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Messenger Bags Buying Guide

Messenger Bags Buying Guide

a man with a messenger bag
Once reserved for bike messengers and students, messenger bags have successfully crossed over to the mainstream. Messenger bags were originally designed to carry various documents and packages bound for multiple locations, but they are also the perfect size for laptops, schoolbooks and other everyday items. Designer messenger bags also make modern replacements for the traditional briefcase. Whether you are a young professional in need of sturdy leather messenger bags or a high-school student looking for a stylish alternative to a traditional backpack, messenger bags will work for you. This messenger bag buying guide has information to help you sort through the different types and styles available.
a man with a messenger bag

Messenger Bag Materials:


Canvas messenger bags are a trendy option for students who want to carry all their books and accessories without having to resort to a kid’s backpack. Canvas is a rugged material, made to withstand the everyday wear and tear that can be caused by those sharp textbook corners constantly grinding against the interior of your bag. It also dries fast, so if you get caught in an unexpected downpour on the way to class, your canvas messenger bag will be dry before the bell rings for the next one.

Synthetic blends.

If you live in a rainy or humid climate, you’ll want a nylon messenger bag to protect homework or important documents. Urban messenger bags are made of tough synthetic materials, like nylon, and many are then treated with water-resistant coatings. Look for a nylon messenger bag that also includes a vinyl lining to further protect your portfolio or documents for a client. These waterproof styles make great messenger bags for school, as their separate compartments will protect children’s work and carry pencils, erasers, markers and more.


If your job requires a professional look but you can’t quite see yourself with a traditional briefcase in hand, leather messenger bags are your answer. Available in an array of colors and sizes, these leather bags are a stylish way to keep all of your business essentials organized. Some of these designer messenger bags have built-in laptop sleeves, suited to hold any 15-inch or smaller laptop. To keep your laptop messenger bag looking its best, you’ll want to treat it with water protectant, much like you would with a pair of fine leather shoes.

Messenger Bag Styles:

Large messenger bags.

The classic messenger bag definitely falls into the large category. Students need plenty of room for textbooks, notebooks, calculators and more, so large messenger bags work well. Large messenger bags also work well if you’re the type who doesn’t like to leave the house without a couple of your favorite books, a travel mug, your computer, headphones and snacks.

Medium-sized messenger bags.

Laptop messenger bags are among the many medium-sized bags available and can fit the average portable computer and other essentials, including files, notebooks and umbrellas. Men’s messenger bags with plenty of pockets and compartments also fit into this category. These bags are generally slimmer and less bulky than classic messenger bags, but they still have plenty of compartments and pockets to keep all of your stuff organized.

Small messenger bags.

For carrying around a few essentials, you’ll want to have a compact messenger bag made of leather of fabric. The size of messenger bags for school makes them ideal carry-on bags. Available in a variety of chic styles, small messenger bags also make excellent alternatives to handbags.