A leather messenger bag is perhaps one of the most classic accessories that the modern-day man can have. Also known as satchels, courier bags, and day bags, messenger bags are generally worn either crossbody or with the strap over the shoulder, with the bag resting at the hip in both cases. Gone are the days when one would have to sacrifice style for function and form. Leather messenger bags for men today are chock-full of wonderful design elements, apart from offering superb functionality. Many feature hi-tech features like RFID-blocking technology as well as comfort features like padded shoulder straps in addition to a top handle. Due to this, more and more men are opting to carry leather messenger bags for laptops as well. What’s more, the design of the compartments is more nuanced and takes into account the needs of working men today.
Some might question the need for messenger bags, especially since backpacks and briefcases are still around. While it is true that many men do use backpacks for work, messenger bags have a charm and style of their own, apart from functionality. Moreover, they have become somewhat statement carry-alls to make the transition smoothly from work to play. So, here’s presenting the 13 best leather messenger bags for men out there.
Choosing good leather messenger bags
Obviously, the first rule of thumb while choosing good leather messenger bags is to examine the quality of leather, Now, leather comes in different grades – cowhide, lambskin, and faux. Cowhide is further divided into top-grain, full-grain, nubuck, suede, genuine, and bonded leather in decreasing order of quality. Top- and full-grain develop a gorgeous patina over time and are expensive and durable. While nubuck and suede both feature a velvet-like finish, the former is akin to top-grain while the latter is made from the underside of animal skin. Genuine and bonded are the poorest in quality.
Coming to lambskin and faux, the former is soft but not as durable as cowhide. On the other hand, faux is what you’d call vegan leather as it is made from synthetic materials like PU.
Storage and organization
Since the messenger bag is going to store all your belongings, you need to figure out what kind of storage you’d prefer. Usually, the main compartments are either a large, roomy space or are divided into two or three sections pockets. Similarly, inner smaller pockets are dead useful for storing your stationery, keys, wallet, phone, and loose change in an organized manner. Furthermore, the presence of side pockets allows you to quickly access important stuff instead of rummaging to no end.
Hardware refers to the straps and buckles that make the messenger bag useful, accessible, and stylish as well. Firstly, it’s important to check out the bag’s closure and whether it suits your sensibilities. More importantly, it needs to be secure too. Generally, most bags have push-down clasps, magnetic snap ones, or traditional buckles. Push-down clasps can be operated single-handedly, magnetic snap ones are stylish but not so secure, while traditional ones are most secure but arduous to use.
Similarly, you need to see how the bag carries. If you’re a shoulder strap user, make sure that the straps are detachable, adjustable, and padded so that the bag makes a comfortable carry. However, the handles atop the bag are very beneficial for carrying the bag in the hand. Plus, it helps that they look stylish too.
Types of Messenger Bags
Yes, there are different styles of leather messenger bags for men available today, of which the commonest is the classic rectangular-shaped messenger bag. Apart from that, there are also stylish briefcases, carry-all duffel bags, vertical messenger bags, and satchels.
Men’s briefcases today are no longer plain ol’ suitcase-like, but rather have rounded corners and a sleek overall look. The best leather duffel bags are chic carry-alls that even work as an overnight bag. Vertical messenger bags are usually used by photographers to store shooting equipment, while satchels are business-casual messenger bags with rounded bottoms.
Most of the messenger bags featured on this list have more features than just described above. These include laptop sleeves for carrying laptops, tablets, and e-readers, RFID-blocking technology for preventing financial theft, durable lining, item-specific pockets, and more.
Frye Logan Messenger Bag
Why is the Frye Logan Messenger Bag on so many lists of excellent messenger bags? Because, it is style, chicness, and classic functionality all rolled into one!
Made from rich textured leather, the Frye Logan Messenger Bag boasts a classic cognac style exudes finesse. The subtle stitching further preserves the minimalism of the bag, while the durable cotton lining keeps your belongings safe. Equally important is the adjustable shoulder strap, which is attached to the bag via good-looking brass hardware. Even though it’s not adjustable, the leather feels soft on the skin when the bag is held close to the body.
On the inside, the bag boasts a single spacious compartment for storing all your stuff. A few inner pockets are useful for keys, wallets, and stationery. While the bag doesn’t have exterior pockets, it still doesn’t diminish the style or the durability of the Frye Logan Bag either.
18 x 14 x 6 inches (45.7 x 35.5 x 15.2 cm)
- Dark brown
- Antique cognac
- Great quality of textured leather.
- Very soft to touch.
- Brass buckles and closures.
- Timeless design.
- Strap isn’t detachable.
- Magnetic snap closure isn’t the most secure.
