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10 Best Messenger Bags for School

Messenger Bags are seemingly becoming a popular choice for carrying books and laptops to school. A recent study from students at University of California, Long Beach shows that messenger bags are the second-most popular means of carrying books to school. In this article, we look at the Best Messenger Bags for School- the same Messenger Bags that made them a popular choice for school.

Note: This is the most comprehensive list of Best Messenger Bags for School and Work you will find on the web.

If you think we missed a messenger bag that deserves to be on the list but isn’t included, please fill free to let us know using the comments section down below.

In this article, we break down the Best Messenger Bags for School into three categories based on the price of the bags. We then dive deeper into the specific bags mentioning the pros and cons of owning one. So, let’s not waste your time and get into the list of Best Messenger Bags for School.

Table of Contents

Best Messenger Bag for School Under $50

Let’s start with a price range that most of the students are comfortable with- Messenger Bags under $50. And this is the price range we feel that an average student should be spending on a new Messenger Bag for school.

Sure, the more you pay, the better bags you get. However, the return on your investment is low. So, unless you have all the money on the world to spend on a messenger bag for school, we highly recommend you buy one of these messenger bags under $50 instead of getting one that costs north of $200. 

1) NEWHEY Men’s’ Vintage Leather Briefcase-Satchel Shoulder Laptop Bag


First on this list of Best Messenger Bags for school under $50, we have the Leather Messenger Bag from Newhey. This is one prime example that reminds you getting good messenger bags is not always about paying the large bucks. You can get a good looking messenger bag with convenient features for as little as $50.

Of course, paying more has its own advantages, but, for the record, you can get one in a budget. This bag is made out of superior horse cowhide leather and is coated with a water-resistant canvas for durability. So, it looks a bit vintage-styled, which might tickle your fancy.

This messenger bag has 9 pockets in total, and you can fit in up to a 15.6″ laptop inside. The strap is removable if you also wish to carry it as a briefcase. The magnetic snap and belt strap keeps everything inside secure, too.

You can choose from five different types of colors, but the brown and the khaki colors look best.


  • Priced really well
  • Available in various colors
  • Can fit a 15-inch Laptop comfortably
  • Unisex


  • Magnetic Snaps could be stronger

 Take a look at this messenger bag with updated pricing here>>

2) ibagbar Crossbody Briefcase-Satchel Working Bag

water-resistant-messenger-bag-school-men-womenThe ibagbg Messenger Bag for School is undoubtedly the best messenger bag you can get for under $30. Looking at the ratings and customer reviews on Amazon, I wondered why this bag was so cheap.

When the messenger bag reached our office, I figured out exactly why. The credit goes to its looks and the fact that it is water-resistant- all for such a low price. With 9 pockets in total, you can fit most things you would want to- from your notebooks to bottles, umbrellas, and up to a 14″ laptop. The laptop zone comes padded for safety, so, you don’t have to worry. When you get this messenger bag, you really don’t need to get an additional sleeve to protect your laptop. 

The construction is heavy-duty oxford fabric which is water-resistant. And the synthetic leather under it, gives it a more classy look and that premium feel, on a budget. This one is a unisex bag, so, it’s fitting for both men and women, and it goes perfectly for schools to work and any kind of casual outings.

It is available in four different colors, out of which, the Grey is recommended.


  • Priced really well
  • Very Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Padded Laptop Compartment
  • Unisex


  • Doesn’t look very premium
  • Limited Color Options

 Check out this crossbody messenger bag for under $30 here>>

3) CoolBELL Convertible Multi-Functional Messenger Bag


If you don’t mind a bit of bulk on your messenger bag for it to be able to fit in more things, this may be your pick on this list of Best Messenger Bags for School. It is a multi-functional messenger bag that can also transform into a backpack or a briefcase if you want. Handy, isn’t it? This one also features more room for storage. There are four outside pockets that are convenient enough to organize the items you want to carry. Also, if you’ve got a big 17″ laptop, this one can fit that too!

However, if you are someone who tosses your bags around and doesn’t bother cleaning it, I recommend you to get a darker color of this bag. I personally went with this Grey color and I have to admit- keeping this messenger bag clean is quite a work.

