Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by Nicole
When you are out and about, a canvas crossbody bag is the perfect hands-free bag to carry with you. It is lightweight, compact, stylish, easy to care for, and functional.
There are many advantages to choosing a canvas crossbody bag for travel, school, business, or simply as an alternative to a traditional canvas shoulder bag. First, the design deters thieves and pick pockets. Unlike backpacks, crossbody bags sit on the front of your body. Second, they are not bulky or heavy, and can carry your possessions while not adding unnecessary weight. Lastly, as mentioned above, it leaves your hands free to carry a water bottle, coffee, umbrella or even a child.
What’s more they are versatile. A crossbody bag can easily transition from a travel or work bag into an everyday casual bag.
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Difference Between Crossbody, Shoulder And Messenger Bags
Throughout this article, I will be highlighting the best canvas crossbody bags. A crossbody bag is simply any bag with a strap that hangs from one shoulder diagonally across the body. The bag ends up sitting in and around the opposite hip, sometimes resting in front, other times pushed to the back. It provides a totally handsfree experience. While the bag sits in front, you can keep an eye on your items.
All crossbody bags come with an adjustable strap so you can modify the length of the strap. For practical purposes, this is to make sure that the bag fits people of all shapes and sizes. However, an indirect benefit is that the strap can be shortened to transform the bag into a traditional shoulder bag. The only negative – most of the time, you will need to use your hands to keep it on your shoulder. However, this style may better suit your outfit on certain days.
A messenger bag can be both a crossbody and shoulder bag. However, the fundamental feature that it must have to be considered a messenger bag is an oversized flap that goes from the front top of the bag at least 2/3 of the way down. Think of the old fashioned “mailman” with his mail carrying bag.
How The Reviews Are Organized
In this article, I’ve chosen a wide range of canvas crossbody and shoulder bags, including some messenger bags, for both men and women. I’ve chosen big and small ones; subdued colors and bright fun patterns; those with superior security for travel or city living; and others that were designed to carry laptops for business or school. They are all well priced for what they offer.
After my review, I’ve included a section on how to wash and care for your canvas crossbody bag.
A canvas crossbody bag is lightweight and extremely durable. They are eco-friendly, and with the right glue, are also vegan. In addition, they are easy to care for and normally, pretty inexpensive relative to leather or suede options. There are countless options available in every color and size that you can imagine with some that are as elegant and sleek as any leather crossbody or messenger bag you can find.
However, if you are looking for a travel, everyday, school or even a business bag, there are more options out there. There are real or faux leather crossbody or messenger bags, many of which are also relatively inexpensive and easy to care for. A leather crossbody bag adds a different level of sophistication or style to an outfit compared to canvas. Accordingly, here are other exceptional crossbody or messenger bags, and backpacks for men and women, in leather, faux leather, canvas and even nylon, that are worth taking a few minutes to peruse.
- 12 Exquisite Leather Messenger Bags For Men And Women;
- 11 Stylish And Best Messenger Bags For Men;
- 9 Most Affordable And Chic Messenger Bags For Women;
- 7 Most Sleek And Versatile TUMI Backpacks;
- 15 Best Black Tote Bags; and
- 12 Best Laptop Bags For Men.
If you are looking for something on the bigger side, maybe a large carry-on bag alternative that would allow you to go away for 2-5 days, consider one of these – 12 Best Canvas Duffel Bags With Style. Finally, if it is time to replace your luggage, consider Samsonite Winfield 2, one of the best suitcases on the market.
Best Canvas Cross Body Bags
Here are 12 of the best canvas crossbody bags for men and women.
NeatPack Canvas Crossbody Bag with Anti Theft RFID Pocket
- Measures 12″ x 4″ x 11.5″.
- Weighs 12.3 ounces.
- Can fit a 12″ tablet.
- Available in two colors: gray and black.
- Made from tough fabric that repels moisture and stains.
- Anti-theft RFID pocket and lockable high-quality zippers for excellent security.
- Comfortable padded and adjustable shoulder strap.
- Multi-pockets both inside and out. This includes outside zippered pockets and open pockets for ease of access to everyday items.
- 100% lifetime money-back guarantee.
- Great value.
Designed to suit any kind of travel or city living, this canvas crossbody bag can handle the elements.
