The Best Backpack for Grad School

When handling a full semester’s schedule, many graduate students find themselves working to considered part of the time. Therefore, it is essential  to pick a backpack that can assist with just about any area of your lifestyle. Having a large load will help you keep your college and work items separate while also providing you with enough compartments to store your laptops, power cords, textbooks, notes, or any valuables you carry.

You must examine aspects specific to your needs to get the ideal pack for you. We have got everything from large travel packs to little daypacks and everything in between. Consider design, compartmentalization, and sturdiness after you’ve accumulated a sense of how many items you will be carrying. You can also choose a larger bag that fits snuggly down to handle a lower load if you anticipate a shift in a pack of your trip.

Table of Contents

What Is The Difference Between Grad School And College?

Let us begin by describing what a graduate school is. A postgraduate school (also known as a grad school) is an institution where individuals can earn advanced education (such as a master’s or a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.).

A two-year program for an undergrad degree or a four-year program for a bachelor’s degree is available in grad school.

You can get into school with just a high school education; however, you must have a bachelor’s degree to get into graduate school.

One key distinction between graduate school and the university is that you are perceived and acknowledged as a professional at graduate school, and you are supposed to act consequently.

Finally, as a graduate student, you would have much academic research to complete.

Why Should You Trust Us?

After spending 48 hours of research and review of backpacks at (Amazon & other backpacks selling websites) and testing many in-person in various designs and settings, we compiled our discoveries into a list of the finest options for high school and college students in this article. We examined a few of them purely to compile this article. 

Our Winners at a Glance

1. SHRRADOO laptop backpack travel backpacks

This laptop backpack is best among all for several reasons. First, this backpack is super light and super budget-friendly. Second, it has all the state-of-the-art features that any student craves. And lastly, this backpack can last for years thanks to its high-quality polyester.

2. Adidas Striker II Team Backpack

The terms “sturdy, safe, and adaptable” come to mind when describing this Adidas backpack. It has the maximum storage space of any of our bags, and its ventilated and cushioned straps make it quite pleasant to carry. Besides, it also comes with a budget-friendly price tag considering it is an “Adidas.”

3. The North Face women’s school jester laptop backpack

This could be the bag for you if you go jogging or exercise after class. With big pockets on all sides, there is practically nothing you can’t fit in this bag. Moreover, its well-engineered back design keeps your back from straining while you haul your stuff.


Jansport Superbreak One Backpack – Lightweight School Bookbag

Jansport Superbreak One Backpack

Jansport is one of the pioneer brands known for its top-notch packs. This elegant and practical bookbag is equipped with roomy capacity in the top pocket. The characteristic front utility zipper pocket with a designed organizer adds more storage capacity.

These bags are three times stronger than the industry standards for wear and water abrasion resistance, thanks to its coated tough 600 denier fabric. This backpack will always be there for you. It is the perfect 25l backpack because it is neither too big nor too little, with one spacious pocket and one convenient front pocket.

The JanSport Superbreak one is lighter for everyday usage and classic style. This light pack is constantly prepared to face the challenges of the day. Simply put on your gear, take your belongings, and go.

Water-resistant fabrics, a coated lining, and zippers keep your belongings safe and dry. Its ergonomic all-day hauling structure, straight-cut cushioned shoulder straps, padding at the back panel, and webbing pull holder make the Superbreak one daypack a must-have for any grad student. Moreover, it comes in a variety of colors to reflect your style and needs.

You can also read complete review of JANSPORT BIG CAMPUS BACKPACK

Key Features:

  • 2/3 padded back panel
  • Waterproof
  • Front functional pocket with organizer
  • One huge main compartment
  • Web haul handle
  • The polyester lining works perfectly to protect the laptop from impact and scratches
  • There is also a two-compartment mesh within the large pocket
  • The front pocket features a standard bunch of small compartments and a separator
  • The lifetime guarantee of the backpack makes it ideal for long term use
  • It is super light and comfortable to carry around
  • Not enough space

Adidas Striker II Team Backpack – Best Durable

Adidas Striker II Team Backpack

Adidas is a highly sought-after brand for its quality products that last years and years of use. Though the price tags of Adidas products lie at a higher-end then others, this backpack on our list is not so expensive at all. While not costing more than 40 bucks, this stylish and sleek book bag comes with roomy capacity in its three zippered main pockets.

