Messenger bags are a must-have minimalist accessory. When done right, they allow you to organize your belongings into efficiently designed pockets that provide quick access and easy-inventory of everything you’ve got with you. This simplicity prevents you from toting about a cavernous sack of who-knows-what. Not to mention, the over the shoulder styling allows you to keep all of your need-to-have items conveniently at your side. They also have a certain kind of cool you won’t find with a backpack or briefcase.
However, not all messenger bags are designed equally. When you’re looking for the best of minimalist messenger bags, you need to ensure your choice has room for the tools of your trade and fits seamlessly with your unadorned style. Some companies have taken the naturally minimalist messenger and bloated it beyond hope. So to get you quickly to the best-designed pieces on the market today, this is our list of the 35 best minimalist messenger bags on the market today.
1. E-Tree - 17.3 inch Laptop Sleeve Handbag
This messenger bag by E-Tree is on the list because it’s super simple. Charmingly minimalist, this bag is layered internally with convex foam padding that surrounds the main laptop compartment and protects valuable devices from accidental collisions. The many discrete pockets allow you to organize your life without looking like you’re overstuffed. However, one of the best bits is the leather-wrapped handles. Easy switch from over the shoulder to hand-held without fumbling around.
Exterior: Oxford material with leather handles
Interior: Convex foam padding with microfibre
Fits a 17-inch Laptop
Model: 17.3 inch laptop messenger bag
External Dimensions: 12.7cm x 12.7cm x 1.8cm
2. AUGUR - Messenger Bag
This piece by Augur is precisely what comes to mind when you think of a classic Satchel. Although, that’s not to say it isn’t wonderfully minimalist. One main pocket holds a 13-inch laptop and some other essentials. Two smaller front pockets keep your mobile phone, and other quick-grab items close at hand. There are also a few hidden pockets in the main compartment that is perfect for securing computer adaptors and other lesser-used items.
Exterior: High-quality waterproof Canvas & leather
Lining: cotton cloth, no padding
Fits a 13-inch Laptop
Model: Messenger Bag
3. GOHIGH - Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag Waterproof
Simplicity is pretty self-evident with this piece by Gohigh. It’s got that ultra-modern appeal that can transition between casual and professional attire quite seamlessly. In fact, this bag is not going to stand out until you want it too. With its clean, minimalist lines, it almost disappears on the wearer until you need to retrieve your laptop or mobile device.
Exterior: Durable Retro Canvas
Fits a 14-inch Laptop
Model: Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 35.8cm x 10.9cm x 24.1cm
4. Kenneth Cole - Risky Business Messenger Bag
Ah Kenneth Cole Reaction, you are a minimalist dream. This high-quality, simply designed, messenger-bag is absolutely gorgeous. Made from natural grain leather, it’s surface will age beautifully over time. Each bag will wear in its own distinct way as you use it.
Exterior: Grain Leather
Fits a 15.6-inch Laptop
Brand: Kenneth Cole
Model: Risky Business Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 38.1cm x 7.6cm x 28cm
5. MOSISO - Messenger Laptop Shoulder Bag
This messenger espouses a sophisticated motif that instantly appeals to even the staunchest minimalists. Nothing feels overdone or unnecessary. It’s layered with a shockproof sponge, but you wouldn’t know to look at it. It’s spill-resistant but doesn’t feel like a poncho. And the bottom elegantly unzips to widen for greater carrying capacity.
Interior: Polyester foam padding layer and soft fabric lining
Fits a 17.3-inch laptop
Model: Laptop Shoulder Bag
6. Vaschy - Small Messenger Bag
Right out of the gate, this bag impresses with its look. Reminiscent of a piece out of the Great War, this bag is durable and stylish. It also holds an 11 inch iPad Pro perfectly. If you’re looking for a laptop bag, this may not be your thing unless you have one of the smaller size Chrome Books. Anything larger than 12.6 inches, isn’t going to fit.
Tuff Cowhide Leather
Padded iPad Sleeve
Model: Small Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 32cm x 7cm x 31cm
7. ZZINNA - Men's Messenger Bag
This bag is designed for the fashionable traveller or those aspiring to bring some style to their personal in-flight item. While not a laptop bag, this rugged messenger is large enough to hold a 9.7 inch iPad and all your travel documents. The perfect compliment to your carry-on game.
