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5 Best Bike Messenger Bags: And How to Choose One (2022)

In this article, we explain what makes a good bike messenger bag, and list five of the best available today, so you can ride in comfort and style.

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Biking as a means of transportation can be both fun and efficient. However, if you’re carrying anything bulky or heavy, it can quickly become cumbersome and tiring. That’s where bike messenger bags come in handy.

This article explains what makes a good bike messenger bag and lists five of the best available today, so you can ride in comfort and style. Below are just three of my featured favorites. My favorite bike messenger bag is the TIMBUK2 Classic Messenger BagScroll further down to see my full roundup or click here.

Thumbnail for a blog post tittled 5 best bike messenger bags and how to choose one
Thumbnail For A Blog Post Tittled 5 Best Bike Messenger Bags And How To Choose One
Most compact
Timbuk2 classic messenger bag
TIMBUK2 Classic Messenger Bag
9.2
  • Low-profile top grabs grip for simple heaving.
  • The main body is entirely recycled Eco Cordura from post-consumer plastic bottles.
  • The internal TPU liner is easy to clean.
Best for professionals
Chrome industries mini metro messenger bag
Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag
9
  • Bottle opener incorporated within the quick-release buckle.
  • Up to a 15" laptop, cargo is protected by a weatherproof tarp liner and a strong nylon shell.
  • The outside is composed of abrasion-resistant military-grade nylon 1050 denier.
Most versatile
Topo designs quick pack messenger bag
Topo Designs Quick Pack Messenger Bag
8.5
  • Internal key ring, detachable and adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt seatbelt.
  • Strong plastic hardware, oversized YKK zippers with paracord zipper pulls.
  • Made with 1000D nylon, 400D nylon pack fabric, and 420D nylon pack cloth.

What is a bike messenger bag?

A bike messenger bag allows people to transport personal items such as books, office files, and tablets while riding their bikes between home and work (or class). It’s a less bulky alternative to a full backpack that can seamlessly transition into business mode once you’re off your bike.

Bike messenger bags are becoming more popular because they are easy to use and provide extra safety for cyclists. They are also ideal for people who commute to work or school.

What are messenger bags used for?

A bike messenger bag helps people carry personal items like books, office files, and tablets while moving between home and work (or class) on a bike. It’s a less bulky alternative to a full backpack that can move seamlessly into business mode once you’re off your bike.

What are the benefits of a bike messenger bag? (advantages)

Upgrading to a high-quality bike messenger bag can be an easy way to enhance your daily commute. Messenger bags are better for biking because it offers convenience and accessibility to users.

Bikers prefer using messenger bags when on the road, as they can access their stuff even when in action. You can even get the things you need inside the bag without taking them off, unlike when using a backpack. Moreover, messenger bags are stylish and versatile, ideal for everyday use.

You can just swing your bag around and grab what you need. This is especially important when you are in a hurry. With a messenger bag, you would protect your essentials by keeping them permanently attached to your side. The security you get from using a messenger bag is better than a backpack.

Man with yellow bike messenger bag riding a fixed gear bicycle. Source: mart production, pexels
Man with yellow bike messenger bag riding a fixed gear bicycle. Source: Mart Production, Pexels

What to consider when buying a bike messenger bag (things to look for)

Choosing a messenger bag with the right features for you can be daunting, so here are the most important things you should consider when choosing a good bike messenger bag. When selecting the best bike messenger bag for your needs and budget, consider the following factors:

Versatility

A messenger bag isn’t just for riding. You’re likely carrying it as you walk around with your belongings. As a result, you must select a bag that works well in both situations. When purchasing the bag, try it on your shoulder to see how it feels to walk around with it. If it has a handle, try that as well.

Straps

Most bike messenger carriers have one shoulder strap and a joint waist strap to provide stability while biking. On the other hand, getting a bag with wider adjustable straps is ideal because you can adjust them to your comfort.

Capacity

Before you buy the bag, consider how much space you require. You can narrow down your options by keeping volume in mind. The type of items you intend to carry and their number must influence the capacity. When carrying a computer, the bag’s shape is just as important as the volume.

