The Ultimate Guide to Cross Body Bags for Men and Women

If you are looking for a bag that has the versatility of a backpack but looks a little more refined, then the cross body bag is what you need. This is a bag that is useful in all aspects of your life, whether you need something for casual or professional purposes or something in between. Of course, there are numerous types, designs, and styles for you to choose from, making this a tricky decision for you.

Fortunately, we are here to clear up all confusion. This guide gives you all of the hints and tips that you need to know to choose the best possible cross body bag. This way, you certainly will not be disappointed with what you get.

An Easy Guide to Choosing a Cross Body Bag

Cross body bags are known by several other names including saddle bags, messenger bags, etc. Regardless, they all perform the same function – to make it easier for you to carry around your belongings. These type of bags continue to be popular with a wide variety of people as they work well in several environments.

So, seeing as these bags will not be going out of style anytime soon, it stands to reason that you should get your own. To prevent you from having to muddle through numerous options though, we have done most of the heavy lifting for you. Here are the important points:

Why Carry a Cross Body Bag

In case you aren’t certain that a cross body bag is for you, let’s discuss some of the advantages associated with this type of bag. Since this bag is worn diagonally, across your torso, it leaves your arms free. While this bag can be considered a sort of over the shoulder backpack, it surpasses the backpack as it doesn’t restrict your movement.

The other benefit is the way that you can position the bag. If you want it out of the way, you can adjust the strap so that the bag is positioned at your back. For a more secure option, the bag can be kept to your side. Last but not least, when reaching for things in your bag, you will not need to take it off as you simply have to swing the bag forwards.

The great thing about this bag is that it can be styled in a myriad of ways which means that it can be dressed up or down. You will certainly be able to find a design, regardless of the occasion. There are casual ones for shopping, official looking ones for businesspeople, and elegant options for nighttime events.

Types and Designs

As mentioned, there are more than a few types and styles of cross body bags that you can choose from. The most common design is the messenger bag – with a medium to large sized bag whose main purpose is to store as many items inside as possible. Messenger bags tend to be strictly for functional purposes and are usually used by school kids, businesspeople, or shoppers.

Then there are the cross body backpacks. As the name suggests, these look like traditional backpacks, complete with panel compartments and exterior pockets. The only real difference here, of course, is that these bags have one long strap instead of two shoulder straps. These type of bags make organization easy due their numerous compartments and pockets.

Cross body bags also have sports bag-like designs as well. They are basically a cross between traditional gym bags and messenger bags. These bags tend to be a bit larger and have additional padding to protect sports equipment.

Then, there are the cross body bags that can fit the categorization of pouches. These can be rectangular, square shaped or even circular. These are more fashion statements as they tend to be a bit on the small side.


Cross body bags come in many different sizes, depending on what you need them for:

  • Small bags (0 – 10 liters): on the smaller end of the scale, bags that fall in this range are typically good for carrying keys, phone, and some money (maybe a wallet). The larger bags work well for a wallet, book, or even a tablet, although not much else.
  • Medium Bags (10 – 20 liters): these are great for carrying books, laptops, documents, and similar items. Essentially, you will be able to carry anything that you will need on a daily basis. These bags also tend to have compartments of various size so that organization becomes easier.
  • Large bags (20+ liters): large cross body bags are ideal for people who are always carrying large loads such as sports equipment. However, they also serve well as travel bags and can be taken on trips, even on an airplane journey. Depending on the dimensions of the bag, it could be considered as carry on luggage.


Cross body bags are actually made from a surprisingly large number of materials. This is partially why they are so adaptable and great for all environments.

There are lots of cross body bags that are still made from canvas material. Bags made of this fabric are typically carried by school or college kids. The main advantage of canvas is that it is actually quite strong and durable, making it perfect for everyday use. It is able to resist wear and tear quite well and also has the benefit of looking quite chic. Canvas is also a quick-drying material so if it happens to get wet, you can be quite sure it won’t remain this way for long.