Lightweight, durable polyester (0.95 lb/ 0.43 kg)
Hidden back passport pocket
Model: Men’s Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 26.5cm x 8.5cm x 19cm
8. Estarer - Laptop Messenger Bag
This classic college-look messenger bag is made from durable, water-resistant canvas. It carries a lot without looking overly bulky, perfect for school or the professional that needs to take stuff with them. The laptop compartment will hold up to a 15.6-inch, and let’s face it, nobody wants to haul around anything bigger than that. And still, there is room for a 3-inch binder, not to mention pockets for your phone, pens, keys, and even card slots for your wallet-overflow.
Two main compartments (Laptop and books)
Shoulder Strap and briefcase-style handle
Velcro top cover for easy access
Model: Laptop Messenger Bag
9. Timbuk2 - Classic Messenger Unicolor Bag
Everyone should have the pleasure of owning a Timbuk2 bag at least once in their life. Of course, once you buy one, it will likely last you forever. These quality manufacturers started in SanFran, making amazing bike messenger bags for themselves. It seems everyone else liked them too. Room for your 15-inch laptop, and a whole lot of other stuff (up to 21-Litre). Oh, and a lifetime warranty.
Vista loop for attaching blinky bike lights
Water bottle pocket
Rear slip pocket for quick access to devices or papers
Brand: Timbuk 2
Model: Classic Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 12cm x 25cm x 26cm
10. Travel Max - 15 inch Laptop Bag
We like to call this the “Travelling Salesman Bag” because it has a place for absolutely everything, and all of it is easy to grab when you need it quick. And, while it’s durable, it’s also extremely affordable. So after you’ve dragged it around the world, to meetings, through airports, and back again, it’s easy on your wallet when you need to replace it.
Sleeve for a 14-inch laptop
Twelve pockets (5 outer pockets, 7 inner)
Luggage belt for gliding through the airport on your wheely-bag
Brand: Travel Max
Model: 15 inch Laptop Bag
11. Visconti Leather Distressed Messenger Bag Harvard Collection
If you found your love of messenger bags watching Indiana Jones films in your formative years, this is the bag you want. Indy was never overdone with belts and gadgets, just a hat, a bullwhip, and a leather shoulder bag. While this one doesn’t have a designated laptop sleeve, it will easily fit a 13-inch MacBook, with room for a book or a few extras. (Dimensions: 14.1-inch x 10.6-inch x 4.7-inch)
Full flap fold-over closes with two magnetic snaps
Smooth oiled leather with double and contrast stitching
Adjustable shoulder strap, up to 60-inches long
Model: Leather Distressed Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 26.9cm x 35.8cm x 11.9cm
12. Carhartt - D89 Messenger
In recent years, Carhartt has gone from work-a-day wear to stylish. And yet, it’s maintained its tough minimalist esthetic. Made of 600D Poly Ripstop with the Rain Defender durable water repellent, this bag has a dedicated laptop compartment with room for books, pens, power tools, you name it.
Laptop compartment with strap
Multiple smaller organizing pockets
Model: D89 Messenger
Dimensions: 19″ x 12.5″ x 5.5″
13. Mystery Ranch - 3-way Expandable Briefcase Messenger Bag
Do you find yourself leading a double life? You’re stylish and composed at the office, but yearning to take off into the trails on a moment’s notice. This is your bag. A true minimalist by design, this gorgeous bag goes from a briefcase to a shoulder bag to a backpack with quick adjustments. And everything is so neatly arranged that you would never know to look at it.
Built tough with 500D Cordura
Padded sleeve for laptops up to 15-inch
22-litres, with an expandable zipper for 5-litres of additional storage
Brand: Mystery Ranch
Model: 3-Way Expandable Briefcase
Dimensions: 17″ x 12″ x 10″
14. Chrome Industries - Citizen Messenger Bag
When Chrome Industries does a messenger bag, you can guarantee it’s going to be minimalist design, state of the art, durable, and really fricken cool. This bag is no exception. It holds up to a 17-inch MacBook, is virtually indestructible, and has that really bold looking quick-release seatbelt buckle on the shoulder strap. It really is the ultimate bike-commuter bag, but you could totally take it on the train and still look like a bad-ass.
