Savvy workers know that work happens whenever and wherever the work gets done. For many working in startups or eager young professionals, increasingly the work happens when you take a seat at a location and remotely plugin. Business is a state of mind and that state of mind gets facilitated by having the right tools always ready. Those looking to carry their work with them, and look stylish doing it, increasingly look for the best messenger bags for men to get done what needs doing.
Like the messengers of old or a travel pack for a trailblazer, men need to access their tools at a moments notice. Shopping for a solid bag that will accommodate that sweet intersection of need and desire doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’ s go through the key features a messenger bag offers and give you the tools to make a solid selection.
Features of the Best Messenger Bags for Men
Not all bags are created equal. Each feature provides some cost, some style, and some functionality. Knowing what each element contributes makes choosing the best messenger bags for men easy. Let’s hit each one with a quick overview.
Size should be aimed at a ‘just right’ target. Getting a bag larger than the intended need leaves you carrying bulk and weight you just don’t need. Getting a bag too small for the intended cargo leaves you juggling objects.
Water resistant, breathes well, withstands shock and weathering, all of these are considerations for a material. Waxed nylon, the classic leather, colorful polyester, or durable canvas, bag materials have trade-offs. The right material looks good and fits the environment in which it will be used.
Over the shoulder, handles, or crossbody how you wear a bag depends on some amount of personal taste and some amount of practicality. Handles give you the most control, but take up a hand you might want free. Over the shoulder provides easy on and off access but can pinch and strain. Crossbody carries the weight well, but limits motion and can put a crease in a tie.
Zippered or buttoned, flexible, internal divides or whole slots the compartments inside keep materials separate and accessible. Too many compartments you never use just creates a problem. Not enough small compartments and you risk crushing or losing thumb drives, fobs, and pens. External compartments make great access for smaller objects like phones and wallets. Internal compartments add security. Flat bottoms keep the bag from falling over when set down but conform less well as they smack into your hip while walking.
Buckles, Latches, and Fobs
The most common stylistic choice in the best messenger bags for men comes from how the bag stays closed. Buckles and latches add a touch of class while keeping flaps closed. Zippers offer a tighter seal but lack that class. Eyelets and cams for the straps should be durable enough to withstand the load without fraying or getting caught on objects. Deciding on which features are right for you comes down to what purpose you want a bag to serve. The following list gives the best option for each bag needing scenario.
5 Best Messenger Bags for Men of 2018
Now you know what to look for, time to match the features to the purpose. When buying the best messenger bags for men functionality and form should be in unison.
The No Nonsense Approach
Award: Best Leather Messenger Bag
For the get in and get it done approach to life the Frye Men’s Logan offers a little of everything and just what you need in a messenger bag that will last a lifetime. The large central compartment handles a laptop easily and securely. The external zipper compartment facilitates a phone and small tablet with ease. Antique brass accents give it a solid rustic look to match the genuine leather build of the whole bag, including the handles and strap. The waxed cotton material gives a casual feel that also provides excellent water-beading.
Frye has been rocking the leather game for a long time, so while this bag is accompanied by a loftier price tag, we can promise you it’s the only bag you will ever need. It’s by far the best leather messenger bag of the year. If you treat it right, it will only get better with age.
For the Casual Man
Award: Best Canvas Messenger Bag
For those carrying a day’s worth of work around in one bag, the Bed Stu Hawkeye provides a combination of heavy-duty construction and comfort, without the Wall Street stuffiness. The canvas material is durable, but lightweight and more flexible than an all leather bag. However, the leather flaps and external pockets still amp up the overall quality and look.
The external pockets look seamless with the flap and the reinforced handle allows you to carry more without worry about straining the bag. The finish features green and blue canvas material that’s perfect for the men in tech, photography, and other more relaxed work environments. The Hawkeye is one of the more affordable yet still quality choices in the best messenger bags for men.
Award: Best Practical Messenger Bag
One of the pioneers in messenger bags, the Closer Case by Timbuk2 provides handcrafted style with maximum utility. Made from waxed nylon, this bag makes durability look great. Dual buckle clasps hold tight the overflap and the strap provides just the right amount of stretch. Internally, the bag features a multitude of pockets to carry any number of mid-to-small sized objects securely. Best of all, this bag is still built in San Francisco to a meticulous standard of design and usability.
The Statement Piece
The Risky Business from Kenneth Cole makes for such a frugal choice that it can be purchased in all five of its offered shades of brown and black leather for the price of others on this list alone. Don’t just show up with one bag when you can show up with a bag that matches your shoes and tie every time. The soft leather over-flap and brilliant nylon strap contrast perfectly to give you a nonchalant look. Internally the stash pockets offer quick access to a few large items with ease.
Sporty Meets Classy
Award: Best Tactical Messenger Bag with a Modern Twist
For those of us that want to look like we could parkour our way across a dystopian cityscape, the Skagen Eric Messenger Bag delivers. This bag looks sleek and delivers a lot of internal space for its small profile. The nylon and canvas exterior wicks moisture and the padded shoulder strap is adjustable for left or right carrying with the same profile.