8 Best Bike Messenger Bag Reviews for 2023

By Rachel Lee
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If you are spending more time on your bike than your feet most days and your job involves delivering items to clients, you will need a specialized carrier bag. Comfort and ease of access are essential when working on two wheels, as well as durability and design.

The eight best messenger bags combine form and function, are stylish and practical. No one wants an uncomfortable ride, and you need a messenger bag that aids you in doing your work and not hinders you. Protective padding and comfortable cross straps and a whole host of other features are what you need to consider.

Alternatively, not everyone wants a messenger bag to use for deliveries. Some choose the comfort of the messenger-style bag, at the office, or commuting, and we have options for those folks as well. If you are looking for the best messenger bag, please read on and find the messenger bag that most suits you.

Editor’s choiceTIMBUK2 Lightweight Flight Messenger Bag

1. Manhattan Portage Medium16 x 12.5 x 8 inches Cordura plus nylonLarge central interior zippered compartment and a large zippered compartment under flap.Shop Now
2. Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger bag21.02 x 14.65 x 2.05 InchesDurable nylon Main compartment with the option to add on pockets (purchase)Shop Now
3. Leaper Retro Messenger bag9.4 x 12.4 3.4 inchesWashed canvas with PU leather decorationSeven different compartment choicesShop Now
4. Timbuk2 Especial Cycling messenger bag15.6 x 17.7 x 12.02 inchesWeatherproof exterior 7-compartment optionsShop Now
5. Timbu2 lightweight Flight Messenger Bag Medium 18.1 x 12.2 x 7.1 inchesWaterproof TPU linerLaptop compartment, various inner pockets for small items, side Napoleon pocketShop Now
6. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag Medium18.1 x 14.6 x 12.2 inchesWaterproof TPU liner5 compartments and organizerShop Now
7. Tourbon Cycling Bike Saddlebag/Messenger Bag9.65 x 8.66″x 3.54 inchesWaterproof canvasOutside pocket, inner compartmentShop Now
8. Banjo Brothers Messenger Bag14.5 x 11 x 7 inches9 exterior pockets and large internal divider Shop Now

#1 Manhattan Portage Medium Bike Messenger Bag

The Manhattan portage is a durable and spacious bag with easy access to the main compartments and a cross-fit strap to stabilize your carry load. The cordage nylon is tough, and the inner watertight vinyl covering is great for poor weather and is a bright and sunny yellow.

The portage seems the best fit for those who carry lighter loads as the main strap is not padded. The Manhattan portage is super safe with two wide, reflective bands that are perfect for riding at night or dusk.

The main compartment has a sturdy closure with a Velcro band and two durable clasps. There is a back pocket on the bag that perfectly fits the form of an A4 item, which is excellent if you need to take along documentation.

Manhattan Portage Features at a Glance

  • Durable body of Cordura nylon 
  • Inner vinyl weatherproof interior
  • Reflective strips on the bag
  • A long last metal side buckle
  • 4 zippered compartments
  • 1600 cubic inches of space
  • Large opening to the main compartment
  • Limited lifetime warranty

User/Customer Reviews

Customers were delighted with the durability of the purchase and the quality of the material and closures. They also me high visibility in dark conditions was also mentioned and the sturdy waterproof interior.

Some customers felt that the bag’s strap was more suited to lighter loads, while others remarked that the bag sat well and didn’t shift around while riding.


These high quality and durable messenger bags have plenty of space for deliveries and a great choice of compartments. The extreme waterproofing and reflective bands make it an excellent bag for bicycle messengers.

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#2 Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag

The Chrome Industries Mini Metro is uber-stylish. With the iconic car seat buckle as a clasp and the sleek and comfortable design make this a perfect bag for commutes with a lighter load.

It functions perfectly as an office bag as it is not too bulky and fits the wearers form beautifully. The bag is not made for larger backpacks, so one shouldn’t go bigger than 14-inch laptops and provide your own sleeve unless you wish to purchase an extension.