1050D abrasion-resistant nylon exterior
18 oz weatherproof truck tarpaulin liner
Industrial-strength hook-and-loop shoulder strap
Brand: Chrome Industries
Model: Citizen Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 22″ x 13″ x 7″
15. Arc'teryx - Granville 16 Courier Bag
Simple, weather-resistant, and durable. Oh, and also very cool. This messenger by Arc’teryx is made for commuting with your digital devices. It holds up to a 15-inch laptop, tablet, smartphone, and the day’s gear in the main compartment. While the external zippered pocket nicely fits your wallet, keys, and writing tools. All of it is protected from the elements with highly water-resistant AC² fabric. They also tape the critical seams for extra weather protection. The underarm strap that connects the shoulder strap to you is a nice touch and makes longer carries easier on your body.
Zippered top flap for increased security
Custom TPU zipper pulls for ergonomic access
Integrated stretch mesh zippered pocket for mouse, chargers, and extras
Model: Granville 16 Courier Bag
16. Timbuk2 - Command Messenger
Every Timbuk2 bag we’ve ever seen has been solid. These guys know how to make a rugged rucksack and a mean messenger. They were bike messengers; they had to be tough! And yet this one brings a level of refinement that we’re not used to with Timbuk2. It’s ready for a business trip. Not to mention it slides nicely onto your carry-on roll-bag handle. Three Napolian pockets make all your quick need items readily available, and the stealth mode keeps it from making any noise when you’re in a more formal situation. Yes, it actually has a stealth mode, watch the video.
Tricot-lined floating pocket protects sunglasses or smartphone
Tensioned aluminum hooks for quick and secure closure
Made from waterproof 400D Nylon Faille
Model: Command Messenger
Dimensions: 17.13″ x 14.37″ x 5.12″
17. Killspencer - Briefcase 2.0
If you are a minimalist purest, well, then Killspencer is probably already on your radar. The Briefcase 2.0 is quite simply one of the most elegant bags you could put over your shoulder. Full-grain leather, bull hide handle and shoulder strap, and two patented Cobra buckles. This is minimalist design as art. It will hold up to a 15-inch MacBook, the accessories, a magazine, and maybe a few extras, but you will never feel lacking.
Removable and adjustable bull hide leather + webbing shoulder strap
2 flat internal pockets and 2 expanding exterior pockets under flap
Swiss-made Riri zipper in antique silver finish
Model: Briefcase 2.0
Dimensions: 11.75″ x 17″ x 2.5″
18. Peak Design - Everyday Messenger Bag
Peak Design partnered with renowned adventure photographer Trey Ratcliff to create one bag that adapts to your gear and lifestyle, no matter where you go or what you’re carrying. It’s possibly the most versatile messengers on the market. Heading to the office with a 15-inch laptop and papers? Perfect. Wandering out for a wilderness photoshoot with DSLR, three lenses, and a tripod? Also perfect. The folding interior structure allows you to morph this into precisely the bag you need at any given moment. Not to mention its got all sorts of minimalist charm.
The bag expands and contracts without losing shape
Weatherproof waxed 500D Kodra shell with high-density padding and DWR undercoat
Colour-coded internal pocket stitching keeps the photography workflow organized by separating dead batteries and full storage cards
Brand: Peak Design
Model: Everyday Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 20″ x 12″ x 4″
19. Briggs & Riley - Verb 2 Dispatch Messenger
This is a messenger bag that has truly matured. The handy Speed Thru™ pocket on the back panel keeps your documents on the ready for security checkpoints and provides RFID blocking protection to keep out any unwanted intrusions. The inside pockets hold just about everything you could need, including a 16-inch laptop. Not to mention, this messenger comfortably fits legal sized binders and folders. Legal sized stuff is very grown-up!
L-zip front pocket with fleece-lined interior offers easy access to a mobile device
Front flap secured by a buckle clip and magnetic closure
Cord Control™ elastic loops for all your wires and plugs
Brand: Briggs & Riley
Model: Verb 2 Dispatch Messenger
Dimensions: 16.5″ x 11.5″ x 2″
20. Mission Workshop - The Rummy Messenger Bag
One of the coolest messenger bags out there, the Rummy, is minimalist-style with serious function. This bag is 1,600 cubic inches of weatherproof-commuter-sack, featuring a roll-top compartment along the top, with two quick-access cargo pockets, four internal zippered pockets, custom aluminum hardware, and a detachable cross-chest stabilizer. You can choose to put a 15-inch laptop in the front zip pocket or up to a 17-inch MacBook in the main compartment. Of course, maybe you need both.
