Best Messenger Bags for Air Travel [Top 7]

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Getting a suitable travel bag is as important as choosing the right pair of walking shoes. Aside from being big enough to carry all of your essentials, the ideal bag should be lightweight and comfortable. Furthermore, a good messenger bag is designed to keep your items organized and safe yet easily accessible. Nobody wants to get to the check-in counter only to discover that their bag has swallowed up their passport. These crossbody carryalls are also great for storing different items that you couldn’t fit inside your luggage. Read on to find out about the best messenger bags for air travel.

Best Messenger Bags for Air Travel: Reviews

For those who are all “Just the facts, Ma’am”, here’s our top 6 in a simple table. The full reviews are straight after, and we do have one bonus bag as well!

KENNETH COLE REACTION Risky Business Messenger Full-Grain Colombian Leather Crossbody Laptop Case & Tablet Day Bag, Black, One Size
17 inch Laptop Bag, Travel Briefcase with Organizer, Expandable Large Hybrid Shoulder Bag, Water Resistant Business Messenger Briefcases Computer Bag for Men and Women Fits 17 15.6 Inch Laptop, Black
FRYE Men's Logan Messenger Bag, Cognac, One Size
Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Messenger Bag, Brown, One Size
Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag - 13 Inch Laptop Satchel with Signature Belt Buckle Closure, All Black, 20.5 Liter
Our Choice!
TIMBUK2 Command Messenger Bag, Midway, Medium
Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Messenger Bag
Ytonet Water Resistant Business Messenger Bag
FRYE Men's Logan Messenger Bag
Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Messenger Bag
Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag
Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag
Good-looking, high quality leather
Expansion feature gives lots of capacity
Great aged-leather looks
Medium-sized option, great for laptops + more
Designed for left and right handed people
TSA-compliant, lightweight and rugged
KENNETH COLE REACTION Risky Business Messenger Full-Grain Colombian Leather Crossbody Laptop Case & Tablet Day Bag, Black, One Size
Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Messenger Bag
Good-looking, high quality leather
17 inch Laptop Bag, Travel Briefcase with Organizer, Expandable Large Hybrid Shoulder Bag, Water Resistant Business Messenger Briefcases Computer Bag for Men and Women Fits 17 15.6 Inch Laptop, Black
Ytonet Water Resistant Business Messenger Bag
Expansion feature gives lots of capacity
FRYE Men's Logan Messenger Bag, Cognac, One Size
FRYE Men's Logan Messenger Bag
Great aged-leather looks
Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Messenger Bag, Brown, One Size
Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Messenger Bag
Medium-sized option, great for laptops + more
Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag - 13 Inch Laptop Satchel with Signature Belt Buckle Closure, All Black, 20.5 Liter
Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag
Designed for left and right handed people
Our Choice!
TIMBUK2 Command Messenger Bag, Midway, Medium
Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag
TSA-compliant, lightweight and rugged

OK, let’s dive right in to the reviews!

Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Messenger Bag

KENNETH COLE REACTION Risky Business Messenger Full-Grain Colombian Leather Crossbody Laptop Case & Tablet Day Bag, Black, One Size

This laptop bag is made from luxurious Colombian leather that is incredibly durable. The exterior construction ensures that the bag keeps its shape while the interior features tear-resistant lining.

Review

One of the most popular messenger bags is the Reaction by Kenneth Cole. This sleek bag features a spacious main compartment and an adjustable shoulder strap, ideal for carrying everyday essentials. In addition, its numerous pockets will keep all your things organized and easy to locate.

The Kenneth Cole Reaction bag comes in three different colors and is designed to fit various electronic devices, such as a Mac and other laptops. It’s functional, has plenty of space for my paperwork, pens, and accessories.

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Pros

  • At 3-inches wide, it’s easy to carry
  • Fashionable look
  • Made of high-quality leather
  • Has many storage compartments
  • Adjustable, padded shoulder strap
  • Available in three colors

Cons

  • Is not a proper laptop bag
  • Not big enough to fit all the essentials when traveling abroad
SEE ON AMAZON

Ytonet Water Resistant Business Messenger Bag

17 inch Laptop Bag, Travel Briefcase with Organizer, Expandable Large Hybrid Shoulder Bag, Water Resistant Business Messenger Briefcases for Men and Women Fits 17 15.6 Inch Laptop, Computer, Tablet

This laptop bag features a built-in organizer. It’s an expandable, unisex bag with plenty of compartments.

