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  • Reviews of Top 10 Back to School Supplies - Get Ready for New School Year
Reviews of Top 10 Back to School Supplies - Get Ready for New School Year

It is hard to believe that summer is two-thirds the way over already. Back-to-School is just around the corner! While it is nice to have the kids around, many parents are probably relieved to send their children off. The constant stress of babysitters, road trips, and summer camps can be daunting. You probably just want to drop your kid off at school, a place you will know where they are safe, learning, and so you have some space to breathe! But you can’t just drop your kid off. They need to be prepared. They are still the light of your life, so you want to make sure they are hydrated, have proper nutrition, and the tools essential to their academic success. That is why August is the unofficial, “Back-to-School” ritual for all parents. Traditionally, this ritual is a manic frenzy to departmental stores with pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, and lunchboxes flying everywhere in the anarchy of stressed out shoppers. But this ritual does not have to be a chaotic experience. In this modern age, you can prepare your children’s send-off from the comfort of your chair with a glass of wine as you solemnly reflect on how fast your kid has grown. Boolpool takes you one step further by consolidating the satisfied and less-than-satisfied reviews of pencils, sharpeners, backpacks, lunch bags, and water bottles; everything you need for an informed decision to send your kid off prepped and ready to head back to school.

 
Reviews of Top 10 Back to School Supplies - Get Ready for New School Year
Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Spacious, sturdy and nicely organized
  • Lots of compartments and pockets
  • Water-resistant for added protection of the gear
  • Universal S-curve fit suitable for anybody wear
  • Dedicated MP3 player pocket with headphone port
  • Non-slip and comfortable, padded shoulder strap for easy transport
  • Several vibrant colors and patterns

    Cons

  • No sternum strap or waist strap
  • Too many pockets
Review Summary

The High Sierra Loop Backpacks are well constructed with Mini-Hexagon Ripstop, Waffle Weave, 600-denier Duralite polyester fabric featuring special water resistant coating to help keep the gear dry. Other features include comfortable and well-padded back panel; premium organizer compartment with multiple pockets, including zippered mesh pocket, pen pockets, lidded media pocket (dedicated MP3 player pocket with headphone port) and key fob. The non-slip yoke style S-shaped padded shoulder straps have a suspension system and integrated grab handle, and the swivel clip at the end of the strap prevent twisting. The bottom straps and monster hook allows attachment of extra gears.

These backpacks do not have a sternum strap, therefore are not very suitable for long hikes or trekking.

Overall, the High Sierra Loop Backpacks and very fashionable and functional and are available in multiple colors and patterns.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Spacious and easy to organize
  • Lots of compartments and pockets
  • Universal S-curve fit
  • Separate laptop compartment on side for upto 15.6 inches laptop
  • Sturdy and well-made
  • Padded shoulder strap for easy transport
  • Several vibrant colors and patterns

    Cons

  • Less padded laptop compartment
  • Little expensive
  • Cheap and stiff zipper
  • Thin material
Where to Buy
Review Summary

The Wasabi Backpack from Jansport is constructed with sturdy 600 Denier Polyster and has a capacity of 1800 cubic inches and 29.52 liters. This backpack is designed for comfort on the move with a fully padded back panel and ergonomic AirCore padded shoulder straps. This backpack also features extra thick EVA foam for padding with mesh back for air circulation along with a universal S-curve fit suitable for anybody wear. The pack comes with a large main compartment for loading bulky items, a dedicated side-entry compartment for laptop which protects and easily accommodates a 15 inch laptop, a roomy front utility pocket with an organizer, an easy access V-loft pocket and a mesh water bottle pocket on the side.

However, some reviewers mentioned the laptop compartment can have more padding for safety. A few users said that the zippers are cheap and stiff.

Overall, the Wasabi Backpack from Jansport is a perfect waterproof daypack for school or everyday commuter use.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Round jar for hot or cold lunch storage
  • Food stays warm for about 5 hours
  • Vacuum-insulated stainless-steel construction for heat retention
  • Four size microwaveable inner bowls
  • Leak proof or spill free insulated lids
  • Washable non-stick coated outer container
  • BPA free for safe food consumption

    Cons

  • Little expensive
  • Bowls are not dishwasher safe
  • Bowl Lids are not airtight
  • Small sized containers as per American standards
  • Plastic can pick up smell and stains of food
Review Summary

The Zojirushi SL-JAE14SA Mr. Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar comes with four different sized containers that allow you to pack a multi-course lunch of both hot and cold items easily and securely. With Zojirushi's renowned vacuum insulation technology, air between the two thin layers of stainless steel on the outer container is removed, creating a vacuum. Because there is no air, the temperature on the outside does not transfer into the container; keeping foods hot or cold for hours. All pieces should be washed by hand with non-abrasive cleaning pads. Inner bowls are microwave-safe. A spork with its own protective cover attaches to the Mr. Bento lunch jar, and the jar itself has its own lid with lock and comes in a zippered nylon carry bag with a strap for easy transport.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Sturdy and durable fabric construction
  • Soft sided and insulated for right temperature
  • Strong zipper compartment and pockets
  • Very easy to clean, washing machine safe
  • Perfect size and spacious
  • Multiple patterns and attractive colors
  • Lead safe, BPA free and Phthalate free

    Cons

  • Hard to clean milk spills
Review Summary

The Wildkin Olive Kids Lunch Box features a roomy, insulated interior and sturdy construction to ensure that the food and beverage are kept at just the right temperature. The box is very sturdy and durable. It features strong zipper compartment and pocket, mesh pouch for storing utensils or napkins; interior tabs to hold ice packs or water bottles in place and strong handle for carrying the box comfortably. It is soft-sided and insulated with good fabric and stitching to hold its shape. This box is very easy to clean and is washing machine safe.