This bag comprises 600 denier polyester that is made to endure rough use. Furthermore, its external tricot-lined media pocket can safely keep your valuables. The cascading style zippered pockets provide a lot of room for your gadgets and books since they are wide enough to carry a 16-inches laptop.

Apart from the lightweight and compact size of the backpack, it is perfect for carrying around. Moreover, the pack’s water-resistant fabric, coupled with a coated lining and zippers to keep your belongings safe and dry in any weather.

 Thanks to its ergonomic structure, cushioned shoulder straps, padding at the back panel, and webbing pull handle, you can easily haul it around your grad school years. The best part is that the striker II team comes in various colors to reflect your style and needs.

Key Features:

  • Three zippered main compartments to cling to your gear.
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel provide comfort.
  • Internal 16″ laptop sleeve.
  • Water-resistant fabric lining inside
  • Mesh pockets at side for water bottle
  • External tricot-lined media pocket can safely store your valuables.
  • Lifetime warranty
  • It is super light and comfortable to carry around
  • Unisex design and different color choices
  • Rugged built to endure years of use
  • Although the bag has big pockets inside pockets, there are not enough compartments for organizing things

High Sierra Loop-Backpack – Best Multi-Compartment

High Sierra Loop-Backpack

We know that you need to carry all your important stuff around your grad school, and for that, you need a huge backpack that goes hand in hand with your stuff storing needs. The high sierra loop backpack is one such bag that can load all of your things while also organizing the items.

Two large compartments and one front compartment of the backpack have mesh separators inside to organize stuff better. About that, you will love the dedicated tech spot tablet sleeve that can keep your gadgets from abrasions and water. The side mesh beverage pockets and attachment clips at the front add more to your hauling needs.

What I liked most about this backpack is its yoke-style, s-shaped mesh cushioned shoulder straps and suspension system. When hauling heavy loads, the suspension system provides comfort by absorbing the impact of weight movement while carrying your belongings.

At the front pocket, you will see a premium organizer to store your to-do list, notepad, key, pencils and pens, and much more. Its bottom compression strap and side straps are just fine for carrying extra gear. You fall in love with its assortment of colors since you can choose what suits you.

Key Features:

  • Huge multi-compartment design with dedicated tech spot tablet sleeve
  • Premium organizer at the front with multiple pockets and key fob
  • Yoke-style, s-shaped mesh padded shoulder straps with suspension system and padded back panel
  • Adjustable compression straps
  • Bottom compression straps to attach extra gear
  • A lot of compartments for storing different goods
  • Well-engineered with a suspension system that provides relief when you carry heavier loads.
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comfortable to carry around
  • A wide array of color choices
  • Long-lasting fabric
  • Compression straps are aimed to snap down and lock gear while carrying
  • No laptop pocket

Tzowla Travel Laptop Backpack – Best Anti-Theft

Tzowla Travel Laptop Backpack

Since you have to complete your research project and need your laptop around you every time, we have a Tzowla laptop backpack that is a laptop carrying a bag and also keeps all your goods. This backpack has a separate laptop compartment to hold a 15.6-inch laptop; however, another backpack variant holds up to 17 inches laptop.

The front compartment with multiple slots, pen pockets, and key fob ring is roomy enough to carry stuff while keeping your belongings organized and accessible. Its USB connection with a built-in cord layout for powering your electrical gadgets via attaching your power bank makes it a go-to bag for every tech-savvy student.

When listening to audio, music, or other media, the earphone connection enables you to enjoy it hands freely. Furthermore, the pillowy inside, high protective border around the zip, and impermeable exterior provide 360° exceptional protection for your smartphone from scratches, bangs, shocks, and accidental drops.

