Best Tactical Messenger Bags – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: January 14, 2022

The quintessential carry item, tactical messenger bags, can be of great assistance when it comes to carrying your laptop and essentials, along with your concealed carry weapon and other practical gear.

Particularly designed for comfort, convenience, quick-access, and speed, these stylish, over-the-shoulder models are the perfect option for travelers and city dwellers on-the-go.

Thanks to their practicality, messenger bags are becoming increasingly popular, with new models being released every day. To help you find the right model, the following are reviews of some of the best tactical messenger bags. So, read them all and find the bag that best suits your needs! 

Comparison of the Best Tactical Messenger Bags

  • Shoulder strap is padded and fully adjustable
  • Designed with a front pocket, an interior pocket, and a concealed back pocket
  • The roomy drawstring-closed compartment makes the UTG the best overall model on our list
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  • Auxiliary pocket, side pocket, and concealed pocket with a zipper closure
  • Premium hook can be used to hang keys or any other personal belongings
  • Designed with a cord-locked drawstring-closed main compartment, the Leapers is the runner-up on our list
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  • Durable Duraflex hardware and water-resistant 1050D nylon construction
  • With a padded laptop sleeve, the 5.11 Tactical Rush unit is the best for the money
  • Non-slip cross-body stabilizing strap and an adjustable, removable shoulder strap
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  • Designed with metal fasteners, SBS zippers, strong reinforced seams, and water-resistant nylon
  • Main compartment has a 17-inch capacity, 4 separate compartment pockets, and 2 side pockets
  • Detachable and adjustable shoulder strap with a breathable honeycomb pad, dual carry handles, and a luggage strap
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  • Removable and adjustable shoulder straps with padded areas
  • Designed with MOLLE loops and three MOLLE pockets that are detachable
  • Spacious main compartment has an expansion feature, numerous gear pockets, and an interior ID pocket
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What Size of Messenger Bag Do I Need?

The size of the messenger bag primarily depends on your height and the items you’re going to carry and store in it on a daily basis. While some smaller models are efficiently designed with hidden pockets, it’s still advisable to consider the purpose of the bag and the number of items you plan on carrying before making your purchase.

Whether you want to purchase a bag for heavy-duty carrying around the city, for outdoor activities, or if you want a simple bike-suitable messenger bag or just a laptop messenger bag, it’s better to choose one with adjustable straps. The straps help with the height factor and make the bag extremely comfortable to carry as well.  

What Makes a Great Tactical Messenger Bag?

Tactical messenger bags are extremely versatile and with so many models available in the market today, choosing a quality bag is an extremely difficult and time-consuming task. To ensure you choose the right bag, below are some things you should consider before making your purchase:


Tactical messenger bags are available in an extensive range of materials, including subdued leather that’s similar to a briefcase in function and size, denim, canvas, and other durable fabrics perfect for rugged activities that need a high-degree of mobility. However, quality bags are usually designed with leather, as it is extremely resistant to wear.


Whether you need to keep your laptop, weapon, or just a large folder of documents that you spent days preparing for your client, a waterproof bag is extremely important to help protect your valuables from the elements. Thus, it’s advisable to choose a model that’s designed with canvas, canvas-like material, or waterproof nylon.


Design and comfort are crucial aspects to consider before purchasing a messenger bag. Quality bags often feature wider, strengthened straps that provide comfort and evenly distribute the weight of the bag. Laptop messenger bags are also designed with wider straps and feature a padded area that protects the shoulder from cuts and abrasions.

Review of the Best Tactical Messenger Bags

With so many tactical messenger bags available today, choosing the right one is no piece of cake. To ensure you find a model that best suits your requirements, the following are reviews of some of the best tactical messenger bags. So, read on and find the right bag for your needs!

Best Overall:
UTG Multi-Functional Tactical Messenger Bag

UTG Multi-Functional Tactical Messenger Bag, Black


  • Strap is ergonomically designed and ensures comfortable carrying
  • Provides secure and generous storage space for all your essentials
  • Numerous compartments allow quick access and convenient storage space
  • Nylon body and interior lining prevent moisture retention and ensure durability
  • Built-in water bottle holder, holster, and other utility compartments make it extremely versatile


  • Depth of the bag might be troubling for some
  • Drawstring closure might be unsuitable for more security-minded individuals

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost every customer found the UTG to be an absolute hit! Users were impressed with its construction and durability, and stated that it far exceeded their quality expectations. They also reported that it was extremely comfortable to carry, even when it was packed. One user even stated that it had become their first choice for an easy day hike. However, the lack of a handle was disappointing for some.

Why it Stands Out to Us

UTG’s numerous compartments are what make it stand out from the crowd. The unit features a front pocket that allows quicker access to your essentials. It’s further designed with an interior pocket that enhances convenience and a concealed back pocket that can be used to store more valuable items. Magazine pouches and a built-in sidearm holster are also included.

