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Buying a Messenger Laptop Bag

Updated on March 30, 2011
Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag
Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag

Laptop bags. I know I need one, I know I want one and I even know the style I like. What a pity it took me so long to discover the name of the style is the Messenger Laptop Bag.

When I am ready to make a purchase I enjoy shopping for the best bargain, which often for me means shopping online so as to use my limited walking ability for other things. (See my Multiple Sclerosis articles for more details.)

My recent online search became complicated by one major problem . . . I didn’t know the exact name of the style of laptop bag I wanted. I could describe it and knew it when I found it, but who knew of all things, it is actually called a Messenger Laptop Bag? Of course now that I have discovered the name it makes total sense and I wonder why it didn’t just occur to enter messenger bags in my Google search.

Instead, I spent much time clicking on bags of all types hoping to accidentally hit on the bag I wanted. Yes my way proved successful, but it took entirely too long for an impatient person like myself.

At least I now know the name of the style I like, so all that is left is to chose a favorite from the many choices.


Why A Messenger Bag?

I experience many types of weakness problems common to a disease like MS, which can hit at any time, in any part of my body.

I naturally want to keep muscle strain and muscle fatigue down to a minimum so whenever possible I make purchases that allow me to carry objects without the use of my arm muscles, ergo, the messenger bag style.

If carrying objects has become a problem for you, you might want to consider messenger bags as well. Personally, the Hp laptop I purchased is a little on the heavy side (approximately 5 lbs.) Although the weight isn’t a problem while I use it at home, I know that if I travel with it, I will need a sturdy shoulder bag of some sort to make the journey.

I thought about a back pack of course, but decided my personal preference is the messenger styled laptop bag.


Research reveals the importance of having a bag that is not only big enough for your laptop, but also big enough to carry all the extras that may be needed while traveling away from home. Since my Hp has a 15 inch screen, I need to find a messenger bag that is no smaller than 15 inches, with preferably a little more room to avoid snugness.

Canvas, Leather, Metal, or Vinyl?

The next tough decision is what type of material the bag should be cotton, canvas, or leather?

Seems weight has to be a consideration as well as sturdiness and durability. So a comparison in the weight of each type of bag is also necessary.


Strap Length

Even the strap length must be considered if I am to preserve my muscle strength. I have decided a long strap that preferably wraps around my neck and shoulders, similar to bike messenger bags or the old school newspaper carriers (remember when there were actually newspaper boys and girls who actually walked or rode their bikes to deliver newspapers door-to-door?) will serve me well.

I find my upper back is still relatively strong, as is my shoulder and neck muscles. My lower back presents problems, especially when I am fatigued and my bicep muscles have weakened considerably in the last year or so as well.

While I hope exercising with light weights will restore some function, I still need to take extra precautions for those occasions when walking with my laptop will be necessary. Carrying it like a guitar case will be much easier on my arms then carrying it like I would a tote bag.

Urban Hip-Hop Bags

Yes there is a bag for everyone. Too cool for the bags already featured? Click on this link which features hip-hop bags offered by Ogio, on


Designer Messenger Laptop Bags

If designers names are what interest you the most, you may want to check out the following sites:

Don't Forget to Comparison Shop

When you find the perfect bag for you, don't forget to run the brand name through a search engine to see if you can find the exact bag cheaper. If you have the energy to shop at a local retailer, great!

If like me, your energy is limited, you can still find online retailers who carry what you are looking for and hopefully find a good deal with free shipping in the process.

Rolling Laptop Messenger Bags

The choices are truly endless. Following the suggestion of two posters, I have now added another category to my list of consideration, the rolling laptop messenger bag.

Yes, there are indeed rolling messenger bags, although not as plentiful as rolling bags in general.

Still, as can be observed below, I had more choices just to make my final decision more difficult.

My Choice

I have found it more difficult to narrow down my choice, but as soon as I do, I will update this portion. It is fun looking at all the different options, but it is also time consuming, therefore my final decision is delayed.

I am not swayed by designer names and labels. I like quality and attractiveness. The bag I end up purchasing will be in medium price range, but most importantly will be a laptop bag I love. Such a purchase can't be rushed when shopping on line.

Stay tuned . . .

Update:  Turns out I have had a messenger bag in my possession for years now. Just forgot I had it since I didn't originally buy it for a laptop.  My laptop fits perfectly, and using it has shown me that the weight is too much on my back if I have to carry it for a significant length of time. So while I will use it for short trips, I will be investing in a roller bag for any activity that takes more than a couple of hours.

Now all I have to do is narrow down my roller bag choices!


