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Lifewire / Zach Sweat
Extremely affordable price point
Solid build quality and materials
Neoprene-lined protection on all compartments and pockets
Very small capacity and width
Not the most comfortable bag or strap
If you’re in need of a laptop bag and on a tight budget, this might be a good option—just don’t plan on bringing much with you.
Evecase has been putting out affordable bags for a number of years now. While not as renowned as a company like Timbuk2, the brand is definitely popular, and their Universal Messenger Tote is a great option if you want a minimal messenger bag to carry your laptop with you. The rock-bottom price alone will at least make you take a look when weighing your options. We specifically tested their 13-inch version, but you can also get the bag in 15- and 17-inch sizes.
The Evecase Universal Messenger Tote isn’t the most impressive design, but that depends on your taste. The bag is made from a suit-like material which is gray with streaks of various tones throughout, accented with nylon straps and some leather touches along the trim. At the center, Evecase’s metal logo is stamped into the bag, with two additional logos pressed into the leather handles at the top. Slim is an understatement here, so don’t plan on getting this messenger if you want to bring anything more than simply a laptop/tablet and a charger—this thing is tiny.
The sleeve is well-padded and offers solid protection, but we couldn’t fit anything larger than a Pixelbook or 13-inch MacBook Pro in here (the MacBook was even tight).
For storage and organization, the Messenger Tote features three compartments. At the front, there’s one large zippered pocket with a bit of padding and two internal pockets for smaller items. The main compartment in the center is primarily just a laptop sleeve, able to hold one tablet or one laptop (definitely not going to cram anything like a gaming laptop in here). The sleeve is well-padded and offers solid protection, but we couldn’t fit anything larger than a Pixelbook or 13-inch MacBook Pro in here (the MacBook was even tight). On the back of the bag, there’s one final zippered pocket with no internal organizers.
Comfort with the Messenger Tote is a bit hard to judge. It’s definitely comfortable to carry around all day, though the shoulder strap lacks any padding. The reason for this is that this bag is so slim and small. Even if you tried to load it up, which we did, you’d be hard-pressed to make it heavy enough to weigh you down. For that reason, it’s comfortable—just sort of by default. The top carrying handles are a nice touch as well.
It’s cheap, durable and perfect for those who need to travel light with minimal gear.
For a messenger bag under $30, you’d be right to be a little concerned about the build quality and durability, but this little Evecase bag is surprisingly well constructed. The materials used throughout are solid, mostly nylon and neoprene, which combine to offer good construction and protection. Since the bag is so small and hard to overload, you’re also safe from the typical failures many bags suffer from along the straps or zippers. Some users have reported the straps fraying over time, but we did not experience any real weak points during our tests.
For this low price, you also don’t skimp out on durability—often the case with cheaper bags.
For the price, this bag is hard to ignore. You can get the Evecase Messenger Tote for around $20 to $30 depending on which size you go for. Obviously, the larger ones are more, but only in increments of $5. For that reason, we’d suggest going a bit bigger and getting the 15-inch bag, unless you simply want to carry a tablet or compact laptop like a MacBook Air or Pixelbook. For this low price, you also don’t skimp out on durability—often the case with cheaper bags. With the build quality and price point, this bag is a solid, affordable option in the market.
A quick note: there are a ton of similar options on Amazon and other similar retailers, but many of these suffer from cheap materials and sewing so do your homework before you cheap out and try to save a few bucks.
A quick search for similar bags will flood you with results, and most of them are cheap bags that people frequently regret stating “you get what you pay for.” That said, there are some comparable options, like MOSISO’s shoulder bag, which is perhaps the best competitor bag out there right now.
The MOSISO bag is mostly the same as the Evecase. It’s got various sizes up to 15.6 inches, a single shoulder strap, one laptop sleeve compartment, and a couple small zippered pockets. The two are also around the same affordable price, with the MOSISO being a bit less. Unlike the Evecase however, the MOSISO is available in a number of color options and is made from a fake leather material that we feel looks much more appealing (and professional). These two are so close in features that it really will just come down to your preference on looks. One nice touch on the MOSISO is the luggage strap for attaching it to your suitcase. Carrying straps are particularly handy when you’ve been lugging a bunch of gear around during your travels.
You can find our list of the best laptop messenger bags out there right now to see even more great options that may fit your needs better.
Perfect for the minimalist commuter.
If you want what is basically a laptop sleeve with a shoulder strap, the Evecase Universal Messenger Tote is a good option if you like the look. It’s cheap, durable and perfect for those who need to travel light with minimal gear.
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