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Buyers Guide

Buyer’s Guide :: Work Messengers

by , August 22, 2012

Continuing on with our Buyer’s Guide thing, we wanted to collect some of our favorite work messenger bags together. With so many posts about so many carry goods, it’s nice to step back and highlight some of the better ones.

So what is a work messenger? Well, it’s not a messenger for professional bike couriers to haul random parcels in – that’s a different post. A work messenger needs to look good and work well at work, when you’re working (at work).

It’s a single strap messenger that can deal with a laptop, some tech, a change of clothes, and will be comfortable enough for a cycling commute. Being Carryology, it also needs to be versatile, deal with at least a light drizzle, and even do well on a plane trip or three.

Here are some of our favorites. Anything with an (R) has been previously reviewed by our team…

(R) Bedouin Barbary


Listening to Taylor wax lyrical about this thing has convinced some readers to even buy two. The Barbary finds a way to pimp a utility feel without resorting to gimmicks, making a performance bag that can mix it with suits when it needs to. This one is a keeper.

Interested? Buy it now.

(R) Porter Protect


One day, a switched-on Japanese expat is going to convince these guys to open the brand up properly to we gaijin. Until that day though, we have to pick from the limited styles that make it out of Japan. The Protect series doesn’t do anything crazy innovative, but nor does it make any mistakes. We love this thing.

Interested? Buy it now.

(R) Mission Workshop Rummy (and VX)

Yeah, maybe we talk about this bag too often, but it really is a great messenger that fits several roles. It runs with a mix of core enough yet refined enough, spacious yet compact enough, tech yet stylish enough. Chrome have recently released their Lieutenant, which looks super similar (it has sprung from Chrome’s Ivan pack, which was designed by the same founders of MW), so they are both worth checking out.

Interested? Buy it now.

Bonastre C7 Messenger
New love. It’s not super functional or super feature-rich but it does look incredible, so that got us over the line with this little Spanish-made, Paris-designed fox. These guys have some really striking designs and are well worth checking out if you dig your leather craft.

Interested? Buy it now.

(R) Defy Recon

It was either this or the KILLSPENCER Business Messenger. They’re both awesome, both take a stripped back military utility vibe to the business world, and both get a big thumbs up from us.

Interested? Buy it now.

Incase Nylon Messenger

Every good list should include a cheaper option and for this list Incase win the value medallion. Their Nylon range bags are pretty straightforward, solid performers which can look good in a number of environments. All the core functionality is there, the build quality is solid, and you’ll be keeping enough coin to buy your partner something nice.

Interested? Buy it now.

Côte&Ciel Laptop Messenger

In the world of carry, it’s REALLY hard to find a unique aesthetic without resorting to crap gimmicks. Somehow these guys have managed it, not only for tech sleeves but also for their delightfully folded fabric bags. Soft fabric folds and clever details allow a relaxed charisma in a functional work bag.

Interested? Buy it now.

Property Of… Tommy Work Bag

The format is nothing original, but the details are dialed. The Tommy adds a nice dose of relaxed style to your work satchel, and improves with age as that waxed cotton canvas takes your shape. The external pocketing can grow a surprising amount, and the colorways are subdued without being drab.

Interested? Buy it now.

Ally Capellino AO Wide Despatch Bag


The AO series was developed with Apple Online, bringing all the style of Ally bags within the price reach of most folk. Ally makes carry that is inspired by heritage rather than a slave to it. The Despatch suffers slight Gorby Gaps, but is otherwise a solid all-round work bag that will fit your Apple product perfectly.

Interested? Buy it now.

Bagjack NXL


We don’t talk about this Berlin-based brand enough on Carryology. They do some crazy things, and the NXL is pretty much their craziest. It’s a messenger that can transform, detach, rearrange and metamorph into pretty much anything you need it to be. It’s pushing the tech thing for a work bag, but in full black, with the strap tucked away and the flap folded, it actually scrubs up really cleanly.

Interested? Buy it now.

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