The way it is designed, it is roomy enough to be used for short travels as well, and if you get tired of carrying it a single way, you can change the way you carry it too. The convenience it offers is kinda unbelievable for the price you pay for it.

This Messenger Bag from CoolBell is available in a whopping 15 colors. I am pretty sure you will like at least one of them.


  • A lot of compartments
  • Premium Design with a two-tone finish
  • Available in whopping 16 colors
  • Padded Laptop Compartment


  • Can be difficult to clean
  • Can be too large for some students to carry

 Check out all the color options and updated price here>>

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Best Messenger Bag for School Under $100

Now, if you want a more premium messenger bag, and don’t mind paying a bit high price, then, the ones below are for you. There are always some advantages when you pay more – be it the quality, or simply, the brand value.

4) Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag


The brand Timbuk2 (link to our article on whether TimBuk2 bags are worth the money), being a household name when it comes to messenger bags and backpacks, would be a sure shot to make it into this list of Best Messenger Bags for School.

Timbuk2 is a premium brand, meaning that they are a bit on the high-shelf when it comes to price, but they do not let you down. This Command Laptop Messenger Bag is the same, from the looks to comfort and convenience, which can fit up to a 15″ laptop.

The construction is fully Polyester, making it darn durable. Also, the bag has access points in the sides so that you can access your power brick or cords easily. In addition, there are side-entry pockets for accessing the contents without undoing the flap. And the flap is kept secured by Tensioned Aluminum Hooks for quick and secure closure.

Sure, you are paying a little more but let’s be real here. Timbuk2 will certainly last longer than a no-brand Chinese messenger bag. In addition, the after-sales service on the Timbuk2 bags is a lot better than most cheaper messenger bags.

The Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag is available in quite a few colors. If that wasn’t enough, it’s available in different sizes.


  • Timbuk2 is a reputable brand
  • Lots of Color and Size Options
  • Made out of 100% Polyester
  • Comfortable to carry for an extended period


  • The zipper isn’t smooth and stops in-between
  • No padded laptop compartment

 Check out the size and color options by clicking here>>

5) Samsonite Columbian Leather Flapover Messenger Bag


Samsonite is also another one of popular names when it comes to backpacks and luggage. So, finding one from the company should come as no surprise in this list of Best Messenger Bags for School. And this one comes at a price tag that wouldn’t really hurt any school students, either. With a genuine leather construction, it’s been treated minimally to prevent any discoloration so that your bag will still appear new after a few school years.

The shoulder strap is padded for comfort and is also removable if you want to use it like a briefcase. Also, you can fit in up to a 15″ laptop in here, so, carrying laptops is no issue if you require that in your class. It can comfortably fit the MacBook Pro 15 as well as the Dell XPS 15.

It’s available in 4 different colors, and I recommend you go for the ‘Espresso’ one.


  • A lot of bag for the money
  • Looks and feels premium
  • Available in various colors
  • Fits up to 15.6-inch Laptop
  • 3-year warranty


  • The bag strap has quality-control issues
  • Can be too heavy for some

 Have a look at this bag and all the color options here>>

6) Cuero DHK Vintage Leather Messenger Bag

dhk-vintage-leather-messenger-bag-premium-schoolIf you want to feel like Indiana Jones, then, this bag might be the closest thing to that. This DHK 18 Messenger Bag features quite a classical utility bag design, and with its large size, fits a lot of stuff in. This large bag has three compartments under the flap – large enough for even big sized laptops of 17″, any kind of files or cramming in a lot of textbooks or notes.

The leather construction only adds to its vintage looks. And the outer pockets are perfect for storing small utility items, like change, or pens, or keys. Also, the strap is padded for additional comfort as well. It just might turn a few heads.

You can also get this in a smaller 16″ size. Unfortunately, there are no color options. What you see is what you get.


  • Priced really well
  • Good Design with excellent quality straps
  • Sufficient Shoulder Padding
  • Excellent design


  • Has an unusual oil-like odor for the first few weeks

 Get this Cool Vintage Messenger Bag here>>

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Best Messenger Bag for School under $150

So, when you are buying a messenger bag for School for over $100, you know things are getting serious. This section of the messenger bags is where to look if you want your school bag to last you quite a while- probably beyond your schooling period. Here, you’re not just paying for durability, you’re also paying for added style and more comfort on your shoulders.

