Whether you’re an incoming freshman or returning to dorm life after a year in lockdown, picking the right stuff for your higher ed ambitions can be tough. On one hand, you want to have quality gear that won’t let you down by midterms. On the other, the inevitability of crushing debt looms in the years to come—so you probably want to be frugal wherever possible.

If you’re looking for a new laptop, we’ve got a dedicated guide that just features all of our top PC picks for college students. This guide is filled with all the other stuff you might need: a versatile backpack, coffee gear, audio gadgets, food-prep necessities, and fun tech to make dorm life more livable.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-Year Subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribing to WIRED