Five Handsome Messenger Bags Under $400 You’ll Fall in Love with

Looking to start a new relationship with a camera bag this month? Check out these fine messenger bags that won’t break the bank, or your heart.

Like in any good relationship, there must be trust for it to work. The camera bags we choose to use say a lot about us, and we trust in them to carry our expensive cameras and lenses. Choosing a new camera bag is like searching for a new mate. We take looks, personality, dependability, and just how hard the new relationship will hit our wallets into account. There are some messenger bags out there that cost an absolute fortune, but the ones we’ve picked here are easy on the eyes, and they’re ready for long term commitment.

We really do need to trust the bags we use; that is no lie. The worst thing we can do is put our trust in something that could let us down. We need to know our gear will be protected during travel, during harsh weather conditions, and that it will have our backs at all times. The messenger bags we’ve listed below will become the love of your photography life. Lets take a look at some of the best messenger bags you can buy for $400 and under.


Portage Supply Mariner Messenger Bag


Dependable, gorgeous to look at, and it likes to play in the rain. Can the Mariner from Portage Supply really be just over $100? Yes! The Mariner from Portage Supply is all of those things and more. It can hold a 15-inch laptop, your camera, and a few lenses. It has enough pockets to store your small valuables, and the leather and canvas is weatherproof. It’s also incredibly comfortable to carry around for long periods of time thanks to the unique strap. Affordable, reliable, and easy on the eyes, this is one of the messenger bags you should think about courting.

In our review we said:

“The Portage Supply Mariner Messenger Bag is a pretty simple design; it’s waxed canvas, has leather accents, is soft to the touch yet rugged, and opens up in a standard way yet gives you the protection you need.”

Buy now: ($109): Amazon



Pro Tip: These weatherproof bags may be able to resist the weather, but that doesn’t mean your camera and lenses can. Be sure to pack some weatherproof camera and lens covers in your bag so that you can keep on shooting if the weather takes a turn for the worse.


Peak Design Everyday Messenger Version 2


The original Peak Design Everyday Messenger was a hit with many photographers thanks to its excellent padding, its comfortable straps, and its ability to carry a large amount of gear. Version 2 of this bag takes the solid foundation that was laid with the first bag and improves on things. This bag can hold a Full Frame DSLR, three lenses, and a 15-inch laptop. It has a weatherproof shell and zippers, the magnetic buckle system is still as amazing as ever, and it can carry a tripod with ease. This bag will spoil you rotten.

In our review we said:

“Something I can continue to attest to is the way the bag’s main compartment opens up. Peak’s magnetic buckle system is still the best on the market. No one has created a better system.”

Buy now ($219.95): Amazon


Pro Tip: If you like to keep things neat, clean, and organized inside your camera bag, you should look into these small, convenient cable and accessory organizers from Tenba. I use them to keep my cables, batteries, SD cards, and many other accessories all in one place. Use these pouches and everything you need can be located in a hurry.


Tenba Cooper 13″ Slim Messenger Bag


messenger bags

The Tenba Cooper 13″ Slim Messenger bag is not a new bag on the market, but that just shows how much we admire it. The Cooper Slim is comfortable to carry, it’s weather resistant, the materials used are soft and nice to touch, and it can hold a Mirrorless camera and three to five lenses with ease. When it comes to messenger bags, you should swipe right on this one.


In our review we said:

“When it comes to a messenger style camera bag designed for the working pro using mirrorless camera gear, this is the only camera bag that you’ll ever need. Again, it’s stylish, comfortable, low profile, and it gets the job done.”

Buy now ($229.95): Amazon


Pro Tip: Put those pockets and extra storage areas in your camera bag to good use by storing extra memory cards in them. As amazing as the little plastic marvels are, they can and do fail. Make sure you’re prepared for the unthinkable to happen by keeping extra SD cards with you at all time. These are incredibly affordable, and fast enough to keep up with the rapid burst modes found in most Mirrorless cameras these days.


ONA Prince Street


The Prince Street from ONA is an incredibly sexy, handcrafted bag that’s made out of full grain leather. This stunner isn’t just all looks though. The Prince Street can hold your camera, two lenses, and it has space for a laptop too. It’s a bag that is definitely aimed at those who love to travel light, and who like to look good when out and about. The large opening makes it easy to access your gear in a hurry, and the weather flaps help keep your gear dry. When it comes to messenger bags that ooze class, help you travel light, and cost under $400, the ONA Prince Street is hard to beat.

In our review we said:

“In our two weeks of testing, we found the bag to be sturdy and resilient to the elements. It was bumped around the NYC subway system by commuters while attached to my body, and protected the gear thanks to the padding that ONA supplies in the dividers.”

Buy now ($389): Amazon


Pro Tip: If you opt to buy leather bag make sure you give yourself time to pamper it. Buy a quality bottle of leather conditioner so that you can protect and keep your bag looking like new. If you put in the time to care for your purchase, your messenger bags will take care of your gear for a long time to come.


Think Tank Retrospective 30 Leather


The Think Tank Retrospective 30 is a bag for those who like to carry all of their gear with them. Despite the size of this bag and all that can be packed into it, it remains comfortable to carry around. This bag can hold up to two full size DSLR’s and up to four lenses. The back pocket can hold a tablet or small laptop, and the leather can stand up well to the rain. This is one of the largest messenger bags in this round-up, but it’s love handles make it a keeper.

In our review we said:

“The Leather is a bag designed for the photographer who needs to carry loads of gear at a time and wants a bit more style while doing so.”

Buy now ($182): Amazon