Do you need a concealed carry bag that you can transport every day that seamlessly fits into an urban or business life?
Then a tactical messenger bag is just what you need.
I reviewed all the top tactical brands like 5.11, Hazard, Vertex, Helikon-Tex, Maxpedition and Condor to create this list of the best tactical messenger bags of 2023.
Here I include a quick buying guide for tactical messenger bags, plus a tactical messenger bag FAQs to help you choose the best one for your particular needs.
Let’s get to it!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on RiflePal. For more information, read full disclosure here.
- TOP 9 Best Tactical Messenger Bags of 2023
- Features to Look for Before You Choose Tactical Messenger Bag for You
- Tactical Messenger Bag FAQs
- Article Summary
TOP 9 Best Tactical Messenger Bags of 2023
5.11 Tactical Rush Delivery Lima Bag
This is 5.11s LARGE tactical messenger bag, although it’s just 12 liters and I consider it compact compared to other tactical messenger bags.
It’s a decent size tactical messenger bag that holds large laptops easily. It also has room for other stuff, like a small water bottle or shaker cup, personal effects and of course, your concealed carry weapon.
I love how well padded the laptop compartment is, I feel my laptop is safe in there.
Another aspect that really sold me on this bag is how easy it is to get stuff in and out of, a bonus when you are dealing with checkpoints, customs or are just in a rush.
- Slim and compact, yet carries larger laptops with ease.
- Well-padded laptop compartment and CCW pocket protects your investments.
- Morale or ID badge Velcro attachment points.
- Water and dirt resistant.
- Very comfortable shoulder strap.
- There should be Velcro on BOTH sides of the CCW pouch.
Ideal tactical messenger bag for both laptop and your CCW. My choice for best concealed carry messenger bag of 2023.
Hazard 4 Mod Messenger Bag
The Hazard 4 Tactical messenger bag is a large, 20 liter bag.
The outside flap is removable, which makes the bag slimmer, or you can keep it, as it is full of handy organization pockets and pouches.
This bag has MOLLE throughout, including the main internal compartment, so you can customize how you like.
The laptop compartment is well padded and secure and holds a laptop up to 15 inches.
The storage is expandable, by simply loosening the straps, and you compress your gear the same way, so it fits any situation.
- Laptop compartment for up to 15 inch laptops.
- MOLLE attachment on the interior and under the main flap.
- Excellent organization.
- 20 liter capacity.
- While you can use this bag for concealed carry, the Velcro is in an awkward place.
Best tactical shoulder bag for those who have a lot to carry!
Mystery Ranch 3 Way Briefcase
This bag from Mystery Ranch can be converted from briefcase to messenger bag to backpack. It has small handles to carry like a briefcase, the strap for the messenger bag, and backpack straps you carry on your back.
This bag has a zipper expansion, simply unzip to add 5 liters of capacity instantly.
The front has a rip zip feature for quick, efficient zip opening to get access to the front pocket, and has a magnetic clip that helps it close securely.
- Converts to backpack, briefcase, or messenger bag.
- Zipper expansion adds 5 liters.
- Rip zip opening, quick access to your gear.
- Well-designed internal organization.
- The shoulder strap is not padded and digs in if you load the bag heavy.
Perfect EDC for cyclists and motorcycles converts from backpack to professional messenger bag fast. My pick for the best tactical briefcase of 2023.
Vertx Unisex-Adult Dead Letter Sling
This bag can be worn as a sling of a messenger bag. If you wear it as a sling, it has a retention strap and a rapid access pull tab to slip the bag up and around to access the contents quickly.
The main pocket is Velcro-lined to place your CCW holster and panels to customize as you see fit.
The front panel has space for a small laptop and is well organized to hold all your other essential gear.
- Can be worn as a sling or messenger bag.
- Space for a CCW holster in the main compartment.
- Compartment for a small laptop or tablet in the front pouch.
- Well organized.
- As a sling, it’s comfortable to carry, but the bag hangs on your back in a very odd way.
This tactical messenger bag is small, but efficient, and has room for the essentials you need to carry every day.
Helikon-Tex Urban Courier Bag
This is an excellent mid-sized EDC tactical messenger bag. Both the main compartment and the CCW pouch are Velcro lined, although the CCW pouch is only lined on one side, so you can place your CCW holster and other packs and pouches how you want them.