Who Will Use This Most

The UTG bag is mainly designed for the outdoor life and is the ideal option for shooting, law enforcement, and hunting. The compact and lightweight bag is also perfect for casual usage. Since it’s extremely versatile, you can also store baby stuff or take it fishing.

Bottom Line

All in all, the UTG is an excellent choice. The main drawstring-closed compartment is extremely roomy and offers generous storage space. With numerous compartments, the model is further designed with a padded and fully-adjustable shoulder strap, ensuring ease and comfort when you carry the bag.

Leapers Multi-Functional Tactical Messenger Bag


  • Water-resistant interior ensures durability, reliability, and longevity
  • Velcro loop keeps the unit from flopping up and down against the user’s hip
  • Concealed pocket allows safe storage of small firearms or firearm accessories
  • Ergonomic back padding ensures ease and comfort, even in demanding field operations
  • Numerous compartments provide quick access and a convenient, organized storage space


  • The unit makes a lot of noise
  • Does not include a carrying handle

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were impressed with the Leapers bag and stated they would not hesitate to purchase it again. Users found it to be versatile, sturdy, well-made and skillfully stitched. They also reported they could easily store a large number of items in an organized manner. However, some customers were unable to reach for the firearm stored in the concealed pocket quickly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Leapers stands out to us because of the comfort it provides. The wide shoulder strap is padded, fully-adjustable, and designed with three velcro loops. The back of the unit further features three padded mesh areas that provide cushioning and comfort while allowing constant airflow at the same time. Moreover, the velcro strap can be looped around your belt, so the product doesn’t flap against your back.

Who Will Use This Most

The Leapers Multi-Functional unit is perfect for scouting, hunting, hiking, fishing, and for an intense day in the field. It has generous storage space and can carry flashlights, water bottles, two-way radios, molle clips, shooting gear, heavy ammo, and other tactical equipment. It can be used as an electronics device bag, as well.

Bottom Line

The Leapers is extremely roomy, secure, and features numerous compartments that are easily accessible. Its high-quality construction ensures longevity and durability, while the ergonomic back padding provides cushioning and comfort. However, the lack of a carrying handle might be disappointing for some.

Best for the Money:
5.11 Tactical Rush Delivery Lima Carry w/ CCW


  • Multitude of pockets enable you to organize your gear neatly
  • Durable and waterproof interior ensures the product lasts long
  • The model is versatile, beautifully designed, and extremely secure
  • Zippered concealed carry compartment allows you to store a firearm safely
  • MOLLE, back-up belt system, and SlickStick-compatible webbing components


  • Velcro on the closing flap is a bit noisy to open

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost all buyers found the 5.11 to be worth every penny, with many stating it exceeded their expectations. They also reported that the unit was surprisingly light and highly durable. Users further said it was comfortable for both left and right-handed people, and particularly liked the numerous pockets and storage compartments it offered.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The 5.11 truly excels where value for money is concerned. Designed with 100% nylon, the model is water-resistant and extremely durable. It features a 15-inch laptop compartment, while the expendable side pockets can be used to store a water bottle or any other essentials. A superior internal pocket and 20 organizational pockets further help you store all your essentials in a neat manner.

Who Will Use This Most

The 5.11 is the perfect option for anyone who wants a rough-and-ready solution for storing and carrying their things. Due to its versatility, the unit can be used to store anything from a concealed firearm to a laptop to all the chargers and accessories you could ever need. In short, you can carry it around the world or just around the block.

Bottom Line

The 5.11 is an extremely versatile bag that offers excellent value for money. Providing utility and protection, this model is designed with water-resistant 1050D nylon that further ensures durability and longevity. Moreover, with the numerous compartments, you'll always have room to spare!

4. Lifewit 17" Men's Military Laptop Messenger Bag

Lifewit 17 inch Men's Military Laptop Messenger Bag Multifunction Tactical Briefcase Computer Shoulder Handbags Pilot Bag, Black


  • Side pockets are large enough to store any size of water bottle
  • Ergonomic design provides both travel convenience and comfort
  • High-quality construction provides added durability and strength, ensuring long-lasting performance
  • Anti-collision pad protects your laptop from impacts and shocks, while feet pads protect the unit from scratching
  • Numerous accessory compartments allow you to safely keep different documents and items in an organized manner


  • End pockets are very tight
  • Metal hooks for the shoulder strap are of inferior quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people who invested in the Lifewit were extremely happy with their purchase and stated that the unit performed exceptionally. Users liked the high-quality construction, the numerous pockets, and reported that it could hold a lot of gear. However, some people were disappointed with the quality of the metal hooks, while some found the size to be smaller than advertised.

