11 Best Crossbody Bags 2023
After months of reporting to find the best crossbody bags, here’s what I quickly learned: Once you start carrying one of these super convenient bags, you can never go back to a heavy tote again. My top pick overall, Quince Italian Leather Quilted Crossbody Bag, proved to be game-changer in this regard, as did many of the other options I tested. Designed to be worn across the body (hence the name), crossbody bags let you go about your day hands-free and are highly convenient for commuting and travel, not to mention running errands (especially if you have kids) or going out at night when you don’t want an oversized bag on your shoulder.
I spent months testing a variety of crossbody bags to find the very best options.
Given their appeal, there are no shortage of designs on the market. To find the best crossbody bags, I spent months testing and scrutinizing the options so you don’t have to: I evaluated hard facts and metrics, like weight and capacity sizes, materials and strap lengths, and then gave my fashion editor’s take on the style appeal and versatility of the bags. But since no one bag is perfect for everyone, I tested different options for specific use cases: Lululemon’s Everywhere Belt Bag, for example, is the best crossbody cellphone bag while MZ Wallace’s Small Sutton Deluxe is ideal for travel.
Here are all my picks for the best crossbody bags, along with my reviews on each, as well as answers to readers’ most commonly asked questions and expert tips at the end. And for more accessories advice, we also have guides to the best travel totes and work bags for women.
Materials: 100% leather | Colors: 4 total, including Cognac and Black | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Canvas | Interior pockets: 1
After testing 15 crossbody bags for more than 3 months, you might think it was hard to pick a winner. Yes, there are many bags that are perfectly functional, but Quince’s bestselling Italian Leather Crossbody really stood out to me. This compact-but-spacious pick excels in all the areas that matter: It’s made from ethically-sourced, buttery leather; has comfortable and easy to adjust straps; comes with a zipper closure that’s wide enough to get my phone in and out of quickly; and it’s priced extremely well (by comparison, 50% less than most luxury picks). The interior pocket holds just enough, and while the canvas lining is not as luxe as leather, it’s durable and keeps the overall price of this bag low.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: I did notice that the adjustable end of the leather strap curls up every so slightly but there’s a slide tab that keeps it in place.
Mark And Graham
Exterior materials: 100% leather | Colors: 4 total, including Cognac and Black | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Linen | Interior pockets: 2
In my opinion Mark & Graham doesn’t get enough attention for its excellent leather goods. Their Essential Crossbody Bag is made from premium leather, minus the premium price tag, and can be personalized with your initials or fun characters in a variety of fonts and colors for an additional $12.50, which still keeps the overall price low in comparison to other customized bags. I loved the size and shape—the zippered oval design made it easy to take items in and out, and the gold-toned hardware added a stylish touch. It also has two interior pockets (one that zips; the other is open so you can access small stuff like keys quickly).
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The zipper has a tassel at the end, which is not everyone’s taste (I lean more minimalist) and there’s no way to remove it.
Exterior materials: 100% recycled oxford (polyester, nylon) | Colors: 12 total, including Black and Dawn Red | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Recycled oxford | Interior pockets: 5
MZ Wallace’s crossbody is genius for travel. It can be worn two ways—as a crossbody or top handle tote—and is made from quilted, water-resistant oxford fabric. This crossbody has so many handy, thoughtful touches: The nylon strap is amazingly easy to adjust (the best of all the bags I tested); the handles are padded and reinforced with Italian leather; the 5 interior pockets are great for organizing your phone, wallet, tickets and small stuff; and the detachable interior pouch can hold a spare pair of shoes. Plus, this bag is lightweight and expands to hold a lot or a little, and it folds down to a compact size for travel. I also found it stylish for day or night.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The metal buckles and hardware add a little extra weight but they also make the bag extremely durable.
Exterior materials: Recycled polyester, nylon | Colors: 15 total, including Silver Drop and Black | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Recycled polyester | Interior pockets: 3
I was curious to see if Lululemon’s wildly popular Everywhere Belt Bag would live up to the hype. For certain use cases, it definitely did. If you only need to carry the essentials—your phone, keys, lip balm—this crossbody is great. While it’s compact in size, it has three mesh pockets inside and a zippered pocket on the back for your phone. The material is water-resistant and the strap fit comfortably across my chest and body. As the name implies, you can also buckle this around your waist but found it most useful to wear slung across my body.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: This bag sells out in certain colors, and if you need to tote a lot, I’d suggest investing in the larger 2L size.
