18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 2

Messenger bags (aka leather briefcases in certain circles) are the pinnacle of style and practicality – an ingenious mix that most men find appealing. These bags easily accommodate your office or school arsenal without compromising your style. For most modern men, these bags fit their lifestyle to a tee.

Messenger bags may be similar in a lot of fundamental aspects but variations abound in the selections available. Materials can range from vinyl and cotton to leather and hemp, among others.

That said, considering the overall, undeniable high quality of these bags, people who choose them over other bags really exhibit remarkable taste. After all, plenty of the best leather messenger bags dominate the market for an equally myriad number of reasons. Read all about them here to help you decide what bag to buy.

A messenger bag bears its name because its design is derived from bags that were typically used by messengers. Its history can be traced back to the bags used by the couriers employed by the Pony Express. However, the modern messenger bag’s design stems more from the ones that were manufactured in the 1950’s.

Most contemporary messenger bags incorporate different fabrics and materials as mentioned above. They usually contain zippered pockets and other compartments that not only maximize their capacity but encourages organization, too. Anything you need can be pulled out in seconds, and you can carry them around slung on your shoulders with relative ease.

Of course, since they are as snazzy as they are useful, you won’t exactly look out of place carrying them around with you on a daily basis.

What to Look For in a Messenger Bag?

This depends a lot on the primary reason why you’re opting for a messenger bag. Do you favor the ample capacity they provide for housing your laptop, documents, and paperwork? If so, then you should be more mindful of bag features like pocket size, the main compartment, and interior pockets.

Want to focus on style, quality, and durability? Then be more mindful of how it will look in relation to your size and height. It should enhance your positive physical features and not put your flaws in the spotlight. You end up looking awkward with a too-big (or small) bag, otherwise. 

The material also plays a pivotal role in this regard. Is it made of genuine leather? The feel of the leather, particularly the smoothness and softness, varies a lot based on its type. 

It’s generally recommended to opt for full-grain leather when choosing a messenger bag because it tends to improve the look of the bag over time. This type of leather creates the unique effect of making the bag look classier as it ages. They also produce the distinctive leather aroma that any leather lover won’t mind smelling anytime. 

The other types of leather that most messenger bags come in include:

  • Cowhide – Top-tier leather that is the height of luxury. Premium cowhide leather manages to age very well and remain durable with regular care. 
  • Lambskin – This sports a starkly soft texture that you will probably instantly love once you feel it. That siad, lambskin requires more consistent maintenance and meticulous care because of its relatively low durability. 
  • Patch – This marries the properties of cowhide and lambskin, so you get a balance between the endurance of cowhide and the appealing texture of lambskin. 

Other Features to Consider

  • Don’t overlook the type of closure the bag uses. Tuck lock closures add a better extra layer of security while magnetic flap and buckle closures ensure easy access and improve security, too. 
  • People love adjustable shoulder straps and quick-release buckles for the convenience they provide
  • Be on the lookout for other nifty perks like pen holders, extra locks, and phone holsters, too. 

Use your preferences as the main gauge when deciding on these other features. Under various circumstances, excellent leather messenger bags should always showcase versatility while complementing your style.

