Much like a comfortable pair of walking shoes, choosing the right travel bag is so important. Along with being big enough to store all your essentials, the perfect option should be lightweight, comfortable, and free up your hands to do more important stuff like take memorable travel photos — which is why we love messenger bags so much.
These sleek crossbody carryalls will not only keep your belongings safe and organized, but they also offer ample room to store all the items you couldn't fit inside your suitcase. The best part? These unisex bags are super versatile and look good with just about every outfit imaginable.
Similar to other travel bags, the number of messenger bags in stores can feel overwhelming. To help you find the best options available, we turned to real reviews from customers to see which ones they love the most.
These best-selling products not only have countless glowing reviews, but they also have thousands of five-star ratings between them. Some of the items on this list feature anti-theft technology, while others boast padded straps for added comfort and a plethora of different compartments and pockets so you'll never have to waste time searching for stuff.
From sleek leather messenger bags to eco-friendly cotton carryalls, keep reading to see the 13 messenger bags shoppers can't stop raving about.
These are the best messenger bags to buy:
Best Overall: Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Business Messenger Bag
With over 1,100 five-star ratings, this sleek messenger bag by Kenneth Cole Reaction is one of the most popular options on Amazon, and it's easy to see why. Along with a spacious main compartment, the leather bag boasts an adjustable padded shoulder strap, a cute flap-over closure, and plenty of pockets to keep your belongings organized. Plus, it comes in three neutral colors. "I absolutely love this bag," raved one shopper. "I've had it for a few years and it has been highly dependable. Bag looks great. Fits my books, Macbook, and notebooks. It has a great design, great color. Sleek and professional, also hip and cool."
To buy: amazon.com, from $84 (Originally $102)
Best Expandable Option: Ytonet Expandable Messenger Laptop Bag
If you ever find yourself needing more space in your bag while you're out and about, consider this expandable travel briefcase from Ytonet. The work-ready messenger bag comes with a padded laptop sleeve and ten pockets and compartments to hold essentials like your cell phone, pens, tablets, and more. Plus, it can easily expand from seven inches to nine inches wide just by unzipping the expansion zipper. Over 3,800 Amazon customers love the water-resistant bag, with one writing, "I bought this because I travel a lot for work. First, the expandable option is super convenient. As a salesman, I have many catalogs and marketing material and this bag fits everything I need. The quality is top notch as well. You will not be disappointed in buying this."
To buy: amazon.com, $30 (Originally $46)
Best Leather Option: Frye Logan Messenger Bag
Frye has been making high-quality leather goods for over 150 years, and this sleek and supple messenger bag is no different. The roomy interior is big enough to fit a laptop, water bottle, notebook, and more, while the magnetic flap closure will keep your belongings safe and secure. Amazon customers have given the bag a 4.2-star rating, praising its timeless design and quality construction. One shopper wrote, "I'm super picky when it comes to messenger bags. I've been hunting for the perfect one for many years, trying a couple that I wasn't satisfied with. I have to say I made the right choice as I'm very impressed with Frye's quality. Not only is the bag attractive, it is very well made."
To buy: amazon.com, $498
Most Comfortable Option: Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag
Unlike other bags which can hurt your back and shoulders while carrying them, this Timbuk2 messenger bag features an incredibly comfortable airmesh strap pad to keep your shoulder pain-free all day. It also boasts a top handle for easy grabbing, a water bottle pocket, and compression straps for a secure closure. The cute carryall comes in seven different colorways, and over 600 Zappos customers have given it their seal of approval.
To buy: zappos.com, $99
Best Personalized Option: Away The Messenger Bag
If you like to personalize your travel accessories, consider investing in this option by Away. The editor-approved brand designed this roomy bag to have multiple pockets to fit everything from binders to laptops to books and more. It even features an external slip pocket so you can have easy access to travel essentials like your phone or passport, and for an extra $35, you can customize the bag with your initials.
To buy: awaytravel.com, from $145
Most Organized Option: Samsonite Flap Over Messenger Bag
You'll never have to endlessly search through your bag to find something again thanks to this hyper-organized messenger bag by Samsonite. The sleek leather accessory boasts a spacious interior, multiple compartments, and an organizer under the front flap that has special pockets for pens, phone, business cards, and more. With details like this, it makes sense that over 2,500 Amazon customers have given it a 4.6-star rating. "The bag is great! It looks extremely professional, and, despite the more than reasonable price, the construction very sturdy. I must give extra kudos for the many compartments that help you stay organized, especially while traveling between business meetings for which you must have multiple things with you," raved one customer.
