Our Story

There was a simple philosophy that Manhattan Portage set out to achieve back in 1983, "New York Tough." We sought to take the functionality of outdoor gear/packs and bring them to an urban audience. We took materials like CORDURA brand nylon and high quality plastic Delrin buckles and incorporated them into a new urban aesthetic that is chic, innovative, and confident.

Our bags and backpacks have since earned their street creed; they are reliable and tough companions on the streets of New York City, the epicenter of culture. What was originally designed for bike messengers in NYC and DJ'S in the East Village has become mainstream. Despite our lasting success, we remain committed to the fundamental guidelines that we set years ago for great innovative designs, the use of the highest materials, and excellent craftsmanship.

We've used the experience, skills, technical innovations and the successes of the past three decades to expand and diversify your portfolio to meet the challenges and changes of the new century. Our versatility, durability, and adaptability have allowed us to survive the ebb and flow of mercurial fashion tides, that's why we own "New York Tough." It's become part of our history and it's in our DNA.

New York Tough & Downtown Smart.

Born out of the challenging and gritty landscape of the New York City streets more than three decades ago, we were original pioneers of the authentic messenger bag that captured the spirit of New York City. And like the city, we have endured, we have grown, we have expanded and we have survived because Manhattan Portage is New York Tough. We've maintained a unique urban aesthetic based on the street art, pop-art, and iconography of New York City life that we call "Downtown Smart."

With our iconic, red label of the Manhattan skyline emblazoned on every bag, backpack and briefcase, Manhattan Portage has become much more than a local legend. We've been able to avoid becoming another fleeting fad and withstand the test of time because our bags do, too; more than thirty years later, "New York Tough and Downtown Smart" certainly still ring true. From Montreal to Melbourne, Osaka to Osolo, and Stockholm to San Francisco, our Red Label, Black Label, and Token products are indeed everywhere and carried by everyone.

Manufacturing Philosophy

Here at Manhattan Portage, we've been designing and producing hand-made bags since 1983. Our manufacturing philosophy throughout the past 30 years can be defined by three basic tenets: the design of the bag, the choice of components, and overall quality control.

First, Manhattan Portage spent its early days designing bags to meet the practical urban need of New Yorker's whose only option at the time were outdoor accessories. By deciding to turn the popular outdoor bags into street gear specifically for city dwellers, the Manhattan Portage line of messenger bags and DJ bags was born. We still design our entire line of bags in New York City, and regardless of where MP bags are manufactured we are committed to maintaining integrity of our products.

Second, all MP products are constructed from the best materials, designed for the rigors of modern life and crafted with expert care.

Third, detailed craftsmanship and numerous quality controls during all stages of production allow us to detect and correct most issues when they happen, long before our bags ship out and hit retailer's shelves.


Here at Manhattan Portage, we take pride in our 'global' manufacturing process: New York is where bags are designed and key components are made (Original wax, Cordura yarns, and A-grade leather); Taiwan is where production occurs. Our presence in both locations is fueled by experienced craftpeople who are dedicated to providing our customers with high quality products at the best possible value.