A messenger bag is one of the most versatile options when it comes to carrying your daily essentials and is a great choice for anyone who wants to branch out from toting around their trusty backpack. While some messenger bags can feel a bit too casual for an office or after-work event, there's one material that immediately dresses up their aesthetic: leather.
Leather is as hard-wearing as it is good-looking and is a great choice for an item you plan to use almost every day. Commuting looks different for everybody, and some may need more storage than others, so we’ve gathered a variety of leather messengers to suit the needs of anyone looking to upgrade their go-to bag.
The Best Leather Messenger Bags
1Best OverallHaskell Leather Briefcase Fossil Read More
2Sleekest StyleBelgrave Doc Case dunhill Read More
3Most Classic LookCrossbody Flapover Messenger Bag Kenneth Cole REACTION Read More
4Best Slim OptionNino Briefolio Leather Bag PinoPorte Read More
5Most RuggedLeather Briefcase Barbour Read More
What to Consider
Type of Leather
Leather is something we’re all used to seeing in bags, shoes, and jackets, but the sourcing and processes that leather goes through greatly differs from type to type. “Full-grain” describes leather made from the entire top part of the hide and includes all the material’s natural texture and fibers, giving it a unique finish; it is the most durable and highest-grade leather available, though it comes at a higher cost than other types.
The most common material used by leather goods brands is top-grain leather: This is leather that’s been split off the top of the hide and sanded down, making it smoother but also a bit less durable. Top-grain leather is widely available and easier to work with for manufacturers, so products made from this type are more affordable.
All the bags listed are top-grain except for the ones where we’ve specified that full-grain leather has been used.
Base the size of your bag off what you plan to carry. Some people like to keep things as compact as possible, so will opt for a slim briefcase or doc case style; if you frequently carry a laptop and want some additional space for extras like a book or accessories, then you’ll want a bag with a greater width that’ll afford you the wiggle room.
The right design details can add utility and uniqueness to your messenger bag. A dedicated laptop sleeve will be a must for some, but if you want a bag mostly for weekend fun, then a small messenger that fits your phone, book, and sunglasses should suffice. Shoulder straps are another important feature that let you choose how you want to carry your belongings; an adjustable shoulder strap makes for a comfortable commute if you’re having to walk a lot, but some may prefer the sleekness of just using the top handles.
How We Selected
We looked to research by the editors at Best Products for insight on what makes a great work bag before expanding our search into some great leather messenger bags that work just as well when you're off the clock. We scoured the expansive selection from retailers including Amazon, Nordstrom, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more to compile a list that includes bags at different price points, in different styles, and ones that appeal to different needs. We nixed any messenger bags that had unsatisfactory customer reviews or design flaws before settling on the list you'll find below.
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||16 x 3 x 12 inches|
|Materials||Cowhide Eco Leather, polyester lining, brass hardware|
|Features||Detachable crossbody strap, two interior slip pockets, exterior zip pocket, embossing available|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||17.5 x 2.6 x 11.6 inches|
|Materials||Full-grain calf leather, cotton lining, silver hardware|
|Features||Detachable, adjustable shoulder strap, two-way zip closure, padded laptop pocket, luggage strap|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||15 x 3 x 11 inches|
|Materials||Full grain leather, polyester lining, black and gray hardware|
|Features||Adjustable shoulder strap, flap over closure, main compartment with zipper pocket, dual front pockets with organized storage|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||15 x 2.5 x 11 inches|
|Materials||Tumbled leather, silver hardware, cotton lining|
|Features||Adjustable, detachable shoulder strap, padded laptop sleeve, luggage strap, slim|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||16.5 x 5 x 11.5 inches|
|Materials||Leather, tartan cotton lining, antique brass hardware|
|Features||Adjustable, detachable shoulder strap, double buckle-flap closure pockets, organized storage, rugged style|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||13.1 x 2.7 x 9.8 inches|
|Materials||Tumbled calf leather, silver hardware, twill lining|
|Features||Adjustable crossbody strap, top zip interior pocket, front flap pocket, back slip pocket|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||16 x 4.5 x 12 inches|
|Materials||Colombian leather, polyester lining, antique brass hardware|
|Features||Adjustable, detachable shoulder strap, padded laptop sleeve, organized storage|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||16.5 x 5.9 x 13.3 inches|
|Materials||Cowhide full-grain leather, metal hardware|
|Features||Adjustable, detachable leather strap, Silver Evil Eye Pendant detail, Different sizes available|