Why it Stands Out to Us

First, the four separate compartment pockets are conveniently designed and provide quick access to frequently used items such as wallets, cellphones, cable accessories, and writing utensils. Secondly, the unit is designed with a shock-absorbing laptop sleeve that keeps your computer safe and secure. Lastly, a luggage strap enables easy attachment to luggage, while the padded shoulder strap ensures comfort and relieves pressure.

Who Will Use This Most

This rugged, stylish model is extremely versatile and is perfect for all sorts of uses, including travel and work purposes. Moreover, the multi-pocket design enables you to store anything you would need for school or work. The built-in pen case and keychain further provide convenience, while the loops provide extra space that can be used to hang tennis rackets, sunglasses, and more.

Bottom Line

Boasting a capacity of 17 inches, the Lifewit is one of the most spacious bags available today. Designed with four outside pockets, the unit is modular and stylish, and allows you to store different items and documents in a neat, organized manner. However, the Lifewit is a bit expensive compared to other models.

5. Mercury Tactical Computer Messenger Bag


  • Available in several designs and colors
  • Ergonomic design ensures ease and comfort
  • Separate laptop padded sleeve protects your computer
  • Numerous compartments provide secure and generous storage space for all items
  • Double-coated PVC lining and water-resistant interior provide added strength and durability


  • MOLLE straps are a bit large
  • Carrying a firearm in the back pocket might be difficult for some

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people loved the Mercury Tactical Messenger Bag and recommended it to other potential buyers, as well. While users were particularly impressed by the separate padded case, they also liked the fact that it was PVC-lined and resistant to light rain. However, some customers found carrying a firearm to be a bit difficult.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The convenience offered by the Mercury is what makes it stand out from the crowd. Enabling you to carry your essentials with comfort and safety, the unit protects your laptop, while serving as a reliable messenger bag that can be used to store hardware, as well. With this unit, you won't need to purchase a separate bag for your computer and your essentials, since it provides enough space for both.

Who Will Use This Most

Since the Mercury Tactical can be used to carry your laptop securely and as a reliable messenger bag, it's the perfect option for travelers and for technophiles on-the-go.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Mercury Tactical Computer Messenger Bag certainly deserves a place on our list of top picks. With a double-coated PVC lining, the model ensures durability, reliability, and longevity, while its numerous compartments provide enough space for your laptop and other essentials. However, carrying a concealed firearm might prove to be difficult for some.

What Purpose Does a Tactical Messenger Bag Serve?

Back in its early years, tactical messenger bags were used for technical or practical vocations. However, with the passage of time, messenger bags have been adapted for normal, everyday use. Today, they have become a staple in our culture, with many people having them for the following purposes:

Can Hold Multiple Items Easily

Tactical messenger bags usually have one or two large compartments that are adequate to hold a laptop. They also have several other utility or accessory compartments that can easily hold extra items and supplies such as a laptop charger, extra magazines and ammunition, or fishing line and lures. These bags are usually made from thick nylon and reinforced material to protect the contents from falls, spills, elements, theft, and other damage.  

Perfect for Military Personnel

These bags are perfect for situations where you need to carry essential items without carrying your whole pack. They are ideal for special operations personnel who need to carry specialty tools, arms, and supplies for a mission, but space constraint or stealth requirements do not allow them to carry their entire rack.

Carry Your Documents Around Safely

A tactical messenger bag is worn diagonally, which not only keeps your things secure but also makes it easier to access whatever you have in your bag. With the bag hanging down at your side, it becomes difficult for anyone to take your valuables from you. Thus, you can carry your documents and other valuables with complete ease of mind.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Choosing the right bag can be quite tricky. But if you keep the following things in mind, you will be able to buy a product that is best for you:


It’s important to consider the purpose of the messenger bag and the number of items you plan on carrying before making your purchase. Messenger bags enable you to carry your essentials with style and efficiency. However, if you plan on carrying larger loads, it’s better to purchase a tactical backpack instead.

Design of the Bag

Messenger bags were typically designed with a single shoulder strap that was slung over the shoulder. However, the design has now been improved, and newer models feature straps that are worn cross-body.

The right design of the bag primarily depends on the load you plan on carrying. If you’ll be carrying a laptop or other heavy items, then it’s better to choose a model with wider, padded straps. This lessens the load and pressure on your shoulder, further ensuring comfort.

Reviews About the Product

When you have chosen a product, it is vital that you read its reviews online before buying to ensure you invest in a good, quality product. Find out what actual customers are saying about it to see if you can truly benefit from it.


Tactical messenger bags are the perfect option for individuals looking for lightweight, comfortable, and convenient bags. Allowing you to carry your firearm, laptop, book, flashlight, and knife effectively, the bags can be used to store a wide range of small items in an organized manner. So, if you need a durable, adjustable, waterproof, and secure messenger bag, be sure to consider the aforementioned reviews before making your purchase!