Exterior materials: Coated canvas | Colors: 6 total, including Plum and Navy | Closure: Flap, zipper and snap | Lining: Textile | Interior pockets: 1
French luxury brand Longchamp is known for its leather and canvas handbags. The Le Pliage collection, in particular, is a popular bestseller. The City Crossbody is the newest mini in the iconic lineup, designed for running errands, going out at night and everything in between. The grooved, coated canvas on the main body feels almost like leather and comes in 6 gorgeous colors. While this bag is less than $200 (a real steal) it has all the high-end touches you’d expect—from the buttery-leather adjustable strap to the sleek flap closure to the leather Longchamp zipper pull. This crossbody also held up to daily abuse without any scratches or scuffs.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The one drop-in interior pocket is a bit small—it wasn’t big enough to hold my phone—and the width of the bag’s opening could be slightly larger so it’s easier to get items in and out (note: it does come in a larger size).
Exterior material: 100% neoprene | Colors: 6 total, including Storm and Dune | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Recycled polyester | Interior pockets: 3
Like most of Dagne Dover’s bags, the Micah crossbody is made from neoprene—the same durable material used in scuba suits, so you know it can hold up to the elements. For a mom like myself, I appreciated this bag’s well organized designed: The main has a mesh pocket (great for holding snacks), a zippered pocket (perfect for receipts), a key leash and roomy interior. A second smaller font compartment is great for storing wet wipes and has a drop-in pocket plus pen holders for when you need to write a note or sign forms. Overall, this smart crossbody held everything I needed and was also stylish enough to wear out at night.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The zipper teeth are a little oversized, which made the bag feel less sleek than others (although it was very easy to zip open and close).
Exterior materials: 100% leather | Colors: 9 total, including Camel and Black Onyx | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Fabric | Interior pockets: 3, plus card slots
Dallas-based Leatherology uses full grain leather in all their goods, which is the “purest” form of the hide that’s minimally treated. You can see subtle marks or variations in the leather grain, which shows the rich character of the leather. Bottom line: This a beautiful crossbody. It can easily double as your wallet, since there are 4 cardholder slots and multiple pockets inside, and the back has a drop-in pocket to hold your cellphone. Thanks to its oval, camera-bag-like shape, this bag takes up very little horizontal space on your body, and you can also monogram this pick.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The interior fabric liner felt a bit less luxurious in comparison to the sumptuous exterior leather, but it’s durable and functional.
Exterior materials: 100% leather | Colors: 3 total, including Stone and Black | Closure: Magnetic flaps | Lining: Leather | Interior pockets: 2
Cuyana’s leather goods are beautiful, and the Double Moon Saddle Bag has a quality that I could really feel in my hands: The Italian leather is pebbled and certified by the Leather Working Group for its environmentally-responsible tanning methods. This crossbody is fully lined in leather—the only bag I tested with this detail—and the saddle-bag design has two front compartments, each accessible with a magnetic flap. There’s also an exterior pocket on the back for storing your phone, and although it’s on the pricier end, this bag has a luxury construction that justifies the price. You can also add your monogram to the strap without an extra charge.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: I found it slightly time consuming to open the saddle flaps to get into the interior compartments, so I kept the items I needed most (essentially my phone) in the slip-in back pocket.
Exterior materials: 100% leather| Colors: 14 total, including Natural With Stripes and Black Rattan | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Chambray | Interior pockets: None
For the fashion enthusiasts out there, designer Clare Vivier’s popular crossbody bag comes in fun colors, prints and textures. I tested the bestseller—which is made from beautiful, vegetable-tanned Italian leather with stripes down the center. It’s a chic look that’s not too loud or showy, which I appreciated. The inside is minimalist, too, with a single main interior, minus any pockets. I found myself reaching for this bag often, since it paired nicely with everything from jeans and flats to flowy skirts and heels.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The adjustable strap is a bit thin and twists easily. Also, this bag is on the expensive end when compared to some of the others I tested that have more features.
