The Best Backpack for Grad School [Buyer’s Guide 2020]


best backpack for grad school

You’ve carried a backpack through your whole school career thus far.  From the bright colors and characters of elementary school, through the “cool” bags in middle and high school.  Now it’s time for a serious bag that can help you stay organized and ready for success throughout grad school.  Here are the best backpacks for grad school students.

Style

Brand

Size

Price Range

Booq

15" x 9.8" x 1"


Knomo

15.6"x11.7"x8.1"

$190-200

Rains

11.2"x18.5"x3.94"

$90-115

Everlane

12"x17.5"x7.25"

$75-10

Yeti

12.5"x18"x7"

$190-200

Timbuk2

28"x45"x14"

$140-150

Samsonite

8"x17.8"12"

$65-74.95

Herschel

15"x17"x11.25"

$50-59

Targus

16"x17.72"x9.1"

₹ 11,453 +

AmazonBasics

 14.3"x19.8"x7."

₹ 1,419+

LifeProof

12.2"x20.1"x8.1"

$179+

Fjallraven

17"x16.5"x11"

$110-130


*If you don’t want to read the entire article, our number one pick for the best grad school backpack is the first on this list – the Booq Cobra Squeeze.  Read below for details:

01 Booq Cobra Squeeze

This bag is both eco-friendly and water resistant due to the combination of cotton and recycled PET fibers.  It has a padded laptop pocket for up to a 15” computer, and interior organization for a tablet and smaller accessories.  There is a quick-access top pocket that has a scratch proof lining – perfect for grabbing your phone on the go.  The bag is easy to carry as well, with contoured straps and air mesh back padding.  It will keep you and your supplies organized and ready to go.

02 Knomo Thurloe

This custom designed backpack has room for all of your essentials and enough pockets (interior and exterior) to keep everything organized.  The small pocket on top will keep your phone, keys, and wallet in easy reach.  It holds up to a 15” laptop and is equipped with RFID protection for added security.  Made of nylon with leather trim, this bag is both stylish and durable.  The two-year warranty provides additional peace of mind.

03 Rains Backpack for Grad School

The Rains Backpack is described by the manufacturer as a “minimalistic, yet practical bag”.  It is made of waterproof material to protect your belongings.  There is one main compartment, a 13” laptop pocket, an inside zipped pocket for small items, and an outer phone pocket on the backside so your phone is always in easy reach.  The straps adjust for comfortable carrying, and the bag is small and lightweight.  This is an ideal bag if weather is a concern.

04 Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

This bag is made from 100% recycled polyester so it is both waterproof and environmentally friendly.  The 15” laptop pocket zips on the outside for easy access, there are two small exterior pockets for little items (phone, wallet, keys, etc.), interior slip pockets to keep notebooks and papers organized, and two water bottle holders for on-the-go hydration.  The slim design makes it perfect for commuting as well.

05 Crumpler Idealist Grad School Backpack

This backpack is made from waxed canvas for weather-proof durability.  It features four storage zones for internal organization, a 15” padded laptop sleeve, a smaller front pocket for phone and keys, and a side-zipper pocket for a small water bottle and headphones.  The padded adjustable shoulder straps, breathable back padding, and lightweight design make carrying this bag a breeze.

06 Timbuk2 Custom Division Laptop Backpack

The cool thing about this pack is that it is totally customizable.  You pick the material and color for each section of the bag from multiple choices on their website. The end result is a truly unique backpack that looks great and works as hard as you do.

This bag has multiple organizational features, including rear access to the 15” laptop compartment to keep the main area clear for books and papers.  There is also an organizer for your phone, pens, pencils, etc.; a water bottle holder.  There’s also an external compression straps to cinch or expand the pack as needed.  The bag is designed to sit upright while you are going through it, and it carries well due to the contoured shoulder straps, tuck-away sternum straps, and air mesh back panel.  Add in the lifetime warranty and all in all, this is a great bag that can be as unique as you are.

07 Samsonite Modern Utility Laptop Backpack

This bag is made with ripstop polyester material which makes it durable and water resistant.  The air mesh padding in the back pad and shoulder straps allows you to carry your supplies in comfort, while the various compartments keep you organized.  The laptop pocket holds up to a 15.6” computer, and there is a dedicated tablet compartment, a zippered front pocket to store small items, and multiple exterior pockets for quick and easy access.  Keep all your supplies in reach in this utility backpack.

