Compare messenger bags

Not ready to buy? Why not read our style notes for all you need to know before choosing?
817 products
Search the site
Ready to buy? Why not check out our comparison tables?

Your online fashion guide to messenger bags for 2012

Any fashion-conscious man or woman of style and substance knows the necessity of a good bag for practical and stylish reasons. And a good bag can be the central focus of a look, making (or breaking) an outfit. Messenger bags are the perfect solution to your bag worries and a designer favourite; a classic shape that’s stylish and big enough to hold all your belongings, it’s the ideal investment bag to see you through season to season. Stick to black and neutrals for a timeless look, or add some pizzazz with a color-pop retro messenger bag.

Peruse our online style notes before making your way over to our shopping pages where we compare the latest messenger bags the UK has to offer, from cheap, discounted bags by high street clothing brands to high end designer names, we’ve got something for everyone. 

History of the messenger bag

Women’s and men’s messenger bags (or courier bags) are usually worn over one shoulder and were traditionally carried by messengers, for example postmen and messengers on bike. The messenger bag can be dated back to the 1950s and the utility linesman bag created by De Martini Globe Canvas Company. In the eighties a more contemporary style was created using higher quality fabrics and replacing the original hardware with lightweight plastic.

A messenger bag is usually rectangular in shape with enough room for papers, magazines and documents. Laptop messenger bags are increasingly common in 2012 and are designed for carrying smaller laptops and notebooks for work and meetings.

Messenger bag fabrics

Leather Leather messenger bags are great for a more classic or timeless look; they’ll never age and look great in more formal environments. Available in a wide range of colours and with many having in-built sleeves this makes a great option for ipad or laptop messenger bags.

Canvas A very heavy-duty fabric that can withstand every day wear and tear. It also dries quickly so is great if you spend time outdoors in the UK’s unpredictable weather and are caught in a freak downpour!

Waterproof synthetics Synthetics such as Nylon are often used on messenger bags and treated so that they’re water resistant. Look for a messenger bag with a vinyl lining to further protect your belongings.

Messenger bag features

  • Size of bag
  • Size of flap
  • Colour or pattern
  • Strap length
  • Buckles, zips and stitching 
  • Pockets
  • Branding 

Comparing messenger bags for men and women

Think about where you’ll be using your new messenger bag. Looking for something smart or office-appropriate? Stick to leather messenger bags for men in black or tan with minimal detail for a timeless look and pair with a skinny-fit suit for a slick, man about town look. Leather messenger bags look great on women too and can add a focal point to a classic outfit. Looking to buy something to complement a casual outfit? Experiment with retro or contemporary styles and colours. Messenger bags can be a great way to subtly inject colour or accents into your style.

Think about what you’ll want to hold in your messenger bag and how many compartments you need and compare styles, sturdiness and shape to find the best one to suit your needs.

Also consider aesthetics vs practicality. Will you ever need to use your new bag in a professional or formal environment? If yes, consider going for a leather messenger bag in a neutral hue. Have a think about the colours and styles in your wardrobe, too. If you have several items of clothing in a particular colour, consider getting a messenger bag to match.