Comparison Table

Product

Type of Leather

Dimensions

Price

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 3

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 11 inches

15 x 3 x 11 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 4

Type of Leather: Goat hide

Goat hide

Dimensions: 13 X 18 X 5 inches

13 X 18 X 5 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 5

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 14.2 x 4.7 x 10.6 inches

14.2 x 4.7 x 10.6 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 6

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 4.5 inches

16 x 12 x 4.5 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 7

Type of Leather: Hunter Buffalo Leather

Hunter Buffalo Leather

Dimensions: 15.5 x 11 x 4 inches

15.5 x 11 x 4 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 8

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 17.8 x 12.4 x 2.6 inches

17.8 x 12.4 x 2.6 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 9

Type of Leather: Pull up leather

Pull up leather

Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.2 x 4 inches

16.5 x 13.2 x 4 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 10

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 15.5 x 10.5 x 3.25 inches

15.5 x 10.5 x 3.25 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 11

Type of Leather: Hunter Buffalo Leather

Hunter Buffalo Leather

Dimensions: 15.5 x 11 x 4 inches

15.5 x 11 x 4 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 12

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 16.1 x 11.8 x 2.8 inches

16.1 x 11.8 x 2.8 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 13

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 6 inches

16 x 13 x 6 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 14

Type of Leather: Buffalo

Buffalo

Dimensions: 13 x 10.5 x 4.1 inches

13 x 10.5 x 4.1 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 15

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 15.8 x 16.1 x 2 inches

15.8 x 16.1 x 2 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 16

Type of Leather: Cowhide

Cowhide

Dimensions: 15 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches

15 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 17

Type of Leather: Genuine Leather

Genuine Leather

Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 3 inches

15 x 11 x 3 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 18

Type of Leather: Calfskin

Calfskin

Dimensions: 15.3 x 11.8 x 2.8 inches

15.3 x 11.8 x 2.8 inches

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 19

Type of Leather: Genuine Leather

Genuine Leather

Dimensions: –

18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 20

Type of Leather: Genuine Leather

Genuine Leather

Dimensions: 14.5 x 10 x 5 inches

14.5 x 10 x 5 inches

The 18 Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men in 2020

1. Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Business

FEATURES

  • Slim and made of first-rate cowhide Colombian leather.
  • It comes in Black, Dark Brown, and Cognac color varieties. 
  • Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 11 inches
  • Front compartment pockets designed for storing accessories and includes a cell phone holder.
  • Tear-resistant polyester lining in the interior.
  • Adjustable strap extends from 20 to 24 inches. 
  • Capacious main compartment.
  • Uses dual magnetic closures found under its flap. 

This bag does well to represent the Kenneth Cole brand and what may very well be the quintessential messenger bag that fits the modern man. It is, after all, at once classy and pragmatic. Risky Business could very well directly translate to Business Casual for this reason.

This feature allows it to smoothly transition between formal and informal fashion attires – a versatility any messenger bag-toting yuppie can’t do without. Also, it’s made for traveling, too, which is a real plus for any pro on the go.

Everything, from the nylon straps and handles, the triple-sectioned flap divided by visible seams, and the premium leather scream modern and utilitarian at once. And rightly so.

PROS

  • Very durable and stylish for its relatively affordable price.
  • The main compartment provides enough space to fit a lot of items.
  • Comes from an established brand and with a manufacturer lifetime limited warranty
  • Excellent value for money

CONS

  • The number of compartments may fall short for some users who want to have separate places to store different items.
  • Strap tends to slip and become twisted because of its thin design.
  • The bag might bleed on clothes.

2. DHK Vintage Handmade Leather Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Unisex messenger bag made with genuine goat hide leather.
  • Deeply brown color
  • Dimensions: 13 x 18 x 5 inches
  • Handcrafted with old-fashioned buckles for closures
  • Comes in 16- and 18-inch varieties
  • Contains three main compartments with a single zippered pocket
  • The biggest compartment has laptop padding
  • Adjustable strap with shoulder pad
  • Includes a nifty leather top handle

Details. This bag is all about it. The dual front pockets with their own dedicated buckles, the main leather strap closure, and all the goodies found in the interior serve to prove this. Well-crafted? Pssh… that word doesn’t even begin to give justice to how this bag trumps the competition when it comes to style.

The effect of distressed leather is just beautiful to behold, and this bag pulls no punches in showcasing it. The same goes for the hints of discoloration that will surely bloom into tasteful tatters over time.

And it achieves this without going over the top with costs. Best for the efficient man – no more, no less.

PROS

  • Pockets and compartments contain enough space for most people to store items
  • Very exquisite and appealing design for the price
  • Handcrafted assures leather quality
  • Plenty of people can attest to the bag’s overall durability
  • Rear zipper pocket allows you to retrieve items without unbuckling the main compartment
  • Exceeds expectations price-wise

CONS

  • Mediocre strap that tends to need replacing
  • A few buyers deem the stitching as subpar
  • Most people do not like the smell of goat leather compared to cowhide

3. House of Leather Las Vegas Tan Real Leather Cross Body Shoulder Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Cow oiled genuine leather with zip pullers
  • Neutral light brown color
  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 4.7 x 10.6 inches
  • Uses a magnetic snap flap over closure
  • Adjustable shoulder strap with accompanying pad
  • Main compartment serves as a zippered pocket
  • Contains a rear zipper pocket
  • Organizer pockets beneath the flap closure

Compact and to-the-point best describe this creation by a brand that claims to be all about leather. However, it certainly has that undeniable exquisite look that only properly handled leather can produce.