This backpack has an anti-theft design because it has a fixed password lock and robust metal zippers that ensure the safety of your valuables inside. Thanks to its high-quality polyester fabric material, functional luggage strap architecture, comfy, broad padded shoulder strap configuration, it is truly a multipurpose backpack, useful for daily use at university, college, business, and travel.

Key Features:

  • Dedicated laptop sleeve
  • Innovative security lock and charge port design
  • Side pocket with magnetic buckle
  • Shock and bump resistance for gadgets
  • A lot of multiple divider pockets to store different goods
  • Comfortable to carry around thanks to padded back and shoulder
  • Hard-wearing fabric
  • Proper protection for gadgets from accidental drops
  • Compression straps are aimed to snap down and lock gear while carrying
  • It might not take much of your stuff

Adidas Unisex-Adult Excel Backpack – Best Large

Adidas Unisex-Adult Excel

We have another premium quality grad school backpack for you from Adidas. The excel v backpack has the same minimalist and sleek style as the strike II; however, this bag is much wider than the previous. It has four main zipper pockets for a laptop, tablet sleeve, and other stuff.

Inside these pockets, you will find mesh compartments that provide extra storage space. These bags also comprise 600 durable denier polyester. Furthermore, its outer lining in media pockets can safely keep your valuables.

Moreover, the backpack’s water-resistant fabric, coupled with a coated lining and zippers to keep your belongings safe and dry in any weather. The best part is its reflective accent that will let you be seen in the dark. This backpack also has an ergonomic structure that provides maximum comfort.

With the cushioned load spring shoulder straps, padding at the back panel, and webbing pull handle, you can easily haul it around. And again, you can choose from a wide array of colors to match your style. All in all, this backpack can certainly meet your backpack needs during your graduate years.

Key Features:

  • Four zippered compartments to store gadgets and stuff.
  • Load spring padded shoulder straps and back panel provide comfort.
  • Reflective accents
  • Water-resistant fabric lining inside
  • Mesh pockets at both sides for water bottle
  • A lot of compartments inside the main zipper pockets to store stuff
  • Lifetime warranty
  • It is super light and also large
  • Unisex design and different color choices
  • Rugged built to endure years of use
  • A little higher price tag

JIAYOU Girl Geometric Printed Primary, Junior High University School Bag Bookbag Backpack – Best Value Pack

JIAYOU Girl Geometric Printed

The JiaYou girls backpack is an excellent bag for a variety of purposes. To begin with, the backpack’s distinct appearance and geometric patterns will bring your childhood back. Moreover, these backpacks are durable and ideal for everyday school or job usage. They are also suitable for giving as a gift.

These finest bags for graduate school truly stand up to spilled water. They’re comprised of lightweight polyester that repels water and protects the inside. Moreover, it is super light, weighing only half a pound. The airy and anti-sweat shoulder straps which keep your shoulders comfortable will be a blessing.

It also has a lightly padded back and curved straps that keep the straps from pinching under your shoulders. There are numerous zippered pockets and internal compartments for storing items and preventing them from going missing. The large inner chamber, for example, will keep your laptop safe, while the interior pocket has a zipper to keep your belongings secure.

Moreover, the side bottle pockets will hold your hydration bottles. In a nutshell, you can’t go wrong with this unique and convenient backpack. Ultimately, this is the greatest grad school bag that will serve you well throughout your academic career.

Key Features:

  • Comprise of high-end and durable polyester
  • Water-resistant fabric
  • Compressive strength of PVC handle
  • Large capacity and storage space
  • A lot of multiple divider pockets to store different goods
  • Comfortable to carry around thanks to padded back and shoulder
  • Hard-wearing fabric
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Super light and not easy to cause deformation
  • Compression straps are aimed to snap down and lock gear while carrying
  • Zippers are not high quality; however, good backpacks for the low price range

The North Face Women’s Recon – Best For Women

The North Face Women's Recon

Though you might assume that the North Face is not appropriate for the ordinary grad student, bear with us for a moment. Unless there’s one element concerned the recon backpack is famed for, it is extremely durable built. The North Face recon will go hand in hand with your grad school needs. The comfort, elegance, style, and durability all incorporated into this backpack.