Review

If you’re looking for a bag with lots of space, then the Ytonet Messenger Bag is for you. It features a padded laptop sleeve and ten pockets to keep all of your essential items organized. It’s also easy to expand the bag to a wider size by unzipping the expansion zipper. This will give you an additional seven to nine inches of storage space.

Many people have praised the Ytonet Messenger Bag for its water-resistant design and convenient expansion feature.

Pros

  • Plenty of multi-functional compartments
  • High-quality, water-resistant material
  • Soft, leather carrying handle

Cons

  • Heavier than it seems
  • Has inferior zippers
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FRYE Men’s Logan Messenger Bag

FRYE Men's Logan Messenger Bag, Cognac, One Size

This leather messenger bag features a well-worn look and plenty of room for your belongings. Its main compartment has three pockets, and its front zip pocket has a built-in key clip.

Review

This Frye bag is made from high-quality materials and features a spacious interior that can hold various small and large items. In addition, the magnetic closure keeps your belongings secure. The bag’s high rating on Amazon is a testament to its quality construction and sleek appearance.

It’s uncomplicated with only a couple of pockets, and the quality of the leather looks and feels great. A 17-inch laptop can fit inside comfortably.

Pros

  • Great quality leather material
  • Very well constructed
  • Timeless design
  • Soft to the touch
  • Roomy interior
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No padding for the laptop compartment
  • The strap isn’t detachable
  • Magnetic snap closure isn’t very secure
SEE ON AMAZON

Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Messenger Bag

Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Messenger Bag, Brown, One Size

The Samsonite Colombia Leather Laptop Bag features a medium-sized shape and three interior pockets to accommodate various items. It’s made from durable, luxurious Colombian leather.

Review

This sleek messenger bag by Samsonite features a spacious interior and multiple pockets for different items. Its built-in organizer makes it easy to find what you need. It’s also constructed with a built-in pen holder, cardholder, and phone pocket.

This bag is really great, fits a 15.6-inch laptop perfectly. The leather is soft and well stitched as well. The compartment is spacious enough for your mouse and tablet.

Pros

  • Made from genuine, high-quality leather
  • It has a top handle that makes it easy to lift
  • Padded strap to reduce shoulder fatigue
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Compartments for easy organization

Cons

  • Leather can scuff, marring the appearance
  • Buckles may loosen over time
SEE ON AMAZON

Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag

Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag - 13 Inch Laptop Satchel with Signature Belt Buckle Closure, All Black, 20.5 Liter

The Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag is a small-scale version of the brand’s iconic messenger bag. It’s built to handle the demands of couriers on the go.

Review

While most travel bags are made for right-handed individuals, this Chrome messenger bag is designed to work seamlessly for right-handed and left-handed users. It features enough space to fit a 15-inch laptop and a removable shoulder strap that doubles as a bottle opener. In addition, the quality construction of this bag makes for a durable product that will serve its user for a long time.

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Pros

  • Comfortable to carry around
  • Wide, well-padded shoulder strap
  • It fits snuggly to the body when riding
  • Easy to adjust even when on a bicycle
  • The bag moves with you and doesn’t limit mobility
  • Allows for many items to fit in a small space

Cons

  • Users with smaller bodies find the bag too big
  • No laptop padding
  • No carry handle
SEE ON AMAZON

Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag

TIMBUK2 Command Messenger Bag, Midway, Medium

This messenger bag is designed for travelers who frequently use airports. It features a pass-through luggage slot for attaching to your wheelie.

Review

If you’re a frequent flier, this Timbuk2 messenger bag is ideal. It’s designed to be TSA-compliant, so you won’t have to remove your electronic items from the bag when you go through security. It also has a built-in organizer perfect for smaller items and sturdy hooks to keep these items secure. In addition, you can hook this messenger bag to your luggage, making it easier to carry your belongings through the airport.

It’s lightweight and rugged but you will still be able to pack a laptop and electronics. Plus, it also looks professional.

