Graduate School is different. As we enter the grounds, everything seems more formal and professional. Unlike in high school or college, we can no longer forget our assignments and books at home and simply be let off by a simple “I’ll bring it tomorrow”. We always need to be prepared.
This means being equipped with our work, books, and laptop at all times. Earning a Master’s or Doctorate degree is certainly not a piece of cake – and the atmosphere depicts that. Thus, the first step to professionalism and fitting into Grad school is via the purchase of the best backpack for Grad School.
When you have a good backpack for professionals on your shoulder, you immediately come off as a person very seriously and concentrate about their line of work. Which is exactly the kind of image you should portray of yourselves when in Grad school?
Wondering how you can find some of the best laptop bags for Grad School? We have made a list for you, which made life easier for us – thus, we’re hoping it will help you too.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy from Amazon.
Top 15 Backpacks for Grad School
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Best Backpacks for Grad School
1. Briggs and Riley Kinzie Street
If choosing a backpack for Graduate School for you means taking a classy backpack for college and upping your game – this grey beauty is certainly what you need. Performing the functions of both, a good Grad school backpack and travel pack, this innovation by Briggs and Riley is as useful as it is good looking.
Made with some of the highest quality materials, the inner fabric of the backpack ensures the safety of the contents of your bag. Featuring 2 major compartments, as well as mesh padding in the back, the bag is not only comfortable to wear but also durable.
The back zip allows access to a compartment fit for your laptop and books, while the front compartment has organized zippers and sections for other things instead: iPad, book, glasses, etc.
If you like everything to have separately designated pockets, this backpack fulfills that too with elastic pen loops and slips for headphones. Perhaps the only pockets to not be of much help are the ones on the side. Enclosed by zippers, you can store small things in them. However, a larger than standard-sized bottle or coffee cup may not fit.
In other aspects like travel though, this backpack shines. While its size is the right kind to fit easily under your airplane seat or in the overhead cabin, the anti-RFID pocket is what takes the cake. Today, when passports, credit cards, and almost everything important digitally stores personal information, it is imperative to protect theft of private details.
With this great backpack for adults, whether you have to go to grad school, or are due a trip abroad for work purpose – rest assured for your details on your passport are protected and safe, always.
2. The Puma Contender Backpack for College
While Puma shines as a good backpack brand for school, it has also made a name in providing some of the best backpacks for graduate school; this Contender Backpack in glorious black is a wonderful example.
Made of 100% polyester, with polyester lining too, there is one main compartment secured by a double zipper and 2 smaller front pockets. The backpack has a laptop sleeve, however, it isn’t padded heavily enough for complete security for your device. Showcasing an open-top, the compartment, however, is spacious enough to hold books and binders, along with your laptop – a needed quality in a good backpack for grad school.
The front pockets are easily accessible and pose enough storage capacity for the little items of frequent use: headphones, charger, pens, etc. There is also ample space for a water bottle with the 2 mesh elastic side pockets. Being elastic is a great plus(!) because it means not only will it fit a water bottle, but also coffee cups and thermos flasks for those who need caffeine to work on their research papers.
3. Jansport Laptop Backpack in Navy
Another good backpack brand for school, the fame of a Jansport Backpack surpasses boundaries of ages and classes. Whether you are in search of sturdy backpacks for school, side backpacks for college, or, in our case, the best laptop bag for grad school – Jansport backpacks tick all categories.
In their iconic design and an attractive navy hue, this backpack is spacious as well as comfortable. There are two large compartments to store textbooks, binders, and papers alike. If you want to put in clothes for an all-nighter at the school library – the backpack has space for that too.
There is a separate padded section at the far back for your laptop of up to 15 inches. With 3 front pockets and one pocket on the side for your water bottle, know that we are certainly not joking when we say: You simply can not run out of space with this backpack.
You must be wondering, when this backpack is loaded, the weight must take a toll on your shoulders. However, with its s-curve shoulder straps and padded back, the bag ensures that the weight remains equally divided on both shoulders to alleviate any forms of discomfort.
The only downside to the bag? Being a Jansport iconic design, most people in your Grad school will have this backpack. Thus, if you wish to stand out in your fashion and backpack choices – this one might not make the cut.
4. Herschel Pop Quiz Classic Backpack
Perhaps one of the most good-looking backpacks by Herschel, this classic backpack in black/tan is all that you need to be appear stylish yet determined when you enter grad school.