The recon is made of the highest quality nylon and comes with a lifelong warranty, so it is safe to assume it is designed to last. It is also constructed with plenty of room in consideration, with a capacity of 30 liters that will keep your laptop safe in its fleece-lined main section, among many other things.

It is also quite convenient to hold because of the flex vent suspension system, which uses special shoulder straps and a mesh back panel to reduce tension on your shoulders while also providing excellent ventilation across your back.

Two extended mesh water bottle pockets work as either water bottle holders or multi-use pockets. Besides, the front compartment has an extra cushioned tablet sleeve and zip pockets. The best thing is that this backpack is spill-resistant, thanks to its 1680d ballistic nylon boot. The chest strap also keeps the backpack snug while you carry it. Finally, with its reflective elements, you will be guaranteed to be recognized whether you’re commuting home late in the evening.

Key Features:

  • Comprise of high-end and durable polyester
  • Water-resistant fabric
  • Flexvent suspension system
  • Two side mesh water bottle pockets serve as multi-use pockets
  • A lot of multiple divider pockets to store different goods
  • Comfortable to carry around thanks to padded back and shoulder
  • Hard-wearing fabric
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Super light and not easy to cause deformation
  • Compression straps are aimed to snap down and lock gear while carrying
  • Not very roomy

Volher Laptop Backpack – Best for Traveling

Volher Laptop Backpack

We have another failsafe bag with lots of space to carry your goods. This backpack is a must if you are a frequent traveler since it is designed to keep up your stuff while commuting. This back is perfect for traveling because its luggage strap secures the pack to the luggage/suitcase and slides over the vertical handle frame for easier transport.

Moreover, safeguarding your valuables from thieves is no problem thanks to its secret anti-theft compartment on the back. Apart from safety, this USB backpack provides a more practical way of charging your device when traveling, with a built-in USB charger on the exterior and a built-in connecting cord on the inside.

About its storage, a dedicated laptop compartment holds a 15.6-inch laptop along with 15-, 14-, and 13-inch MacBooks/laptops. In addition, this backpack remains comfy and functional with its optimum back support. Its comfortable airflow back design features thick yet plush multi-panel perforated cushioning and breathable and adjustable shoulder straps that help ease back and shoulder tension.

With its headphone jack, you can listen to your favorite tracks hands-free while on the move. Moreover, its metal zippers and water-resistant and durable polyester material make it one of the most durable backpacks. All in all, it can be the perfect gift for any grad student who frequently commutes.

Key Features:

  • Comprise of water-resistant and durable polyester fabric
  • Backpack with charge port
  • The hidden theft proof pocket designed on the back
  • The luggage strap on the back is perfect for sliding over the luggage tube
  • Dedicated pockets and ports for all gadgets
  • Comfortable to carry with padded and breathable shoulder straps and back
  • Anti-theft hidden pocket
  • Spill-resistant
  • A belt to affix it to luggage or suitcase
  • Highly durable
  • The weight of the backpack is quite heavy

The North Face Women’s School Jester Laptop Backpack – Best Stylish Backpack

The North Face Women's School Jester

We have another North Face backpack on our list for a good reason. This iconic jester pack has been updated to include a scratch-resistant laptop sleeve, easier organizing pockets, and the ability to withstand outside elements. The best feature is that the American chiropractic association has given it its seal of approval.

This backpack goes hand in hand with your comfort needs. For ergonomic, vented support, the flex vent suspension system includes a flexible yoke made of proprietary injection-molded and adjustable shoulder straps, a cushioned vented back panel, and a breathable lumbar panel that let you walk around comfortably.

This 26 l backpack comprises 600d or 300d recycled polyester, making it hard to wear. In addition, with a non-PFC durable water repellent finish, you can keep your stuff from getting wet during harsh weather. With secure-zip pockets, an iPad pocket, and a key fob, the front compartment streamlines the organization of goods while keeping storage capacity.

