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Difference Between A Satchel Bag & A Messenger Bag

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How To Choose Between A Satchel Bag & A Messenger Bag

So, satchels and messenger bags...let's take a second and think about each one. Clear your mind and imagine a satchel. Got the image? OK good. Now, clear your mind again, but this time think of a messenger bag. Got it? Alright, now here comes the fun part. What was the difference between the two pictures you formed in your mind? Was there one? Or did you pretty much imagine the exact same thing for both Satchel Bag & A Messenger Bag? After all, they're both just crossbody bags that hold stuff, right? Aren't they just two different names for the exact same thing? Believe it or not, no. The two terms have different meanings, and although there are times when they can be used interchangeably, it's actually not as often as you might think.

Satchel Bag & A Messenger Bag

satchel bag

Satchel Bag & A Messenger Bag

To make this a a little simpler to understand, I'll use a quick comparison you probably learned at some point in elementary math. I didn't sign up for a lesson on math, but hear me out, it will be brief and assist you in understanding why a satchel and a messenger bag technically aren't *always* the same thing...but sometimes they are. You have probably heard the phrase: a square is a rectangle but a rectangle isn't a square? This is because a square has four sides and four right angles, like a rectangle, and therefore fits into the definition of a rectangle, however a rectangle CANNOT be a square because it doesn't have four sides of equal length. Well believe it or not, this type of relationship coincides pretty accurately with that of satchels and messenger bags.

You see, a messenger bag is a type of satchel, but a satchel is not ALWAYS a messenger bag. In fact, a satchel can define more than just a messenger bag. Why is this so? Well in simple terms a satchel is simply a bag with a long strap that can be worn diagonally across the body and hold various things. And yes, while the same is true of a messenger bag, it is also true of many other types of bags. All the way from stylish cross body bags designed for women who want to carry no more than their phone and a couple of credit cards, all the way to duffel bags, which are much larger and more practical. Satchel is a much more fluid term than messenger bag. A satchel can be big, small, aesthetically pleasing, more practical, more feminine, more masculine, the list goes on and on. But plainly speaking, if it's a bag that has a strap to go across your body and can hold stuff, it's a satchel (or type of satchel if you prefer thinking of it in that way).

So now, how do messenger bags fit into the equation? Well messenger bags were designed with a certain purpose in mind. Unlike a satchel, it's not just meant to transport any random "stuff," it's meant to transport a messenger's stuff! While oftentimes it is no longer used for exactly this purpose today, messenger bags were originally meant for...guess who? Messengers! These types of bags were designed with practicality and security in mind, so that couriers and delivery men could safely transport important documents from one location to the other. This means that messenger bags are typically all the same size and shape (large enough to comfortably hold many standard size documents) with a secure flap closure. And, if you think about it today, messenger bags still hold true to this purpose, in a general sense. Even though the messenger bags of today are more stylish and designed with more pockets and features so to speak, at the end of the day their most often used by students or businessmen to hold their important documents, laptops, notebooks, pens, pencils, and whatever else they need to get them through their school or work day. Unlike a satchel, you're probably not going to find a messenger bag used to accessorize a nighttime party-going outfit. That's because subconsciously when you see a messenger bag you see "business."

Messenger bags also stand out from other types of satchels in the traditional flap closure they are usually designed with. While a messenger bag may also have a zipper or clip closure, the flap closure is most standard as this mimics the design of earlier courier bags, where the object was to keep documents protected from outside elements, but also be able to access them very easily by merely flipping the bag open or closed. Additionally, because today's messenger bags are inspired by those of earlier couriers, they are often made out of material that can be exposed to the elements without being damaged, such as waxed canvas or heavy duty leather (although today of course, for aesthetic reasons, they are oftentimes not made from weather-proof materials).

Another way you can think of the difference between a satchel bag and messenger bag is ancient times versus 20th century America. What exactly do I mean by this? Well the word satchel is derived from a Latin word meaning "sack," another very loose ended word, although this one sounds more primal, right? Think of the Romans and people of other early civilizations needing a convenient type of hands free bag to hold their money or market wares...this is where the idea of a satchel came from: the world's first solution to needing to transport many items at once. Conversely, messenger bags were invented by Americans much later as the need for mailmen, couriers, parcel delivery services, and the like grew and companies formalized mail delivery into a career. So where messenger bags were specifically designed with a career in mind, satchels were created out of basic human necessity/convenience.

We hope you found this article helpful in understanding exactly what the difference is between satchel and messenger bags and encourage you to use this new bit of knowledge to impress your friends and family at your next get together. We also invite you to comment below what is the best messenger bag and best satchel you've ever owned and and why! Thanks and we'll be keeping our eye on the comment section down below for your awesome recommendations!

Best Selling Satchel Bag & Messenger Bag

Mens Messenger Bag 15.6 Inch Waterproof Vintage Genuine Leather...
  • DURABLE & WATERPROOF: Men messenger bag is made of superior crazy horse cowhide leather and water resistant canvas for long-term use. Disordered wrinkles and scratches on surface create a vintage and...
  • PLENTY ROOM FOR ORGANIZING: This leather messenger bag has 9 pockets to meet your various need. 5 outer pockets and 4 inner pockets for putting your bottle, umbrella, cards, wallet, laptop and...
  • REMOVABLE & ADJUSTABLE STRAP: Shoulder strap of canvas messenger bag is detachable and can be adjusted at the most suitable length. Padded handle and strap are also helpful to ease your fatigue.
Komal's Passion Leather 11 Inch Sturdy Leather satcel Ipad...
  • FULL GRAIN LEATHER : Our bags are made from full grain leather and lined with durable canvas and are Handcrafted by skilled craftsmen
  • CONVENIENCE : With Concealed locks under the straps our bags are easy and fast to open and lock .Adjustable shoulder strap.
  • STORAGE : With Size 11" Height x 9" Width x 3.5" depth( Fits I PAD) and One big pocket in front and 2 zipper compartments ilcluding one back zipper , this bag fits and I PAD, a couple of notebooks...

Last update on 2023-06-09 at 17:28 PST - Details