Hey there, you busy bee! Being out all day requires that you have a reliable and roomy bag in which you can pack all your belongings and necessities, and that’s where messenger bags come in the picture.
However, plenty of messenger bags are made from different materials that aren’t exactly sustainable or safe for the environment. Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy carrying your items in a bag knowing that the process of making it didn’t cause negative repercussions?
Enter, vegan messenger bags. Those are made from synthetic materials, using faux leather, or leather that doesn’t come from animals. This spares the life of plenty of animals who are hunted relentlessly for their skin.
What’s more, plenty of vegan manufacturers are focusing on using synthetic materials made from pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, and other fruit waste, which resemble leather rather than actual leather or harmful synthetic materials like polyurethane or PVC.
Now that you know just how brilliant those bags are, let’s explore the best vegan messenger bags on the market.
At a Glance
- Sweetbriar Classic Laptop Messenger Bag – Best Overall
- Tocode Men’s Messenger Bag – Best for Men
- ECOSUSI Messenger Backpack – Best Backpack for Women
- Dasein Vintage Shoulder Bag – Best Vintage Look
- Humble Chic NY Vegan Leather Handbag – Best Satchel
The 5 Best Vegan Messenger Bags for 2020
1. Sweetbriar Classic Laptop Messenger Bag – Best Overall
The Sweetbriar is a solid vegan bag that comes with a very sturdy design. It’s also available in two sizes, one that suits 13.3” laptops or smaller, and one that suits laptops up to 15.6”. Being laptop-oriented, it comes with a special padded laptop compartment.
It comes in four classic colors: beige, brown, black, and gray. All these colors are neutral, which means that they suit both men and women and would definitely go with whatever outfit you choose for the day.
This bag features slide-and-snap front clasps that provide you with quick access to the main compartment. It also has a top handle to allow you quick grab-and-go transport and a long strap with an adjustable buckle to enable you to choose the length that best suits you.
In brief, I’d say the Sweetbriar is a vegan bag made with practicality in mind. But that doesn’t mean a compromise in durability as it’s made of thick 100% cotton canvas, vegan leather accents, and metal pieces. Its zippers and snap buttons are quite rugged and durable too.
On the inside, it’s divided into two compartments. The back one has a strap to keep your laptop in place while the front one has a small pocket in which you can keep relatively smaller items that you don’t want to lose around the bag. That’s beside the two pockets on the front.
It’s pretty roomy, so you won’t have to leave behind anything important. You can even pack your gym clothes in it, and it would still have enough room for everything else! Not to mention, you get this at a very affordable price level as it’s under $50.
Busy people who are out all day and usually carry around their laptops everywhere. If you’re looking for something sturdy and durable but don’t care for fanciness, it’s a perfect choice.
Someone who’s looking for a degree of personalization in their bag’s design, or people who are looking for a fancy bag.
2. Tocode Men’s Messenger Bag – Best for Men
The Tocode is a very simple yet valuable vegan messenger bag. For starters, it comes in an elegant black color that suits the durability made possible with its water-resistant PU leather and waxed canvas fabric.
This one also comes at a very affordable price, coming at less than $50. Yet, it’s pretty shock-proof, coming with a thick foam padded laptop compartment that suits 15.6” laptops and protects them from accidental bumps, shocks, and scratches.
Not only that, but it’s also equipped with reinforced stitching, strong buckles, and robust zippers, making it here to last. And if you’re worried about its longevity, there’s a year’s warranty on the bag to put your mind at ease.
As for the compartments, the Tocode comes with three large pockets and two small. The one in the back has protruding padding and a strap to keep your laptop secure and protected. The front one is quite roomy and has two smaller pockets for storage and two pen compartments.
The third large pocket is a zippered one that acts as a separate and more accessible compartment. On top of it, there are two smaller pockets, one of which is zippered and the other is taped. Not to mention, there’s a separate compartment on the outside of the main flap.
As you can see, it has plenty of compartments and pockets that provide you with a lot of room to pack your items and distribute them in an orderly way. However, it only comes with a long adjustable strap, so you can only carry it on your shoulder.
People who are obsessed with organizing their belongings and pack various kinds of items to-go. It’s also great for those who treat their bags ruggedly as it’s durable enough to handle heavy-duty use.
Someone who likes to travel light and is looking for a compact bag. Measuring 16 x 11 x 4”, the Tocode is a bit of a hassle to carry around everywhere.
3. ECOSUSI Messenger Laptop Bag – Best Backpack for Women
This Ecosusi messenger bag is simply brilliant in every possible way. In terms of versatility, it is superior to all the choices on the list as it can be carried in three ways, and comes in two sizes: 14” and 15.6”.