House of Leather definitely knows how to highlight the natural look and color of genuine leather (as gloriously exhibited by its entire flap and rear) with the way they oiled this unassuming beauty.

This baby will age beautifully, that much is certain. It can also fit any attire you carry it with. Without its relative plainness and simplicity, it would not have been able to be as versatile as it is. Think these qualities round you up well? Then, by all means, go for this quietly refined bag.

PROS

  • Cowhide high-quality leather that delivers what is expected material-wise
  • The magnetic flap allows for easy accessibility to items and ensuring security
  • Manages to be durable with regular maintenance and careful use
  • Perfect for men who want a more minimalistic leather messenger bag

CONS

  • Bleeds to clothing so you need to rely on protection spray treatment

4. Samsonite Columbian Leather Flapover Case

FEATURES

  • Uses natural cowhide that has undergone minimal treatment
  • Comes in black and brown choices
  • Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 4.5 inches
  • Timeless classic design
  • Front flap protects an organizer containing slip pockets, card slots, and pen sleeves
  • Secured by a leather strap with antique brass buckles
  • Includes a removable compartment that serves as a cell phone holder
  • Spacious rear zipper pockets serve as primary back compartment
  • Guaranteed to be dirt-, dust-, and moisture-resistant
  • Throws in a bonus pocket for storing your tablet or iPad.
  • Adjustable strap can be removed freely
  • Contains a top handle

Samsonite claims this has been “minimally treated” to make it look unique. It definitely shows in the differences in hues of each bag, despite there only being two color choices. The gloss skilfully holds back from being too gaudy. Overall, the leather’s handling is exceptional.

The double straps/buckles firmly wrap around and hold the main flap, which falls just halfway the entire height of the bag. This detail makes it stand out and underscores an awareness of incorporating economy in design and the rich history of this type of bags.

If you have a natural appreciation for modern messenger bags inspired by the charming quaintness of their predecessors, this is the bag to get.

PROS

  • Very affordable, topnotch leather bag made by a trusted, well-known brand
  • Wider than most messenger bags, allowing it to fit larger laptops
  • Goes the limit in providing everything you need from a messenger bag
  • Comes with a three-year warranty
  • Versatile, fits casual and business use
  • Proven to age well

CONS

  • Seams may not be as durable as the rest of the bags

5. KomalC Leather Briefcase

FEATURES

  • Made from full-grain hunter buffalo leather
  • Myriad color options include Buffalo Distressed Tan, Chicago Buff, Distressed Brown, Distressed Tan Plain
  • Dimensions:15.5 x 11 x 4 inches
  • Handcrafted by experienced artisans
  • Rustic vintage look readily reveals exceptional style
  • Uses concealed snap closures that assure easy access
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Charcoal black leather finish
  • Main compartment can hold most laptops, iPads, 
  • Has a section dedicated for cards, phones, and pens
  • 2 large front pockets designed for cell phones, wallets, and tiny books

Another top choice for the retro lover, this buffalo-derived bag is as rugged as a messenger bag can get. The wildness of its look, as evidenced by the garish scars and wrinkles, almost convinces you that the bag came straight from a courier who used it for years.

That said, its battered and beaten look really affirms the fact that the damaged are beautiful in their own right. Furthermore, the evident durability it exhibits only magnifies said attractiveness.

It also has that oh so sumptuously soft texture that can titillate any man (and, boy, don’t we all know why).

The best choice for the unapologetically tough and terse – day in, day out.

PROS

  • Artisan-crafted and made by a brand known for making outstanding leather bags
  • Fits most laptop widths
  • Black finish completes its unique, beautiful appearance
  • Imparts the texture and smell you can expect from vintage leather
  • Anticipates any kind of item you need to stash in a messenger bag
  • Offers plenty of color options
  • Very few cons, well worth the price

CONS

  • The way the strap connects with the bag tends to tilt it away from the body

6. ESTALON Leather Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Made of soft cowhide leather built to last
  • Multiple color options range from Brown Crazy Horse and Cognac Waxy to Black Carbon Fiber and Black Waxy
  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 12.4 x 2.6 inches
  • RFID shielded
  • Main compartment can house 14-inch laptops
  • Contain two big front pockets 
  • Adds one zipper pocket for storing identification documents and wallets
  • Has two inner wall pockets for storing books, glasses, and iPads
  • Wide adjustable shoulder strap
  • Magnetic snap buttons
  • Doubles as a chest bag
  • Water-repellent
  • Foam-padded compartments 
  • Designed with a retro style

For the relatively numerous variations it offers in every color options, this Estalon bag is certainly one of the most versatile when it comes to looks. The waxy varieties really add a layer of freshness superbly complemented by the unique colors.

