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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Donna Freydkin

It's back-to-school time ... again! This year, the TODAY Parenting and Shop TODAY teams came together to make the transition from summer vacation to schoolwork mode as seamless and easy as possible. We're bringing you the best back-to-school supplies, tips and tricks — all in one place.

Oh, the eternal question: What’s the best backpack? And what supplies do you need to put in it? That’s right, parents, back-to-school shopping time has officially started. It can be stressful and confusing, but we’d rather you have fun, while also making smart choices that don’t add up to major overspending.

Seventeen magazine is here to help, courtesy of its Back-to-School Awards, hand-picked and vetted by teens themselves. Here to share a few of the winners is Seventeen's senior fashion editor Tiffany Reid.

First day of school outfit

Reebok Women's Classic Nylon Sneaker, $65-$80, Amazon

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Also available in a range of colors for $55-$80 at Zappos.

We are not going to see the sneaker trend going away anytime soon! We love the classic style of this Reebok sneaker which comes in updated colors.

Old Navy Go-H2O Water-Resistant Hooded Anorak for Women, $43, Old Navy

Teens said this jacket was “extra” in a good way, and we agree! Old Navy has tons of affordable outerwear options, but we especially love this metallic pullover for the girls. For our boys, this color-blocked hoodie is still stylish, but with a more neutral approach.

Backpack essentials

OLIKA Hand Sanitizer, $9, Amazon

Also available for $9 at Target.

Have you ever seen such a cute hand sanitizer? Teens said that they love the smell and the robin’s egg blue color. It’s tiny and fits easily in any bag.

Yeti Rambler Water Bottle, $40, Amazon

Also available for $40 at Dicks Sporting Goods.

This is a total must-have for your school bag. The stainless steel, double-wall technology keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold – and is compatible with a variety of different caps. The bottle is dishwasher safe and promises not to fade or crack.

And we love this Boon Supply portable blender!

Homework helpers

Streamline Universal 5-In-1 Charger, $13, Amazon

Modcloth also carries these ingenious chargers!

Trying to juice up multiple devices at once can be a real challenge, but not with this 5-in-1 charger! All of these cables connect into one convenient USB, so all your essential tech can be powered up to perfection. Teens said they thought this would make their lives much easier.

Simple by Design Organizer LED Desk Lamp, $50, Kohl's

How cool is this? This adjustable storage lamp allows you to keep your stuff organized and your work well lit, and includes a charging outlet which teens LOVE for the convenience.

More back-to-school supplies and clothes guides: