What is the difference between "top handle" and "satchel"

Our PurseForum community is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker. Thank you!
  1. I have been having trouble with shoulder pain and am researching different options. Can someone please tell me what the difference is? I know a tote is a bag that you carry by hand and I am staying away from that style, as I know it can get heavy. TIA!
  2. You can carry a tote on your shoulder.

    A satchel has a top handle and a long shoulder strap that can sometimes be carried as a messanger. A top handle only has a small handle that can be carried on the crook of your arm.

    Sometimes, satchels only have the shoulder/messanger strap.
  3. Thank you MACSarah!
  4. I wondered about this too. Thanks for the excellent answer!

  5. Thanks! I thought it was a shape thing.. LOL
  6. No problem :smile: I can see why the shape thing would make sense.

    A LV speedy is a classic top handle bag while a Schouler Ps1 is a typical satchel.
  7. Maybe things are different in Europe but this is what I understand:

    I thought a tote just meant a 2 handle bag, the length of the handles determines whether or not it's a top handle tote (Birkin) or a shoulder tote (Neverfull).

    A top handle means to be carried in the hand, either one handle (Kelly) or two (Speedy)

    A satchel used to mean a rectangular bag usually with a single short handldle on top, a front lock that had a shoulder strap for the outdoors adapted later for school children. Now I think satchel is used for many different shapes and sizes and just means a bag with top handle/s PLUS a shoulder strap.

    :shrugs: I do think these terms are mutable within the handbag industry though and it's not an exact science. The term 'satchel' seems used much more frequently in the US.
  8. I always thought that a top handle had one strap, a satchel had two.
  9. So did I and was too embarrassed to ask! Thanks OP!:biggrin:
  10. + 1

  11. The bags in that photo have always been my understanding of a satchel and top handle ever since I had my first school satchel back in elementary school in the 60s. And my mom had and still has plenty of bags with top handles. Smiles.
  12. Thanks for clearing that up. Makes more sense now.. LOl. When I think satchel, I usually think Indiana Jones.. Closer to the photo on the left. LOL
  13. Woah. Might be some confusion. You are right, the one on the left is a satchel.

    Forgive me, the photo is flipped :P

  14. LOL.. it is ok. thanks for the photos.