This bag may appear small, however, once you begin piling your things inside you will figure out that this is certainly not true. Featuring a single large compartment, access is easy because you do not need to memorize where you have kept each book. This one section is large enough to hold you books as well as laptop. There is a small pocket on top. While it is ideally for your phone, you can also store your pencils and other stationery in it for easy access.
What makes the bag stand out is not the compartment and capacity, but rather the interior of the backpack. In a beautiful striped red-and white, the non-dark interior makes it much easier to look for things and find them, in the matter of seconds – as compared to a backpack with a black interior.
The exterior of the bag is also as classy as the interior. With a uniquely designed front pocket and the Herschel brand label in front, the backpack is certainly one of the coolest school backpacks you can opt for.
However, these are the only 2 pockets the bag offers in totality. If you are in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you, you might have to store your bottle inside the backpack or change your habit because there is no side pocket.
But, if you are in search of a classy backpack for college, this one certainly makes the cut.
5. Samsonite Smart Backpack
While Samsonite has made its name in the world of luggage, its venture into the backpack market has also proved successful. This smart backpack is what you look for in a durable and sturdy backpack for school.
There is one large middle compartment with a separate sleeve for your tablet, as well as space for books, binders, and other things you may need in Grad school. The organized smaller mesh pockets are easily opened by a zipper while proving very useful in keeping smaller items safe.
There is a separate large padded pocket at the back for a laptop up to 14 inches (smaller laptops generally). There is a fleece-lined pocket for your phone too, which works wonders in protecting it from scratches. However, the side pocket (only one) is a let down because it opens diagonally, the design is not apt to store a bottle.
On the other hand, the design and colors of the backpack are what make it the best backpack for professionals. With a leather trim, this smart backpack in a combination of black and brown is made with rugged ballistic nylon – therefore making it durable too.
Ease of wear is another plus with the bag. If you want to wear it on your shoulders like a backpack, the padded shoulder straps make it very comfortable. If you want to hold it by your hand, there is a padded top handle. If you are traveling and you are tired of carrying your backpack and luggage, you can simply bind slide the backpack over the luggage handle courtesy of the luggage strap in the back of the bag.
6. Rucksack Style Laptop Backpack by Kaukko
I have always been a fan of simple backpacks for high school, especially those in an attractive rucksack-style. If like me, you are a fan of such backpacks too, this beauty in blue by Kaukko is bound to become your favorite. What makes this bag special is that though it resembles a great high school bag, it is spacious and useful enough to make for a good backpack for grad school.
The backpack is easy to open and close owing to its button closure. No need to worry about rough zippers, or your hair getting stuck on a zip line (yikes!). As you lift the flap open, the wide-open compartment allows view into all contents inside. If you prefer there to be a closure on the top, there is a drawstring for that purpose too – should you choose to use it.
The interior of the main compartment has a separate pocket for a laptop up to 15.6 inches. There is enough space to store books and binders alike, while smaller open-top pockets in the inner sides can be used to keep small items of use. There is another pocket at the exterior front, protected by the flap. This makes for an incredibly handy pocket to keep your cell phone in if you are tired of carrying it around by hand. Furthermore, there are 2 hidden side pockets which can prove useful too.
The comfort of wearing this backpack is immense. Be it the padded shoulder straps or padded back, every element of the bag upholds ease and convenience. However, a rather weird downside to the bag is that though it isn’t completely waterproof, it is a tad bit water resistant (can withstand light showers). But, when wet, the backpack begins to smell weird.
Perhaps for a backpack as aesthetically pleasing as this one, the smell can be forgiven.
7. Amazon Basics Urban Backpack for High School and College
Another backpack resembling a rucksack but differing greatly so, the design of this AmazonBasics Urban Backpack makes it a good students backpack. For starters, the color of the bag is unlike any you will have seen lately: a brilliant army green. This makes it a great bag for professionals.
The backpack has one main compartment, a pocket on the front, 2 pockets on the sides and a zippered stash pocket on one side. The main section has a wide open top and is secured by a double zipper. This ensures that your items do not fall out simply because one zip latched onto a surface and pulled.
The inside of the bag is of a lighter shade of grey. This makes it incredibly easier to search for your things. There is a laptop padded sleeve for a device up to 15 inches, making this a good laptop bag to take to school.
With padded shoulder straps, the bag is as comfortable as it is convenient. Live in an area with frequent rain? No problem – the bag has a water-resistant exterior for rainy days (pun intended).