Weatherproof roll-top main compartment
Custom aluminum hardware
Brand: Mission Workshop
Model: The Rummy
21. Herschel Supply Co. - Pop Quiz Messenger Bag
You have no doubt seen Herschel Supply Co. bags everywhere by now. This company has manufactured some of the best-made backpacks on the planet. However, what many people don’t know, is they make a mean minimalist messenger. The Pop Quiz is perfect for a 15-inch laptop, with plenty of room for extra odds and sods. The inside lining, done in their trademark red and white stripes, demonstrates excellent attention to detail and also a significant bit of aesthetic charm.
Durable polyester construction
Secondary underarm strap
Brand: Herschel Supply Co.
Model: Pop Quiz Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 10″ high x 15.5″ wide
22. TUMI - Alpha 2 Slim Deluxe Portfolio Bag
There comes a time in your career when you’re ready for a Tumi Bag. If you’re there, you won’t have to ask yourself, you’ll just know. This Alpha 2-Slim Portfolio is one of the finest minimalist bags available. It comes in either Napa leather or Ballistic Nylon, and both look great in a board room. Although the Ballistic Nylon is the same stuff they make motorcycle jackets out of, so you know it’s tuff. There is a padded pocket for your tablet and plenty of room for documents. In the front, you’ll find designated media pockets, and the redlined pocket is outfitted with patented ID protection technology to secure your wallet from RF identity theft. There is also a secret front pocket with a maglock, so you can easily and securely slide your phone away until you need it next
TUMI Tracer with a unique ID to quickly locate a lost bag
Padded tablet sleeve
Exclusive FXT ballistic fabric
Model: Alpha 2 Slim Deluxe Portfolio Bag
Dimensions: 12″ x 16″ x 3″
23. Kate Spade - Waxwear Slim Brief
Gentlemen, if you please, this is a sophisticated messenger. Designed by the Kate Spade Fashion House for their Jack Spade line, the waxwear slim brief is sheer elegance. And after you buy it, your bag will wear in a way distinct to you, because the water-resistant waxed cotton develops a unique patina with age. Comfortably carry a 15-inch laptop in the custom neoprene pocket with plenty of room for extra essentials. Of course, the bottom is reinforced with complementary fine leather.
Signature waxwear cotton from historic Halley Stevenson Mill (established 1864)
Adjustable, detachable, shoulder strap
Interior tech neoprene pocket
Brand: Kate Spade
Model: Waxwear Slim Brief
Dimenions: 12″ x 15.75″ x 2.17″
24. FRYE - Men's Logan Messenger Bag
We’re pretty sure this bag was not named Logan after Marvel’s Wolverine. That said, this is exactly the messenger that he would have. Made from 100% Luxe Italian leather, with a composite frame to protect your valuables. When it comes to pockets, it’s got 4 slip, 2 zip, and 33 card slots. Which is to say, more than enough room.
100% Luxe Italian leather
Magnetic snap closure
Signature Fyre craftsmanship
Model: Men’s Logan Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 14″ x 18″ x 6″
25. ONA - The Brixton
Part university professor, part travel photographer, the Brixton is a finely done messenger. 100% leather, with buckle closure, this well-crafted bag can lug a DSLR, three lenses, accessories, and a 13-inch laptop. However, the four removable dividers make it easy to customize no matter what sort of trouble you’re getting up to.
Two front pockets for lens caps, batteries and small personal items
Rear magazine pocket offers just enough room for a tablet
Model: The Brixton Camera Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 13.5″ x 10.5″ x 5″
26. Frank & Oak - Italian Leather Messenger
Frank and Oak didn’t take long to start manufacturing stunning collections. Originally an online retailer with a subscription service, today, they are respected designers. This bag will help you see why. Handmade in Montreal from thick, full-grain tanned Italian leather, this is a messenger that can go anywhere and look right at home. Although our favourite design details are the raw edge finish and thick topstitching.