Organization

Bike messenger bags have a variety of pocket designs. Some will be divided into compartments for tablets, phones, power cords, paperwork, and other items. The items you will carry regularly should be considered when organizing your bag.

Comfort

In most cases, you will be riding and walking with your bike messenger carrier. So choose a bag with a wide strap and plenty of padding for comfort, especially if you’ll be transporting heavier items such as a laptop, books, and tablets.

On hot summer days, a well-ventilated bag can provide some extra comfort. Larger messenger bags are more likely to have this feature.

Water-resistance

It may seem obvious, but if you ride in an area where it rains frequently, you should consider investing in a waterproof messenger bag. You don’t want important papers or expensive electronic devices getting wet during a rainstorm. Even if your bag provides protection, you will have wet items if it is not waterproof.

There is a distinction to be made between a water-resistant bag and a waterproof bag. A water-resistant bag will protect your belongings in light rain, but it will not prevent rainwater from entering the bag—especially if the rain is heavy. Full water immersion is problematic with a water-resistant bag, but most waterproof bags can withstand it. So, if you want to keep items safe from water, get a waterproof bag!

Man with yellow bike messenger bag holding a fixed gear bicycle. Source: mart production, pexels
Man with yellow bike messenger bag holding a fixed gear bicycle. Source: Mart Production, Pexels

What are the different types of bike messenger bags?

There are several bike messenger bags, but the most common ones include backpacks, messenger bags, shoulder bags, and duffel bags.

Backpacks

Backpacks are the simplest type of bike messenger bag and are typically made of durable materials like Nylon or canvas. They’re designed to carry a small amount of gear and are easy to wear, thanks to their comfortable straps.

Messenger bags

Messenger bags are a little more versatile than backpacks and are typically larger. As a result, they’re perfect for carrying everything from a laptop to snacks and drinks. They also come with plenty of pockets and compartments, making them ideal for organizing your belongings.

Shoulder bags

Shoulder bags are a good option if you want something that’s both stylish and practical. They’re roomy enough to store all your gear, but they’re not so bulky that you won’t be able to move around quickly.

Duffel bags

Duffel bags are another versatile type of bike messenger bag that can be used for various purposes. They’re great for carrying clothes, tools, documents, or anything else you might need while on your bike ride. Plus, they come with a built-in rain cover that can help protect your belongings from the elements.

If you want even more tips, check out this video called Fixed Gear | the Best Bike Messenger Bag in Nyc from the Onacomeuppp YouTube Channel.

A video called Fixed Gear | the Best Bike Messenger Bag in Nyc from the Onacomeuppp YouTube Channel.

The five best bike messenger bags of 2022

Below are the best bike messenger bags that you can buy right now.

Best for professionals
Chrome industries mini metro messenger bag
Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag
  • Bottle opener incorporated within the quick-release buckle.
  • Up to a 15" laptop, cargo is protected by a weatherproof tarp liner and a strong nylon shell.
  • The outside is composed of abrasion-resistant military-grade nylon 1050 denier.
Most compact
Timbuk2 classic messenger bag
TIMBUK2 Classic Messenger Bag
  • Low-profile top grabs grip for simple heaving.
  • The main body is entirely recycled Eco Cordura from post-consumer plastic bottles.
  • The internal TPU liner is easy to clean.
Most versatile
Topo designs quick pack messenger bag
Topo Designs Quick Pack Messenger Bag
  • Internal key ring, detachable and adjustable shoulder strap two stowable "waist belt seatbelt.
  • Strong plastic hardware, Webbing pull tabs, oversized YKK zippers with paracord zipper pulls.
  • 1000D nylon, 400D nylon pack fabric, and 420D nylon pack cloth are the materials used. 
Best for daily use
Osprey men's flapjack courier messenger bag
Osprey Men's FlapJack Courier Messenger Bag
  • The zippered top slash pocket provides additional storage for anything that must be accessible.
  • Reflective graphics and a blinker light attachment are useful for nighttime commuting.
  • Zippered stash pockets make this pack ideal for daily use.
Best value
Chrome industries kadet sling messenger bag
Chrome Industries Kadet Sling Messenger Bag
  • The Kadet is designed to transport only what is necessary.
  • This slim sling bag can hold a light jacket, tablet, camera, keys, and wallet.
  • Front and internal pockets with quick access, and rear U-lock holster.

