Kid-Tested Toy & Product Review
Heading off to college? Here are some great products to send with your college student for dorm and apartment living.
Bed Bandits Hibernation Mattress Topper
The Hibernation is comprised of two inches of plush natural Talalay latex -- ideal material for comfort and support. Perfect for dorm room beds. It's hypoallergenic, anti-microbial and dust mite-resistant. The organic cotton cover is lined with organic wool for a natural fire barrier and equipped with elastic bands to strap directly to the mattress, so it will stay put. For every three toppers sold, Bed Bandits donates one. “Makes my dorm mattress so much more comfortable!” says Chad.
Maxwell & Williams Sprinkle 4 Piece Place Setting
Crafted of stoneware, Sprinkle features organic shapes and is hand-finished with an embossed sprinkle of white dots. This four piece dinnerware set is available in every color of the rainbow. Mix and match coordinating hues to add that extra pop of color. Show your artistic side with your pick of red, orange, yellow, bright lime, sky blue and purple -- all accented with white polka dots. “Festive dishes that are a great college starter set,” says Rachel.
Bobs Chill - Rowboat
Sail into comfort with the SKECHERS Bobs Chill - Rowboat shoe from the charitable shoe program. Soft woven canvas fabric upper in a slip on casual alpargata flat with stitching and overlay accents. Memory foam insole. With your purchase of BOBS, you’re helping to save the lives of dogs and cats, and donate shoes to children in need. "Super stylish and comfortable for walking around campus," says Trish.
BISSELL BOLT 2-in-1 Lightweight Cordless Vacuum
College students can clean their ‘home away from home’ easily using the BISSELL BOLT, allowing them to spend less time cleaning and more time making memories. The cordless, 12v power feature is perfect for 15-minute quick clean ups and its compact size and design is perfect for small spaces. The removable hand vacuum is great for tight corners, inevitable crumbs on couches and dusty shelves, while the 180° swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver around furniture and corners. A special crevice tool and dusting brush further help tackle hard-to-reach areas. "I love that it is cordless and I can remove the handheld and use that separately," says Ryan.
FriXion Clicker Erasable Pens
FriXion Clicker erasable pen is perfect for college students heading back to the classroom. Unlike the old-school, erasable pens of the past that broke your paper and left eraser shavings, the FriXion Clicker is the pen of the future, using special thermo-sensitive ink to allow unlimited do-overs in the classroom. In addition to being a must-have tool, this is a great pen with an even greater cause. Pilot has partnered with national non-profit STOMP Out Bullying and Disney XD to encourage freedom of expression and to help erase bullying in schools. Pilot is donating a minimum of $125,000 to Stomp Out Bullying during Back to School 2015 and 2016. "Love the color variety and that they are erasable," says Shaun.
T-fal PowerGlide Steam Iron
Built for long-lasting steam performance, the T-fal PowerGlide Steam Iron removes stubborn wrinkles with ease. Its two layer T-fal durilium ceramic technology coating has the best glide and outperforms competition in “glidability” and speed lab tests and the first-of-its-kind calc collector removes hard water deposits and ensures elite performance and lasting quality. "Heats quickly and works great," says Tracy.
SPIbelt Messenger Bag
The SPI Messenger is perfect for teenagers who may need to carry their laptop to school, tablet and bigger books. It also expands to hold several items and it’s sleek design makes it easy to carry to and from activities. Macy says,” Sleek but still fits a good amount of things.”
Super Pop Popcorn Maker
Make homemade sweet or savory popcorn in the blink of an eye. Just pour the popcorn kernels into the bowl, cover with the lid, and cook in the microwave for a few minutes. Eliminate preservatives and artificial-ingredients, with no need to add any oil or butter. To create flavored popcorn, just add sugar, caramel, spices, or cheese prior to cooking. “Pops kernels perfectly in three minutes!” says Jake.
Dri-Tec Fusion Performance Backrest
The Fusion Performance Backrest offers superior support while wicking away moisture and providing cool airflow. The handy side pockets offer storage for items like remote controls, books and more. "Super comfortable and lightweight so I can use it anywhere," say Blake. "And the pockets are great for holding my phone and headphones."
Chef’sChoice® International™ Classic WafflePro®
Less than three minutes is all it takes to enjoy delicious homemade waffles. No matter how hectic your schedule, it’s easy to put waffles on the menu and delight palettes young and old with the fresh baked goodness and aroma of homemade waffles. “Makes waffles so quickly that I always have time for a healthy breakfast,” says Steve.
Women's All You Need Marled Terry Jogger
Keep it easy and athletic in a modern Jogger silhouette. This marled French Terry pant is brushed for softness, with Cotton/Spandex 2x2 rib trim for better wear at the bottom cuff. A cotton twill tape stripe and coverstitch details run down each leg, while a self-fabric drawcord finishes-off the elastic waist. A printed graphic and Life is Good label round out the look with a 29" inseam. "Super comfortable for studying all night," says Chloe.
