The Origin

While messenger bags began roughly around the 50s with the use by couriers for the transportation of mails and goods – and they still are – they are now an even more versatile piece of gear, offering different functions for varying settings, and more color and sizing options to cater to the tastes and needs of different users.

The Transformation

The messenger bags of yesterday were larger in capacity and made of canvas or leather, designed specifically for utility-men to have their hands free and to have easy and quick access to the items slung over their shoulders. De Martini Globe Canvas of New York was the pioneer of messenger bags, producing them for bicycle courier businesses and telephone linemen, setting a standard for the messengers of today. 

The Trend

Messengers are also known for their durability as they were often used to carry and dispatch objects of importance – weapons, ammo, medical supplies, and wartime mails – and nowadays, for laptops, books and every day carry items. Through the 70s and 80s, the courier industry grew and messenger bags gained more recognition along due to its design and functionality, and more options followed as students picked up the trend and began to use messengers on campus for their textbooks and laptops. Timbuk2 of San Francisco led the trend of modern messengers by designing bags that still suited the needs of people on bikes and on the go, while offering more stylish options for the younger urban crowds as an alternative to traditional backpacks. 

Use & Construction

Messengers are designed for those on the go, keeping your essentials close and within easy reach, carried on one shoulder or strapped across the chest. For students it looks smart and casual no matter what you carry in it – books, Kindle, iPad, etc. – and are very handy with bicycles and even skateboards. For professionals, it looks sophisticated enough for the office is compatible with a laptop, doesn’t take up too much space when commuting, and is casual enough for the bar when you’re off work. It offers the functionality of add-ons such as phone holsters and other EDC pouches. Lots of messenger bags on the market now are made from canvas or Nylon material with waterproof coating to adapt to all weather conditions, and that’s why it is a top pick for many men: It’s stylish, functional, robust, and versatile. 

Tactical Messengers

Tactical gear may be regarded by some as a niche, but its gear certainly lasts and suits all kinds of landscapes. The OneTigris HU Tactical Messenger is a hybrid of a messenger bag, with a unique breathability backing for a sweat-free carry, laser-cut MOLLE on 3 sides for key chains, pens, tools, and additional pouches, and multiple zippered and open-top pockets (13 compartments to be exact!) including openings on the two sides for earphones and charger cables. Traditional messengers are flapped and OneTigris turned the flap into a map holder or ID window so no space or fabric is put to waste. What’s interesting to note is that the HU Messenger is also ideal for undercover police and law enforcements as the laptop pocket and the rear exterior pocket are loop surfaced for pistol holsters to be velcroed onto; a ballistic plate also fits and handcuffs will not jingle when carried. This is one messenger that’s maxed out in terms of functionality and durability. 


While not all modern men and women would opt for the man-purse, it is highly regarded by many as a line of gear that’s classic due to its iconic origins, yet style-forward thanks to the creativity of gear manufacturers and gear users of today.

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