Best Small Messenger Bags For Travel

travel by trainThe compact messenger bag is now utilized as a carryall by business professionals, students and tourists. Also known as a shoulder bag, this type of bag has become a vital tool for staying organized on the go. Inside a good  bag, you will find compartments for laptops, tablets, smartphones, notepads, pens, wallets, and other things you may need to take with you on a trip. The waterproof lining also helps you to protect your belongings from rain. Below is a brief list of some of the best small messenger bags available for travel.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger

Timbuk2 blackThis bag has a truly classic design and it comes in four different sizes: extra small (XS), small (S), medium (M) and large (L). The smallest size can only hold a tablet or iPad and a few documents while the others can hold laptops of 13″, 15″ and 17″ respectively. So you will find one size that can meet your needs. If you intend to carry several other items along with your laptop, the medium size (for 15-inch laptops) will be ideal.

This lightweight waterproof model is made from polyester material, which is easy to clean. Eight pockets are available to help you organize your phones, notepad, pens, wallet and other items. The shoulder strap is very easy to adjust and it features a comfortable air mesh pad. For more secure closure, the flap buckles are concealed and all the sizes, except the smallest, have bottom compression. To provide efficient waterproofing the TPU liner and the flap corners fold into place. Timbuk2 designed this product to demonstrate their 25 years of experience and it comes in over 50 color variations.

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Vintage Retro Canvas For Men & Women by Alen Lee

Alen Lee VintageAlen Lee puts together the main features of vintage messenger bags into the Vintage Retro, in a stylish modern design. This is undoubtedly one of the best canvas bags you can find in the market with ample space organized into 13 well-designed pockets to hold your laptop, books, pens, phones, files, envelopes, and other belongings. It can easily hold a 13″ laptop and a file. You can also place other items like an umbrella or water bottle in the spacious exterior pockets.

The build quality of the Vintage Retro is quite impressive, with the heavily waxed canvas material that provides superb wear resistance, and the polyester lining providing reliable waterproofing to protect the contents of the bag. It also has an adjustable strap that helps you wear it by your side or across your back. This bag comes in three attractive colors: black, coffee and brown, and it has great combination of style, functionality and durability.

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Gootium 30624 Vintage Canvas

Gootium VintageGootium 30624 Vintage is a durable product made of pure cotton canvas. It has enough space to hold an 11″ netbook, tablet, ipad or e-reader and A4 document files or notebooks. The two front pockets with long straps and metal buckles give it a distinct vintage look. Under the flap, there are two pockets, one open pouch and the main compartment, which has a zipper closure for valuable items that require waterproof protection.

The Gootium Canvas 30624 has a sturdy construction with a real leather trim, finely sewn studs, and strong stitches all round. The 100 percent cotton canvas is lightweight and it weighs just about 1 pound. This makes it very convenient to carry for long hours. To provide maximum comfort, it comes with a long shoulder strap (about 2 yards in length). It can be adjusted so the big hangs by your waist or at your back. Two different color options are available: khaki and army green.

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EcoCity Unisex Vintage Small Canvas Shoulder Bag

EcoCity SmallEcoCity Unisex Vintage shoulder bag is what you need when you want to take just a few items along with a tablet or ipad. It is just a little over 11 inches tall and a little less than 10 inches wide. The army green color, cotton material and crazy horse leather decoration give it a truly vintage appearance. Its main compartment, which has a zipper will contain your tablet, smartphone, and small e reader. It also has an inner pocket, where you can keep your wallet and other valuable items. Under the flap, there is another pocket that has no zipper.

This messenger has an adjustable strap that is over 12 feet long. So you can stretch it out or shorten its length to fit your height and waist. With its classic style, this bag looks great on both male and female users. It is ideal for short trips and excursions. It would also service as a good place to carry your money while traveling.

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What to Look for When Looking at Small Messenger Bags For Travel

When you are choosing a compact messenger, you should focus on its practical functions first and then on the style and appearance. Opt for a durable, well built bag with adequate compartments, and a good strap adjustment system. Most people bring their laptops with them when they travel. The purpose the bag is supposed to serve should inform your choice of size, material and shape. Here are the main features to look for when you go shopping.

Size of the Product

Make sure the model you choose can hold all the items you want to carry without bulging out and attracting undue attention. If you want to use it to carry your tablet, smartphones, travel wallet and notepad, select a product with sufficient space and pockets.


Compartments on the Inside

Most compact offerings will have one main compartment. Then there are other small pouches that help you to improve organization. If you use your bag to carry a laptop, ensure that the bag has sufficient inner padding or straps to keep it secure.

Material and Build Quality

The material used to make the product determines the durability, waterproofing and cost. It also determines how easy it will be to clean. Materials used for these accessories include canvas, leather, and synthetics like nylon and polyester. Canvas and synthetics are easier to clean but they are not as durable and trendy as leather. A good bag will have a reliable waterproof lining that can protect all the contents of bag from rain. The stitches within and outside the bag will give you a good idea of the quality of workmanship and overall durability.

Adjustable Strap

Make sure the strap is adjustable. The strap length is also important because it determines where it will hang. To avoid waist and lower back pain, ensure what you choose will hang at the corset level. The anti theft cross body features of these bags also gives your more of a since of security when traveling.

Secure Closure

For better security, you should consider designs that use snap on attachments to hold documents. Some offerings also come with zippers that lock to improve security and durability. Metal flap buckles usually offer better security and longevity than plastic.


A good messenger bag is one of the most valuable items you can take with you on a trip. The small sizes models reviewed here will help you hold your electronic gadgets, stationary and other items in well-defined compartments and pockets. They are affordable, durable and attractive. These products are manufactured by top manufacturers. We have chosen them out of thousands of brands because of the durability, style and stellar reviews provided by other users. You may also use the guide provided to look for a new design with due consideration for size, material, number of pockets, type of closure, style, and durability.