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The 25 Most Essential Gadgets for Men

The Oxford Dictionary says a gadget is “a small mechanical or electronic device or tool” and suggests added deference to those evidently ingenious or novel.

We’re not so sure about the second part. Nothing about the word — etymology or otherwise — suggests a thing must be ingenious or new to be a gadget. A humble suggestion: a gadget is a small mechanical or electronic device or tool that makes your day better. Gadgets grease the tracks of the daily grind. We submit they are useful, not “novel.”

Gadgets are gifts. A gift for yourself, your significant other, your dad or your mail carrier alike. Something to use, not stare at (sorry, whiskey stones, that means you’re out). They’ve got staying power. What fits the bill? From Bluetooth speakers to beard trimmers, here are 25 of the best gadget ideas — what they are, why they rule and which to buy — recommended by Gear Patrol staffers.



Sonos Five



“If somebody told me that they had $500 to spend on a speaker, this is what I’d recommend. The Five is the biggest and best-sounding speaker that Sonos makes (not counting its soundbars) and it’s just super versatile. You can stream music to it a number of different ways (including AirPlay 2 or Spotify Connect). You can easily integrate it into a multi-room or home theater system if you have other Sonos speakers. You can hook it up to a turntable (with a built-in preamp) because it’s the only Sonos speaker with a line-in connection. And, if you were really hardcore, you could buy another Five, turn each of them sideways (so they’re both standing vertically) and configure them in a stereo pair. Like I said, it’s a super versatile speaker.” Tucker Bowe, Senior Staff Writer, Tech


25 best gadgets for men webcam

Why do I need this? O

OK, fine — maybe you don’t actually want to appear in all your high-def glory on Zoom for all your colleagues to see. But now that we’re conducting so much of our lives from the comfort of our laptop screens, you owe it to yourself to upgrade from your computer’s shitty, built-in camera. After all, it’s no longer just business that’s being conducted via that webcam — it’s also long-distance catchup sessions with family, hobbies and more. And you should really look your best, and not like some pixelated video game character.

One of the best — and most popular — such hi-def webcams available right now is the Logitech C920S ($70). With dual-mic, stereo audio capability, a privacy shutter and a clip-on design, it rests handily on your monitor and let’s you appear in all your WFH glory.


Electric Toothbrush

electric toothbrush

Good: Gleem Electric Toothbrush ($20)
It’s a 2-minute brusher that isn’t going to connect to your phone or do anything to open your mind’s eye. Despite its simplicity, it’s miles better than manually brushing.

Better: Hum by Colgate Electric Toothbrush ($85)
The Hum brush, which is our top pick for a good-value electric toothbrush, delivers modern tech and handy quality-of-life features at a reasonable price. You get a few different brush modes (the sensitive mode is especially useful), build quality that isn’t going to break after a couple months, competitive pricing (not to mention frequent sales), app connectivity and loads of brushing data if you want to bother with it.

Best: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Brush ($170)
In some ways this toothbrush is a caricature of the overbuilt, too-smart world of products we live in today. But the intensity and consistency of the Sonicare DiamondClean feels like going to the dentist every morning and night.

Wine Opener

Pulltap’s Double-Hinged Waiters Corkscrew



“Being an especially weak person and drinking wine (or especially cool beer or barleywine) too often has created for me the unique opportunity to analyze corkscrews better than perhaps anyone else living. I’ve tried the expensive ones that have their own see-through plastic display case, just in the event you’re the type of person who displays a bottle opener, and I’ve tried the ‘minimalist’ ones that I genuinely believe make removing a cork more difficult. Good people should opt for Pulltap’s $7 Waiter’s Corkscrew for the very simple and objectively true reason that it’s better than any wine opener that exists and is, again, $7. Blade for cutting foil, double-jointed tab for getting leverage on the cork, bottle opener for the ‘I’ll have a beer’ guys and of, course a corkscrew.Will Price, Editor, Home & Design

Knife Hone

25 best gadgets for men knife hone

Why do I need this? Knife hone does not equal knife sharpener. You may not be able to see it, but the edge of your knife is full of microscopic misalignments and very tiny teeth that do the bulk of the cutting work you put the knife to. When you sharpen a knife, you give it a shiny and well-aligned set of teeth. Then, after regular use, the teeth bend out of shape, resulting in a knife that won’t perform as well. Sliding the blade against a knife hone brings the teeth back into alignment, keeping the knife sharper for longer.

Most knife hones (sometimes called “steels”) are the same: about a foot of heavy stainless steel with a slip-free handle so you don’t drop it on your toes. Henckels’ affordable option ($20) doesn’t do anything different in this regard, but it’s a favorite in professional kitchens and regularly goes on sale.



multi tools

Good: Gerber Armbar Drive ($39)
“Multi-tool” can mean many things, and “pliers-included” doesn’t necessarily have to be one of them. For multi-utility functionality that won’t sag your pocket like a brick, Gerber’s Armbar Drive includes only a few often-needed tools: a knife, scissors, screwdriver and bottle opener (plus a few more).

Better: Leatherman Bond ($50)
The Bond may be new as of 2021, but it cuts a direct line to the PST (Pocket Survival Tool) that Tim Leatherman created when he invented the multi-tool as we know it. The Bond is classic with its pliers-centric design and includes 14 tools in its 5.8-ounce framework. It’s simpler than some — and more affordable — but can handle most tasks that don’t call for a toolbox.

Best: Leatherman Free P2 ($120)
How do you turn great into perfect? The answer always seems to be with magnets. Leatherman integrated them into its classic multi-tool design to reduce friction but not security and provide for easy, one-handed use of all 19 tools in the P2. Buyer beware: this tool is so smooth, you’ll find yourself flicking it open and shut all day long.

Mechanical Keyboard

One 2 Skyline TKL Mechanical Keyboard



“Yes, your laptop has a keyboard attached to it, and yes it does work. But if we settled because things just work, life would be a drag. A mechanical keyboard isn’t better than what you already have, nor will it instantly make you a better typist. The draw isn’t functionality or efficiency; it just feels better. This one, from a brand called Ducky, is compact and comes with a little flair, but you could easily find something more muted in look with a little browsing. Plus, now that most of us are working from home more often, you don’t have to worry about disturbing your coworkers with clicky keys.” Will Price, Editor, Home & Design


External Hard Drive

25 best gadgets external hd

Why do I need this? In an era of Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive, the external hard drive might seem like a dinosaur of days past, but their utility is probably summed up by the (paraphrased) words of JG Wentworth. It’s your data, and you need it now. External hard drives — most are technically SSDs (solid state drives) these days — do two things really well. They keep huge swaths of data on ice, locally and for no monthly fee, and they transfer said data outrageously quickly.