1. Chrome Industries Mini Metro Messenger Bag

Chrome industries mini metro messenger bag
Chrome industries mini metro messenger bag
Chrome industries mini metro messenger bag
Our Score
  • Since 1995, professional messengers have used this crossbody or over-the-shoulder sling bag.
  • Bottle opener incorporated within the quick-release buckle.
  • Up to a 15" laptop (sleeve recommended), cargo is protected by a weatherproof tarp liner and a strong nylon shell.
  • Daisy-chain mounting loop for attaching a carabiner or bike light, as well as an industrial strength hook and loop shoulder strap.
  • Shoulder strap with stabilizing strap and night vision reflective strips.
  • Every Mini Metro is constructed twice to provide maximum durability and waterproofness.
  • The interior lining is composed of 22oz truck tarpaulin.
  • The outside is composed of abrasion-resistant military-grade nylon 1050 denier.

The Chrome Industries Mini Metro is intended for people looking for a small urban utility biking bag for daily use. If you frequently carry small items with you, this bag is ideal for you. Its small size is ideal for light bike commutes, work bags, and other short trips.

The bag is made of various materials that make it versatile and long-lasting. For example, using industrial-grade Nylon ensures that it is entirely weatherproof, keeping all of your belongings dry if you get rained on while biking. The military-grade truck tarpaulin material also ensures that this bag will last a long time.

The Mini Metro comes with a cross-body strap, a shoulder sling, and a shoulder strap with reflective strips for nighttime visibility. The shoulder strap also includes a stabilizer strap that fits under your armpit to secure the bag while providing ergonomic relief. The iconic seatbelt buckle allows for a smooth close and release. The buckle even has a bottle opener built in! (However, don’t drink and cycle.)

2. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Timbuk2 classic messenger bag
Timbuk2 classic messenger bag
Timbuk2 classic messenger bag
Our Score
  • The original Timbuk2 messenger has been enhanced by 30 years of experience.
  • Internal organization system for laptops, pens, phones, and other tiny items; Internal slash pocket provides a padded, solid storage area for paperwork.
  • The napoleon side-entry pocket allows easy access without having to undo the flap; Internal water bottle storage.
  • Low-profile top grabs grip for simple heaving; Flap buckles that are partially disguised with bottom compression straps for a discreet and secure fastening; Smart hook and loop positioning for a quick, easy fastening and less sweater pilling; Blinky bike lights can be attached to the Vista loop.
  • The main body is entirely recycled Eco Cordura from post-consumer plastic bottles.
  • The internal TPU liner is easy to clean; A matching strap pad is included. The cross strap is incompatible with the XS messenger.
  • Fully adjustable shoulder strap with an ultra-comfortable air mesh strap pad; Crossbody strap is detachable for cross-body stability. DWR-coated exterior for water resistance in light rain.
  • Timbuk2 stands by all of its products' famous quality and craftsmanship. If the materials or craftsmanship are defective, they will repair the bag for the product's life.

The Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is a messenger bag that is ideal for carrying various items while riding your bike. In addition, it has a lot of pockets for organizing and transporting small personal items.

You can easily transport your laptop, water bottle, office or class items, phone, and other accessories. It is available in various sizes. You can select an extra-small, small, medium, or large bag based on your needs.

The messenger bag has a low-profile handle positioned at the top for easy grasping. It also has partially concealed flap buckles and bottom compression straps for a refined and secure closure that keeps your belongings safe. You can quickly and easily close it with the smart hook and loop. In addition, the Vista loop makes it simple to attach bike lights.

The TIMBUK2 is made of 150D Poly Tweed, a tough material that adds durability to the bag. When the weather turns bad, the waterproof TPU liner and flap corner keep your belongings dry.

