Best Top-Handle Shoulder Bag — Buyer’s Guide and Reviews -

When selecting a handbag, it is often important to consider what you will be using it for. While many bags are designed for a specific purpose, the basic top-handle shoulder bag is meant to be more of a utilitarian bag that can be used for everyday activities.

The top 10 most popular Top-Handle Shoulder Bag based on sales on the website BestReviews.Tips. Updated daily.

1. LeSportsac Deluxe Everyday Bag – Best Active Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

LeSportsac-Deluxe-Everyday-Bag-Blue-Best-Active-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

As a manufacturer of bags, LeSportsac has been around a bit longer than most people may be aware. Founded in 1974, the company makes it a point in offering a wide range of bag silhouettes made exclusively from nylon. The reason for this is that LeSportsac started making active bags and eventually developed a good enough reputation to expand into the broader bag market in general.

This nylon handbag shoulder bag follows from LeSportsac’s original philosophy and makes it onto our list as the best active bag. Basically, if you need a bag for the gym or outdoors that you could also use as a day bag, then this is the one for you. While the bag itself is actually not that large, the main compartment is exceptionally roomy.

One odd quality about the LeSportsac is that it does not actually feature a top handle. Instead, this nylon bag designer with zipper can only be worn crossbody. Thankfully, the long strap which provides an ample 24.5” shoulder drop makes that an easy task.

While the bag does not offer as many compartments as some of the others we saw, each of those compartments closes with a zipper. This may make retrieving your items a bit more tedious, but it also ensures their security better as well. Though, the zippers are not exceptionally durable, so you will need to be gentle with them.

Pros
  • Features a nice shoulder drop
  • Made of durable, high-quality nylon
  • Much lighter than other famale handbags
  • Main compartment is roomy
  • Provides solid water resistance
  • Everything zippered ensures security
  • Thick strap offers more leverage
  • Bag can be expanded with a zipper
  • Strap is extremely durable
Cons
  • Does not have any slip compartments
  • Does not have a hand drop
  • Only comes in 2 styles
  • Zippers are not that durable
  • Not as many compartments as others
  • More expensive than some others
  • Smaller than most other bags
  • Strap is a bit uncomfortable


2. Kattee Women’s Vintage Genuine Leather Bag – Best Hobo Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Kattee-Womens-Vintage-Genuine-Leather-Bag-Brown-Best-Hobo-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

The Kattee company can be seen as a success story in a couple ways. Though not a storied company, Kattee has managed to become a well-known and respected brand in the span of about a decade and a half. What makes this success even more surprising is that Kattee was one of the first brands to eschew brick-and-mortar storefronts and sell exclusively online.

The model generally allows Kattee to sell their goods at a lower price than most of their competitors. In this instance, the Kattee most popular handbags is actually a bit more expensive than most, but this is likely due to the materials selected for its construction.

The Kattee retro shoulder bag is made out of leather, though it is only made out of genuine leather. Genuine leather for bag is the lowest grade of real leather available, but that has not seemed to play a part in the overall construction quality of this bag as the Kattee is actually noted for being more durable than many of the others we saw.

In terms of utility, the Kattee is a bit of a mixed bag. For one, it is easily one of the larger bags we reviewed but also offers a smaller version if you prefer or are petite. For organization, the 6 compartments are definitely on the somewhat lower end of the spectrum for the other products was saw.

When it comes to carrying the Kattee you have an embarrassment of riches as this bag offers some of the better drops we found. The 20” shoulder drop might be one of the shorter shoulder drops, but it is generally plenty for more people. The hand drop is technically a tad short, but it is still longer than many other bags we reviewed.
Pros
  • A slightly longer hand drop than others
  • Features a decent shoulder drop
  • Offers more space than most
  • Leather is more durable than other materials
Cons
  • More expensive than some others
  • Only comes in 4 different styles
  • Does not have as many compartments as some
  • Genuine leather is the lowest grade


3. Michael Kors Bedford Top Zip Pocket Tote Bag – Best Tote Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Michael-Kors-Womens-Bedford-Top-Zip-Pocket-Tote-Bag-White-Best-Tote-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

Michael Kors is a giant in the fashion industry, luxury handbags brands, who having won awards and accolades for the better part of three decades. These awards are largely due to a philosophy that seeks to blend the chic with the elegant and an attention to detail that many other lesser designers simply do not put forth.