It is really a fashion piece with durability and functionality that matches its looks. The bags are customizable in that it has features to support numerous add one should you need more compartments.

Chrome Industries Mini Bag at a Glance

  • Iconic car seat belt buckle
  • Space for a 14-inch laptop
  • Cargo protective with a weatherproof tarp liner
  • Durable nylon shell
  • Industrial-strength hook and shoulder strap
  • Area to attach a carabiner or bike light
  • Comfortable padded shoulder strap
  • Reflective strips for safety 

User/Customer Reviews

The customers most happy with the purchase were the ones that used the bag as an office commute bag. Perfect for those who cycle or use motorcycles to get to work. The compact main compartment would not lend itself to those making larger deliveries.

Customers did express irritation with the left shoulder orientation that can not be reversed, but the manufacturers said that they could provide customized right shoulder alternatives. The general response was that the bag is of high quality and extremely weatherproof.


The Chrome Industries Mini Metro bag gets top ratings in style and will make an iconic addition to your workday get up. It is functional and form-fitting wide a wide and well-padded strap for user comfort. This one gets top ratings for a commute/office bag. 

For the price, we did expect to at least have an inbuilt laptop sleeve and a separate compartment for phone and accessories. 

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#3 Leaper Retro Messenger Bag

The Leaper Retro messenger bag is very trendy and has a retro look that is very in fashion these days (think hipster.) The bag is really an indoor accessory, and due to the leather detail is not a practical option for commuting.

For a comfortable office or school bag, it has everything you need in terms of comfortable wear and padding and space for all your sundries in the several compartments on offer. Due to the size, larger laptops are not advisable.

The buckles are not functional but are a retro ornament that covers a high-strength magnetic seal and is easy to open yet secure enough to keep your stuff safe.

Leaper Retro Bag Features at a Glance

  • Durable canvas body
  • Multiple easy-access compartments
  • Carry handle or shoulder strap
  • 41-inch extendable strap with padding
  • Single shoulder/sling/crossbody options
  • Side pockets
  • Smooth Zipper system

User/Customer Reviews

The user response was overwhelmingly positive regarding the Leaper Retro bag. Most users were surprised at how many compartments were included in the bag. 

Most people had no struggle with the 11-inch laptop restrictions and found the bag comfortable and stylish. A few customers great reviews came with a caveat that the bag does not perform well in the over the shoulder option, but overall the ratings were high.


This a great little bag with many secret pockets to organize your life the way you want to. The material is durable but not waterproof or sun resistant, so it would suit someone needing a school/office bag that fits comfortably.

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#4 Timbuk2 Especial Cycling Messenger Bag (Medium)

This bag is an excellent option for cyclists or motorcyclists as a delivery bag or commute bag option. There is plenty of space, and the bag is designed well for various weather conditions with waterproof outer zipper linings and a durable weather-resistant shell.

There is an excellent full-length easy-access zipper on the bag of the bag that can fit a laptop or other sundries. The bag is ergonomically designed and easily adjustable to your specs as well as reversible (main strap and chest strap.)

There is plenty of space for your 15-inch laptop, yet the bag does not appear bulky. You will find reflective features on the straps and an attachment for a bike light on the back of the pack.

Timbuk2 Especial Messenger Bag Features at a Glance

  • Rubberized nylon cover is water-resistant
  • 9 Different compartments including side pockets
  • Waterproof inner compartment with laptop sleeve
  • Spacious and fits 15-inch laptops
  • Waterproof full length back zip
  • Reversible padded strap
  • 17-liter capacity
  • carry strap
  • Back of bag air mesh padding 
  • Quick-adjust strap
  • Stabilizer strap (reversible)
  • Strongly Magnetic front buckles

User/Customer Reviews

The users found the bag spacious and comfortable and enjoyed the sturdy build and materials. The users praised the magnetic cover as safe from spillage but easy to access.

The air-mesh backing helped with the comfort of carrying irregular objects in the main compartment, and the users liked the strap for its comfortable padding.