They are more suited for anyone who means to use this bag for formal settings. And you’ll no doubt agree once you lay eyes on the Brown Crazy Horse style, which more than fits the label of black sheep among the other three options (it won’t look out of place in a Western for one).

This smooth transition in style based on these few tweaks alone makes this bag a bonafide paragon of versatility.

PROS

  • Just the right size for most - not too large nor small
  • Wide shoulder strap makes it shoulder-friendly; strong as well
  • Highly functional
  • Firm, yet still manages to provide enough suppleness
  • Designed for both travel and work

CONS

  • Not as roomy as other leather messenger bags
  • Leather quality falls short compared to other bags in the same price range

7. FRYE Logan Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Made of 100% imported genuine leather
  • Comes in Cognac, Dark Brown, Navy, and Slate hues
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.2 x 4 inches
  • Uses a magnetic snap closure
  • Polarized with a composite frame
  • Contains a glass lens
  • Has a 12-inch shoulder drop
  • Four large slips
  • Two zippered pockets
  • Up to 33 card slots

Coming from one of the oldest leather apparel manufacturers in the US, it’s no surprise this Frye bag also has a touch of nostalgia. It’s not as blatant as in other bags, though.

It combines the unquestionable quality of Italian leather with decades (heck, a century even) of American craftsmanship. The end result is a complex mix of old-time charm blended refinement and practicality, topped by a contemporary twist.

This defining feature is written on the wrinkles and the scars, and the twin straps that almost seem to cradle the entire bag – they also happen to hold the bag’s magnetic closure.

Perfect for men who want to depart from the norm.

PROS

  • Great dimensions and numerous slots and pockets
  • Looks great once the leather has distressed
  • Large interior compartment that can hold multiple items
  • Attractive design and made with durability in mind
  • Imparts a rich leather smell

CONS

  • Quite pricey, which is expected coming from a high-end brand
  • Some users claim the leather used does not match the price

8. ESTALON Alpine Vintage Messenger bag

FEATURES

  • Uses cowhide leather specifically manufactured to feel soft and durable
  • Highly varied color and design options include Alpine Brown Crazy Horse, Alpine Vintage Tan Wash, Brizo Professional Tan Wash, Classical 15” Black Nappa, Mystic Brown Crazy Horse, Mystic Tan Wash, and Savvy Tan Wash
  • Dimensions: 15.5x 10.5×3.25 inches
  • RFID shielded
  • Includes two front pockets and one zipper pocket, along with the foam-padded main compartment
  • Adjustable shoulder strap that extends up to 23 inches
  • Also functions as a chest bag
  • Naturally repels water
  • Retro style available
  • Made with students and professionals in mind

This bag spells versatility in style variations. These are not just small changes in hue or parts, mind you. Practically every color style available introduces a unique twist.

These twists are apparently rooted in aesthetics a lot, though. At best, they are done to give the bag either a more modern or traditional look or tp cater to those who want the appearance of leather that has been properly distressed.

Considering it’s unisex too, this makes the bag a veritable jack of all trades in both design and functionality.

PROS

  • Very spacious - main compartment can fit 16-inch laptops
  • Designed for as much hand-free carrying as possible
  • Style and texture fits most people’s standards of a superb leather bag
  • Relatively budget-friendly
  • Exceeds expectations in terms of price to quality ratio

CONS

  • A bit heavy for some users

9. KomalC Retro Buffalo Hunter Briefcase

FEATURES

  • Manufactured entirely by hand using top-rate hunter buffalo leather
  • Colors you can choose from are Charcoal Black and Distressed Tan
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 11 x 4 inches
  • Sports a rustic vintage design that underlines the uniqueness of every bag
  • Large front pocket for storing files and iPads
  • Interior includes sections for phones, cards, and pens
  • Classic thin buckle closures designed for easy access

KomalC appears to be enthusiasts of the classic messenger bag look because it, again, shows in this excellently crafted bag. Thanks to the rustic vintage look and the color choices of the Distressed Tan variety, the wrinkles and scratches become more pronounced.