It is a perfect size to carry all of your travel essentials whether it is a day spent hopping on and off planes, or exploring a new city. It is also the perfect bag for everyday errands. The crossbody style means that your hands are free whenever you need them most and the padded shoulder strap gives you that added comfort for all day wear. The internal and external pockets help you to stay organized while keeping you looking stylish.
Travelon Anti-theft Canvas Crossbody Bag
- Measures 9.75″ x 7.75″ x 2.5″.
- Available in three colors: navy, pewter, sage.
- Weighs 9.9 ounces.
- Can fit a 7.9″ mini iPad.
- 5-point anti-theft security system which includes:
- preventing strap from being cut (wire inside);
- stopping the bag itself from being slashed (slash resistant mesh everywhere);
- locking compartments to stop pick pockets;
- locking down straps into stationary objects (to prevent theft at restaurants or the like); and
- RFID blocking pockets to obstruct identity theft.
- Water and dirt-resistant canvas with suede accents that wipe clean.
- Interior tethered key clip with LED light.
- Great value for the features.
In 2017-2018, there were complaints that occasionally the strap was not durable and the zipper faulty. However, there have not been any since. It is a very popular item on Amazon.
This stylish canvas crossbody bag is loaded with added security features that give you peace of mind even if you are not necessarily living in or travelling to destinations that have a high crime rate. The size is perfect to hold all of your everyday essentials without being bulky. It is a wonderful choice if you don’t want to compromise on style or if you need something that can work in both casual and formal settings.
One Amazon reviewer said: “This is my 4th Travelon purse I own and this is my favorite. I live in Europe where you must lock your purse and Travelon does the job. Pros – two locks that can be easily clipped without having to wrestle with the bag.”
Airvie Hobo Canvas Crossbody Bag
- Measures 14.5″ x 6.1″ x 2.2″.
- It weighs 1.2 lbs.
- Available in one multi-colored option.
- Will fit a 12″ iPad or laptop.
- A detachable strap with handle so bag can be carried crossbody, on shoulder, or as a tote.
- Ample space to carry not only your daily things but also extra gear if travelling, running errands or going to the gym.
- Easily accessible zippered outside pocket with one zippered and two open pockets inside.
- Budget friendly at under $25.
The outside zippered pocket is not large enough to hold an oversized mobile phone (like I-phone plus sizes). However, the bag itself is more than big enough to carry that, an I-pad and small laptop.
Everyone needs a fun multi-purpose bag. By adjusting or removing the strap you can use it as a handbag, shoulder bag, or crossbody bag. The colorful stripes gives it that casual carefree look that would compliment a dressed up or down look for a day in the city
The size gives you options. You are able to fit everything you need for a normal day, but gives you that extra room for unexpected items – a drugstore purchase of a bottle. of shampoo, packed lunch from home, or even a couple of books for school or a trip to the beach.
Another very popular canvas shoulder bag on Amazon. One reviewer said, “Love this Canvas hobo bag, color, size, handles and adjustable strap. The handles are not floppy when using the shoulder strap, like other bags having both. Inside has pockets to keep somewhat organized. Big enough to carry water bottle and a few more items. Excited I found and purchased!”
Kattee Military Canvas Messenger BagNo products found.
- Comes in two sizes
- large 14.1″ (L) x 4.7″ (W) x 12.2″ (H) at 2.2 lbs; and
- x-large 15.7″ (L) x 4.7″ (W) x 12.9″ (H) at 2.6 lbs.
- Available in four colors – army green, black, dark gray, blue.
- Can fit a 14″ laptop in large bag or 15.6″ laptop in x-large bag.
- Durable canvas with leather accents.
- Adjustable padded strap for comfort.
- Spacious with quick-release magnetic fasteners for flap.
- Zippered main compartment for security with easy to access front and side pockets.
- Great price for size and durability.
- No handle for alternative carrying options.
- No inner padding for laptop so no cushion if bag gets dropped.
This canvas messenger bag is large, stylish, and offers you lots of pockets and plenty of room for clothes and essentials for an overnight stay, gym clothes, school books and supplies, or even business essentials.
A very popular canvas crossbody bag on Amazon, one reviewer remarked, “I carry so much in this bag yet when I put it on my shoulder it doesn’t feel heavy or burdensome. Generous amount of pockets and space and very strong and durable canvas! One of the best messenger bags I’ve owned.”
Topwolf Small Canvas Messenger Bag
- The canvas messenger bag measures 9.05″ (L) x 10.23″ (H) x 3.14″ (W).