With sports cross body bags, you need something that is able to handle a great deal of weight. For this purpose nylon or nylon hybrids work well. This fabric is strong but also lightweight enough to add too much additional burden to you. Many of these bags also have a water-resistant coating. So, while it may not protect your belongings from a downpour, it can keep the water at bay for a while.

Then there are leather cross body bags. These are usually meant for businesspeople as one of their main functions is aesthetic. At the same time, they are quite sturdy and can carry a moderate load. One of the biggest downsides of bags made from this material (apart from the price) is the level of maintenance required. These bags are scuffed and marked quite easily so you do have to look after them well or they will begin to fade, crack, or peel.

Carrying System

Now, as you can see, the carrying system on a cross body bag is quite simplistic – it just consists of one long strap. Nonetheless, you should always check that the strap is adjustable. You will need to change the length to suit your own height so that you will be able to walk easily.

Also, to make certain that the weight of the strap and bag is evenly displaced, you should look for a wider strap. These will not dig into your skin. The strap should have a portion of thick padding that can be placed on your shoulder to alleviate discomfort.

If you want some variety in how you can carry your bag, you may want to consider one or more small handles on the bag so that you can hold it parallel to the ground while walking.

Storage Features

When it comes to storage, there are quite a few options available with cross body bags. Some have just one main, large compartment, maybe with a tiny pocket or two. The advantage of these bags is that all of your items are immediately on hand. Of course, since they aren’t organized, it may be a little difficult to find.

If you prefer to keep all of your things separate from one another, you should look for either dividers or large, external pockets. If the bag has a flap, there may be compartments in this area as well. You will need to ensure that the pockets are the right size for what you need.

These days, many of the cross body bags also come with laptop or tablet compartments. These are usually sleeves or pockets where the digital device can be stored. The areas do tend to be quite padded to offer protection to the devices, though. When buying a bag with this feature, you should check that is suitable for the dimensions of your laptop or tablet.

Additional Features

Here is a list of some other features that you should look for in your cross body bag:

Security Features

One of the downsides of these bags is that, depending on the design, they can be unsecure. So, it is important to look for a bag that is difficult to steal from. This is why cross body bags with flaps are best as the main zipper isn’t easily accessible. Also, if you have external pockets, look for ones with buckles clasping them to the bag. Typically, you should stay away from magnetic clasps or anything that can be opened easily.

TSA Friendly

If you are looking for a cross body bag to take with you on flights, then it can help to get one that has been designed to be TSA friendly. These are usually constructed with thin dividers, no metal snaps or other features, etc. The purpose of this is to make the bag easier to screen so that you can get through security checkpoints more quickly.

RFID Blocking Features

If you are planning on taking your cross body bag with you wherever that you go, you may want to consider an RFID blocking chip feature. These help to protect the security information present on your credit cards, thus preventing anyone else from stealing it.

These are the things that you will need to know when looking for a cross body bag. Armed with this information, you will have a much better chance of wading through all of the options available to you. Not only that, you have a greater chance of ending up with a high quality, great looking cross body bag.

Top 10 Best Cross Body Bags

1 – Lug Carousel Mini

Lug Carousel Mini Version 3.0 HN Cross Body Bag
  • RFID protection
  • Fully adjustable, detachable shoulder strap
  • Belt loops, allowing this cross-body to become a fanny pack
  • Soft-lined accessory pocket
  • 2x9.25x6

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Lug Carousel Mini:

Reviewers like these things about the Lug Carousel Mini

  • Many users find this bag absolutely the perfect size for a make up bag.
  • A lot of users thought it’s lightweight, compact and really has the perfect compartments.
  • Some users love the removable strap feature of the bag.
  • Others thought the pockets and compartments work great for organization.
  • Some owners describe it as an awesome purse that holds more than expected.
  • Others commented that stylish and adjustable strap make it a must have.
  • Some reviewers love the color and material of the bag.
  • One user finds it perfect for running around.
  • Other users said it’s comfortable and easy to clean too.
  • Style, material, useful pockets and organization plus removable strap are cited as the main reasons for purchasing this bag.
  • One user said she liked the simplicity and functionality of this bag.
  • Another user said it feels comfortable to wear and carry, compact yet holds a lot.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Other users said it would be great if it comes with a credit card slot.
  • Some users thought it’s very cute but too small.

