To tote your essentials in style, the best leather messenger bags combine form and functionality with enough room to hold a tablet or laptop, plus your other daily necessities. There’s a lot of variety when it comes to durability, so it’s worth taking a deeper dive into the different types of leather you’ll find below.
- Full-grain leather is made from the topmost layer of animal hide. It’s the most durable leather, and it offers excellent moisture resistance. It will also develop a patina, or natural shine, over time.
- Genuine leather comes from any layer of the hide. It’s less expensive than full-grain leather, but also less durable.
- Goat hide leather is soft, durable, and water-resistant, thanks to the lanolin found in goat skin.
- Buffalo leather is thicker than cowhide and very strong and durable. It also has a more pronounced natural grain and texture.
- Artificial leather is typically made from a base of polyester that’s often finished with polyurethane to make it look like the real thing. It's the least expensive option and also the least durable — but it has the added bonus of being water-resistant.
As for other features, most messenger bags have adjustable straps for comfort, and some have removable straps and carry handles for added versatility. (One option below even converts into a backpack.) You can also consider extras like padded laptop sleeves, zippered pockets and compartments, and concealed push-lock closures for extra security.
The best leather messenger bags below include a variety of styles, price points, and types of leather. Take a look and see what catches your eye.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. The fan-favorite
- Dimensions: 18 x 13 x 5 inches (width x height x depth)
This handcrafted messenger bag is made from goat hide leather and has fetched more than 5,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. The bag’s main compartment consists of three canvas-lined sections, with the middle one large enough to fit a 17-inch laptop. There are two additional internal pockets for phones, earbuds, and more. There are also internal and external zippered pockets. The bag has a buckle closure, top carry handle, and an adjustable, padded leather strap that’s removable. It’s also available in a 16-inch size.
One reviewer wrote: "It fits my computer, several notebooks, charging cord, reports and all sorts of gadgets for work. I really love the exterior pockets that are fully functional. The long strap is adjustable and has padding on it. The buckles are sturdy and adjustable. Overall, it has been the perfect bag. It's definitely one of the best investments I have ever made."
2. The classic one
- Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 4 inches (width x height x depth)
Another option made from goat leather, this messenger bag has a canvas lining and can accommodate a 13-inch laptop in its padded middle compartment, with two additional sections for books and notepads. An interior strap will keep your laptop and books secure, and the bag has two additional internal pockets with zipper closures. Magnetic snap closures make it easy to get things in and out of the bag and the leather strap can be adjusted for comfort.
One reviewer wrote: "Really excellent quality!! Perfect, compact size that just fits my laptop and some paperwork. Highly recommend!"
3. The budget one
- Dimensions: 15.7 x 12.2 x 5 inches (width x height x depth)
Made from polyurethane artificial leather, this messenger bag looks like the real thing, and is also water-resistant. The bag has a total of nine pockets, including a padded section for a 15-inch laptop, with an elastic strap to keep it secure. The main compartment has a zipper closure and there are three internal pockets that will fit pens, phones, and notepads. There is another zippered pocket on the back of the messenger bag, as well as four external pockets (two of which have magnetic snaps). Push locks make getting in and out of the bag easy, and the detachable strap is adjustable and padded. This weather-resistant option also comes in brown, and both colors are available in a larger size.
One reviewer wrote: "I love everything about this bag. I am a Chef and I bike to work. There is so much storage. It looks freaking amazing. The quality is perfect."
4. The slightly weathered one
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 11 x 4 inches (width x height x depth)
Another popular Amazon find, this messenger bag has a 4.8-star rating with more than 1,000 reviews. The buffalo leather bag has a padded compartment for a 15.6-inch laptop, as well as another front pocket that can fit a tablet. The bag’s interior is lined with durable canvas and includes two additional pockets for pens, earbuds, or a phone. Additionally, a slim pocket on the back of the bag has a zipper closure. There are two push locks cleverly hidden by small leather straps and the adjustable carry strap is removable if you’d prefer to use the top handle.
One reviewer wrote: "This bag is built extremely well. The leather is [...] thick, it's soft, and it smells like a new baseball glove. The hardware, handle and shoulder strap are solid. It fits my 15.6" laptop, my zippered portfolio, and other work junk perfectly. This will last and look great for a long time. It's perfect and worth every penny."
