College is a whirlwind. You’ll go from the local coffee shop to lectures, to post-lecture drinks, and everything in between.
You need a college bag that will hold everything you need. It should be chic enough to work with any outfit and practical enough to hold all your college essentials.
Invest in a practical, durable, and chic bag that can carry all your college essentials (Credit: Sebra / Shutterstock)
Investing in a bag for college is one of the first things you should do. It’s worth putting a little money into your college bags. The right college purse can help you transition seamlessly into the workplace or become your signature piece.
We’re sharing the 10 most popular purse brands for college students that will hold everything from your laptop to your late-night study snacks.
1. L.L.Bean: Classic Durability Meets Campus Chic
You’ll never walk through a college campus without instantly spotting an L.L.Bean tote bag. L.L.Bean is one of the go-to brands for college students, from its handcrafted bags to zip-up tops.
The famous L.L.Bean ‘Boat and Tote’ bag was launched in 1944 and has remained the brand’s best-selling product.
It was originally designed to carry ice with a heavy-duty design that works for commuting, studying, or hitting the beach. Made in the USA, this college bag is tested to hold up to 500 pounds.
Originally designed to haul ice, the Boat and Tote bag is handcrafted in Maine from cotton canvas and is tested to hold up to 500 pounds
Make this tote your own by adding your initials using L.L.Bean’s customization options. You can also choose between regular and long handles to fit your lifestyle needs.
The ‘Boat and Tote’ is available with six trim options, including black and red. The diversity of color options means you can choose one that will transition seamlessly from one season to the next.
The L.LBean ‘Boat and Tote’ is a budget-friendly option and the perfect gift for any college student. The bag is a long-term classic and is having a viral moment on TikTok.
L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Zip Top Bag, $44.95 on Zappos
The Boat and Tote bag is available in a variety of trim options and in an open-top and zip-top designs
2. Telfar Bags: Where Trendy Design Meets Campus Functionality
Your college purse doesn’t have to be a backpack or cotton tote bag. You’ll often find the latest trending bags on campus, including the cult favorite Telfar shopping bag. It’s a college purse that’s worth splurging on without breaking the bank.
Telfar’s best-selling shopping bag is available in a rainbow of colors with seasonal focuses on tones and shades. The current Telfar shopping bags focus on earthy hues of sage green, dark olive, and tan.
Telfar Shopping Bag, $150 – $257
Vegan-friendly, functional, and versatile, Telfar’s shopping bags sell out fast, but you can always sign up for Telfar’s mailing list to get email updates whenever they drop something
The large Telfar shopping bag doubles as a carry-on with double straps for extra versatility. Keep your daily essentials organized with internal pockets and a laptop-sized compartment with a zipper closure for extra security.
Choose a Telfar bag for college in a neutral color that you can wear for an internship while traveling or sightseeing in the city.
3. Longchamp’s Le Pliage: The Timeless College Companion
The Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ is a timeless bag that works for every stage of your life. It’s a universally adored style, from college students to frequent flyers and working professionals.
The ‘Le Pliage’ has been gracing fashion magazines for almost 30 years, making it a generational icon. It’s an everyday bag that will become your most trusted companion. The original Le Pliage is a college staple with strong celebrity credentials—everyone from the Princess of Wales to Vanessa Hudgens and Alessandra Ambrosio.
The Longchamp Le Pliage tote is made from nylon with leather trims and is spacious enough to carry more than just your laptop
The bag’s success has led to an extensive ‘Le Pliage’ range with other bags and accessories. The ‘Le Pliage Original’ large tote bag is available in a rainbow of colors and is one of the best options for carrying notebooks, laptops, and books.
Do you want a hands-free option? Try the Le Pliage backpack with its easy-to-clean fabric and foldable design. Longchamp is a brand that offers investment bags that will last you through college and beyond.
For a hands-free option, Longchamp also offers the Le Pliage style in a backpack design
4. Fjallraven Kanken: The Rugged Yet Stylish Student’s Choice
Backpacks are a go-to choice for college purses. Streetwear means backpacks aren’t just for lectures and study dates at the library.
Fjallraven is a Swedish outdoor lifestyle brand famous for its backpacks, designed to withstand even the toughest winters. The brand’s ‘Kanken’ backpack is a college student favorite and is all over social media.
Available in an array of colors, the Kanken backpack has grown from a schoolyard staple to a fashion icon, made from rugged Vinylon fabric with a comfortable foam back panel, dual top handles, and adjustable shoulder straps
This water-resistant backpack was designed in 1978 as a versatile style for commuting, heading to school, or trekking up a mountain. The vinylon fabric is easy to clean and lightweight, with a PE foam seat cushion in the interior back pocket for added protection.
Fjallraven offers a dedicated 15” laptop size ideal for college students with a separate padded compartment.
