Had been using a messenger from eBay for about a year, took it everywhere and used it for keys, phone, wallet, etc. I've been using this bag for the same thing, (no laptop, occasionally school books) This is by far the best I have used. Despite being bigger than my old one, it feels lighter. I feel this is because the weight is more evenly distributed across the entire satchel. This might only be because I'm not using it as a laptop bag, but it sort of sits up on a slight angle when I carry it, which gives it a unique style of its own. I am male.