Best Bags For The 2023 Semester

Although the end of every year may reward students with time off and a much needed break after finals, January has students gearing up for the imminent 2023 spring semester. While returning to campus can be rough, loading up on school accessories can be a thrill. For example, students can start the new semester with a new backpack or bag to carry all of their essentials, and the following options—which vary by price, style, size, and material—are suitable choices.

  1. Herschel Supply Company
Source: Herschel

Well-known for their backpacks of timeless, simple designs, Herschel Supply Co. is a reliable brand for students who are looking to find sturdy, comfortable, and reasonable-sized bags.

Under its online “backpack” shop category, Herschel offers 11 different styles of backpacks, the most popular being the “classic.” Sold in six shades, such as black, ash rose, and navy, the “classic” features a pocket with two zippers for bigger items, a front storage pocket–perfect for smaller essentials like keys, chargers, and gum–and two water bottle pockets. The most reasonable sizes for students would be the “standard” for $55, which can fit a Macbook Pro, or the X-Large for $65, which can fit a device plus multiple binders and folders. 

  1. The North Face 
Source: The North Face

For hefty and durable fits, students should browse through backpacks of The North Face, a recreation products company. The recon backpack for $99 has room for an abundant amount of materials, including a dedicated laptop sleeve to keep the device safe and secure. Additionally, its water bottle pockets and external fleece-lined and mesh pockets offer extra compartments to fit personal essentials. The recon even contains buckle straps to keep the backpack secure while being worn. Although bulky, the product is designed to last a long time and can be easily reused for more than one semester.

  1. Messenger Bags
Source: The Real Leather Company

Messenger bags offer a more casual and leisurely design with their crossbody straps. For those looking to carry only a few items around campus, messenger bags might be a better option than backpacks. 

Affordable messenger bags can be found on Army Surplus World’s website. Its “Vintage Paratrooper Messenger Bag” comes in four shades—khaki, black, army green, and brown—for $24.99. The canvas bag is basic in design yet convenient for carrying school items with separate compartments to organize them. The adjustable shoulder straps are also perfect for the user’s comfortability. 

More costly options can be found at name-brand companies such as Michael Kors. The “Manhattan Medium Contrast-Trim Leather Satchel” for $199 has not only a retro neon color design, but is also made from “smooth Italian leather” and “stud hardware.” “The Daily” messenger bag found on “The Real Leather Company’s” website is also a refined and appropriate product to fit all school essentials. 

  1. Tote Bags
Source: Marc Jacobs

Tote bags are a trendy and chic way to carry around school essentials. Although not the most comfortable for carrying larger items or sturdy enough to withstand heavy textbooks, tote bags are the most contemporary option.

The most common tote bag is the Marc Jacobs edition, offered for $195. On social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok, users show how they customize and organize their Marc Jacobs bag, using products like organizer inserts on Amazon. The product is well-known for its size, simple design, and comfortability. 

More affordable and basic tote bags can be found at Urban Outfitters, such as the “Bdg Serena Medium Tote Bag” for $39 which can fit smaller school items, such as planners, pencil cases, and mini iPads. Other tote bags made of corduroy can be found on Amazon for less than $15. If students want to get creative, they can even head to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s to purchase a blank canvas bag and decorate their own tote designs with paint.