Tag Archives: design

Back to School Shopping: The Coolest Backpacks Ever!

Filed under: All Things Tech - BookRenter Team
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From wearable art to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fantasy, we’ve found something for everyone.

by Guest Blogger Serena Piper

We all know that high school and college are times when what everyone else is doing or wearing has an influence on what you do or wear, even when it comes to backpacks, of all things. The North Face backpacks and stereotypical leather messenger bags are popular choices, but if you’re looking for something more unique, here are the coolest ones I’ve found.

If they seem a little out of your price range, then enter our Summer Snap-off today for a chance to win a $1,000 Back to School shopping spree! Submit up to three of your favorite summer photos, and one of these backpacks could be yours.

1. Buzz Backpacks

If you appreciate design and wearable art, you need to check out the Buzz backpack. These are by far among the nicest looking backpacks around. Shoulder-slung to distribute the weight evenly across your back, they’re made of silk – silk! – and boast plenty of zippered pockets and hidden compartments for pens or a cell phone. They’ll also work for the yoga-goer needing to store a change of clothes, or even as a carry-on for that summer trip to Cancun.

$60 on Athleta.

2. The Meiosis Backpack

via Yanko Design

This unique backpack was designed by Davidi Gilad of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv. Made of mesh fabric overlaid by a grid system of three-dimensional polygons, the Meiosis (in biology, a type of cell division) is perfect for heavy toting and might just satisfy the secret fantasy you still harbor – come on, you can’t hide from us – of being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. There isn’t an official release date for this bag, unfortunately, but if you’re really interested, keep your eye out!

3. Voltaic Switch Solar Bag

If you’re a total techie and like to carry around your laptop – or your Kindle, your smartphone, whatever – this bad boy might be your match made in heaven. It will charge all of your electronic gadgets using two solar panels that generate power in sunlight. For example, one hour in sunlight will fully charge your cell phone. Can you say eco-friendly?

$129 at Voltaic Systems.

4. Built NY Large Laptop Backpack

Specifically designed to hold any 12–17 inch laptop, the Built NY Laptop Backpack is both water- and stain-resistant. Don’t worry, there’s extra room for a textbook or notebook.

$30 at Amazon.

5. iPhone Wallet

A friend of mine bought one of these when she got her iPhone and she gets compliments on it all the time. The wallet has slots for all your credit cards and cash, and snaps closed so you know everything in it is safe and secure. A lot of different stores have these available and they come in a variety of different colors. Check out Amazon first for the best deals.

Happy Hunting, and enter the Summer Snap-off today!

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Dorm Room 101: How to Spruce up a Sheisty Dorm Room

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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Guest Written by BookRenter Andy

The first day you walk into your Freshman year dorm room is a memorable one. I remember mine – linoleum floors and a tiny bedroom with bunk beds. My roommate Mike had brought 4 giant plastic bathtubs full of junk and stuffed them under the bed. They were so large that he needed to put the bed on stilts in order to fit them under the bottom bed. As a result I woke up every morning with my nose a few inches from the ceiling, sniffing the old paint and wondering why I came to the New Jersey to go to college (it also didn’t help that my dorm and the surrounding buildings were built in the 1950’s to resemble a prison camp, no joke).

Which brings us to the topic of the day: How do you spruce up a sheisty dorm room? Let’s start with the immediate bed area, perhaps the dreaded top bunk. A friend of mine name “Cow Man” had a great idea Freshman year: make the top bunk into a hangout/fort area. Cow started by putting in a “corner” shelf to house books and a lamp – these are essential. Without a corner shelf, you’re nothing on the top bunk. Cow also surrounded himself with pictures of his friends on the top bunk walls, as if he was in a fairly land where all his friends hung out on the top bunk with him, as opposed to real life where he hung out on the top bunk by himself.

The key to happy dorm room living is all about organization. If you’re organized, you’re clean. If you’re clean, you’re happy, and you probably smell good.

Let’s start with the desk. First, wrangle up your cords. Gotta have wrangled cords. I’d also go out and buy a file cabinet of some sort. For all the loose-leaf you’ll acquire over the next four years. So now you’ve got your cords wrangled, your loose-leaf organized, toss your pens and such in the file cabinet, and you are ready to think about the look and feel of your space.

Mike and I created an “animal wall” freshman year, which mostly consisted of animal photos we’d cut out from our other roommate Jon’s National Geographic collection. It didn’t cost us anything, because we didn’t pay for the National Geographics – Jon did. Now that we have reached the end of my decorating skills here are a few places to check out;

DIY: 10 tips for decorating your dorm room, plus more ideas by Rana Cash

Delicious Dorms! College Dorm Room Decorating Ideas for a Delicious Dorm Life.

Dorm 101: Must-Haves for Dorm Room Organization Written by Ashley – Flagler College

Of course, this being the digital age, dorm room design is now possible from your computer. BookRenter Brianna, my colleague and desk neighbor, recently came across DesignYourDorm which can help you plan and design your college dorm. You can view a 3-D rendered image of what your dorm room looks like, then decorate it with REAL products from Amazon.com, which you can buy, if you like. No go out there and decorate your dorm room.

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