Magnetic close buckles
Interior zip pocket
Handmade in Montreal
Brand: Frank and Oak
Model: Italian Leather Messenger
Dimensions: 21″ x 11″ x 9″
27. Trakke - Bairn Messenger Bag
They call this one a mini-messenger, but it’s got pretty much anything you could want in a daypack. While only 10-litres capacity, it still fits a 13-inch laptop in a special padded compartment. The expanding pockets on the front of the bag are easy to access while you’re on-the-go, and the interior zip keeps valuables safely stowed.
13-inch padded laptop sleeve
Expanding pockets on the front of the bag
Model: Bairn Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 10″ x 14″ x 4.75″
28. WANT Les Essentiels - Jackson 15 Messenger Bag
If you’ve ever flown Signature Class with Air Canada, you know that WANT Les Essentials designed their amenity kit. A tiny little bit of minimalist charm that almost compensates for the price of the ticket. Well, the Jackson 15 Messenger is another beautiful piece that should probably be mandatory for all (stylish) business travellers. The front of the bag and the flap are done in Technical weave, which will pair well with any outfit. While the backside of the bag is made of breathable mesh fabric. One of the best features, though, is the flap zipper that gives you quick access to the laptop sleeve without opening the whole cover.
15-inch padded laptop pocket
Patch interior pockets
Brand: Want Les Essentiels
Model: Jackson 15 Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 11.75″ x 15.25″ x 4.75″
29. Topo Designs - Messenger 13L Bag
Sometimes you want something clean, stylish, and able to stand up to whatever you through at it without breaking a sweat. If so, this Topo messenger is precisely what you want. The 1000D nylon fabric can withstand severe wear and tear. And the water-resistant liner is made to keep your gear from ever knowing it was wet outside. The multiple pockets mean you can organize lunch, layers, books, and a 15-inch laptop for a day on the go.
Compression straps to stabilize the load
Truck tarp liner keeps moisture out
Brand: TOPO Designs
Model: Messenger 13L Bag
30. Strand Clothing - Japanese Retro Vintage Minimalist Japan Style Canvas Messenger Shoulder Bag
On a minimalist messenger list, this piece fits right in. It’s actually nothing special, except that its stunning in its simplicity. Not to mention, it’s incredibly affordable. This Strand Clothing design bag is shipped from their store in England and usually takes close to two weeks to arrive in North America. It will take a 15-inch laptop and have room for plenty more if you’re keen to fill it up.
Washed canvas, with padded base
Touch fastener closure
Brand: Strand Clothing
Model: Japanese Retro Vintage Minimalist Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 15.8″ x 4.7″ x 11.8″
31. Kattee - Crazy Horse Leather Briefcase Business Messenger Bag
If you’re looking for something of a classic shoulder bag, with clean lines and just enough room for the essentials, this is perfect. While only wide enough to bring along a tablet, this messenger is well-appointed with compartments and keeps you organized on the go. Made from vintage genuine dark brown cowhide leather with durable bronze-tone hardware, it ages well and never looks out of place.
High-quality new leather
Adjustable shoulder strap
Double snap closure
Model: Crazy Horse Leather Briefcase Business Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 12.2″ x 7.87″ x 3.15″
32. Maison Margiela - Large Shoulder Bag
A messenger bag that’s also a statement, this appropriately named Large Shoulder bag by French fashion house Maison Margiela, is made for the minimalist with a secret sense of flare. Crafted in Italy with black Technical weave, the liner impresses those whom you choose to let in with a vibrant yellow expression. It’s the perfect representation of their desire to focus on simplicity, purity, and ambiguity.
Two-way zip closure
Patch exterior pocket, patch and zip interior pockets
Optional, adjustable strap
Brand: Maison Margiela
Model: Large Shoulder Bag
Dimensions: 15.25″ x 18″ x 7.75″
33. Bellroy - System Work Bag
Both professional and practical, this roll-top messenger by Bellroy is perfect for the office and a great travel companion. It will hold a 15-inch laptop comfortably and has enough pockets to make it feel almost like a weekender bag.
Made from a water-resistant non-toxic fabric
Luggage slip slides over travel bag handles
Created by a certified B-Corp
Model: System Work Bag
Dimensions: 20.5″ x 13.8″ x 5.1″