Back to School Gift Guide 2018: the 42 best gift ideas

Back to School Gift Guide 2018: the 42 best gift ideas

August 1, 2018 0 By Nazmul Khan

Cast Iron Skillet

Everyone needs a good cast iron skillet in their kitchen, and if your loved one doesn’t have one yet, now is as good a time as ever to make that happen.
Price: ~$16

Etymotic ear plugs

These are great if you want to protect your hearing, but you still want to hear the concert you’re going to. They uniformly lower the volume of sound you hear without muffling it, so it still sounds good, just quieter.
Price: ~$14

Exploding Kittens

If you have some particularly cocky friends who smugly say they’re better at your favorite games than you are, challenge them to this board game. Exploding Kittens requires minimal skill and mostly luck. Enjoy that good-natured sabotage!
Price: ~$20

Microfiber cloths

The difference between scrappy and polished may be as simple as a clear pair of glasses or a clean phone screen. Get a 3-pack to clean all your glass surfaces: camera lens, tablet, computer screen… the list goes on.
Price: ~$5

Muji pens

Sometimes you do need to write on pen and paper, and these pens make that experience more enjoyable. They leave dark and precise lines on a page, but just don’t accidentally let your hand trail across the letters as they will leave a smudge.
Price: ~$12

OnePlus Bullets V2

These are cheap earbuds that deliver decent sound for their price point. If you’re the kind of person who often loses earbuds but still wants decent sound, this is a great replacement for the ones you’ve lost.
Price: ~$20

Racor B-1R Solo Vertical Bike Rack

Every square foot in your home is valuable. This little rack lets you store your bike vertically on the wall, so you can reclaim precious floor space and make the most of where you call home.
Price: ~$20

Thermos Intake water bottle

The gift of hydration never goes out of style, especially when you’re on the run between college classes, job interviews, or just life in general.
Price: ~$10

Wrist ruler wristband

Blend form and function with the Wrist Ruler, a stylish leather bracelet that conviently includes inch and centimeter marking, just in case you need to take some measurements on the go.
Price: ~$20

Anker PowerCore+ 10050

It’s small enough to fit in your pocket and not only has enough power to charge your phone up more than once, but also has Quick Charge so it’ll charge faster as well.
Price: ~$35

Matterhorn glass

There are probably better glasses out there for properly drinking whiskey, but none beat the Matterhorn glass when it comes to style. Even if you’re not drinking your beverage of choice on the rocks, at least the cold spirit of the mountains will be with you.
Price: $25

Picnic Time Vista blanket

This modern picnic blanket zips up into a tote-sized square, making it easy to carry and break out for a relaxing afternoon or movie in the park.
Price: ~$30

Rocketbook Everlast notebooks

You may have four different devices to capture notes digitally, but sometimes a traditional pen and notebook is still the best option. Rocketbook’s Everlast notebook helps bridge that analog and digital divide by letting you sync your handwritten notes with an app on your phone. It is also endlessly reusable — just wipe your notes off with a wet cloth (after you’ve backed them up!) and start anew.
Price: ~$32

Small med kit

It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit on hand, and this one packs 228 pieces in a compact, waterproof EVA case so you can bring it anywhere.
Price: ~$28

Sony USB C flash drive

USB-C is still a disater of a specification, which is why you might want to hedge your bets. This double-ended USB-C flash drive has a regular USB port on the other side, meaning that you’ll be able to copy your files no matter what computer you run into.
Price: ~$32

Sunrise Alarm Clock

For those who don’t have a window that bursts full of natural light at 7 in the morning, every single morning, you can get this alarm clock to wake you with simulated natural light. It’s easy to set up and use, and it lets you set peaceful sounds to wake up to. It can also double as a lamp.
Price: ~$30

Tales from the Loop

Have you ever wanted to be one of the kids in Stranger Things? This tabletop role playing game lets you do that as you take on the role of kids living in a retro futuristic 1980s suburbia where all sorts of strange things can happen.
Price: ~$49

Verge merch

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, this time of year means warm weather clothes like tank tops, but if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere it means warming clothes like hoodies. Good news, the Verge store has both those things and more! Be sure to use the discount code: Grad2018 at checkout.
Price: $10 to $45

Instant Pot Duo

This cult favorite pressure-cooker is a dream for anyone who values their time. It’s a versatile multi-cooker which lets you dump a bunch of ingredients in it for an easy one-pot meal.
Price: ~$80

LL Bean Deluxe backpack

There’s a reason that LL Bean has been selling its standard backpack to students for decades — it’s a proven, time-trialed design that can take whatever knocks you throw at it. Buy one now, and you’ll probably have it for decades yourself.
Price: $40

