There is no denying the rich history of a classic leather messenger bag.
Whether you are going on your first interview, doing a daily commute to work or class, the best leather messengers will not only demonstrate your sense of style, but will also last you for several years.
However, as you will quickly discover, not all messenger bags are created equally.
From their overall design aesthetics to the number of compartments, picking out the right leather messenger for you can be troublesome.
To help guide you in the right direction, we put together this table (directly below), that compares some of the very best leather messengers on the market:
Comparing The Best Leather Messenger Bags
|Name||Max Laptop Size||Dimensions||Laptop Carrier?||Shoulder Pad?||Buckle Composition||Available Colors||Price Range|
|Berchirly Vintage Messenger Bag||14 in||14.17 x 11.02 x 3.93 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Black, Brown, Dark Coffee||$$|
|Bosca Leather Messenger Bag||15 in||16 x 10.75 x 4.5 in||Yes||No||Metal||Amber||$$|
|Cole Haan Leather Messenger Bag||16 in||17 x 12.5 x 5 in||Yes||No||Metal||Black, British Tan||$$|
|Fossil Defender Leather Messenger Bag||15.4 in||16 x 12 x 4 in||Yes||No||Metal||Cognac||$$|
|Frye Logan Messenger Bag||14 in||15 x 12 x 4 in||Yes||No||Metal||Cognac, Dark Brown||$$|
|Handmadecart Leather Messenger Bag||15 in||15 x 11 x 4 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Dark Brown||$|
|Kattee Men’s Crazy Horse Leather Shoulder Briefcase||14 in||15.5 x 10.3 x 3.1 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Brown||$|
|Kenneth Cole Reaction Messenger Bag||15.4 in||15.5 x 12.5 x 4 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Black, Brown, Reg Black, Reg Brown, Tan||$$|
|Men’s Leather Messenger||13 in||13 x 10 x 4 in||Yes||No||Metal||Light Brown||$|
|PL 18 Inch Vintage Handmade Leather Messenger Bag||17.6 in||18 x 13 x 6 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Brown||$|
|Rodd & Gunn Woodstock Leather Satchel||13.3 in||13.75 x 11.75 x 3.25 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Cocoa||$$$|
|S-ZONE Men’s Crazy-Horse Leather Business Briefcase||14 in||14.5 x 11 x 3.5 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Dark Brown, Bronze||$$$|
|Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Laptop Messenger Bag||15.6 in||16.5 x 12 x 5.5 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Brown, Black, Espresso||$$$|
|Slim Leather Messenger Bag||14 in||15 x 11 x 4 in||Yes||Yes||Metal||Brown||$$$|
|Ted Baker London Biggsy Messenger Bag||16 in||17 x 13.5 x 3.5 in||Yes||No||Metal||Black||$$$|
|Vince Camuto Tolve Leather Messenger Bag||14 in||15.5 x 12.25 x 3 in||Yes||No||Metal||Black, Tmoro||$$|
|Visconti Vintage-7 Veg Tan Brown Soft Leather Messenger Bag||13.3 in||14.1 x 11.8 x 3.9 in||Yes||No||Metal||Vegetable Tan Brown||$$$|
The 17 Best Leather Messenger Bags
Berchirly Vintage Messenger Bag
What’s not to love about this messenger bag from Berchirly? With it being one of the best affordable leather messenger bags that we reviewed with a price tag well under $50 – this leather bag is an awesome pick for those on a budget. Not only is this bag incredibly affordable, but it also comes in a variety of colors that should suit any mans needs. While the black one is pictured above, Berchirly also makes this bag in both a brown and dark coffee variant.
The structure of the bag itself is also pretty impressive, especially given the price point. Along the back side of the bag you will find a zipper enclosure that should be able to safety store your essentials (think phone, keys, and wallet). Within the main compartment, which is enclosed by two magnetic buttons, will be all your gear. This bag should easily store your 14″ laptop along with the other key essentials.
One standout feature that men will love about this bag is that its incredibly thin at just under 4″ in depth. This allows for a much more compact design that shouldn’t seem too bulky or off-putting. If you travel frequently via bike or just simply walking, the smaller design of this bag should easily compliment your lifestyle.
Bosca Leather Messenger Bag
This messenger bag is a thing of beauty, with its glazed Italian leather and superior craftsmanship. But what makes this bag so special is the sturdiness of it; the bag is made to be tough for every day wear, but still look good even after years of use.