7) VMATE Genuine Leather Briefcase-Messenger Bag

genuine-leather-mens-messenger-bagThe VMate Genuine Leather, as the name of the bag suggests, is made out of full genuine grain leather. Not only that, this messenger bag is a 100% handmade product and you can feel it when you hold it in your hands.

The bag has a really professional and trendy appearance. But it’s not just the looks. The build is what makes this messenger bag so special. Crafted from pure and fully genuine grain leather, this one is also decorated with high-grade hardware. And the combination seems to have paid off. This is a bag that looks good on anyone – student, professor, officer, and beyond.

Since this messenger bag is hand-made, it screams craftsmanship all over. And I think that is what makes it a versatile companion for work, school, university or leisure. In terms of size, this bag can fit 17″ laptops inside. And the good thing is that the laptop compartment is padded for extra protection of your laptop. On the front, you get two large easy-access pockets, which is a standard feature.

Most of all, I like how professional this bag looks, yet how it seems to fit for casual use.

Like some of the messenger bags on this list of Best Messenger Bags for School, this bag too is available in limited color options.


  • Top-notch quality
  • Good feel in the hand
  • Color options available
  • 100% Hand-made


  • Laptop compartment is too large even for a 17-inch laptop
  • Leather is too porous

 Check this messenger bag out here>>

8) Augus Leather Business Messenger Bag


This Augus Leather Messenger Bag is specifically designed for men. It’s large, it’s heavy and it’s masculine. While this bag is designed for business travel purposes, you can definitely wear it to school.

It is great for carrying to school since you can fit in a lot of things in this bag- from your gym wear to a lot of laptops. This bag will look great on those who are macho and are muscular.

It can fit up to 15″ laptops and the inner lining is done with a soft cotton cloth. So, it’s a pretty safe bet for those electronics inside it. Also, the outer leather is treated so that it is pretty difficult to scratch and endure scuffs as well. And the zippers have the YKK design to ensure quality and reliability.

This leather messenger bag is available in Brown and Coffee color. I personally went with the Black color option but it’s your personal preference here.


  • Made out of 100% full-grain leather
  • High-quality zippers with smooth operation
  • Highly adjustable and removable padded shoulder strap
  • Great after-sales support


  • The brand value is low
  • Too expensive for a non-handmade messenger bag

 Take a look at this Travel Messenger Bag here>>

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Best Messenger Bag for School under $300

$300 Messenger Bag for a school? Sounds crazy, right? Turns out not so much.

Well, I would never put down $300+ on a school Messenger bags but it looks like quite a few students don’t mind paying a hefty amount of cash on a messenger bag.

At the end of the day, if a $300+ messenger bag makes sense for you, I really don’t think I will be able to stop you. People pay a premium for bags from Osprey, Bosca, and Lowepro and feel they are worth the money. So, it makes sense to buy a premium messenger bag for over $300, I guess.

Note: I don’t own or have used the Bag No.9 and Bag No.10 on this list- simply because I can’t afford to buy them just for a review. However, these bags have good reviews on the Internet and are quite reputable. That being said, I can’t comment much about their feel in-hand.

9) Kenneth-Cole De-Port-Ure Leather Portfolio Messenger Bag

expensive-messenger-bag-schoolKenneth-Cole is a premium bag manufacturer, hence the expensive price tag. But that also makes it one of the best messenger bags to have, which is why it’s on this list. Starting with the construction, this bag is made out of Colombian Leather, which is a high-quality genuine leather- much better than your average genuine cowhide. And in terms of aesthetics, it might not turn any heads, but it sure will feel great on your hands and fingers.

The bag can fit up to 16″ laptops, for which, there is a padded computer pocket. Also, you get a separate padded tablet pocket as well as an open-top accessory pocket. And on the outside, you’re no short on zippered pockets, either. As for the strap, you can also safely hide it in a hidden full-length zipper pocket on the outside. A pretty handy feature, if you ask me.

