Review: Contour Design’s Messenger Bag for MacBook and MacBook Pro - Macenstein

Review: Contour Design’s Messenger Bag for MacBook and MacBook Pro

In part 45 of our ongoing search for the perfect laptop bag, we find ourselves holding Contour Design’s leather messenger bag – and we are pleased.

Contour Design Messenger Bag for laptops

Contour’s Messenger bag is one of the more stylish attempts at a laptop bag we’ve seen, and this can be either a good or bad thing, depending on your tastes. Personally I view it as a good thing, although I had a couple guys (ironically, some of the least manly guys I know) say “Nice purse”. However, I am secure enough in my masculinity (and in their lack there of) that I didn’t mind. I got the brown model, although it is also available in black – maybe that was the problem. The bag looks cool. It’s a very nice mixture of materials, with a leather and canvas exterior, and a cushioned, lined interior with an eye-catching checker-board print, and I can’t wait for it to weather (although in the last 2 months it hasn’t even gotten a scratch). At first I was slightly put off by the flashiness of the interior lining, but the overall light shading makes it easy to find items, and given that I am just about the least stylish person you’ll ever meet, I am content to let my laptop bag handle the style duties.

Countour Design Messenger Bag for laptops


Probably the second most important thing in a bag (right after looks) is storage. I’d classify the Contour Messenger Bag as a mid-to-large size bag (leaning towards the mid-size), in so far as its storage capabilities. The interior of the bag is divided into two main sections: a cushioned laptop section (which can handle a 15-inch MacBook Pro without incident) and a big open section for everything else. Lining the walls of said section are 7 pockets of different shapes, sizes, materials, and abilities. There is a built in place to store up to 4 pens/styluses, 1 pocket with a velcro flap to hold an iPod or computer remote or such, a phone-sized zipper mesh pocket, an open topped mesh pocket, and open top canvas pocket, and three equal-sized open-topped pockets along the back of the lap-top section wall. These last 3 pockets are not very deep, and while sizable enough, I’m not sure what you would put in them, as if your bag ever should become inverted (and mine often does) things will spill from that into the main section. I used them for gum, mainly.

Countour Design Messenger Bag for laptops
Also available in black.

But don’t fear, as useless as those 3 pockets might be, the good news is the exterior of the bag has a bunch more pockets, all of them useful. On the front of the bag (covered by the messenger flap) there is a large zipper pocket capable of holding a couple magazines, and two fairly large canvas pockets with magnetic flaps (which seems weird to me, given that electronics will likely be inside, but they appear to be all the rage in laptop bags nowadays, so I assume they are safe). On both sides of the bag there is a pocket about iPod-width and nearly twice as deep with snap enclosures for things like a phone or wallet you need quick access to, and finally on the rear of the bag there is another large zipper pockets for magazines or folders or such.


The laptop section is one of my favorite I have seen to date. There’s the usual generous foam padding on all sides and the bottom, but what I really like is there is a velcro laptop strap that you can use to keep the laptop from sliding out if you should casually/carelessly throw the bag onto a table or stop short in a car with the bag sitting next to you (I’m speaking from experience here).

The carrying strap is constructed for the most part of a soft canvas “belt-like” material. Sturdy metal fasteners hold the strap and the build quality is very nice. Unfortunately there is no padding on the shoulder strap, so the wussier laptop users might complain if walking for extended periods of time. I find, however, that the medium-ish size of the bag will likely stop you from overloading it too badly.

Countour Design Messenger Bag for laptops


As much as I like the look and build of the messenger bag, I have one issue with the styling. In order to close the main “flap”, there are two metal snaps you must close. While each snap has a finger loop designed to make them easier to close, I still found it hard at times to snap them shut. I’m not sure what fastening method I would have liked them to use instead, as a big piece of Velcro, while secure, would have felt (and sounded) cheap when opening. This is a fairly classy-looking bag, so I understand the choice, but snaps just aren’t my thing. I often found myself not bothering to fasten them, and so I was extra thankful for that laptop securing strap I mentioned earlier, as I did stop the car short one day and had a couple magazines and cables slide out of the bag, but the laptop remained safe.


I find the messenger bag look is one of the least nerdy ways to carry your laptop and other precious gadgets, and Contour’s Messenger Bag is the coolest I’ve seen to date. While not HUGE, it can easily carry your laptop, power supply, a couple magazines, a couple phones/iPods/PSPs, and still not look bloated. If you are looking for a stylish way to carry your MacBook and not look like a tool, Contour’s bags is an excellent choice.

Price: $149
Pros: Looks cool, available in black or brown, plenty of storage for most users, great choice of materials
Cons: No padded shoulder strap, I’m not a fan of the snap enclosure for the exterior flap, but to each his own.

9 Responses to “Review: Contour Design’s Messenger Bag for MacBook and MacBook Pro”
  1. Brad says:

    Pics aren’t showing up for me yet within the article….

  2. What-chu talkin’ bout, brad?!

    Sorry, fixed it.
    – The Doc

  3. MfS says:

    Nice “bag…”

    This from the same guy who thinks a white iPhone was “girlie.” That’s fine, I’m happy with my smudge-free/scratch-showing-free/fingerprint-free white iPhone any day.

    This bag looks nice, though even the black one does appear to be “girlie” as well. Will stick with an InCase sleeve & High Sierra backpack for now.

  4. imajoebob says:

    Talk about your man-purse. I think the Babushka down the street wears that lining as a scarf.

    If you’ve got a pair – or want to look like you do – try these:

  5. Patrick says:

    You should review the Superdry Messenger –

    I find it a wonder that all my stuff stays SUPERDRY!

    Seriosuly though, review it and tell me what you think.

  6. KDC says:

    I don’t see it as a girly bag until that inside checkerboard nightmare is exposed. That reminds me of a purse. And so does the $150 price tag.

  7. imajoebob says:

    @Patrick – nicely designed bag, but who makes it? Sheesh.

  8. ookami says:

    Yeah, I agree in that its a really nice looking bag, until you open it. (T_T)

  9. Mr. Reeee says:

    Hideous logo. Pay me to advertise your wares.

Leave A Comment


Click here to inquire about making a fortune by advertising your game, gadget, or site on Macenstein.