The 12 Best Messenger Bags For Women

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by Alexa Vazquez
Bustle / Amazon

Finding a bag that’s both cute and practical can be a challenge. But whether you’re looking for a professional bag to tote to the office or something travel-friendly for your next vacation, a messenger bag is undoubtedly your best bet. Functional and versatile, the best messenger bags for women have plenty of compartments to keep you organized, and their crossbody strap helps evenly distribute weight to prevent back and shoulder strain. And they’re available in an array of materials, from waterproof canvas to genuine leather and lightweight nylon, so there’s undoubtedly a messenger bag that’ll match your unique style.

Size & Storage

First thing’s first: Consider what you plan on carrying inside your messenger bag. Many bags on this list average between 15 and 17 inches long, which will accommodate most laptops and notebooks with room left for essentials (and maybe some extras). Plus, some messenger bags have padded laptop compartments that provide security against drops.

If you’re looking for something a little more compact, there are also tablet-sized messenger bags that are equally efficient. In addition, most messenger bags have a number of different-sized pockets, like dedicated cell phone pouches, which can be especially helpful for traveling or commuting when you need your essentials within easy reach.


The strap is also important. Adjustable straps allow you to customize to your perfect length, while padded straps are easier on the shoulders. Many of the bags on this list also have removable long straps, so you can choose to wear it either crossbody or over the shoulder, like a tote bag. I’ve even included one messenger bag that converts into a backpack for even more versatility.

No matter where you’re going or what you’re packing, scroll on to shop 12 of the best messenger bags for women.


A Spacious Messenger Bag That’s Ultra-Durable & Waterproof

Go ahead, load up all your essentials (and some extras) into this large-capacity messenger bag. The main, unpadded compartment comfortably stores a 15.6-inch laptop, a few legal-sized notebooks, a tablet, and a small cosmetics bag, while the interior pouches are great for smaller items like your phone, wallet, and a pair of sunglasses. The zippered pocket on the flap makes for easy access to essentials. The material is coated 600-denier polyester, which makes this bag durable, waterproof, and easy to clean. An adjustable shoulder strap with padding is easy on the shoulders, and two clasps keep the bag securely shut.

Helpful review: “This bag is great. It has a ton of pockets and the construction feels really sturdy. I'm able to fit my 15 inch regular laptop in its sleeve along with an accessory bag, multiple notebooks and smaller textbooks and still have room. This bag feels and looks like it cost twice as much. I'm completely happy with my purchase.”

Available Sizes: 2 | Available Colors: 4 | Dimensions: ‎18.5 x 5.51 x 13.78 inches (L x W x H) | Material: Polyester | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 7


This No-Frills Messenger Bag With 84,000+ Ratings

If you’re looking for a messenger bag that gets the job done at an unbeatable price, look no further than this one from Amazon Basics with a whopping 61,000+ perfect, five-star ratings. This water-resistant, 600-denier polyester bag is available in five sizes, but the one linked here can hold a 15.6-inch laptop (the foam-padded compartment keeps it safe), a number of notebooks, chargers, and hard drives. The front zippered pocket is perfect for easy access to essentials like your cell phone or wallet. It also has a removable, adjustable strap with padding, plus a luggage strap for a seamless travel experience.

Helpful review: “Bag is a phenomenal value for the price. Excellent quality and construction. [...] Incredible amount of storage/pockets-compartments. Room to keep lots of things, and keep them separated to boot.”

Available Sizes: 5 | Available Colors: 1 | Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 12 inches (L x W x H) | Material: Polyester | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 4


This Streamlined, Extra-Padded Messenger Bag For Your Laptop (& More)

Another travel-friendly option, this sturdy laptop messenger bag made from water-resistant polyester will have you breezing through airport security. There are two main zippered compartments: One is padded to keep your laptop up to 15.6 inches safe, with plenty more room for a tablet or other tech; while the other compartment has a number of open pockets for essentials, including a zippered pocket enabled with RFID-blocking technology to keep credit card information safe from hackers. Remove the adjustable padded strap, and you’ve got yourself a briefcase. It can also be secured to your luggage thanks to a handy back strap.

Helpful review: “I absolutely love this laptop case. I was looking for one not too bulky but still with enough space for a notebook or maybe other things that will take more space. This bag is a must have, I like the material, the color and I was surprised of how comfortable it is to carry.”