One shining example of this is the Michael Kors handbag’s use of Venus leather. This is a top grain leather made in Italy that is designed to be soft and luxurious. It is important to note that unlikely Saffiano leather, another top grain leather commonly used for Michael Kors products, Venus leather cannot handle the same degree of wear and tear.

True to the Michael Kors design philosophy, this bag for women comes in fifteen different styles. Using the tot silhouette, this makes the Michael Kors bag a fashionable accessory. It also features a decent 8.5” handle drop which is actually longer than his line generally provides. That said, do not let the tote designation fool you.

This is far from a traditional style of tote, noted most prominently by the absence of storage space. Quite simply, this is one of the smaller bags we saw, and it will not hold its shape as one would expect a traditional tote to do.

Pros
  • Venus leather is high quality handbags
  • Features a solid handle drop
  • Comes in 15 different styles
  • Provides a decent number of compartments
Cons
  • Does not hold its shape well
  • Not the most durable bag
  • One of the more expensive designer bags brand
  • Smaller than most other bags


4. Ainifeel Women’s Padlock Handbags – Best Doctor’s Bag Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Ainifeel-Womens-Padlock-Handbags-Yellow-Best-Doctors-Bag-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

Ainifeel is like some of the other brands on our list in that it makes little to no attempt to get its wares on a shelf or rack in a traditional storefront. Instead, by selling almost exclusively online, Ainifeel is able to provide top tier fashion designs at significantly lower prices. This business model is especially relevant for Ainifeel as the company makes it a point to provide alternatives to high end, best luxury designer bags that often sell for thousands of dollars.

That said, the Ainifeel is still a fairly expensive bag on our list, but it should be understood within the context of its target demographic. When this design is generally only found on a bag that costs thousands or more, anything under $200 is a steal. Whether it is worth it or not, will ultimately be up to you.

This doctor-style handbag looks a Birkin bags design.

Of course, just because the Ainifeel is aping more exclusive brands does not mean that it needs to skimp out of the quality, and this bag makes it a point to provide the same or a similar degree of quality as brands that cost ten times as much or more. For one, this doctor’s bag is made from full grain leather. While that may make it a bit stiff, it is also the highest grade of leather available.

That stiffness comes in handy though, as this ladies handbags is one of the few on our list that will stand on its own. Other design features that set it apart from its peers are the plethora of styles to choose from–thirty three in total. This female doctor bag also features a clasp closure, which while a bit inconvenient, comes with a padlock and attached key for security.

Pros
  • Full grain cow leather is the highest grade
  • Offers a dizzying number of styles
  • A bit bigger than smaller physician bags
  • Uses decent stitching
  • Can be locked with a padlock
  • Stands upright on small feet
Cons
  • A clasp is less convenient than a zipper
  • Does not have many compartments
  • Features the shortest drop we saw
  • One of the more expensive medican bags


5. Baggallini Avenue Lightweight Bag – Most Compartmented Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Baggallini-Avenue-Lightweight-Bag-Purple-Most-Compartmented-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

Baggallini may not be the most well-known brand on our list, but they are a fairly well-respected brand within their niche. Specifically, the Baggallini brand was founded by two flight attendants who wanted bags that were both attractive but could also be carried with them for long periods of time without becoming fatigued or having to worry about them falling apart.

In that vein, the Baggallini brand is like a number of the other bags on our list in that they do not use leather or synthetic leather in their construction. Instead, pretty much every Baggallini uses a high-quality nylon. This allows the bag to remain lightweight while still maintaining a strong degree of durability. Moreover, the nylon material is also water resistant and will not wrinkle or degrade when exposed to water like leather can. This nylon zipper bag is best lightweight handbags for travel.

Keeping in line with the utility theme of the Baggallini, the bag features some of the longest hand and shoulder drops we saw. At 9.5” and 25” respectively, any person–regardless their shape or size–can find a comfortable way to carry this bag. This bag also features far more compartments than most providing a wealth of options for organizing all of your daily carry-ons.
Pros
  • Comes in 21 different styles
  • Offers a nice handle drop
  • Provides a long shoulder drop
  • Provides the most compartments we saw
  • Lighter than many other bags
Cons
  • Is a tad smaller than some of the other bags
  • Does not stand on its own
  • Will not maintain its shape
  • Compartment design could be better


6. Scarleton Front Zippers Washed Bag – Best Budget Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Scarleton-Front-Zippers-Washed-Bag-Green-Best-Budget-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

Scarleton may not pop up in too many stores, but it is not an exclusively online dealer either. In this regard, Scarleton is one of the few brands we saw that seems to be in the midst of transitioning from one business model to the other. It actually makes a fair amount of sense as this is easily one of the least expensive bags we reviewed.

