The 10 best messenger bags (2021): crossbody, shoulder straps, shoulder bags

If I go out and about and I don’t have a shoulder bag, I feel naked and unprepared, like I’m venturing into a dungeon without any health potions. What if I need lip balm, have I brought lip balm? How do I put my phone, keys and face shield in the truncated pockets of my jeans? Where to put the cool rock that I just found? Additional storage capacity is essential for my daily transport, and being able to rotate the bag forward and grab whatever I need is crucial.

Backpacks are best for heavy loads or all-day hikes, but for light everyday needs nothing beats messenger bags, shoulder bags, and convertible fanny packs. I’ve tested dozens of them over the years, and these are my favorites.

Be sure to check out our many more buying guides, including the Best backpacks for work and the Best camera bags.

Update September 2021: We added the Savage EDC Two and the Lo & Sons Pearl.

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