Available Sizes: 1 | Available Colors: 4 | Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.1 x 11.8 (L x W x H) | Material: Polyester | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 10


A Retro-Chic Canvas Messenger Bag

Pack your day’s essential with ease in this roomy canvas messenger bag. The main compartment is unpadded and can fit a laptop or tablet under 15 inches, along with chargers, textbooks, and a few folders or even a change of clothes. An interior zippered pouch and two open pockets beneath the flap help keep smaller items organized, while the exterior pouches on either side are perfect for storing a water bottle or small umbrella. Other features include an unpadded adjustable strap, and a hook-and-loop closure that keeps the flap securely shut. The washed cotton canvas material is lightweight and can be personalized with pins and patches for a bag that’s as unique as you are.

Helpful review: “I absolutely LOVE this bag! It's the perfect size to hold all the things I need to carry and it's sturdy too! It's my essential go to bag for everything! I personalized mine with some iron on patches. I love that it holds so much stuff and looks great doing it.”

Available Sizes: 1 | Available Colors: 9 | Dimensions: 15 x 6 x 11 (L x W x H) | Material: Cotton Canvas | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 5


This Elegant & Edgy Faux-Leather Messenger Bag

Cute and functional can coexist, and this studded faux-leather messenger bag proves it. The main compartment is separated into two (one with padding to protect your laptop) by a large zippered compartment. You’ll also find open pockets and a zippered pouch on the inside, as well as an extra zippered compartment on the outside. The contents are secured by a zipper and turn-lock flap closure. And it’s convertible, too: Remove the adjustable, unpadded strap, and you’ve got yourself an elegant briefcase you can hold by the chic top handle. The style pictured here can hold a laptop up to 15.6 inches, but you can find a larger, 17.3-inch size in the same listing. Choose from 10 gorgeous colors — like butter yellow and dusty mauve — some with edgy studs, and some without.

Helpful review: “I travel from place to place for work and have to ‘set up shop’ where ever I am. This bag fits everything I need, laptop, folding laptop stand, cords, mouse, jetpack, paperwork, notebooks, pens and such... just has a spot for everything. AND! I've been complimented many times in the stylish design and color! Win-win situation!!”

Available Sizes: 2 | Available Colors: 10 | Dimensions: 15.1 x 4.13 x 12.4 inches (L x W x H) | Material: Faux Leather | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 5


A Classic Messenger Bag Made Of Genuine Leather

Large enough to hold a 15.6-inch laptop, this vintage-inspired genuine leather messenger bag is the real deal. Inside, there’s a a zippered pocket and a dedicated padded compartment for your laptop with plenty of extra space for books, notepads, and a charger. Outside, there’s an easy-access zippered pocket, plus a convenient luggage strap and adjustable, unpadded strap. Everything will stay securely tucked away thanks to a magnetic flap closure.

Helpful review: “This is a beautiful bag. Excellent quality. I purchased this leather bag to use a purse. The features I like are the over the body strap, to keep my "purse" with me at all times, and my hands free. Also the room in the bag allows me to organize without digging to the bottom to find items I need. I highly recommend this bag. It can be used for a 15'" lap top with room for cords.”

Available Sizes: 1 | Available Colors: 1 | Dimensions: 15.6 x 4 x 11 (L x W x H) | Material: Genuine Leather | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 4


This Clever Faux-Leather Messenger Bag You Can Wear 3 Ways

Stay organized with this stylish and structured vegan leather bag that has a total of six compartments, including a laptop slot with protective padding, a zipper pocket, two open pockets, two pen slots, and a front pocket. You can comfortably fit a 15.6-inch laptop, a few folders, and notebooks, as well as smaller items like your keys, wallet, phone, and makeup. Even more impressive? The detachable and adjustable, unpadded shoulder straps can transform this bag from a messenger bag to a backpack, though you can also wear it as a briefcase if you hold it by the top handle. Two buckles secure the flap shut.

Helpful review: “I love this purchase! This leather laptop bag is beautiful! I love the versatility with the handle and straps. I've carried it as a briefcase, worn with one long strap as a messenger bag and worn as a backpack. There is a separate, padded area where my MacBook fits securely and the entire bag zips closed. This was exactly what I was looking for!”

Available Sizes: 2 | Available Colors: 9 | Dimensions: 15.3 x 4.9 x 11 inches (L x W x H) | Material: Faux Leather | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 6


This Chic Messenger Bag With Travel-Friendly Details

Tickets? Check. Cute carry on? Also check! This messenger bag with a luggage strap will make your next adventure seamless. Inside, there are three main compartments (including a padded one to safely store any laptop under 15.6 inches), plus a number of smaller interior pockets. Two large, open pockets below the flap make for easy access to your passport or ID. Other features include two exterior pockets on either side to store drinks, an adjustable padded strap, and a USB charging port. This travel-friendly bag is made primarily from canvas with vegan leather accents.