A very, very good Dropbox transfer will go at something like 30MB/second, the Samsung T7 ($150) — our favorite portable SSD — will transfer at more than 1000 MB/s.


Beard Trimmer

Philips Norelco Ultimate Beard Trimmer Series 9000



“For keeping facial hair trimmed, there’s nothing better than an electric beard trimmer. It’s more efficient and effective than a pair of scissors, it’s more convenient and less expensive than trips to the barber, and it’s dead-simple to use. Philips Norelco makes a number of great trimmers, but the Series 9000 may be the most convenient. It works for 2 hours after a single charge, it’s completely waterproof and it features 30 length settings and a stainless steel skin guide. What’s more, it’s fully washable and easy to clean, so you can incorporate beard trimming into any part of your grooming routine.” John Zientek, Editor, Style

Headphone Amp

25 best gadgets headphone amp

Why do I need this? Sure, you can listen to music via your computer’s headphone output. But if you do, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you’re a music lover, a gamer, or you use a pair of quality headphones — especially of a variety that has a high impedance, such as an open-back pair — then you really need a dedicated headphone amplifier. This gadget plugs into your audio setup and drives your thirsty pair of headphones so that they can sound their best, and the difference is often staggering. You might not even recognize the music coming out of your laptop.

The IEMagni from Schiit Audio ($119) is an excellent choice to power all different types of headphones — even the especially thirsty ones with high impedances. Its incredibly low noise floor is a must for audiophiles, while its affordable price is perfect for casual listeners.


Hand Coffee Grinder

hand coffee grinders

Smart Spend: Hario Mni Slim Ceramic Coffee Mill ($30)
With the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill, you lose coffee capacity, but you get a space-saving hand coffee grinder. It holds 24 grams of coffee, and it keeps grounds uniform in size without requiring too much effort. Because it uses ceramic burrs, the grinder transfers less heat to the beans, which can dull coffee flavor.

Better: Hario Skerton Pro Hand Grinder ($60)
Hario has made a name for itself in the coffee-brewing industry, and with its Skerton Pro hand grinder, you get consistent, even coffee grounds for not too much money. The hand grinder features a burr stabilizer, stepped grind adjustment and a silicone grip. Hand grinding coffee is not fun, but with the Skerton Pro at least it’s not torture.

Best: Kinu M47 Grinder ($199+)
Hand coffee grinders are notoriously strenuous to use, but the Kinu M47 Grinder makes it as painless as possible — for a price. It has a thumb stopper, which prevents the grinder from slipping in your hand, an easy-to-adjust grind size selector and a magnetic grounds catcher. You’ve never seen uniform coffee grounds like this before.

Kitchen Scale

25 best gadgets kitchen scale

Why do I need this? Quit eyeballing measurements in the kitchen — you’ll either end up with a crappy meal or a really great meal you’ll never be able to replicate to a tee. But what about measuring cups and spoons, you may ask? They’re useless once you realize how imprecise they are — does anyone really know what a cup of “packed” brown sugar is? Kitchen scales take the guesswork out of measuring, and they eliminate the need for separate measurement tools. Plus, they make portion control a breeze so you get the perfect serving size for every meal.

Another great thing about kitchen scales: they’re cheap. This one from the budget cooking gear makers at Escali is $25 and works like a charm. You even get to pick the dang color.


Ballpoint Pen

U.S. Government Retractable Ball Point Pen



$10.71 (44% off)

“Any cheap old pen can crudely get the job done only to then be tossed or lost, but there’s a private pleasure to keeping one on hand that you specifically enjoy using. In a digital world, putting ink to paper is less common, so signing a document or even taking notes can feel a little special and satisfying in a getting-back-to-nature way. The weight of a pen and texture of paper… it deserves the right instrument. (I also like to twirl a pen.)

That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend a fortune. I find that Skillcraft’s US Government pens feel nice to grip (and twirl), write smoothly and have a cool story. (They’ve been made for decades to government specifications and also serve a good purpose by employing the blind in their production.) For around $10, this is the kind of pen with which you (or a giftee) can develop a relationship.” Zen Love, Staff Writer, Watches


Kitchen Thermometer

25 best gadgets kitchen thermometer

Why do I need this? No amount of pressing a steak, chicken or pork tenderloin will accurately judge internal temperature. With steak (and to some extent pork), your problems are limited to under- or over-done food, which is a nuisance. Chicken is different gravy in this respect. Lots of passionate home cooks grew up with macho TV chefs that suggested you could gauge when food would be done through feel; they couldn’t and you can’t. ThermoWorks makes the absolute best thermometers, and the ChefAlarm is the best for home use. Get one and stop doing this weird finger thing.

There are more affordable and more expensive kitchen thermometers, but ThermoWorks’ Chef Alarm ($65) remains the best use of your money. Thanks to its magnetic back and long probe cable, it’s good for quick temp checks for grilled meats and tracking a roast chicken’s core temp from fridge to a perfect 165.




Good: Amazon Fire HD 10 ($150)
Ideal if you’re on a budget and are looking for something to rewatch Mad Men in bed with. It’s Amazon’s best tablet, it’s less than $200, it runs most streaming services flawlessly and you’re not going to be too upset if your kid yeets it across the room.

Better: Apple iPad ($329)
It’s last year’s iPad, and it still rules. In usual Apple fashion, it blends software and hardware flawlessly, and the previous year’s model is a better value than any of the new models.

Best: Apple iPad Pro ($799)
The Pro is for professional. These iPads were built for folks working in creative fields who need access to advanced displays and processing power, but their speed and improved built-in cameras are great for regular people, too.


Slide Lighter

Tetra Tetra


“The first time I ever witnessed Tetra’s Slide Lighter, I wasn’t sure what was happening. Up close, it’s clearer — there’s a coil lighter tucked under a sliding door — but from afar, I was watching someone ash their cigarette into someone else’s e-cigarette. After sparking — get it? — a conversation about it, I bought my own, mostly for the novelty. (I don’t smoke cigarettes.) But I carry it most days, alongside my wallet or tangled up in my keys. (It’s three inches shorter than the newest iPhone.)