It also has two water bottle pockets around it and a front bungee system for extra storage. So you get lots of room for your stuff. Besides, its top handles make gripping easier, and a chest strap adds added support. This backpack can be ideal for females who conveniently carry their stuff around school.

Key Features:

  • Front accessory pocket with integrated key clip
  • Bungee organization to embrace pieces of stuff that need to be easily accessible
  • Two-sided mesh water bottle pockets
  • Detachable hip belt for extra support.
  • Great support to carry more stuff
  • Simple and classic design
  • The front pocket of the backpack has space for pens/pencils/or a small notebook
  • Bump resistant laptop sleeve
  • Comes in different color assortments
  • Water-resistant
  • The side pockets are not too wide

SHRRADOO Laptop Backpack Travel Backpacks – Best Overall

SHRRADOO Laptop Backpack

The unpleasant truth is that theft is a widespread issue on college campuses around the country. While there is no single solution that can protect you from theft, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Getting a bag like SHRRADOO’s anti-theft backpack, which is deliberately made to minimize the effects of theft, is one such solution. It has an anti-theft pocket concealed from sight somewhere in the pack, which is built to handle your most precious items, such as wallets and electronics.

Further than that, the backpack proves to be a strong choice for grad students, with a built-in external USB charger, multi-panel back cushioning for ventilation, adjustable shoulder straps, and a roomy packing section that can accommodate computers up to 15.6 inches in size.

The back’s lightness is the next best thing, as it will not slow you down on campus. A baggage strap allows you to put your travel backpack over the vertical handle tube of your luggage for easier handling. The SHRRADOO laptop backpack is water-resistant and composed of extremely sturdy polyester, so you do not need to worry about burglars or the weather.

Key Features:

  • Luggage attaching band
  • USB port design and headphone jack
  • Multi-panel breathable mesh padding at back
  • An anti-theft pocket on the lower back
  • Quality material and elegant design
  • Thoughtfully placed paddings at back
  • Maximum organizer compartments
  • Lightweight with more space for stuff
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Not completely waterproof

Things to Consider When Getting the Best Backpack for Grad School—Buying Guide

It would be best not to buy any ordinary pack for your grad school years. This is because it may not be pleasant to use or fit all of your things. So, here are a few things to consider when looking for the best backpacks for grad school:

1. Storage capacity

This is self-evident that you want a bag with just enough space for your belongings. You will find that if you have too much room, you will start stuffing it with rubbish. However, if it is cramped, you will over pack or carry certain items in your hand. Consider a bag with outer sections such as a water bottle sleeve and a flat papers pouch. Additional compartments in your backpack would allow you to avoid searching through your belongings. Several units are also useful for making the most of available space.

2. External compartment(s)

There should not be a single major interior compartment with zippers in your bag since it would make it difficult to get to small items like your wallet and keys. So, consider external compartments like a water-bottle holder and flat paperwork pouch. Having exterior rooms in your backpack would save you from digging through your stuff. Multiple compartments are also ideal for maximizing space.

3. The look and color

The backpack’s color and shape are the foremost things that folks notice. As a result, your bag should be a reflection of your style. And, because backpacks come in a variety of hues, you may find one that matches most of your outfits. However, do not be scared to experiment with bold colors and patterns. It would be best if you did whatever you wanted because it is enjoyable.

4. Durability

Anyone would prefer a durable backpack. As a result, you should think about the sturdiness of the bag you want to get.

Examine the backpack’s construction for a quick way to tell if it will endure a long time. Is it made of sturdy cloth, and is it water-resistant? What about its hems and stitching? Are they sturdy? This way, you can get to know if your backpack is hard-wearing or not. Moreover, look for high-quality polyester of preferably 300 do 600 d to ensure you get a tear-resistant pack.

5. The straps and padding

Your bag ought to be convenient to carry for lengthy periods. As a result, you should think about the strap width and cushioning. You will want one with wide straps. On the other hand, a chest strap would be useful if a bundle to haul. You must be able to adjust the straps at any time in either instance. Padding on your backpack could make it much easier to carry. It would be simple to grab one with a hand. Besides shoulder straps, you also need to look for an ergonomic back design. The well-thought-back design with adequate padding provides optimum comfort while you carry it. Moreover, the even distribution of backpack weight across your back provides no pressure on the spine.