The bag is discreet, a “grey Man” style that does NOT scream tactical. The front flap pocket expands out of you need to store a light jacket or sweater, which is nice because most bags this style have no place to store any clothes.
- Zippers are smooth as butter through a hot knife.
- Dedicated CCW pouch with Velcro.
- Padded laptop pocket for 15” laptop.
- Good organization and a place for flasks or small water bottles.
- The water bottle holder is a bit small.
- CCW pocket is zipper close, I would prefer Velcro.
This discrete tactical EDC messenger bag is one of the best tactical messenger bags out there.
Maxpedition Entity Crossbody Bag
This Maxpedition Entity messenger bag is a small, discreet CCW messenger bag that is TOP quality.
It has a lockable CCW compartment that is Velcro-lined on both sides and strategically padded so it will not print.
I appreciate the grey man style of this bag. It is inconspicuous, it does not look tactical, nor does it look like a concealed weapon bag.
- Tablet pocket.
- Minimalist size for CCW and a few pieces of gear.
- Stowable waistband.
- Lockable CCW compartment.
- 14 liter size.
- The top handle gets in the way of the CCW pocket zipper.
- No room for a laptop.
Best small tactical messenger bag for off-body CCW every day.
This LARGE tactical messenger bag from Red Rock will carry your CCW, a laptop, and even a few books if need it for that.
It converts to a backpack, and the backpack straps are removable so it’s versatile.
The Velcro close pockets are strong, the carry straps are comfortable, it has many pockets and organization options,
The CCW pocket is a large slip pocket on the back with a Velcro liner to hold your Concealed Carry holster, and this pocket is easy to access.
- Easy to access concealed weapon pouch.
- Converts from a messenger bag to backpack.
- Has LOTS of organization pockets.
- Large tactical messenger bag.
- Some consider this bag a little bulky.
High-quality tactical messenger bag with room for CCW and laptop. A lot of bag for the money!
Condor Tactical Scythe Messenger Bag
If you are looking for an affordable tactical messenger bag, Condor is a tactical name you can trust.
This popular tactical bag has everything the other guys do, at a fraction of the cost.
It has a clever CCW pouch on the back that has the hook and loop you need for your Concealed carry holster.
This bag has room for a laptop up to 15 inches with a dedicated padded sleeve. It also has a top carry handle and a retention strap.
- Special CCW zipper compartment.
- Space for up to 15 inch laptop.
- Really affordable.
- Retention strap included.
- Top carry handle.
- Some exterior MOLLE for attachments.
- The water bottle pocket is small.
Best tactical messenger bag for the price for your concealed carry and everyday necessities.
Direct Action Messenger Tactical Bag
The Direct Action 10 liter tactical messenger bag is a smaller bag for those who plan to travel light, built to last a lifetime.
It has tons of well-organized storage, so finding a place for everything is no problem.
I love the laser cut molle throughout, it looks sharp and functions well. It’s actually made from 3 laser cut layers with two fused layers so it’s both streamlined and durable.
The bag has a drink holder and a padded laptop holder, but both are designed for the minimalist and are a bit small.
The shoulder strap is comfortable, and the materials are the best of the best, with water-resistant Cordura and real YKK zippers throughout.
- PALS/MOLLE on the front flap.
- Heavy-duty, water-resistant 500D Cordura and YKK zippers.
- Complete Velcro interior for max customization.
- Small laptop pocket 5″x9.5″.
- No dedicated CCW pouch.
A smaller, comfortable, well made, high-quality messenger bag for those who travel light.
If you need more room than this Direct Action messenger bag provides, an actual duffel bag or tactical backpack might be better since the capacity is so much larger. Check out the best tactical backpacks here.
Features to Look for Before You Choose Tactical Messenger Bag for You
Concealed Carry Weapon Compartment
One of the main reasons folks buy tactical messenger bags is to have an off-body concealed weapon carry location. Most of the tactical messenger bags on this list have a CCW compartment, but a few do not.
If you need a CCW compartment, make sure that it is easy to access. It’s ideal if the CCW compartment is lined with Velcro, or hook and loop on BOTH sides, so you can position your weapon exactly how you want it.
One of my favorite CCW tactical sling bags is the Maxpedition Entity Crossbody Bag.