If a stranger — because yes, we’re seeing those again — asks for a lighter, I can slide the door and spark their cig from an arm’s length away through rain, snow and wind. The coil heats up like the ones on an electric stove or in a car, proving capable of catching fire to cigarettes and cigars (from a few different angles), joints (if those are legal in your jurisdiction), and even paper or twigs to serve as kindling.” Evan Malachosky, Assistant Editor, Style

Spice Grinder

25 best gadgets spice grinder

Why do I need this? You need spices to make a delicious meal, no doubts about it. Compared to fresh spices, pre-ground spices are bottom-of-the-barrel stuff (sorry, but it’s true). Pre-ground spices are convenient and all, but nothing beats freshly ground spices, and the best way to do it is with a motorized spice grinder. The classic mortar and pestle is amazing for crushing a pinch or two of spices, but when you’re looking to grind a lot or grind often, the spice grinder is the way to go.

As with most small kitchen appliances, KitchenAid is a solid bet here. Its spice grinder ($40) is less fussy than others and dishwasher safe.


Desk Knife

25 gadgets desk knives

Good: Opinel No. 8 ($17)
The 8.5cm blade is a little more knife than you need, but the ergonomic perfection of the size is undeniable, especially if you don’t have to worry about finding space in your pockets for it. Doesn’t hurt that the design has been around since the 19th century.

Better: Deluxe Tinker Swiss Army Knife ($50)
A simple folder works well for most tasks, preparedness is next to godliness (is that how it goes?), and a mid-level Swiss Army Knife — complete with multiple blades, scissors, screwdriver, pliers, tweezers, a wire stripper and more — keeps you ready for your daily allotment of BS.

Best: The James Brand The Carter ($159)
Excellent material quality, clever opening mechanics and great looks. The James Brand knives can run pricey, but they’re damn nice.

Mobile Hotspot

ZTE ZMAX Connect Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE



“As with water, a few hours without Wi-Fi and things get dicey. Mobile hotspots are the 100-gallon drum of water in an internet desert. With a hotspot, wherever you can make a phone call you can connect to the internet in a fairly secure fashion. Yes, you could use your phone itself for this nearly all modern smartphones have a personal hotspot feature that works just fine but in doing so your phone’s battery life will be a plate of hot dogs in front of Joey Chestnut.”Will Price, Editor, Home & Design

Smart Plug

25 best gadgets wyze smart plug

Why do I need this? Smart plugs are the holy trinity: they’re efficient, lazy, cheap. You can get ’em for $10 a pop, they streamline your day-to-day and they save you money. Schedule your air purifier, humidifier, coffee maker or radio to turn on when you need them. Restart your Wi-Fi router with your phone, without fishing it out of the dark corner where you hide it. They cut back on vampire power, too.

There are smart plugs that are more efficient, and smart plugs that offer more features, but there aren’t any other smart plugs available for $10 or less that still work without a hitch. If you’re starting to make your home smart, get things going with Wyze plugs.


Drill Kit

drill kits

Good: Bosch 12-Volt Max Cordless ($129)
The best budget cordless 12-volt drill, full stop. It’s lightweight, has an integrated LED light that activates with the drill and it’s frequently on sale. You can’t ask for more from a value buy.

Better: DeWalt Xtreme 12-Volt Cordless ($149)
Essentially a more thoughtfully designed version of the above Bosch drill, albeit for $20 or so extra. The grip is far more ergonomic, and the balance of the drill makes much more sense.

Best: DeWalt Xtreme 20-Volt Cordless ($200)
You won’t need to upgrade from 12- to 20-volt unless you plan on doing more and more demanding home projects. Think building a deck vs. hanging art. Other than the power, it’s got the same balance and clever grip design the other DeWalt Xtreme cordless drill has.

Percussion Massager

Hyperice Hypervolt Plus



$349.00 (13% off)

“The only people who don’t think a post-workout massager isn’t necessary are people who haven’t used a post-workout massager. There are a few big names out there now, but the Hyperice Hypervolt Plus is where to look first. Pull it out after especially heavy workouts when your muscles feel too tight to move comfortably. Follow that up with some lighter massaging on rest days and you won’t be hit as hard by delayed-onset muscle soreness. It’s the only thing that keeps me moving after back day.” —Will Price, Editor, Home & Design

A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

Exceptional Coffee Ordered Through Text, and 5 Other New Home Releases

Welcome to Window Shopping, a weekly exercise in lusting over home products we want in our homes right the hell now. This week: a strawberry vinegar, a knife for all things fish related and more.

Fellow Drops

fellow drops

Fellow Drops


Made In Fishing Knife Collection

made in fishing knife collection

Made In

Made In is getting into the fishing category. No, it’s not dropping a fishing rod, but it is expanding its knife collection with a fishing knives set. The knives were designed with Tom Colicchio, a James Beard Award-winning chef and Top Chef judge. Included in the set are two eight-inch blades: the Flexible Fillet Knife, which is straight-edged for cutting, deboning, skinning and filleting, and the Utility Knife, which is serrated to help lob off heads, prep bait or work with frozen fish.

Price: $89



toko custom drawers


There’s nothing exciting about designing and buying desk drawers. Or maybe there is. Toko is a new drawer company, spawned by a husband-and-wife duo during the pandemic. The website’s interface makes it, dare I say, fun to design the drawer of your dreams. Set the length and depth of the drawer you’re designing for, and set up the add ons as the computer-generated image to the left shows you how it’ll come out.

Price: $27+


Fellow Carter

fellow carter everywhere mug


Fellow makes a lot of favorite coffee products from its much-beloved water kettles to its hyped-up coffee grinder. Its Carter line of mugs — which includes the Move and the Everywhere — are a recent inclusion in the brand’s lineup, and it recently won a Specialty Coffee Association award for design. The leak-proof mugs are sleek and keep beverages hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. The Move mug has a snap-in splash guard so you can drink more easily — and mess free — when on the go. Fellow recently added three new colorways to its Carter line: mint chip, buttered popcorn and boxed wine (exclusively for the 12-ounce Move mug), and they’re all available now.

