Home Fashion The Difference Between Satchel Bags and Messenger Bags

The Difference Between Satchel Bags and Messenger Bags

by Hazel Jones
Satchel Handbags Online Australia

Many people think that satchel bags and messenger bags are the same things, and they’d be forgiven for thinking so. However, there are actually several core differences between them that can heavily influence what the right choice might be for you.

In this article, we’ll go over the main differences between satchel bags and messenger bags, so that you can make the most fully informed decision possible when shopping for handbags online.

Cross body strap

Messenger bags come with a cross-body strap and are supposed to sit on your lower back while you’re wearing them. This keeps it out of your way while you’re out and about, yet it can easily be pulled around for quick and easy access to its contents.

On the other hand, satchel bags are designed to sit by your side.


The name “messenger bag” comes from its origins as being used by couriers to deliver mail or important documents. For this reason, they close tightly and securely to keep everything safe and secure at all times.

Satchel bags have always purely been for everyday use, and are better suited to carrying your belongings rather than important and potentially sensitive items.

Function and form

Messenger bags are now commonly used by professionals to carry laptops and other work-related items during their commutes. For this reason, they have developed a more formal and professional reputation when compared to the more casual satchel bags.


Messenger bags are often made from waterproof and lightweight materials such as waxed canvas. Conversely, satchel bags are most commonly made from leather that’s thin enough to comfortably form with your body.

Messenger Bags For Women

How they’re worn

Like we mentioned earlier, messenger bags are meant to be worn across the back thanks to their cross body strap. Satchel bags are meant to be worn on the shoulder, although if the strap is long enough they can be worn cross-body as well. Some satchel bags come with two adjustable straps so that they can be worn like a backpack as well.

Special cycling messenger bags are also available, and hug the back even tighter and allow for even more movement by their wearers.

Image and style

Both bags are commonly worn by all genders and come in many different colours and design features that can appeal to a broad demographic. Messenger bags have become a more trendy, functional alternative to briefcases for young professionals.

Satchel bags are commonly associated with nostalgia and are appreciated for their retro sensibilities. They are commonly associated with hipsters and artistic crowds, in a similar way to tote bags.

Despite looking similar at first glance, you can see that there are many subtle yet important differences between messenger bags and satchel bags. The right choice for you will depend on your style, needs and budget, but both options have proved to be enduring and everlasting staples in the world of bag fashion.

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