VIOSI Men’s RFID Leather Messenger Bag
Thanks to its superior quality and RFID-blocking capabilities, the Leather Messenger Bag from Viosi is one of the most popular leather messenger bags for laptops.
It’s easy to see why. Right from large 15-inch laptops to small iPads and e-readers, this bag can carry them all. The bag comes equipped with RFID-blocking technology that prevents criminals from stealing electronic information off your cards. Therefore, you can rest assured that all and any digital technology that you are carrying will be safe and secure. What’s more, the bag is made of 100% buffalo leather that lends it a classic, natural feel. The shoulder strap is leather too, complete with a detachable Velcro attachment for easily pulling it on and off.
Likewise, the bag scores high points for its organization too. A padded laptop holder obviously makes it great and secure to hold laptops and tablets. Two interior pockets are where your cards and wallets can be stashed safely. Two inner and three outer pen holders are more than enough to carry all your stationery. Moreover, two large frontal pockets work wonderfully well as quick-grab compartments for phones and keys.
16 x 12 x 3 inches (40.6 x 30.5 x 7.6 cm)
- Distressed Hunter.
- Cushioned interior.
- RFID protection.
- Lots of organized storage space.
- Clasps could be difficult to fiddle with.
Polare Full-Grain Leather Messenger Bag
Who wouldn’t want to own a classic, full-grain leather messenger bag? Well, you need to look no further than the Polare Full-Grain Leather Messenger Bag.
Made from 100% cowhide leather imported from Italy, this bag is the real deal. What’s more, the handcrafted design is bolstered by beautiful, sturdy hardware and industrial-grade stitching that holds up to the daily grind. An easily adjustable shoulder strap with movable pads enhances carrying comfort, while the top handles add to its versatility. Moreover, the bag is waterproof, so all your possessions within will remain as dry as before. Two additional buckles and straps are present for extra security which can be tucked away in leather slots at the back of the flap. All this is held secure by a flap that is secured with a buckle and strap.
Apart from its construction, the bag does well in the organization aspect too. Firstly, the bag is big enough to hold a 17-inch laptop and has plenty of other compartments to hold what you need. On the inside, there are two accordion-style roomy sections as well as two smaller open pockets for smaller items. Finally, the open pocket on the outside is ideal for quick-grab items like tissues and phones.
16.5 x 9 x 12 inches (41.9 x 22.8 x 30.5 cm)
- Light Brown.
- Dark Brown.
- Chocolate Brown.
- Long-lasting and sturdy.
- Excellent quality of 100% cowhide leather.
- No bottom padding.
Berchirly Vintage Messenger Bag
If you’re looking for an affordable leather messenger bag, then you’d do well to go for the Berchirly Vintage Messenger Bag.
A gorgeous faux leather construction places the bag right up there in the looks department. Given the price point, the structure of the bag is pretty impressive. The main compartment can not only hold a 14-inch laptop but also other stuff like files, stationery, chargers, and more. Additionally, a zippered back pocket can be used to stash quick-grab essentials. A detachable, adjustable strap makes the bag a comfortable carry. What’s more, gorgeous metal hardware transforms the bag into a stylish carry-all. All this is enclosed within a dual magnetic button enclosure. However, what stands out is the bag’s thinner-than-usual width, which makes it hard to imagine its wonderful carrying capabilities.
All this with a price tag of less than $50; what’s not to love?
15 x 11.4 x 4 inches (38 x 29 x 10 cm)
- Dark Brown.
- Value-for-money for its inexpensive price point.
- Thinner-than-usual width and design.
- Design might be a little dated for some.
Jack&Chris Men’s Leather Briefcase Messenger Bag
One of the best all-time classic leather messenger bags for men is the Leather Briefcase Messenger Bag from Jack&Chris. Crafted using genuine cowhide grain leather, the bag seems to get everything done in pairs.
How exactly does it do that? For one, the design of the bag is both contemporary as well as vintage at the same time. The vibe and look of the bag are retro, but the shoulder strap with the movable pads and the zippered pockets scream modern. What’s more, the fine, fine stitching on the bag is one of the best we’ve yet seen in leather messenger bags. Two top handles ensure sturdiness and versatility, while the metal hardware lends chicness to the overall look.
No matter how minimalist the design, the overall functionality of the messenger bag is flawless. The main pocket contains a padded laptop space that is spacious enough for a 15-inch laptop as well as its accessories. An inner zipper pocket is a godsend to stash keys, stationery, and other stuff that might roll around. What’s more, a frontal zippered pocket is perfect for stowing away quick-access stuff like phones, tissues, and the likes.
16.1 x 11.8 x 2.8 inches (40.9 x 30 x 7.1 cm)
- Can hold a 15-inch laptop.
- Excellent stitching.
- Minimalist design is still spacious.