However, this bag is only available in Black- at least for now. The price is actually $400, but there’s this discount available at the checkout, which will get you the bag under $300.

Check out this Premium Leather Messenger Bag for School here>>

10) Bosca Dolce Messenger Bag


Priced at over $500, the Bosca Dolce Messenger Bag isn’t something that you will see students carrying often to the classroom. This bag is recommended only for those who take fashion really seriously. With this bag, you are paying more for the brand than you are paying for the materials used.

But that’s not to say, the quality of this messenger bag isn’t top-notch. In fact, it’s the opposite. The Bosca leather is made in Italy using natural vegetable tannins. Unlike most leather messenger bags that wear out with time, the Bosca leather messenger bags wear in. What this means is that the bag will look better as it ages.

Bosca is a brand with heritage. The brand that started in 1911 is now a multi-million brand that sells premium handbags. One thing worth mentioning about these bags is that they hold their value really well for a long time. You can buy one today and sell it for MSRP or more after a few years. You can check out our Why are Designer Handbags so expensive article to know why premium bags cost as much as they do.

Check out the Dolce Messenger Bag here>>

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FAQs for Messenger Bags

1) Is it Cool to wear Messenger Bags to School?

If you’re talking fashion, definitely! Messenger bags can even be more fashionable than your average backpack. You just need to wear it confidently and things will look better than you expect it will.

And if you’re talking about if Messenger bags will fit everything you need to, most of them will fit as much as an average backpack. But if you have to lug around heavy stuff, a backpack is of preference, because with a messenger bag, you carry weight on only one side, which can be bad for your shoulder.

2) Do Messenger Bags have space for Laptops?

Yes, most of them do. Laptops have become so common for everyone these days that it’s almost mandatory for most kinds of bags to feature such space. But you have to be careful while choosing the messenger bag because most come for the average-sized 15″ laptops. You have to take into account your laptop size too.

I also recommend you to check whether the messenger bag you are getting has a padded laptop compartment or not. If it doesn’t, it’s a good idea to get a laptop sleeve to protect your laptop.

3) How to wear a Messenger Bag at School?

Well, wearing a Messenger Bag for School is pretty straightforward. There are 2 ways to do so.

  1. You can either sling it straight on one shoulder which means, you can’t be carrying a lot of heavy stuff around on it. It is mostly suitable for casual strolls or things like that.
  2. Cross-slug it, i.e. while keeping the strap to one shoulder, bring the bag to the other under your arm. This is a more common method of carrying a messenger bag as it also makes for a convenient weight-distribution. Plus, no matter if it’s heavy or light, this method suits all.

Don’t forget to rotate the bag to your backside while riding a bike or motorcycle though. And I hope you’re not asking about fashion tips on carrying messenger bags.

4) How big should a messenger bag be for school?

Well, that depends on what you’re studying , or how much weight you carry into your class. If a laptop is of the absolute need to you, you might not need all your textbooks and notebooks. So, a good laptop messenger bag will do for you – and that too depends on the size of your laptop. If you have to lug around all your notebooks, make sure you get a one with a thicker and solid base to be able to carry all that weight.

However, in most cases, a medium-sized 16″ messenger bag is good enough. You’ll only need an 18″ one if you have a large 17″ laptop, and I suggest not going for smaller ones than 16″, because, it’s better to be safe than sorry when you need that space.

5) What is the Best Messenger Bag for school?

There’s no one need fits all messenger bag for school. But if you have gone through our list in detail, we are pretty sure that you will get what you want.

While the list does contain a few of my personal favorites and recommendations, there are things you should look out for while purchasing a messenger bag.

The first, and most important is the size and weight. The second- the messenger bag should have some form of water-resistance. You will be carrying your laptop or notebooks which are prone to water damage, so, that’s important.

Then, you can look for comfort, I guess or put comfort in the second place, your call. So, it depends on your preference. And even though you can get some good bags for cheap, don’t forget to look at them as an investment. Buying a quality messenger bag will always be a good decision because they can last for years without maintenance.

So, there you go. These were the Best Messenger Bags for School. Which messenger bag did you like the most? Let us know about the bag in the comments section down below.

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