Cambridge Satchels vs. Zatchels: a fashion investigation

For months, the Cambridge Satchel has been a hot topic of interest amongst bloggers worldwide, and for many, it has become somewhat of a fashion staple. The Cambridge Satchel Company entered the media spotlight after releasing its “Flouro” collection, and it came as no surprise, since the bright pink, green, yellow and orange colours hit this season’s neon trend spot-on.

However, after reading a post on, I was introduced to another satchel brand: Zatchels. At one’s first look, they could pass as Cambridge Satchel Company replicas. But unlike Cambridge Satchels,  Zatchels are available in polka dot, tartan and floral prints, reptile and elephant textures, faux fur and grunge  finishings, in addition to classic, pastel and (my favourite) metallic colours.

Some say that Zatchels are a just a rip-off (read comments) of Cambridge Satchels. And while the majority of bloggers may side with Cambridge Satchels for the company’s reputed brand name, the team behind Grazia Daily has shown its support of Zatchels. The magazine even collaborated with the brand to promote a limited edition bag:


How They Compare

Both bags are produced from high-quality leathers,and are available in four different sizes. Price-wise, there’s not much difference between the two brands, but in some instances, Zatchels are more expensive. For instance, the price range of the Cabridge Satchel Flouro is £98-£108, while the Zatchels Metallic Satchels cost £99-£115.


Some design similarities are just too stark to ignore. Both brands have created a bag using The Union Jack flag graphic. The Cambridge Satchel Company version is sold exclusively on, and Zatchels gives customers the option of purchasing the the bag in white, black, red metallic and blue metallic colours.


The Verdict

Granted, Cambridge Satchel Company takes the lead in fan base and media representation, with almost 5,000 Facebook fans, as opposed to Zatchels, who have about 2,300. Also, search engine results show more than one million entries for the Cambridge Satchel Company, and only 63,000 for Zatchels.

However, Zatchels have a wider variety of colours, textures and designs, whereas Cambridge Satchels are more limited. But Zatchels are lacking in the neon colour department. So if you’re bent on getting a Cambridge Satchel for it’s gorgeous fluorescent colour, there’s nothing to debate. But if you’re looking to take the vintage trend a bit further, or want to stand out from the blogger brigade with a more unique satchel, browse through the creative and colourful satchels on Personally? I’m torn between the yellow Flouro (Cambridge Satchel Company) and the silver Metallic (Zatchels)!

10 thoughts on “Cambridge Satchels vs. Zatchels: a fashion investigation

  1. Zatchels, every time, I have bought two and number 3 is on order. The quality is fantastic and it holds my college stuff and laptop without fear of the strap letting me down. It is not about the price, it is an investment, once I stop using my lovely Zatchel I will put in back in it’s storage bag and keep it for my children… live I say, its an investment. Number 4 won’t be that far off……

  2. Thanks very much for this. I have been debating over a Zatchel or Cambridge Satchel. I was leaning towards a Zatchel, mostly for the reason that as I am in Australia, the VAT is taken of the total of the purchase, so including postage it works out much cheaper for me than if I was to purchase a Cambridge Satchel, as for some reason they do not take off the VAT (at least not that I have seen). I also wanted a handle on mine and Cambridge only has the Batchel available in the 15″, which is far too big for what I need.

  3. I’m opening a shop soon in a student town where no colourful satchels are available; I contacted both companies to see about stocking them. The difference was shocking; Zatchels were friendly, they had a reasonable minimum order and I had pricing within 48 hours of asking. A really friendly chap called Ed talked me through the process and explained lead times and went through which lines sell best.

    Cambridge were the complete opposite. They took 2 weeks to even respond to my email. They were not friendly and I had to chase them to even get a reply. When I did I was forwarded some internal emails that I really shouldn’t have seen. They never did send me pricing; they asked for details of my shop, which I gave, but apparently I was ‘unsuccessful’. Goodness knows what they were looking for. They are very snobby; they aren’t Liberty, they just make colourful bags.

    I really don’t think the brand matters, it’s the item itself that is cool. And Zatchels now have neon colours.

    • Emily, I had a similar experience – I was told by CSC that I was approved as a stockist, then when the team member I had been dealing with left, the approval was revoked and I was told I had been “unsuccessful” too! My shop is already established (we’ve been running five years), like yours it’s in a place with no coloured satchels available, and there’s no doubt that the line would have gone down a treat (even according to CSC’s own staff, originally). So I’m looking at Zatchels too, and also Leather Satchel Co who get excellent reviews – there’s a good one here:
      Good luck with your shop launch!

  4. As someone who’s been searching for a satchel to fit my 15.6″ behemoth of a laptop, I had to despair when result after Google result only turned up with 15″ satchels — until I hit the Zatchel site. And at £95, the 16″ Classic Zatchel is only £2 more than the 15″ Cambridge Batchel (which is too small for my laptop anyway). So, thank you Zatchel, for offering variety not only in style but SIZE as well!

  5. The satchel has been around for hundreds of years, so it’s absurd to say that Zatchels are making replicas of the Cambridge Satchel Company’s bags. If you really wanted to make that argument, then surely both companies are copying the Leather Satchel Co. which was established in 1966? And then who were they copying? You could go on and on. The point is, no-one owns the design rights to the satchel because it has been around for so long.

    Bemsy x

  6. I bought my satchel from Tom Brown’s Satchels. I bought a Paddington daffodil yellow in 15″ last year and it still looks incredible! Sort of softened with age, but still so bright that it brings a ray of sunshine to my day every time that I wear it. I went to Tom Brown’s because they were cheaper than Cambridge but having seen both Cambridge and Zatchels bags in the shops, I would actually say that my Tom Brown is better quality! Just thought I’d throw that into the satchel debate…contraversial, I know!

  7. Have had a terrible experience with Tom Brown’s Satchels, satchel did not arrive. Have been struggling and failing to get the money back for two months. Noticed phone line is now a mobile. Walked into Cambridge satchels Covent Garden – came out with embossed initialed, blue satchel – perfect just what we wanted.

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