5. The compact one
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 10.2 x 3.9 inches (width x height x depth)
Though it’s smaller than other models, this messenger bag is still large enough to fit a 9.7-inch tablet in one of its two main compartments. Made from genuine cowhide leather, the bag has a polyester lining and an adjustable strap. It also has three smaller external pockets with zipper closures. This compact option has earned a 4.8-star rating, with more than 800 shoppers weighing in.
One reviewer wrote: "The patina on this perfect-sized bag is sporty and casual, and it looks as if it will wear well. Each pocket is zippered with no flaps to get in the way. The sewing is exceptional, and the zippers seem strong and hardy."
6. The distressed one
- Dimensions: 18 inches x 13 x 5 inches (width x height x depth)
This handcrafted messenger bag is made from full-grain buffalo leather and has a durable canvas lining. A padded laptop compartment will fit a 17-inch device, and there’s an additional main section with a small zippered pocket. The two front exterior compartments also have zipper closures so you can keep your wallet and phone safe, and there’s another slim pocket on the other side of the bag. The main compartment zips closed and two front buckles disguise the bag’s push lock closures. The detachable strap is adjustable and has a padded section for a more comfortable fit, and there's also a top carry handle.
One reviewer wrote: "I love this bag. After using it as my daily computer bag for work, it has held up wonderfully! It looks even better after a little wear and I get compliments on it all the time."
7. The sleek one
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 12 x 3.5 inches (width x height x depth)
Though it has a slim profile, this genuine leather bag can still fit a 14-inch laptop in a foam-padded compartment that’s cushioned on the bottom as well as the sides. Inside you’ll find two additional small pockets, as well as a section for keeping credit and business cards organized. There are two magnetic pockets underneath the front flap and another zippered one on the flap itself. The main compartment has a zipper closure and the bag’s strap is adjustable and padded. The bag is also available in brown and cognac colors.
One reviewer wrote: "My 14 inch laptop fits perfectly. Plenty of room for power cord, small umbrella, sun glasses, wallet and small catch-all bag. Keys and phone in the front pouches and extras in the zipper compartments."
8. The upgrade
- Dimensions: 16.1 x 12.6 x 8 inches (width x height x depth)
Made from Italian full-grain leather with silver hardware, this lined messenger bag will withstand years of use. The bag’s strap is unique in that it can be configured as a shoulder strap or as a backpack with two supportive shoulder pads. The inside of the bag is divided into two sections, and though there’s no additional padding, there’s room for a 15.6-inch laptop. There are also two small pockets and a key chain inside, and two small external side pockets. The messenger bag has a buckle closure and is also available in dark coffee, dark brown, gray, and brown.
One reviewer wrote: "This is an awesome bag. The leather is thick and durable. The interior volume is much larger than I expected. The buckle and clip hardware is sturdy and looks great with the brown bag. The strap rests comfortably on my shoulder and is softer than I expected for a leather strap and pads [...] I’m also looking forward to the ability to convert to a back pack when I’m out riding motorcycle."
9. The satchel
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 10.7 x 2.7 inches (width x height x depth)
The main compartment of this vertically designed messenger bag is still large enough to hold a 10-inch laptop, and the additional front pocket could house a tablet or notebook. In addition, there are three small pockets inside, one with a zipper. It’s made from genuine leather and has a snap closure and an adjustable strap.
One reviewer wrote: "Even though it’s small, it can still fit everything that I need on a regular basis: My 10.5 inch iPad, a folding keyboard, kindle, headphones, and charging cords, plus a few incidentals like keys and a bag of dice. The pockets have remained strong and intact—no tearing of the internal fabric or holes in the leather from heavy use."
10. The one for travel
- Dimensions: 17.3 x 13.3 x 5.9 inches (width x height x depth)
This water-resistant messenger bag has a trolley sleeve to secure it to a suitcase handle, so it's easy to tote while you're traveling. It’s made from polyurethane artificial leather and has a polyester-cotton blend lining and a zipper closure for the main compartment. Inside, there’s a padded laptop sleeve for devices up to 17 inches in size, as well as four additional pockets for notebooks and accessories. There are also three exterior pockets. The travel-friendly bag has a versatile adjustable shoulder strap that can be removed and it’s also available in a smaller size in black and brown.
One reviewer wrote: "Couldn’t be happier. The case is comfortable, big enough to put my laptop, charger, book, etc in it and it’s lightweight but durable."