Briefcase Alternatives: 7 Messenger Bags for Men to Carry This Season
Looking for a new messenger bag? These options will keep you organized and stylish, wherever the day takes you.
A messenger bag is a product of deceptively simple beauty. Unlike the traditional briefcase, messenger bags are built for comfort and convenience, and their crossbody straps and flap closures make them ideal for toting around everything from laptops to your tupperwared lunch. (This is probably why so many diaper bags for dads are now being sold in the messenger style.) You can strap them on and commute anywhere on a bike, though messenger bags — originally designed for speed, durability, and comfort — are ideal for any kind of travel, with handy enclosures that make it easy to toggle between pockets holding laptops, water bottles, and toiletries as you make your way through TSA. And most of all, if you invest in a quality messenger bag, it will last for years — and only get better with age. If you’re looking for a stylish men’s bag to match all your needs, we’ve found seven messenger bags, from leather to canvas to rip-stop nylon, that are worthy of your hard-earned dollars.
Messenger Bags for Men
This heirloom-quality investment piece is the first and quite possibly last cotton and leather messenger bag you'll ever buy. Filson has been producing top-notch gear since 1914. This classically styled bag is 14 inches wide, and has an interior main compartment, two full-length open pockets, one business-card pocket, and one cellphone pocket. There's a water-resistant storm flap with leather snap closures. You also get dual leather handles and a removable and adjustable crossbody strap.
This 15-inch messenger bag is for the adventurer who isn't afraid to stand out. If you're into photography and love the great outdoors, this is your messenger bag, with camera divider inserts for a mirrorless/SLR camera kit. The bag’s design is the product of meticulous research, in partnership with travel photographer Trey Ratcliff. The goal: Create one everyday bag that fits any lifestyle. The weatherproofed bag's MagLatch closure keeps things secure, while its origami-inspired FlexFold allows for excellent organization. The padded sleeve fits a 13-inch laptop and each bag comes with a bonus camera case that doubles as a field pouch that attaches to your belt.
Urban cool meets airport-security pragmatism in this travel messenger bag for the road warrior, whether you're biking or catching the red-eye. This TSA-compliant messenger bag has an external laptop compartment that unzips and lies flat so you can go through security without taking out your computer. Even if you're not jet-setting frequently, this bag has a lot to love: There's a generous padded front pocket, aluminum hooks with tensioned elastic and webbing loops for secure closure, and a side quick-release zipper for cords. There's an internal organizer and a removable crossbody strap, too.
The more you use this unique wax-cotton messenger bag over the years, the better it looks, so go hard on it. This is a messenger bag that pairs as well with a suit as it does with weekend jeans. The bag — which measures 15.25 inches wide and 12 inches high — is made from a naturally water-shedding fabric that looks more handsomely weathered over time and features such niceties as a slim leather handle that lets you carry it like a briefcase, with the strap tucked away. There's also a back zipper pocket for quick and easy access to stuff you need on the go, as well as an interior laptop divider sleeve, slip storage divider pockets, and a leather pen holder.
If shoulder stress is an issue for you, get this ergonomically-designed, lightweight Moshi messenger bag. The bag weighs just over 2 pounds and, thanks to its proprietary ViscoStrap, helps reduce shoulder pain and strain. It accommodates a 15-inch laptop, and has extra slots for iPad/tablets, cameras, or headphones. There's a full-width zip pocket for the safe-keeping of documents and a discreet rear trolley strap that lets you attach the bag easily to rolling luggage.
This oiled calfskin-leather messenger bag is sleek and streamlined: It works with everything from business casual to weekend flannel, which is the very spirit of sophistication. The Navigator keeps your stuff secure, has a magnetic closure that makes it easy to get what you need fast, and an adjustable shoulder strap for extra comfort.
Planning on braving the elements? Then store your stuff in this Topo Designs messenger bag, which features a truck-tarp liner, waterproof zippers and a top flap. This bag is ready to sustain some serious damage. It's made of 1000-denier rip-stop nylon that can weather whatever you can throw at it. There’s space for a 15-inch laptop, and the bag comes with an adjustable shoulder strap, interior zip and wall pockets. Not to mention, it has a dual-closure system with G hooks, internal water bottle straps, and a small front zippered pocket with key clip.
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