This gives the leather an effect that can almost be compared to marbling in various visual arts. Impressive, in short. Any leather freak will surely love to have this because it’s a tell-tale sign of good distressed leather. For the price, you will get more than what you bargained for because of its style alone.

We consider it as far superior to the other Charcoal Black option in this regard.

PROS

  • Has the touch of highly skilled KomalC artisans
  • Very comfortable to carry around
  • Provides more than enough room for storing bigger laptops
  • Still looks good when scratched - a quality of most fine leathers
  • Outstanding rustic design to be expected from a leather bag expert brand

CONS

  • Fragile buckle and straps may break easily when adjusted frequently
  • Buckle prongs tend to stick out unless the straps are wound tighter

10. Jack & Chris Genuine Leather Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Crafted using genuine cowhide grain leather
  • Comes in a single classic leather color
  • Dimensions: 16.1 x 11.8 x 2.8 inches
  • Handmade
  • Designed to be lightweight
  • Keeps dirt away
  • Adjustable shoulder straps can elongate up to 140 cm
  • Very sturdy, reinforced top handle
  • One main compartment and one front zipper designed for multi-function storage
  • Includes inner zipper pocket and a dedicated laptop compartment
  • Incorporates a bonus leather strap located at the rear that can be slung to a trolley case

This bag immediately announces its dual storage capability with one main compartment and another smaller but still roomy zippered pocket set next to it. That said, this bag seems to do things in pairs.

In what way? You might ask. Well, the design, for one, is both modern and old-fashioned at the same time. The brand may state it’s retro, but the zippered pocket’s design and should strap with pad say otherwise. The top handle uses two straps for ensured sturdiness; not to mention the double sliders. Whether this is due to their brand name is subject to debate.

The stitchings are noteworthy, too by the way, because these are the best stitches we’ve ever seen in a messenger bag (OK, that’s an overstatement… but still!). They caught our eyes immediately, and without a doubt, if you also appreciate good embroidery, you’ll.

PROS

  • Handcrafted by craftsmen from a reputable leather bag brand
  • Distinctive style, marked by random scars and wrinkles
  • Guaranteed to get better over time
  • Provides specific instructions on how to prevent color bleeding
  • High capacity primary compartment
  • As stylish as it is old-fashioned
  • Manufacturers gave obvious attention to the zippers and stitching

CONS

  • A bit small for some men’s sizes

11. AmeriLeather Legacy Leather Woody Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Made of top-grain cowhide leather
  • Choose from Brown, Black, Espresso, and Dark Brown color selections
  • Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 6 inches
  • Makes use of a leather flap with dual push-lock closures
  • Carrying top handle
  • Zippered pockets for pen loops and cell phones
  • Contains three pockets on the front, side, and back
  • Open back pocket uses magnetic button closures that also contain a zipper pocket
  • Zippered pockets also included in the interior
  • Adjustable crossbody shoulder strap made of cotton with pads
  • Comes with a battery holder and extra padded sleeves to house 14- to 15-inch laptops

American practicality abounds in this bag’s general appearance. Many bags incorporate the two-tone stitching style, but this bag executes it in such a way that the stitches stand out. Aptly, they are plain white in color, which contrasts well with all the color options besides the light brown one.

Not a lot of intricacies are involved but this is deliberate for the brand wants you to feel the glorious texture of the leather every time it makes contact with bare skin. No-nonsense meets sensuality. For the man always on the go, can you think of a better combination?

PROS

  • Numerous spacious pockets for holding various gadgets and business paraphernalia
  • The manufacturer did not skimp on other aspects such as the buckles used
  • Provides the kind of weight balance you want
  • Lovely texture that affirms the high-quality leather
  • Looks more expensive than it is

CONS

  • Strap tends to loosen with continuous use or extends too long
  • Most buyers find the bonus laptop sleeve useless

12. Wowbox Messenger Satchel Bag

FEATURES

  • Created using premium buffalo hide
  • Select up to three colors, namely: Coffee, Gray, and Green
  • Dimensions: 13 x 10.5 x 4.1 inches
  • Comes in either 14 inches or 15.6 inches options
  • Laptop compartment actively mitigates damage
  • Hardy canvas fabric
  • Adjustable strap comes detachable
  • Magnetic snap closures coupled with buckles for extra security
  • Two symmetrical front pockets for holding favorite gadgets
  • One rear pocket with magnetic clasps for housing papers and documents
  • Zippered main compartment lined with wall pockets to place chargers, cellphones, earbuds, etc. 

