Bags are a number one essential for any man that frequently spends his time outdoors. Whether it’s commuting to work, travelling to a friend’s home or going out for a night, having a bag can help you keep all your essentials in a single place so that you’re prepared no matter what the situation calls for.

However, picking the right bag can often be a little difficult especially if you’re concerned about your outfit and how you’re perceived. From practical leather designs from Forbes & Lewis to high-end streetwear options like Supreme, there are plenty of brands out there that offer a variety of unique and personalised bags that are both useful and expressive of your personal style.

But between backpacks and messenger bags, which one should you pick?

backpacks

It depends on the image you want to portray

If you’re looking to create a casual and easy-going outfit then a backpack is going to be the best choice for you. They can easily be personalised with pins and the amount of functionality you get out of a backpack will ultimately make it seem more practical than a messenger bag.

However, if you’re going for a smarter look, then messenger bags are going to add a more sophisticated look to your overall outfit. This is because messenger bags are more akin to briefcases than actual bags, with the exception that they’re a little more practical and can often hold more. However, a bulky messenger bag doesn’t look nearly as elegant as a bulky backpack, so if you plan to carry around a lot of stuff then a backpack will be a little more practical.

In short, backpacks portray a casual street style that is ideal for a relaxed outfit. However, if you want to show off your fashion insider knowledge, then a messenger bag is a little more forward-thinking and offers a more cultured look.

 

It depends on what you’ll be carrying

We briefly mentioned before that a bulky messenger bag will look silly and overrule any kind of style points that you’d get for wearing it, and that’s because you’re probably not picking that right bag for the right situation.

Messenger bags are just a bit smaller in terms of volume. This means you won’t be able to carry as much stuff and if you try to jam lots of things into your bag, it’s going to bulge and look silly especially if you’ve picked a smaller bag with a unique leather design or a high-end bag from a well-known brand. So if you’re only carrying a few items for your everyday needs, a messenger bag is the perfect option but anything more and you should look into a backpack.

A backpack has far more space and doesn’t look nearly as silly when it’s bulging with items. If you’re going to be carrying school books, a laptop, phone accessories and a bottle of water, then a backpack looks far more utilitarian and should fit your purposes better.

 

It depends on the size of the bag

 A messenger bag is undoubtedly smaller than a regular backpack, but that also means that it can be a little more stylish and fits as an accessory more than a bag. This is great for men that want to make a fashion statement with their bag and don’t plan to carry much outside of a couple of essential items.

However, if you wear a bag that is too big for your needs, then it’s going to look completely out of place and will look horrible regardless of your overall outfit. We recommend that when picking a bag that you should be careful of the size of it. A bag that’s too large will just look strange and a bag that’s too small will limit what you can carry.

In short, try and keep messenger bags small if you’re only carrying a couple of items, but if you have a purpose for a larger bag such as carrying a laptop alongside its charger and a few books for study, get a backpack.

 

It depends on the material of the bag

Another rather underrated factor of how a bag looks on a man is the material used. If you’re going for a stylish casual look then materials such as leather and canvas are excellent. If you’d like a vibrant and colourful backpack, then something made from polyester might be the go-to choice for you.

We’d recommend taking a look at the various types of bag available so that you can pick something which represents your personal style. At the end of the day, both backpacks and messenger bags are functional accessories that can really change your entire outfit, but they both serve different purposes and it’s important to consider your personal needs.