6. Water resistance

You could be caught in the rain or snowfall at any point during the semester, so having a water-resistant bag is essential. Such packs are usually water-resistant materials like 300 d or 600 d polyester and nylon. Take into account that water-resistant does not equate to waterproof, so try to limit your bag’s exposure to the elements. Water-resistant materials are semi-permeable, meaning they will not get wet. If little water, however, if you dump them in a water bucket, it will certainly get wet.  Also, seek a material that is thick but not too heavy. Bear this in view; choose weatherproof or includes a rain cover.

7. Laptop sleeve size

It is no surprise that backpacks are usually classified by the size of laptops they can accommodate in today’s world. To find the proper fit for a pack, determine the exact measurements of your computer. These dimensions will not only help you choose the right model, but they will also ensure that your computer is secure in its allotted compartment.

8. Lockable zippers

Always double-check that each compartment has its zippers so you can secure your belongings. If you have any important items in your bag, you will require an anti-theft locking mechanism to keep them safe from thieves.

9. Special features

If this is important to you, look into the particular characteristics of the backpack you’re considering. Some feature slots for your headphone cords to slide through, whereas others contain power banks and data cords. They’ll most likely cost a few dollars more than traditional backpacks. However, having one may be preferable to recharging your smartphone in your pack.

10. The price and warranty

It is pointless to spend money on a bag that does not match your needs. So, before you invest, make sure you compare the price versus the features. It is also a good idea to look into the warranty on the bag.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

The Best Backpack for Grad School (FAQs)

What is the life expectancy of a good pack?

A solid backpack should be able to withstand the wear and tear of your four years of school, as well as your weekends’ excursions or home visits.

What should I avoid bringing in my backpack?

With all of the hype about their big capacities, we’re sure you assume you can stuff blades in them. So, here are a few items that should never be found in your grad school backpack:

Open food

We understand you will want to munch on them later, so leave them open. However, you have become a college student. Keeping open foodstuffs in your backpack, such as a packet of crisps, is a bad idea. If you carry them in your bag, be prepared to clean them. And if it is not washable, you may have to suffer up your blunder.


If your bag may not have a headset hole, you should not even place your headphones in it. They tend to intertwine. As a result, clutching your headphones or putting them over your neck is preferable.


They may not appear to be a huge concern, but they can spoil and stink up your backpack. Just wish they do not destroy your textbooks as well.

Can I wash my backpack in the washing machine?

Most backpacks may be washed in the machine. Most individuals, though, prefer to launder them by hand. So, when you toss it in the washing machine, double-check the label. In any case, we advise you to stay away from aggressive cleaning chemicals.

What should a backpack’s weight be?

In practice, a fully laden backpack should not exceed 20% of your body weight. So keep this in mind when taking it since it will help relieve back stress.

Is it healthy to carry a heavy backpack?

Is it healthy for you to carry a big backpack, or does it increase muscle? Carrying hefty bags while physically unfit is not smart since it requires more strength and energy to handle such packs.

Should I get a water-resistant backpack?

We highly recommend you get it. Having some water resistance is essential irrespective of spending your days indoors or outside.

It might be due to weather or an unlucky spilling that could occur to anyone, and the last thing you desire is for your laptop and notes, including all of your important work, to be wrecked.

Final Verdict:

After reading such a thorough review and buyer’s guide of the best backpack for grad school, we believe that you would now be able to select the one that best fits your style. Also, keep an eye out for the characteristics that you require so that you can have a fantastic time on all of your excursions and experiences. We have already created a comprehensive guide to the best bug-out bags if you want one for your outdoor excursions.

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude for going over our review of these backpacks. We wish you luck in finding the perfect item for your requirements. Now, make an informed decision and make the most of your college years with our best backpack for graduate school assortment.

We have also published a comprehensive shopping guide for the Tumi backpacks. If you need one, look over it. We hope you get the best out of your college years!