Price: $28+


Brightland x Oishii Lush Strawberry Vinegar

lush strawberry vinegar


When we covered Oishii in a previous Window Shopping, we called it the perfect berry in every way from its aroma to its taste. Now the perfect strawberry is in vinegar form by way of Brightland. Lush is made to evoke the same smell and taste of Oishii’s berries, and it’s also Brightland’s first time collaborating on a vinegar. It’s recommended to use the vinegar in a cocktail, with grilled summer fruit or soft-ripened cheese.

Price: $25


Red Clay Spicy Peach Honey

red clay spicy peach honey

Red Clay

Spicy honey is hot in more ways than one. Yes, it’s spicy, but it’s also super big right now, and when you taste it, you’ll know why. South Carolina-based Red Clay’s newest spicy sauce is the Spicy Peach Honey, which pairs raw wildflower honey with juicy ripe peaches. Enjoy it on waffles, fried chicken, biscuits, ice cream — honestly, you can probably just eat it by the spoonful.

Price: $11


Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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The Fastest Way to Make Hot Coffee Cold Costs $40 on Amazon

George Howell wasn’t sure how to make iced coffee work for his esteemed chain of coffee roasters and cafés. The way he sees it, iced coffee is vastly better than cold brew (and he’s not alone), but making it is a pain — you either have to pour hot coffee over ice and dilute the coffee with melting water, or wait for a blast chiller to bring a batch of hot coffee down to 40 or so degrees (which could take 45 minutes to an hour).

Then Howell found the Coldwave.

The $40 pitcher, readily available on Amazon, comes with a plastic insert fitted with an array of white tubes filled with water. Freeze the insert (takes about 8 to 10 hours, usually), pour fresh hot coffee into the pitcher and drop the insert into the coffee. A minute and a half later, you have iced coffee.

Despite Howell’s misgivings, you can use this device just as easily for cold brew. Most cold brew recipes explicitly insist on keeping the mixture at room temperature while brewing so as to not hinder extraction. This means cold brew is room temperature upon finishing the half-day brew cycle. If you don’t like pouring it over ice and creating an inexact dilution, you can chill it in a Coldwave before diluting.


Howell explains that the consumer Coldwave isn’t an elegant fix to his cafés’ commercial problem, and it certainly isn’t the end-all, be-all solution; after one, 16-ounce chill — about three good-sized cups — the insert must be rinsed off and re-frozen. But he thinks it’s just fine for iced coffee at home.

“It’s the best gadget for this I’ve found so far,” Howell says. “It’s dead simple and … it does the job faster and cleaner than anything else I’ve used recently.”

For home brewing during the warmer months, it still isn’t as easy as batch-brewing cold brew and keeping it in the fridge for a week. But it does allow you to brew your regular pot of hot coffee and chill it without adding much to your morning routine.

“This levels the playing field for iced coffee,” Howell says.

Buy Now: $40

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Assistant Editor, Home and Design Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.

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The 12 Best Home Products of Summer 2021

gear patrol summer awards

Gear Patrol

This story is part of the 2021 Summer Gear Awards. To see the full list of winners, click here.

Welcome to summer: it’s hot and humid, and you’re better off staying at home. And even if the outdoors is calling, you can still head to the backyard (if you have one). There are few things more summer than a new grill or a cold brew coffee maker. Then, of course, you need to beat the heat inside whether it’s with an air conditioner or a fan. Luckily, we’ve vetted all the summer home gear you need to have, and this is what you should be adding to cart ASAP.

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Best Pellet Grill

Traeger 575 Pellet Grill

The Traeger 575 Pellet Grill is basically the best grill for most people. From the get-go, it’s easy to assemble, and its heavy-gauge steel is durable and tough. For a grill that’s under $2,000, it’s surprisingly more precise than other pellet grills that cost double or triple its price tag. The fuel efficiency is a huge bonus, plus, if you find it on sale, you’re getting a true steal


Weber Genesis II E-330

The Genesis II E-330 is hot. No, literally. It’s one of the rare gas grills that can hit temperatures above 800°F, and it does this thanks to a built-in infrared burner, which basically doubles its heat potential. Combine that screaming hot temperature with  heavy-gauge, enamel-coated steel, plenty of storage, a side burner, foldaway warming racks and ample cooking space, and you’ve got yourself an all-around exceptional grill.


Best Charcoal Grill

Weber Original Kettle Premium 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

When it comes to grills, go Weber. It somehow manages to consistently combine high performance with affordability no matter the model. Its Original Kettle is made of a porcelain-enameled steel body, which is both sturdy yet light, which means you can easily transport it around. It features very few, if any, extraneous parts, and the best part is its low, low price.


Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

If you love cold brew, make your own (even if the haters are gonna hate). Oxo’s cold brew coffee maker is a winner for the way it distributes water to the coffee grounds through a process that looks like literal rain. You get even extraction, and the whole contraption is very simple to use. Once the cold brew is done brewing, dispense your reward straight from the brewer.


Best Air Purifier

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier

The Airmega AP-1512HH offers some of the best air purification — with CADR ratings of 240 for pollen, 246 for dust and 233 for smoke — at its price point, and it does so in rooms up to 361 square feet. It has a triple filter system, a pre-filter, HEPA filter and activated carbon filter, plus an ionizer. A built-in air quality monitor tracks air quality and, when running in auto mode, will adjust the fan speed according to its readings (faster for low quality, slower when it’s contented).


Best Beach Chair

Lawn Chair USA Sea Island Beach Chair

Lawn Chair USA’s many-colored folding seats harken back to decades past with their flexible, comfortable cross-webbing. They also feature plastic armrests, which absorb less heat than wood or metal, and a lightweight aluminum frame.


Best Hammock

ENO SingleNest Hammock

Eno’s single-person hammock has a 400-pound capacity, and it’s decked out in high-strength woven nylon, which uses triple interlocking stitching to make it crazy durable. The hammock folds up into the size of a softball, so if it’s not a permanent fixture in your backyard, you can bring it to all your outdoor excursions.


Best Fire Pit

Solo Stove Bonfire

The Bonfire from Solo Stove is the ultimate fire pit. There’s virtually no smoke, and the minimal ash leftover makes cleanup a breeze. Set this up in your backyard or pack it with you on your next trip — regardless, it’s going to be the center of attention.

Best Outdoor Projector

Anker Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector

No TV? No problem. The Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector uses cutting-edge DLP technology, which projects a super-sharp 720p image. It’s about the size of a tall boy, so you can easily bring this from hangout to hangout. It’s voice activated with Google Assistant, and you can download over 5,000 apps, including Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Twitch.


