Messenger Bag vs Backpack

When choosing a new bag to purchase, people sometimes get confused in choosing between messenger bags and backpacks. Perhaps, you are also in the same situation right now. That’s why, in the following article, we will help you choose between a messenger bag vs backpack according to several factors as well as their distinctive features.

Continue reading below if you want to know more about:
– What messenger bags and backpacks are,
– The distinctive features of each type of bag,
– The pros and cons of a messenger bag vs bag, and
– Which type of bag that is better for you right now.

Overview
A messenger bag is characterized by its rectangular shape and one long shoulder strap. Messenger bags are somewhat similar to briefcases, except that messenger bags are worn on the shoulder whereas briefcases are held by the hand. As a rule of thumb, messenger bags look more professional and formal than backpacks. See also: Daypack vs Backpack.

On the other hand, just like what the name suggests, a backpack is a bag that is designed to be carried on the back. Note that “backpack” is quite a broad category. There are small backpacks that are designed for daily carry and casual activities. There are also backpacks for specific sports. Finally, there are large backpacks designed to carry heavy loads for long trips. We will focus on the small ones for daily carry and activities here.

Look
As mentioned above, messenger bags are more formal and professional than backpacks. You should choose a messenger bag if your work requires such look or if you want to look fashionable. Take a look at some nice examples of messenger bags from Mountainsmith here!

On the other hand, bags are generally more casual, so they are not suitable for some work conditions. Bags are better for things that don’t require a classy professional look, such as for school and vacation.

Load
Most messenger bags are about as spacious as backpacks. You can find a messenger bag that is large enough to carry your stuff. However, a messenger bag is worn only on one shoulder, so the load won’t be distributed evenly. If you are going to carry a heavy load, you should consider choosing a backpack, which can distribute the load evenly across your shoulders.

Access
Do you need to access your items quickly? A messenger bag can give a much easier access to your items, as the messenger bag is hanging on your side. This is very convenient. On the other hand, with a backpack you will have to turn it around. It is not very convenient. Imagine you are in a crowded line and you have to reach for your wallet in the backpack. It will bump around.

Comfort and Breathability
A messenger bag can give you better breathability. It hangs on your side, so it does not make you swear excessively. On the other hand, a backpack can make your back really hot, especially after wearing the backpack continuously for multiple hours. As the effect, your back will sweat a lot.

Messenger Bag vs Backpack

Messenger BagBackpack
- Rectangular shape, one long shoulder strap to be worn on one side- A pack with two shoulder straps
- More formal and professional- More casual
- The load burden is focused on one side- Even weight distribution across the shoulders
- Easy access to items- Difficult access to items
- Relatively more breathable- May make the back sweat a lot

Conclusion
If you don’t need to carry a heavy load, or if you need something that looks professional, you should choose a messenger bag. You will benefit a lot from the look, easy access, and breathability of a messenger bag. However, a backpack is better when you need to carry a heavy load, as the weight distribution is even across the shoulders.

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