The Best Back-To-School Essentials for Making Studying (or Life in General) A Breeze

·7 min read

No matter your age or grade, the right supplies are crucial for taking the next step in learning. Whether you’re stocking up on essentials for elementary schoolers or you’re heading off to college and preparing for dorm life, we’ve rounded up some of the best back-to-school products so you can make the most of this year.

From backpacks for school (or work) and helpful distraction-free calendars, to eco-conscious reusables and portable chargers, we’ve rounded up some of the best back-to-school products for students and professionals alike.

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1. Bentgo Bento Box

Make lunch fun and organized with Bentgo‘s TikTok-famous kids lunch box comes in more than a dozen prints, and five compartments let you pack a range of foods. We like the lightweight, microwave-, dishwasher- and freezer-safe design, and the look-proof construction means leftovers won’t spill into backpacks. (There are also plenty of options for grownups, and everything’s also on sale for 30% off for a limited time with code SCHOOL.)

Bentgo Bento Box
Bentgo Bento Box

Bentgo Kids Print Lunch Box $30

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2. Skylight Calendar

Skylight’s versatile digital calendar and photo frame cuts out all of the “smart” distractions — think phone notifications and video calls — and focuses on just your schedule and memories. The 10-inch display connects seamlessly with iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook, Cozi and Yahoo, and your household can update grocery and to-do lists, too.

Skylight Calendar
Skylight Calendar

Skylight Calendar $160

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3. Ooly Stickiville Sticker Sheets

International, woman-owned arts and craft brand Ooly is known for its whimsical and colorful products, including its bold and creative school supplies. The brand launched its first sticker line Stickiville — sticker sheets and books just in time for fall and returning to school. The new collection includes an expansive range of sticker sheets and books, including macarons, puppies, gummy bears, sharks and more. You can also check out the bonus boxes perfect for getting all your school or art supplies in one pop.

Ooly Stickiville Sticker Sheets Ocean Buddies
Ooly Stickiville Sticker Sheets Ocean Buddies

Ooly Stickiville Ocean Buddies Sticker Set $3

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4. Twohands Highlighters, Set of 6

Twohands’ subtle and fashionable pastel highlighters have a five-star rating on Amazon for a reason. They have quick-drying ink so you don’t add any smears or smudge marks while you highlight text. The six-piece set includes pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, and the compact markers mean they won’t take up too much space in your pencil case or backpack.

TWOHANDS Highlighter
TWOHANDS Highlighter

Buy: Twohands Highlighter Set $7.99

5. Anyday The College Dorm Set

Whether you’re heading off to college or not, Anyday’s the College Dorm Set will come in handy. The reusable storage containers are ideal for reheating food in a microwave, packing up leftovers or storing your snacks for later. The set includes four sizes: a medium deep dish, a medium shallow dish and two small dishes.

Anyday The College Dorm Set
Anyday The College Dorm Set

Anyday The College Dorm Set $90

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6. Himawari Laptop Backpack With USB Charging Port

Never worry about charging your devices or packing everything you need with this top-rated backpack by Himawari that comes with a detachable USB cable and a charging port (which come in handy when you add your own power bank). It’s made of eco-friendly, waterproof canvas and has two large front zipper pockets, two small inner pockets and two side pockets. It also has a padded back panel and shoulder strap for comfort; other colors are available.

Himawari Laptop Backpack Travel Backpack With USB Charging Port
Himawari Laptop Backpack Travel Backpack With USB Charging Port

Himawari Laptop Backpack With USB Charging Port 

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7. Belkin 20,000 mAh PowerBank

Speaking of staying plugged in, Belkin’s fast charging PowerBank combines value and practicality, all into a small box. It’s about the size of the newest iPhone, so it’s a fairly innocuous-looking thing at six inches long. But it packs 20,000 mAh (milliamperes) of power, capable of charging a MacBook for up to 20 hours of battery life and a cell phone for nearly 80. It also has two ports, so you can keep multiple devices powered up at the same time and quickly charge most smartphones up to 50 percent in about 36 minutes.

Belkin PowerBank
Belkin PowerBank

Buy: Belkin USB-C Power Bank $54.99

8. MasterClass Subscription

If you’re curious about learning outside of the classroom, then consider a MasterClass subscription. The expert-driven online learning platform offers video lesson series from some of the most accomplished professionals in filmmaking, music, food, science, politics and other industries. When’s the next time you’ll get to call Martin Scorcese, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Shonda Rhimes or Richard Branson your professor?

