While the best leather bags for men may differ in style, size, shape and color, they all have at least one vital detail in common:
They’re undeniably badass.
Leather is the perfect choice for men’s bags and luggage because it’s one of the few materials that’s both rugged and refined at the same time.
Whether you’re carrying papers into a corporate boardroom, toiletries onto a plane, or supplies on a horseback adventure, a good leather bag can convey strength, sophistication and style pretty much anywhere.
But while a good leather bag can work pretty much anywhere, no single bag can work everywhere.
For instance, rugged leather satchels may look badass when slung over a motorcycle or horse, but don’t make much sense for a business executive on his way to the office or a student going to class.
To help you know which bags work best, in this post we’ll break down the most essential types of leather bags, and show you where to get durable, stylish and well-made bags that won’t break the bank.
The (Absolute) Best Men’s Leather Bags
Breaking Down the Best Types of Mens Bags to Get in Leather
Messengers are one of the most popular styles of men’s leather bags because they’re arguably the most versatile.
The classic look and undeniable practicality of a messenger means that everyone from college students to corporate executives can rely on one for everyday use.
They get their name because they’re based on the style of bag often carried by bike messengers, which has a large protective flap that covers the top and front of the bag.
But while bike messengers usually carry lighter weight bags made from synthetic materials, making a messenger out of leather immediately elevates the look.
A large leather messenger bag is sort of like a cross between a handsome briefcase and a hearty leather shoulder bag.
The best leather messenger bags offer a dedicated laptop sleeve that will keep your computer safe, along with enough interior pockets to hold things like business cards, pens, and various other small items.
Overall Best Leather Messenger Bag for Men ↓
- 5 Stars
- 26 Reviews
Beckett Simonon’s Gaston genuine leather messenger bag is the perfect mix of ruggedness and refinement.
It’s made of durable and handsome full-grain leather that’s available in three colors: black, tan and oxblood.
Like all the best messenger bags, it has a roomy main compartment that can hold multiple books and protect your computer, while dedicated Internal and exterior pockets provide plenty of practicality.
But as functional as it is, with the Gaston, the real star of the show is its impeccable style.
The high-quality full grain leather is both durable and handsome, while the padded top handle and metallic buckles lend it a vintage style that combines the easy access of a messenger with the sophistication of a brief case.
(And with a removable shoulder strap, it could easily be used as a briefcase that would look right at home in any boardroom.)
But the best part might be the price point, especially when you compare it to other premium leather bags.
While most genuine leather bags of this quality start at $350 and go up from there, the Gaston comes in under 300, making it an absolute steal.
Leather is soft and has a great color. Have received multiple compliments already.
I carry my laptop everyday and it has so many compartments that allow you to keep everything neat and in order. Worth the money as you can see the quality of materials.
– Luis P.
A Couple More Great Men’s Leather Messenger Bags
A duffle bag – also sometimes spelled duffel bag – is another popular choice for leather.
Roomier and more casual than your standard laptop messenger bag, you can toss your water bottle and workout clothes in it on your way to the gym, bring it on a plane as your carry-on, or use it as a weekender or overnight bag for quick trips.
With duffles the important thing to remember is that they lack the professional look of messenger bags, so they don’t really work for the office or more formal occasions.
But if you want a casual all-purpose bag that can be used for just about anything else, then a duffle might be your best option.
Overall Best Leather Duffle Bag for Men ↓
While bigger-name companies like Frye and Fossil offer different types of leather goods, Alaskan Leather Company specializes in vintage leather bags.
So it’s no surprise that their rugged Kingston Duffle is an absolute standout.
Like all classic duffles, it’s got a versatile design and plenty of space inside.
But even though it’s in the same shape as a traditional duffle, the quality and craftsmanship that goes into handmade leather bags gives them a unique style that helps them stand out from the mass-produced crowd.
In the case of the Kingston, that means padded leather straps that make the carry handle stylish and strong, and antique brass hardware that lends it a timeless and vintage look that literally never goes out of style.
A Couple More Great Leather Duffel Bags for Men
Work bags are similar in size and shape to messenger bags, except they don’t have the protective flap that folds over the front of the bag.
Instead, they unzip from the top, like a duffle bag, but have the rectangular shape and slim design of a briefcase.
As their name implies, they’re a good option for taking stuff to and from the office, especially if you only need to carry lighter stuff like a small tablet or a few important documents.
In general, work bags tend to give off a more casual vibe than a messenger.
But you can elevate their overall look and feel by choosing a good quality bag made of top grain leather, which tends to look more sophisticated (and hold up better over the long haul).
Overall Best Leather Work Bag for Men ↓
- 4.6 Stars
- 510 Reviews
This model from Augus is a perfect example of a well made, stylish and professional work bag.
Available in both black and brown, it’s made from genuine leather and combines quality, functionality and modern style.
It has a large, padded laptop pocket that will fit most computers, and a medium-sized front pocket with smaller pockets inside, so you can easily keep track of your phone, wallet and other important items.
Reviewers on Amazon are particularly impressed with the leather quality.
It uses surprisingly supple and soft leather, which is much better than you’d usually expect from a bag that only costs 100 bucks.
Used mine for about 6 weeks now. Plenty of room for my laptop (15″ model), charger, cables, mouse and various stationery items.
Also has room for a 1″ binder and a handful of standard manila folders. The leather itself is a full grain, very thick but still nice & supple.
A Couple More Great Men’s Leather Work Bags
Men often shy away from backpacks because they evoke the schoolyard, and make them feel juvenile.
