Men’s Messenger Bag [Ultimate Buying Guide]

If you are having a hard time deciding whether you should get a messenger bag or not, you have come to the right place. This guide on Men’s Messenger Bag will help you decide if a Messenger bag is really for you. So, here you go- this is all you need to know about Messenger Bags.

Table of Contents:

What is a Messenger bag?


Messenger bags are simply briefcases on steroids, steroids in the sense for a better style, giving you a great look and feel. It’s the best compromise between style, functionality that you get in a backpack, and a touch of professionalism: meaning it’s great for office use and business environment. You can wear messenger bags with any casual or professional dress up.

These bags are usually made from pristine leather or synthetic propriety materials that would give you a great boost while carrying it. Messenger bags are great for carrying your essentials like wallet, phone’s charger, keys, headphones, sunglasses, laptop, pen, and some documents. Phones these days are getting pretty big and it’s only a matter of a few years that it would not fit in your pocket.

Some people refer Messenger bags as Men’s bag and is even popular as a modern briefcase. These bags are comfortable, lightweight, durable and can store a lot of stuff. That’s why people use these bags all around the globe.

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How to wear/carry your messenger bag?

cross-body-messenger-bag-guideGenerally, messenger bags are carried on your shoulder but some bags have a top handle that allows you to remove the straps and carry it as a briefcase.

Originally, the messenger bags were designed to be worn cross-body. As the name suggests, messenger bags were designed to be worn by couriers carrying important documents and envelopes. So, you will find most messenger bags have zips or buckles.

You need to do only two things to properly wear/carry your messenger bag.

To carry it as a traditional briefcase:

First, remove the top strap which is generally attached by some alloy belt buckle. Then, carry it as a traditional briefcase with the help of a top-handle on the bag.

To wear it like a messenger bag:

First, make sure that you adjust the strap size so that the top of the bag reaches your waistline. Then, simply carry the bag diagonal to your body- it can be from left-side shoulder to the right-side waist and or right-side shoulder to the left-side waist.

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How to shorten Messenger bag strap?

First, you need to identify what kind of a strap do you have, is it a like a belt buckle strap, or a metal adjusting kind where moving the metal up of down would adjust it.

If it’s the buckle strap, then you simply remove the center hook from both ends then adjust on both the sides and again lock the Buckle like you would do while wearing a leather belt.

And for the metal adjusting kind- hold the metal then pull on the side where there are two lines of the strap to shorten and to make it longer just pull that has only one strap.

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Who makes the best messenger bag?

While buying a messenger bag we should keep 4 things in mind. First capacity then design, color choice, finally the most important thing price. Water-resistance would be an icing on the cake. Keeping these things in mind we found the perfect one that is not trusted by us but thousands of others.

Timbuk2 Messenger Bags

Established in 1990, Timbuk2 has grown into a multi-national bag company. The brand is very popular for its messenger bags and they in fact make one of the best messenger bags. We have a detailed article on if Timbuk2 bags are worth the money. Check it out first before making a purchase. If you go with a custom design Timbuk2 messenger bag, things can get a bit expensive.

You get plenty of options if you decide to buy TImbuk2 messenger bags. Not only do you get messenger bags in different sizes, but there are also plenty of designs to choose from. You can get custom ones too but they will cost you more and also shipping time can take up to 3 weeks.

If you are looking for a quality bag that will last for years before needing a replacement, you really can’t go wrong with Timbuk2 bags.

The Classic Messenger Bag price starts at $79 (although that is for the smallest XS size which I don’t recommend) and there are a plethora of colors to choose from. As with most of the Timbuk2 bags, it is water-resistant and there is a dedicated pocket for a water bottle.

Keeping up with the heritage, the bag also features a vista loop for attaching small bike lights.

Fun FactThe original Timbuk2 messenger bag was first made 30 years ago. There have been various updates to the model but the design is mostly the same.

NutSac Messenger bags

Started in 2015, NutSac (you read it right, it’s literally called Nutsac) has been making excellent messenger bags.

The company NutSac was named because the founders were told that they were nuts to manufacture products in America and compete against cheap, outsourced products.

They make some amazing full-grain leather -sourced from New England- messenger bags that boosts your confidence in carrying messenger nags because of its look and feel. Their bags are generally waxed canvas, giving you some amount of water resistance which would be essential if you walk in harsh weather condition.

Waxed canvas is historic, durable, beautiful, and cooler than cool. Waxed canvas is made from cotton impregnated with wax. It’s served time in both military and civilian life. It also houses some metal hardware component to make the bag sturdy. It uses a heavy-duty cotton strap for durability.

The company provides a wide range of messenger bags to choose from. I personally loved the NutSac Messenger Pro which is a bit pricy but the quality is amazing. You have three color options to choose from: coal, black and tan.


The messenger bag features our iconic men’s satchel design. This over the shoulder bag is perfect for your mobile lifestyle and everyday carry. The interior of this bag features two, 5” front pouches perfect for phone, wallet, hard drives, etc., in addition to a full-width back-zippered stash pocket. The Satchel fits an iPad, iPad Air, or other standard-sized tablets.

Nutsac gives a lifetime warranty on its products, as well as a 30-day money-back, guarantee with these messenger bags. With a rating of 4.9/5.0 on its website you really can’t go wrong with the bag.

Bag details:

Dimensions: 11″x7.5″x2.5″

Weight: 1.63 lbs/ 0.74 kg

Other brands who make high-quality messenger bags

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How to clean Messenger Bags?

You need to have a bucket, scrubber, mild detergent, and a towel. First, fill the bucket with water and some detergent. Dip your bag in the detergent and start scrubbing. Wipe off with a damp towel and then leave it to dry. It’s that easy and simple. It’s like washing your clothes.

But, if your messenger bag is made from leather then you need to use a different approach. First, you need some vinegar and a piece of cloth. Then, soak the cloth in vinegar and then start wiping the surface of the leather bag. After some time you would start seeing some amount of difference. It would take a lot of time and effort for you to notice a significant difference.

Or you can use the old polishing method. For that, you need to make a lather with saddle soap and then work the foam into the leather. Then allow it to dry. Finally, buff to polish.

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When should I wear a Messenger bag?

Messenger bags can be pretty useful in both formal and casual style. They provide the perfect combo of style with the functionality of a backpack and briefcase.

For school, I don’t recommend buying messenger bags instead go for a bag pack. We have a list of brands that make great laptop bags for taking to school. It would be great to carry around a lot of things. But if you are in college and only have to carry around a few daily essentials then the messenger bag is a green signal for you. So, it’s great to have a messenger bag to carry your wallet, phones, and some other accessories.

But on occasions where a backpack is a no-no, messenger bags are the way to go. For instance, while wearing a suit, a messenger bag will look really good but a backpack, not so much. Also, if you are traveling somewhere close, a messenger bag will be a great body accessory.

To sum up, If you carry around a few items and things that don’t require you to carry a backpack then it’s time for you to consider buying messenger bags. In fact, even if you carry something like a laptop, messenger bags can be a good choice. 

Today you can find messenger bags in different sizes and designs. Make sure to check the dimension of the bag before making the purchase. All-in-all, a messenger bag work great for carrying around as a daily bag. 

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