Best Messenger Bag Reviews 2023

Carrying your things around with you everywhere can look pretty awkward, not to mention inconvenient. A messenger bag can help you solve this problem! That’s why we’ve looked into the many available options, ending up with a list of some of the best messenger bags available from five great brands. If you don’t find one that interests you right away, you can still check out the other variants available from these trusted brands.
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Our Top Choice
J World New York Messenger Bag
For more than 30 years, J World New York has been a leading producer of quality backpacks and luggage.
The bag is well-designed, solidly constructed for durability, has plenty of space, and can carry a laptop comfortably with its extra cushioning.
However, there have been some complaints about the shoulder strap being weak.
6x17x14 inches; 1.6lbs
Single shoulder bag
29 different colors
18 liters
Best Value
Berchirly Small Vintage Messenger Bag
Since 2014, Berchirly has been producing well-crafted and stylish leather bags that are also affordable and functional.
This little bag is very durable and affordable. It’s great for carrying a small amount of stuff around and is easy to maintain with its nice color that won’t get dirty fast.
However, the zipper on top of the bag is too short, so it’s somewhat difficult to see what’s inside or remove things from it.
Canvas, Polyurethane leather
10.7x8.4x1.9 inches; 0.6lbs
Coffee/army green
22 liters
Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag
Since 1989, Timbuk2 has been manufacturing and distributing high-quality bags to a wide range of people all over the world.
This bag has a shoulder pad which is quite comfortable, interior waterproofing which helps protect your items, and very roomy, expanding up to 6 inches in depth.
Unfortunately, there have been complaints that this bag doesn’t stay strong when it folds in.
4.7x11.8x9.8 inches; 1.2lbs
Single shoulder bag
20 different colors
16 liters
Jansport Market Street Messenger Bag
Since 1967, Jansport has been a leading manufacturer of outdoor gear, bags, and packs. Its products are very durable and reliable.
This bag is a secure-styled bag with fully zipped top access. Its shoulder pad makes carrying it comfortable while a key clip makes for internal organization.
However, this is a medium-sized bag, so it may not be able to hold a lot of stuff.
600 Denier Polyester
2.2x14.1x19.3 inches; 0.95lbs
Black/white/fluorescent pink
14 liters
Bagbase Retro Messenger Bag
Bagbase is a leading manufacturer of bags that can be used anywhere. Its products combine beauty and functionality.
This bag is very affordable and quite durable. It comes in 6 different colors for variety and is designed to be very comfortable.
There are no cons reported.
600Denier Polyester
16x12x4 inches; 1.4lbs
6 different colors

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Watch Our Messenger Bag Review

What is the Best Messenger Bag?

You have now learned about messenger bags and have hopefully decided on the features you want. Keep them in mind as you read further through our review of individual brands/products. It’s our hope that you’ll find it easy to choose your ideal messenger bag, within your budget.
Our Top Choice
The J World New York Messenger Bag is an affordable polyester bag with an interior padded compartment for laptops and an adjustable shoulder strap. This bag also comes in 29 different colors and patterns. If you want a smaller messenger bag, you can check out the J World Terry 11 in. Messenger Bag which is made from 100% polyester and has a 26.5-inch shoulder drop..

J World New York Thomas Messenger Bag – Available in 2 Sizes & 29 Colors

Since 1983, J World New York has been a leading backpack and luggage manufacturer. Its functional and fashionable products are available in more than 25 countries and the company keeps expanding. J World’s main aim is to meet every customer’s specific needs with its products. This is why all its products are made to fit the styles of a wide range of people.

The J World New York Messenger Bag (Selling for $40.00 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a durable shoulder bag with a flap opening. It’s made of 100% polyester which makes it very durable. This messenger bag also has a padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment and a horizontal zipper pocket in its front which has pencil holders and card slots. It also has a cellphone pocket at its side and adjustable shoulder straps. The unique thing about this bag is that it comes in 29 different colors and patterns for variety.

Here are some other messenger bags by J World New York:
  • The J World New York Perry Business Messenger Bag- It’s made with 100% foam PU polyester and has a zippered pocket on the front and back
  • The J World New York Sam Canvas Messenger (Vintage Collection)- It’s made from 100% wax imported canvas and has interior pockets with organizers
  • The J World New York Madison Business Messenger Bags- It’s 100% ballistic and has an adjustable strap
  • The J World Indian Laptop Messenger Bag- It has an adjustable shoulder strap and double-release buckles for closure
Best Value
The Berchirly Small Vintage Messenger Bag is an affordable, durable bag that is made with very strong canvas and high-quality faux leather. If you want a bigger messenger bag, we recommend the Berchirly Vintage Military Men Canvas Messenger Bag for 13.3-17.3" which is 90% canvas and 10% leather.

Berchirly Small Vintage Canvas & Leather Messenger Bag – Available in 2 Colors

Berchirly was founded recently in 2014, but it’s already made a name for itself in the bag-making industry with bags that are designed to be highly fashionable and functional. Its goal is to offer something different from the conventional bags that are made for everyday use. Right now, it’s only providing bags that are designed for men, but soon it plans on really expanding and going beyond boundaries. If you’re looking for a good quality messenger bag, then check out Berchirly.