Helpful review: “I bought this bag specifically for work travel so that I could fit my personal items and work computer, notebooks etc.. in one bag. It works and looks great. Also I've gotten numerous compliments on it too. If you are looking for versatility and something to hold a number of items this bag works.”

Available Sizes: 2 | Available Colors: 8 | Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 12 (L x W x H) | Material: PU Leather/Canvas | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 10


A Stylish, Faux-Leather Laptop Tote Bag That’s Great For The Office

Tote a day’s worth of essentials in this stylish vegan leather messenger bag — which can also be carried as a tote via the top handles — including a 17-inch laptop. Inside there are three roomy, unpadded compartments, three smaller pockets, and a zippered pocket on the outside for easy access to must-haves, like your keys or subway card. In addition to a laptop, this bag (which is equipped with an adjustable, unpadded strap) will comfortably hold a tablet, a notebook, portable keyboard, and chargers with room for extras. This spacious bag looks and feels like it’s made from real leather (though it’s faux), and it’s finished with elevated details like a top handle and metal buckles. Since it’s so chic, you can feel confident carrying this to upscale offices.

Helpful review: “I've had several laptop bags and this one has exceeded my expectations! It has every feature that I needed including zippered section, extra width for my laptop and lap desk, pockets for cell and business cards, extra zippered pocket on back, and Velcro pocket. Very comfortable straps and doesn't slide off my shoulder. This is the perfect mobile office bag.”

Available Sizes: 3 | Available Colors: 11 | Dimensions: 18.11 x 4.53 x 12.6 inches | Material: Faux Leather | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 6


A Laptop Messenger Bag That Comes In So Many Fun Colors & Prints

Get a little playful with this slim laptop messenger bag that comes in 39 adorable prints, like hand-drawn cacti (pictured), florals, leopard print, and pineapples. The main shockproof compartment comfortably fits a 15.6-inch laptop, its charger, and a notebook or magazine, and there are two open pockets inside (plus two pen loops) to store smaller items. The front zipper pocket is large enough for a small tablet without feeling bulky, and an open pocket on the other side is great for storing business cards or receipts. The adjustable padded strap is detachable, and there’s a luggage strap on the back.

Helpful review: “Loved this bag! Super great quality and great price.”

Available Sizes: 3 | Available Colors: 39 | Dimensions: ‎16.54 x 0.98 x 11.81 inches (L x W x H) | Material: Canvas | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 5


A Nylon Messenger Bag That’s Lightweight Yet Durable

No matter what the day brings, you're sure to be prepared thanks to this nylon messenger bag with storage galore. Outside, there are two side pockets perfect for storing a water bottle, plus three front zippered pockets and one back zippered pocket. In addition to the main unpadded compartment inside — which is big enough to store a tablet up to 10.2 inches long (or 12.2 inches, if you opt for the Large size) — there are also two zippered pockets and two open pockets. The nylon construction is both durable and water-resistant (and famously lightweight), and an adjustable, unpadded strap makes for easy customization.

Helpful review: “I have a purse problem - always looking for the ‘Goldilocks’ purse, which doesn't exist, I've surmised. But this one comes very close! I got the LARGE because I cart stuff back and forth from work every day, include iPad or laptop. This is big enough to haul those, the essentials, and a few extra items. There are a LOT of pockets, inside and out. And they are well placed and convenient.”

Available Sizes: 2 | Available Colors: 6 | Dimensions: 10.2 x 3.5 x 8.6 inches (L x W x H) | Material: Nylon | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 10


A Tablet-Sized Messenger Bag That’s Surprisingly Spacious

Looking to downsize? You’ll be surprised by just how much this sleek vegan leather messenger bag can store. Inside, there’s a padded compartment that can hold tablets up to 11 inches in size, along with several card slots, a pen holder, and phone pocket, plus an open pocket on the outside for added storage. Made from soft, pebbled PU leather that mimics the real thing, this bag has a magnetic snap closure that keeps everything safely tucked away. Plus, the unpadded adjustable strap can expand up to 60 inches. If you’re in the market for something more spacious, opt for the larger size in this listing, which measures 16.5 inches long to accommodate a laptop.

Helpful review: “This bag is just what I needed. Not too small and not too big. Great material and looks great! I'm very pleased.”

Available Sizes: 2 | Available Colors: 1 | Dimensions: 11.25 x 2 x 11.25 (L x W x H) | Material: PU Leather | Adjustable Strap: Yes | Pockets: 2