VPulse1 Light Up Speaker
This compact, portable and rechargeable bluetooth speaker features a multi-colored LED display that will keep the room vibrant and full of music. Stream and listen to music wirelessly and watch the LED lights change color in sync with music and sound levels. Compatible with any Android® or iPhone®/iPad®/iPod® device and has a built-in microphone to manage phone calls. Choose from red, pink, blue or black. “Fun to use with the lights,” says Sara.
Hotel Collection Ultimate Micro Cotton Bath Towels
Bring a touch of spa-like luxury to your every day. Crafted of high-quality, ring spun cotton, these durable and ultra-absorbent bath towels feature an extra-soft, plush feel. “Variety of colors to choose from and they are super soft,” says Claire.
GeckoTech® Reusable Hooks
GeckoTech Reusable Hooks are made using revolutionary Micro suction technology that allows them to be used again and again. They are great on glass, painted surfaces, laminate, stainless steel and most other flat, sealed surfaces. GeckoTech hooks are waterproof after application and can be used in many different areas, including bathrooms. No tools needed to install or remove. GeckoTech hooks remove without damage and do not leave any residue. “Easy to move if you don’t like the original placement,” says Ryan.
The perfect combination of function and fashion… and you’ll never have to worry about untangling or losing your headphones again. These eye-catching headphones deliver crystal-clear, high-quality sound. When you’re not jamming out, wrap them around your wrist and wear them as a stylish bracelet to give your outfit a little something extra. “Now I always have headphones with me,” says Carlie.
BG-X All Position Performance Pillow
BG-X’s unique conforming REACT™ core is designed to dynamically fit any sleep position and provides constant cradling and weightless support for your head, neck and shoulders. Its flexible fill dynamically reacts to your form and motion, providing support for your personal shape to ensure deep sleep. The temperature regulating Dri-Tec® fabric and ventilated Air-X® sidewall panels for enhanced airflow also ensure maximum recovery. “The most comfortable pillow I have ever slept on!” says Zach.
NEET Laptop Bag, Apprentice Series
A sleek, slim laptop bag designed for the person on the go. Double layer padding and automatic expansion allows you to carry everything. Available in black, blue and red. “I love the hidden pockets in the shoulder strap,” says Brett.
Duck Tape Transparent Tints®
Duck Tape Transparent Tints® let the light shine through, adding a touch of color and translucent finish to all projects for back-to-school. Perfect for school assignments, Transparent Tints are a great way to label school supplies, lunch boxes and water bottles. Students also can take a plain pencil holder and decorate it to add a pop of color without hiding what’s beneath, or let their personality shine through by using the tape to customize tablet covers. Available in three vibrant shades: aqua, fuchsia and lime. "Love the colors and there are so many uses for Duck Tape," says Julie.
Love KISS Travel Mug
Tic-tac-KISS patterns play coy to mushy messages of love on mugs. Take this travel mug anywhere you go. “Practical and fun,” says Nikki.
Women's Heart Flyaway Cardigan
Exactly how cozy is seven gauge cotton slub yarn? This beautiful open-front Cardigan can tell you. (And it's pretty much maximum coziness.) With a heart intarsia graphic on the back, ribbed cuffs and hem, and a Life is Good label on the hood, this 29" layering piece is officially in your comfort zone. "Lightweight so I can stick it in my backpack but super soft and comfortable," says Nicole.
Chef’sChoice® International™ Cordless Electric Kettle
In just minutes, it boils water faster than a microwave…perfect for making tea, coffee, hot chocolate, oatmeal, instant soup and blanching vegetables. The versatile kettle is ideal for use in an office or dormitory. Concealed heating element is never in contact with water, so there’s no buildup of mineral deposits. Cordless kettle lifts from corded base for easy filling, pouring and serving. “Great for our dorm room,” says Tracy. “The water boils so quickly.”
TekGrip Dash Mount
Listen to music, videos or your navigation system while being hands-free. This universal, 360-degree rotating mount attaches directly to hard and textured surfaces. Holder expands up to four inches wide. Collapsible and adjustable support feet help keep your phone securely mounted. Easily remove the mount and re-attach anywhere on your dash. “Easy to install, stays in place and works with all our phones,” says Trent.
Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College by Sam Kaplan & Keith Reigert
From dorm room etiquette and where to make friends to which classes to pick and why flip-flops are a must, “Goodnight Dorm Room” will get each and every high school graduate prepped for college success--and in rhymes, no less. This is the ultimate graduation present—one that guarantees to calm the nerves before beginning the best four years of your life. “Fun momento to send your child off to college with,” says Rachel.
Updated: October 2016
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