2 – Calvin Klein Saffiano

Calvin Klein Saffiano Convertible Cross-Body Bag
  • Top-handle satchel featuring contrasting gusseted sides and adjustable/removable cross-body strap

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Calvin Klein Saffiano:

Reviewers like these things about the Calvin Klein Saffiano

  • Other users dubbed it as the super tote with its great size, nice shape, big pocket and patch work colors.
  • Many reviewers thought the leather is a nice quality and sturdy enough to carry all of their belongings.
  • Some love how the external pockets provide easy access to phone, keys, etc.
  • Durability and construction are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • One owner loved how cute and chic it is, yet able to withstand bike riding.
  • Others thought the chain gives it a little decorative touch.
  • Nice purse, good size, great pockets inside and out are cited as the main features of this bag.
  • Some owners said it’s very eye-catching.
  • Many users love how the material prevents it from getting dirty and washes off easily with baby wipes.
  • Others particularly like the style and compartments on this bag.
  • Some users are pleased with the way the interior is organized.
  • Others find it very classy and professional looking.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user said that the only negative thing about it is that it’s very stiff.
  • Some reviewers said the strap are twisty.

3 – Latico Leathers Meredith

Latico Meredith Cross-Body Bag, 100% Authentic Leather, Designer Made, Artisan Linings, Luxury Fashion
  • Triple-compartment handbag featuring front flap with woven overlay at center
  • Adjustable/removable cross-body strap

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Latico Leathers Meredith:

Reviewers like these things about the Latico Leathers Meredith

  • Majority of the users said that the bag is of apt size.
  • Many users said that the quality of leather used in the bag is soft and good.
  • Reviewers mentioned that the purse has got a really nice lining inside.
  • Other reviewers said that the inside zippered pockets help to keep the stuff organized.
  • Users were of the view that the shoulder drop of the purse is of adequate length.
  • Few users mentioned that the purse has credit card slots which can be accessed easily.
  • The overall look of the purse is really nice as confirmed by many buyers.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A buyer mentioned that the shoulder strap clip is loose at ends.
  • A few buyers mentioned that the credit card slots are fragile.

4 – Furla Stacy

Lug Women's Carousel Mini Cross Body Bag, Painted Pearl Shoulder, One Size
  • Fully adjustable, detachable shoulder strap
  • Belt loops, allowing this cross-body to become a fanny pack
  • Soft-lined accessory pocket
  • Three zippered compartments featuring cargo pockets
  • 2.75x10x6

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Furla Stacy:

Reviewers like these things about the Furla Stacy

  • A lot of users thought that the Furla Stacy bag is a go-to option for weekends or for casual dinners.
  • Many of those who have tried the pack have a rectangular bottom which gives it a slimmer shape.
  • Users said that the overall shape of the bag held up pretty well.
  • They also mentioned that the bag interior is made of calfskin.
  • Several reviewers observed that its exterior’s textured leather makes it more durable being less prone to scratches.
  • Other users noted that it comes with a removable zipper pouch.
  • Reviewers have found that it is well-made with quality material.
  • Users pointed out that the bag looks elegant.
  • Testers found that it has a slim top handle and optional, adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Many testers noted that a drawstring opens the top.
  • They also thought that it has a little bit of a formal feel for a bucket bag.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user remarked that its texture has become very rough especially towards the top where there is a lot of contact with items going in and out of the bag.
  • Another user thought that feels tight and just too small for an everyday bag.