Pros

  • A versatile bag that can be used on trips or as a regular laptop bag
  • Lots of space to store items
  • Hooks to luggage
  • Stylish design
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • On the higher side of the price scale
SEE ON AMAZON

Bonus! Travelon Women’s Anti-Theft Messenger Bag

Travelon Women's Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag, Black, One Size

As we said earlier, we have one extra bonus bag to show you here. Travelon’s Anti-theft Travel Bag is designed to keep your valuables safe from thieves and pickpockets. It features a hidden chain link construction and an adjustable shoulder strap.

Review

The ultimate theft-resistant bag, this Travelon Messenger Bag has a built-in slash-resistant strap to prevent it from getting stolen. It also has RFID-Blocking slots to keep your credit card and passport information safe from digital hackers. The bag has been praised for its sturdy construction and versatility.

Pros

  • It has a strap lock that secures the bag to a stationary object like a chair
  • RFID-blocking pockets to protect against identity theft
  • Stylish design
  • The main compartment is roomy and can hold essential items

Cons

May release a strong chemical smell when first purchased

SEE ON AMAZON

Buyer’s Guide

Backpacks may be great carryalls, but when looking for a bag that allows for easy access and agility, nothing beats a messenger bag.

They are an excellent option for those who need to access essential items while on the move. These bags also tend to draw people who don’t carry bulky materials and want a more professional look. Here are the factors you should consider when choosing a suitable messenger bag for air travel.

Material

Genuine leather messenger bags tend to be durable, reliable, and high quality. These are bags that will last for years. Leather bags also add style and authority to your collection, giving you a professional look while you travel. One major downside of leather bags is their price tag. They tend to be more expensive than bags made from other materials.

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Size

Ideally, your messenger bag should be large enough to hold all of the gear you need to carry. However, it’s also essential to ensure that it’s not too big as you wouldn’t want to lag any unnecessary weight around. Also, if you tend to carry a specific set of items, it would be best to find a bag that fits those essentials and not much else.

Style

There are so many factors that go into choosing a messenger bag, such as its color, materials, and design. Before you buy, think about what you need to wear it for. For instance, if you’re using it for work, consider what type of environment you will be carrying it in.

A clean silhouette or soft draping design will make it easier to fit into formal settings. However, if you don’t need it for work, then you have the freedom to pick a less subdued bag than the black, tan, and blue variety.

Storage

Getting to your gear is a primary reason for carrying a messenger bag over other types of carryalls. These bags can help you get to your items quickly and easily without removing them from your shoulder with on-body access.

In addition, they have various features such as shoulder straps and pockets to help keep you organized. When selecting a messenger bag, it’s vital to ensure that it has enough compartments to keep all your items organized.

Durability

If you’re going to be carrying your bag regularly, it should be made from durable materials and built with sturdy construction. Materials like water-resistant fabric can help keep your bag going when the going gets tough.

FAQ

How Should I Clean My Messenger Bag?

How you clean your messenger bag will depend on the material it’s made from. For example, to clean a leather bag, mix warm water and soap, dip a soft cloth into the solution, and wipe the exterior surfaces.
It’s not advisable to put your canvas bags into the washing machine. Instead, use a mild and safe cleaning solution to spot-clean these products.

How Can I Waterproof My Messenger Bag?

You can use waterproofing products like Nikwax to make your messenger bag water-resistant. These products are easy to use and usually only need to be sprayed on once the bag is clean.

Are Messenger Bags Professional?

There are different types of messenger bags on the market, but these products are considered professional for the most part. They are viewed as alternatives to the briefcase, primarily when constructed from high-quality, genuine leather.

There are different types of messenger bags on the market, but these products are considered professional for the most part. They are viewed as alternatives to the briefcase, primarily when constructed from high-quality, genuine leather.

The Verdict Is In

There are a lot of good messenger bags that are ideal for travel. However, when it comes to price and functionality, it’s hard to find a bag that works as well as the Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag.

Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag

  • Has a lightweight design, can fit your electronics, and even hooks onto your luggage
  • Allows you to go through airport security without emptying your bag

So, if you’re looking for a convenient, hassle-free bag for travel, then the Timbuk2 Command Messenger Bag is the bag for you.

Last update on 2022-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API