You can either add two straps to wear it as a backpack, use one strap to wear it as a crossbody bag or finally, you can use the top handle to carry it as a briefcase. The crossbody bag strap comes with an adjustable bucket to allow you to adjust it to the length that best suits you.
It’s made of high-quality, durable vegan leather and has sturdy brass hardware, yet it’s easy to carry around as it’s lightweight at only 2.5 pounds. It also comes in a variety of colors, including blue, black, red, brown, and coffee. Though some colors are only available for a certain size.
Its versatility spreads to its pockets and compartments as this bag comes with plenty of them. When you open the main flap, you find two pockets; one is an open pocket where you can place an iPad, and the other is divided into two compartments.
One of those compartments comes with padding and a strap that you can tighten to secure your laptop, and the other one comes with two smaller pockets and two areas where you could place your pens.
Pretty much everyone as this bag is very versatile, has plenty of compartments, and can be carried in multiple ways according to your own preferences. This also means you can style it in many ways, and its various colors allow you to pair it with winter and summer outfits alike.
It is a little fancy, so it might not be suitable for rugged everyday use. Not to mention, it’s not exactly the cheapest option that you can find, so you might want to save it for some special occasions.
4. Dasein Vintage Canvas Shoulder Bag – Best Vintage Look
If you like everything old school and vintage, you’ll love this Dasein bag. From its style and design to its colors and price, it will definitely take you back to the good old days.
It is made of high-density washed canvas fabric that is pretty durable and resists scratches to ensure longer use. Yet, it only weighs 1.12 pounds. It is available in army green, beige, black, brown, grey, and jean blue, so there’s a color for every occasion.
The Dasein bag comes with a big flap that includes an outer pocket and is closed by magnetic buttons, though they appear as buckled straps, which give it a sleeker and more vintage look. It has a small storage space on the side where you can keep a water bottle or umbrella.
On the back, you’ll find a zippered pocket where you can keep things you want easy and quick access to, like a passport, tickets, or even change. You can also use it to put a tab or an iPad if you want easy access to the device.
When you open that flap, you’ll find two main pockets. The smaller one at the front is divided like a wallet, with a place for your phone, cascading compartments for your cards, and a compartment with a strap for an iPad.
The main (and bigger) pocket is divided into two compartments: one with a strap for your laptop, and the other comes with a zippered pocket where you can keep things you don’t want to get lost around the bag.
However, the Dasein only comes with one strap. And though it’s adjustable, it doesn’t look like it’s of high quality, but neither do its zippers. After all, it’s a pretty cheap bag, so you can’t expect too much attention to detail.
Anyone that’s looking for a cheap option that has a unique and vintage look to it. It’s also rich with storage compartments and pockets, so you’ll easily be able to organize your belongings and retrieve them whenever needed.
Rugged or heavy-duty use as it’s not the most durable. It also suits casual wear only, especially that its strap, buckles, and zippers don’t look very elegant.
5. Humble Chic NY Vegan Leather Handbag – Best Satchel
This is another lady-friendly vegan messenger bag. It comes in black, leopard, and yellow gold. Not to mention, an exceptionally affordable price despite the high-quality, soft vegan leather and gold-tone hardware.
Admittedly, it’s not the roomiest, but that’s to make it as mobile as possible. It comes with an external zippered pocket where you can keep the things you want to access easily. Apart from that, it’s plain and minimalistic.
On the inside of the main pocket, there are two smaller ones where you can keep your phone and keys and one that is zippered where you can keep valuable items. Not a lot of room for compartmentalization options, but still good enough.
Moreover, it comes with only one strap, which doesn’t leave you with many carrying options. However, the strap is adjustable, so you can modify it to the length that suits you best.
A lady that’s looking for an affordable everyday bag that’s not too big to obstruct movement and maneuverability.
Someone who’s looking for a fancy bag or a durable one that can withstand heavy-duty use. It’s also not the best for diving your belongings into many compartments as you basically get four in total besides the big one, all of which are small pockets and not large compartments.
How to Choose a Vegan Messenger Bag
When you’re shopping for a vegan messenger bag, you should take some aspects into consideration, especially if it’s your first vegan bag. In this section, I’ll tell you exactly what you should keep in mind when picking.
Messenger bags are usually square-shaped, so there is more or less plenty of space. However, you should still have a clear idea of just how much space you need. Getting a bag that’s too big could make it an obstruction to your movement, and a bag that’s too small would defeat the purpose.
Also, if you‘re getting a laptop vegan messenger bag, you should make sure that it would fit the size of your laptop and that it has straps to secure it.
How your bag is divided into pockets and compartments is super important, it actually makes all the difference. Especially when it comes to messenger bags as they’re designed to pack several of your belongings. After all, they’re also known as carryalls.
It’s important that you find one with two big compartments and a small one. Most of the messenger bags out there would have a big flap covering the main pockets and an external pocket. Some even come with both a front and a back pocket.