5 – Tumi Sinclair Camila

Tumi Sinclair Camila Tote Messenger Bag
  • Single zip entry to main compartment, Padded removable/adjustable shoulder strap, Back compartment with magnetic snap closure, Hidden cellphone pocket, Leather top handle, Gusseted front pocket for volume expansion, Footed bottom for added protection
  • 1 zip pocket on front wall, Front envelope pocket with magnetic snap closure, 1 open pocket, 1 velvet-lined jewelry pocket, Padded laptop compartment, 1 pen loop, Key leash
  • 17.5x11x4.75
  • Pockets: 3 interior slip, 1 interior zip, 3 exterior

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Tumi Sinclair Camila:

Reviewers like these things about the Tumi Sinclair Camila

  • Many users thought the pockets are all conveniently laid out.
  • Others find its quality and size fantastic.
  • Some owners said it’s solid and very stylish purse.
  • A number of reviewers find the outside pockets perfect for keys and phone.
  • Others thought it looks classy and professional.
  • Many reviewers find it pretty and functional, perfect for business traveler.
  • Others find the hidden zipper on side pocket a clever design for sliding over suitcase handle.
  • Some reviewers like the removable and adjustable leather shoulder strap.
  • Some users find the quality of the bag impeccable.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users find the bag heavy even when empty.
  • Others thought the zippers are not as smooth as they expected.

6 – Kate Spade Cobble Hill Kiernan

Kate Spade New York Women's Small Kiernan Satchel
  • Cowhide
  • Height 8.75in / 22cm
  • Width 11in / 28cm
  • Depth 5.25in / 13.5cm

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Kate Spade Cobble Hill Kiernan:

Reviewers like these things about the Kate Spade Cobble Hill Kiernan

  • A lot of users find the leather super soft and high quality.
  • One user thought the bag is perfect in every way.
  • Some reviewers thought it’s adorable, well made, useful and smart.
  • Others thought the zipper on the bottom that open up when you need more room is genius.
  • Some users said it has just the right amount of pockets and they are the perfect size.
  • Others find the traps the exact right length.
  • Some users are glad that the colors of the bag matches nicely with their outfit.
  • A lot of users find it large enough to hold every day necessities.
  • Some reviewers are pleased with how it feels great and comfy on the shoulders.
  • Others find it very comfortable to carry around and very simple.
  • Some reviewers find the gold hardware accents sturdy.
  • Others find it very comfortable for wearing cross-body style.
  • Some reviewers thought it’s the perfect size, shape, and material.
  • Others thought it has this classic look that goes with everything.
  • Others find it beautiful, clean and classic.
  • Some users thought it’s the perfect bag for summer.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users thought the zippered opening is not long enough.
  • Other reviewers find it too bulky.

7 – Kate Spade Jackson Street Gabrielle

Kate Spade New York Women's Jackson Street Gabriele Bag
  • Cowhide
  • Height 7.5in / 19cm
  • Width 9.75in / 25cm
  • Depth 1.25in / 3cm

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Kate Spade Jackson Street Gabrielle:

Reviewers like these things about the Kate Spade Jackson Street Gabrielle

  • Many users bought this bag because of its soft and smooth leather.
  • Strong zippers, quality leather, stylish, nice interior lining and beautiful form are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • Others thought it’s the perfect size of a purse for travel.
  • Many reviewers love its adjustable shoulder strap that makes it a cross-body pouch too.
  • Some like its back-wall zip pocket and front-wall slip pockets interior features.
  • Others love that it’s made with flat base to provide upright structure.
  • Many love its adjustable and removable shoulder strap as well as its flat top handles for carrying options.
  • Fast shipping and attractive color are also lauded by a lot of users.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Others find it too small.