Exterior materials: 100% leather | Colors: 3 total, including Desert Dune and Black | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Cotton | Interior pockets: 3
Tory Burch’s Kira crossbody was the only bag I tested with an interior lining that looked as beautiful as the exterior. It’s outfitted in a chic herringbone cotton fabric with luxe piping on the edges of the 3 pockets, which are great for keeping items organized. The rest of the bag is made from quilted Napa leather with a chic chevron design that adds a dressy feel to this crossbody. The gold-toned hardware and chain strap also elevate the look—I definitely reached for this bag on evenings out and could also see myself giving it as a gift.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The chain strap does add some heft to this bag so it’s not the lightest crossbody of the bunch.
Exterior materials: Nylon | Colors: 6 total, including Fog and Black | Closure: Zipper | Lining: Nylon | Interior pockets: 2, plus card slots
Just like their luggage, Tumi’s crossbody bags are designed to be carried on the go. The Persia doubles as a travel purse since it’s outfitted with 4 cardholder slots inside, and other thoughtful details, including an anti-theft zippered interior pocket and drop-in slot on the exterior for your phone. The entire bag is crafted primarily from water-resistant nylon, with durable leather fastenings to prevent wear and tear. This pick comes with a 5-year warranty, too, and has a handy, detachable leather tab with a mirror on one side.
Not ideal but not dealbreakers: The front zipper felt oversized compared to the rest of the bag’s compact size and the interior side pockets could be larger.
Everlane The Luxe Italian Leather Crossbody ($225): I like how you can carry this bag two ways: as a tote with the handles or a crossbody with the removable strap. The top seals shut with a snap closure that I noticed still left some open gaps on the sides where I worried items might fall out. The leather strap was also a little thin and twisty. On the plus side, this bag is extremely lightweight and stylish.
Madewell The Sydney Crossbody Bag ($168): A popular bestseller from Madewell, this bag is well priced and has a cool-classic shape. Still, the leather was not as luxurious as some of the other picks I tested and, similar to the Everlane’s crossbody, the magnetic closure and straps didn’t feel sturdy enough.
Smythson Envelope Phone Case Crossbody ($415): This is a compact bag designed to hold your cellphone mostly, or just a few small essentials. I can’t say enough good things about the leather—it’s rich, elegant and fantastic—but the bag’s size was too small; I couldn’t fit my iPhone 14 inside, so it wasn’t practical for my needs.
Hobo Heidi Satchel In Port Suede Tote ($468): The suede on this bag felt soft and luxurious, and interior is spacious and well organized. You can carry this bag two ways—personally, I found the size to be on the larger end, so I felt this bag is best utilized as a tote rather than crossbody.
In testing crossbody bags, I primarily examined three main factors: the caliber of the construction and materials; ease of use and comfort; and the practicality and versatility of the design. Was the bag easy to carry all day? Did the materials, including the straps, hardware and buckles, hold up well to daily wear and tear? Did the quality of the bag justify the price point and align with other similar options in the market? Was the bag trendy or did it have a style that would last season after season?
I considered options from both established and emerging brands that are known for their top-rated bags and accessories. I also relied on my firsthand knowledge and experience in fashion, having been an editor for more than 20 years in the field. Forbes Vetted contributor, Molly Calhoun, also consulted fashion stylist Gina Donnelly and personal stylist Janel Alexander for their advice on the most important features and answers to readers’ commonly asked questions about what to look for in the best crossbody bags.
As I started to compile a list of initial contenders, I tested each bag, a process that took roughly 4 months to complete. In total, I tested 15 crossbody bags. I first ran in-depth but realistic tests, including feeling the weight of the bag, assessing my ability to wear it comfortably across my body and adjust the straps, and its ability to hold a standard set of items (my phone, cardholder wallet, snacks, personal care items and keys). From there, I rotated through the bags, trying each one in a variety of scenarios—doing daily tasks and errands, traveling on short trips (for the weekend) and longer trips (for a week), running around with my kids to sports and activities, going out in the evenings and attending work events. In doing this, I identified the use-cases that each crossbody bag would be best for, ultimately narrowing down the contenders to a single best overall option, the Quince Italian Leather Quilted Crossbody, and those that are more specialized for specific needs.