But the best leather backpacks can actually have an empowering effect.
The leather look is undeniably badass, so when you tighten the straps on a well-made and hardy leather backpack, you can’t help but feel like an Army Ranger strapping on his pack.
(Or if you’re a huge nerd like me, like Captain America carrying his shield on his back.)
While the quality of the leather is important in any leather bag, it’s arguably most important with backpacks:
A high-quality leather will help further elevate the overall appearance, while a cheap or low-quality type of leather tends to diminish the effect.
Overall Best Leather Backpack for Men ↓
- 5 Stars
- 19 Reviews
Another bag from Beckett Simonon, what I love about this one is how it combines strength and sophistication.
(Bth of which are words you wouldn’t normally associate with a f@$&ing backpack!)
But the Logan’s minimalist design is undeniably sleek and sophisticated, while the full-grain leather is rugged, durable and likely to last for a damn long time.
I bought this to replace a beloved and well-worn work backpack. Was apprehensive that a leather backpack would be too heavy and the leather too stiff.
To the contrary, it is well constructed, lightweight, and not stiff at all. I absolutely love it and have already received many compliments about my new “expensive looking” backpack.
– Jon W.
A Couple More Great Men’s Leather Backpacks
The term “travel bag” is kind of a catch all for any non-suitcase bag that works well for hauling your stuff from point a to point b.
This most often includes duffels and backpacks, which have larger interior compartments and can carry more stuff than a slimmer man bag like a messenger or work bag.
In addition, travel bags often have extra features like a dedicated shoe compartment and exterior pockets where you can keep stuff that you need easy access to, like your passport or boarding pass.
Overall Best Leather Travel Bag for Men ↓
- 4.8 Stars
- 61 Reviews
This model from Leathfocus is a perfect example of why duffels make such great bags for travel.
It has a large main compartment that can hold plenty of cargo, dedicated shoe and laptop pockets to protect your prized possessions, and zipped external pockets so you can keep things handy without worrying that someone’s going to nab them.
Plus, it comes in a masculine and timeless color that’s halfway between tan and dark brown.
And multiple reviews say the leather quality far exceeds the price tag, making it a great choice for bag shoppers on a budget.
I LOVE this bag!
… It’s well made and has lots of pockets! It has a pocket for your shoes. An inside zipper pocket. Plus, 2 additional pockets inside…
I love the color! And I like that it has a slightly sophisticated look to it.
A Couple More Great Men’s Leather Backpacks
Also called a cross-body bag, sling bags fall somewhere in between a backpack, a messenger bag and a fanny pack in terms of size and cargo storage.
They’re great for cyclists who just need a small bag to bring on their bike, and anyone else who has a few more everyday-carry items than they can fit in their pockets.
You can find lightweight nylon and synthetic sling bags at stores like REI, but the great thing about getting one in leather is that it turns a strictly practical bag into one that’s also stylish and masculine.
Overall Best Leather Sling Bag for Men ↓
- 4.8 Stars
- 341 Reviews
Made from Italian full grain leather, this sling bag from Lannsyne is a handsome, hard-working bag that works great and looks even better.
It’s available in both brown and black, has three primary compartments for carrying various sized items, and uses technical canvas on the back to promote airflow and make the bag lighter weight.
The quality is second to none! Very impressed with the material and workmanship.
I can carry my 10” I-Pad along with a book or two, small note book plus still have room for my wallet and a few odds and ends.
A Couple More Great Men’s Leather Sling Bags
Toiletry Bags & Dopp Kits
What’s great about having a leather toiletry bag, also called a dopp kit, is that it helps offset the decidedly unmasculine activity of carting around all your toiletries, grooming and skin care products.
Carrying all your grooming products might naturally make you feel a little high maintenance (at least, I know it does for me).
But the good news is that carrying toothpaste, face wash, deodorant and a stubble trimmer feels a lot cooler when you’re wrapping them in what’s essentially a rugged piece of animal skin.
Overall Best Leather Toiletry Bag for Men ↓
- 4.9 Stars
- 32 Reviews
This leather toiletry bag from Time Resistance has two top zippers that open up its dual compartments, offering lots of space and easy organization for your toiletries.
In addition, it’s got one small zipped pocket on the outside, and comes in a high-quality leather that’s both handsome and durable – meaning this may be the last dopp kit you’ll ever need.
Really nice bag, high quality, and made of great leather. I highly recommend it.
– Elias B.
A Couple More Great Leather Dopp Kits
You can find stylish versions of all the other bags on this list in materials other than leather, but a briefcase is arguably the one piece of men’s baggage that absolutely must be made of leather.
As discussed above, leather just has a certain sophistication and elegance that can’t be matched by other materials, making it the perfect choice for the boardroom or office.
Overall Best Leather Briefcase for Men ↓
- 4.7 Stars
- 516 Reviews
This gem from Time Resistance would look equally at-home (and just as dashing) being carried by Don Draper in the 1960s or or Harvey Specter in the 21st century.
Handcrafted from full grain Italian leather, it’s more elegant and refined than your standard leather laptop bag, and comes in three colors: black, medium brown and dark brown.
In addition to sophisticated looks, it has two large compartments that can carry your computer, books and files, along with smaller pockets for your phone, credit cards, keys and more.
This briefcase is exceptional. The quality is far above the price point, and the value for money is fantastic. I have seen bags at far higher prices with lower quality.
When I first got it, my initial thought was, “it looks like this company makes bags for high end brands.”
A Couple More Great Leather Briefcases
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