NASA Graphics Standards Manual poster

NASA’s iconic logo famously decorated the sides of rockets and space shuttles — now, with these gorgeous posters, it can also add some space age style to your walls.
Price: $78

This is Ground Paperback Writer

Trade that worn out wallet for this professional-looking leather notebook holder that can store your cards, cash, and a pen and paper to jot down last minute thoughts before going into that job interview.
Price: $75

Thor Hammer tool box

Regular brain: What if I had a tool box?
Galaxy brain: What if I had Mjölnir as a hammer for a tool box?
Universe brain: What if Mjölnir was the tool box?
Price: ~$100

Trunk Club

Shopping is awful — so have someone else do it. Tell the stylist your size and that you’re looking for some profesh-type clothes for your first job and a box will show up at your home, packed full of ’em. You don’t have to buy them all — send back the ones you hate — but it’s an easy start to some wardrobe basics.
Price: $100

UE Wonderboom

These adorable Bluetooth speakers come in a multitude of candy colors, and 10 hours of battery life doesn’t hurt either.
Price: ~$55

Western Digital portable hard drive

Back up your computer. Losing all your files sucks, and backing up your stuff to an external hard drive is the best and easiest way to make sure that if diaster strikes your laptop, your hard-earned school notes and resume files won’t be lost forever. Future you thanks you in advance.
Price: ~$50

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite is a great ebook reader with a nice, crisp screen perfect for catching up on your reading list anywhere you find yourself. It’s comforting to have a small library at your disposal in your back pocket when you have some down time.
Price: ~$120

Cambridge Satchel Company 14″ satchel

Look sophisticated with this lovely satchel that’s big enough to cart around as an everyday bag. Best of all, it’s customizable. So you can hot stamp your initials and even a little puppy icon to really make it yours.
Price: $240

Fuji SQ10

This camera takes delightful little square photographs like the Polaroids of yesteryear. It’s a nice analog touch that lets you take thoughtful pictures rather than being trigger happy all the time.
Price: ~$230

Moto G6

Okay enough $800+ devices, let’s talk the value champion of phones. The Moto G6 gets you flagship-like features, a long battery life, and the only trade-off is a less than great camera..
Price: ~$200

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a revolutionary console — one that not only has incredible games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, but that lets you play them anywhere on the go. Your boring commute will never be the same.
Price: $299

Nomatic travel bag

This bag has got all the essentials you need for travel and then some: a foldable laundry bag, detachable waist straps, compartments for your shoes, clothes, socks, underwear, laptop, and passport. And to top it off, it’s carry-on size so you don’t have to check in this backpack/duffle bag hybrid.
Price: ~$230

Skagen Hagen and Karolina watches

Sometimes you just need a watch that can tell the time. So why not get one that will look really good, too?
Price: $155

Acer Predator Helios 300

This gaming laptop is a great deal for the price, as it has a decent GPU, processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD. Sure, it’s so red it screams GAMING LAPTOP, but if you’re buying a laptop for its performance, budget price, and not for its looks, this is a winner.
Price: $1,049

Apple iPad and Pencil

Perfect for taking notes in class or sneaking in a quick doodle when you’re on the go. If you want to feel more like you’re writing on a notepad, you can also get matte screen protectors that make the glass feel more like paper.
Price: $329

Apple iPhone 8

If you need to upgrade your old iPhone, but think the iPhone X has an unsightly notch, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are two of the best phones available now.
Price: $799

Apple MacBook Pro (no touchbar)

If you’re looking to buy an Apple laptop right now, your choice is simple: the new MacBook Pro. The cheaper model skips the hassle of the touchbar for the tactile reliability of keys, but keeps the ultra-slim design and incredible screen for what might be Apple’s best laptop yet.
Price: $1,049

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 is decently made with a fast processor and a backlit keyboard. If you need an extremely portable notebook, this is a solid choice.
Price: $469

A Financial Planner

Whether you’re just starting a new job or have just finished school, it’s never too early to start planning for your future. But sometimes it’s better to call in an expert who can come up with a working plan for your finances that adapts to your needs. That way you can draw on the person’s knowledge and background so you can face your financial future with a calm sense of control.
Price: ~$1,000+

Huawei MateBook X Pro

Its performance and design alone win it high marks, but once the price is factored in, it becomes a no-brainer. Its few faults are only an issue if you happen to make a lot of video calls from your laptop or you need the battery to last longer than a work day. Everything else is as good or better than any other laptop.
Price: $1,199

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung made a sleek, beautiful phone with a headphone jack and an easier-to-reach fingerprint sensor. It’s a premium flagship Android device that serves you pretty well, even if Bixby is still there.
Price: ~$720

Sony 1000X M2

These are some of the best noise cancelling headphones out there. At a steep $350, you must really want to shut out noises from the outside world, but the splurge is worth it once you do.
Price: $348

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