In order to get the most use out of an over-the-shoulder style, you’ll want to consider size. You may want something that fits your cell phone, keys, cash and any small makeup items, or you may need something slightly larger that holds a planner or work-related papers. Next, determine if you want a single compartment or pockets. If you want a secure closure for safely storing belongings when on the move, then a zipper or sturdy magnetic fastening is a good choice. Finally, pay attention to the bag’s straps. “If you want the bag to double as a crossbody and a shoulder bag, adjustable straps will be your best bet,” says fashion stylist Gina Donnelly.
Where the crossbody falls on your body when slung over one shoulder is referred to as the “drop.” Strap length, your height and whether you wear your crossbody in front or back of your body will influence the ideal drop for you. “Ideally, you want the bag to sit right around your hip bone so you’re not constantly knocking the bag with your hands as you walk,” says Donnelly. “Also, if the bag sits too high, it looks awkward; and if it sits too low, it looks like it is dragging you down.”
Consider how often and where you’ll be wearing your crossbody to figure out what material is most appropriate. For example, if you plan to wear the crossbody to a night out or concert, where there’s drink-spilling potential, waterproof nylon or wipeable vegan leather may be your best bet. Also, keep in mind that textured leathers and woven styles are typically more durable than smooth leathers.
I’m a senior fashion editor at Forbes Vetted, where I cover women's and men's fashion, accessories and fitness apparel. Prior to joining Forbes, I was a longtime freelance writer and my work has appeared in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Vogue and The Wall Street Journal. I’ve also written two visually-focused books, including The New Beauty: A Modern Look at Beauty, Culture, and Fashion, and I currently hold certificates in the history of design from Sotheby’s Institute of Art and fashion styling from the Business of Fashion.
“Like any bag you should consider function,” says Alexander. “If you carry a lot of items in your bag, it should have a comfortable strap that’s not too skinny so it won’t dig into [your shoulder]. If you will be in and out of the bag often, try not to get one that is too deep or soft leather so it will help to retain its shape. Bags used professionally or for evening do better in leather or suede whereas a bag used more casually may translate better in a nylon, canvas or a print.”
“Many bags have an adjustable strap that allows you to customize where the bag will sit—the technical term is the ‘drop’—between your arm and your hip,” says Alexander. “The perfect spot is not too low because you don’t want a saddlebag situation. It should line up with the middle your hipbone.”
If your handbag already has small rings for a shorter shoulder strap or wrist strap, it can likely be converted to an over-the-shoulder style. “Don’t forget that your beloved handbag may be easily turned into a crossbody bag with the simple addition of a longer strap,” says Alexander. “This is a great way to day-to-night the bag—use the crossbody for day and then remove or tuck in and use the shorter strap for night. It’s okay to let the shorter strap hang forward when doing so.”
A crossbody style is really just a type of messenger bag, and in general, crossbody bags are significantly smaller in size and are more refined. “A crossbody bag has similar functionality, but is designed to be worn more fashionably,” says Alexander.Best Crossbody Overall:Best Affordable Crossbody Bag:Best Crossbody Bag For Travel: Best Crossbody Cellphone Bag:Best Designer Crossbody Bag:Best Crossbody Bag For Moms:Best Leather Crossbody Bag:Best Luxury Crossbody Bag: Best Stylish Crossbody:Best Crossbody Bag For Evenings:Best Crossbody Purse:Materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers: Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers: Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers:Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers: Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers:Exterior material:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers: Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers:Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers:Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers: Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers:Exterior materials:Colors:Closure:Lining:Interior pockets:Not ideal but not dealbreakers:Everlane The Luxe Italian Leather Crossbody ($225)Madewell The Sydney Crossbody Bag ($168)Smythson Envelope Phone Case Crossbody ($415)Hobo Heidi Satchel In Port Suede Tote ($468)How I Tested The Best Crossbody BagsWhat To Look For In A Crossbody Bag What Are Best Features To Look For In A Crossbody Bag? How Do You Know If A Crossbody Bag Is The Right Length?