RS Recommends: The Best Back to School Gear for College Students

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Heading back to college is always bittersweet, but there is one way to sweeten the departure: upgrading your gear. That goes for students leaving home, as well as loved ones looking to prep a young scholar for the send-off.

At any college or university, things like backpacks, loungewear and workout clothing will get used regularly and will make campus life easier. That might take the form of shower slides for shared bathrooms, a duffel bag for weekend trips or sweats for relaxing in dorms.

For this kind of back-to-college shopping, Nike is a great place to start. The sports giant is one of the best sources for sought-after sneakers and premium activewear, which, like almost everywhere else, is the current uniform on college campuses. A high-quality Nike hoodie, for example, can take you (or the student in your life) from the dining hall to the gym to the classroom.

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Plus, Nike offers U.S. high school, college and university students a 10% discount through their web store. To receive the single-use promo code, sign up as a Nike Member (this is free) and verify that you’re a student who is over 16 years old.

Best Nike College Gear for Back to School

Below are some of our favorite Nike pieces to get college students outfitted for the school year. We’ve chosen gear that’s both useful and stylish, with picks ranging from clothing to sneakers to luggage. You don’t have to be a college student to pick these pieces up either – they’re great for post-work lounging, weekend errands or hitting the gym (or fitness studios) for your next workout.

1. Nike Sportswear RPM Backpack

Courtesy Nike

A stylish backpack with ample storage space should be the first thing on any student’s shopping list. This RPM backpack from Nike is a great option. It’s designed to fit most 15-inch laptops, plus books, cables, a water bottle and everything else, thanks to multiple zippered pockets inside and out. Made of 100% polyester, it’s also very sturdy and durable enough to withstand falls or scrapes (say, from skateboard or bicycle accidents). With a padded back, it’s also comfortable enough to haul through an airport or from one end of campus to the other.

Buy:Nike Sportswear RPM Backpackat$90

2. Nike Sportswear Club French Terry Sweatsuit

Courtesy Nike

Sweatsuits came back into style recently, and we couldn’t be happier. The two-piece outfit is ideal for lounging at home, warming up at the gym or even attending morning classes. This one from Nike’s Sportswear Club collection is made of cozy French terry with a worn-in look. We also like the unique stitching pattern, which comes around the thigh on the pants and around the armpits on the hoodie. It’ll be a loungewear go-to, but it’s stylish enough to wear out as well (say, with Nike Air Force 1s, as pictured above).

Buy:Nike Men's French Terry Pullover Hoodieat$85

Buy:Nike Men's French Terry Cuffed Pantsat$80

3. Nike Victori One Shower Slides

Courtesy Nike

Shared showers are notoriously unclean — whether in dorm rooms or greek life houses. The best way to stay hygienic is a great pair of shower slides, such as these Nike Victori Ones. Unlike some rubber sandals, these are designed specifically for showering with traction on the bottom, drainage holes in the midsole and a quick-drying foam construction. But, despite their name, the Victori One shower slides are just as good for hitting the pool or recovering from a workout as they are for showering.

Buy:Nike Victori One Shower Slidesat$25

4. Nike Challenger Running Short

Courtesy Nike

The best workout shorts can do it all: running, weight training, yoga and relaxing on hot days. These Nike Challenger shorts are one such pair. With a lightweight polyester body and a supportive brief liner, the shorts deliver mobility and comfort in equal measure. You also get Nike’s famous sweat-reducing Dri-FIT technology, as well as three pockets which include a secure snap-closure smartphone pocket on the back.

Buy:Nike Challenger Running Shortat$35

5. Nike Brasilia Duffel Bag

Courtesy Nike

Duffel bags come in handy for traveling home from college, heading on a spring break trip or just transporting sports gear. We like this Brasilia duffel, which boasts a spacious main compartment that can be used for a variety of luggage needs. It also features a zippered bottom compartment for shoes or dirty clothing, as well as a few quick-access pockets on the outside. Once it’s packed full, the bag is quite easy to carry thanks to a padded shoulder strap and drop handles.

Buy:Nike Brasilia Duffel Bagat$50

6. Nike Nigeria Woven Skate Top

Courtesy Nike

If you’re meeting with a professor, heading to a nice dinner or doing anything else where T-shirts aren’t ideal, this Nigeria button-up makes a great pick. The stylish feather-print button-up is secretly ready for movement with a stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric. That means you can skate or bike to your destination in style — and show up without sweat stains. Wear the shirt with chinos and loafers for a dressed-up look, or wear it casually with shorts and sandals.

Buy:Nike Nigeria Woven Skate Topat$75

7. Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage

Courtesy Nike

It can be hard to find time to shop between studying, going to lectures and hanging out with friends. To quickly inject some low-key style into your wardrobe, order a pair of these Nike Blazers. The classic basketball shoe is now cooler than ever thanks to vintage-forward fashion trends, making it a great choice for everyday usage around campus. They’re wearable with just about everything, looking great with jeans and tees to slacks and button-ups.

Buy:Nike Blazer Mid '77 Vintageat$100

8. Apple Watch Nike Series 6

Courtesy Nike

College students might be the ones who benefit most from wearing an Apple Watch. You can discreetly check texts and emails in class, keep track of sports and exercise goals, listen to music and podcasts, see reminders and so much more. This specific model, the Nike Series 6, is a collaboration with the sportswear brand that includes Nike Run Club and a sport band (which is normally $50 if bought separately). The Nike model also comes with exclusive “faces” (home screen layouts) that are designed for sports with pertinent workout data.

Buy:Apple Watch Nike Series 6at$499

9. Nike Sportswear Fleece Sweatsuit

Courtesy Nike

Sweatsuits are obviously ideal for lounging and studying in comfort, but stylish picks such as this one from Nike are also great for running errands or grabbing coffee. Thanks to a perfectly oversized fit, the suit is both more comfortable and more on-trend than basic versions. You’ll notice a subtle Nike Swoosh at the top of the chest and on the thigh, which adds just the right amount of branding. It comes in three muted colors, but we love this platinum white hue.

Buy:Women's Nike Oversized Fleece Crewat$70

Buy:Women's Nike Fleece Pants Nikeat$70

10. Nike Yoga Luxe Dri-FIT Leggings

Courtesy Nike

A premium pair of legging can upgrade any gym session, fitness class or travel day. These Nike Yoga Luxe leggings do just that, lending a high-waisted fit, Dri-FIT technology to wick sweat and a sculpting waistband. The fabric is a soft, stretchy Infinalon (a specific blend of spandex and nylon) that ensures all-day comfort while moving or sitting. You also get an inner pocket at the front of the waist, offering a spot for your smartphone or wallet.

Buy:Nike Yoga Luxe Dri-FIT Leggingsat$100

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