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.

August 15, 2018

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

In the Pink

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: Urban Outfitters, $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

Getaway Bag

With a reinforced bottom and a leatherette handle cover, 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, $54

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 3 hours of play (or blessed silence).

BUY IT: Apple, $350

Blanket Statement

Available in 28 colors and two sizes, this chevron-patterned throw is Peak Dorm Cozy. It’s also machine-washable, so you can curl up and snack away.

BUY IT: Wayfair, $28 and up

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, $130

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, $10

Wash and 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. Feeling preppy? For $9.50, your over-the-shoulder laundry bag can sport a monogram.

BUY IT: PBteen, $29

Mister Freeze

This top-rated mini-fridge has a full-width freezer section, room for eight cans and a two-liter bottle, three shelves and a reversible door hinge (if you’re really serious about optimizing your space).

BUY IT: Wayfair, $222

Stay Gold

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

BUY IT: CB2, $129

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: DormSmart, $56

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: Jackery, $150

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: Tomtoc, $31

Extra Dry

Bath sheets 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: Crate & Barrel, $50

All-in-One Wonder

Quilted with foam and fortified with steel, this convertible lounger is a cross between a chaise and a sofa. Hand-me-down beanbag chairs, please try harder.

BUY IT: Jet, $69

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, $60

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: Crate & Barrel, $60

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: Viatek, $30

Less Is More

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

BUY IT: PBteen, $39