Berchirly Small Vintage Messenger Bag (Selling for $14.59 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is an affordable bag that is made with canvas and high-quality faux leather. It has a shoulder strap of 180 centimeters length and can fit items such as an iPad or purse. The dimensions of this bag are 8.66 inches (H) x6.69 inches (L) x1.96 inches (W). It can either be used as a cross-body bag or a single shoulder bag. This bag has a beautiful vintage design.
Here are some other messenger bags by Berchirly:
  • The Berchirly Canvas Real Leather Men Messenger Bag Handbag- It’s 15% leather and 85% canvas, and has adjustable double shoulder straps
  • The Berchirly Small Vintage Canvas and Leather Messenger Cross Body Bag Pack Organizer- It’s made with canvas and high-quality cow hide leather
  • The Berchirly Men Boys Single Cross-Body Messenger Bag- It’s a multi-functional shoulder chest pack bag
Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag, made with 100% polyethylene, is also weatherproof and features a fully adjustable shoulder strap with a comfortable air mesh strap pad. If you want a bag with a different design, you should check out the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag made from 100% Polyester.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag – Available in 5 Sizes & 20 Colors

Timbuk2 was never about bags before, but when Robb Honeycutt created an iconic messenger bag in 1989, Timbuk2 changed its focus and has since created durable and stylish bags that can be used by anybody. Timbuk2 is born and bred in the US and its bags encourage a spirit of adventure. Its bags are made to be very reliable and all its bags have a guaranteed lifetime warranty! If you’re looking for quality, Timbuk2 is your go-to brand.

The Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag (Selling for $119.00 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a stylish bag that comes in five different sizes. It’s made of 100% polyethylene which accounts for its durability. It has a fully adjustable shoulder strap and a coordinating comfortable air mesh strap pad, and an internal organizer for small things such as phones, pens, etc. It also has an internal water bottle pocket. This messenger bag also has partially concealed flap buckles and bottom compression straps; this helps the bag to be securely closed and protects your items. It also has a waterproof TPU liner and its flap corners fold into place which makes this bag weatherproof. Its buckle can be easily adjusted and it also comes in twenty different colors.

Here are some other messenger bags by Timbuk2 for your consideration:
  • The Timbuk2 Proof Messenger Bag- It has 6 pockets and a removable cross body strap for cross body ventilation
  • The Timbuk2 Kindle Messenger- It has a durable ballistic nylon exterior
  • The Timbuk2 Alchemist Messenger- It’s made with 100% tarpaulin and has 7 interior pockets and 1 exterior
  • The Timbuk2 Sutro Messenger Bag- It’s made with durable fabrics and has adjustable cross body straps
The Jansport Market Street Messenger Bag is a secure-styled messenger with an adjustable shoulder strap and a shoulder pad. It’s a very stylish bag and has a padded back panel for comfort. If you want a bag that fits a larger laptop, we recommend the Century Brief 17" Laptop Messenger Bag in Black with an internal pocket that will fit up to a 15.6-inch laptop.

Jansport Market Street Messenger Bag – Available in 3 Colors

Jansport is all about the discovery of fun, freedom, and adventure. It was founded in 1967 and is now a leading manufacturer of bags, packs, and outdoor gear. Jansport products are unique and specially designed to be used over a lifetime. Jansport believes that all good stuff should last, which is why their products all have a lifetime warranty. Every day, Jansport’s team keeps looking for more innovative ways to improve its products.

The Jansport Market Street Messenger Bag (Selling for $39.00 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a stylish bag that is very durable and comfortable. It’s a secure-styled bag with fully zipped top access. It has a zippered mesh pocket and a web haul handle. This bag also has a 15-inch laptop pocket for functionality, an adjustable shoulder strap with a shoulder pad, and internal organization with key clip. If you want a stylish and functional messenger bag, this one will be a good fit.
Here are some more messenger bags by Jansport:
  • The Jansport- Hester Messenger Bag – It has a fully padded back panel and a front organization stash pocket
  • The Jansport Elefunk- It’s stylish and comfortable
  • The Jansport NETWORK Messenger Bag- It can fit a fifteen-inch laptop and is durable
  • The Jansport First Class 13 inch- It’s a durable 13-inch messenger bag
The Bagbase Retro Messenger Bag is a simple, 12-liter capacity, retro-styled bag, made with 600D Polyester with an adjustable webbing shoulder strap. If you want a messenger bag with a 14-liter capacity, you should check out the Bagbase Vintage Canvas Dispatch Messenger Bag.

Bagbase 12-Litre Retro Adjustable Messenger Bag – Available in 6 Colors

For many years, Bagbase has been making top-quality bags. Its team is comprised of the most professional engineers who
work hard each day to make all its products as effective and efficient as possible. Customer satisfaction is the number-one
priority with Bagbase, and this has kept it growing and expanding.

