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Canvas Messenger Bags – Five Plus One

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.


Canvas messenger bags are a classic, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re simple, lightweight,and make any commute just a little bit better. But finding the right combination of style, quality, and carrying capacity can be a struggle, which is why we’ve tracked down some of the most compelling versions on the market.

1) Filson: Harvey Messenger Bag in Magnum Olive

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Filson is known for making some of the nicest canvas products around, and their Harvey Messenger Bag in Magnum Olive exemplifies this. When many consumers think of Filson their minds instantly snap to Tin Cloth, a waxed canvas that is a signature of the Filson brand. Unfortunately, their current line of bags doesn’t include a Tin Cloth messenger, but it does include one made from a water resistant tempered-cotton. Designed with a ton of pockets and removable dividers, you won’t have to leave anything behind when you pack up this bag.

Available for $305 from Cultizm.

2) Forbes & Lewis: Wiltshire Messenger in Grey/Brown

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For those who want something a little sleeker, Forbes and Lewis make a messenger bag that might be right up your alley. The Wiltshirt Messenger may be a bit smaller than some of the other bags on this list but it’s perfect for those who want something lightweight and water-resistant without reaching for a utilitarian bag.

Available for £130 from Forbes & Lewis.

3) Want les Essentiels: Jackson Canvas Messenger Bag

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Want les EssentielsJackson Messenger Bag is a bit more overly designed and pricier than the rest of the products on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a solid option. Inspired by military equipment, this bag comes with several very unique design features, such as the mesh accents, webbing details, and heavyweight canvas.

Available for $495 from Mr. Porter.

4) TIMBUK2: Proof Laptop Messenger 2015 in Carbon

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TIMBUK2 is known for making some of the best messenger bags on the market in a very modern, tech-wear style. The Proof Laptop Messenger is one of their smaller bags, but it has enough room for all your daily necessities. Designed with a handle, shoulder strap, and stabilizing strap, this bag is perfect for those who walk or bike as their primary mode of transportation.

Available for $228 from TIMBUK2.

5) Ona: The Union Street in Field Tan

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Ona’s The Union Street is one part messenger bag and one part camera bag, and is designed as classically as they come. It’s made from a heavy waxed canvas with just enough room to safety store your laptop, camera, and other fragile pieces of tech. This might not be the kind of bag to make a statement, but it’s the kind that will be with you for years to come.

Available for $299 from Ona.

Plus One – Mission Workshop: The Rummy Waxed Canvas Messenger in Black

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Mission Workshop is another brand producing modern interpretations of the messenger bag, and their Rummy Waxed Canvas Messenger didn’t take any shortcuts. It’s constructed from a 10oz. waxed canvas, military grade webbing, YKK zippers, and just about every other bell and whistle you can think of. If you don’t like to pack lightly, work as a bike messenger, or just want to be prepared for anything, you’d be hard pressed to find a more suitable messenger bag.

Available for $275 from Mission Workshop.