08 L.L.Bean Quad Pack

The L.L.Bean Quad Pack is built from durable 420D ripstop nylon, and the bottom is made from 1000D Kodra nylon, so it can handle whatever you throw at it – or stuff in it.  It is made to carry weight with ergonomic padded shoulder straps, a back panel with lumbar support, a sternum strap, and a tuck away waist belt.  There is a large main compartment and the middle section has a built-in organizer panel.  The laptop/tablet pocket holds up to a 15” computer and is accessed from the side for convenience.  There are multiple exterior pockets and spots for two water bottles, and an audio port in the main compartment.  This rugged pack will keep everything organized and in easy reach.

09 YETI Crossroads Backpack 23

Made with 1000D nylon and lined with 420D ripstop nylon, this bag is built for durability.  The Structure Arc design means the bag stands upright and unzips almost all the way for quick and easy loading and unloading.  There are separate foam-lined laptop and tablet pockets – this bag holds up to a 15.5” laptop.  The quick-stash top pocket helps keep necessities (phone, keys, glasses, etc.) in easy reach.  The two exterior bottle pockets have magnets to keep them closed when not in use.  The foam shoulder straps and back panel that adjusts to your shape ensure a comfortable carry.

10 Herschel Pop Quiz

This 100% polyester back pack has a nylon lining and weather proof zipper to ensure your belongings stay safe and dry.  The spacious main compartment will store all of your essentials for class.  The padded and fleece lined laptop sleeve holds up to a 15” computer. The front zippered pocket has an internal mesh organizer and key clip, and the small lined pouch on top keeps your phone or glasses in easy reach.  In other words, all of this organization comes in a classic style back pack.

11 Targus Drifter II

This bag offers a rugged case full of storage options and protective compartments for important devices.  Focusing on durability, the nylon bag has a weather-resistant bottom and thick industrial zipper pulls.  The two large main compartments provide ample storage, including a padded laptop section that holds up to a 17” device, and an interior divider to keep files and papers organized.  The front zip compartment has pockets for business cards, a mesh accessory pocket, a key clip, and a soft lined, scratch-resistant pocket for fragile accessories like glasses.  The back panel has extremely thick padding that includes a large hidden zippered compartment strategically placed to provide lumbar support. Likewise, the shoulder straps are heavily padded for comfort and include a removable mobile phone pocket and an elastic loop specifically designed to hold sunglasses.  This bag keeps everything you need protected and in easy reach.

12 eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

This bag is comfortable to carry, with contoured shoulder straps and a padded yet breathable back panel. It also includes a removable and adjustable sternum strap.  There are multiple exterior zippered pockets to keep everything you need in easy reach.  The padded laptop sleeve holds up to a 17” computer, and there is a fleece-lined padded tablet sleeve as well.  The bag also has a side zip water bottle pocket, and the front zip pocket for small items has interior mesh pockets to keep everything in its place.  The slim design and light weight ensure that the bag looks good and is easy to bring wherever you go.

13 LifeProof Squamish XL 32L Backpack

As the name implies, this bag can handle anything life throws at it.  It is made with CORDURA™ water-repellent fabric and features sealed weather-resistant tech pockets.  The padded laptop pocket will hold up to a 15” computer and a tablet, and opens from the side for easy access.  The large bottom pocket and expandable cinch front pocket ensure you have plenty of room, and the interior storage pockets keep you organized.  With a quilted back, padded shoulder straps, and detachable chest-strap, this bag is comfortable to carry as well.

14 Fjallraven Kanken 17” Laptop Backpack

This practical bag is made from a material called Vinylon F, which is water-resistant, dirt-resistant, and wipes clean easily.  The two-way zipper has a rain flap for added protection.  The shoulder straps are padded, adjustable, and ergonomic for carrying with ease.  The dual top snap handles allow you to quickly grab and carry like a tote for short distances.  The padded laptop compartment holds up to a 17” computer and leaves you with one main compartment and three smaller pockets to hold everything else you may need.  The back pocket also contains a seat pad so you are prepared for unexpected seating.

 

There are a lot of options here for great back packs for grad school.  Like having the right supplies, choosing the right bag will help you be prepared and succeed in your classes.

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