- A bit smaller in build as compared to other men’s bags.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Business Messenger Bag
When it comes to designing a top-notch messenger bag, Kenneth Cole doesn’t mess around. KC’s Reaction Risky Business Messenger Bag is popular for so many reasons that it is difficult to keep track.
But keep track, we shall. To start with, the bag is fashionably versatile, so much so that it goes with any casual/business outfit. It’s all thanks to the excellent stitching and sharp contours that blur the lines between casual and professional. It’s made of supple and soft full-grain Colombian leather, so it’s built to last. What’s more, it is incredibly comfortable as well. A permanent and padded shoulder strap, albeit a bit stiff, maximizes carrying comfort. Moreover, the strap is adjustable as well.
Among other things, the reason why the Risky Business messenger bag is much-loved is due to its functionality. On the inside, it can comfortably hold a tablet/e-reader-sized laptop, notebook, stationery, and your wallet. Additional stash pockets beneath the flap are great for storing odds and ends. Also, the frontal organizer pouches feature slots for cards, pens, and smartphones. Moreover, the open flat back pocket with an internal zippered sleeve is great for quick-stashing stuff. Finally, the flap can be closed with one hand in easy-to-use magnetic snap closure.
15 x 3 x 11 inches (38.1 x 7.6 x 27.9 cm)
- Dark Brown.
- Classic, minimalist appearance.
- Capacity is lower than other messenger bags.
- Not versatile.
Komal C Buffalo Hunter
Messenger bags from Komal C bags have a lot going for them, and the classy satchel that is the KC’s Buffalo Hunter Messenger Bag is no exception.
For one, the Buffalo Hunter features good craftsmanship coupled with simple features in what is an inexpensive offering. Made from thick leather, the exterior of the bag is nicely robust and holds up well. What’s more, it is also lighter than most other messenger bags of its size, but not so much that durability is compromised. An adjustable and padded shoulder strap makes for a relatively comfy carry, as do the top grab handles.
On the inside, the bag features a lightly padded laptop sleeve that can be secured using a Velcro strap. So, it can easily fit in a small laptop, tab, or an e-reader. It also has two drop pockets and a pen-holder within the same main section. On the exterior, it features a large frontal under-flap pocket. Plus, there’s also a quick-access, largeish zippered pocket at the rear. All this is secured with a large front flap with clasp closures.
If you’re on a tight budget, then the Buffalo Hunter is a good, inexpensive throwback to the retro era and worth a buy.
15.5 x 11 x 4 inches (39.3 x 27.9 x 10.1 cm)
- Distressed Tan.
- Charcoal Black.
- Great price point.
- Attractive and stylish.
- High-quality leather.
- The design might not appeal to everyone.
PL Vintage Handmade Leather Messenger Bag
When we’re talking about Komal C bags, we’d be wrong to not include the PL Vintage handmade Leather Messenger Bag. Made of 100% leather, it is one of the best leather messenger bags for men yet.
There are a lot of reasons to love this gorgeous leather messenger bag. Firstly, the leather is dye-free, chemical, and naturally tanned, so it’ll develop a beautiful patina over time. Secondly, at 18-inches long, the PL VIntage is one of the largest leather messenger bags around. Next, the organization factor in this bag is excellent. A roomy main compartment is large enough for a 17-inch laptop, files, books, chargers, and a whole lot of other stuff. Two inner zippered sections can be used to stash documents. An external zippered pocket rounds up the excellent storgae offering.
If that wasn’t enough, the bag boasts supple olive green heavy duty interiors as well as striking brass hardware. The adjustable strap features a shoulder pad for carrying comfort, while the leather top handles make the bag a versatile carry. Finally, finishing off a great offering are robust zippers from YKK.
18 x 13 x 6 inches (45.7 x 33 x 15.2 cm)
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Timeless and classic satchel design.
- Great organization.
- No dedicated laptop sleeve.
Filson Twill Padded Laptop Briefcase
Filson Twill bags might be wildly overpriced, but my god are they worth it! Likewise, the stunning Padded Laptop Briefcase from Filson Twill ticks all the right boxes – durability, stylish, and quality.
The bag is fashioned of 100% bridle leather that will only end up aging really well over a period of time. It features a classic oilcloth exterior finish that repels water, which will keep your belongings safe. However, it’s a high degree of organization with this bag that is really its best feature. There is an entire array of pockets, big and small, that is perfect for those who struggle with keeping their bag tidy. On the inside, there is one main compartment for stuff like laptop/tab and notebooks, as well as two full-length open pockets for documents and other paraphernalia. Furthermore, there are even two inner pockets for phones and cards and two external ones for quick-access stuff. All this is enclosed with a water-resistant storm flap with secure snap closures.
Ultimately, finishing off a classy product are the brass zippers, a adjustable, removable crossbody strap, and the dual leather handles.
