Here are our top-picks for your backpack this school year to stay organized and powered up


It’s almost time to send the kids back to school or off to college, so you should be loading up on all the necessary gear to make this year a success. We’re not talking about pencils, folders or trapper keepers here but rather items to help keep your stuff organized, electronics charged and to just make life a little easier. Because we all know, the student grind is unlike any other…

Before we get into the accessories, you’re going to want a nice backpack or messenger bag. This is largely left up to your personal preferences but I’ll drop a few examples here of satchels that have received high ratings over at Amazon.

  • Under Armour Storm Hustle II Backpack: from $42
  • AmazonBasics Classic Backpack (multiple colors): $16
  • SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack: $65
    • MacBooks up to 17-inches in size
    • Rated 4.6/5 stars by over 2,800 Amazon customers
  • JanSport Right Pack BackPack in multiple colors: $46
  • Osprey Daylite Backpack (multiple colors): $35

So at this point, many schools across the United States are instituting 1-1 computer programs. Students need to carry chargers, cables, headphones and more, which can make for one messy backpack. There are a number of ways to solve this problem. My personal favorite is Cocoon’s line of Grid-It organizers. Each board is available in different sizes with textured elastic bands to keep your items in place, no matter the bulk or length. It’s perfect for a MacBook charger or Lightning cable and every thing in between. I’ve had one of these in my bag for about five years now and continue to use it to this day. Amazon customers agree, as the entire lineup has excellent ratings from thousands in some instances. You can pick one up for as little as $10.57 Prime shipped.

Another one of my favorite organization tools is Nite Ize’s Reusable Gear Ties. These are just like those velcro bands we’re always recommending but are made of textured rubber, instead. There are a variety of different sizes and lengths, depending on your needs. I personally love using these ties because they are easily adjusted to fit just about any type of cord. Because of its flexible design, you can wrap one around your pencils, headphones or just about anything you need held together. You can grab a two-pack of six-inchers for just $2.98. Grab an eight-piece variety pack for $10.98 to make sure your covered for just about every situation.

Nearly every college student is packing an iPhone, Android or iPad at this point. Anker’s Multi-Angle Aluminum Stand is a must-have in your backpack. It’s perfect for watching a movie, scanning notes or typing. The multi-angle design helps you find just the right spot while you work. It’s made from aluminum, so it’ll match up nice with your Apple product. This is the best-selling stand at Amazon with a 4.7/5 stars by over 6,700 reviewers.

Ok, so you might get made fun of for this one a little bit but you’ll be thanking me later. A combination lock for your laptop or backpack. It’s a simple purchase but might come in handy when you walk off to the bathroom without packing up all your gear at the library. This best-selling option from Kensington has great ratings and a universal design just about any laptop. Trust me, it’s a good buy.

Finally, a power supply and the necessary cables. Let’s start with the battery pack. We have plenty of recommendations in our daily smartphone accessory roundup but here are a few standouts, depending on your needs:

  • Poweradd Slim2 5000mAh Lipstick-Style: $12
  • Anker PowerCore 13000mAh Two-Port: $29
  • Anker PowerCore 20000mAh Two-Port: $43

You’ll also want to make sure you have some extra cables. No one likes having to remember to grab a bedside charger each morning when you head out the door. Just throw a few in your bag now and forget about it. Anker’s PowerLine Lightning cables are our top-choice for Apple users. Android phones will be fine with just about any microUSB cable. You might as well pick up a multi-pack like this one, just to make sure you’re covered for charging a digital camera, battery pack or just about any other non-Apple device.

Finally, the last thing that I’m going to recommend is a solid travel mug to keep your coffee warm in the morning and drinks cold at night. There are plenty of options on Amazon’s best-seller list but we are particularly fond of the RTIC 20-ounce stainless steel tumbler. It keeps ice cold for up to 24 hours and has a very attractive design. Nearly 300 Amazon customers have left a 4.7/5 star rating.

Did we miss any tech essentials for this school year? If so, let us know down in the comment section.

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