20 Head-of-the-Class Buys to Bring Back to College

No need to cram for packing this fall: Our study guide has everything you'll need for campus and dorm life. (Your essays, alas, are still up to you.)

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
July 25, 2019

Next-Level Rucksack

It’s time to graduate from a sequin-covered novelty pack to one that’ll get you to class and back in style. Everlane’s roomy, wallet-friendly offering has a padded laptop compartment — and it’s professional enough to tote along to an internship interview.

Buy It: Everlane, $68.00

Stay Hydrated

This double-walled, BPA-free stainless steel S’well bottle keeps coffee toasty and much-needed hydration on hand. (Drink water, college students. Drink all the water all the time.)

Buy It: Amazon, $30.30 (Originally $35)

Study Buddy

Scientific fact: Late-night drinks taste a thousand times better in a mug of one’s own than they do in something filched from the dining hall.

Buy It: Anthropologie, $14.00

Getaway Bag

This heavyweight canvas weekender will be your new BFF on extended study breaks. Headed home? It’ll also accommodate a lot of laundry (no judgment).

Buy It: ban.do, $40.99 (Originally $58)

Top Gear

Review lectures, blast your tunes at top volume and cancel out your roommate’s snoring and/or inferior music with a slick-as-hell pair of wireless headphones. A 10-minute charge powers them up for three hours of play (or blessed silence).

Buy It: Walmart, $279.95 (Originally $349.95)

Blanket Statement

The cozy blanket is crafted with ultra-soft chenille fabric and embellished with tassel accents. Simply flip it over for an instant new look in your tiny space.

Buy It: Bed Bath & Beyond, $49.99

Clutter Buster

With apologies to massive clear bins that look like a giant’s refrigerator storage, why shouldn’t you corral odds and ends with style? No need to hide this baby under the bed.

Buy It: Pier 1, $127.49 (Originally $149.99)

Shower Power

Think of this flexible caddy as a pair of flip flops for your toiletries. You don’t want them to have to fend for themselves on the shared-bathroom floor — trust us.

Buy It: The Container Store, $9.99

Wash & Learn

Bear-hugging a sack of dirty clothes en route to a far-off laundry room might be old-school, but it’s a campus tradition that’s past its prime.

Buy It: Amazon, $19.90

Keep It Cold

Keep all your go-to snacks and beverages cool with the Whirlpool Mini Refrigerator. It's equipped to hold just about anything you want to keep on hand — cans, two-liter bottles and even frozen items. Its relatively small frame allows you to store it just about anywhere, and the reversible door design gives you added flexibility.

Buy It: Target, $99.99 (Originally $149.99)

Flip the Switch

Friends don’t let friends settle for crummy plastic clip-on lamps. (This one is equally appropriate for a post-graduation apartment.)

Buy It: Target, $5.99

A Great Night's Sleep

Skip a flat sheet and tie a cover of your choice on this ultra-plush dorm-bed MVP (which is long enough to accommodate those pesky university-issue mattresses).

Buy It: Overstock.com, $42.29

Fresh Juice

Throwing an ultra-high-capacity battery with the ability to handle up to four devices into your bag means never having to say, "I would love to show you some photos / take notes / play a video, but some guy has been hogging the only spare outlet in here for the last hour."

Buy It: Amazon, $129.99 (Originally $199.99)

Travel Light

Don’t let this laptop carrier’s slim profile fool you: It’s packed with trademarked technology to safeguard your device and accessories from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (and run-of-the-mill unwanted scrapes and bumps).

Buy It: Amazon, $30.99

Extra Dry

Bath towels should be plush, absorbent and durable. They should also be large enough to get you from the showers to your room without any unexpected "I didn’t know you had a tattoo there!" conversations.

Buy It: Macy's, $29.99 (Originally $60)

All-in-One Wonder

This faux-fur shag bean bag is equipped with a pocket at the side for a convenient tablet, cell phone, laptop or remote storage. It comes in the cushiest, lightweight, bead-filled construction and is topped with a handle for toting from studying in your room to the TV to Netflix and chill.

Buy It: Urban Outfitters, $69.00

Tie the Room Together

Isn’t it exciting to think about all the scholars who’ve come and gone and done unspeakable things on the industrial carpet in your space before you moved in? No, no it is not. Spring for a deep-pile area rug.

Buy It: Overstock.com, $42.39

Hot in Here

Go from zero to coffee (or ramen) in minutes with a design-savvy, ultra-handy electric kettle. No worries if you fall back asleep in the meantime: The automatic safety shutoff will kick in.

Buy It: Walmart, $49.99

Electric Company

Make the most of precious outlets — and protect your gadgets from surges — with a power strip that pivots to accommodate clunky plugs.

Buy It: Amazon, $24.50

Less is More

This lightweight, neutral storage cubby is minimalist rather than sterile — and it’s perfect for possessions you don’t feel like displaying in an open caddy.

Buy It: The Container Store, $44.99