Masterclass
Masterclass

MasterClass Subscription $15 monthly

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9. Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook

Ditch wasting paper with Rocketboko’s 36-page dotted grid reusable notebook. Once you take the notes you need, all you have to do is wipe it clean with a damp cloth to get a new blank page. You can also upload your notes to cloud services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, Slack and more using the Rocketbook app. It comes with one pen and one microfiber cloth.

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook $15 monthly

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10. Modern Picnic Smooth Cream Large Luncher

Surprise: This Modern Picnic handbag is actually an insulated carryall for your lunch. It’s made of vegan leather on the outside and features a roomy 10.5x12x7.25-inch interior with pockets for your utensils. Other colors and sizes (including smaller options and a backpack style) are also available.

Modern Picnic Smooth Rouge Large Luncher
Modern Picnic Smooth Rouge Large Luncher

Modern Picnic Smooth Rouge Large Luncher $189

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11. Sharpie S-Gel Pens, 8-Pack

If you’re a handwriting devotee, Sharpie’s S-Gel pens give you no-smear writing and comfort, thanks to the contoured rubber grip. This eight-pack comes with four black pens and one each of blue, red, green and purple.

Sharpie S-Gel 8pk Gel Pens
Sharpie S-Gel 8pk Gel Pens

Sharpie S-Gel Pens, 8-Pack $10

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12. Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose’s comfortable QuietComfort 45 noise-canceling headphones are ideal for listening to music while studying, watching videos or listening to podcasts and more. The volume-optimized Active EQ gives you an even better balance of sound so you can experience music with full depth, and you can also choose from quiet mode for full noise canceling features or use aware mode so you can still hear your environment around you. It also has preset options to adjust the bass, mid-range and treble levels.

Related: The Best Comfortable Earbuds for Daily Use

Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones $10

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13. Olyra Breakfast Biscuits

Make packing lunch extra simple with these organic and nutritious breakfast biscuits, which are ideal for anyone running out the door and heading to school. They have five grams of protein and four grams of fiber., and come in hazelnut cocoa, fig anise, cinnamon tahini, Greek yogurt blueberry and dark chocolate flavors.

Olyra Breakfast Biscuits
Olyra Breakfast Biscuits

Buy: Olyra Breakfast Biscuits $29.99

14. Crayola Twistables Crayons Coloring Set

Crayola’s fun twistable crayons help you take your drawing and ideas to the next level — forget the mess or stress from sharpening or peeling paper. This set of mini non-toxic crayons comes in 50 colors and it’s safe for kids ages 3 and older.

Crayola Twistables Crayons Coloring Set
Crayola Twistables Crayons Coloring Set

15. Vida KN95 Masks, 10-Pack

Face masks are still part of our everyday lives, especially as we return to more indoor activities and school. These breathable, four-layer KN95 masks come in kids, kids XS, adult and family sizes. They come in packs of 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 or 250, they include a prepaid return label to send back your used masks for recycling.

Related: Where to Find the Best NIOSH-Approved N95, KN95 and KF94 Masks Online

Vida KN95 Masks, 10-Pack
Vida KN95 Masks, 10-Pack

Vida KN95 Masks, 10-Pack $25 and up

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16. LARQ Self-Cleaning Water Bottle

Larq’s self-cleaning water bottle uses a non-toxic, mercury-free UV-C LED light that sanitizes your water. It keeps the inner surface clean and stink-free by neutralizing bacteria such as E-coli, and it self-cleans every two hours. The double-wall vacuum construction keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours and hot up to 12 hours.

LARQ Bottle PureVis - Self-Cleaning and Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
LARQ Bottle PureVis - Self-Cleaning and Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Buy: LARQ Self-Cleaning Bottle $99.00

17. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

For students on a budget, we recommend Microsoft’s affordable new Intel Core i5-powered Surface Laptop Go 2 ($600 and up; currently on sale for $30 to $100 off), which has a convenient 12.4-inch touchscreen and a smooth keyboard that we found makes typing a breeze. We’re fans of the secure fingerprint power button, the Focus assist (which mutes notifications and can be activated under certain conditions), and other Windows 11 features for productivity and entertainment (like the news and information widgets). The laptop weighs under 2.5 pounds, it comes with 4GB or 8GB memory (RAM) and 128GB or 256GB solid-state hard drive options.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 (reg. $600 and up) $570 to $800

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