11 Best Bike Messenger Bag (Reviews and Buying Guide)

If you’re someone who rides bikes frequently, you know how important it is to have a messenger bag. And even though we now have backpacks, you and I both know very well that messenger bags aren’t going away as a trend. So, it’s not foolish to invest in the best bike messenger bag, am I right, or right?

There’s no doubt about a messenger bag being the most needed accessory for a biker. And as you’re always on the move, there’s always a risk of losing it on the road. That is why you need a messenger bag with the best material and quality.

Then, there's the issue of storage and style. Most of the time, a big bag doesn't hold a high visual value, the sleek look is always missing. This article will provide you with some options to avoid this issue. Ride with style without losing functionality.

You may have already been bombarded with loads of options when you peeked at the market. And some bags may have attracted your eyes, but your eyes can fool you! In this article, you’ll go over the top 11 messenger bike bags with me and their details. Don’t forget the FAQ section. That section is always a goldmine!

Top Choice
TIMBUK2 Classic Messenger Bag
TIMBUK2 Classic Messenger Bag
  • Bottle pocket
  • Water resistant
  • 100% Man Made
Best Budget
TIMBUK2 Commute Messenger Bag
TIMBUK2 Commute Messenger Bag
  • TPU liner
  • Adjustable strap
  • Total 12  pockets
Best Value
Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag
Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag
  • Waterproof 
  • Shoulder strap
  • Quick-release buckle

Top 11 Best Bike Messenger Bag Full Review


Below, I’ve put together reviews of the selected 11 bags. Go through all of them to understand what each bag has in offer for you.

01. Leaper Retro Canvas Shoulder Travel Rucksack Sling Bag


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Let’s start our review with a stylish and small but very practical bag from Leaper. They call it retro because of the vibe it gives off when you have it on your side. It’s a classic look everyone loves.

Comfort

The bag feels very soft thanks to the soft Canvas fabric they used to make it, and the PU leather feels nice on the hands too. But the fact that this bag has a wide and big strap takes it to the top of this recommendation list.

Size and Compartments

Although the bag is the ‘Large’ version of this Retro model, it is still small compared to other bags of this category. So, it’s not for all. It has a total of 9 compartments that will come in handy with organizing your belongings.

Durability

As far as the bag’s integrity is concerned, you can trust the stitching they used on it. The stitching and the fabric together make a highly durable bag. But it feels very light.

For Whom?

The bag falls in the smaller category. So, if you have lots of items to carry or they’re big, this isn’t for you. This is good for grocery shopping or carrying books and calculators to college.

Pros
  • Made from durable canvas fabric
  • Rutsack style retro design
  • Comfortable strap
  • Versatile use, i.e., you can use it in any situation
Cons
  • It’s not waterproof nor water-resistant

2. TIMBUK2 Classic Messenger Bag - fits 13", 15", 17" Laptop


Timbuk2, inspired by the classic African city of knowledge, maintains the name's value with its products. This classic messenger bag is an all-rounder in its category. 

Comfort

It’s a very loose-fitting bag with a long strap. That should tell you the level of comfort it will provide. But if you load some heavy item in it, it will swing around if you take it on the shoulder. These types of bags all behave this way. And then you have the air mesh, it gives enough ventilation to keep it comfy.

Size and Compartments

This is a large bag made for large items such as laptops, electronics, large books, etc. It doesn’t have many compartments.
You’ll have only 2 compartments – a big main one and a smaller side pocket.

So, organizing is hard, you can’t store small items in a specific place. There’s a water bottle pocket as well.

Durability

The bag is made of nylon plastic, and it's very durable. It'll wear someday, and friction from harsh items will damage it. But it won’t tear easily. And it’s a water-resistant bag with the ability to protect your belongings from water splash but not heavy rain.

For Whom?

A perfect bag for a delivery man on a rainy day, this is that kind of bag. Anybody who needs a bag to carry electronics and other precious items should consider it.

Pros
  • Large bag
  • Made of Nylon and durable
  • Water resistance
  • Comfortable air mesh ventilation
  • Many pockets allow you to organize better
Cons
  • Expensive compared to features

3. Sweetbriar Classic Messenger Bag - Vintage Canvas


Next in line is the classic messenger bag from Sweetbriar. This is pretty similar to the one above, but you don't have to face the premium price tag.

Comfort

The fabric used to manufacture the bag is a soft canvas fabric that feels nice on the skin. Then, you have the single adjustable strap with a movable pad for more comfort.

Size and Compartments

You can wear it on your shoulder, but it's much more comfortable if you wear it across the back. It’s a medium-sized bag, but it's big enough to carry laptops and similarly sized items comfortably. 