You won’t see the usual wear like you would with a cloth or even a polyurethane bag, instead, over time, it ages gracefully like fine wine. It only becomes more distinguished as time goes on. The seams are expertly sewn, and in fact add to the overall shape of the piece.
The Bosca Leather Messenger Bag has numerous pockets to store your keys and cellphone, including two slim pockets under t e flap to slide small papers and other important items that need to be grabbed easily.
There are also a few pockets inside the main compartment for more options with organization. The main compartment is big enough for a small notebook and some papers, or even a book. There is plenty of space to keep your day all together, as its interior dimensions are 16 x 10.75 x 4.5 inches.
What’s more, this bag has little rubber feet on the bottom of the bag for you to set it down and have it stand completely upright. The shoulder strap is removable, though there are no other handles to carry it. For those men looking for a dashing and gentlemanly bag, the price is well worth the quality bag you buy.
Cole Haan Leather Messenger Bag
This smart looking leather messenger bag is everything you will need for your every-day bag. Made from genuine leather and available in black or red, this bag is as stylish as it gets. It features brass metal buckles and hardware for a contrasting, rustic look, and the soft leather is pliable, able to stretch and mold to whatever is in your bag at the time. It’s lightweight, but heavy-duty, and can stand up to your daily routine with ease. The stitching adds a lot to the overall look of the bag, giving it a little more design than just being a plain black bag.
The shoulder strap is optional, and features a top carry handle for ease of use. If you prefer the shoulder strap, it can be adjusted to suit your tastes. It is made from very sturdy canvas cloth, which will last for several months of heavy use, or longer if nothing cuts or scratches it. The top carry handle is made entirely of leather, and it cannot be removed. However, it does give you the option to carry the bag like a briefcase, which is helpful for people who can’t have weight on their shoulders.
As for the price, it’s about what you would expect from a genuine leather handbag. It is more expensive than a polyurethane bag, but you also get the quality from having a leather bag as well. For great products, sometimes there is no compromise. Great bag, great quality, and will last you several years.
Fossil Defender Leather Messenger Bag
Fossil leather products are must-haves all year round because of their style, design, and quality manufacturing. This bag features a genuine leather exterior and a fabric lined interior to keep your articles safe. The open top and the buckled flap closure allow you to easily access your items without needing to fuzz with zippers or buttons. The two buckles hold the flap closed, and are easily undone in seconds, making filling and emptying your bag easy.
The strap on the bag is removable, though there are no other handles on the bag besides the shoulder strap. This strap can drop from the shoulder to a maximum of 25 inches, an impressive length that lets the bag hang comfortably at the hip. There are also numerous pockets and compartments for extra little things on the sides and inside the bag itself, meaning you can stay organized on the go.
In total, this handsome bag is 16 inches wide and 12 inches high, with a 4 inch depth to contain all of your books and papers. The pebbled cognac leather is a classic, but fits well with the modern metro scene, and wearing it downtown will be sure to turn some heads. Additionally, despite being made of genuine leather, it boasts a very reasonable price, even coming from a company who’s leatherwork is highly sought after for day to day living. Suit up and enjoy the Fossil Defender leather messenger bag, a prime choice for men on the go.
Frye Logan Messenger Bag
This bag by Frye definitely has some personality to it. The rich, textured leather adds an artistic flair without detracting from the nature of the leather, and gives it a more genuine look. The stitching is subtle, and encompasses the whole of the bag. There are some leather embellishments around the sides and back of the bag, but they do not take away from the fact that this bag is as simple and as handsome as they come. It is available in two colors: Antique Cognac, and Dark Brown.
This bag features a leather over the shoulder strap that can be adjusted, but not removed. This allows you the choice to carry it across your chest, or to rest it on one side and under your arm. However you want to carry it, the soft leather makes this bag incredibly comfortable and easy to wear. There are also very few pockets to speak of with this bag; a couple are present on the interior of the main compartment, which are useful for cellphone and keys, but otherwise, there aren’t too many options for organization. The internal lining goes very well with the underside of the flap, creating a seamless look both open and closed.
One thing to expect with this bag is that, because the strap is leather, you may see some wear and tear around the sliding brass hardware. This becomes more true if you are prone to changing the length frequently. Despite this, it should last for many years because of the quality that this bag is.
Handmadecart Leather Messenger Bag
Much like the PL 18, this messenger bag from Handmadecart is crafted from 100% genuine goat leather. With its classic buckle strap design, this leather messenger bag is priced competitively that makes it a ideal bag for first time owners. Whether you are making your way across a college campus or are on your way to your very first interview for an internship, this bag is a great first purchase.
