According to the National Retail Federation, the average American family is planning on spending more money on Back to School season in 2015 than they did last year. In addition, more families are planning to check prices for Back to School supplies online, to make sure they’re getting a great deal. If you’re shopping for school supplies, check out our guide to the best Back to School gear you can buy for students in 2015. Our list includes must-have school supplies for grade schoolers, junior high kids, high school students, and college students.
Want to see lots of great Back to School deals in one place? Check out Amazon’s Back to School deals page for the latest and greatest sales.
1. JanSport Classic SuperBreak Backpack
Every student deserves a new backpack for the first day of school. Elementary school kids will definitely like all of the cool colors and designs that this JanSport bag comes in. It may not have quite enough storage for some high school and college students, but students of any age who need a medium-size, two-pocket bag will dig this classic style. This backpack measures 13.5 inches on the shoulder drop, with the bag itself clocking in at 16.5 inches tall and a foot wide.
Price: $29.95 and up, depending on style selected
2. Crayola Third Through Fifth Grade Supply Pack
Want to get all your school supply shopping done in one go? These handy kits from Crayola offer grade-specific bundles of school supplies that will get them ready for Back to School season. This kit for third, fourth, or fifth grade students includes notebooks, pens, pencils, a pencil sharpener, paper, art paper, crayons, colored pencils, markers, index cards, a highlighter, scissors, a ruler, and more. You’ll also get tissues and hand sanitizer, which is a nice touch. Not only will your kids be prepared for class, but they’ll also be less likely to come home with a nasty cold.
3. Moshi Cardette 3 Advanced Multi-Card Reader
Working on a group project for school, and need to access files that are too big to be stored in the cloud or sent as an email attachment? This multi-card reader from Moshi is a great buy for older students who are heading back to school.
Moshi sent us a Cardette 3 so we could go hands-on with this helpful tech accessory. Students heading back to school this fall will appreciate the breadth of cards that can be read with this gadget. This card reader works with Mac, PC, and Linux machines, and can read CF and SDHC/XC memory cards. It also acts as a dual-port USB 3.0 hub. With a handy integrated cable and no need for an external power adapter, this is a great gadget for high school and college students.
Here’s a full list of all the memory card formats Cardette 3 supports: CompactFlash (CF Type I), all series of Memory Stick (MS, MS Duo, MS PRO Duo), M2, MultiMediaCard (MMC), SecureDigital (SD), micro SD/TF, eXtremeDigital (xD-Picture), SecureDigital High Capacity (SDHC), SecureDigital eXtended Capacity (SDXC), and SDHC/XC UHS-I. Please note that an adapter is needed for miniSD.
The build quality is solid, and this little unit feels like it was built with care. It’s zippy, making it ideal for students who hate waiting around. Its compact design and adapter-free nature also make it a nice choice for students who will study abroad this year.
4. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator
Students who are taking advanced math classes are usually required to have a graphing calculator. The TI-84 is a top-selling model, and is probably recommended for more than a few classes in your school district. This model boasts USB on-the-go technology for file sharing with other calculators or PCs, plus the ability to help students with complex calculations related to calculus, engineering, trigonometric, or even finance.
Price: $99.99 (47 percent off MSRP)
5. Mead Composition Book 12-Pack
Shopping for a whole family? This handy 12-pack of composition books is a nice option for families who need to buy in bulk. We like this notebook multipack because there are multiple color options, making it easy for parents to break up the multipack into color-coded notebook assignments for a specific kid in the house, or for kids who want to color-code their notebooks by subject.
Price: $19.99 for a pack of 12
6. Jurassic World Lunch Bag
Any kid who enjoyed Jurassic World this summer will be pumped to bring their lunch to school in this bag. This lunch bag is insulated, and has plenty of room for healthy snacks and lunch items.
7. Lenovo Flex 3 14-Inch Touchscreen Laptop
There are a lot of reasons to recommend the Lenovo Flex 3, but the touchscreen is definitely the most important feature. The touchscreen is definitely handy for adults, but it also makes the interface more friendly for young kids who are just starting to learn how to use a computer. There are lots of configurations to choose from, but all include powerful processors and a blend of both hard drive and solid state drive storage. While battery life could be a lot better, this is still a nice laptop that can work for an individual student, or for a family with young kids who are in need of a new, shared laptop for the home.
Looking for something a little less expensive? Check out our post on the best deals for new touchscreen laptops to see some other options.
Price: $599 and up, depending on size and configuration selected (12 percent off MSRP)
8. Hello Kitty 11 Piece Stationary School Supply Set
Hello Kitty stuff is super cute, and it often appeals to young girls and teen girls alike. This school-ready stationary set includes a ruler, pencils, paper, a binder-friendly pencil bag, and much more.
9. 6-Inch Kindle With Glare-Free Touchscreen Display
If you’re shopping for a student who has a heavy course load, they probably need to read a lot of books. And carrying around all those heavy books can hurt a student’s back. Rather than buying heavy textbooks, consider a lightweight Kindle instead. A surprising number of textbooks and works of literature are available for the Kindle, making this a nice option for high school students and college students who need to hit the books hard in 2015. The glare-free display is also a nice perk for students who like to do their required reading in the quad or while relaxing in the park.
Want a little more versatility? Consider buying a tablet instead of just an e-reader. One new tablet that just went on sale in June is the Lenovo Tab2 A8, which offers a larger screen and enhanced features over the Kindle.
10. Freshman Survival Kit
If “Back to School” means “off to college” in 2015, then this Freshman survival kit is a really nice gift to send them off to school with. This gift box ships off with some essentials for any college or boarding school dorm. Inside the box, you’ll find a stress ball, dry erase board, a pen, a pencil, sticky notes, index cards for studying, a flash drive, a survival tool, and more.