- It is available in six colors; black, blue, gray & leather, green, khaki, and coffee.
- Weighs 1.1 lbs.
- Waterproof treated canvas with leather buckle and accents.
- Magnetic cover and zipper for main compartment for additional security.
- A couple of open pockets and one zippered pocket inside. One external zipper pocket on back of bag for easy access.
- Well priced.
This small canvas crossbody bag has a clean utilitarian look that has ample room for everyday essentials. The suppleness of the canvas and the style supply a great alternative to a more formal everyday bag or purse with a structured shape. It also offers you the ability to pack bulkier items. The crossbody style means it looks great on both men and women.
Sakroots Luna Small Canvas Shoulder Bag
- Measures 7.25″ W x 4.50″ x 2.25″.
- Weighs just 11 ounces.
- Comes in several unique patterns.
- Will fit any phone up to 6.22″ x 3.75″ x 0.60″ with thin case.
- Vegan with a goal of 100% sustainability by 2024.
- Commission artists to create unique designs.
- Removable wristlet strap and removable adjustable cross body strap.
- Three compartments – two that are separated by zippers and contain various slip pockets for credit cards and ids. One front pocket with flap for easy access.
This is your new best friend. It is made from durable canvas material and 100% vegan friendly. It is easy to clean. However, the best part is that every design is the vision of an artist. By purchasing one of these canvas crossbody bags, you are not only supporting an artist, but also making a fashion statement.
With the removable wristlet and crossbody straps, this bag gives you 4 different options for carrying: as a clutch, secured to your wrist, on shoulder or crossbody. It is wide enough to fit most mobile phones, has several slip pockets behind a secure zipper to take the place of a wallet, and enough room for other essentials like keys, makeup, and sunglasses. It is perfect for when you really only want the bare essentials and prefer to keep the weight of your bag at an absolute minimum.
Gootium Small Canvas Messenger Bag
- This vintage style small canvas messenger bag measures 9.1″ (L) x 3.9″ (W) x 10.5″ (H).
- It weighs 1.32 lbs.
- Fits a 9.7″ iPad.
- Minimalist design with multiple pockets, great for daily use.
- Can withstand everyday wear and tear and weather elements because seams have reinforced stitching with wrapped binding.
- Well-made, durable brass hardware.
- 16oz high density full cotton canvas with garment wash technique for suppleness.
- Adjustable shoulder strap.
- No top handle for different carrying options.
- There isn’t a padded shoulder strap but with the small size, it is unlikely it would get heavy enough to need it.
This small canvas messenger bag is an excellent travel or everyday companion when you wish to limit what you carry. The vintage style means it would look equally good on men and women. It has plenty of zippered compartments and the well-designed interior will keep all of your possessions secure and organized. The material is heavy duty and according to one reviewer, “It takes a beating. It’s been exposed to all manner of the elements [and] it has held up well.”
Vaschy Small Canvas Crossbody Bag
- Measures 10.63″(w) x 2.95″(d) x 11.81″(h).
- Weighs 1.32 lbs.
- Four color options: dark or light grey, khaki, burgundy.
- Can fit a 10.5″ iPad.
- Made from water-resistant canvas and cowhide leather.
- Hidden back pocket with slip zipper for anti-theft purposes.
- Multiple internal pockets, both zippered and open. Main compartment has zipper.
- Very Affordable.
- The bag is made from soft canvas but it is structured so bulkier or irregular shaped items won’t fit properly.
Although this canvas shoulder bag is described as small, it is actually larger than a traditional purse and will hold a lot of useful and everyday essentials. It has a tailored look so it would work nicely on both men and women. Its’ vintage design means it would be suitable for both formal and casual settings. This is a very popular bag on Amazon.
One admirer stated, “After first pulling it out of the box my immediate thought was “Damn I could beat someone with this.” It’s an incredibly solid bag. The canvas is thick and keeps its structure. The hardware/zippers are both quality metal. The leather is soft and beautiful, and the strap feels like it can take some major wear and tear.”
Modoker Canvas Messenger Bag
- Measures 14″ (L) x10.6″ (H) x 5.1″ (W).
- Can accommodate a 13″ laptop.
- Available in two colors: black and brown.
- Weighs 1.92 lbs
- Water-resistant canvas.
- Durable hardware.
- Adjustable strap
- Large carrying capacity.
- External easy to access back zippered pocket and side pockets for water bottle and pens.