Best Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears Boom 3

Bring the beats with the Boom 3, which touts some of the best audio quality that money can buy. They’re durable as hell, too, which is a must since you’ll probably be bringing this all over the place during the summer. With up to 15 hours of battery life, you can keep the party going on all day and into most of the night. 


Best Window A/C

Midea MAW10V1QWT Air Conditioner

When summer starts to feel like hell, bring out the big guns. This 10,000-BTU air conditioner for Midea is the “big guns.” It’ll keep you cool with four fan speeds, using 35 percent less energy than comparable AC units. It’s wifi-enabled, compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and you can use it remotely so your space is cool as soon as you arrive home. While window AC units make you sacrifice a window for its installation, the Midea’s U-shaped designed means you can still crack a window open even after it’s installed.

Best Weed Killer

Sunday Weed Warrior

Sunday is a new lawn care brand that eschews chemicals and harmful ingredients, instead opting to use nature to attack nature. Its certified-organic herbicidal soap is as easy to use as an at-home multipurpose cleaner: aim and spray. The weed killer is safe to use around kids and pets, and with results happening in as little as 20 minutes, it’s a must-have for those dealing with an invasion of weeds.


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Here’s How To Stay Cool at Night in Summer

It’s hot, it’s a bit stuffy, air doesn’t circulate very well, you sweat a lot. I’m not talking about the jungle, I’m talking about your bedroom in the summer. We’ve seen record temps across the nation and while that might make grilling out and going to the beach fun, that heat is not welcome is in the bedroom when you’re trying to sleep. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up all of our favorite items to stay cool at night in your bedroom this summer.

Air Conditioning

For a lot of the country, central AC is a given in every home. However, if you live in an urban apartment or a city that doesn’t get hot that often, you may be fending for yourself when the dog days of summer come around. The obvious solution (and in many cases, only solution) is to install a window AC unit. These are our top picks.

Tower Fans

Let’s face it, air conditioning is expensive. If you don’t want to break the bank on AC or just want something to circulate the air, a tower fan is your best bet. Give the palm leaves a rest and buy one of the most affordable cooling devices out there.


Often overlooked when deciding how to set up the perfect bedding situation, the pillow is sadly something we could all probably pay a bit more attention to. Not only do you not want to sleep on an uncomfortable pillow but you also don’t want it to leave your face all sweaty and sticky all throughout the night. These are our favorite pillows to keep you cool.


As the main piece of bedding you have contact with you at night, you want to be sure that you pick out the right sheets to keep you cool when the summer heat rises. Is there anything worse than waking up covered in sweat? We’re not sure there is. These are the best sheets for cutting down on the swamp.


Believe it or not, the mattress beneath your sheets makes a huge difference when it comes to keeping you cool on a nightly basis. You spend a third of your life on this thing, so you want to make sure it is optimized for your specific sleep habits.

Will Porter is Gear Patrol’s Commerce Writer.

Is the Snoo Worth the Spend?

Anyone that has had a kid in the past five years will have come across the SNOO from The Happiest Baby. It’s a smart crib for your newborn that acts as a responsive soother to calm the cries of your sleeping baby. It’s divided new parents into old and new ways of thinking about newborn care. Do you let technology soothe your child while you regain precious hours of sleep or do you soothe the baby the same way humans have done for millenia? It’s a fair question; we tested one for 5 months to find out.

Price: $1,495


What’s Good

Back to sleep: This is it. This is the reason you purchased the SNOO. If your baby accepts the SNOO as their robot rocker then you’ve gained countless hours of sleep and brain cells in not having to put your baby back to sleep in the middle of the night. Now this doesn’t mean that the SNOO will soothe your child back to sleep every time they wake up, you will have to pick your baby up and do the hard work a lot, but the SNOO is for the moments when the baby just needs a light touch or motion to go back to sleep. In the 5 months that we used the SNOO the motion of the SNOO probably saved us from picking up our daughter about 100 times. In the later months during the sleep regressions and teething the soothing really came in handy for those tough nights.


Joe Tornatzky

It looks the part: This one is easy. The SNOO crib looks and feels great. It has a nice modern Danish design that looks great anywhere you put it. It feels sturdy and all the components work flawlessly. With the high entry cost of this product this should be expected, but it’s worth mentioning.

Wait for it… the price?: Once you’re beyond the immediate sticker shock, you can make a case that the price is more than fair. First, there is an option to rent the SNOO for $125 a month. For folks who are unsure whether the SNOO will work for their kid or are only planning on having one child, this is a great option. If your kid doesn’t take to the SNOO, you’re only out a couple hundred dollars and you can ship it right back. Second, if you buy the SNOO you can either re-sell the SNOO on Facebook Marketplace for a good price or use it again if you have another kid. But at the end of the day, getting back an hour or two of sleep every night for 6 months is genuinely priceless.

    Pro: The SNOO app does a great job at tracking every sleep session your baby has in the crib. This is helpful for new parents to not only look at that last night of sleep but also look at the emerging trends and developments of your babies sleeping habits. Babies are constantly changing, so having this data is immensely helpful in addressing newborn sleep. Also, when your baby finally has a long stretch of sleep or sleeps through the night you can post your flex on Reddit’s r/SnooLife. I found this annoying when our baby wasn’t sleeping very well and we questioned all of our tactics, but a couple months down the line I totally understand the pure joy of telling everyone your baby slept through the night. New parents reading this, it will happen.


    Joe Tornatzky

      What’s Not as Good

      Roll of the dice: You will just not know if your baby will accept the SNOO until you try it in real life. Sometimes it takes a couple weeks for the kid to start to enjoy the constant movement of the SNOO. So there’s a couple week window where the anxiety is high and you question your (hefty) purchase. Thankfully our kid accepted the SNOO after her second week. During those first few weeks we just used the SNOO as a regular bassinet. This is why the rental pricing makes the most sense to us, because if we ultimately decided not to use the SNOO we could just ship it back and only be out a couple hundred dollars.

      White noise: When you first start using the SNOO the first thing you will notice is the sound of the white noise. The noises are based on the different levels of soothing within the SNOO system. The higher the soothing level, the more motion and sound the SNOO puts out. So when you first hear the white noise it’s fairly traumatizing. It kinda sounds like Darth Vader snoring four different ways, and first time parents just getting used to the sounds of their own newborn may find that a little disturbing. The shock only lasts a couple of days, and you get used to it, but we ended up using a regular white noise machine in addition to setting the SNOO to a maximum of level two anyway. The white noise ultimately ended up being a non-issue for us down the road.


