Best Shoulder Bag for LDS (Mormon) Missionaries

5 Star Rated Male Shoulder Bags for Missionaries

I have to admit the Recent Changes in the Missionary Apparel Guidelines  threw us for a loop.  Didn’t see that one coming.  We were blindsided.  So, in a spirit of obedience we have erased all of the backpacks.  Missionaries no longer wear backpacks.  The guidelines say “Backpacks are not professional or appropriate.”  Now the Guidelines say You are encouraged to choose shoulder bags that are durable, professional, and business-like.  So the team at GiftsforMormons has scrambled to find shoulder bags that would work for missionaries.  It wasn’t that difficult.  There are some nice looking bags out there.  Mr. Mac says they don’t sell backpacks for missionaries anymore.  

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Missionaries need a shoulder bag. They need  a bag to put their material in, books, instruction manuals, maybe water, etc. There are some bags that are better than others and some that fit a missionary’s location better than others. Here is a list of what we have found to be the top Mormon Missionary shoulder bags.

Nervous about the MTC?  Don’t be.  It passes quickly.  Even Kirby from the Salt Lake Tribune survived the MTC: Sltrib: I survived the MTC!

The change is nice.  I wore a backpack for the first 18 months of my mission than switched to a Russian shoulder bag.  It ripped in about 3 days.  I wish I had a photo of it to put on here.  It wasn’t at all like these nice shoulder bags that are available to you.

Gifts for Mormons Blog: The Perfect Missionary Bag

Orders processed Through


Kenneth Cole Business Messenger Bag

Professional Leather look


Otium Canvas Messenger Bag

Nice Canvas shoulder bag for Missionaries

*Mission shoulder bag Thought: There used to be a rumor that Missionaries should wear their backpack over one shoulder (like above) so that if someone came up from behind to steal their bag, they could just let it slide off of their shoulder and let it go.  If you wear the bag over your neck and strapped across your chest that may encourage more of a struggle.  I think this is just folklore though. The church’s own guidelines have the shoulder bags strapped over their chest.


Rothco Leather and Canvas

Rugged and Awesome


*Mission Thought: I consistently used my Mission Backpack as a shield from dogs.  I was bit once early on in my mission and I was worried for 2 weeks that I would start foaming and die.  So, I became proactive by putting my backpack in between me and any stray dog that came around.   Now that you can’t wear backpacks anymore, I’m sure a shoulder bag would work to protect you from dog attacks.  


Mountainsmith day pack

I had a mission companion that wore this shoulder bag – he became the mission secretary (probably because of the pack)


Serbag Professional Notebook Bag

An Everyday shoulder bag for Mormon Missionaries

Moving Up:

Swiss Gear Briefcase

Thule 12 Liter Messenger Bag

To tell you the truth, this is probably the bag that I would buy.  Not to disparage the other bags that are neat and professional looking.  But this bag looks a little more masculine than some of the others.  So why isn’t it in the top 5?  Because I am only one vote on a panel of GiftforMormon voters.  Others like the Top 5 better.

Others to Consider:

ful Unisex Adult Fearless

Samsonite Luggage Xenon 2 Messenger Bag

Most Purchased Missionary Bag this Month (August 2013)

Timbuk2 Spin Messenger Bag

For me a top 3 Choice – stuck in the “others to consider” file

Manhattan Portage

A 5 Star Bag.  Seriously.  Click on Learn more and see more photos.  This one photo doesn’t do it justice.  Nice Bag….

Urban Explorer Canvas Military Shoulder Bag

A little canvasy for me.  Who knows.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Bomb Messenger Bag – I would consider this

Timbuk2 Command


Moving UP and may soon be Top 5:

Rapiddominance Classic Military Messenger Bags

These are seriously good LDS Missionary bags. Don’t overlook just because they are on the bottom of the list.

Rothco Classic Messenger Bag

Rothco b-15 pilot messenger bag-black

*A lot of room, storage and compartments to fit all of your mission day supplies. It seemed that the longer I was on my mission the less I carried around. I used those blue calendar pages to plan my days. I don’t think missionaries use those anymore?

Samsonite Columbian Leather Flapover Case

Samsonite Classic Flapover Briefcase (Black)

*Mission Thought: I like this Samsonite bag as it fits easily over your luggage handle which makes for easy navigating on Mission transfers.  As far as stressful times on your mission, there is nothing quite like transfers, especially at the beginning of your mission when you don’t know the Elders and who you get as senior companion matters a lot.  Once I finally made senior companion, after well over a year, it didn’t make as much difference who my junior companion was.  If they were lazy I could just kind of drag them around and tune them out when they complain.

Missionary Bags Ode Messenger Bag

lds missionary bag

Looking for Sister Missionary Bags/Shoulder Bags?

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