- Multiple secured compartments.
- Strengthened shockproof foam padding to protect laptop.
- Great value.
- No top handle for alternative carrying options.
- Adjustable strap without a shoulder pad for comfort when carrying heavy items.
This is a laptop canvas messenger bag that will serve you well. It has multiple secured compartments and a padded spot in your main compartment to protect your laptop. You can carry around all of your business or school needs handsfree, organize everything, and easily access them without having to put your bag down. It uses premium quality canvas and features a sleek design for a stylish professional look.
A happy purchaser said, “Very well made, exactly what I was looking for! I am tired of carrying 3 different bags on the days I need my laptop. I can get my purse items and my office items in this so I only need this.”
Sunsomen Small Canvas Messenger Bag
- Measures 9.8″ x 4.3″ x 11″.
- Weighs 1 lb.
- Fits a 10″ tablet.
- Adjustable shoulder strap and top handle for different carrying options.
- Several zippered compartments and pockets both internal and out for multi-use purposes.
- Extremely lightweight and compact.
- Made with high-grade dirt and water-resistant canvas.
- Great value.
- Strap is adjustable but can not be removed if wish to only use as a tote.
If you like to organize your essentials and then, have them secured in zippered compartments, then this is the best canvas crossbody bag for you. With over 8 zippered compartments – 3 visible in front; one in back, and several under the flap, you will have lots of options when it comes to storing your most important items. It is thicker than many other crossbody bags with supple canvas which allows you to store bulkier items.
It is described as small by the manufacturer but it works more like a medium sized bag once you realize how much stuff it can easily fit. Perfect for the man in your life who likes casual elegance.
Mailrona Canvas Crossbody Bag
- Measures 12″ x 11″ x 2″.
- Weighs 1 lbs.
- Can fit a 10″ iPad.
- Comes in few color choices.
- Machine washable and easy to clean.
- Large interior space.
- Lots of zippered pockets for security – one on front outside; one securing main compartment; and another inside.
- Under front flap, two open pockets for quick access.
- Apart from one internal zippered compartment, there are no other internal pockets inside the main zippered compartment. Accordingly, you have limited options to organize your essentials inside the secured compartment. However, there are two open pockets under the flap and one large open pocket on the exterior back of the bag.
This canvas shoulder bag easily converts to a crossbody design with its adjustable strap. With enough room to hold a 10-inch tablet, as well as your daily essentials and more, this fabulous bag is lightweight and durable. The floral design is bright and fun, and gives you an alternative to the more traditional subdued crossbody bags.
One very satisfied reviewer said, “Let me start by saying I am a Vera Bradley handbag fan because her handbags aren’t heavy. That being said I decided to try the Malirona bag since it was 1/3 the price and being made of canvas, I thought it would be sturdy but not heavy. This bag surpassed my expectations. It is extremely well constructed, the pockets on the back are large enough for my iPad (in it’s protective case), the pockets in front fit my iPhoneX (in it’s protective case). The zippers are strong metal zippers not the plastic ones. Open the bag and the cloth lined interior is a light color so it is easy to see what you have in the bag. The strap is firmly attached and the bag is washable.}
Sechunk Canvas Crossbody Bag
- This canvas crossbody bag comes in three sizes: small 8.6″ (H) x 6.6″ (L) x 2″ (W), medium 11.8″ (H) x 8.7″ (L) x 2.6″ (W) and large 11.8″ (H) x 13.8″ (L) x 3.4″ (W)
- Available in multiple colors.
- Can fit a 13″ laptop if you buy the large size.
- The width can expand. There is a zipper on the bottom of the bag that when unzipped, expands the size of the bag.
- Budget friendly.
- Multiple zippered pockets inside and out for quick access and securing items.
- Be careful that you are choosing the correct bag size. Disregard the manufacturer’s description as “small, medium, or large” and look to actual measurements.
This is a great bag for your everyday use or to pack for a trip for when you may need a useful bag. The ability to expand the width is extremely helpful to give you flexibility for when you don’t know what your day will bring.
It has simple and clean lines making it the perfect compliment for many kinds of outfits. There are lots of internal and external pockets, some zippered and others not. For the price, it is an ideal travel companion or a school bag.
How To Care For Your Canvas Crossbody Bag
Canvas bags are popular for a reason. Not only are they stylish and versatile, but they are also lightweight and eco-friendly. In addition, you can store just about anything in them.