The concealed weapon compartment is lockable and has Velcro on both sides.
I also like sling bags for CCW.
Because they are snug and secure and slide right around, putting your piece at your fingertips.
Interested in a CCW sling bag? I made a list of the best tactical sling bags right here. Take a look.
Laptop Sleeve size
The fact is, in life, you need to carry more than just your gun and ammo. Most folks looking for a tactical messenger bag need to carry standard work equipment, including a laptop in their bag.
Make sure your laptop fits your bag. If you have a large laptop, the 5.11 Tactical Rush Delivery Lima Bag is a confirmed winner. It can accommodate large laptops and the CCW compartment is TOP NOTCH.
Internal Organization of Your Tactical Messenger Bag
Internal organization comes in the form of include pockets, pouches, slots, and admin areas. But it can also come from bags like the Helikon-Tex Urban Courier Bag that have main pockets that are Velcro-lined.
Velcro-lined pockets allow you to change up the organization to suit your style and gear.
The organization can also come from external MOLLE/PALS webbing if you like to attach packs to the outside of the bag. Several tactical messenger bags in this lineup have external MOLLE.
Size of Your Tactical Messenger Bag
The bags on this list vary in size from about 10 liters all the way up to 22 liters.
The compact 12 liter capacity Vertx Dead Letter Sling and my favorite bag, the 12 liter capacity 5.11 Tactical Rush Delivery Lima Bag are for those you want to travel light.
If you need more space, consider a larger capacity tactical messenger bag like the 15 liter Red Rock Outdoor Gear Navigator or the 22 liter capacity Mystery Ranch 3 Way Briefcase.
Messenger bags, by their nature and design, are mid-sized bags. Even the largest tactical messenger bag only holds about 22 liters.
If you really need more space, consider a backpack or duffle bag. Here is a list of the best tactical duffle bags I could find. Duffle bags have massive volume, some up to 55 liters of space, so they are the king when it comes to capacity.
Tactical Messenger Bag FAQs
What is the best tactical messenger bag?
OK, you asked so here is my opinion.
The best tactical messenger bag of 2023 and every year it’s been available, is the 5.11 Tactical Rush Delivery Lima Bag.
Because it has everything I want and nothing I don’t want.
It has a dedicated CCW compartment and can fit larger laptops. But it’s also slim, not bulky. Don’t expect to load it up with gear and a bog water bottle, it won’t fit a lot of gear.
But if you just need a few extras besides your gun and laptop, this is a very popular bag.
How do I stop my messenger bag from sliding?
The correct way to wear a messenger bag is to hang the strap over your head on the opposite shoulder so the strap crosses your chest.
A retention strap can also keep the bag from sliding and moving around. A retention strap is attached to the bag and goes under your arm to attach to the main strap.
The Condor Tactical Scythe Messenger Bag has a retention strap to keep it from sliding around.
What are the best tactical messenger bag brands?
There are several awesome tactical messenger bag brands. My favorites are 5.11, SOG, Helikon-tex, Vertex, Hazard 4, Maxpedition, Condor Tactical, and Direct Action.
If you want a rundown on all the best tactical gear brands, I did a little write-up on the best tactical brands here.
What is better, a tactical messenger bag or a tactical backpack?
Both the tactical messenger bag and tactical backpack have their purpose and one is not necessarily better than the other.
I love tactical backpacks because they have TONS of space, and are usually high capacity, so you can fit a gay or mores worth of gear in them. Plus they are comfortable and secure to carry because they have two straps to balance the weight.
The tactical messenger bags are lighter and put your gear at your side or front, where it is super easy to reach. If you want your concealed weapon within easy reach, I recommend a tactical messenger bag or a tactical sling bag.
A backpack is not an ideal place for a concealed weapon because it is out of reach and out of sight. The last thing you want is someone else accessing your concealed carry weapon, so it should be near you and within your reach at all times.
That wraps up the best tactical messenger bag reviews. I hope you found the best bag to meet your need.
If you need more options to carry even more load, take a look at our comparison of PALS vs MOLLE systems to find the one that fits your need to most.
If you love tactical gear, be sure and sign up for the Rifle Pal newsletter and be the first to receive news and reviews directly to your inbox.
Until next time,
I will see YOU in the field!