With its several exterior compartments, you should be able to safely store away your phone keys and wallet so you can look your absolute best en route without any bulges in your pocket.
The buckles of this bag are made from a quality brass that should withstand any falls or general wear and tear.
On the interior part of this messenger bag, its stacked with a ton of compartments that should be able to keep all your essentials in order. The roomy interior should be able to adequately store your laptop (up to about 15″), tablet, textbook and even the power adapter.
Overall this is a terrific leather messenger bag that is extremely affordable.
Kattee Men’s Crazy Horse Leather Shoulder Briefcase
This leather messenger bag by Kattee has an incredibly distinct style that really defines ruggedness. With its scratch prone (in a good way) genuine leather shell this is a bag that will typically look better with age. In fact of all the bags that we have reviewed this is definitely one that has some of the most character to with (with perhaps the exception being the HandMadeCart leather bag).
The design of the bag is very similar to the higher priced Kenneth Cole or Samsonite bags with its front two buckle clasp design along with a reinforced hybrid leather/cloth strap and handle will make it extremely easy to carry and access when in transit.
Within the bag rests two main compartments for easy segregation of your gear by a zipper pouch in the middle. This will allow you to store important A4 standard sized documents. The Kattee Men’s bag should be able to sufficiently fit in not only a 14″ laptop, but also a tablet and power adapter if necessary.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Messenger Bag
Nearly identical to the Samsonite bag mentioned above, the Kenneth Cole Reaction leather messenger bag is a streamlined bag that comes in both a variety of colors and price point. While the standard tan leather bag is one of the more popular colors among men (pictured above), Kenneth Cole does also sell this same model in both black and brown leather.
The shoulder strap itself is crafted from a comfortable worn canvas that is further reinforced with a leather shoulder pad for additional comfort on longer journeys. If you find that the shoulder pad does get in the way or becomes a nusance in any way, you can simply unbuckle the strap and slide out the shoulder pad. Beyond the shoulder strap, this bag can also be used as a brief case for more formal settings given that the strap can be easily removed. It’s leather made handle will look incredibly sleek and professional when necessary.
A highly used compartment on this bag will be the thin back pocket that can easily store a standard sheet of paper or notes should you need easy access without having to worry about opening your bag every time. When accessing the inner compartments of the bag, all your gear is secured by the two outer clasps that can easily be opened with a push of the button. Within the bag there are several compartments for easy and organized storage. Lastly this bag should be able to fit nearly all standard laptop sizes up to 15.4 inches.
Men’s Leather Messenger
This leather messenger bag is also made by Handmadecart and is a vastly more streamlined messenger when compared to the other version that is reviewed above.
The design of this messenger bag is much more low profile in that its noticeably missing a handle on the top of the bag along with a reinforced shoulder padding for extended comfort. However, many men tend to veer in this more minimalist design as less components mean less chances for areas to break or simply fall apart. While the outer shell of this leather bag is extremely rugged, all your gear will remain secured in the interior compartment by the use of two buckle straps.
The main storage compartment is extremely roomy and lined with cloth. To note though, if you are planning on using this messenger bag with a laptop its generally recommended to use a sleeve on your laptop should this bag ever accidentally fall or just simply get tossed to the side.
This is a competitively priced minimalist messenger bag that has all the essentials and should look great for any occasion.
PL 18 Inch Vintage Handmade Leather Messenger Bag
While most leather messenger bags are likely made in a factory in some obscure location overseas, the PL 18 is a hand made bag that is crafted from genuine goat leather. Immediately upon looking at this bag, it just simply bleeds a classic design. First and foremost, what many men may recognize is that this doesn’t rely on any newer technology in order to keep the bag shut through the use of clasps or magnets, instead it has an incredibly classy buckle design.
From top to bottom, this bag is crafted from genuine leather that should last you a lifetime. Within its relative bulky design, especially when compared to the Visconti messenger bag, you can store ample amount of gear within the bag. In fact you should be able to fit a full sized 17″ laptop within its main compartment.
The classic and antique design can go with most occasions. Whether you are in a completely casual office environment or dressed in a full suit for an interview, this bag will complement you nicely.e Leather Messenger Bag
Rodd & Gunn Woodstock Leather Satchel
The Rodd & Gunn Woodstock leather satchel is quite possibly the most handsome leather bag you will ever own. From the leather used to the way it is stitched, this bag has everything you will need and more to hold your every day items. The snap closures are easy to attach and detach, giving you full reign on your bag in an instant. Whether you want this bag for work or just for casual wear, this bag rises to any occasion, and will hold anything and everything stylishly.