8. Fuel Backpack in Black Army
This backpack is a special one for the gym-enthusiasts out there for whom a day at Grad school usually ends with a visit to the gym. In a black army print, the backpack appears like it means business and rightly so. Equipped with a separate lunch bag, the backpack provides ease for those who have to carry their diet food or protein shakes and do want to risk pairing them together with their books.
The large backpack has one main compartment. Although it is devoid of a laptop sleeve, there is enough space for books and binders alike. While there are 2 elastic mesh pockets on the side for easy accessibility, there is a zippered pocket in the front as well. You can easily keep your earphones in there and retrieve them at a moment’s notice without having to go looking inside the entire bag.
The lunch bag follows a similar style with one main compartment to keep your food in, and a flap-open pocket in the front.
While the size of the backpack is rather small and better suited as a good quality backpack for school, we also understand that many times a grad student is in search of a not-so-large backpack. In those times, this one certainly makes the list of best grad school backpacks.
9. Leather Crossbody Messenger Bag by Ecosusi
For women who are used to wearing cute messenger bags for high school, there is no need to compromise when you enter grad school (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). With this PU leather (vegan, yes!) crossbody bag by Ecosusi in a beautiful blue, it is proven that some of the coolest school backpacks are some of the chicest too.
The backpack has a front flap secured by magnetic closure. However, you need not fear the flap flying open and your bags contents flying out, because the inner main compartment is secured by a zipper too. The interior has one padded compartment for the storage of a laptop up to 14 inches. There are 2 open pockets, as well as a zipper pocket inside (perfect place to store makeup).
The interior is not the only pretty thing in the bag. The exterior certainly takes our breath away with its minimalist single-hued design with a cute bow in the front. There is a sturdy metallic top handle for women who want a briefcase for grad school. While there is a detachable single-shoulder strap for those who want to wear the bag like a cross body instead.
However, since this isn’t a traditional backpack, there are no side pockets and thus no separate place to keep a bottle safely without risking the contents of the bag getting wet.
10. Yiyinoe Luxury Laptop Bag for Graduate School
As the world becomes a tech-invested community, anything and everything a student may need is in the confines of a single laptop. This is understood by Yiyinoe as they provide a luxury bag proving to be one of the best laptop backpacks for grad school.
The bag is ultra-thin, and thus very lightweight. The one main compartment is secured by a double metallic zipper – furthering the element of chic in the bag. The inside of the bag is perfectly padded and equipped to comfortably hold a laptop up to 14.5 inches.
The outside pockets however are what make this bag so special. In a stylish design, the exterior 2 pockets are anti RFID. This means you can store your passport, ID card and other RFID products in here and ensure the signal cannot be traced, and nor your personal information stolen.
While there is the facility to hold the bag with its top handle or putting it over your shoulder, you can make use of the shoulder strap to turn it into a fashionable cross body bag too.
11. 3-In-1 Briefcase and Messenger Bag – Solo, New York
If you want to see what a good quality convertible bag looks like, this product of Solo New York certainly is the one. Why convertible? There is a top handle with magnet closure to hold the backpack for grad school like a briefcase.
If you would like to wear it as a side backpack for college, there is a detachable single-shoulder strap for that purpose. On the other hand, if you want to distribute the weight on both shoulders, there are school bag-like straps hidden in the back to take out whenever you need them.
The backpack has 3 pockets, including one main compartment, and 2 pockets in the front. These take care of your needs to carry books, papers, laptop (up to 15.6 inches) and even a tablet/iPad.
Perhaps the only downside of the bag is, though it is supposed to be unisex, it is mostly built keeping in mind the figure of a man.
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12. The EaseGave Laptop Messenger Bag
What’s better than a messenger bag? A messenger bag in coffee. This beautiful piece by EaseGave explains what it means to have a leather backpack. Not only aesthetically pleasing, the backpack is an updated and adulted version of a classy bag for college.
Made with Vintage Purple Saffiano Eco-leather, the leather finish of the bag is smooth and extraordinary. With an embossed brand logo on the front flap, the minimalist design of this briefcase-styled bag for grad school is bound to make heads turn.
The outer flap has a turn lock, ensuring the bag keeps shut at all times. When you open the flap, the interior begins with a zipper for more protection. Inside it is the main compartment of the bag. There is a laptop compartment with padded soft foam and the ability to hold a laptop of any size up to 17 inches.
The Velcro strap to secure the laptop in place is a great plus with this bag. Apart from the laptop compartment, there are two zippered pockets, 2 open pockets, as well as additional space to store any other books and assignments you may have.
