Explainer: 11 dorm gadgets you never knew you needed

  • The summer is moving fast, and it won't be long before students head to college campuses around the country for fall semester. This can mean only one thing: back-to-school shopping.

    After all the obvious necessities are bought, it's worth looking at some products that you might not have even thought about — or even knew existed. Once you see the stuff on this list, you'll wonder how any student could survive a new year without them.

  • Cheat sheet T-shirts

    This functional fashion prevents nakedness while providing students with useful information on U.S. History. The kind of information that could come in handy on say, a test perhaps? It's even printed upside down for easy reading. There are also versions available for science and math. $18.95-$24.99 - U.S. History at Snorg Tees/Science and Math at ComputerGear via Fashionably Geek

  • Sonic Bomb alarm clock

    The Sonic Bomb alarm clock is so loud, it will wake students up no matter how late the cram session (or party) lasted the night before. In fact, at 113 decibels it just might wake up everyone on campus. Best of all, for those who sleep through any noise, there's an attachment that you place in bed to shake you awake. You got that? No excuses. $39.99 - Think Geek via Nerd Approved

  • Booty Buddy

    College students probably wouldn't admit to owning a Snuggie much less venture out in public wearing one. However, this Booty Buddy — what Urban Outfitters visitors have branded the "hipster Snuggie" — is almost a poncho, so it's socially acceptable to walk to class with it or wear it to a football game on a cold autumn day. Well, almost socially acceptable anyway. $68 - Urban Outfitters via Fashionably Geek

  • R/C drinks cooler

    The remote-controlled drinks cooler is like your very own R2-D2 beer butler. It brings beverages wherever beverages are needed. No need to walk all the way to the fridge. Just load it up with ice and drinks, then use the remote to navigate the cooler around the room. $69.95 - Firebox

  • Post My Pillow

    Think of the Post My Pillow as a Post-It note that you can nap on. College students and their roommates can use the water soluble marker to jot notes down on the pillow so that the person sleeping will see it first thing when they wake up — at 1:30 in the afternoon. $24 - Veinti Cuatro Dientes via Nerd Approved

  • Mini Donut Factory

    If there was one thing I enjoyed in college, it was that cup-of-coffee-and-donut kickstart each morning. But give a college student a donut and they eat for a day, teach them how to make their own and it's non-stop dunkin'. The Mini Donut Factory can crank out six inexpensive bite-sized donuts in under four minutes. And it's compatible with any donut mix, including prepackaged ones from King Arthur and others. Of course, it could also turn the freshman 15 into the freshman 40. $19.99 - Think Geek via Nerd Approved

  • LTL Wall Graphics

    Unlike posters, LTL's gigantic vinyl prints don't tear easily and have a special adhesive that makes it possible to pull the graphic down and re-apply (though it's a pain to separate if the graphic sticks to itself). They come in every imaginable design, from the Twitter fail whale to Betty Boop to zombie Julia Roberts. The biggest prints are over 7 feet tall, but be careful: It takes a special kind of nerd to hang up a 7-foot cartoon Captain Kirk in his room. $14.99 to $146 - LTL via Nerd Approved

  • Grassy Lawn charging station

    Students with a lot of portable gadgets are going to need a dedicated spot for charging - especially in cramped quarters. This particular charging station features a compartment to hide all of the adapters and cables and a grassy aesthetic that is about as close as most dorms get to a houseplant. $24.99 - Think Geek

  • Fridge Locker

    Ever seen two people fight over a can of spray cheese? It's not pretty. Sharing a fridge with roommates is a constant struggle, especially if food has a tendency to go missing. The Fridge Locker lets you protect food that's rightfully yours, without the bloodshed. Even for hungry college students, trying to pry open this cage to steal food is going to be more trouble than it's worth. $19.99 - Fridge Lockervia Nerd Approved

  • Capsoul solar backpack

    Backpacks used to be about carrying books but, increasingly, they are for carrying gadgets. The Capsoul 3-in-1 backpack can also charge them — smaller items like cell phones, Kindles and iPods — using solar power. The panel is removable and can be carried independently as a shoulder bag or carrying case. Just make sure to have a backup charging plan in case of a cloudy day. $179 - Scratch Tracks via Fashionably Geek

  • Cup Noodles timer

    I can say from personal experience that if it wasn't for Ramen noodles, many college students might die of starvation. But students are easily distracted, and if you don't heed the optimum Ramen cooking time, you get lousy noodles. With this timer, you just pour in your boiling water, place the cup on top of the "burner," set the timer for 3 minutes and wait for Ramen perfection. $11.99 - GizFever

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