One of Fjallraven’s latest offers for students is that you can customize the Kanken backpack by choosing the colors for every aspect, from the handles to the external pockets. Customized backpacks take up to four weeks to arrive.
Fjallraven Kanken 15-inch Laptop Bag, $119.95 on Zappos
A 15-inch version of the original Kanken backpack that can hold your daily essentials, including your laptops
5. LeSportsac: Unleash Your Playful Side with Every Carry
Bring quirky trends and functionality together by choosing LeSportsac as your college purse. The brand frequently collaborates with household names like Disney, Peter Rabbit, and Nintendo.
LeSportsac Backpack, $106 – $108 on Amazon
LeSportsac is known for its signature ripstop nylon parachute material and bold, playful prints
A LeSportsac bag is an easy way to show off your personality at college, with dozens of bag styles to choose from. You can find a college purse from LeSportsac for under $150, making it one of the most affordable options.
6. Vera Bradley: Quintessential Quilted Bags for the College Lifestyle
Did you even go to college if you didn’t buy a Vera Bradley bag? The American brand is synonymous with all things college lifestyle, from travel bags to laptop cases.
Vera Bradley Campus Backpack, $125 on Zappos
The Vera Bradley Campus Backpack is designed from machine washable signature quilted cotton and features multiple compartments for easy organization
Vera Bradley now collaborates with dozens of colleges across America, allowing you to customize your favorite bags and accessories with your school logo, mascot, or colors. Participating colleges include the University of Florida, the University of Michigan, and Virginia Tech.
Vera Bradley’s best-selling college purses include the campus backpack and ‘Vera’ tote, both available at $120. This American brand is the quintessential go-to for college students, both on and off campus.
Vera Bradley has collaborated with several colleges, including University of Michigan and University of Kentucky, allowing you to customize and proudly rep your own team
7. Lululemon: Merging Athleisure with Academic Essentials
Don’t overlook athleisure brands when shopping for college purses. Brands like Lululemon have best-selling bags with a minimalistic design ideal for college classes and commuting.
The ‘City Adventurer’ backpack is designed to keep you organized on the go with its water bottle pocket and discreet design. This college backpack features reinforced strap construction to lighten the load on your back.
Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack, $98 – $128
The City Adventurer is made from water-repellent fabric and comes with an expandable pocket, an exterior padded pocket, and a bottle pocket
You can use the exterior padded pocket to fit up to a 16” laptop, while an expandable pocket is a perfect spot for your workout gear or a backup sweater.
Take your essentials with you on the go around campus with the ‘Everywhere Belt Bag,’ Lululemon’s best-selling purse.
Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag, $61 – $90 on Amazon
Carry your essentials with you anywhere on the campus with the Everywhere Belt Bag
8. Kate Spade: Elegance and Versatility for the Fashion-Forward Student
Get the best of both worlds with a contemporary designer college purse. Kate Spade is synonymous with providing women with their ‘first’ designer bags. This feminine American brand offers playful designs that will add a pop of color to your college wardrobe.
The ‘Little Better Sam Nylon’ bag is a convertible backpack that acts as a 3-in-1. The zip-top closure provides extra security with the durable woven nylon making the bag hassle-free.
Kate Spade Little Better Sam, $248
Carry the Little Better Sam convertible backpack however you like with its double top handles and optional straps
9. Kipling: Lightweight and Vibrant Solutions for Student Life
Kipling is famous for its lightweight and functional college purses, from crossbodies to backpacks and tote bags.
Its colorful range of bags is designed to see you through anything with functional water-repellent materials and comfortable padded straps.
Kiping Seoul Extra Large, $149 on Amazon
The Seoul Extra Large is the ultimate carryall backpack made from Kipling’s signature water-resistant crinkled nylon, equipped with padded shoulder straps, a durable exterior, and a roomy interior
Best-selling options include the ‘Seoul Extra Large’ backpack designed to carry up to a 17” laptop. The ‘Abanu Multi’ is a convertible crossbody bag with a fuss-free nylon fabric that will take you from your morning coffee run to weekend errands.
Kipling Abanu Multi, $58 – $79 on Amazon
Kipling’s Abanu Multi bag converts from a crossbody to a waist pack
10. Louis Vuitton: Luxurious Elegance in a College Bag
Want to splurge on a luxury college bag? Louis Vuitton is a brand many college students choose for their first designer handbag. The ‘Neverfull’ tote bag is Louis Vuitton’s most popular option for students, doubling as a carry-on and workbag.
This luxury tote bag is an ideal gift for college students or to kickstart your designer handbag collection.
Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM, $2,030
Elevate your college bag with Louis Vuitton’s Neverfull MM, a roomy tote with slim, comfortable handles and a removable pouch
You want to invest in a college bag that suits your lifestyle, whether you’re flying back and forth between home and college or if you’re gearing up for an internship. These ten brands offer the best-selling college purses that match functionality with versatility.