Being the most affordable of the lot, this bag more than earns its place here for the amount of detail it is able to provide as far as its style is concerned. It pays homage to the classic messenger bag look with its half-flap and buckle straps.

But it suddenly goes bold with some of its color options, especially evident in its Green and Gray varieties. Rarely do messenger bags venture into such untested waters, but it seems to be paying off considering the immense patronage the bag is enjoying.

Admittedly, the bag is not all leather but it sure knows how to decide what parts should be leather and what shouldn’t. The same rings true for the placements of the metal clasps and magnetic snaps, which lend themselves to the bag’s smoothly assembled design.

PROS

  • Astoundingly cheap yet still delivers quality
  • Perfectly fits any 14-inch or less laptop
  • Performs just as well as any messenger bag with twice or thrice the cost
  • A real bargain for the low price

CONS

  • A little too compact for a lot of people
  • Needs plenty of maintenance to keep it looking presentable
  • Weak magnetic straps

13. A1 FASHION GOODS Real Leather Business Bag

FEATURES

  • Classic-looking bag, handmade using mainly cowhide glazed leather 
  • Solid black color
  • Dimensions: 15.8 x 16.1 x 2 inches
  • Zippered main compartment with a polyester interior lined with more pockets for mobile phones and wallets
  • Double top handles
  • Removable and adjustable padded shoulder straps

The amount of sleek in this bag immediately calls to mind suave and cool. The coating is generous, and the resulting gloss imparts just the right amount of smoothness in both look and texture.

The almost solid black color lends itself to the utter coolness the bag emanates, so much so that it borders on chilling. And the silver zippers are just the cherry on top. No other messenger bag says, “I mean business,” better than this.

Are you the type of guy who is the epitome of calm and collected in the workplace? The type who shrugs off any challenge as much as this slick badass smoothly slides away dust, dirt, and rain? Well, you’ve found your bag.

PROS

  • Bonafide handmade creation with stylish sleek glaze
  • Ideal for lovers of the retro-style leather messenger bag
  • Relatively big main compartment with decent capacity

CONS

  • Lacks extra partitions and pockets
  • Falls short in fitting 16-inch laptops
  • Not all leather, especially the straps
  • Too expensive compared to the other alternatives people can get for its price

14. A1 FASHION GOODS Real Leather Satchel Antique Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Characterized by soft, dipped cow Nappa genuine leather 
  • Solely offered in light brown, natural leather color
  • Dimensions: 15 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches
  • Enhanced security comes from the double buckled magnetic closure
  • Flap houses a big main compartment with a superb capacity
  • Zipper pockets found inside for putting your wallet, pens, and cell phones in
  • Includes a back zippered pocket as a bonus
  • Leather straps adjust to up to 132 cm

This bag is tamer than its brother bag mentioned above – but in a good way. Tamer in such that it does not make use of a lot of glaze. Not that it needed it in the first place. Indeed, this bag is more attuned with messenger bag traditionalists and belt buckle lovers.

It immediately conjures the retro look but departs from it all together with the way its belt closures appear to wind entirely around it before locking with not only buckles but magnetic clasps as well.

Nonetheless, it still retains that old-time charm of pure leather messenger bags. It is this seamless mix that allows it to introduce something fresh to a look that has an undying appeal to a lot of people.