It is important to note that this lack of cost will be felt more in this brand than in many of the others. For one, this bag features a fair number of zippers, but they do not use high quality zippers. As such, you should expect one or more zippers to fail. Other durability issues of this product pop up in regards to the stitching which has been known to come undone after a few months of heavy use.

Beyond those durability issues, this bag is actually one of the more convenient. It provides a robust number of compartments, eight in total, both on the inside and the outside of the bag for quick retrieval. The drops of this cute handbags (for school & college, e.g.) are also nice. The hand drop is 8.5”, while the shoulder drop is a reasonable 22”.

The Scarleton is made out of a soft synthetic leather, and every material used is cruelty free, making this one of the few vegan friendly fashion bags we saw. While the stitching and zipper issues may come into play, the interior is made out of a thick cotton lining that is durable and luxurious to the touch. This lightweight bags with fabric lining is best vegan modern designer handbag.

Pros
  • Is a vegan friendly handbag
  • Is the least expensive, budget handbag we saw
  • Offers a good number of compartments
  • Features a decent hand drop
  • The should drop is good
  • The lining is thick and luxurious
Cons
  • Is a fairly small bag
  • Does not come in many styles
  • The zipper is not durable
  • The threading is not durable
  • Will not maintain its shape


7. Kipling Defea Crossbody Bag – Best Travel Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Kipling-Defea-Crossbody-Bag-Blue-Best-Travel-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

Kipling is another brand on our list that has been around for a while, though the inspiration for the brand are a bit more humble. Originally, this was simply intended to be an international brand without much specialization, but after the purchase of Kipling by the VF Corporation, it was rebranded to a sportswear lineup.

As such, the Kipling brand started to use nylon almost exclusively for their products. Much like other nylon-based bags we reviewed, Kipling makes sure to use heavy-duty nylon, so you do not have to worry about any durability issues. As a bonus, the use of nylon prevents Kipling bags from being heavy while offering a degree of water resistance.

This bag does provide some decent utility in that it offers a fair number of compartments inside and out. Even better, the various compartments include different shapes and types for a variety or organizational needs. While the handle drop is a tad short at 7”, the shoulder drop more than makes up for it with a decent 23” strap.

The Kipling does come with the iconic zipper monkey, but it is also one of the more expensive bags on our list. This bag may also not be the most comfortable for general daily use as it has a bit of a bulky shape. The Kipling bag is also smaller than many of the other bags we saw.

Pros
  • Features a decent number of compartments
  • Shoulder drop is long enough
  • Comes in 19 different styles
  • Lighter than most other bags
  • Made from durable, water resistant nylon
Cons
  • Bag is smaller than most, good bag for girls
  • One of the more expensive bags
  • Hand drop is a bit short
  • Has a bulky shape


8.Roma Leathers Concealment Purse – Best Concealed Carry Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Roma-Leathers-Concealment-Purse-Orange-Best-Concealed-Carry-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

Unlike many of the other brands on our list, Roma Leathers does not specialize in bags exclusively. Instead, this brand is more of a specialized leather maker and provides a wide range of products which are constructed from durable leather. This company goes a step further by also providing a “Tactical” lineup that specializes in leather concealed carry weapon products.

The Roma Leathers bag we reviewed comes from that tactical lineup, so it should be little surprise that this is our best CCW bag. While no other bags were really up to the task, this focus is on full display with the Roma Leathers. First, this bag offers two zippered pockets to retrieve your firearm–one from either side. This allows the bag to be used ambidextrously for both right and left-handed people.

