Best Messenger Bag for College or University Students

best-messenger-bag-for-college-studentsCollege brings along some unique needs for students wanting to manage classes, books, laptops and doing it in style.  A lot of students chose to carry a backpack but depending on your class load and book sizes,  many students can eschew the typical behemoth and opt for a more sophisticated look.  A messenger bag also works at being more flexible for off campus activities such as jobs or internships.  A satchel type bag also makes you stand out and gives a different vibe than hauling a backpack.   It’s not for everyone though, some majors require hauling a number of heavy books along with a computer to class and if you have classes back to back then it’s just not possible to use a smaller bag and a backpack becomes a necessity.

The biggest factor when choosing a messenger bag for college is size.  Although you don’t need the space of a backpack, you still need the bag to be big enough to handle a laptop and a couple of books.  All of our top satchels for college are large enough for a 15″ laptop and leave enough space for a large book or two, but you can double check the dimensions to make sure it fits your particular needs.  If you want more options you can check out our Top all around Messenger Bags, and that will give you more options regarding size and price.  Here are the top bags for college students.

1. Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag 

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00E1O3WXI” cloaking=”default” height=”105″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”aboutabag-20″ width=”160″]We love Timbuk2 Messenger Bags because a lot of thought goes into the design of all their bags.   We think the Timbuk2 Classic is the perfect student bag with it’s roomy design, tough exterior and plenty of pockets for water bottles, phones, keys etc.  The other great thing about this bag is that it comes in a number of sizes, so you can choose one that fits your needs.  The medium would be the smallest I would recommend if you want to hold a laptop with a few books, but you could also go large if you have a heavy load.   It’s priced under $80 and the reliabilty and build quality are second to none.  This is a great choice for students and comes in a huge variety of patterns and colors to let you personalize it compared to leather or other canvas messenger bags.  The price might be a little steep but if you are using this for all 4 years, you want something that’s going to hold up.

I own many messenger bags, both brand-name and off-brand. The 2014 Timbuk2 fixes every single one of my gripes about my previous model, and, in doing so, makes it my favorite messenger bag. – Amazon Customer

As a college student I was looking for the perfect book bag. I commute an hour to school, most days spend over 8 hours on campus, then take the train an hour to home. I needed space to pack my whole day, but still be as compact as possible for public transportation.. This bag in medium size delivers!! – Sam

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2. Gootium Canvas Genuine Leather Messenger Bag 

[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00C3BDE70″ cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”aboutabag-20″]Gootium messenger bag[/easyazon_block]This canvas and leather beauty gives you a vintage retro look without sacrificing quality or size.  It will fit your 15″ macbook air and leave some nice room for that overpriced accounting textbook.   The upper portion is geniune leather while the lower portion is a high quality canvas with sturdy hardware.   This bag only comes in one size so if you have a large number of books, it might not be the bag for you, but if the size is right then this is a truly unique look and the leather really sets it off.  The Gootium messenger bag comes in a few different styles that mix and match different hues of leather and canvas.

I was looking for a messenger style bag to carry my materials to the school I teach at. This is perfect, just enough leather to give it some style along with a military canvas type bag to give it some personality- Dennis

Our college son had shoulder surgery and needed a satchel to carry instead of the backpack. This works great with many compartments for his school supplies and looks absolutely cool. – Chen

Absolutely fantastic. Very strong leather upper; really like the feel. The magnetic clasps which hold the flap closed – Travis

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3.  Rothco Vintage Army Messenger Bag

[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B0031Q6QOE” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”aboutabag-20″]Black Classic Army Messenger Heavy Weight Shoulder Bag[/easyazon_block]If you’re looking to save a little money but still want a larger stylish bag, then you can’t go wrong with the Rothco Messenger Bag.  This is a traditional styled bag made from heavyweight canvas and comes in a variety of colors.  It has an zippered pouch inside the bag along with 3 outside pockets.  It will fit your laptop along with notebooks and some textbooks very easily.  This is a perfect budget shoulder bag for school and this canvas beauty is a steal at under $30.  The stitching on the canvas is tight and the hardware will hold up and that’s why we recommend this as a budget best buy.

I bought this bag when I was a junior in high school and now I’m completing my junior year in college and I’m still using it. – Kevin

This is amazing! I can fit my notebooks, my laptop, my tablet, my wallet, water bottle, and my book all at once!- Yuleni

After using it extensively for several months, I can say without a doubt that it was an excellent purchase. The bag is incredibly sturdy, perfectly suited for a laptop, tablet, reader, and several files. – Thomas

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There you have our top picks for a student looking for a shoulder bag that can carry everything around campus.  All of these will work out depending on your price point and look that goes with your style.


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