In a world where sustainability is such a hot topic, it’s difficult to think of a more sustainable fashion purchase than a men’s leather messenger bag. Choose correctly, and you’ll have a partner in crime for a multitude of different occasions and outfits, and possibly for life.
In fact, on a recent episode of BBC’s television show The Repair Shop, where treasured belongings are restored and given a new lease of life, one man brought along his father’s leather messenger bag that was 50 years old and brimming with character. A quick spruce-up had the leather bag looking like new and carrying a nice patina, with every minor scuff telling a different story.
There is a world of the best leather messenger bags for men to choose from, and I will focus on 10 distinct aesthetics and styles, recommending the best leather bags for each to save you the admin of conducting the research and trying to ascertain the coolest choice yourself. I’m kind like that.
Stop, you can thank me later.
Every messenger bag has a particular purpose and place in any man’s wardrobe, and some have the added benefit of crossing several different styles to be worn with a variety of cool outfits. Others even go beyond typical materials, such as the vegan leather messenger bag from Troubadour.
Some leather messenger bags are more usable than others. So if you are looking for something stylish to cover all bases, I’d recommend choosing a bag large enough to carry a laptop like my overall pick, the Harvard.
In terms of price, this is more often than not a function of brand and design rather than size or practicality, so I have purposely recommended a variety of bags to suit every budget. Yes, even the splurge budgets if you have your eye on something like a saddle bag by Dior.
A men’s leather messenger bag like should really be viewed as an investment piece as it will likely be the most versatile fashion accessory in your wardrobe. It’s also the one you’ll be using the most, as we all have products, tech, and at least three easily lost items to carry at any one point in time.
Size: 35 x 27 x 12cm | Type of Leather: Oiled | Colors Available: 5
While I have recommended no less than 10 leather messenger bags, there is one that ticks every box for me—the Harvard messenger bag by Visconti.
This is the bag I chose myself when faced with the dilemma you are no doubt pondering if you’re reading this article right now. The ‘Harvard’ looks incredible in reality, the oil brown distressed leather adding so much character. As well as being effortlessly cool, it will also vibe with almost any outfit, from casual to super smart.
Add in the practicality of being large enough to carry a MacBook and several accessories, not to mention multiple pockets and a cool adjustable strap, and this bag has all the bases covered.
Size: 15 x 11 x 3in | Type of Leather: Full Grain | Colors Available: 3
Do you require something super snappy for a more formal outfit, such as a tailored suit? Maybe you’re also looking for something that majors in practicality and smart, simple styling for the office? Then the sophisticated Morris men’s leather messenger bag by Danish brand
Available in black, brown, or tan full-grain leather, this men’s leather messenger bag is ideal for carrying a laptop within its foamed central compartment for ultimate tech protection. It features two handles on either side of an all-around zip, several other pockets for pens and office accessories, plus a detachable strap should you wish to style it as a shoulder-mounted bag.
Personally, I would style this bag with a fitted suit and monk strap shoes in a color to match your bag of choice or a super smart casual outfit with perhaps a slimline polo-neck jumper and a fur-collared town coat with slimline leather boots.
Size: 17 x 12.5 x 6.5cm | Type of Leather: Full Grain | Colors Available: 1
Axel Arigato, established as recently as 2014, is one of the coolest brands in the streetwear game. The company has a clean, minimal aesthetic that showcases the brand’s high-quality clothing and accessories to the beat of the latest tunes, often spun by the DJs invited to host
They have not skipped a beat when it comes to men’s leather messenger bags, and the Cubic Monogram bag is a case in point. Complete with the company’s signature monogram logo and leather
While it won’t be suitable as a weekender or backpack option, it will add scores of panache. Definitely a wavy vibe, this minimal bag would look great with some baggy trousers, an oversized knit, and some chunky sneakers such as the company’s own Marathon kicks.
Size: 9.3 X 7.1 X 2.2in | Type of Leather: Vegan | Colors Available: Black
Hot on the heels of the latest trends, sustainability is core to many brands’ fashion philosophy, and this clean and versatile vegan leather messenger bag by Troubadour is right on message.
This bag has a really clean silhouette with a fast-access front pouch, and a padded central compartment perfect for carrying your iPad, complete with two additional pockets for your phone or other accessories.
The adjustable strap is super soft and comfortable, while the bag’s interior has a wipeable antibacterial lining. It would look great with a high-end streetwear outfit, perhaps—I’m thinking wool town coat, beanie, and chunky sneakers.