Alongside an extra-large main compartment, you have little pockets to store pens, keys, and other small belongings. You can fit your water bottle in one of those pockets. Furthermore, there’s a pouch inside the main pocket with zippers on it.

Durability

For day to day use, the durability is sufficient. It's 100% cotton canvas, and the flap has durable Velcro tape. But there's no padding around the bag.

For Whom?

It’s a bag for mainly office goers or travelers of short distances where you don’t have to carry many belongings.

Pros
  • Versatile use
  • Spacious compartments
  • 100% cotton canvas is comfortable
  • Velcro closure
Cons
  • No waterproofing

4. XINCADA Mens Messenger Shoulder/Crossbody Bag for Work Business


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Another great selection as a messenger bag is the XINCADA men’s messenger bag. If you’re a lady, don’t let that deter you from using such a cute and compact bag.

Comfort

This messenger bag has Canvas fabric as the material. And it's very comfortable to the touch, the opposite of harsh. The strap is adjustable, but I'd have liked it to be a bit wider. If you load some heavy item, the strap can hurt you.

In that case, you can carry it around with the handle. The bag is from the small category. It’s a work bag without more than enough pockets to satisfy your needs. 

Size and Compartments

Yes, even though it’s a small one, it has 10 different pockets to hold your electronics, your keys, and other belongings. The bag is large enough to hold a 10” iPad.

Durability

It’s made with high-density canvas fabric. Unless you cut it with a knife, it won't tear easily and last long years, but eventually, it will wear out, it’s not leather! The strap, however, isn't as strong, and it's vulnerable to damage if you put heavy items in it.

For Whom?

It’s for those who need to have their must-have accessories with them 24/7 for business and work purposes. College goers can also look at it for their daily needs.

Pros
  • Made from quality fabric
  • Comfortable strap
  • Compact design with a sleek look
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Can’t carry laptops or other bigger items

5. Rapiddominance Classic Military Messenger Bags


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If you need a large bag at a much cheaper price point, then this military-styled bag from Rapiddominance is for you. It’s a good alternative to the Leaper Retro bag I presented earlier. 

Comfort

The bag is soft due to having no structural support as well as the canvas fabric they used to make it. It will mesh with your back or your side without pressing hard.

It has an adjustable strap, but it's not as comfy as I'd have liked. It can bite onto your shoulder if you load some heavy item. This bag is quite large with a slim look. It has 7 different pockets inside and outside. 

Size and Compartments

You can store your books, files, phones, keys, and other belongings in different pockets and organize them nicely. The big compartment can also carry a 15-inch laptop, but I wouldn't suggest it always as it has no waterproofing.

Durability

As far as durability is concerned, it's strong enough to withstand wear and tear from usual usage. The stitching is strong, but you shouldn’t load heavy items in it. The zippers have been an issue as they give out after a while. It should be fixed as of this review.

For Whom?

It’s for people who need a casual bag for going to college or grocery shopping. This isn’t a good fit for formal occasions and places.

Pros
  • Soft
  • Adjustable strap
  • Can carry a 15-inch laptop
  • Multiple pockets
  • Cheap
Cons
  • It’s not waterproof
  • The strap may hurt if heavy items are loaded

6. Timbuk2 Tuck Pack


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This is the second Timbuk2 bag on this list, and it's not the last. The brand does produce quality bags targeting the customers’ needs rather than the growing trend. Make the trend, don’t follow it. 

Comfort

The Timbuk2 Tuck does provide enough comfort for day to day needs when carrying light to moderate loads. There's no hip belt, but still, it feels good with a laptop inside. That being said, the lack of ventilation is bad, especially for people who live in hot and humid weather.

Size and Compartments

It is a large bag with around 20 liters of capacity. You have a padded laptop sleeve and a zipper pocket inside the main compartment. The laptop space can hold a 17-inch laptop comfortably, and it can be accessed through the exterior zipper. There are side pockets for storing small and flat items, although the two unsecured pockets are too small to store any item in.

Durability

The Timbuk2 tuck is made with a lightweight but durable polyester fabric that doesn’t tear easily. And while the zippers are robust, the buckles are lightweight plastic that will break under pressure.

For Whom?

It can be a good option for people who like to travel light on long journeys. People who are in jobs like courier or document delivery can take a look at it.

Pros
  • Durable 900D polyester
  • Comfortable
  • Good organizing pockets
  • Ease of access
  • Vista loop
Cons
  • Poor plastic buckle
  • Not versatile in usability

7. Versatile Canvas Sling Bag | Shoulder/Crossbody by NeatPack


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This unisex bag from NeatPack is a cheap alternative for the urban city duelers. It has a combined design of a backpack and a messenger bag. Take a look, you may like it. It’s hands down the best cheap bike messenger bag. 