      Joe Tornatzky

          What’s Just Not Good

          Unintentional nightlight: The button on the outside of the crib is strangely bright. SNOO, why the hell would you put a bright button light on the side of the crib? Not everyone has a humongous master bedroom. The exterior button light lit up a good portion of our small Brooklyn apartment bedroom. We ended up taking some black tape and covering the button light. These are the things a new parent does when they are trying to fix all the light leaks and creaky noises in their apartment.

          The art of the swaddle: The most essential part of the SNOO crib is the swaddle that is clipped into the bed. The idea being that you place your child into the swaddle, zip them up and then they stay on their backs in one position throughout the night while the SNOO motion soothes them to sleep. This is all great in theory, but getting a drowsy baby into the SNOO swaddle and zipping up of that damn zipper is literally like the final challenge on survivor. Every movement becomes calculated in an effort to keep your baby drowsy while you lock them into the swaddle. If you fail, the process of rocking your baby to a state of drowsiness and attempting to swaddle in SNOO starts again. Nobody really prepares you for how hard this can be. I challenge the engineers at SNOO to come up with a better way to do this. It freaking sucks during the first couple months and eventually gets easier over time if your baby learns to sleep on their own in which you can zip them up in the crib awake, not sleepy.


          Joe Tornatzky

          The box it came in: Straight up, the worst part about the SNOO is the box it comes in. As someone that had to drag this box up to our third floor walk up apartment in Brooklyn, and then magically find a place to store it, I can tell you I have a deep-seated resentment for it. The SNOO people say you can fold up the box and put it under your bed, but you’ll need a pretty tall bed with nothing else under it to do so.


            It’s totally worth every penny to use the rental pricing and try it out. If your kid accepts the SNOO and you can save yourself, especially moms, a couple hours of sleep a night, you have won. That benefit of the SNOO, if it works for you, is worth everything. Also, If you can drown out the sounds of the your older generation parents and grandparents telling you that SNOO is too much, then you’ve really made it to #SNOOlife.

            SHOP NOW

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Shopping for Window Blinds? Here Are the 9 Types to Know

It’s time for us to shed some light on blinds. Meant to filter and insulate, blinds are typically defined as horizontal or vertical slats made of metal, plastic and/or occasionally fabric that are used for windows, doors, and rooms. If you have the budget for it, you can order custom blinds that are specially made to fit your space. Often, though, ready-made blinds work fine for standard windows and doors, and come at a better price. You do you, though. It all depends on what you need.

How big are your windows? What color is the room? Are you trying to shield it from the sun, cold or nosy neighbors? When shopping, be sure to consider what fits in your space, how much you want to spend and what materials you like. Also insulation, light filtering, and size. We understand that it can get complicated.

Start your search here. From cellular shades to micro blinds, we’ve gone into the different types of blinds and which ones are probably right for you.

Venetian Blinds

The most popular, Venetian blinds are horizontal slats made of metal, wood or plastic that you can tilt up to 180 degrees to allow for more or less light, as needed. Modern types are also cordless, which are generally preferable for families with pets and/or young children. (Cordless means tangle-free. Also, strangle-free.)

Mini Blinds

Similar to Venetian but shorter and often made of metal are the mini blinds. Another variety is the even smaller micro blind, which has slats that are about half an inch thick.

Vertical Blinds

Ideal for glass doors and large windows, these tiltable vertical floor-to-ceiling slats typically come in vinyl or fabric. Make sure you don’t measure the length of slats you need until you’ve put in the track on your ceiling, unless you would like your blinds to drag on the floor.

Panel Blinds

Similar to vertical blinds, panel blinds are made with fabric and hang vertically, and work well as room dividers in addition to window treatments. They don’t typically tilt, which makes them more of an all-or-nothing option when it comes to filtering light.

Motorized Blinds

On the pricier side, motorized blinds can be connected to a smart home assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, and controlled by remote, voice or an app on your phone. These are well-suited for those with disabilities who may not be able to operate corded blinds. Also, they look cool, which makes them for everybody.

Aluminum Blinds

Meant for sunny rooms for their ability to repel heat, these blinds look their best in a living room or bedroom. The slats are usually a 6- or 8-gauge aluminum, and come in widths of ½-inch to 2-inch.

Rolling Blinds

Unlike stacked slats of other blinds, the rolling blinds unroll from a spool that you attach to the top of your window. Many are made to keep heat in and cold out, making them well-suited for any windows exposed to wind or that face the sun.

Outdoor Blinds

With outdoor blinds, the slats are closer together and made of tough stuff to last hours in the rain, snow and sun. Often you’ll find these made of woodgrain or reed, used for a porch or any other exterior.

Cellular Shades

Made of spun polyester, these flexible, honeycomb-shaped shades come in single, double and triple combs that can trap air and boost your temperature control.

Samsung’s New Robot Vacuum Is Crazy Smart, And 4 Other New Home Releases

Welcome to Window Shopping, a weekly exercise in lusting over home products we want in our homes right the hell now. This week: oven mitts that look like art, an alternative to Le Creuset’s Dutch oven and more.

Samsung’s Jet Bot AI+ Robotic Vacuum

samsungs jet bot ai robotic vacuum


Samsung’s new robot vacuum doesn’t care how messy or cluttered your home may be. The new Jet Bot AI+ uses technology found in self-driving cars to navigate your home to efficiently clean while swerving out of the way of furniture, pets or even the stray piece of clothing. Use the SmartThings app on your phone to schedule cleanings and designate “no-go zones” so the Jet Bot AI+ knows to avoid certain areas. While you’re away from home, you can tap into the robot vacuum’s camera to see exactly what it’s doing. It also comes with a Clean Station, which sucks up the dirt the robot vacuum just picked up so you don’t have to.

Price: $1,299


Loom + Forge

loom and forge home supplies in bedroom and bathroom

JC Penney

JCPenney’s latest collection of home goods is a winner. The department store’s new Loom + Forge brand features a bevy of products to furnish the bedroom to the bathroom. The aesthetic of the line mixes contemporary and modern design styles, and if you’re looking to refurnish on a budget, you should check out the brand.

