A Men's Guide for Choosing a Stylish Messenger Bag

A Men's Guide for Choosing a Stylish Messenger Bag

What are you supposed to do if you're a stylish guy who is always on the go, but you have a lot of things to take with you? You could carry a backpack, but that doesn't always give you that "I'm a professional, take me seriously." vibe. Instead, consider a messenger bag; and here's how to choose a great one.

Keyword(s): messenger bag


The idea of the man-bag is on the rise. Sales of bags made specifically for men are on the rise, increasing more than three percent each year. They have a three billion dollar market value, and the sale of the backpack alone went up twenty-four percent in 2015.

Yet the old-fashioned briefcase is increasingly seen less and less. But guys still need somewhere to carry around their effects, whether it be work documents, gym clothes, or just the essentials for the day.

Enter the messenger bag, the ultimate urban staple for the trendy, everyday working man. It's 2018, and that means you need a messenger bag.

What is a Messenger Bag?

You might still see your mail carrier wearing a messenger bag, because it was literally designed to carry postal messages, originally. It's worn on the side of the body and attached with a long strap spanning across your midsection, and comes in many different materials and designs.

Messenger bags can also be called courier bags or carryalls, and are still used commonly in the U.K. by the couriers of the Royal Mail. Often, messengers from different employers could be determined just by the style of the bag they were wearing.

Different Types of Messenger Bags

The type of messenger bag you should consider all depends on what type of activities you're going to be doing most. Business, travel, photography - there's a bag for everything. Except for biking, mainly - they tend to throw off your balance.

The Military Bag

Unsurprisingly, the military messenger bag was inspired by actual bags that men would wear when serving in the military for carrying around essential items whether they be postal men or medics. As a stylistic design, they're often characterized by military fonts.

These bags are typically made of canvas, but can be stylized with leather elements. They're usually green or khaki colored, and are extremely rugged. These bags are great for taking items to the gym or traveling long distances.

The Briefcase

These messenger briefcases are always made of leather, and, of course, most closely imitate the style of a briefcase. These types of messenger bags have front flaps that fasten shut with two or more buckle straps.

The more relaxed office worker absolutely needs one of these bags, and it can be transitioned out of the office for going around town and running errands. They're a combination of effortlessly stylish and functional, and a great choice for anyone in an office setting.

Vertical Messenger Bag

The typical messenger bag is wider than it is long. With vertical messenger bags, as you've guessed, the dimensions are reversed.

For someone who's using their bag for books, this vertical sizing is optimal, as it fits the shape of your typical novel. It can also be very convenient for carrying water bottles, as they'll sit upright.

You won't have to worry about carrying your bag and your reusable water bottle, because with this type of bag, you can fit it in the bag and go hands-free.

These bags come in any type of material you'd like, with leather and canvas being a popular choice.

The Saddle Bag

Saddlebags are characterized by their rounded front flaps and leather make. As the name suggests, these bags were originally worn by horseback riders. That in mind, they can endure a high amount of wear and tear as you take them around on your travels.

These bags are built for the long haul, often with heavily reinforced stitching and long-wearing weather.


Mostly every messenger bag is practical, but a multi-pocket bag gives you the most functionality out of every type of messenger bag. This is the bag preferred by hunters, utility workers, and fishermen.

Numerous outer pockets keep small gadgets in reach while a slew of inner pockets keeps other tools organized every single time.

Camera Bag

If you're a photographer, you already know - these messenger bags are made specifically to house cameras. They often have holding areas designed to keep your camera safe and sound as you tote it around to your next shoot.

They also come designed with slots to accommodate for cables, lenses, batteries, and anything else that your photography experience could call for. When you're on the job, it's important to keep everything in place to be able to switch between shots easily, and this bag does the trick.

The Satchel

Satchels are similar to the style of the saddlebag messenger bag, but are less rounded out. They have two vertical straps and a buckle that helps close the bag, which makes them resemble more casual briefcases. The satchel is the quintessential type messenger bag, and can come in different materials, designs, and styles.

When you choose a satchel, you're putting out the message that you know your style, but you want functionality as well. These bags are an excellent choice for anyone needing convenient storage who's constantly on the move.

Why Do You Need a Messenger Bag?

First of all, messenger bags give you that urban look while still allowing you to remain classy. They bridge the gap between a more juvenile look like you could find with a backpack (even though there are some cool ones) and a strict-looking briefcase.

They're great for the working professional who wants to look more casual but also be able to choose from many different sizes and fabrics of bag to suit their needs. They also fit a broad amount of items inside, usually coming equipped with a sizeable quantity of inner pockets for convenient storage.

It's easy to locate your items when they're sectioned out into a messenger bag, and papers and book stay upright easily without getting squished or out of order. If you live in San Francisco, chances are you already have one.

And sometimes, the first thing a woman notices about a man is his sack.

If you heard our message loud and clear, you know it's time to get one of these bags for your own. Don't kill the messenger. Be the messenger.