8 – Michael Kors Selma

MICHAEL Michael Kors Women's Selma Medium Messenger Bag, Optic White, One Size
  • Cowhide
  • Height 6.75in / 17cm
  • Width 9in / 23cm
  • Depth 4in / 10cm
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Michael Kors Selma:

Reviewers like these things about the Michael Kors Selma

  • Many reviewers commend the Michael Kors Selma bag for being lightweight.
  • Testers noted that it includes a pair of rolled leather handles.
  • Other testers said that it is comfortable to use.
  • Many reviewers pointed out that it is constructed with a bright Saffiano leather.
  • They further mentioned it has a contrast edging and gold-tone hardware.
  • Other reviewers said that the bag is durable.
  • They also noted that it has an attractive and chic design.
  • Users praised the pack’s functional construction.
  • Many users recommend the bag for everyday use.
  • Several of those who have tried the pack indicated the presence of three internal pockets for organization.
  • Other reviewers noted that it has an inset top zip that serves as its opening.
  • Many of those who have tried the pack said that the bag contains an internal spring-lock keychain.
  • Testers noted that its zippers are easy to use.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer mentioned that the pocket is too small to fit cellular phones.
  • Another reviewer indicated that pack is smaller than expected.
  • A user pointed out that it is not comfortable for daily use.

9 – American West Harvest Moon

American West Harvest Moon All Access Bag
  • Western-inspired bag in leather featuring hand-tooled center pouch with decorative hardware
  • Side pockets
  • Logoed fob
  • Adjustable cross-body strap

Here’s what the reviewers think about the American West Harvest Moon:

Reviewers like these things about the American West Harvest Moon

  • A reviewer thought that the American West Harvest Moon bag is a Western-inspired bag in leather featuring hand-tooled center pouch with decorative hardware.
  • Users noted that it is the best of quality and beautifully made.
  • Testers noted that each section is made by hand and that is quite prevalent in the examination of the handbag.
  • They also mentioned that it is sturdy but not heavy.
  • According to some reviewers, the backstrap is long enough for a plus-size gal to wear cross-body.
  • Several of those who have tried the bag found that the leatherwork and the quality stitching of this purse are wonderful.
  • They also noticed that its strap is adjustable.
  • A user thought that pack has lots of pockets to store things and items needed at hand.
  • Several reviewers indicated that it has a good combination of soft and hard leather.
  • Laptop users praised its generous pull strap on the top zipper.
  • Tablet users also lauded the presence of its back pocket that closes securely with a magnetic snap.
  • Other users noted that the bag is easy to access.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer had issues with the strap leather quality that doesn’t appear to be as sturdy as the rest of the purse.
  • A few other reviewers noted that the bag is a bit smaller than expected.

10 – Kipling Machida

Kipling Machida Cross Body
  • Shoulder strap length: 50"
  • Shoulder strap is adjustable from 13" to 25"
  • Includes interior back wall zipper pocket and two interior multi-function pockets
  • Three large exterior pockets

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Kipling Machida:

Reviewers like these things about the Kipling Machida

  • A lot of users liked how it’s light but tough and able to accommodate evrything they need to carry.
  • Some thought it’s durable, secure and very accessible.
  • Many users love how this cross-body bag provides security and leaves their hands free.
  • Others chose the bag for its style and attractive design.
  • Some reviewers enjoy how the strap adjusts easily from a shoulder bag to a cross body bag.
  • Overall, storage capacity, slim profile, security, well-made and comfort are cited as the main reasons for choosing this bag.
  • Some users thought the Kipling Machida fits their need for a lightweight purse with good interior organization pockets.
  • Many love the three zip sections feature which provides multiple storage options.
  • Some users love the presence of the two accessible side pockets.
  • Many reviewers love how easy it is to wipe clean, provides enough room and security for valuables.
  • Some love the presence of a compartment for sunglasses and phone.
  • Other users find the outer material very smooth and pleasant to the touch.
  • Some owners thought it’s also perfect to take on business trips because it carries their essentials without being bulky.
  • Others refer to it as the perfect stylish, on the go bag.
  • One user liked how the easy access pocket on the front can expand for small bulky items.
  • Some liked that it comes with a clip to make pulling keys out easy.
  • Many loved its washable and easy to clean fabric.
  • Some thought it’s compact, convenient, practical and easy to carry.
  • Others particularly find the zippers pretty sturdy and well sewn.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Others thought it’s a pretty bag but too small to their liking.
  • Some users said it would have been perfect if’s water-resistant.

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.

Last update on 2018-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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