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The 10 Best Pencil Cases For College

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By Masha Vapnitchnaia
Bustle / Amazon

Between highlighting, note-taking, and graph-making, you’ll need a lot of writing utensils to get through your university years. That’s why the best pencil cases for college come in a ton of sizes, whether you’re just looking for a compact way to organize a few pens or a place for highlighters, erasers, and even small notebooks. They’re all made from durable materials and come in a range of styles and colors, too.

Apart from choosing a pencil case that matches your personality and aesthetic, you’ll want to think about functionality. If all you’re carrying is a couple of pens and a highlighter, you won’t need the bulk of larger cases. On the other hand, if you want your case to have the range of a mini stationery store, look for a pencil case with a roomy main compartment, additional pockets, and individual pencil holders to keep all of your writing tools organized and easy to reach.

Check the bag’s dimensions to make sure it can fit scissors, jumbo markers, and other items if those are needed, too. In addition to the size, most brands list the number of standard pens or pencils the bag can hold.

Some bags have additional features, like an expandable compartment or a diagonal opening that lets you see all of your tools — some even stand upright to double as a pencil cup. Whatever your preferences, one of the best pencil cases for college below has you covered.

01
A Classic Case That Holds Up To 50 Pens & Pencils
  • Dimensions: 7.48 x 3.54 x 4.13 inches (length x width x height)

The zipper of this triangular pencil case opens wide, creating a rectangular space that makes it easy to find what you need. There are three internal pockets for small items, like erasers, in addition to the main compartment that will hold up to 50 pens or pencils. The canvas case is durable and wear-resistant and can be hand-washed to get it looking like new. There’s a side carry loop and the pencil case is available in six colors. It is backed by a 4.8-star overall rating and more than 2,500 reviews.

One positive review: “I love this pencil pouch! I’m a school supply snob and this has been great. I love that it fully opens up on top and can stand upright by itself. Very, very [roomy] inside and I love the interior pockets for paper/binder clips, little post-its etc. I’ve already recommended this to friends!”

02
This Expandable Pencil Case With More Than 17,000 Reviews
  • Dimensions: 8.66 x 4.13 x 2.56 inches (length x width x height, expanded)

This expandable pencil case offers lots of storage space and also zips down to take up less room when you’re packing light. There’s a small top pocket with a band closure for your most-used pens and pencils, plus a bigger compartment below for markers, erasers, and sticky notes. In total, it can hold about 50 pens or 90 pencils. There’s also a small zippered mesh pocket inside the lid and an outside sleeve. According to reviewers, the canvas-cotton pencil case is machine-washable, and there are nine colors to choose from. The case folds down to 8.66 by 4.13 by 0.98 inches when you only want to carry a few writing utensils.

One positive review: “Fits all my pens markers highlighters, TI-83 calculator, everything I need for college to graph and organize my notes , this is just what I needed, and looks great even when stuffed!”

03
A Slim Pencil Case With A Divider For Accessories In Tons Of Colors
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.8 x 3 inches (length x width x height)

This slim pencil case has a main compartment that’s divided into two parts: a longer section for pens and pencils, and a smaller one for erasers and sharpeners. It also has an external zipper pocket and is made from dirt-resistant polyester that’s easy to hand-wash. According to reviewers, the case holds approximately 20 to 30 standard writing utensils. The case is available in nine colors and prints and it’s garnered more than 1,700 five-star ratings. There’s also a larger option if you like this style but want a little more space.

One positive review: “It fits all of my pens and pencils nicely. I love the little separated component, which allows a particular place for my eraser and mini-stapler to go. Also, I really like the outside pocket. I keep my little ruler and extra pencil lead in there. Works great, looks great, and it's sturdy too!”

04
A Stand-Up Case That Doubles As A Pencil Cup
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 6.7 x 3.3 inches (length x height x diameter)

This telescopic pencil case doubles as a pencil cup, and the pull-down top part quickly reveals contents, making it easier to reach for the right thing. There are two small internal pockets, and the versatile case can hold up to 25 pens. It’s made from washable canvas with a polyester lining. This pencil case has earned a 4.8-star overall rating with more than 4,000 reviews, and in addition to this grid design, it’s available in five playful colors and prints.

