Messenger Bag vs Briefcase - Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between a work messenger bag and a briefcase can be tricky. These two excellent bags have pros and cons, but which is best for you?

Here's a breakdown of the differences and similarities between these two types of bags to help you decide.

What Are Messenger Bags?

Messenger bags are popular with people who need to carry many things with them. They are casual and often made of cloth, so they are informal. Messenger bags are popular with teenagers and college students because they are cheaper than backpacks and briefcases, and they come in many different sizes and shapes, so you can find one that suits your needs.

Besides that, work messenger bags are easy to carry and stylish. They come in different styles, including leather and modern synthetic materials, that fit the corporate environment seamlessly. Regardless, you can still use it for other occasions.

What Are Briefcases?

Briefcases have been a vital business accessory for many years. They are the perfect accessories for business meetings because they are more formal than backpacks. They also indicate that you are serious about business. People will know that you are there to do business when you appear in public with a briefcase and formal attire.

Most briefcases include a sturdy handle made to withstand a lot of stress. Other fabric-based bags tend to sag and tilt over when placed on hard surfaces, but briefcases are made differently.

The Similarities of Messenger Bags and Briefcases

When it comes to business bags, there are two classic choices: the messenger bag and the briefcase. Both come with handles and straps for shoulders, making them easy to carry. Additionally, both have plenty of compartments and pockets for storing all of your work essentials. 

Besides their functionality, they also both have a professional look that's perfect for the office. Whether you're taking a messenger bag or a briefcase, you can be sure you're making a great impression.

The Differences between Messenger Bags and Briefcases

A work messenger bag has two shoulder straps and a strap for the upper part of your arm. Messenger bags come in many fabrics to provide comfort and durability: canvas, leather, denim, nylon, and many more. The main front of a messenger bag is a flap of fabric that covers the top but not the sides of the pack.

A briefcase always has a handle, while some messenger bag designs choose not to have a handle. Besides that, briefcases usually have a metal frame, which makes them more solid and sturdy than messenger bags. However, messenger bags tend to be less expensive than briefcases.

How to Choose Between the Two?

Now that you have now defined one and the other, you’ll need to look at the features to compare. When choosing between messenger bags and briefcases, there are a few things to consider.

  • Usage

  • First, think about what you'll be using the bag for. If you're primarily carrying documents or other light items, a briefcase may be the best option. However, a messenger bag will be more comfortable if you need heavier items like textbooks or laptops.

  • Style
  • Another consideration is style. Briefcases tend to have a more traditional look, while messenger bags come in many styles. So, if you're looking for something more fashionable, a work messenger bag is probably the way.

  • Price

  • Finally, think about the price. Briefcases can be expensive, while messenger bags can be found at various price points.


    The messenger bag and the briefcase have unique benefits, which ultimately depend on what you need and prefer. However, a work messenger bag would be better suited if you want something more versatile and can hold more items.

    To get more options for work messenger bags, see our collection of the best work messenger bags for men and women in the UK. Or, if you need more help deciding which bag is right for you, order from our online catalogue to choose the perfect work messenger bag.