Comfort

The material is a mix of canvas fabric and polyester material. It’s a lightweight bag with a very thick and heavily padded strap. You can bet on its comfort with your eyes closed. The strap is adjustable but very slightly. And there is enough ventilation in place to make it comfy during hot and humid weather.

Size and Compartments

You’d be surprised how much this bag can hold with such a small footprint. It has multiple compartments to store items in an organized way. One example is the cell phone pouch on the strap. There is room for gadgets, books, laptop, and water bottle. Furthermore, there’s an RFID enabled anti-theft pocket for your precious items.

Durability

It’s made of durable polyester material with a polyester lining that protects it from tear and wear. The material is water-resistant but not waterproof. It means it can prevent water splashes but can’t prevent water from getting inside.

For Whom?

This stylish looking slim bag is for the younger generation who loves adventure and travels frequently. It’s a bag for a casual environment.

Pros
  • Comfortable design
  • Thick padded strap
  • Cellphone pouch and an RFID enabled pouch
  • Water-resistant
  • Value for money
Cons
  • No waterproofing
  • Not for formal environments

8. Chrome Kadet Sling Messenger Bag - Low Profile Crossbody, 9 Liter


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Alongside Timbuk2, there's another giant you might want to consider, and that's Chrome. They have worked in this field for more than 20 years, their experience carries a lot of weight.

Comfort

To ensure comfort, a bag needs to be soft on touch, and it should have a wide padded strap. And this Kadet sling bag has both of those qualities. The material is nylon and woven in a firm but soft style, while the strap is wide and adjustable length-wise. It is a lightweight bag with a slim look, so no sticking out like bulky bags.

Size and Compartments

Although the bag is a low-profile sling-type bag, you can store your precious items easily, such as a light jacket, camera, tablet, and other belongings. You have a zipper pocket outside of the bag with a main compartment inside.

Durability

The bag is made out of military-grade nylon that is both comfortable and durable. Then, it’s secured by a seatbelt buckle and a U-lock holster for moving purposes. From stitching to the overall structure of the bag seems to be sturdy.

For Whom?

This bag will attract travelers, urban commuters the most because of its stylish modern aspects. Those who are always on the move will love this close-fitting comfort bag.

Pros
  • Made from Nylon fabric
  • Built-in bottle opener
  • Wide padded strap
  • Durable
  • Value product
Cons
  • Lacks waterproofing
  • Can’t carry full-size laptops

9. Timbuk2 Commute Messenger Bag


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If you love Timbuk2’s products but looking for a cheaper option, then the commute messenger bag is a great alternative.

Comfort

Carrying the bag on your back or your shoulder feels comfortable thanks to the length adjustable strap. It also has a bit of padding to reduce the effect of pressure load. There's a handle as well, which I think was a nice addition. Other than that, the material is polyethylene fabric that feels comfy enough on touch.

Size and Compartments

This commuter bag falls under the large category, but it has small to large versions as well. There are multiple compartments inside and outside to meet your storage needs. The small pockets on the side help greatly when you need to carry small items like a pen, eraser, keys, etc.

Durability

Polyethylene fabric and polyester lining give it a good amount of structural integrity. It won’t tear easily though the issue of scratching and scuffing will be there. And don’t worry about the shoulder strap, it’s sewed in strongly.

For Whom?

As it says in the name of the bag, it’s for commuters around the city or between cities. It can be your partner in short work travels.

Pros
  • Polyester lining and polyethylene fabric
  • Adjustable shoulder
  • Multiple compartments for organizing
  • TPU liners
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not waterproof

10. Timbuk2 Especial Cycling Messenger Bag


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I mentioned before how Timbuk2 has maintained a giant’s presence over the bag market. This Especial messenger bag is proof of it. It’s pricey but has the features to back it up.

Comfort

It’s all about comfort. With a wide padded and length adjustable strap, you can wear it across your body as well as on your shoulder, the comfort level is always the same. There's mesh padding on the back of the bag, so if you need to keep the bag tightly close to your body, it'll provide enough ventilation and softness for comfort.

Size and Compartments

In terms of size, it falls under the large category, but it doesn't look big. You have large pockets to smaller side pockets for organizing different belongings systematically. The rear zipper makes it all easy to access without having to take it off.

Durability

The material of the bag is the 500D Ripstop Cordura Nylon. It’s tough and strong enough to resist wear and tear. Even blades won’t be able to penetrate it easily. The seam and all-around design are waterproof.

For Whom?

It has checked all the marks for the best messenger bike bag criteria. I think it can be the bag of choice for anyone. But since it’s a large and pricey bag, it’d be a good fit for situations where you can’t do without a waterproof, durable bag, e.g., traveling, office, or even college.