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    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks loveofnight, your comment reminded me to update my last entry! Glad it is helpful to you. :)

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      this is something that i need to invest in as well.....thx 4 share

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Wow that is 3 endorsements for the roller bags! They are quite popular and do sound convenient and roomy. I actually have trouble with my arms and hands once I tire, and muscle fatigue hits, but I have plenty of good info to make my decision thanks to comments like yours. Thanks a bunch Duchess!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Hey Jen. The decision for my bag was taken away from me. My son got me one for Christmas a couple years ago. Thankfully it is pefect. I love the ones that "roll with the flow". It has extra storage for the binder or note book, the wireless mouse and my flashsticks. There are even compartments you can put your cell phone in and a nice little nook for my iPod and earphones :) If one must travel, it might as well be in comfort. When you extend the handle for walking, I like to slip the handle of my purse over it. Often my purse is heavier than the computer, and this way, both bags travel easy. :)

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Your best friend might benefit from the rolling messenger bags then, GarnetBird. I'll be glad when I finally decide which one I will get. lol Thanks for your comment.

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 8 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      WONDERFUL HUB--my bestfriend has MS and I will tell her about the bag. She has so much fatique she can barely walk. Your article is A++

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Yes ethel, I find the more I search the more I have to investigate. Now I will be glad when I finally make a choice. lol

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Good luck with your final choice. There are so many styles these days

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Hi Pat, thanks for the great tip, that would have never occurred to me! I am glad you liked the hub, I appreciate the comment very much.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Pat says - I was lucky because Tricia purchased a new laptop before me. I was able to examine hers and decide what I wanted. And one quality I wanted was 'lighter'.

      When I travel I put my laptop into a 'sleeping bag' - which is a well padded envelope - and then into a carry-on bag. Works for me.

      What I like about this hub is that you explained your reasons for purchasing a particular type of bag. Many writers would just go for a description of the bag. Thanks.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Appreciate your kind words AARON99, thanks so much!

    • profile image

      AARON99 8 years ago

      A very helpful hub on laptop bag. You have given every detail with so much attention. Well done. Enjoy.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      LOL BC, can't tell if you are kidding or not, but if you aren't that is too funny! Thanks for the laugh and for dropping by.

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 8 years ago

      I have a nice lil black laptop bag and I takes it everywhere with me, tis at my feet now in work ; )

      PS - Just wish I had a laptop lol !!!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Glad to hear that ocbill, sounds like ebay? Another one of my favorite spots as well.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      my search did take some looking around.. . got a deal online from a private party

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Good Morning Adrienne2, I love the hopper too. Glad you dropped by and thanks for the comment.

      Paradise, thank you for your comment. :-)

      Sue, Both you and Connie have made the same suggestion. I will look into it but I don't travel near as much as the two of you, so am thinking a messenger bag might be best for me. Thanks so much for giving me yet another way to go.

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 8 years ago from South Carolina


      Great hub on making an important decision to make our laptops more portable. Quite a selection of choices and also taking the physical limitations and other things to look at as the decision is made. I personally chose the one with the wheels like luggage and the collapsible handle. A little more pricy than some, but I can put all of my other research items in there too and as my travels often include flying too it is compatible with all of my travel options and I do not have to actually carry it.

      Looking forward to hearing of the perfect choice for you when you make it! Always enjoy as you share all of the different aspects of choices to take care of all of our needs that we usually do not consider until the last moment. Prior planning is important.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      A very interesting and useful hub. Thank you!

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 8 years ago from Atlanta

      Hi Jen, nice hub I found you on the new hub hopping tool.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Is it good that you are commenting on this hub???? I want to think you posted from your bed, but am almost afraid to ask if that is the case. I hope you are resting and feeling better my friend. Please take care of yourself and drop me an e-mail to tell me how you are when you are up to it.

      Thanks for dropping by, I've been thinking about you needless to say!

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      I know I've missed quite a few of your hubs lately...I am happy to see that you've finally purchased your laptop. I have a canvas bag and my laptop is also a 15" model. For me, it got heavy. Lately, I have taken to carrying mine around in my small rolling carry on bag from my luggage set. I intend to get a little bit of a smaller version of the rolling bag when I get an opportunity.

      I am sure that you love the versatility of your new laptop. I know I love mine. I cannot undestand why anyone would even buy the desktop model anymore. I bought my first laptop about 5 or 6 years ago. So many places now have wi-fi. Taking adbvantage of that makes a practical laptop bag a necessity. This is a vey informative hub for those who need one. Keep up the good work, my friend,

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks for reading Hummingbird5356.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 8 years ago

      Interesting hub.