3. Topo Designs Quick Pack Belt Bag

Topo designs quick pack messenger bag
5 best bike messenger bags: and how to choose one (2022) - blank img - brooklyn fixed gear
5 best bike messenger bags: and how to choose one (2022) - blank img - brooklyn fixed gear
Our Score
  • The main compartment is padded and large. Internal stash compartment, External zippered diagonal pocket with two slip pockets.
  • Internal key ring, detachable and adjustable shoulder strap two stowable "waist belt seatbelt.
  • Carry handles on the top, Attachment loops for bicycle lights, and Compression straps at the bottom.
  • Strong plastic hardware, Webbing pull tabs, oversized YKK zippers with paracord zipper pulls.
  • 1000D nylon, 400D nylon pack fabric, and 420D nylon pack cloth are the materials used. 

The Top Designs Quick Pack is a large hip bag that can also function as a small messenger bag (or vice versa!). The construction of 1000D Cordura and 400D Nylon ensures durability, and the small size and variety of carrying options make this a versatile little bag.

Bottom compression straps make it simple to match the pack size to the load, and heavy-duty plastic hardware adds to the overall durability. The shoulder strap and waist belt can be stored inside the bag when not in use. A top carry handle adds another carrying option when not on the bike.

4. Osprey Men’s FlapJack Courier Day Pack

Osprey men's flapjack courier messenger bag
Osprey men's flapjack courier messenger bag
5 best bike messenger bags: and how to choose one (2022) - blank img - brooklyn fixed gear
Our Score
  • The zippered top slash pocket provides additional storage for anything that must be accessible.
  • Reflective graphics and a blinker light attachment are useful for nighttime commuting.
  • A pleated cloth side pocket is ideal for carrying various types and sizes of water bottles in order to stay hydrated.
  • In addition to the main compartment, a zippered pocket provides additional storage for phone and laptop power cords.
  • Internal laptop storage, a tablet sleeve, a front pocket for small goods, and numerous extra
  • Zippered stash pockets make this pack ideal for daily use.
  • 7 internal slip pockets, 2 interior zip pockets, and 3 card slots.

The Osprey FlapJack Courier Day Pack is a tough commuting bag with a relaxed appearance. However, if you’re looking for a bag with great pocket designs and excellent organizational capabilities, the FlapJack is a good choice.

The FlapJack has no wasted space, and all of the pockets are so thoughtfully placed that the bag appears larger than it is. Mary Poppins would be pleased.

The padding is also excellent, and the back panel is stiff enough to protect costly electronics and laptop computers.

The internal handle may appear to be a minor design detail, but it is extremely useful. It allows you to easily move the bag off the bike without constantly closing the flap. Excellent for moving between meetings or rearranging seats in a coffee shop.

Because of the tough materials, the contents in the main compartment will stay dry even if it rains. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the contents of the top stash pocket, making it unsuitable for storing expensive electronics.

5. Chrome Industries Kadet Sling Messenger Bag

Chrome industries kadet sling messenger bag
Chrome industries kadet sling messenger bag
Chrome industries kadet sling messenger bag
Our Score
  • The Kadet is designed to transport only what is necessary. Our slim sling bag can hold a light jacket, tablet, camera, keys, and wallet. Our classic seatbelt buckle keeps it secure and is protected by military-grade nylon.
  • A small, comfy, lightweight messenger-style crossbody bag designed to carry your essentials.
  • Chrome's characteristic messenger sling closure is robust enough to stay secured in any situation yet easy to release when you need to get out of your gear; a built-in bottle opener is included.
  • The Kadet is a low-profile sling bag that carries a light jacket, tablet, camera, keys, and wallet comfortably.
  • It is made of military-grade nylon and is secured with our iconic seatbelt buckle, and it has a padded back U-lock holster for the on-the-go messenger.
  • Front and internal pockets with quick access, Daisy-chain attachment holes, and padded rear U-lock holster (U-lock not included)

Chrome Industries is known for its distinctive, edgy gear for urban dwellers and cyclists. The Chrome Industries Kadet is no different. However, because it’s larger than most slings—hence the name “messenger sling”—it’s not meant to be worn across your hips like a fanny pack. When worn across the chest, it also appears a little large, especially if you have a smaller frame. In general, we preferred the back carry.

