches of storage space.

If you don’t use a laptop, find the largest item that you commute with and measure it, as this should give you an idea of the average size of bag you should be looking for.

​Our Final Recommendation

In terms of our favorite messenger bag for everyday use, the LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag offers nearly everything that you should be looking for.

It has plenty of storage and is designed for larger laptops, not to mention it’s crafted with the highest quality features in mind. There’s no reason as to why you should be investing in a messenger bag that will need to be replaced in a few months, which is why we recommend opting for the highest-quality bag on this list that is the most functional.

The main concern with the LUXUR Military Satchel Messenger Bag is the fact that the shoulder strap is flimsy, but as long as you don’t over pack your bag, it should be more comfortable to carry.

Don't forget to also read our article on the "​Best Messenger Bags for Men of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparisons".

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