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 are 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
- Brand: E-Tree
- 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
- Brand: Augur
- Model: Messenger Bag
3. The Friendly Swede – 13 Inch Slim Minimalist Messenger Bag
Simplicity is pretty self-evident with this piece by The Friendly Swede. 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. Made in a timeless briefcase style, this unisex minimalist messenger bag is slim but spacious while providing plenty of pockets for your 13″ laptop, chargers, notepads, and more.
- Comfortable carrying handles and shoulder straps
- Rubberized PU exterior that is super soft to the touch
- Available in two colours
- Brand: The Friendly Swede
- Model: Minimalist Messenger Bags
- Dimensions: 15.8″ x 11.8″ x 2.7″
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
- Interior: Nylon
- 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.
- Exterior: Polyester
- Interior: Polyester foam padding layer and soft fabric lining
- Fits a 17.3-inch laptop
- Brand: Mosiso
- 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
- 6.9-Litre Capacity
- Brand: Vaschy
- Model: Small Messenger Bag
- Dimensions: 32cm x 7cm x 31cm
7. 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
- Brand: Estarer
- Model: Laptop Messenger Bag
8. 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
9. 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
- Brand: Visconti
- Model: Leather Distressed Messenger Bag
- Dimensions: 26.9cm x 35.8cm x 11.9cm
10. 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″
11. 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″
12. 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.
- Guaranteed Forever
- Weatherproof roll-top main compartment
- Custom aluminum hardware
- Brand: Mission Workshop
- Model: The Rummy
13. TUMI – Alpha 3 Compact Large Screen Laptop Brief
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 3 is one of the finest minimalist bags available. It comes in Ballistic Nylon and looks 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.
- Omega zipper puller prevents zipper damage
- Waterproof packet
- Fits up to 17″ laptops
- Brand: TUMI
- Model: Alpha 3 Compact Large Screen Laptop Brief
- Dimensions: 13″ x 17.5″ x 3.5″
- Weight: 3.89 lbs
14. 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, its 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
- Brand: FRYE
- Model: Men’s Logan Messenger Bag
- Dimensions: 14″ x 18″ x 6″
15. 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
- Lifetime guarantee
- Brand: Trakke
- Model: Bairn Messenger Bag
- Dimensions: 10″ x 14″ x 4.75″
16. 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
- Waterproof zippers
- Brand: TOPO Designs
- Model: Messenger 13L Bag
17. 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.
- 14-litre capacity
- 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″
18. 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
- Brand: Bellroy
- Model: System Work Bag
- Dimensions: 20.5″ x 13.8″ x 5.1″