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This style of bag generally features one large compartment protected by a sizeable flap. This design allows easy access to the bag’s contents while providing a good level of protection from the elements. Smaller, secondary compartments for the organised stowing of a range of bits and bobs and a padded laptop sleeve are common additions.
So what are the advantages of messenger bags when compared with other types of bags? One of the main benefits is the convenience they provide with both hands free to deal with whatever life throws at you. Messenger bags can also be more elegant and grown-up than a backpack.
Now we have a better idea of what a messenger bags are and what advantages they offer over other types of bags, let’s have a look at the most important things to consider when buying a messenger bag online in the UK.
Smaller messenger bags (around 16 litres or less) are lighter and more comfortable to wear on a day to day basis, and without any unnecessary capacity, it should be easier to keep your belongings in place. They’ll be easier to tuck in close to you while squeezing into packed public transport, and less cumbersome to wear all day long while sightseeing on a city break.
Larger messenger bags (around 20 litres or more) are for those who need something to take to work, with room for a packed lunch, travel mug, change of clothes for the gym afterwards, and whatever else you might need. Such messenger bags can also double up as weekend bags for short breaks, while still compact enough to take as carry-on luggage.
Courier-style bags also tend to be large and highly water-resistant and come with additions such as reflective strips and places to attach bike lights. These design features make them super practical, and a good choice if capacity and weather resistance are your key considerations, but they may be less suitable for some office environments and for pairing with formal wear.
This style of messenger bag is more common and comes in a wider range of designs and materials to suit a broader spectrum of looks and fashions. However, for heavier or bulkier loads, the strap on this style of messenger back can be less comfortable and be more likely to give you a bad back.
However, these materials are only hard wearing to a certain extent. If your bag is going to spend a lot of time sitting on a dirty cafe floor or chucked around, leather and waxed cotton will soon start to look tatty rather than worn-in. Similarly, if you’ll be outside with your messenger bag, you’ll soon find that leather and waxed cotton are no match for the worst of British weather.
Generally speaking, however, messenger bags made from synthetic materials tend to be less sophisticated and smart than those made from natural materials. For some this will be part of their appeal – it will go with their less formal look or let them celebrate living outside the 9-5 world, but for those who want something elegant, it may be best to steer clear of polyester and nylon.
These laptop pockets are separate from the main compartment, to help prevent any damage from leaky bottles or travel mugs inside your messenger bag. Much more importantly, however, they should be sufficiently padded to protect your laptop or tablet from the bumps and knocks your bag will be subjected to daily.
When comparing messenger bags, bear in mind the size of your device, as not all bags will have room for larger models. And if your laptop or tablet is particularly expensive or dear to you, or if you lead a particularly rough and tumble life, factor in enough space for an additional, separately purchased protective sleeve or case to make extra sure your hardware gets there in one piece.
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Greenland Messenger Bag
A Cool Yet Understated Messenger Bag Made From Sustainably Sourced Materials
Wax Cotton and Leather Trim Satchel
A High-Quality Traditional Messenger Bag in Heritage Materials
Citizen Messenger Bag
The Professional Cycle Courier’s Bag of Choice
Delegate Messenger Bag
A Satchel/Courier Bag Crossover Built for the Streets
John Lewis & Partners
Keswick Waxed Cotton Messenger Bag
A Small but Perfectly Formed Traditional Messenger Bag
A Convenient Alternative for Cyclists Who Want to Arrive in Style
Water-Repellent Expandable Messenger Bag
Unbeatable Laptop Protection at a Great Price
Classic Messenger Bag
A Good Value Courier-Style Messenger Bag
American Blue Store
Leather Messenger Briefcase Bag
Perfect for Those Who Prefer Something More Traditional
Classics Redford Messenger Bag
Classic Lines but Without the Mod-Cons
Being aimed at commuters, it’s no surprise that the laptop pouch here is particularly well-constructed, suitable for devices up to 15.6 inches. You can also buy this bag with a clear conscience knowing that it is eco-friendly.
Cycling is one of the best forms of transport there is: it's affordable, it's good for you and it's good for the environment. What's not to love? Well, cycling can be a bit of a hassle if you don't have the right kit, but with these guides, we'll show you products that - along with your new messenger bag - will ensure you have a safe and happy experience on two wheels.
No. 1: Fjällräven｜Greenland Messenger Bag
No. 2: Barbour｜Wax Cotton and Leather Trim Satchel
No. 3: Chrome｜Citizen Messenger Bag
No. 4: Eastpak ｜Delegate Messenger Bag
No. 5: John Lewis & Partners｜Keswick Waxed Cotton Messenger Bag
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