Some travelers would argue that a laptop and smartphone are the two most important items to pack, even more than, say, a passport and underwear. Sophisticated travelers needn’t rely on old-school backpacks or the dreaded “murse” for toting their most essential electronics. These 12 laptop and messenger bags are functional, stylish, and built to last.
Mission Workshop The Rhake: WX
Every product in Mission Workshop’s catalog feels even more rugged and sophisticated than the last. In August, the company unveiled The Rhake: WX, a new and improved version of their best-selling, handmade The Rhake backpack. With its roll-top closure, the updated version adds a waxed canvas fabric exterior for a weatherproof solution perfect for carrying your laptop, gear, and other essentials anywhere, anytime. What’s more, the army duck canvas is designed to wear beautifully over time with patterns that reflect your personal use. It’s also made in the U.S. and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Arc’teryx Courier Bag 15
For almost 30 years, Arc’teryx has manufactured some of the world’s best climbing and outdoor gear. Under its all-new LEAF (Law Enforcement & Armed Forces) program, the company debuted a catalog of products purpose-built for law enforcement, military operations, and security details. Every blacked-out bag in the line is designed to be durable and stealthy with a decidedly “non-military” aesthetic. The Courier Bag 15 is no different. On the outside, it’s a sharp, functional, minimalist messenger bag designed to hide and protect its contents. An internal divider configured with Velcro looping makes the interior infinitely customizable via a number of aftermarket modular pouches and pockets. It’s the perfect laptop bag for The Everyman looking to channel his inner Jason Bourne.
Frye Logan Messenger
Every Frye product features classic, rugged good looks with a dash of weathering to create an organic, distressed aesthetic. The Logan Messenger is a sleek carry-all with a beautifully handcrafted leather exterior available in slate, cognac, or dark brown. The slim interior offers just enough storage for your everyday carry, including a laptop, a phone, maybe some papers, and a pair of shades.
Peak Design Everyday Messenger
Few brands so deftly balance style and functionality like Peak Design. The company’s Everyday Messenger has won more awards than we can count, and with good reason. In any of its three available colors, the exterior is at once stealth, sophisticated, and rugged. It feels equally at home in the boardroom, biking through Manhattan, or worn across your back on a motorcycle ride through South America. Renowned adventure photographer Trey Ratcliff consulted on the design process. The result is a bag that’s cleverly designed with a ton of useful features like origami-inspired FlexFold interior dividers, a buttery soft padded seatbelt strap, plenty of well-placed pockets and pouches, and a MagLatch closure.
Nomatic Messenger Bag
Nomatic is best-known for its ingenious travel backpacks. The company’s simply named Messenger Bag boasts many of the same smart design features, including a well-thought-out interior that keeps everything neatly in its place. Quick-access pockets, an RFID-safe pocket, a TSA-approved laptop sleeve, and a magnetic strap and magnetic water bottle pocket round out the clever design. The durable, water-resistant exterior is also sleek and minimal — perfect for daily carry.
Shinola Slim Messenger
From watches to boutique hotels to everyday bags, Shinola designs some of the sexiest products around. In the hands of the Detroit-based luxury brand, even a simple, pared-down messenger bag can look damn good. The Slim Messenger is designed for functionality without the bulk — it’ll carry everything you need and nothing you don’t. In this case, that means just a laptop, phone, and a few small essentials. But, honestly, you’ll want it for the handsome exterior wrapped in premium, oil-infused Navigator leather giving it a rich, buttery look and feel.
Filson 24-Hour Tin Cloth Briefcase
Like pea coats and Chelsea boots, every product in Filson’s catalog feels timeless and sophisticated with a dash of outdoor inspiration. The 24-Hour Tin Cloth Briefcase is a water-resistant bag that’s lightweight and rugged. In stark contrast to typical corporate-friendly messenger bags, this one tells the world that you’ve seen and done some seriously awesome things in your day. Add the company’s to round out your vintage, bush pilot vibe.
Tumi Albany Slim Commuter Brief
For a luxurious, boardroom-ready look, Tumi delivers with a deep catalog of professional backpacks and messenger bags. The Albany Slim Commuter Brief’s leather shell is classy and high-end with just enough zippers and metal accents to feel daring. The expandable interior is large enough to accommodate most 14-inch laptops, and a bevy of compartments, pockets, and sleeves promise to keep your organized.
Ona The Brixton
ONA has long been known for its vintage-inspired bags that all boast a timeless aesthetic. The cross-body Brixton has been a favorite of ours for years. The hand-crafted full-grain leather exterior is handsome, sophisticated, and rugged. Beyond its good looks, it’s a capable messenger bag with a dedicated 13-inch laptop pouch and removable dividers to reconfigure the bag’s interior to your liking.
Hardgraft 2Unfold Laptop Bag
We couldn’t make this list without a nod to Hardgraft. These guys make seriously excellent bags that look great. The 2Unfold Laptop Bag works as a briefcase, shoulder bag, or backpack. Like everything in the company’s luxurious catalog, this one is pricey. But, if money is no object, you certainly wouldn’t regret this classy laptop bag.
Fossil Greenville Rucksack
True to its rugged-sounding name, Fossil’s Greenville Rucksack is a deft blend of military-inspired functionality and old-school pioneer spirit. It’s at once adventurous, refined, and timeless. Inside the premium cognac leather shell, however, the system of pockets and sleeves is designed to hold plenty of modern gear.
Booq Bags Superslim
For something a little slimmer — in terms of size, weight, and price — Booq’s aptly named Superslim is designed to carry a laptop and little else. Essentially a laptop or tablet sleeve, it boasts a tri-weave polyester exterior fabric, plus a special water-resistant coating to keep your stuff dry and safe. This slim but expandable carrying case is available in two sizes to accommodate 13-inch or 15-inch laptops.
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