If you’re really bent on organizing your belongings, you could opt for one of the options that come with an extra number of small pockets. Some even offer places in which you can place your pens or cascading pockets that resemble a wallet where you can store your cards.
Although you might think worrying about the color of your bag is unnecessary, we’re telling you, it absolutely is. A bag could be nothing short of perfect, but you could be unable to wear it because it doesn’t go with your current outfit and looks mismatched.
That’s why your safest bet is to go with neutral colors like black, brown, gray, and beige. Or if you know for a fact that there’s a color pattern you wear on an everyday basis, you can choose a bag that matches that pattern.
Alternatively, you could just go for popping colors or patterns like leopard and crocodile, which are bound to stand out no matter what outfit or colors you’re wearing. Those are pretty great if you like an individual look and aren’t afraid to be the center of attention.
One of the most important aspects to consider when picking your vegan messenger bag is the straps. Most, if not all, come with a crossbody strap. Make sure that this one is adjustable so that you can modify the length to suit your mobility needs.
It’s even better if you find an option with other carrying options. Most commonly, you’ll find top handles that allow you to carry the bag like a briefcase, which is more practical when you want to carry it over a small distance or move it from one desk to another.
Finally, some options even come with a strap layout that allows you to wear your bag like a backpack, such as the Ecosusi option. This one is incredibly practical and helpful as it allows you to put the pressure on one shoulder or divide it onto both.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Vegan Bags?
Vegan bags, or products in general, are ones that are produced without using any animal skins and furs. Even the dyes and adhesives aren’t animal-based to prevent any suffering bestowed upon animals during hunting.
The main culprit is typically leather, and that’s why most vegan bags are made of faux leather.
Why Go Vegan?
Bags and shoes are usually made from exotic animal skins, like ostriches and crocodiles. This increases the demand for those skins, and consequently, animals. This, in turn, results in their excessive hunting, which has a serious impact on the environment.
Substituting your products for vegan ones, like cotton, hemp, or plant-based leather, means that you get to flaunt the latest fashion trends without causing damage or imbalance to any ecosystems.
Is Vegan Leather Reliable?
You may question the durability and reliability of vegan leather, which is quite normal, especially that the process takes a toll on the quality of the product.
Compared to real leather, faux leather is extremely durable, in fact. Not only is it way more affordable, but its material is robust and doesn’t rip. It’s also less likely to get damaged by scraping or scratching.
What’s more, faux or vegan leather is a lot easier to maintain and take care of, especially that’s it’s water-resistant and hardly suffers from any staining. What’s more, its colors don’t fade with exposure to the sun, and it’s more durable in the face of major cuts.
This is mainly because vegan leather resembles plastic in a way, which prevents it from absorbing water or peeling off.
What is Vegan Leather Made Of?
There are plenty of materials from which faux or vegan leather can be made. These include naturally-driven materials, waxed canvas, glazed canvas, PVC, or polyurethane. The latter is actually the most harmful, so steer away from it.
All of these options spare animals the vicious hunting, but not all of them spare the environment from the repercussions. Make sure that the materials you pick aren’t associated with manufacturing consequences and are biodegradable in the long run.
For this, natural elements are the best. So, go for plant-based leather, cork, apple peels, pineapple leaves, fruit waste, or anything completely natural.
How to Make Sure Synthetic Leather is Vegan?
The first thing you should do is read the label on the item of clothing you’re buying. In this case, check the label on your bag or the manufacturer’s website for more details if you’re shopping online.
Sometimes you’ll find a sticker or a symbol at the bottom of the garment or back that indicates that the product in question is vegan and, consequently, environmentally-friendly.
To make even more sure, you should feel the material. You’d be able to tell that this is synthetic leather as opposed to real leather, as it would have a different feel and texture. Faux leather doesn’t form a patina like real leather, and it’s way less breathable as the pores printed on the surface are artificial and merely printed on the material.
Now that we’ve gone through the best vegan messenger bags available, we hope that you’ve found making a final decision easier. If you still need a quick recap to jog your memory, let’s wrap it up.
If you’re looking for a great messenger bag for all occasions, I’d highly recommend the Sweetbriar Classic as it suits those who carry a laptop around everywhere and provides so much space to suit the needs of anyone. It also comes in neutral colors to suit every occasion.
The Tocode vegan messenger bag would be an ideal choice for men. It looks rugged and withstands heavy-duty use thanks to its robust materials and solid build. Not to mention, it comes with plenty of compartments and uses high-quality zippers and straps.
Finally, I’d recommend the Ecosusi backpack for any lady that’s looking for a state-of-the-art choice. Not only does it come with three straps to enable you to carry it in multiple ways, but it also has a lot of compartments and is super durable. It’s simply an excellent choice.