Price: $20+


Vermicular Oven Pot

vermicular oven pot


Japanese cast-iron cookware brand Vermicular is complementing its cast-iron induction cooker, the Musui–Kamado, with a line of enameled Dutch ovens called the Oven Pot. Available in a five sizes and four colors, the Oven Pot’s standout feature is its super-secure lid, which locks in more moisture than any other Dutch oven on the market, the brand claims.

Price: $120


Grady’s Cold Brew The Spouch

gradys cold brew the spouch

Grady’s Cold Brew

Since launching in 2011 as a brand of bottled concentrates of New Orleans-style cold brew, Grady’s has since expanded into ready-to-drink and brew-it-yourself iterations. New Orleans-style cold brew, if you’re not familiar, is a cold brew made with coffee, chicory and spices. The brand’s new Spouch makes it easier than ever to make your own cold brew at home. The Spouch, which is a portmanteau of “pouch” and “spout,” makes 48 ounces of cold brew that can be then poured straight from the cold-brewing vessel.

Price: $8


Minna Sol Oven Mitts and Potholders

sol oven mitts and potholders


Following its release of tablecloths and reusable napkins, homewares brand Minna just released new oven mitts and placeholders, inspired by Sol Lewitt’s Wall Drawings. They’re all handmade by a group of artisans in Guatemala, and they make grabbing hot cookware look chic.

Price: $32+


Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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This App Tells You What You Can Build Out of a Pile of LEGO Bricks

Despite the fact we’ve all “grown up” since our introduction to LEGO, the magic of building something from nothing but tiny plastic bricks remains as appealing today as it was during childhood. These days, we’re…

The post This App Tells You What You Can Build Out of a Pile of LEGO Bricks first appeared on Cool Material.

The 8 Gardening Tools You Should Know

So you want to kickstart your garden. You’re going to need the right tools to do so, but your nearest Home Depot or local gardening supply store is overstocked with stuff you may or may not need. You can break down garden tools into three categories: those for prepping, those for maintaining and those for cleaning. So whether you’re new to the whole gardening thing, or you’ve been doing it before pandemic gardening was cool, here are the eight must-have tools you need to get a garden that’s the envy of the neighborhood.


Trowels are basically like tiny shovels. They’re good for breaking ground so you can plant some seeds or plants, and you can use them to move small amounts of soil around. You can also use trowels to help dig up old plants or make it easier to pluck out weeds. When you’re shopping for this type of garden tool, look for one that’s sturdy and has a comfortable hand grip — developing hand blisters after constant use is one of the worst feelings in the world.


Don’t you dare call a spade a shovel. Spades distinguish themselves from shovels because of the former’s squared-off blade. You won’t be able to do much digging with a spade, given the shape of its blade, but they are good for turning soil, as well as breaking up clumps and roots.

Gardening Gloves

Getting down and dirty in the garden is fun and all, but gardening gloves are a definite must-have to protect you from battering your hands, protecting them from sharp objects and preventing too much gunk from accumulating under your nails. Look for gloves that are breathable, flexible and comfortable so garden work doesn’t feel too much like a chore.


You’ll be familiar with rakes if you’ve ever had to clear away a bunch of leaves in the fall. The toothed bar is good for gathering debris en masse with as few passes as possible. Rakes are good for keeping soil level and smoothed out, especially before planting.


Grab a shovel the next time you need to dig a deep hole, fill pits or move away mounds of debris. Look for a shovel that doesn’t strain your back and helps you move things with ease.


A pruner, also known as pruning shears, a hand pruner or a secateur, is a type of scissors to be used specifically on plants. A good pair will be super sharp to cut through thick branches as easily as they can cut through twig-like stems.


A hoe kind of looks like a spade with its blade bent at a 90-degree angle. The rectangular blade breaks up clumps and is excellent at smoothing the surface of soil, cultivating soil and removing weeds.

Garden Fork

A garden fork is just like a dining fork, except it utilizes its strong, sharp prongs to break through earth and not food. Use a garden fork to create holes in the ground for seeds, move things around or uplift weeds. Garden forks are one of the most utilitarian garden tools thanks to its multitude of uses.

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

The 18 Best Reading Chairs of 2021

The reading chair is a funny classification because it’s not really official by any furniture standard. When we talk about reading chairs, we mean seats that promote relaxation, security and protection from the demands of the world outside your book (including the harsh demands of gravity).

You could say the reading chair is the evolutionary high point of sitting down. A good reading chair is one you can stay in for hours and hours, poring through detective novels, newspapers or websites like this one. You could even watch TV in a reading chair — we’re really not sticklers about the term. It’s possible you have one already — one that you’ve been carrying with you move after move after move. But if you don’t, here are some more than worthy options.

1 Poäng Armchair

The Poäng is four decades old, and it’s one of the few early Ikea designs to enjoy popularity throughout every stage of the Swedish dorm outfitter’s long history. How has it lasted so long? While it’s not the standard of design excellence, it’s cheap, lightweight, good-looking and easy to care for — a much sought-after and unfortunately rare set of attributes.

2 Skiles Wide Armchair

Corrigan Studio

It’s plush, it’s inviting and it’s under $200. Find comfort in the Skiles chair, especially knowing you got a good deal on a great chair.

3 Book Nook Armchair

When you think about a reading chair, you may conjure up a tall, wide chair that takes up an entire corner of a room. They don’t have to be that. West Elm’s Book Nook chair is built for those of us without the square-footage to accommodate other options on this list. A simple wheat-colored upholster job covers a compact, pleasantly priced wood-framed chair. Plus, the armrests dip just enough to keep your elbows rested and a book squarely in front of your face.

4 Rivet North End Wood Accent Living Room Arm Chair


Now 6% off

Rivet is one of Amazon’s in-house furniture brands and it’s vaguely mid-century modern. Amazon says that the pieces are “sure to turn heads,” which isn’t really true. The North End accent chair does the opposite — it’s the ideal corner reading chair for those who would rather keep it low-key, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

5 Tuxedo Chair

The Inside

The Inside makes well-designed furniture at lower-than-retail price points. The chair looks as if someone took a box and carved out a little nook to sit in. For picky people, there are over 100 design options for the chair so it can fit your home design aesthetic. We’re fans of the tall arm height so you can comfortably rest your arms or lay your head.

6 Tia Velvet Chair

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters surprisingly carries a lot of velvet chairs. This retro, ’70s-inspired armchair features an interesting curved base, so this reading chair doubles as an accent piece.

