The 5 Best Bike Commuter and Messenger Bags of 2023

You are preparing to head out on your fixie and find out there isn’t enough space in the usual backpack to carry your stuff. Not to mention, traditional backpacks can be uncomfortable while on a bike.

If you’re looking for more carrying space, increased comfort, or the perfect bag with a perfect storage location for all of your things, you’ve come to the right place! I took a look at many of the top options out there and came up with 5 recommendations you should be happy with.

If you are looking for other ways to carry your things while on your bike, check out my basket post here.

The Best Messenger Bags by Category

  1. Best OverallChrome Citizen Messenger Satchel
  2. Best ValueTIMBUK 2 Classic Messenger Bag
  3. Best for night riding Timbuk 2 Especial Cycling Messenger Bag
  4. Best Small BagXINCADA Sling Bag Chest Shoulder Messenger Bag
  5. Most Fashionable Leaper Retro Canvas Messenger Bag

Messenger Sling Bag Comparison Table

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Bike messenger or commuter on a bike

Top 5 Best Bike Messenger Bags Review

1.TIMBUK 2 Classic Messenger Bag Review

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We commence things with a commuting bag produced by the market’s pioneer in bags, clothing, and accessories: Timbuk2.

Timbuk2 San Fransisco has been in the messenger bag business for a long time, and this particular bag was designed over 30 years ago. The Classic Messenger is a stylish bag with a fresh feel, comfortable shoulder fit, and well-designed pockets.

It has a low-profile handle on the top, which l like to grab off the floor or move around the office quickly.

Inside, on either end of the main compartment, waterproof drink container compartments stash away your beverages and distribute weight to each side of the bag.

The outside flap is lined with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to keep the inner contents dry. The flap also conceals some of the straps and buckles for a clean look.

There are four different sizes to choose from, with the smallest at 9.0L and the largest at 28L. This would fit some of the biggest 17″ laptops. The large size weighs in at 2.0lbs.

I didn’t like that many of the colors are only available in the smaller sizes. and, it did seem heavier than the other bags.


  • Cleaner look
  • Very organized
  • Extremely reliable trusted brand
  • Handy exterior pocket


  • Not too many specialized storage pockets

2.Leaper Retro Canvas Messenger Bag Sling Bag Review

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If you’re looking for something a bit more fashionable, Leaper may be the bag you are looking for. I really like the retro look of this bag.

The main material is canvas with PU leather straps and decorations. At first glance, the magnetic buttons on the front seem like a good idea, but this isn’t exactly the most secure way to keep the flap down. They are mostly cosmetic.

I like the two drink holders out on the sides. This gives you the ability to put a coffee on one side and a water bottle on the other. You could also use one of these spots for an umbrella. They are a little more prone to damage than some of the other models, however.

There are quite a few storage compartments on this bag. You should find plenty of spots for a phone, keys, charger, pens, etc.

The large size is designed to fit a 13-inch slim laptop and weighs in at 1.8 lbs. Some comments on Amazon indicate that people have issues placing some 13″ computers inside.


  • Very lightweight
  • Stylish
  • Affordable in price
  • Waterproof feature


  • The water bottle pocket isn’t durable.

3.Chrome Citizen Messenger Satchel Bag Review

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If you are looking for a stunning, high-quality large bag for your commute, the Chrome Citizen Messenger bag is the perfect option. It even comes with a bottle opener!

Chrome has been around since 1995 and they have a strong track record for creating some amazing products.

It features an anti-theft cross-body design with an added stability strap to secure heavier loads from shifting around. Additionally, the strap has a seatbelt style quick-release mechanism that makes it easy to shift which shoulder it is riding on or take it on and off.

Like the TIMBUK 2 Classic, this bag has two spots on the inside to place drink containers.

The spacious main cargo area can also store a 17-inch laptop. The benefit of this bag over the TIMBUK2 model is that the pocket design is more thoughtful. Tech-savvy owners would have locations for all of their cables, chargers, and power cells.

This model does not have a reflective feature, but the is a loop in the bottom middle that you could hang a small battery-operated light from.