The whole exterior is made of leather, from the flap to the strap, with no protruding pockets to speak of. While it does make the entire bag look completely seamless, save for the designer stitching around the bag, there are some sacrifices. For one, the strap cannot be adjusted at all; because the shoulder strap is made from a strip of leather, it does limit how far up or down this bag hangs. While it may be comfortable for some, it could be uncomfortable for others. The buckles are purely for design, as the bag is a snap closure. It’s not very secure, as the snaps come open, and the wide open top makes it so that should the top somehow come open, your items are exposed.
However, while this bag is expensive, it is well worth it for the quality and the function. Genuine leather combined with Italian craftsmanship ensures that this bag will last you for years.
S-ZONE Men’s Crazy-Horse Leather Business Briefcase
This leather messenger bag by S-ZONE is an incredibly prestigious handcrafted leather messenger tote that emits both a rustic and vintage vibe. With its dual clasp design on the front of the bag, all your items should remain well secure while in transit. While also doubling as a briefcase with its top leather-reinforced handle, you can also carry this as a standard messenger across your chest.
Like other quality messenger bags that we reviewed, this bag by S-ZONE will allow you to easily remove the reinforced shoulder cushion pad by simply unbuckling either one of the straps on either side.
With its 3 external compartments matched by the 3 internal compartments, each and every single piece of your gear should be able to easily find its home in any one of the six compartments.
The zip-locked back compartment will not only do a terrific job of securing important documents, but also you should be able to store your phone (no matter the size) easily.
Within the main bag itself there are two compartments separated by a zipper pouch. Therefore you could easily store a laptop (up to 14″) on one side and a tablet on the other.
This messenger bag by S-ZONE is an extremely versatile bag that should work with several different occasions given its vintage yet rustic look.
Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Laptop Messenger Bag
This beautifully crafted leather messenger bag from Samsonite is an extraordinarily versatile bag that should fit just about any mans needs. Whether you are in a business or casual environment this bag can easily work in both instances. There are several features that are worth calling out on this particular bag. First and foremost, when it comes to carrying the bag, you have two primary options – either via a shoulder strap or by hand carrying it with the leather reinforced handle that is on the top.
When accessing the bag, all your gear is secured with the two buckles that lay on the front side. Underneath the leather straps you will find that you can easily open up the bag by simply pressing down on the clasp. Within the bag itself, there are a ton of compartments for both easy storage and even easier accessibility. This bag allows you to store up to a 15.6″ laptop which should serve the majority of men looking for a specific laptop bag in the market.
Being that this is constructed of genuine leather, its not particularly waterproof and you should experience scuffs and normal wear and tear with daily use. If you do need to clean this bag, we recommend taking it to a leather repair shop or gently washing it with your hands.
This messenger bag does come in a variety of colors including brown (pictured above), black, and espresso.
Generally this is a finely crafted leather bag that should last you for several years. Samsonite in general is known for their top quality materials and attention to detail – whether its for yourself or someone else this is a bag that will withstand the test of time.
Slim Leather Messenger Bag
This full laptop messenger bag by Leather Bags Now is an incredibly slick bag that has an extremely streamlined design that rivals the Visconti bag that we also reviewed. However, unlike the Visconti bag, this leather messenger bag rings up at just a fraction of the price. If you are looking for a no-nonsense leather bag that just simply carriers your gear then this should be perfect.
With the absent of a briefcase top handle or the reinforced should strap, this leather messenger bag is a bare bones design that should last you several years given its genuine goat leather design. To access the main compartment, the top flap is secured by two magnetic fittings that should stay secure in even relatively rough conditions.
Within the main compartment there are two pouches that should keep your laptop secure in one and your remaining accessories on the other side. Generally the cloth lining won’t be the best protection for your laptop, therefore we would recommend picking up a sleeve for your laptop if you don’t already have one.
Overall this is a great beginners leather bag that will get the job done.
Ted Baker London Biggsy Messenger Bag
The products that come out of Ted Baker London are always of the highest quality and style, so it makes sense that this faux leather messenger bag is no different. This bag uses polyurethane, a material that is made to look and wear like leather, so you do get a great deal compared to a bag made from genuine leather. The colored stripe down the front is a handsome contrast, and the muted color trim accents the shape of the bag. It is incredibly stylish and easy to carry around, and goes with any outfit flawlessly.