One positive review: “I needed a new pencil case and needed one that stood because my desk tables at my college are very small so I need something that would hold everything and that I can get to quickly. This case can hold my iClicker, pencil sharpener, 3 highlighters, 8 colored pencils, a tape runner, a pair of scissors, 1 pencil, 1 pen, and an eraser [...] The best part is that you can wash and dry this in the washer and dryer. Just fill up the case with socks or underwear, to keep its shape, and zip it up and throw it in.”

05
A Pencil Pouch That Comes In 10+ Bright Prints
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6 inches (length x height)

Available in 11 colorful prints, this pencil pouch has a wide, diagonal opening that makes everything inside super accessible. The large size can hold up to 50 pens or pencils, but you can also opt for a smaller size or a pouch with reinforced rings for binders. The polyester bag is machine-washable and has a 4.8-star overall rating with more than 1,300 reviewers weighing in.

One positive review: “This came with more room than I was expecting, and it even stretches to fit large items. I was able to fit a (small) book, two large phones, mints, and about 30 pens and pencils with room to spare. The zipper was also very well made, and worked very well.”

06
This Leather Pencil Case That Could Double As A Clutch
  • Dimensions: 8 x 4 inches (length x height)

Made from genuine buffalo leather, this sophisticated pencil case features a large internal pocket as well as a smaller outside pocket with a zipper. It also has a built-in ring for keys or a USB stick. According to one reviewer, the case holds about 10 pens, and you can choose from light and dark brown colors. However, this case is not machine-washable and should be cleaned carefully, like other leather bags.

One positive review: “This is the perfect size as a pen and pencil case for me. The leather is good quality and it is very well made.”

07
This Extra-Roomy Pencil Case
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 3.5 inches (length x width x height)

This large pencil case has four compartments, each with individual elastic bands to keep pens and pencils organized, holding a total of 72 writing instruments. The lid also has additional bands for erasers and other small items. The case is made from durable Oxford fabric and comes in five colors. It’s not machine-washable, but can be wiped down with a damp cloth when needed. It’s also earned more than 1,600 five-star ratings.

One positive review: “I've gone through a couple of different pencil cases, and this one is, by FAR, my favorite. It holds all my colored pencils neatly and tightly. Nothing slips out. Even completely filled, this case zips and [unzips] super smooth.”

08
A Fan-Favorite Pencil Case With A Front-Opening Pocket
  • Dimensions: 7.68 x 2.95 x 3.74 inches (length x width x height)

This highly rated pencil case has an incredible 17,000 reviews and an overall 4.7-star rating. In addition to a top zipper closure, the case has a side zipper opening that features a built-in mesh pocket with individual elastic bands for your most-used pens and pencils. The main compartment has two small pockets, and in total, the pencil case can fit up to 60 writing utensils. There’s a handy side carry strap and the case is available in eight colors and styles. Hand-washing is recommended.

One positive review: “I use this pencil case for college and I’m able to fit a 6” ruler, mini stapler and staples, lead for my mechanical pencils, washi tape and Medium sized scissors on top of already carrying at least 6 mild liners highlighters all 12 of my colored pens and a bunch of regular pens and pencils. I can’t stress enough how surprised I was by how much this pencil case is able to hold!”

09
A Pencil Case With Lots Of Pockets To Keep Accessories Organized
  • Dimensions: 8.74 x 4.3 x 2.17 inches (length x width x height)

Made from Oxford material, this sleek pencil case opens flat and has one large compartment, as well as a small board with elastic pen holders. It also has a card slot, an elastic mesh pocket, and a small pocket with a self-fastening closure. It holds up to 60 slim pencils and is available in 10 colors. The case is easy to hand wash as needed. Another popular college accessory on Amazon, the pencil case has a 4.7-star overall rating and more than 7,000 reviews.

One positive review: “As a college student I love to be prepared for anything that could happen during a class. This case is very sleek and cute, but also can fit so much inside of it without becoming overly bulky!”

10
A Mesh Pencil Case So You Can Reach For The Right Tool
  • Dimensions: 9.45 x 4.72 x 0.98 inches (length x width x height)

Made from see-through mesh, this transparent pencil case has one large compartment and an outside pocket for most used items and accessories. In total, it can hold up to 20 pens or 35 pencils, and it’s available in eight shades. To clean, just rinse the case by hand.

One positive review: “It’s incredibly sturdy & great material [...] the zipper isn’t cheap, it’s clean & smooth, it’s such a perfect size, not too big but definitely roomy.”