Poster 181a - Double Satchel Features


The double satchel balances the weight of the mail, and has many features for comfort and safety.

Satchel Fabric

The satchel is made of sturdy water-repellent nylon fabric with an additional inner coating for even more protection. A smooth fabric is used on the bottom and back of the satchel to reduce wear to uniforms.


The reflective tape used on the shoulder straps (harness), satchel, and rain flap improves visibility during inclement weather. The USPS insignia is also reflective.

Dog Spray Loops

Dog spray loops are located on the top corners of the satchel side panels. The loops are made of elastic material and divided by a toggle. Carriers can choose which side loop is most convenient to use. The dog spray loop holds the canister securely and provides quick access to the canister for the carrier.


Inside pockets may be used for accountable mail, DPS cards, outgoing mail, scanners, or forms. The outside pocket (with the USPS insignia) should only be used for forms. Carriers with keys on a chain must securely fasten the chain to their belt or clothing. Keys are not to be fastened to the satchel. The slanted pocket on each side of the satchel allows keys to be carried in the satchel (while attached to the chain) and removed easily. The slanted pocket also provides easy access to collection and/or vehicle keys without having to reach under the satchel to access pants pockets.

Shoulder Straps

The shoulder strap harness consists of two strap assemblies, two front and two rear swiveling mounting hooks, with two shoulder pads, adjustable length, a rear crossover guide, and reflective tape. The shoulder pads should be installed with the thicker side on the outer edge to follow the natural slope of the shoulder. The strap slides can be adjusted for a comfortable fit and the four inch strap extension can be removed if necessary.

Waist Belt Assembly

The waist belt is padded and wider at the back for back support and comfort. For easy access the satchels can be positioned separately toward the front or back of the carrier's body by means of the "hook and loop tapes" (Velcro) on the belt and satchel. The belt length can also be adjusted with the Velcro. A one-button quick release buckle is used, which allows swift one-handed removal if necessary.

Satchel Size Adjustment

Adjustable straps at the top of the side panels can reduce the size of the satchel opening. This also provides additional support for large flats or packages and keeps them closer to the body.

image of the strap extension

Rain Flap

The rain flap is attached with Velcro and is used to protect the mail during inclement weather. It can be removed if not needed.

image of a rain flap on a satchel bag

Fitting the Double Satchels

Start by choosing the correct belt size (see "Belt Size Ranges") and fit the belt assembly without the satchels attached. Adjust the belt length for a comfortable fit using the Velcro tapes. Three fabric belt carriers attach the satchel to the belt, as shown in the picture on the front. The longer and wider belt sleeve can be used alone to allow the double satchel to hang away from the body and can provide more room inside the satchel. Smaller letter carriers may find the satchels fit best using only the sleeve. Two longer and narrow loops are on each side of the sleeve. Two shorter narrow loops are on each side of the longer narrow loops. Carriers can use these belt carriers in any combination for the best fit of the satchels. Run the belt through the sleeve and loops on one satchel, and repeat for the second satchel, following the picture on the front. The shoulder straps should then be attached and adjusted for a comfortable fit. Each carrier can adjust the shoulder straps to distribute weight from the shoulders and hips, depending on their preference. Straps should only cross the body in the back and must always drop vertically from the shoulder in front. If only one strap is used, it will stay better on the shoulder if it attaches to one satchel at the back, crosses the back diagonally, and drops vertically from the shoulder in front to attach to the second satchel.

Loading the Double Satchel

Mail should be loaded into the double satchels only after proper fitting. The 35-pound weight limit for one satchel also applies to the double satchel. The maximum 35 pounds of mail should be roughly balanced between the two satchels. Generally, one satchel will be easier to reach. The satchel that is less convenient to reach can be used to carry items that require fewer withdrawals. As one satchel empties the carrier should redistribute the remaining mail to rebalance the weight between the two satchels.


For all configurations possible with the double satchel, the waist belt clip must remain fastened during use. Whether the carrier uses one or two shoulder straps, the straps should never cross the body in front. A functional canister of dog spray must be carried during delivery in one of the front elastic loops. Carriers should practice and be familiar with quick removal of the satchel, using the one-button quick-release buckle. Press the button to release the waist belt and hold the belt, lower one shoulder to allow that shoulder strap to drop, hold the opposite shoulder strap and swing the satchels around the back and to the front. Quick removal of the double satchel will allow it to be used as protection in the event of a dog (or other animal) attack.

Strap Size Ranges

The double satchel is worn outside the carrier's clothing. The carrier's normal clothing or belt sizes will not allow a proper fit. To determine the strap size needed, use the following measurements:

At your waist, determine the midpoint between your spine and your side. Take a measurement over your normal clothing from this midpoint to the top of the opposite shoulder. Take a second measurement from your shoulder straight down in front to the waist. Add these two figures together, which will be used to determine the strap length size needed. Using the same method, also take measurements while wearing winter clothing. Order the strap length based on these measurements. Be sure both measurements (over normal clothing and winter clothing) fall within the size you specify.

Strap Size Minimum Length Maximum Length
Short 26" 39"
Long 30" 51"

Belt Size Ranges

Your normal belt size will not be appropriate for equipment worn outside your clothing. To determine the belt size needed measure over your normal clothing and around your body at the point you will wear the waist belt. Measure again using the same method, over your winter clothing. Order the belt size below based on these measurements.

Belt Size Minimum Length Maximum Length
Small 25" 43"
Medium 30" 50"
Large 35" 57"
Extra Large 43" 67"

Image of the satchel bag showing it's features as listed an explained in this document.

Incorrect Strap Configurations (see "Safety")
Image of incorrect Strap Configurations

Correct Strap Configurations
Image of correct Strap Configurations

Poster 181- A (reverse)
July 2005

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