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What is a Messenger Bag?

They are known to the best of us as the go-to in men’s accessories. Whether for function or fashion, leather messenger bags offer many great styling options as well as functionality that make it a timeless wardrobe essential. However, there may be some who may know about messenger bags only by name but may not have any idea what they look like or where they originated from.

In this post, we’ll go through a bit of history as to the origins of the messenger bag as well as its evolution to reach its current, stylish position. We’ll go through a few frequently asked questions as well as a few advantages and disadvantages, so that everyone may get to learn something new by the end of this post. 

A Step Back in Time 

A Step Back in Time 

While the messenger bag may be known for its distinct design, fashioned out of natural or synthetic materials, it carries a unique look that enables it to be worn over one shoulder. A strap going across the chest and the bag, spacious enough for necessities hanging on the side. This classic piece has an interesting history as to how and why it was introduced. Going by name, messenger bags have been known by different names over the years, which indicate how far back in time they’ve existed. 

Known as courier bags, carryalls and even satchels, messenger bags were initially used by messengers. From messengers who traveled on foot in ancient times to postmen carrying mail, delivery men, even newspaper men. This can easily go back a century or more. Still, there is a more recent history that dates to the 1950s.

The De Martini Canvas Company designed messenger bags to be used by line workers in the field. This particular bag enabled the workers to carry tools that they would need on the job. Hence the element of functionality is still found in messenger bags today. Although the original material used was Cotton Canvas, different and more diverse alternatives have been used to craft messenger bags over the years. 

By the 60s, the same company was responsible for bicycle messenger bags, becoming a supplier for many. This led to another milestone that took place in the 70s and 80s when specific messenger bags were requested in different colors. Messenger bags transitioned from the service industry into fashion in 1984. This upgrade included the use of nylon instead of canvas, with the addition of light-reflective stripes as well as buckles which ultimately added more practicality to an otherwise functional piece. 

Style and Functionality 

Style and Functionality 

As recently as the 90s, messenger bags for men were at an all time high in popularity and hasn’t changed since. At every turn, men were seen carrying messenger bags that carried a look and style that was unique to them. This gave rise to Custom Leather Messenger Bags that enabled men to customize the classic messenger bag to suit their personal preferences and individuality.

Today Messenger Bags are just as stylish as they are functional, offering great storage through the use of compartments, buckles, closure and more. 

Advantages of Messenger Bags

Advantages of Messenger Bags

By now it isn’t surprising to see that messengers bags do have many advantages. They are just great in giving you a professional look while offering you unbelievable functionality. This cannot be said for all bags for men. It’s simply easy to stay organized with a messenger bag, not to forget it is also pretty versatile as well. Messenger gags can serve many purposes based on your requirements. This makes them a perfect option for all men seeking style and function in one statement messenger bag. 

Disadvantages of Messenger Bags

Disadvantages of Messenger Bags

Even though messenger bags have many advantages to their name, they do however have one disadvantage that many may find difficult to manage with. This would be the comfort level of the user when riding to work or any place they would need to be.

While custom backpacks are known for having stability in sitting well while commuting, messenger bags tend to move about quite easily. Unless there is something inside that prevents it from moving about. Bikers especially may find them uncomfortable, due to this. Not to forget the stress on the shoulder when riding long distances. 


What is the difference between a briefcase and Messenger Bag?

Messenger Bags have more construction materials that include canvas, nylon or even leather. This is not the case with briefcases and their heavy make. Also, materials used for Messenger Bags can also be water-resistant unlike traditional briefcases. 

Why is it called a Messenger Bag?

Derived from ancient times, when messengers carried Messenger Bags when traveling on foot to deliver news. 

What type of bag is a Messenger Bag?

A Messenger Bag is inspired by the ancient sack type bag with a strap that goes across the chest. 

Is a Messenger Bag a Backpack?

A Messenger Bag is different from a Backpack.

Is a Messenger Bag better than a Backpack?

A Messenger Bag is in fact better than a Backpack based on storage and functionality. However, the only point on which the Backpack win is on stability. Messenger Bags tend to move about especially when riding long distances. 

Are Messenger Bags Professional?

Yes totally. A Messenger Bag can be used for many professional looks as well as function as an organizer. 

What is a Messenger Bag used for?

A Messenger Bag is versatile enough to carry all your necessities. These can include your books, papers, laptop, cables, headphones, chargers, files and a host of other items. 

Signing-off on Messenger Bags

As mentioned in the first paragraph of this post, we certainly did learn quite a bit about Messenger Bags. From an interesting and rich history, dating back to the times of ancient messengers who carried Messenger Bags when delivering messages on foot.

To an evolution of this timeless classic through the more recent decades including the 90s height of popularity. The different materials used to make Messenger Bags include nylon, leather and canvas among others.

Natural and synthetic in origin. Not forgetting the advantages and disadvantages as well as a few frequently asked questions that help clearly identify what messenger bags really are and how they’ve managed to maintain a lead in the world of fashion and function having gone through so many years of evolution and refinement. Making them as big a global favorite in menswear as they did in the decades gone by. 

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