However, though not a major concern, it was noticed that it is hard to clean milk spilled spots from the fabric. Spot cleaning does not work and leaves the bag with milk smell, therefore soaking in soap water and machine wash is advisable.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Perfect size for everyday use
  • Keeps the water cold all day
  • Helps in increasing water intake
  • Easy to grab and drink water without opening it
  • Durable
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Fits great in cup holders in cars, on machines at the gym and bikes

    Cons

  • The straw is short and does not reach the bottom
  • It may leak out of the straw
  • Does not fit in cupholders of few cars
Review Summary

Camelbak Eddy Bottle has a sleek shape that fits easily in the hand and most cup holders. It has a redesigned cap for greater durability and faster flow. The eddy™ .75L bottle is 100% BPA-free and built with patented flip-top bite valve that lets you sip without tipping or spilling – perfect for hydration on the go. Integrated loop handle can be hooked to a carabiner or carried in the crook of one finger. The bottle is dishwasher safe in the top rack. This durable and spill-proof bottle has a wide-mouth opening which makes it easy to fill with ice and water and a breeze to clean.

A few reviewers find the straw not so durable and short. The clear straw just falls short of touching the bottom, due to which its hard to suck the water till the last drop. Many times the bottle may leak at the straw. 

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Writes beautifully
  • Reliable
  • Cheap
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Do not have to sharpen often
  • Latex-free eraser for smudge-free erasing
  • Certified nontoxic by the PMA

    Cons

  • Sometimes drags on the paper instead of moving smoothly
  • Quality is not consistent and varies across batches
Review Summary

The Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are crafted with premium wood from well managed forests. They have satin smooth finish which enhances writing comfort. An exclusive graphite core formula gives you extra smooth performance. The pencils are easy to sharpen. A top quality, latex-free eraser provides easy, clean corrections. The pencils are PMA certified non-toxic and come at very reasonable price.

A few reviewers report that the quality of these pencils is not consistent as it varies from batch to batch.

Overall, The Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are equally popular among school going children and adults who love to write with pencils.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Well made little sharpener
  • Also sharpens crayons to a great point
  • Sharpens to a nice fine point
  • Heavy duty, sturdy and catches pencil shavings
  • The blade stays sharp
  • Has 2 holes - one for sharp points and one for rounded points
  • Works well with graphite and colored pencils

    Cons

  • Shaving tub fills up fast
Review Summary

Staedtler Double-hole tub sharpener can sharpen both standard and oversize pencils and crayons. It has two holes for different pencil sizes. The sharpener also comes in many variants. The metal sharpener blade insert stays sharp for long time. There is a hinged cover to prevent shavings from spilling. A lid with safety lock avoids accidental opening. This well made little sharpener sharpens pencils to a nice fine point without much effort.

Staedtler Double-hole tub sharpener is a must have school supply for kids at home and school.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Bold, rich and vivid colors
  • Laydown is smooth and uniform
  • Colors look beautiful on paper
  • Thick and soft lead
  • Lead core supports a very point when desired
  • Pretty cheap
  • Good for ages 3 to 15

    Cons

  • The lead is brittle and keeps breaking
  • Half the pencil gets wasted
Review Summary

Crayola Colored Pencils are made with thick, soft leads, so they won't break easily under pressure. The smooth colors are perfect for color mixing and blending, as well as practicing more detailed techniques. These colored pencils are good for kids entering kindergarten when they begin to explore the art and have urge to draw smaller, intricate shapes. Crayola pencils are loved by middle-schoolers too as they appreciate the generous assortment of vibrant colors as well as the convincing metallic shades of silver and gold. The pencils come pre-sharpened and are pretty cheap.

Many users complain that lead is brittle and keeps breaking when sharpening. Also, half the pencil gets wasted since the lead keeps breaking.

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Glue stciks and holds extremely well
  • Kids can turn them up themselves
  • Glue goes down easily
  • Really do wash off easily
  • Clear application
  • Amazing value to get 30 or 60 in the set
  • Non toxic and safe for kids

    Cons

  • None
Review Summary

The Elmer's Washable School Glue Sticks are easy to use, easy to clean-up, and is a favorite choice for teachers and students everywhere. They're nontoxic so they're safe in the classroom and little hands. These .24 oz. sticks come in many different sized packs ranging from 4 to 60 per pack. 

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Pros & Cons

    Pros

  • Really smooth writing comparable to a gel pen
  • Nice retraction and clicking
  • Attractive colors with nice variety
  • Color of the ink is readily evident by the color of the pen's barrel and finger grip
  • Cushiony, perforated and comfortable grip
  • The ink dries quickly without smudging
  • Inexpensive pens

    Cons

  • Ink is more liquidy than some other pens
  • After the ink starts to get low, the ink starts to fade
  • Disappointing for some users
Review Summary

Paper Mate 300 RT Ballpoint Pens features the revolutionary InkJoy writing system, which gives you the best in effortless writing. The InkJoy writing system starts quickly without dragging, requires minimal pressure from your hand, and delivers crisp, clean lines every time. The InkJoy 300 RT features an extended rubberized grip for optimal comfort in writing. The pen's translucent color-tinted body is modern and stylish, while its metal clip and retractable tip ensure ultimate convenience. These inexpensive pens come in many different vivid colors.

Paper Mate InkJoy 300 RT Retractable Medium Point Ballpoint Pens are favorite of teacher, students and parents.

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