I really like this bag’s sleek design and durable construction. If you take a look at the Amazon reviews, you won’t find many negative comments.


  • Large storage capacity
  • Tons of pockets
  • Long-lasting military grade materials
  • Quick disconnect shoulder strap and a bottle opener!


  • Some people think the belt is too short

4.XINCADA Sling Bag Chest Shoulder Messenger Bag Review

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Next in the lineup is the Xincada Sling bag. It’s the smallest bag in the lineup and is highly recommended for those of you that don’t have a ton to carry.

This bag is made of a waterproof PVC and polyester material, so you won’t have to worry about your stuff getting wet.

This bag has a roomy interior despite its smaller size, but you won’t be able to fit a laptop. You might be able to fit your tablet in there, however. The manufacturer has stated that the larger iPad pro would have to go into the main compartment instead of the iPad compartment.

The small size keeps it light, weighing in at only 1.34 lbs.

A USB pass-through connection allows you to stash your power brick inside the main compartment and still charge your phone on the outside. This model also includes a lock mechanism on the main zipper compartment for added security.

I like the compact size of this bag. This could be the perfect bag for someone who doesn’t have documents, folders, or a laptop to carry.


  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Easy to carry


  • The shoulder strap can come loose

5.Timbuk 2 Especial Cycling Messenger Bag Review

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This bag is excellent for all sorts of cyclists that ride to school, work, or any other area. One of the main characteristics of this product is fabric consistency.

500D Ripstop Cordura nylon ensures that this bag is built to last. It also has large reflective panels to make sure you can be seen at night.

The manufacturer includes a lifetime warranty that will cover any manufacturing defects. Lifetime warranties are hard to come by these days!

The upper flap and interior liner is made of waterproof TPU material including seems that are taped.

A 15-inch laptop can be mounted on the broader edition of Timbuk2 Messenger Box. We encourage you to have laptop support for extra security while riding your bike with the laptop device.


  • A big strap
  • Can fit everything easily
  • Accessible front pocket
  • Best material


  • On the heavy side

Buying Guide For The Best Bike Messenger Bags


Ensure your new messenger bag has a decent well-ventilated pad on the strap. An uncomfortable strap will get old real fast on the commute to work.

This same consideration can be applied to the surface in contact with your back. You probably can’t prevent it, but it would be nice to limit the large sweat circle on your back when you arrive at your location.

Sling bags can shift while you ride, especially if you are carrying a heavy load. If you frequently tote a significant load, look for a bag with a stability strap to keep the bag in place.


What does your typical day look like? The way you answer this question will help determine what type of bag you need. Do you ride in the dark or even if it is raining out?

It would be wise to get a bag slightly larger than you need. Once you have your new bag, and the excitement washes over you, you may be smashing all kinds of things in there.

As like this additional element is to be packed. Therefore, a sac with a central covered compartment would suit you well, whether you bring clothes in your bag and would like to keep them clean.


A messenger bag is not only for traveling on a bike but also for walking with your papers. You have to pick a travel bag that fits your personality as well as your bike. Place it over your back and carry it around the store to see how it feels.

If you are ordering online, you can always get two and return the one you don’t want.

FAQs & Answers Section

Are Messaging Bags Ideal For All Weather Conditions?

Most are constructed of durable textiles, although not all of them. Some are made from cotton or other materials that can allow moisture to penetrate. Also, not every messenger bag has a completely sealed door, so you should shut it firmly before you put it over your shoulder.

All of the bags in our lineup offer some level of water resistance.

Make sure you consider added reflective material?

It never hurts to have added safety measures added when you are on your bike. One of the biggest risks of riding at night is your visibility to drivers.

If you don’t have a lighting system on your bike, multiple reflective objects on you and on your bike can help you stay safe.


I do truly hope that I have helped you with your decision today. Feel free to mixed it up! Many of these bags have different sizes, colors and model variations that will suite your needs.

If you like this article and wanted to know more about Hybrid bicycles, you can check out my post here. I also wrote articles on kickstands, riding gloves, and Hybrid bike tires.