The CCW compartment is also spacious with a 10” x 7.5” pocket. Inside of that pocket, the Roma Leathers bag provides a fabric holster that velcros to the inside of the bag to keep your firearm in one place for sure retrieval. Finally, the zippers which lead to the CCW compartment can both be locked to prevent accidental retrieval of the firearm by other people–just remember not to push the key in all the way or the locks will not work properly.
Pros
  • Provides ambidextrous, lockable CCW pockets
  • Provides numerous compartments
  • A slightly inexpensive bag
  • Comes with a velcro holster
  • Firearm compartment is large
  • The leather is durable
  • Stands up and keeps its shape
  • Features a long hand drop
Cons
  • Is a bit on the small side
  • Only comes in 6 styles
  • Firearm zippers a difficult to lock
  • Zippers are not that durable
  • Genuine leather is the lowest grade


9. S-ZONE Vintage Genuine Leather Handbag – Best Crossbody Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

S-ZONE-Vintage-Genuine-Leather-Handbag-Black-Best-Crossbody-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

The S-ZONE is the last of our online only bags. Without a storefront presence, this brand is able to offer its wares at a significantly lower cost than many of the other brands we reviewed. In fairness, this bag is only slightly less expensive than average, but that is in a large part due to the materials used in its construction.

The S-ZONE is cowhide leather vintage designer bag, though it is technically only genuine leather. Genuine leather is the lowest grade of real leather available, but the S-ZONE does not seem to suffer from any of the durability issues that lesser brands using genuine leather do. This likely means that the leather used by S-ZONE is made from multiple layers, providing additional strength and durability.

This strength is on full display as the S-ZONE bag will stand up on its own and mostly maintain its shape–assuming you do not overstuff it. This last part is key, because the S-ZONE is one of the largest bags we examined. While it does come in a small size as well, even the small S-ZONE bag is larger than close to half the other bags on our list.

Still, this vintage style shoulder bag is not without its faults which generally make their appearance as an absence. For example, this bag only comes in five different styles, and it only provides six different compartments. The handle is also a bit short at only 6.5”, but the shoulder strap is decent with a 23” drop.

Pros
  • One of the larger bags
  • A relatively inexpensive bag
  • Offers a solid shoulder drop
  • Made from fairly durable leather
  • Nylon lining is durable
  • Will stand on its own
Cons
  • Does not have as many compartments as some
  • Features a fairly short hand drop
  • Leather shoulder bag only comes in 5 popular colors: black, blue, brown, red, rose
  • Genuine leather is the lowest grade


10.Handbag Republic Vegan Leather Fashion Bag – Largest Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Handbag-Republic-Vegan-Leather-Fashion-Bag-Dark-Red-Largest-Top-Handle-Shoulder-Bag

Handbag Republic is an interesting brand in that it is not that storied of a brand but is making a strong push to quickly become recognized as a quality designer. While the brand does sell their products mostly online, it also maintains a single storefront in California–though this is not a traditional store and functions more as a warehouse/factory.

Having made its way onto numerous red carpets, the Handbag Republic brand bag comes in twenty nine different styles–the second most we reviewed. Still, the most striking feature of this ladies bag almost certainly has to be its size. This is the largest bag on our list, and it the comparison isn’t even close. In fact, this fashionable bag is a full twenty five percent larger than its next closest competitor.

What makes all of the qualities so striking is that this is also the second least expensive bag we reviewed. Though, that is likely due to the materials of the Handbag Republic product. This bag is made out of a synthetic leather and is one of a few certified vegan-friendly products we saw. Even better, this bag actually comes with a separate, smaller accessory bag that connects to the inside and can be removed.

That said, this bag does offer the second fewest compartments, so that accessory bag is more of a necessity bag. This fashion bag also does not come with a strap and has a paltry 5” hand drop–also the second shortest on our list. This means that larger customers will not be comfortable wearing this bag on their shoulder.

Pros
  • Is a vegan friendly handbag
  • The largest women’s shoulder bag we reviewed
  • Comes in 29 different styles
  • One of the less expensive bags we saw
  • Comes with an accessory bag
  • Synthetic leather is surprisingly durable
Cons
  • Does not offer many compartments
  • The drop is fairly short
  • A snap closure is the least secure
  • Will not stand on its own
  • Does not maintain its shape
  • Handle is not durable


Buyer’s Guide:

Materials:

This factor generally follows one of two mindsets: synthetic or leather. While this may seem a simple choice at first, there are actually a number of different materials in each category used in the construction of top-handle handbags. Each of them have their advantages and disadvantages without any being objectively better than the rest.

How about Versace handbags design.

Genuine Leather

This is lowest grade of leather and is made from different bits of leather that have been glued or bonded together. This type of leather is generally lighter than the higher grades, but it is also less durable. On the plus side, genuine leather is also the least expensive, but it will also often have a chemical smell other leathers do not.