The exterior of the bag is as classy as the interior, making it a cool school backpack. There is a chic and durable top handle, alongside a detachable shoulder strap too. Hold it like a briefcase or wear it like a side backpack – the choice is yours. However, owing to the slightly large size of the bag, it may not suit people with petite figures.
13. Ecosusi Satchel-Style Grad School Backpack
Another uniquely designed bag, the satchel-styled bag is deceptive by its name which withholds the glory of this bag. The bag is a great convertible one. It has a durable top handle, removable single-shoulder straps, as well as removable and adjustable backpack straps hidden away. Whichever way you wish to hold this grad school backpack, you can do so.
The bag has one main compartment. Equipped with a padded sleeve for a 15.6-inch laptop, there is a Velcro strap on top to keep the laptop in place, disallowing it to budge even as you run to a late class. Furthermore, there are 2 pen pockets, 2 open pockets, as well as a zippered compartment inside. This makes the bag spacious enough to fulfill the needs of most.
If you think the bag is lacking an extra pocket, think again. There is one on the exterior, exactly underneath the flap to hide it from the gaze of others while making it very useful.
Whether you were in search of a classy backpack for college, or a cute messenger back for high school, this bag certainly fulfills your wishes and more with its chic outlook.
14. The Lenovo Laptop Backpack in Grey
One of the best adult backpacks I have come across, this creation in Grey by Lenovo is certainly the dream of one looking for a classy yet minimalist styled backpack for grad school.
There is a single main compartment. At the back, there is storage space for a laptop or MacBook up to 15.6 inches, secured with a padded section and Velcro strap. There are pockets in the front’s interior designed specifically to hold business-related things. Be it your mobile phone, stationary, cards, or any other small item you do not want to get lost in the contents of the bag. The backpack also has a zippered pocket on its front exterior, making it perfect to put in things you use frequently.
Proving to be one of the most comfortable backpacks for college, this bag not only has padded shoulder straps, but also a quilted back for maximum comfort to the wearer.
However, there are no side pockets – so if you are used to carrying your water bottle with you, this might not be what you need.
15. HP Canvas Battery-Charging Backpack
This is THE bag for tech-lovers. Rightfully known as the HP Powerup backpack, this backpack is the best laptop backpack for grad school. If you are used to working on your laptop and other technological devices and cannot risk ever having a depleted battery – this professional backpack is for you.
The bag has 3 main compartments for three specified purposes. The section in the furthest back is padded for the laptop. The middle compartment is for your tablet. Whilst the open compartment at the front top is for your phone. With thorough access to battery charging cables, all USB cables connect to the same (provided) battery pack in the front compartment. With the capacity to fully charge a laptop once, a tablet thrice, and a smartphone up to 10 times – this bag certainly is a tech lovers paradise.
In addition to the technical devices, the backpack can also easily hold books of a considerable amount. However, the straps of the bag are a letdown as they can break if a lot of weight is in the bag. Thus, must be careful not to overload!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q1. What are some good Backpack brands?
Some of the best backpack brands include Puma, Jansport, Samsonite, Herschel, etc. However, just because a brand is famous, doesn’t mean it is the only one producing good backpacks. You can find just as good, perhaps even better backpacks at newer quality brands, which are also relatively inexpensive.
Q2. What should you keep in your backpack for grad school?
Although this depends upon the type of degree you are pursuing and the way you work, an average backpack for grad school contains a laptop, some papers, books, and some pens. These are usually accompanied with laptop and phone chargers, and a set of earphones too.
Q3. What kind of backpack should I get for grad school?
The answer completely depends upon your line of work and courses. If your degree is solely computer-based, a slim laptop messenger bag or backpack with padded computer compartment may suffice. If your work only includes the use of books, a sturdy book bag devoid of a laptop sleeve will prove value-for-money.
When looking for the best backpack for grad school, it is important to look for:
- Large capacity
- Laptop compartment (in most cases)
These are the usual requirements for a good backpack for grad school. However, the best backpack for you will depend on how you spend your day, and the role your backpack plays. If you work along with studying in grad school, the backpack should have enough space for your work things as well as school items. If you visit the gym afterwards, you might need a bag spacious enough to contain gym clothes. If your work only needs a laptop, you need only get a good briefcase styled backpack for grad school.
To make the right choice, make a list of what facilities you want present in the backpack and tally your list with the list of pros and cons of each backpack listed here. Whichever backpack matches the most, is the backpack to get.