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Top 10 Best Quality Minimalist Items For Back To School


As a minimalist I'm a big fan of quality over quantity. When it comes to back to school though it seems like the supply lists keep getting longer and longer. With that being said though, there are still quite a few very well made items out there that will last your child for years to come.

Choosing well-priced, good quality items teaches your child environmental responsibility and frugality at the same time, and that's something you can both smile about.



So, without further adieu let's delve into the top 10 high quality items for back to school.

1. A well made backpack. Backpacks are an absolute necessity for school age kids and college kids alike. It's worth investing in a good backpack that will keep your child's items safe, protect their back from strain, and last for more than one year.

The classic waxed canvas backpack from JanSport is #1 on our list!


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This timeless backpack is understadedly cool and ages incredibly well. It's the perfect backpack for girls and boys of all ages. And because it's made by JanSport you know you're buying quality from a company with an amazing lifetime warranty that stands behind their products. You can check it out on Amazon HERE (Amazon Affiliate Link).

2. While we're on the topic of bags, let's talk about lunch kits. A proper lunch kit is so important. It will keep your child's food cold and fresh and make their lunch much more desirable to eat. Reusable lunch kits are great for the environment as they reduce waste. They also encourage healthy eating behaviors by eating fresh foods packed from home versus eating cafeteria food.

Our favorite lunch kit is this durable Neoprene model made by Built.


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We love this lunch kit because it is incredibly affordable but still very well constructed with a heavy duty zipper and stitching. It's spacious and keeps food cold for up to 4 hours. The best thing about this bag though is that it's machine washable! So you can feel confident that your child is always eating food packed in a clean lunch bag! For more information on this lunch kit, click HERE to check it out on Amazon (Amazon Affiliate Link).

3. A good quality reusable water bottle is something every child and adult alike needs. Choosing to drink water from a safe reusable bottle is both healthy and environmentally responsible.  

We love the Triple Tree 18/8 stainless steel water bottle.




This water bottle boasts a classic design. It's uninsulated, making it incredibly lightweight. It's leak proof and made of high quality steel so you can feel safe knowing that your water is coming in contact with only the safest materials. This version holds 17oz of fluid, but they also make larger options for the avid water drinker. Check them out on Amazon HERE.



5. It seems pretty much unavoidable nowadays, children need a computer to stay on top of this fast paced technological world. My biggest gripe with computers is how quickly they become slow as molasses and completely obsolete. 

The only laptop that Keen Koala recommends is a Macbook. Now, generally I wouldn't recommend something so pricey, but if you purchase a certified refurbished Macbook, it drives the price down substantially.



The Macbook Air is made of high quality components and have a good operating system. this laptop will take your child through 4 years of high school and with proper care even an additional 4 years at university. Check them out HERE.

6. I'm not sure what it is about schools, but they're always so dry, especially in the winter. This leads to dry, chapped hands and lips. 

Burt's Bees hand and lip balms are an absolute favorite here at Keen Koala. 



Burt's Bees products work very well and last a long time. They aren't fussy or strongly scented. It's also great to know that they're made out of high quality ingredients. Every backpack needs a Burt's Bees Lip Balm and hand salve. Find them HERE (Amazon Affiliate Link).

7. Every teenager and college kid needs a good quality full-grain leather belt. This is one of those things where buying quality really makes sense as a good quality belt will last you years and years while a cheap polyurethane belt may only last a few months.

This belt by. is #1 with our editors here at Keen Koala.


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These belts literally last for years, even with daily wear and still look just as beautiful as when they were brand new. These belts are unisex and can easily be dressed up or down. You can add whatever buckle you like to suit your mood or style. This belt is truly a minimalist multifunctional wardrobe must have. Click HERE (Amazon Affiliate Link).



9. Every child needs a scientific calculator. They begin using them in elementary school and will continue all the way through university. 

We highly recommend the Texas Instruments scientific calculator. They have been in the calculator business for a long time and are sought after for their high quality and long lasting products. 


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With this calculator you can feel confident that it has all of the functions necessary for your child to complete their homework. School lessons seem to be planned around the use of Texas Instruments' calculators, so it will be easy for the teacher to help your child with their calculator if this is the one they are using. Check it out on Amazon HERE (Amazon Affiliate Link).

10.  The last must have item on our list doesn't cost a dime, but it will get your child so far in life. It's a positive, kind, and patient attitude. Navigating your way through school with peers is so tough. Help your child cultivate an attitude that helps and nurtures others. It will take them farther than all the things on this list combined, and when all is said and done, they can look back on their life knowing that they were a good person and that's truly the most important thing in life

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