PROS

  • Purpose-built for men
  • Very secure thanks to the closure and main flap’s design
  • Amenable to both casual and business use
  • Full leather, unlike other messenger bags found in the brand’s inventory
  • Roomier primary compartment than most

CONS

  • Not too many people like to fiddle with buckles every time
  • No front pockets

15. Fossil Defender Messenger Briefcase

FEATURES

  • Imported and made of genuine leather
  • Select up to four color options: Dark Brown, Black, Black/Brown, and Cognac
  • Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 3 inches
  • Interior lined completely with polyester
  • Main compartment with zipper closure
  • Includes one slide pocket with hidden magnetic closure and one more zipper pocket
  • Padded laptop pocket serves as the biggest partition
  • One zipper pocket, two slide pockets, and four elastic loops line the inside
  • Adjustable strap made completely of leather extends to 28 inches
  • 3-inch leather top handles

This bag features two distinct designs along with its four color options. The one that uses front classic buckled closures comes in black and leather-brown varieties. The former highlights the closures because it does not use the same black color on them. This makes it the best choice for those who do not want the static brown color of the latter – or are more daring with their fashion combinations.

These two are contrasted, in turn, by the more contemporary design of the other pair. They completely discard the flap and buckled closures (who likes having to fumble with them all the time anyway?) and use zippered pockets instead. Their hues are darker and more masculine as well.

These fine distinctions readily connote the glaring line dividing business wear and the subtleties of masculinity, which the brand ingeniously paints on their bags’ styles.

PROS

  • Very good design that fits most professional settings
  • Stellar-looking visible seams
  • Eye-catching color combinations of the leather and metal components
  • Sizable capacity as evidenced by the main compartment
  • Relatively durable

CONS

  • Imported also means you lose out on the price
  • Only accommodates laptop sizes of up to 13 inches
  • Has minimal pockets

16. Montblanc Sartorial Jet Document Case

FEATURES

  • Made with a combination of calfskin and black nylon fabric
  • Color: Black Saffiano-print
  • Dimensions: 15.3 x 11.8 x 2.8 inches
  • Zippered main compartment
  • Front pocket comes zippered as well
  • Inside contains one zipped pocket, two open ones intended to hold cell phones and three loops for writing instruments
  • Has a single padded pocket for holding laptops
  • Dual leather top handles
  • Removable and adjustable nylon shoulder strap
  • Bonuses include the ability to attach to carry-on handles and leather-covered transparent luggage tag

No other bag in this list spells “Professional” as great as this Montblanc creation can. It almost looks like a bonafide laptop bag in its exterior. But this is all just a trick because once you zip open this seemingly unpretentious bag, your hands will immediately be bathed in elegance courtesy of the smooth feel of splendid satin.

Unsurprising, coming from a brand that puts elegance at the forefront. That said, it still acknowledges that messenger bags serve more of a practical purpose, hence, the largely pragmatic style.

This fact could very well place Montblanc as one of the few luxury brands that really know how to pull off a messenger bag that the modern man won’t mind using regularly without being overly ostentatious.

PROS

  • Manufactured by a brand known for its luxury leather goods
  • The material, though not full leather, prioritizes durability
  • Satisfactory number of side pockets and loops
  • Slim yet cavernous main compartment
  • Fits most common laptop sizes

CONS

  • Downright expensive
  • Fairly average design considering its lofty price tag

17. Campomaggi Leather Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Luxury leather messenger bag composed of premium artisan-choice leather
  • Mainly dark brown in color
  • Dimensions: Not indicated
  • Double carry top handles made of pure leather
  • Zippered closure opens up to a spacious interior
  • Numerous additional pockets line the inside
  • Front flap includes buckled closure and an extra slip pocket

This Italian masterpiece outright slays in the looks department. And it does so with all the grace and elegance that characterizes handcrafted bags made with passion and attention to detail. The dual leather style and hues have no rival in this list.

The bag achieves this through the more pronounced wrinkles of the flap, which is held in place by gold pins engraved with fish symbols. At the rear, the bag sports the Campomaggi seal of authenticity on a square patch of the same artisan-crafted premium leather it’s made of.

For the amount of support it can provide holding your things and its no-sweat sophistication, you’ll love having this bag in your arms like it’s your sweetheart in no time.

PROS

  • Made by a world-renowned Italian brand
  • Exudes an inimitable style solely attributed to masterful Italian craftsmanship
  • Versatile enough to be used for work, commuting, and traveling
  • Provides a balance in space and number of pockets
  • Exquisitely designed exterior and interior that underscore its European influence

CONS

  • Too expensive for a bag designed primarily for functionality
  • Insufficient feedback from actual buyers

18. Gucci Soho Leather Messenger Bag

FEATURES

  • Bonafide made in Italy and made with choice leather
  • Stark black in color
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Formidable flap with hidden magnet closure
  • Comparatively cavernous main compartment
  • Uses black nylon shoulder straps that adjust up to 23 inches
  • Single leather top handle
  • Attaches to a stroller
  • Includes original Gucci tags, authenticity cards, and a dust bag

The interlocking G’s of this imposing bag could just as easily stand for Grandiose or, perhaps, Great to describe its expansive flap. But, arguably, these are already a given for a luxury brand like Gucci.

