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Carry Awards

Best Work Messenger – Second Annual Carry Awards

Best Work Messenger – Second Annual Carry Awards

by , February 7, 2014

For us, a work messenger should look great in an office environment, help you organise some tech and personals, and then be at least OK on a bike commute to the office.

Work messengers gets tricky, as lots of the best stuff costs a bomb (if you want to look sharp around expensive suits and board rooms, 500D polyester often doesn’t cut it).

If you are dropping a bomb on a work bag, it’s really easy to look like a sucker and buy something a bit crass or unimaginative (luxury logo yardages have NEVER been a good thing – just think about the message they are trying to shout).

So that comes with its own stresses. A good rule of thumb is to buy subtle details that are nailed, with something a touch unexpected.

And yes, there are affordable options, and we’ve hunted out at least a couple of them.

You have two votes to use as you will…

Allocate your 1st choice with 2 points

And your 2nd choice just the 1 point. 

Note: any votes made over the allotted limit will be wiped from the voting tally. 

Modern Industry Faraday Tote

Wow, two up for this new brand; they’ve really resonated with a lot of our audience. The Faraday takes the whole fold-over tote thing that’s been happening the last couple of years, and mans it up. Generous proportions, versatile configurations, and some nice asymmetric details are wrapped in dark colors and seat belt webbing.

faradaytote WM

KILLSPENCER Briefcase 2.0

Another KILLSPENCER classic, also given a small refinement as the brand moves upmarket. In the words of one contributor: “100% my jam when it comes to an office bag. Tech, but understated, with amazing hardware and some solid material options. I would make an excellent rich person.”


Porter x BBC Mailbag

If you’ve never checked how Porter do their tubed flap fold on messengers like this, you haven’t had a truly fulfilling carry life. It’s mastery, as is the fabric, detailing and proportion of this collab piece. With a familiar vibe to the Nikon X Porter range, this is one crazy handsome bag.


Cote & Ciel Seine Bowler Bag

If you’re female, your general choice is to get a pretty bag, or a technical but masculine bag. Some brands buck the trend, but not many. Cote & Ciel are innovating as much for girls as guys, with the Seine a perfect example. Your laptop sits readily accessible in the middle of the bag, and you then fill around it with whatever load you need that day. This butterfly format works brilliantly, and without compromising femininity.

Ciel Bowler

Tom Bihn Founder’s Briefcase

Here’s two reasons to love this new release: 1) the fabric (a classic from the vault), and 2) the organising (which is entirely awesome). If you want a third, it’s that it’s Tom Bihn, which means this has been tested, refined, tested and refined in a way that few other bags are. There’s a reason these guys have a cult frequent flyer following.

Tom Bihn

Filson Padded Computer Bag

If rules are made to be broken, this is the bag that will get us breaking them. Never buy an orange bag for the office, unless it’s this one. Never look to a heritage brand for the exciting stuff, unless it’s this one. Getting modern functionality in to a traditional format often looks wrong, but Filson have managed it with their #258. This #108 then adds some punchy color-blocking for a very expressive shoulder bag that can somehow still carry it off with a charcoal suit and brogues. Here’s to the rule breakers…


Mismo MS Soft Work 

Sometimes Mismo can be so refined they lose a touch of that ‘unexpected’ we look for. Not so with the Soft Work, which curls a roll-top over on a minimal body with that ‘just so’ pocket. This is modern yet classic, and doesn’t let fashion dominate the function.

Mismo WM

Burton Flint Laptop Messenger

While lots of our favorite bags cost a very fancy restaurant meal or so, you don’t have to pay loads to score a great and versatile bag. Most cheap messengers are let down by generic plastic clips and unappealing fabrics and patterning. The Flint has none of those, instead running with some heritage charm, fun G-hooks, and enough color combinations to satisfy any vibe.



What’s not here?

Wow! There was a lot that we loved that just missed out by a whisker. The Want Les Essentiels O’Hare tote was gorgeous with their Asante Kente cloth. Loads of other styles from Cote & Ciel, especially their Spree Messenger – they’re killing it. The Bonastre Saco is crazy beautiful, maintaining personality despite its minimalism, but it doesn’t tick the ‘comfortable on a ride to work’ box, well enough. And finally, the Mismo Stamina only narrowly missed – there was plenty of tight competition this year.


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