The Bagbase Retro Messenger Bag (Selling for $14.33-Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a durable bag made with 600D Polyester. It has an adjustable webbing shoulder strap and a zippered mesh pocket underneath the flap. Its dimensions are 16x12x4 inches and it even has space for a laptop. Its capacity is 12 liters. This messenger bag is a simple but functional bag.
Here are some other messenger bags by Bagbase you may want to check out:
  • The Bagbase Retro Adjustable Shoulder Strap (18 liters)- It’s made with polyester and has an internal and external zippered pocket
  • The Bagbase Retro Stripe Mini Reporter bag- This bag has a 2-liter capacity and an adjustable shoulder strap
  • The Bagbase Budget Vertical Messenger Bag- It has a wide weight-bearing shoulder strap and a baseboard for even weight distribution
  • The Bagbase Mini Adjustable Messenger Bag or Reporter- It has a 2-liter capacity, is made of polyester, and comes in five different colors
  • The Bagbase Messenger Bag- It comes in 18 different colors and has an internal organizer section

How Do I Choose the Best Messenger Bag?

You have a laptop, your journal, and a book to take with you to a convention. A backpack will be too big for so few items, and you certainly shouldn’t carry your $4,000 laptop unconcealed since you don’t want to attract unwanted attention… in fact, you probably should have made better use of your gym equipment and bulked up a bit. With a good messenger bag, you need not fear!

The material your bag is made of and the interior layout is yours to choose. You can also choose to keep the shoulder strap long or short, so you can always feel your new laptop there with you. There are different types of closure for your messenger bags, but since you’re scared of losing your laptop (it contains your million-dollar idea), we’ll suggest you go for one with a zipper and a lock.

Now let’s look at the things you need to look out for in a messenger bag in greater detail…
A handcrafted messenger bag made of leather, and beautifully designed with accented detailing will demand a huge asking price. The design, construction, and definitely material, will determine how much a messenger bag will go for. Who wouldn’t want the bag earlier described? We all do, but there’s something called budget and it always brings us back to reality. The premium bags will cost close to $120, while those that are not so pricey, but are still of great quality and value, will go for about $20.

There are also the cheap messenger bags that are poorly made and have almost no aesthetic value. We know you don’t want that kind of bag, so we’re not going to review them here. Don’t let the price tempt you; trust us, they’re not worth it.
It’s a great feeling to get complimented over something you’re wearing or carrying. Such is the effect with many of the messenger bags available nowadays; most of them are so well-made with sleek designs and colors. Whatever your style, you will be sure to find one that suits you. The following are the main features to look out for in messenger bags:
  • Material
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Size
  • Strap length
  • Closure
Knowing these features will make it easier for you to decide what you want out of a messenger bag. And when you read further, the essential features you want will be easier to see.
Construction and Design
Messenger bags are mainly made with leather, canvas, or synthetic materials. Leather is the preferred choice of the professionals who make these bags by hand. A well-designed and finished leather messenger bag is a thing of beauty anywhere. Leather is poor at resisting water, but there are still bags whose leathers have been treated to be waterproof. Canvas is tough and readily withstands heavy-duty use. If you want a messenger bag you’ll use every day for years to come, canvas is ideal. Synthetic messenger bags are known to be water-resistant. If you’re the adventure photographer type, you might want to go for this.

Depending on what you need the messenger bag for, size can be critical. Travelers, students, and office workers who carry around a lot of documents will require the large size for space. Professionals who carry average-sized laptops around would also fancy this size. You can put in small umbrellas, tabs, books, etc. You can even bring them on an airplane! The small sizes can house your organizers and wallets, and can easily fit into your jacket pocket. Or you could just sling them around your shoulder as a stylish accessory.
Performance and Ease of Use
Leather messenger bags have some of the most exotic finishes for messenger bags. There are some well-treated leather bags that are accented with gold, platinum, or chrome finishes. The synthetic and canvas ones have way more versatility when it comes to appearance and design, as colors can easily be worked into them. There is no limit to the different messenger bag designs out there.

The strap is the sole way of carrying messenger bags, and as such they determine if carrying the bag is comfortable or not. Most straps have an adjustable pad you can use to cushion your shoulder if the content of the bag is heavy. Other straps are adjustable in length, which in turn positions the bag upwards or downwards along your body. The strap adjustment is purely based on preference.

The interior of the bag is where the organization is. Most people will want to carry more than one thing in their bag, so how the interior helps you arrange your stuff matters. Some bags have one big pocket and other smaller ones, usually on either side. Manufacturers get creative with how they position the inside pockets, so you have to pay attention to which arrangements suit you the best.

Last, but certainly not the least, is the closure. This is the security of your messenger bag. There are different ways a bag can close, but the best messenger bags are the ones that provide sufficient security for the contents of the bag. Some use Velcro, and others use magnets. Others use snap-on attachments, but a zipper that locks and buckles are usually more secure.

Get the Best Messenger Bag of 2023!

Now that you’re done reading our review, we hope you now have the information you need to make a buy. If you still haven’t decided on which one to buy, why don’t you check out other messenger bags made by these brands? You’re sure to find a bag that calls out to you.

Our Top Choice
J World New York Messenger Bag
Best Value
Berchirly Small Vintage Messenger Bag
Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag
Jansport Market Street Messenger Bag
Bagbase Retro Messenger Bag