18 x 13 x 6 inches (45.7 x 33 x 15.2 cm)
- Otter Green.
- 100% genuine bridle leather.
- Extremely attractive and stylish.
- Very expensive.
If you’re after a leather briefcase with a distinct rugged appearance, then you’ve got to check out the Kattee Men’s Crazy-Horse Leather Shoulder Briefcase. Made of crazy-horse full-grain leather, the bag is bound to look only better with age. The icing on the cake is that the bag costs less than $100! For a genuine leather messenger bag, this is surely a steal-deal.
The striking half-classic, half-modern style of the Kattee Briefcase is hard to tear your eyes away from. The reinforced hybrid cloth-leather adjustable strap can even be removed, allowing you to be able to carry the bag using the versatile top handles. What’s more, the strap is padded for maximum carrying comfort. The closure is a flap featuring decorative buckles that conceal push locks underneath.
On the inside, the flap opens to reveal a zippered main compartment, within which sit two sections for items like laptop/tab, documents, files, etc. A wall zippered pocket, two slip pockets, and two pen holders are enough to stash everything from cables and wallets to stationery. What’s more, there’s even a zippered back pocket for quick-grab stuff.
15.5 x 10.3 x 3.1 inches (39.3 x 26.1 x 17.9 cm)
- Great organization space.
- Excellent value-for-money for the quality.
- Crazy-horse leather features a wax coating that might rub off on clothing. However, it’s easily washable.
Fossil Defender Leather Messenger Bag
No list of best leather messenger bags for men is complete without the Fossil Defender Leather Messenger Bag. The bag features an elegant, no-fuss design that is hard to come by easily.
Above all, good organization is the highlight of this striking messenger bag. On the inside, it features two slip pockets, one large and one small zippered pocket, three pen holders, as well as a D-ring for our keys. Moreover, a large rear slip pocket with a magnetic snap is perfect for quick-access items like phones. While it does have a laptop pocket, the padding might be a bit thin for thinner laptops. Rounding up the bag’s functional features is the removable and adjustable strap.
The Fossil Defender is built as much for its style as for its functionality. It boasts a genuine leather exterior as well as a fabric-lined interior that helps keep your belongings from getting wet. Two push locks beneath two chic-looking buckles make for a stylish closure.
16 x 12 x 4 inches (40.6 x 30.5 x 10.1 cm)
- Dark Brown.
- Great organizational pockets.
- Sleek design.
- Padded shoulder straps.
- Shoulder straps aren’t made of leather.
Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Laptop Messenger Bag
From the trusted luggage brand of Samsonite comes the Colombian Leather Flap-Over Messenger Bag. The masterpiece of a business-casual leather messenger bag is versatile and stylish sans being too flashy.
Constructed from genuine leather, the Samsonite Colombian isn’t particularly water-proof. However, it’s flaws end there. The versatile bag can be carried using both shoulder straps and the top handles. While it might be made of weaved nylon, but the shoulder strap is padded for maximum carrying comfort. Plus, the top handles are leather, adding charm to the hand-carrying style.
Similarly, the bag features excellent organization too. The main zippered compartment features a dedicated laptop sleeve as well as lots of smaller pockets for sorting out your belongings. Two external zippered and slip pockets are great for stashing all sorts of quick-access items like phone, keys, tissue, and the likes. Finally, the bag is secured by a flap along with a simple press button closure.
16.5 x 12 x 5.5 inches (41.9 x 30.5 x 14 cm)
- Padded shoulder straps.
- Many pockets for organization.
- Durable and versatile.
- Shoulder straps aren’t made of leather.
Estalon Leather Laptop Messenger Bag
If you’re looking for a smaller but extra-indestructible leather messenger bag, then the Estalon Leather Laptop Messenger Bag is for you. It is one of the safest, shock-absorbing leather messenger bags for men around.
It’s easy to see why. It is one of the few messenger bags to feature both bottom foam and inner foam padding that protect your laptop and other belongings from shocks, jabs, and bumps. Designed in buffalo hide, the bag is just right for stashing 13-inch laptops and tablets. So, if you own a smaller laptop and don’t want it to move around in a larger bag, then this bag is for you. Also, durable YKK zippers and a wide shoulder strap ensure durability and using and carrying comfort.
On the organizational front, the bag features a zippered pocket for IDs, documents, and wallets. What’s more, it even has two inner wall pouches that feature RFID-blocking technology and are safe to stash your credit and debit cards. Plus, two larger frontal pockets make for quick-access for essential items.
17 x 12.5 x 2.2 inches (43.1 x 31.7 x 5.6 cm)
- RFID-blocking technology.
- Wide shoulder strap.
- Excellent inner padding and protection.
**Featured Image by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash