Review: Manhattan Portage Small Vintage Messenger Bag

The vintage messenger bag from Manhattan Portage is a very simple bag. This bag is short on pockets. There's only one small zipped pocket, and it's inside the main compartment.

As with most Manhattan Portage bags, it uses the thick Cordura nylon fabric which is very durable. The shoulder strap is surprisingly wide, and it comes with a huge shiny buckle.

The bag uses Velcro to close the front flap. There's a big piece of Velcro going across horizontally on the front of the main compartment. On the flap are two smaller pieces that goes vertically. The usage of the Velcro is optional if you don't like the sound it makes. The bag comes with two removable one-sided Velcro straps that you can paste onto the flap - that way it won't stick to the front compartment.

The bag has a square base. It's good for smaller books, water bottle, etc. Since there's a lack of pockets, items you put in the main compartment will tend to jumble up.

While it's big enough to hold lots of items, it's not suitable for holding items that are lengthy, e.g. A4-sized sketchbook, 15-inch laptop. You can put in lengthy items vertically, but the flap will be impossible to close.

There's tendency for small items to fall out when the bag is lying down. It is highly recommended to use the Velcro to prevent that. Even so, the closed flap still presents a small gap by the side.

This bag is definitely not for everyone. But if you have the need for one, this highly recommended for its durability.


The Manhattan Portage Small Vintage Messenger Bag is available on Amazon (US | FR | JP) with various colours.

It's a square base.

A huge shiny buckle for the shoulder strap.

Velcro goes across all the way. It's optional to use the Velcro.

I've loaded in a few medium sized books, DVDs, a 6-inch Kindles, pencil case and a camera with case. There's a small zipped pocket attached to the back.

Here's a video review to give you a better look at the bag.

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The Manhattan Portage Small Vintage Messenger Bag with several colour choices available at: | |