Luggage that delivers: Best motorcycle messenger bags

Motorcycle messenger bags are a firm favourite with bikers, particularly in an urban environment. They are the chosen way of carrying goods by dispatch riders and – you guessed it, messengers – as they are easy to access to get the contents in and out but tuck behind on the bike or hang to the side for walking when off the bike.

Of course, they are particularly useful for commuters, especially if you don’t need to carry a change of clothes with you – just perhaps a laptop and some paperwork.

Throw it across your back when you’re on the bike or scooter and then, when you arrive, sling it to the side and no-one is any the wiser.

Related: Best motorcycle rucksacks

Waterproofing may be useful to some riders, especially in changeable conditions but others may not necessarily require it, as poor weather conditions might mean either leaving the bike at home or using a specific waterproof luggage solution. So some will keep weather out while others may not.

Here is a selection of messenger bags for all riders.

It might look a bit odd on say a Yamaha or a BMW but this bag from the official Triumph range of apparel will carry plenty of gear and keep it dry. It is made from 1000D polyester and PVC and the main compartment is waterproof with a zipped entry as well as a large flap covering it.

It comes with a padded shoulder strap and an integral carry handle as well as location points to add extra pouches and pockets. There are various sections within the main compartment, including one for electrical items to keep them organised.

This diminutive bag from Held may only have a capacity of three litres but it is stylish and will work either as a messenger bag or a more urban across-the-front bag. It's made from water-resistant cotton and polyester mix and has PU (artificial) leather sections to give it a cool, urban look and feel.

It has one main section and two external pockets and comes with a shoulder strap as well as two grab-handles – one on the long side and one on the short so it can be carried like a normal messenger bag or an upright version. It has a laptop sleeve as well as various organiser sections and would suit any commuter.

This waterproof messenger bag from Eigo is made from what appears to be PVC tarpaulin material, with taped seams to ensure that the contents stay dry. It loads via a roll-top closure to keep the water out and the ends are secured by straps with quick-release carabina-style buckles.

It has a 20-litre capacity as well as a waist strap to hold it securely to the body when on the bike – this can be removed when off the bike. It also comes with an adjustable, padded shoulder strap.

Like much of Kriega's offerings, this messenger bag is not cheap but it is very nicely made and incredibly strong. It features 1000D polyester on the base and the back with the rest formed in Hypalon - a longer-lasting alternative to PVC.

It has a capacity of 18 litres and is big enough to carry a 17in laptop as well as various accessories, such as chargers and portable drives. It has an integrated carry handle as well as a padded shoulder strap and a removable waist strap to keep it secure on the bike.

This waterproof bag is intended for walking or cycling but its inclusion of a waist strap as well as the wide, padded shoulder straps makes it appropriate for a motorcycle as well. It's made in polyurethane and nylon for water resistance and the shoulder strap uses PU leather to spread the load.

It will house a laptop up to 15in in size as well as plenty of paperwork and accessories. The main compartment is covered by a flap that houses a pocket and is secured by two straps and quick-release buckles.

This stylish messenger bag from Italian manufacturer Givi is perfect for an urban commute on a bike or scooter. It has a handy 12-litre capacity and features a padded laptop section that will keep your tech secure. The zips are waterproof and the material should help keep the weather out and away from your valuables.

The main compartment is covered by a flap that is secure at the bottom of the bag and an adjustable and padded shoulder strap can also be removed.

This retro-styled canvas messenger bag will house a 15in laptop in one of the internal compartments as well as paperwork, accessories and all sorts of other bits and bobs. While the material is backed with a PVC lining, the cover flap is fastened with two spring-loaded catches and the main compartment doesn't close separately, so will always be open to the elements.

It has an integrated carry handle as well as a padded shoulder strap and there is also a waist strap to hold it secure when on the bike.

Not strictly a messenger bag, this flight bag from Sidi will be familiar to riders of a certain age, taking their PE kit to school (or indeed, everything to school) in the mornings.

It’s a classic design, with a top zip giving access to the main compartment with a slim outer pocket on the front. The strap is multi-coloured and is adjustable and it comes in this black colour or a base white with the large Sidi logo printed on it.

Like most of SW-Motech's gear, this messenger bag is top quality and can be fixed to the bike to be used as a tailbag if preferred. It has a wide, padded adjustable shoulder strap as well as a waist strap to keep it secured against the body on the bike and it is made from waxed cotton and synthetic leather with heavy-duty nylon on the base and the rear.

The main flap is secured with wide Velcro and hides not just the main compartment but also, two accessory pockets while the outside of the flap has MOLLE fixing straps to allow extra pockets or pouches to be added.

About the author: After qualifying as a mechanical engineer, Jim Blackstock began working on magazines in the early 1990s. He remains passionate about product testing to ensure readers know what products offer good value and why. He relishes torrential rain to see if riding kit keeps water out and an hour or two to tinker on a project bike in his workshop.

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