A few users expressed reservations about the chest strap being attached to the main strap in that it was difficult to adjust. The over the shoulder strap function is not ideal for a few of the customers.


The Timbuk2 Especial is a great delivery bag as well as an everyday bag for those who have more to carry and are seeking comfort. The large back zippered compartment is a great plus for those on two wheels or motorbikes.

The reversible crossbody strap is a bonus for those who carry heavy loads in a delivery capacity to swap shoulders to prevent pain. 

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#5 Timbuk2 Lightweight Flight Messenger Bag (Medium)

The compact and stylish Timbuk2 messenger bag is a no-frills, easy to carry, mini addition to the Timbuk2 range. It has excellent features to aid internal organization such as small pockets for your mobile, pens, and a nifty water bottle holder. 

The bag is lightweight and, as its name suggests, is perfect for airports or light commutes between home and office. The bag comes with a Napoleon side-entry feature so that you do not have to open the whole bag when searching for your passport or house keys.

The bag is stylish and comes in a large variety of colors to suit your tastes. The all-reflective bag is an excellent choice if you are planning to cycle with this bag at night. The bag is still large enough to carry your 15-inch laptop and has a designated compartment inside the bag.

The Timbuk2 Lightweight Flight Messenger Bag Features at a Glance

  • Internal slash pocket with padding to protect files/laptop
  • Multiple organization pockets 
  • Napolean side entry pockets for quick access
  • Crossbody strap 
  • Heavy-duty plastic SR buckles
  • Comfortable strap with air mesh padding
  • Can fit a 15-inch laptop
  • Lifetime warranty

User/Customer reviews

Most of the customers expressed surprise as to how much this seemingly small bag could store. Even though the bag is compact, with a 21-liter capacity, it can hold a lot of goods.

The durability was praised as well as the quality of the workmanship. The Velcro is super sturdy, and some mentioned that the noise when opening the bag was a bit too much. The bag seems to be more suited to cross body than over the shoulder.


Its a great and spacious bag masquerading in a compact little frame, and it is comfortable to carry. The side-entry pouch directly under the flap is a great addition for quick access when you are on the fly. 

The internal compartment is designed with forethought and boasts excellent features for storing sundries such as pens, mobile, and small objects that easily get lost in the bottom of a messenger bag. This bag receives top scores for organization and portability.

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#6 Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag (Medium)

The Timbuktu recently revamped their iconic messenger bag and added awesome features. We especially love the waterproof TPU ‘ears’ that can be tucked under the sides of the main flap to make sure no rain gets in.

There are dozens of color options from striped to monochrome, which is nice. They provide an internal bottle holder as well as a front organizational panel to fit in your pens and all your bits and bobs. The easy-reach pocket with zipper under the flap has a side entry for keys or wallet.

The bag is well constructed, and the Cordura nylon is highly durable.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag Features at a Glance

  • Integrated compression straps
  • Waterproof TPU lining with protective ears to prevent seepage in corners
  • Quick entry zip poker under flap with side entry
  • Low profile grab handle
  • Durable Cordoba nylon material
  • Adjustable strap with air mesh padding
  • Multiple compartments for organization
  • Water bottle pocket
  • Vista-loop attachment for bike light
  • 15-inch laptop internal pocket

Customer/User Reviews

Although the customers rated the quality of the product highly, they were unhappy with the changes to the Timbuk2 classic messenger bag. This unhappiness seems to follow with most iconic items when people don’t like any changes to the original.

They felt that the bag had fewer compartments, etc., but there were no substantial complaints about the quality of the new Timbuk2 messenger bag. The bag is stylish and comfortable, and we believe that the compartments offer ample space for office/school paraphernalia. 

The extreme weatherproofing of their new Cordura nylon cover was often praised in the user reviews.


Even more stylish than before, the new Classic messenger bag by Timbuk2 ticks most of the boxes for a durable and comfortable commuter bag. We found ample space to store our work-related items, and the bag looks good as well as being tough.

