Solo Active 17.3-inch Laptop/Tablet Backpack (www.Overstock.com) - $65.00
Looking for a new backpack that is roomy and durable, and can haul a laptop, tablet or both—all while withstanding the rigors of daily use? Look no further than the Solo Active 17.3-inch Laptop and Tablet Backpack from Overstock.com. This specially designed backpack contains a padded compartment that holds laptops up to 17.3 inches wide. A separate interior pocket is designed to securely hold tablets or e-readers. Several other zippered pockets and an organizer section provide plenty of room for other supplies necessary for daily schooling. Lightweight and durable, this polyester bag features padded shoulder straps and a cushioned carry handle for a comfortable carrying experience. The water-resistant bottom lets you set the bag down worry free, and the reflective strip on the front panel provides increased visibility for safety. Load this bag up with everything you need for school or travel—it’s a great carry-on when you fly to keep your devices secure and also close at hand.
Fire HD Tablet and Kindle e-Readers (www.Amazon.com) - $99
Here’s some back-to-school tech with built-in features designed to help students with their homework, increase reading comprehension and improve studying skills. Amazon.com’s Fire HD tablets, available in five fun colors and two portable sizes in a kid-proof case, are a means toward this end. Reported to have “the world’s best content ecosystem” with access to over 33 million movies, TV shows, books, apps and games, each tablet features front and rear cameras, Dolby Digital Audio and high-definition displays for crisp, vivid viewing. It also has up to 128GB of expandable storage. Parents will also love the “Amazon FreeTime Unlimited” app that allows them to choose what content their children have access to (with access to over 10,000 popular educational apps, games, movies, TV shows and books). Robust parental controls allow caregivers to set daily limits and restrict categories such as games and video, while leaving unlimited time for reading. With the summer break coming to an end, parents need all the help they can get to bring studying back into their children’s daily routine and keep it there—Amazon’s Fire HD tablets and the FreeTime app can certainly help.
Safe Catch Elite Tuna (www.SafeCatch.com) - $3.50 per can
No matter the grade level, back to school is prime time for those tasty tuna sandwiches. Now moms can have peace of mind with this mindful fish find: Safe Catch. The company cites that it’s the only company that hand selects and individually tests each tuna fish to the strictest Mercury limits of any company on the market: over 10 times stricter than FDA regulations, and 4 times lower in mercury than Wild Planet tuna. The proprietary technology and processes of Safe Catch, which allows them to have complete traceability and test every single fish, is quite incredible. Safe Catch only sources sustainable wild caught tuna and each fish has to pass their stringent testing, as not every tuna qualifies to be a Safe Catch Tuna. Given the high safety standards, this is reportedly the only brand of tuna that meets Consumer Reports’ “Low Mercury” criteria set for pregnant women and children. Safe Catch Elite is, in fact, the official tuna of the American Pregnancy Association.
Chamilia Jewelry Charms (www.Chamilia.com) - $35 - $40
From feeling good to looking good, fashion is always a big part of school culture. And the Chamilia brand of jewelry accessories will surely get you some attention. The company was established in 2002 and, since 2013, has been a member of the Swarovski Group—a world leader in quality and innovation. Each of the more than 400 exclusive charms available from Chamilia are made from .925 sterling silver or 14 karat gold and feature either genuine Swarovski Crystals or Zirconia, or Italian Murano Glass. The brand follows strict Swarovski Group guidelines for quality and aesthetic excellence. As part of its “Give With All Your Heart” program, Chamilia announced the launch of a new charm that will support Humane Society International (HSI), one of the only international animal protection organizations in the world working to protect all animals. This sterling silver charm features an image of a paw print with black enamel detailing along with the brand’s signature millegrain frame. It’s sure to win the hearts of every animal lover in the school. Each Chamilia charm fits any of the company’s bracelets or neck chains, and each also comes with a keepsake charm card.
Children’s Shoe Styles by Tsukihoshi (www.Zappos.com) – Starting at $50
Even the littlest students should put their best foot forward with some super cute shoes! Tsukihoshi (pronounced ski-ho-shee) has some great designs that’ll have them steppin’ out in style and in a highly thoughtful way—no surprise given the company’s pedigree. With a long and storied existence going back to 1873, Tsukihoshi is the largest manufacturer and distributor of children’s footwear in Japan. The brand has been collaborating with orthopedic specialists since 1985, perfecting a line of children’s shoes that not only focuses on aesthetics but also on the health, protection and comfort of children’s feet. Tsukihoshi’s line of hyper-functional footwear has now reached America in time for the school year. Moms will love that all Tsukihoshi shoes are machine washable and have a green tea extract insole to help fight germs and odor, which is great for active kids who love the playground. Known for their hook & loop and Velcro closures, which provides easy on/off capability, Tsukihoshi offers signature fit and comfort for toddlers through pre-teen. Each style from the Baby, Child, and Youth sizes features bright color combinations that kids are sure to love.
Manhead Merchandise (www.ManheadMerch.com) - $20 - $40
Manhead Merch is a worldwide, full-service merchandise company that caters to the music and entertainment industry as well as the adoring fans. The company provides a full spectrum of touring merchandise services designed to support music artists in small clubs, sold-out arenas and everything in between, all over the world. For example, products from artists such as the group Fall Out Boy include the Fall Out Boy Floral Zip Hoodie and Fall Out Boy “Till The End” Tee printed on a 100% cotton slim fit shirt. Manhead Merch has released new gear for “The King of Pop Culture” and for that insta-famous pup, Doug the Pug (the charismatic Internet sensation). More than 1.6 million Instagram followers watch as he travels to events all over the country. Now, a partnership with Manhead Merch is taking his gear to the next level with products such as Doug the Pug “Pug N Chill” Black Tee and Doug the Pug “Doug Is My Homeboy” Tee. With these your children are sure to be stylin’ all year!
Personal Care Products $3.00 - $38.00
Personal care is also important during the school year, so here are some great finds to keep your skin and teeth looking their best. First, Coppertone has a variety of new products, including CLEARLYSheer AfterSun moisturizer and CLEARLYSheer Faces Sunscreen lotion. AfterSun helps replenish moisture to the skin after time spent outdoors with Vitamin E and a fresh mango scent. The light, breathable formulas in Faces Sunscreen lotion won’t clog pores or cause breakouts and is perfect for everyday protection, even under makeup. From the newly reformulated Sport line is the Coppertone Sport Spray that stays on strong when you sweat, when skin is at its most vulnerable to UV rays. Another great product for more sensitive or acne-prone skin that protects from the sun’s harmful rays is the Dermatologist Solutions’ Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from Kiehl’s. This ultra-lightweight, everyday sun protector features a 100% mineral based filter. It helps defend even the most easily irritated or acne-susceptible skin from the sun’s harmful rays, without the problems that chemical filters may cause.
A healthy, winning smile is also a school staple and finding the right toothpaste is essential. Sometime between ages 8 and 12, most kids are ready to leave fruit and bubblegum-flavored toothpastes behind. They start to be concerned about fresh breath, but aren’t quite ready for the strong mint flavors found in adult toothpastes. Tom’s of Maine is making brushing teeth “Wicked Cool!” with its first natural toothpaste designed for kids ages 8 and over. This mild mint-flavored toothpaste fights cavities, strengthens enamel and freshens breath.
"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***