Size: 11 X 5 X 3in | Type of Leather: Full Grain | Colors Available: 7
One of the most versatile styles of messenger bags for men is the belt bag, and this example by
With no less than seven colors to choose from, you will be spoiled for choice. Within the main central compartment, there are two smaller pockets, one foam-lined protective pocket perfect for carrying your smartphone, and another smaller pocket at the front for other accessories.
This bag would look great with a casual streetwear outfit but equally a more formal smart casual look thanks to its luxurious full-grain leather with gold-finished hardware.
Size: 26 x 19 x 4.5cm | Type of Leather: Black Dior Oblique Galaxy Calfskin | Colors Available: 1
For men wishing to elevate their outfit with a top-tier leather messenger bag, the most iconic is arguably this leather saddle bag produced by Christian Dior.
Crafted in Italy from smooth black calfskin leather, this luxurious piece is finished with subtle silver perforated Dior Oblique lettering that twinkles under the light.
The distinctive silhouette features a main zipped enclosure, accessed by opening the magnetic flap to reveal a beautifully lined interior. Complete with an adjustable nylon and leather strap, this bag can be worn on the shoulder or cross-body.
Style this luxury accessory as a cool streetwear vibe with a leather biker or bomber jacket and Dior B23 sneakers. Or take it up a notch with a high-end black tailored suit and black leather Chelsea boots.
Keep in mind this is a long-term investment that could be with you for years, so it’s worth paying for quality and a timeless design.
Size: 16 x 11.5 x 2.75in | Type of Leather: Eco | Colors Available: 1
I recently went on the hunt for a smart casual leather messenger myself as, like many people, my company has a hybrid work-from-home policy, and I needed something cool and fashionable to rock for carrying my laptop to and from the office. My criteria were simple—it needed to be fashionable, high quality, and slick, with a slightly distressed patina and sufficiently large to carry my MacBook.
The Greenville is a particularly nice smart casual messenger bag with its patina appearance and beautifully crafted interior with a multitude of different-sized pockets and internal compartments. With vintage brass hardware and a super comfortable strap, I cannot recommend it highly enough. A particularly nice touch is the smartphone holder.
Style this beauty in a variety of ways, from a classic smart casual look paired with a town coat and suede Chelsea boots to more formal office attire. I find that brown colors are particularly suited to smart casual outfits, whereas black strikes a more formal aesthetic.
Size: 22 x 28cm | Type of Leather: Cowskin | Colors Available: 1
Bleu De Chauffe, one of the most popping brands in new vintage-inspired workwear, is almost as well known for their men’s leather bags as they are their belts and tote bags. With bold leather and wax canvas designs, Bleu De Chauffe messenger bags are particularly hot right now.
This is a super soft mid-sized accessory you can rock cross-body or on the shoulder, thanks to its adjustable strap. An all-rounder like this would look great with a soft knit or oversized hoody, baggy trousers, and sneakers.
What To Look For In the Best Leather Messenger Bags for Men
Size is particularly important if practicality, versatility, and longevity are your top priorities. By choosing a large men’s leather messenger bag, it will likely satisfy your daily work/life requirements for years. However, if you are purchasing a leather messenger bag purely as a fashion accessory and size is irrelevant, then a smaller cross-body bag could be the perfect choice, particularly for pairing with a fresh summer outfit.
Choose a leather messenger bag that best complements your personal style. Remember that the more fashionable something is, the quicker it goes out of fashion, so choosing something with a more classic silhouette will likely be fashionable for longer.
While price is obviously an important consideration, I would encourage anybody to view the best leather messenger for men as more of an investment piece, so it may be worth paying slightly more than anticipated to buy something that you will likely use regularly for years.
A men’s leather messenger bag, very much like a leather jacket, should be viewed as an investment piece. If you choose wisely, it will likely last for years if not decades, and by investing in quality up-front and a design that complements your personal style, your messenger bag will quickly become one of your favorite fashion accessories.
That is why the Harvard men’s leather messenger bag by Visconti is my top choice—it has all of the bases covered, being both super fashionable and practical, timeless, and available at a relatively affordable price.
So if you are searching for the best leather messenger bags for men on the market, the above choices should have you covered across a range of different styles. Remember, too, that most men’s leather messenger bags improve with age as the leather softens and matures, adding a priceless patina that will never go out of fashion.
Leather bags have been in style for as long as style has existed. I’m pretty sure every artist during the renaissance carried one, and a trend that’s been in fashion for over 500 years isn’t going away any time soon.
Absolutely, investing in a men’s leather messenger bag will ensure that you not only have something practical for daily use but also something that will complement your outfit as a cool fashion accessory.