What’s certain is that this bag’s style does well to represent the brand’s consistent drive to innovate, while retaining their traditional touch. This bag clearly lacks the variety found in others of its kind – from the uniform color used to the obvious lack of petty frills. But this is to be expected from a bag made by Gucci.

Indeed, the bag exudes a sense of homogeneity, a oneness in its exhibition of exorbitance. If you are the type of man who could not do without radiating this same solid richness, then this bag certainly fits you to a tee.

PROS

  • Made by a household luxury brand respected by people worldwide
  • May not be as lengthy as other messenger bags but provides ample carrying capacity
  • Trademark interlocking G detail that highlights the bag’s prestige
  • Gucci provides complete and clear instructions on how to care for the bag in their official site

CONS

  • Woefully overpriced and too opulent for a bag that serves a practical purpose
  • Seems designed more for collection purposes

Frequently Asked Questions

Are messenger bags better for your back?

Depending on your load, one downside of most messenger bags involves the tendency of users to consistently lean towards one side to make up for the extra weight. This leads to muscle strains on your neck and shoulder that develop to regular back pains over time.

However, most bag carriers avoid this by refraining from carrying the bag on just one side. Remember to switch sides frequently. Experts also recommend opting for those with wider and more comfortable straps. Do not go overboard with the number and weight of items you carry.

How do you take care of your leather bag?

  • Only use cleaners and conditioners specifically designed for leather.
  • When applying conditioners, be sure you don’t miss out on any spots of leather. 
  • Refrain from rubbing any area that may have been touched by water or moisture. Blot it away with a dry cloth instead. If it got wet in a rainstorm, let it air dry. Lay it flat on the floor or any clean surface. 
  • Be on the lookout for stains and don’t allow them to linger on the bag.
  • Clean the interior regularly with a damp cloth then let it dry naturally by leaving the bag open for a time. 
  • Be wary of storing it in places where it can get too hot, humid, dusty, or lets in too much sunlight. 

Are messenger bags good for traveling?

While backpacks may be more deserving of the “best travel bag” label, leather messenger bags can be adaptable enough to be able to serve as a great traveling bag. The key lies in paying more attention to how the messenger bag distributes weight. All the better if it can mirror how most backpacks achieve it.

Arguably, you can stash your items easier in a messenger bag than a backpack as well. This perk includes easy access and safety, too. You get to keep the bag in front of you and always in your line of sight, after all, unlike a backpack that ends up – as its name implies – behind you. Unless you choose to wear it the other way around, which can be awkward for a bulky bag.

Why should you avoid faux leather even if it is purported to be environmentally friendly?

Faux leather varieties ultimately pale in comparison to genuine leather in terms of fundamental properties like durability, long-term costs, and practicality. The best leather messenger bags rarely (if not never) use faux leather for these reasons.

Final Thoughts!

The best leather messenger bags we reviewed above should, more or less, give you an inkling as to what trumps the rest. That said, do not just look at the brand and its reputation (or lack thereof).

Rather, take the time to compare the features and weigh the pros and cons of each one. Keep yourself informed, but be sure to check the sources of the information. Bogus feedback abounds online, after all, even in top sites like Amazon.

Ultimately, any leather messenger bag that appeals to your style will suffice. As long as they do not fall short on durability and functionality, that is. You should not expect anything less from leather messenger bags. They occupy their own pedestal for a reason. And any brand that realizes this – and goes all the way in showcasing this innate quality through their creations – should be at the top of your list.


Marilyn

Marilyn

Marilyn Chase writes fashion articles for luxury power houses that want to see their brands surge. Her articles have appeared in various North American and Western European websites. She contributes articles about design, craftsmanship and manufacturing techniques in fashion. Her articles focus on trends and research supported by first hand interviews and pictures. She is qualified by extensive experience and a degree in fashion from New York.
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