With warm days upon us, there are just a few months to take advantage of bright sunshine and outside weather. These handy accessories can help you maximize every beach day and backyard barbecue, so you don’t waste a single moment of hot summertime fun.
Tuffo Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket
Still dragging that old patchwork quilt that smells like the basement on your beach trips and picnics? Why not retire it and invest in a Tuffo Water-Resistant Outdoor Blanket instead. Sold in a variety of cheery patterns, the 4-and-a-half-by-7-foot blanket is made with a durable polyester backing, which helps keep dampness out and you more comfortable. Lightweight and compact, it comes with a matching carrying case and is machine washable. $41.95 at tuffo.com. (Courtesy of Tuffo)
Don’t you hate it when you’re drinking a cold soda or beer and by the time you reach the bottom it tastes like warm broth? Yep, we do too. If you want to enjoy a cold drink from the first sip to the last, try a Yeti Colster. The makers of the stainless steel, vacuum-insulated Colster boast that it will keep your drink as “cold as science allows.” The design locks in the temperature but doesn’t produce sweat or condensation. It’s also frostbite-free and won’t leave your drinking hand cold. The Yeti Colster holds a standard 12-ounce can or bottle. $29.99 at yeticoolers.com. (Courtesy of Yeti)
Whether you’re into cliff diving, hiking, surfing or kayaking, summer is all about getting your action on. Make sure you capture every moment for posterity with the affordable GoPro HERO body-mounted video camera. Small and lightweight, the GoPro HERO is designed to withstand dirt and sand, and it’s waterproof, which means you can pretty much take it anywhere you go. Offering high-quality video, the camera is among the best-selling in the world. About $129.99 at Amazon.com, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, REI and gopro.com.
Jawbone Mini Jambox
If you don’t already own one of these, put it at the top of your list. Jawbone’s Mini Jambox, a Bluetooth speaker, is the perfect portable way to listen to music from your phone or cloud. Slightly larger than a wallet and weighing just 9 ounces, the Mini Jambox is small enough to bring just about anywhere, but it packs a huge audio punch. Fully charged, the battery lasts up to 10 hours, ensuring your favorite tunes all day long. It also streams all your other audio content, including movies, TV shows and phone calls. The Mini Jambox comes in nine colors, including purple, red, silver and green. $129.99 at jawbone.com, Best Buy and Amazon. (Courtesy Jawbone).
Kotula’s Vineyard Propane Fire Table
Cool summer nights are best spent near an outdoor fire, but who wants to deal with the hassle and mess that often accompany backyard fireplaces? Aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, the Vineyard Propane Fire table is the perfect addition to any patio or backyard retreat. Using a standard 20-pound propane tank (not included), the fire table puts out 50,000 BTUs to keep everyone warm when the weather turns chilly. The table comes with a slate top and wood barrel-style base. $399.99 at kotulas.com. (Photo Courtesy http://www.Kotulas.com).
Tovolo Bamboo Wine Table
This eco-friendly, bamboo wine table, which holds two wine glasses and your favorite cheese plate, goes just about anywhere you can put a stake in the ground. Indispensable whether you’re lounging in your backyard, relaxing at the campsite or watching the sunset on the beach, this collapsible table is easily transportable, so you can enjoy the moment without worrying about finding a place to perch your glass. An extra-long stake firmly plants the table into the ground or sand, and it comes with a convenient carry-bag. $19.99 at Amazon.com. (Courtesy of Tovolo)
Goal Zero Solar Recharging Kit
When you’re getting away from it all this summer, you’ll still want to stay connected, and the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger and Nomad 7 Solar Panel will keep all your electronics charged and ready to go when you need them. Use the mobile solar kit to charge your phone, MP3, GPS or give your tablet a boost. Charge AA and AAA batteries from the sun or use any USB port, plug your electronics in, and you’ll be recharged no matter where you are. Lightweight and portable, the Goal Zero Recharger weighs about 1 pound and is great for camping, hiking and anything else you do away from an outlet. $119.95 at goalzero.com. (Courtesy Goal Zero)
Tommy Bahama Deluxe Beach Chair
Why settle for an ordinary beach chair when the Tommy Bahama Deluxe Backpack Beach Chair pretty much ensures that once you’ve parked yourself in the sand, you won’t want to move. It offers five reclining positions, an insulated cooler pouch, cellphone holder and key fob, towel bar and adjustable pillow, so you can loaf for as long as you like. The aluminum-frame chair is also collapsible for hands-free toting. $65 at tommybahama.com. (Courtesy Tommy Bahama)
Even the most ardent sun worshipper needs a break now and then, and the Sport-Brella is ideal for providing quick and easy shelter. Perfect for beach days, sidelines and campsites, the Sport-Brella is water resistant and protects against more than 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Comfortably fitting two or more people beneath its 8-foot-wide canopy, the umbrella offers instant setup for protection against both sun and rain. When you’re ready to go, it can be taken down in seconds and packed in its convenient carrying case. $59.99 at sport-brella.com. (Courtesy Sport Brella)
Lands’ End Tote Bag
Everyone needs a great beach bag, and Lands’ End offers a large, rugged canvas tote with a water-resistant base, to keep all your gear from getting damp. Tested to hold up to 500 pounds, the bag will carry just about whatever you put in it, from beach blankets to wet towels. Wide flat-felled seams keep the bag upright and prevent it from dumping over, and four interior pockets keep your smaller stuff separate and organized. The Lands’ End Large Open Top Tote comes in a bunch of awesome new prints that help make it a fashion-do this summer. $44.50 at landsend.com. (Courtesy of Lands End)
PlatyPreserve Wine Preservation
After a long day of playing out in the elements, enjoy a glass of your favorite vino, packed in this collapsible, wine-on-the-go container by Platypus. The PlatyPreserve Wine Preservation System is a lightweight alternative to lugging along a bottle, and its airtight container protects your wine by eliminating oxygen exposure. Measuring 1-by-7 inches, the PlatyPreserve holds up to 800 ml and protects against messy leaks. It’s also useful at home if you love a glass of wine, but don’t always finish the bottle. The Platypus PlatyPreserve will keep your wine for days or even weeks. $9.95 at platy.com. (Earl Harper)
Summer living should include at least a few chill-out chairs placed by the pool, on the deck or beneath your favorite shade tree. There’s nothing better than enjoying your morning coffee or evening glass of wine outdoors, where you can carve out a few moments to yourself. Adams Manufacturing’s new Big Easy resin rocking chair is a steal at $39.99, as is the traditional RealComfort Adirondack chair, which sells for the same price. Both are lightweight and stackable for easy storage. Adams chairs are sold at most home and hardware stores. (Courtesy of Adams Manufacturing)