What's The Difference Between Satchels & Messenger Bags?

To some many styles of bags and handbags look extremely similar, if not the same. This is a common misconception for bag styles in similar styles such as saddlebags and barrel bags. Today, we will be discussing satchels and messenger bags and the differences between them - because let's face it they are extremely similar looking! Here are all the details you need to know about satchels and messenger bags…

The first and only major difference is that they are actually made from different materials. Satchels are made from leather, thinner and softer than that of a briefcase to allow the satchel to adjust to the form of the body whilst holding its shape. Traditionally, Messenger bags are made from a lightweight, waterproof material such as waxed canvas.

The other difference between satchels and messenger bags is that they have different origins. Roman soldiers carried an early form of satchel, known as the ‘loculus’ or little place. Although no loculus has survived we assume that they were made from a single goatskin and were probably used to carry rations and personal belongings. The satchel has long been associated with scholarly pursuits, its shape specifically adapted for the carrying of books and now laptops, a much more precious commodity in the past than they are today.

The satchel became standard school equipment for British school children of the nineteen fifties and sixties. The Messenger bag is of American origin and was probably first used in the days of the Pony Express. The bag was designed to be used when riding a horse and later, a bicycle or motorcycle. They were used to carry important documents and consequently were fitted with secure means of closing such as clasps, buckles or later, zippers. Initially, the bags were used by messengers, couriers and postal workers but in the 1970’s they gained popularity as a fashionable bag for men.

Handmade Leather Satchels From Zatchels

At Zatchels our passion is satchels, specifically leather satchels in fact, can you tell by the name? We have 3 different types of handmade leather satchels available: classic satchels, midi satchels and micro satchels. Here is what you need to know about all of our selection of fabulous satchels...

Zatchels Classic Satchels

Zatchels Classic Handmade Leather Satchels - Purple, Yellow, and Ivy Green

It seems like the best place to start is at the classic satchels, which is where it started for us here at Zatchels. Classic satchels have retained their popularity due to their versatility. They're commonly used as work bags as they're practical and complement formal attire, but they're also perfect for casual day-to-day use. They are handmade in England from the finest quality leather, using expert craftsmanship to give you the hand-stitched bag of your dreams.

Complete with the matching colour cable stitching, the leather and silver nickel buckle give our satchels that perfect finish while also ensuring that your belongings are kept safe and sound. This timeless satchel is big on style; it can also be used as a shoulder and a cross-body bag. However, the excellent part about our classic satchels are that they come in a number of different sizes so that you can find the perfect fit you or (or more specifically your laptop and belongings!)

The dimensions of the classic handmade leather satchels are:

  • 11.5'' Satchel - Width: 11.5", Height: 8", Depth: 2.5"
  • 13'' Satchel - Width: 13", Height: 9", Depth: 3"
  • 14.5'' Satchel - Width: 14.5", Height: 10", Depth: 3.5"
  • 16'' Satchel - Width: 16", Height: 11", Depth: 4.5"

Zatchels Midi Satchels

Zatchels Handmade Leather Midi Satchel Handbag - Red, Iced Coffee, And Rose

One of two ‘satchel handbags’ available from Zatchels is our range of midi satchels. If you are looking for the perfect little bag to carry your plus-sized smartphone and other essentials, this new midi leather satchel is the best choice. It is also once again handcrafted from the best quality leather right here in Britain. This midi bag really is what it says on the tin, a smaller version of the classic satchel being 9 inches long. It again features matching stitching with the same colour leather and nickel silver buckles covering concealed magnetic quick open fastenings. The strap is adjustable and detachable allowing these satchel handbags to be worn on your shoulder, cross-body or carried as a clutch.

  • Width: 22.5cm, Height: 16cm, Depth: 6.5cm.
  • Adjustable strap: from 115cm to 135cm. Shorter adjustable strap from 95cm to 115cm.

Zatchels Micro Satchels

Zatchels Handmade Leather Satchel Handbags -White, Pastel Kaleidoscope, and Lilac

Our other kind of satchel handbag is our micro satchels; the ‘fun size’ version if you will. They are considerably smaller in size with the dimensions being: width: 18cm, height: 13cm, depth: 7.5cm. You can also opt for an adjustable strap, allowing the bag to be worn on your shoulder, cross body or carried as a clutch - which is perfect for taking this bag from day to night. Our micro satchels, along with our other styles of satchels for matter, are available in dozens of fabulous colours. Therefore, you can always find the perfect match for you, whether you are looking for a classic day-to-day staple or something that is going to spice up your wardrobe and be the focal point of your outfit.
  • Width: 18cm, Height: 13cm, Depth: 7.5cm