people's choice

The Best Messenger Bags for Men on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy Retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about lots of bags before — including the best work bags for women, the best gym bags, and the best weekender bags — here we’ve rounded up the best messenger bags for men, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated messenger bag

Mobile Edge Laptop Eco Messenger
$34

Over 1,000 reviewers bestowed five stars upon this extra large bag because it’s “well-made, roomy, stylish, functional, and at a very inexpensive price,” as this reviewer puts it. Many were surprised by how much actually fits inside, like one who observes, “I managed to pack my (bulkier) MacBook Pro 17-inch, Kindle Paperwhite, chargers, three pairs of board shorts, five t-shirts, seven pairs of socks, underwear, and a bag of medication. Even with all of those items inside, I was still able to make the bag mostly flat for travel on the plane.” One reviewer simply just loves the look of this rugged canvas bag: “This has a tasteful, stylish look to it while still having a utilitarian look. It has just the right mix of style and functionality for my taste.” Another selling point for many are the clasps on the over-the shoulder strap swivel, which drove one reviewer to rave, “This is something that has had me stay clear of most messenger bags in the past because they, for some odd reason, did not come with this function. All in all, I definitely say to grab this bag if you’re considering the purchase.”

Best-rated (less expensive) messenger bag

$12

Nearly 80 percent of reviewers give this mini messenger bag a five-star rating. “If you want a compact handy bag for your wallet, iPhone, a few small things and is LIGHT, this is it,” writes one reviewer. And many agree that it is good for everyday use. One reviewer, who says their dad graduated from a fanny pack to this, adds, “He is really happy with this selection because he wanted to be able to hold his cell phone and a tablet on the go and this bag provides.” They continue, “It’s slim enough to hug against the body but spacious enough to hold more than 2 devices.” A handful also think the slim profile makes it great for travel. One user who bought this for a trip to Mexico says, “I wanted a durable and tough bag so that I could keep my belongings close to me, and this bag did exactly that. It is thick, not flimsy at all and pretty roomy.”

Best messenger bag for school

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag
From $66

Dozens of students commented this bag works well for carrying textbooks, laptops, loose paper, and other school supplies. “The bag has plenty of zippered compartments and a separate document pouch with a rigid edge that keeps your papers flat,” says one. Reviewers also love that it holds up to heavy textbooks and doesn’t cause shoulder pain. One who carries “four textbooks, an iPad, a clipboard, college-ruled notebook, and about an inch-thick stack of papers” says that this bag from Timbuk2 “holds up great. The shoulder pad is marvelous. I can carry everything I need without having to worry about straining my shoulders or back as I have with other messenger bags.” Another bought this because, “I needed a bag that could function for school, but also transition to the office with a more professional look than a backpack.” They conclude, “This bag is my dream.”

Best waterproof messenger bag

Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag
From $85

Reviewers rave about how this bag can survive any trip, from a flight to a commute to work, because it’s waterproof. “The inside is easy to wipe down if my lunch spills because it’s waterproof,” writes one. Another, who says this bag “has every feature I want,” writes that its major perks include “the Napoleon pocket, roomy interior, comfortable to wear. And of course it’s super tough, surviving my daily commute in the NYC subway.” Another travels regularly with this bag, writing, “For someone who is a minimalist and likes to keep things organized and travel on the light side, this bag is awesome. As a semi-frequent flyer, the TSA-Friendly feature is nice.” People overall feel it’s an exceptionally durable option because as one mentions, “the bag itself is very light, however it is a well-built bag and the waterproof capability is a big plus.” And as one concludes, “Everything on it feels super durable, and I expect this bag to last forever. It’s really worth the investment.”

Best convertible messenger bag

CoolBELL Convertible Backpack Messenger Bag
From $42

Reviewers consistently call this canvas messenger bag and backpack combo “versatile.” One frequent traveler remarks that because of its versatility it works well for any voyage: “It can attach to my carry-on, I can sling it over my shoulder or wear it like a backpack. Quite simply, it is attractively designed, seems durable and does the job exceedingly well.” Another agrees that the versatility is “the best thing” about this bag, but adds, “It has lots of storage space. I love the six separate pockets in the front which allows for organized storage on the go.” Others feel it’s more durable than expected, like one who writes, “The canvas is strong and reliable. The straps show no sign of weakening after months of use.” People even rave how light it is despite holding all their things. As one simply sums it up, “I don’t feel like I’m lugging a wooly mammoth with me everywhere I go.”

Best messenger bag for laptops

$59

People loved that this wasn’t your typical messenger or laptop bag.”The bag looks just like the picture and feels well-constructed and durable. It’s beautiful, with just a touch of something more exotic and interesting than the average laptop bag,” writes one. Another was shocked how high-quality it is, writing, “It’s the largest one they have holds my 18 inch laptop plus plenty of room for papers and folders. This is a bag I would have expected to find in a store for at least $150, if not more in the above $200 range.” Another adds, “This messenger style leather satchel far exceeded my expectations.” He also notes that not only could it fit his 17-inch laptop, but there’s plenty of room left over: “I could fit most of my desk in here.” One teacher fully agrees this bag is large and worth the money, commenting, “In any case it is very spacious, my dinosaur of a laptop can fit comfortably in it along with all of my books and all of my paraphernalia (I carry around lots of things).”

Best (less expensive) messenger bag for laptops

More than a third of reviewers say that they use this messenger bag for their laptop. “It definitely makes carrying my laptop a much more pleasant experience,” one writes, especially since it can hold so much more than just a laptop. “It’s got two HUGE pockets (not too big) on the front, which carry all of my charging cables, power bank, AirPods Pro,