We’ve been testing the Kadet’s limited edition “BLCKCHRM 22X” version, which has a 22x nylon laminate exterior. This version is only available in the black colorway we’ve been testing, which amplifies Chrome Industries’ signature urban aesthetic. The front of the bag in this colorway features a black-on-black griffin logo (unlike the other colorways, which have a white border outlining the griffin).

Both fabrics are long-lasting and should serve you well. The Kadet also features tough YKK zippers, including a YKK AquaGuard® zipper on the main compartment for added water resistance. To be clear, the bag is in no way waterproof. However, if it begins to rain while you’re out and about, you should be fine. The strap’s bulky aluminum buckle (which we’ll review in more detail later) should also last.

Chrome Industries is known for producing high-quality, long-lasting gear, so we’re not surprised that we haven’t encountered any major durability issues thus far.


How I chose these bike messenger bags (ranking criteria and methodology)

I studied hundreds of reviews from real buyers and testers to determine which messenger bag performed best and was dependable. I selected these bags at various pricing ranges to ensure that everyone can find a messenger bag that suits their needs. I judged these bags by the following criteria.

Average price (10%)

While this article covers bags with varying price ranges, a bike messenger bag should be affordable. Thus I highlight affordability and Price as prime benefits while evaluating these bags.

Features (35%)

Every bike messenger bag has a unique set of features. Some are better than others. I considered the special features when evaluating these products.

Functionality (25%)

I chose these products based on how durable and functional they are. I used real customer reviews and experience to evaluate their advertised functionality and durability.

Style (10%)

Let’s face it, we all want a good-looking bike light and style of the product when evaluating features when evaluating these products. 

Reviews (20%)

I considered positive and negative reviews evaluating these products.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about 

How to put on a messenger bag on a bike

Most messenger bags are designed to be fashionable, so you can dress them up or down. Because of its style and functionality, it is an excellent biking accessory. It is simple to mount a messenger bag to a bicycle. You simply need to adjust the strap to fit your body type. A properly adjusted bag can evenly distribute the load.

How to ride a bike while wearing a messenger bag?

The messenger bags shown above are ideal for biking. It’s just a different take on the everyday sling bag. However, they will not force you to give up your bike riding.

Are messenger Bags in Style

Yes, the majority of messenger bags are always fashionable. Bike messenger bag manufacturers make certain that their products are always fashionable. Most bags on the market have gone through numerous creative processes to provide consumers with stylish and trendy products. They are also adaptable to the needs of modern bikers.

Are messenger bags good for any weather?

Messenger bags are weatherproof materials, making them ideal for rainy days. Others, on the other hand, are made of cotton and are therefore unsuitable for use in rainy weather. As a result, not all bags are designed and manufactured to protect your belongings from harsh weather elements. If you ride in the rain frequently, consider purchasing a waterproof bag to protect your belongings.

Do I need a bag that has reflective material on it?

Reflective material on a bike messenger bag is an option rather than a requirement. However, we encourage you to take any precautions to increase your safety. For example, a reflective strip could save your life if you ride at night or in areas where it gets dark early. We’d take it every time if we had the option.

Conclusion

Having a safe and secure bike messenger bag is crucial, whether you need to run errands or commute to work. These five bags are the best bike messenger bags we’ve listed here. They all have something different to offer, but they all come with a sturdy build and enough space to store your belongings. Of course, it is also important for you to consider the safety of these bags when making a purchase.

To sum up, these bags are crafted with high-quality materials and intuitive storage spaces so that no matter your situation, you can be sure that nothing will get lost or damaged during your ride!

This article covered my top 5 picks for the best bike messenger bags and how to choose one that’s best for you. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Some of the best messenger bags are:
    1. Chrome Industries’ Mini Metro Messenger Bag
    2. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag
    3. Topo Designs Quick Pack Belt Bag
    4. Osprey Men’s FlapJack Courier Day Pack
    5. Chrome Industries Kadet Sling Messenger Bag

So, what’s your favorite bike messenger bag? Did I cover everything you wanted to know? And what do you think of my list? Let us know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on fixed gear and single-speed bikes. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

Helpful resources

Author avatar - Bradley Knight
Written By Bradley Knight
As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies, including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

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