To buy: amazon.com, from $78
Best for Left-Handed Wearers: Chrome Mini Metro Messenger Bag
While most messenger bags accommodate right-handed wearers, this cute option from Chrome is designed to be comfortable for both lefties and righties. The roomy bag is big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop along with other daily essentials, and it features a seatbelt release clasp on the shoulder strap that doubles as a bottle opener."This bag is perfect for motorcyclists, or anyone commuting on two wheels. Easy to operate and adjust to your liking," wrote one reviewer. "Quality construction and materials used. It's expensive, but worth it if it lasts for years. I would buy it again and recommend it for anyone in need of a strong sling bag."
To buy: amazon.com, $120
Best for Frequent Flyers: Timbuk2 Command TSA-friendly Messenger Bag
If you fly a lot, you'll love this messenger bag from Timbuk2. The sleek accessory is TSA-compliant so you won't have to take your electronics out as you go through security. Along with an interior organizer for smaller items, the bag also boasts a comfortable strap pad and sturdy aluminum hooks that will keep the inside contents secure. It also features a slot on the back of the bag so you can hook the bag around the handle of your rolling luggage. One happy customer wrote, "I love this thing. The material is very tough, yet professional-looking. There is also a deceptively large amount of space. I get comments and compliments all the time. The zip-apart feature was also nice last time I had to fly. Seriously, if you're looking at this bag, you should probably get it."
To buy: amazon.com, $67
Best Anti-Theft Option: Travelon Anti-Theft Messenger Bag
This slim messenger bag from Travelon has a slash-resistant strap to help prevent thefts from occurring and multiple pockets to store and organize your belongings. What's more, it boasts RFID-blocking credit card and passport slots so you can keep all your personal information safe from digital hackers. The sturdy bag has more than 2,600 five-star ratings on Amazon, with one reviewer writing, "I got this bag for a two-week trip to Europe and I have no regrets! Amazingly durable and so functional. It holds so much stuff and has a great number of pockets."
To buy: amazon.com, from $35 (Originally $60)
Best Canvas Option: Sweetbriar Canvas Messenger Bag
This canvas option by Sweetbriar is Amazon's best-selling messenger bag for a reason. It boasts a spacious main compartment, side pockets, and an adjustable strap. The casual bag's brass hardware makes it look polished, while the flap-over panel keeps your belongings in place. There are six stylish colors to choose from, and at just $23 apiece, shoppers say you can't beat the price. "This is a solid, rugged basic messenger bag," said one customer. "Just throw everything in, or you can use the three pockets to secure smaller items. Overall a great bag!"
To buy: amazon.com, $23
Best Long Option: Leaper Retro Messenger Bag
Unlike other messenger bags which are horizontally shaped, this vertical option from Leaper Retro will help evenly distribute the bag's weight across your body. The stylish bag features smooth zippers, magnetic snap closures, a padded strap, and plenty of pockets. More than 6,500 Amazon customers are fans and have given the travel-ready accessory a 4.7-star rating. One customer raved, "This messenger bag is awesome! It fits my 13" MacBook Pro perfectly — like it was made for it. You cannot beat the price for this bag. I've had it for a few weeks now and it has held up well and it looks great. I get a lot of compliments on it. I searched hard and long for the perfect size bag and this is it. You will not be disappointed."
To buy: amazon.com,$30 (Originally $46)
Best Padded Option: Filson Padded Messenger Bag
If you are carrying precious cargo like laptops, tablets, and other expensive electronics, opt for a fully padded messenger bag that will keep the contents safe and protected like this Filson option. The high-quality padded twill bag features an adjustable shoulder strap, multiple pockets, and a secure snap and zip closure. "This is one of the best laptop bags I've owned," wrote one shopper. "It will back you up during a business trip or a casual weekend getaway."
To buy: amazon.com, $348
Best Waterproof Option: Peacechaos Waterproof Messenger Bag
This Peacechaos messenger bag is made from a waxed canvas that is not only super durable but also waterproof. The shoulder strap is fully adjustable, and the carryall can be worn as both a shoulder bag and a crossbody bag. The leather accents give the casual bag a polished feel while the interior pockets help keep everything organized. "I predominantly use the bag while traveling. The waxed canvas is perfect during the rain. Stitches are strong and I throw everything in it, even an extra sweatshirt so I can use it as a pillow while on the plane. It's just the right size. I have received a number of compliments," said one customer.
To buy: amazon.com, $44
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