Pros
  • Nylon construction
  • Organizing pockets
  • Comfortable mesh padding
  • Waterproof
  • Fit for all situations
Cons
  • Expensive

11. Chrome Citizen Messenger Satchel Bag with Iconic Seat Belt Buckle


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Since 1995, Chrome's messenger bag is known as the original messenger bag. I'm not going to debate, but it seems to hold its own very well among the premium category.

Comfort

If I were to hand out awards, I’d award this bag a 5 star when it comes to comfort. Thanks to the EVA shoulder padding, even with heavy items inside, the strap bites onto your shoulder.

The comfort is even more when it comes to carrying the bag. It's meant to be worn across your back, and you can rotate it to the front if you want to take some item out.

Size and Compartments

As for size, it is big enough to hold a huge 17-inch laptop. There’s enough space in it to take cameras, headphones, shoes, water bottles all in one go. There are side pockets for storing and organizing smaller belongings.

Durability

The whole bag is made out of 1050 denier Nylon that has the advantage of being resistant to abrasion. No scratching or scuffing means it will stay in pristine condition for a longer time.

It can take a beating, but it won't tear. And the hooks and loops are industrial grades. Moreover, it has an 18-ounce waterproof liner that will protect the heaviest rainfall.

For Whom?

It’s for travelers, couriers as well as young office going people. With a modern look, it’s a perfect replacement for old messenger bags and backpacks. This Chrome citizen bag beats out Timbuk2’s products any day.

Pros
  • 1050 denier Nylon, industrial-grade hooks
  • Large
  • Modern design
  • Waterproof
  • Adjustable and padded strap
  • Organizing compartments
Cons
  • Pricey
  • No separate laptop sleeve

FAQ's of the best bike messenger bag


1. What is the best bike messenger bag?

There are many good messenger bags you can find, but this list above is my favorite. Even among them, we have our favorites in terms of overall comfort and durability.

They are as follows,

  • Chrome Citizen Messenger Satchel Bag
  • Versatile Canvas Sling Bag / Urban Travel Backpack, it’s the best cheap bike messenger bag
  • Timbuk2 Commute Messenger Bag

2. How to choose the best bike messenger bag?

There are a few points you need to clarify before you know which messenger bag is the right one. Even though personal preferences do affect the decision, there are a few universal points I have to mention.

Storage Capacity

The first of those points is the size of your bag. Like all items, you’ll see small, medium, and large bags. Depending on your products, books, or other items, you’ll need to decide the size. The reason being, you don’t want a cramped bag on your back as it will put pressure on you and will move around a lot.

Compartments

Another part of storage is the number of compartments. More compartments mean you can store different items in separate places, and it will make organizing your bits and pieces much easier. But that will also mean you won’t have single big compartments.

All-round Comfort

Straps, Straps, Straps, they can make your life hell if you choose the wrong one. Your shoulders and back will suffer if the strap is stiff or it can't be adjusted easily. Wide and lightly cushioned straps are the best way to go. You’ll be carrying the bag for a long time so make sure you’re comfortable with it.

Waterproof

Prepare for a rainy day before you get stuck with your laptop and other electronics in the bag. Getting a waterproof bag is a no-brainer, especially in this fast-paced age.
You don't have enough time to take shelter. Get a bag that resists water from breaking in, even if it's underwater. Trust me; it makes a whole world of difference.

3. Where to buy the best bike messenger bag?

Buying the bag is easy, but getting the reach of the best ones can be tough. Opting for online stores such as Amazon or E-bay can make life easier. You can get good deals in these online stores and get them shipped, whereas even the retailers don't have them.

4. Why is a messenger bag better for biking?

The best thing about having messenger bags is that you don’t need to take the bag off every time you need to reach in and take some item out. This is especially important for people who constantly need to pick items up and deliver.

5. Is a messenger bag better than a backpack?

Yes, in many ways, a messenger bag serves a biker better than backpacks. Firstly, a backpack can't be accessed easily, you have to take it off every time you need to load and unload. Secondly, a backpack stays closely in touch with your body, which can feel hot and sweaty on any given day.

Final Words


That’s it; those are all the tricks and tips I have in offer. Whether you’re a delivery man or a plumber with big and heavy wrenches or an office going urban citizen carrying a laptop, there’s always the best bike messenger bag for you. And I can bet that you can find it among the bags up on the review section.

All of the bags you’ve seen above can fill the needs of most commuters offering all the basic features as well as specific benefits. If you’re not the exception, choose one from them that fits your style. Invest in a good bag and save your back.

In slacklist, we also review more fixie accessories like What is the best fixie crankset, fixie saddle, fixie handlebars, fixie rims, fixie tires, fixie wheels, fixie chains, and more. If you're looking any of them Don't forget to check out our honest review. 

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