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#7 Tourbon Handlebar Bike Saddlebag Messenger Bag

This retro, little bag is uber versatile and can switch from a saddlebag front and rear) to a shoulder style messenger bag in a heartbeat. The sturdy little bag is made of water-resistant canvas and fits onto most bike types effortlessly.

For those who don’t want their bag knocking around their shoulders as the cycle, this is a must. The bag has secure leather attachments to hold firmly to your bike when you cycle. Handlebar and saddle-friendly, these non-crush bags are a must for those who spend time on the road.

Tourbon Handlebar bike Saddle Bag Features at a Glance

  • Secure three-point saddle connection with no swaying
  • No-sag construction 
  • Leather reinforcements at high-wear areas
  • Tapered to allow leg clearance when cycling
  • Waterproof and durable material
  • Fits to saddle and handlebars
  • Easily transfers into a shoulder bag

Customer/User Reviews

The customers generally had positive things to say about the Tourbon saddlebag. Both women, (who used it as a purse for cycling) and men (who stored mobiles and bike fixing materials), found the bag very handy and portable.

The rainproof material was praised except for the corners, which allowed some rain leakage ins. A few users said that they would have preferred Velcro to the leather attachments and front buckle.


This a great bag to fit in with your cycling style, whether you are a lady or a gent. The bag is quite durable, although there were some questions raised about how sag proof the bag was over repeated use.

Its cute, retro, and super handle when you want a secure cycling attachment and shoulder bag in one.

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# 8 Banjo Brothers Messenger Bag (Medium)

This metro-style biker backpack is compact and suitable for smaller frames. The comfortable design includes numerous pocket options for your sundries. Great for school or your office commute, this sturdy backpack will fit well into any lifestyle on two wheels.

Banjo Brothers Messenger Bag Features at a Glance

  • Movable shoulder padding
  • Waterproof hanging inner lining
  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Internal divider
  • Compact yet still a 18-liter capacity
  • cell pohne holster
  • Water bottle pocket
  • Wide range chest strap adjustment
  • Can fit 17-inch laptops

Customer/User reviews

The customers expressed positive reviews for the product and were very happy with it’s carrying capacity. There were some customers unhappy with the strap adjustment and claimed that it is not reversible from shoulder to shoulder as advertised.


A sound, practical bag with a high carry capacity for its dimensions. The bag stands up well to weather and has more than enough storage capacity for an average commuter or student. For its comparative price range, it is a good value and sound product.

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What Features Make a Good Messenger Bag?

  • Comfortable, easily adjustable straps are a must on a good messenger bag. The weight you carry must be distributed evenly and securely with breathable and soft padding. If you travel long distances, it is an excellent suggestion to alternate shoulders. This way, you don’t end up having one side more developed than the other, and it reduces localized back strain.
  • A spacious interior with plenty of compartments is essential in a messenger back. The quick-access sections of the bag work well when you are riding and don’t want to take your eyes off the road. Also, a quick Napolean style side pocket is ideal for grasping personal items without opening the entire pack.
  • A good quality carry handle is key to a good messenger bag. You won’t always have the bag on your back, and a useful carry handle makes a big difference when moving your bag from place to place.
  • Durable and weather-resistant material is essential when you are spending your work hours or commute in the saddle.
  • Safety features such as reflective tags and strips and an attachment for a bicycle light are critical to safety on the roads. A good messenger bag will have these key features.


Whether you are looking for a bag for delivery or a commute, there are numerous versions of carry-bags for people on two wheels. Make sure you know what you need in terms of space and portability, and you will find many messenger bags from which to choose.

Choose high durability and ensure that the straps on your bag will be firm and supportive enough for the weight that you intend to carry. Hopefully, one of these 8 has caught your eye and will soon be accompanying you on your busy route. 

See Also:
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How Many Miles Should I Bike A Day
8 Regular Cycling Shoes for Men and Women