Messenger Bag Vs Backpack: Which Should You Choose to Carry Your Laptop?

Pickle Rolltop Backpack getting rained on in a park in Leamington

Messenger Bag Vs Backpack: Which Should You Choose to Carry Your Laptop?

Deciding on a new bag can be tricky business. While there is no one perfect bag, there are distinct difference that make one type of bag better for you than another. Let’s take a look at the messenger bag vs backpack and find out why backpacks make a great option for carrying your laptop to work.

Messenger Bag Vs Backpack:

Messenger bags and tote bags have been around since the Stone Ages way back when the very first postman found he had more things than he could carry in just his arms. And the debate between the best type of bag – messenger bag vs backpack – has been around nearly as long. Or at least as long as the modern professional has had a laptop to haul back-and-forth to and from work every day…

Are you a die hard messenger bag carrier, or do you tend to stray more toward the classic two-strap backpack? Or perhaps, you are in between bags and trying to figure out your next step according to whichever bag makes the most sense for you?

While there may not be one bag that is perfect for every person out there, there are many unique features of each sort of bag that you may want to consider when deciding on the best bag for you.

So, what will it be? Messenger bag or backpack? Read on for help deciding!

Cora + Spink backpacks in local coffee or bottle shop Bayleys

The Messenger Bag

Let’s start with the classic messenger bag. You know the one – cross-body straps and handles, designed to fit your laptop, tablet, and paperwork. The one every guy in the sales department carries to and from the cubicle every day. The bag that has become ubiquitous, modern, brief case replacement.

So, what makes the messenger bag so great?

Well, you really cannot deny the traditional fashion of a good messenger bag. These bad boys come in all sorts of designs and styles that drape over the shoulder for easy access and a classic addition to your professional look. Messenger bags are widely accepted as “THE” professional bag.

Messenger bags can be super versatile and comfortable, usually with multiple ways of carrying, and they are typically well-designed spatially. As we mentioned before, most messenger bags are designed to work specifically with common computer and tablet sizes, so you do not have to worry much about unnecessary bulk or space for things to get lost inside.

Okay… but what’s the catch?

One of the major downfalls of the messenger bag is its die hard fashion-over-function setup. While many messenger bags look good when they are strapped on over a shirt and tie, they do not always hold up all that well when it comes to protecting whatever you put inside.

inside a backpack with multiple pockets sorted for your laptop, books and more

And again, with the whole fashion-over-function deal; when it comes to most messenger bags, there just is not enough room to hold everything a busy professional needs to be able to lug around. Sure, you can tuck your laptop and a manilla folder of budget reports into one of its pockets, but when you are stuck carrying home an armful of portfolios anyway… well… what is the point?

The Backpack

Okay, now onto the trusty backpack. We are talking two straps, laptop section, easy access pockets; following? You saw more of these in school and uni. You should give them a little more modern thought.

Growing bananas in the UK

What’s a backpack got to offer?

We are glad you asked! The short answer is: A lot! Here is the longer answer.

Backpacks are awesome for anybody who has got a lot to handle. A laptop, tablet, folders, water bottle, bike lock, extra pair of shoes – whatever it is you are towing around, it is really no problem. A backpack has got your… hmmm… back. Backpacks are the perfect choice for the professional who’s got to haul a heavy load to and from work each day, and just doesn’t want to worry about making everything fit. Nadia looks out over the Leamington park with her Poly Bag Vegan Backpack

A backpack is also the perfect bag for someone who cares about the safety and security of whatever they are hauling (uh, everyone??). Most backpacks come along with a few extra layers, bigger and more supportive pockets, and more shock-proofing overall. Unlike with a messenger bag, you will not have to worry so much about whatever bumps and blows might befall your bag.

But are not backpacks, a little…

No, stop right there. Especially if you are picturing a nylon sports backpack, or even worse one of these beauties. Some associate backpacks with school-aged kids, instead of grown professionals. They would be wrong…

The fact of the matter is, when backpacks are viewed as the more casual option, it is typically a generalised judgement. There are plenty of awesome backpacks with stylish, professional designs that are more comfortable, sophisticated, and functional than most messenger bags. 

black backpacks are an option - but we prefer colours

In fact, the addition of a backpack to your daily suit or tailored look may be just what you need to make the look feel more comfortable and less severe, showing clients and colleagues that you are not an all-business kind of guy, although you still are a person dedicated to logic and function.

When you get down to it, the security and logistics behind the backpack really cannot be beaten. Plus, if you know how to shop for a super high-quality backpack, you will not be lacking in the fashion department, either!

When is a tech backpack not a tech backpack? When it's Ruxtpin backpack from Cora + Spink.

Messenger Bag vs Backpack: Which is Right for You?

So, what will it be? The less-than-functional messenger bag you bought for way too much money from House of Fraser? Or the secure, ethical, and stylish Cora + Spink backpack you really need? And what about an ethically made sustainable backpack?


Okay, so, when it comes down to it, we are being a little harsh on the messenger bag. We make a great messenger, too, which can be perfect for the day-to-day walk from lunch-to-cubicle-to-car.

Contemplating life - visiting Worcester Museum Art Gallery - Turner Exhibition

We just really, really think you should consider investing in a great new backpack that will not only keep your stuff safe and organised, but super-hip and in style.

Now that we think about it…the only real answer to the question of messenger bag vs backpack is…well…both!

For more awesome info on messenger bags and backpacks alike, plus for some awesome options in both categories, check out our awesome stock of really good bags.

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