This bag uses a flap closure, ensuring that you can easily access your items without needing to fuss or fight with additional clasps. The inner pocket of this bag is lined, further protecting your things from the elements, and also protecting the exterior of the bag from the contents within. The shoulder strap is adjustable, and sits comfortably over the chest and back as well as hanging by your side. You can adjust the strap all the way to a 23.5” strap drop across the body, or cinch it up to a mere 10”. Perfect for under your arm or at your hip.
At 17” wide and 13” high, this bag can hold many important items. From documents to books and more, there is no limit to what you can carry. The 3” depth is a little limiting, but for day to day wear, it should not pose too much of an issue.
Vince Camuto Tolve Leather Messenger Bag
Admittedly, this leather messenger bag doesn’t look like much. At first glance, it has a plain exterior with stitching around the edges and the logo imprinted on the flap. While it certainly may not have the same artistic flair as other bags on the market, this bag does not disappoint on the functional aspects of a messenger bag. It features a convertible strap, interior pockets, and a roomy lined main compartment for a book, your papers, or whatever else you may need this bag for.
The silky lined interior is partitioned to have a slim zippered pocket on the side, and a few pen slots to keep your favorite work pens. The main compartment can hold your tablet, phone, business papers, and more. There is also a pocket on the back of this bag that can hold smaller items like a cellphone, keys, and other necessities. The shape of the bag won’t be compromised with things you put inside this bag, ensuring that you have a great looking item for years.
This bag features a convertible shoulder strap, named so because it can go from a shoulder drop of 17” to a much longer 29”. However, the shoulder strap cannot be removed, which is unfortunate. The front closures are snaps, which are not the most secure closures on the market, but they do hold the flap down in especially windy weather, and are handy for quickly opening and closing if you need to get something out in a hurry.
Visconti Vintage-7 Veg Tan Brown Soft Leather Messenger Bag
If you are looking for a potential leather messenger bag that has a minimalist attitude but something that you will likely own for life and potentially pass down to the next generation – then you simply can’t beat this leather bag by Visconti. With its sleek, yet incredibly classic looking antique design, this leather bag can work for just about any occasion. If you are biking to work or have an interview at a major bank this leather bag will keep all your valuables contained within its compartments.
First and foremost its important to call out an important factor on this bag – unlike some of the others we reviewed that have ample padding within the bag, this is simply a leather outer paired with a cloth lining on the interior. Therefore if you intend to use this as a bag to carry your laptop, then you may also want to use a sleeve in tandem for maximum protection.
Noticeably absent from the front of the bag is any bulky buckles or clasps. Instead the Visconti leather bag relies on strong magnets to keep the outer flap closed at all times – which can make access to your belongings effortless. On the back side of the bag there is a thin pocket that should also be able to store your essentials (i.e. docs, notes, etc) for easy access.
Overall this is a wonderfully crafted bag that features a incredible classic and minimalist design.
Are Compartments In A Leather Messenger Bag Important To You?
While some men love to have a compartment for every single little piece of gear – whether its for pens, phones, cables, etc. others men may like more of one sized fits all approach.
Therefore in the leather bags we outlined, there are some that offer several external compartments where you can store your essentials (i.e. phone, wallet, and keys) along with bags like the Visconti Vintage (our personal favorite) that will not only last a lifetime, but also isn’t cluttered on the exterior by compartments.
On the other hand, if compartments are important to you, then you simply can’t beat the Handmadecart Leather Messenger Bag. It has 3 external compartments for easy access.
However, depending on your needs, its important to take a look at all the different types of men’s bags in order to determine if a leather messenger is right for you.
Buckle Design Can Save You Both Time and Frustration
While a design of a buckle may be glanced over at first, since this is a bag that you will be using perhaps multiple times a day, you shouldn’t have to fumble over the straps when you just simply need to gain access to your gear.
Therefore its important to realize the difference in the bags and how they keep shut throughout the day.
All the leather messenger bags have the following buckle designs (ranked from most secure to least secure):
Simply put, a buckle is the toughest to handle repeatedly. Much like adjusting your belt the buckle design will be used in the same manner. Just remember a bag with two buckles means you will have to do it four times every time you open it up (two to open and two to close).
The clasp design is incredibly easy and just requires you to press down on the nub to open the bag.
Lastly magnetic is the easiest by just gently tugging on the flap to open the main compartment.
While everyones scenario is different, its always important to call out these key differences in bag design so you don’t become frustrated with the bag after only a day or two of use.
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