Top Grain Leather

This is the middle grade of leather, but it is actually seen as the best for use with shoulder bags. This is because top grain leather is much lighter and more pliable than full grain leather but still retains better durability than most other materials. While it is lighter than full grain leather, it is still the second heaviest material used.

Full Grain Leather

This is the highest grade of leather available, but it is not necessarily seen as the best leather for shoulder bags. This is because full grain leather is much stiffer and heavier than any other material used in shoulder bags. Full grain leather is also often the most expensive materials used in shoulder bag construction, but it is also by far the most durable.

Synthetic Leather

Synthetic leathers can actually be made from various different materials. Vinyl and polyurethane are the two most common types of synthetic leather. This material is noted for being the lightest “leather” material, but it is rarely as durable as even genuine leather. Still, this is the preferred material for vegans who like the look and feel of leather, but are not willing to use products made from animals.

Nylon

Nylon differs from all of the aforementioned products in that it is actually a fabric. That said, the nylon fabric is synthetic and can be woven into an incredibly stiff construction. This allows nylon to retain its shape despite being numerous threads. Nylon is not as durable as high grade leathers but often more so than synthetic and genuine leather. It is the lightest material used and also the most water resistant.

Compartments:

Because a shoulder bag is often intended to be an everyday bag, the number of compartments it has will often be an important factor as to whether it is a pleasure or a pain. Since most people carry a wide variety of items in their everyday bag, it is convenient to be able to organize the items.

This is accomplished mostly with pockets and slips. Pockets are a bit larger and will feature either a zipper or snap closure. Slips are generally smaller, often not larger than a phone, and remain open to easily retrieve often used items. Occasionally a shoulder bag will feature two main compartments, often with the intention of the second main used for either a laptop or a tablet.

Drop:

When it comes to a shoulder bag, the drop is arguably one of the most important factors. The shoulder drop of a bag will determine how low it hangs and is often the defining characteristic when deciding whether a shoulder bag is comfortable to wear or not.

The ideal length of a shoulder bag’s drop is around 9”, though more petite people may prefer a bag with a drop a little bit shorter. Some shoulder bags also offer a crossbody strap. This strap should be at least 20” minimum and rarely more than 25” in terms of the drop.


Conclusion:

Depending on what you need you shoulder bag for, you will likely gravitate towards one that is a bit more specialized. Generally, people will have a single everyday bag, a smaller bag for short trips, and a specialized bag for active environments.

For this latter purpose, we recommend the LeSportsac. As a affordable brand designed for sportswear, the LeSportsac is made from a durable, yet lightweight nylon. While it does not feature a large number of compartments, they are all zippered–and the main compartment is spacious.

For an everyday bag, the S-ZONE offers a solid blend of options and utility for a reasonable price. While only genuine leather, it is still plenty durable and offers more than enough room. You can even order a smaller version that is still a decent size. While the handle is a tad short, the strap makes it comfortable for a full day’s use.

Top-Handle BagSize, inchColor 
LeSportsac Deluxe Everyday Bag miniLeSportsac Everyday Bag
Review & Video
5 x 10 x 142Check Price
Kattee Women's Vintage Genuine Leather Bag miniKattee Vintage Bag
Review & Video
16 x 7 x 11,
14 x 6 x 10
4Check Price
Michael Kors Women's Bedford Top Zip Pocket Tote Bag miniMichael Kors Bedford Bag
Review & Video
11 x 10 x 517Check Price
Ainifeel Women's Padlock Handbags miniAinifeel Handbags
Review & Video
14 x 7 x 10,
12 x 6 x 9
33Check Price
Baggallini Avenue Lightweight Bag miniBaggallini Avenue Bag
Review & Video
6 x 13 x 1213Check Price
Scarleton Front Zippers Washed Bag miniScarleton Washed Bag
Review & Video
12 x 10 x 5 3Check Price
Kipling Defea Crossbody Bag miniKipling Defea Bag
Review & Video
6 x 13 x 1019Check Price
Roma Leathers Concealment Purse miniRoma Leathers Purse
Review
13 x 11 x 56Check Price
S-ZONE Vintage Genuine Leather Handbag miniS-ZONE Vintage Handbag
Review & Video
17 x 7 x 11,
14 x 6 x 10
5Check Price
Handbag Republic Vegan Leather Fashion Bag miniHandbag Republic Vegan Bag
Review
17 x 7 x 1330Check Price