If there is one saving grace during back-to-school season, it’s the fact that retailers usually offer terrific deals on pretty much everything you need. From clothes, to shoes, to tech and gear, every company is competing for your dollar nowadays, and you can turn all of that savings into a few updated looks.
Just like last year popular tech companies have released new sizes and new models of the phones, tablets, laptops and e-readers that you will probably be taking with you when you head back to class. That usually means you’ll need new covers, cases and bags to keep all of that new tech safe. Our editors are no strangers to carrying around a lot of tech, and we have some pretty great choices that you can check out below.
Booq-Boa-Flow-InsertBOOQ BOA FLOW
BOOQ  it’s one of the most popular tech-bag options on the market today. The company has been a frequent guest on our shopping guides and gift-lists, and this year is no exception. If you need a bag to hold absolutely everything you need, while still offering a light construction, than the Boa Flow should definitely be on your list.
Depending on what size you need, there are several different models to choose from, but the standard option seems to be the most popular. We love the Boa Flow for its slim design and multiple compartments, enough to fit practically anything you might have spread across your desk all into one slim-fit option, and you will have all of it ready to go in a moments notice.
Price Ranges: Starting at $145 at booq
Evernote-Insert EVERNOTE Rhine Flat Back
Still on the higher end of the price spectrum are the new backpacks and messenger bags from Evernote. The company definitely took a fashion-forward approach when designing the new bags, but they are still some of the most minimalistic, yet functional pieces that you can find.
At $185 this one may be more of a gift-option for some, but the high-quality construction and unique design of the bags have made them a popula-pick among the younger workforce.
If the over-the-shoulder option isn’t your style, there are messenger bag choices as well, though they too come with a pretty high price tag.
Price: $185 at evernote
Swiss-Laptop-Insert Victorinox: Slimline Laptop Backpack
The same company that makes those wonderful little army knives also makes terrific luggage and bags online (not to mention clothes, watches and other high-end consumer goods).
The quality is the same and Victorinox (you probably know them and their logo as Swiss) puts the same craftsmanship and care into their tech-bags. The company also has one of the most outstanding warranty programs ever conceived in retail.
Just like Patagonia many of the products are guaranteed for life, even from just simple wear and tear, and some items are covered even if they are roughed-up by airports or taxis. It’s an extensive program and one that earns a spot as a sound suggestion, plus the bags are another low-profile, well-designed addition to anyone’s shopping list.
This company also has a wide-array of colors and styles to choose from, and they are also available on third-party sites like Amazon or Ebay. Just remember that some people refer to them as the Swiss brand, and other times they are listed under Victorinox.
Price: starting at about $70 on sale at swissarmy
Timbuk2-Insert Timbuk2 Raider Pack
While considered a biking pack, the Raider Pack is still one of our favorite everyday bags, perfect for anyone that has walk outside while commuting.
Not only is the whole bag machine washable, it has a ton of simple features that are perfect for the traveling-worker, and college lifestyle. There are shoe pockets, a reflective coating to keep you safe on the street, tiny compartments for all of the smaller knickknacks that you have to carry, and all of it is made with high-quality construction.
The bags are also on the lower-end of the pricing scale, if you are looking for simple simple and clean to toss around this year, add Timbuk2 to your shopping list.
Reflective hits
Price: $79 at Timbuk2
Moshi SenseCover (iOS/Samsung S5)
Having a cover that is just a cover is so last generation, now we expect them to have functions just as the phones as the phones they help protect. A favorite company of mine is Moshi (who also makes bags I should add) and their new smart-covers are available on both iPhone and Samsung S5 devices.
Moshi’s SenseCover for Samsung Galaxy S5 or iPhone works with a free Android app or iOs app that will allow users to extend some much needed functionality to their front cover. The SenseCover is touch-sensitive, allowing you to swipe to answer calls without opening the case, but still allowing you to see who is calling.
With the free app integration, you can also adjust music, use your camera, or swipe through your normal notifications right through SenseCover’s touch window. It’s a pretty handy feature to have, you get the benefit of having a full-cover on the front, without losing the quick-access to your touch-screen features.
Price: $45 at moshi
Slanted-Phone-Case Griffin
Griffin cases are another example of a product that’s been around since practically the very first smartphone rolled-off the assembly line. They have been making cases for almost every device you can find on store shelves, and they have some terrific options every season.
I wanted to call out their custom-case maker, because the practice of custom-cases was once terrible, but the new system that Griffin has in place can make some fun designs, even if you aren’t a graphic designer.
Most places that make custom cases have a finished product that looks like it came out of a gumball machine, but I’ve outfitted a few of my devices with custom cases for when I’ll be traveling (with my name and info on the case just incase I leave it at an event) and Griffin’s are really nice.
If you’re creative or witty, you can check out the custom-maker app online and see what you are able to come up with. If you rather go for something more rugged or traditional, there are plenty of more traditional options that you can choose from as well.
shop all of the styles or make your own at Griffin