To get the most out of them, it is very important to care for and clean them correctly. After all, regardless of how much you pay, it is still your hard earned money. Besides, if you find one that you love, it will last longer with proper care.
Whether you choose to wear your bag crossbody or hanging from your shoulder, odds are your canvas bag will take a beating. Quite frankly, most of them designed and constructed with that expectation. Accordingly, here is a step-by-step process of how to care for and clean your canvas bags.
Washing Your Canvas Shoulder Bag
The first step is to figure out what other material may also be in your bag. If it has leather or suede components, then submerging it in water for a prolonged period is not a good idea.
Also, be mindful of the design, i.e. whether your canvas crossbody bag has prints or patterns that are sensitive to water temperature. If your bag has color, remember to watch out for color bleeding and transfer. Just to be on the safe side, always wash in cold water.
Before You Wash
Before you wash your bag, you need to prep it first. Take time to empty all the pockets then shake the bag to remove any small or hidden items like coins, dirt, and paper.
If you can, pull the lining out and turn upside down to remove stuff that crumbled to the bottom.
Always read the care labels and follow the manufacturer’s recommended wash and care guidelines.
Look for stains before you begin washing. It’s best to take care of stains before you start. Take a damp cloth and some mild detergent and wipe the stain as gently as possible. Do not scrub. If it’s a stubborn stain, you might need to use something stronger, although avoid using corrosive detergents. Do your best to only clean with soaps that are recommended for canvas.
Hand Washing Your Canvas Shoulder Bag
Some canvas crossbody bags require hand washing. Depending on the materials used and the prints or design, machine washing may ruin it.
If your bag is painted or is at risk of color bleeding, then avoid submerging it in water. Instead, take a damp cloth and some mild detergent and wipe the bag. Again, avoid scrubbing.
If your bag can handle being soaked in water, then submerge it in cold water and use the same gentle technique to wash it. Use warm water only if you are sure that the colors won’t bleed. If you are unsure, it’s best to use cold water.
After hand washing your canvas shoulder bag, you can use a damp cloth to wipe away the detergent. You can also soak the bag in cold water if it’s safe to do so.
Ensure that you rinse out all of the detergent or cleaning products. Leaving detergent in fabric tends to damage them, in particular it wears away at their durability. Once you are certain that the soap is gone, gently wring out all the excess water and prepare the bag for drying.
If your bag has metal hardware, use a high-quality brass cleaner or metal polish to wipe them down. Use a cotton swab to gently clean small hardware and dry it off with a clean cloth. Ensure that the cleaner does not come into contact with the fabric.
Machine Washing Your Canvas Crossbody Bag
If the design and fabric of your crossbody bag allow, you can use your washing machine.
Always set the temperature according to the guidelines from the manufacturer. Read your labels and double-check with the website to make sure.
Canvas bags that are painted or that have intricate designs or accessories do better in cold temperatures and gentle wash cycles. Always wash the bag by itself or with other canvas items.
For plain subdued colored canvas crossbody bags, read the labels to see what temperatures they can handle. Also, use a gentle wash cycle. Once the cycle is done, take the bag out immediately to avoid losing its shape and mold.
Drying Your Canvas Messenger Bag
The drying process is very important to the maintenance of your canvas crossbody bag. Always air dry the bag regardless of whether you hand-washed, wiped or machine washed it.
Unless the manufacturer says so, avoid using a dryer because this may shrink the bag. A dryer may also distort the shape of the bag.
Don’t be alarmed if your canvas bag comes out of the machine looking disheveled or a little smaller. The washing process can sometimes shrink the canvas notwithstanding the water temperature. To avoid this becoming permanent, reshape the bag while it’s wet. It will retain this shape when it dries.
Storage Of Your Crossbody Canvas Bag
It’s best to clean your canvas crossbody bag a couple of times a year. This will increase its durability and keep the bag looking new.
If you are not planning on using your bag once it dries, store it upright or flat. This process will help the bag maintain its shape. You can take it a step further by stuffing the bag with tissue paper to help it keep its shape. Avoid using newspapers or magazines because they can transfer ink onto the bag.
Do not store your canvas bag in a plastic bag. If temperatures soar, the plastic could sweat and produce moisture that will feed mold and mildew. To prevent dust accumulating, pack the bag in an old pillowcase or cotton laundry bag. Always make sure that there is enough air where you store your bag.