7 Gabriola Boucle Chair

Article’s curvy, deep=set reading chair  carries with it the relaxed and slightly weird vibe of the ’70s and ’80s. It’s also covered in boucle, which serves up a tidy opportunity to present some texture contrast in your living room. Or you could buy a sofa that looks exactly the same. It’s your living room. 

8 Carlo Mid-Century Chair – Metal Legs

West Elm’s Carlo chair references the mid-century modern furniture zeitgeist, but isn’t the exact same chair that’s been reproduced by every manufacturer under the sun. Looking at the chair from the front, it’s much deeper and more narrow than it appears, imbuing it with a kind of sneaky coziness. West Elm also offers different fabric, color and leg options.

9 Penny Lounge Chair

Industry West

A chair you can sink into. Industry West is a newer furniture maker putting out riffs on many design eras. This one is mid-century modern, and is made from a walnut frame and a pair of cushions.

10 Oxford Weave Soba Armchair

Inside Weather

This boxy chair from Inside Weather offers an inviting place to spend your weekends. There’s a nice contrast between the wooden arms and the upholstered seating, and like all Inside Weather furniture, there are endless possibilities for customization.

11 Saic Quantam Rocking Chair

According to its designer, the Saic chair “traces the shape of the human body and allows you to become totally immersed in the chair.” The ergonomic design cradles your body, creating a safe space from the outside world. As great as the chair is for immersing yourself into a book, it works just as well to rock you to sleep.

12 Block Nomad Club Chair

Burrow’s club chair shares a lot of DNA with its sofa, which is one of our favorite ones you can buy on the internet. It’s easy to assemble, offers up an absurd level of customization, is priced well and, on occasion, goes on sale. Its style is plain, and that’s the point — the brand doesn’t make statement pieces, they make pieces that blend into what you already have.

13 Ardis Black Chair

I think it’s fair to say this chair is a vibe. Black poly-velvet, extra-wide with an airy and thin base, CB2’s Ardis chair provides some shape and material contrast to a reading nook. 

14 Hai Lounge Chair

The Hem brand is the ideal marriage of high-end design and the online marketplace. Its furniture is beautiful, made with premium materials and designed by some of the brightest creative minds in Europe (it’s based in Stockholm); but it’s also much quicker about shipments, ease of assembly (and disassembly) and customer service than many brick-and-mortar design outlets. The Hai chair epitomizes this. A blend of mid-century shape and contemporary lines, it arrives fully built. It also comes in six colors with the option to add an ottoman.

15 New Standard Lounge Chair

In a memo sent to eventual co-founding partners Maurice Blanks and Charlie Lazor, John Christakos described an early vision of Blu Dot as follows: “I am still leaning towards smart design for middle-class America. The Shaker thing with the nineties twist, babe.” A couple decades later and the trio’s company has done just that — luxe design that doesn’t get stuck in the rhythms and pomp of luxe design. Available upholstered and in leather, the New Standard lounge sports wide arms, a loose cushion and wiry splayed legs. It’s essentially a throne for regular people.

16 Bram

Room & Board

The leather club chair is about as classic as it gets. Room & Board’s offering is more minimal than most — it can be dressed up or down and it looks good with furniture from almost any era. Room & Board also offers free design consultation, white glove delivery and makes the vast majority of its furniture in the US. Prepare for the sickest patina of your life.

17 Jack Chair


Schoolhouse makes good products. From the hardware and home accessories that made it famous to this compact lounge chair, everything is good. The Jack Chair’s low-slung arms and minimally tufted cushion is mid-century modern lite at its best. 

18 Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

Herman Miller

“This is the ability to select among the unlimited possibilities and return considerable richness to the world.” That’s how Today Show co-host Lee Meriweather captured Charles and Ray Eames’s ability to make old things new at the release of the Eames Lounge Chair in 1956. If there were a Tolkien-esque “one chair to rule them all,” it would be the Eames’s transcendent lounger. The 20th century’s answer to the 19th century’s club chair was designed to neutralize pressure on the lower back and mimic the look of a baseball mitt (leather folds included). It is unquestionably the most recognizable piece of high design ever conceived on American soil. The chair is made today in much the same way it was in decades past, but nowadays you get to pick leather colors, upholstered cushions, wood veneer finishes and more.

Assistant Editor, Home and Design Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor.
Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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These West Elm Bed Sheets Are TikTok Famous — And For Good Reason

TikTok, the popular video sharing social media app, is known for turning everyday people into celebrities. Earlier this year, it made a star out of some bedding: West Elm’s 100-percent Tencel bed sheets.

Vanesa Amaro, a “housekeeper for rich people in Texas,” as she explains, posted on TikTok her experience with one client who introduced her to the world of luxury bed sheets.

“One of my clients got home the other day, and she just had a whole case of brand new sheets from West Elm,” Amora says in the video. “When I felt those sheets, and I tell you they felt like butter. As soon as I got in the car, I bought my own.”


West Elm

Tencel is a brand name of fabrics, which is derived from cellulose from sustainably sourced wood; it’s either rayon or lyocell, and in the case of West Elm’s Tencel sheets, it’s lyocell. The closed-loop production process of Tencel recycles over 99 percent of the water and materials that goes into making the fabric. Compared to cotton, arguably the most popular bed sheet fabric, Tencel is softer and smoother — like butter — with natural wrinkle resistance and better absorption, a bonus for those who sleep hot.

The 320-thread-count West Elm Tencel sheets are available in full to California king sizes, with prices starting at $140. The brand recently added six new colors — sand, mocha, stormy blue, dark olive, terra cotta, and currant — to its lineup, and as West Elm describes, Tencel fibers are excellent at absorbing dye for “brilliant color vibrancy.” And if you can’t get enough of that buttery Tencel, it’s also available as a duvet cover and a quilt.

Price: $140+


Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

A Celebrity Chef-Designed Tableware Collection And 4 Other New Home Releases

Welcome to Window Shopping, a weekly exercise in lusting over home products we want in our homes right the hell now. This week: lamps that double as art, a gin to celebrate Wimbledon and more.

Feast by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi

ottolenghi tableware


When chef Yotam Ottolenghi isn’t working at one of his six London restaurants, then he’s probably working on a new cookbook. And apparently he still has time to design tableware. Serax, a design company from Belgium, worked with the chef on a 100-piece collection of plates, dishes and cups with bold designs, colors and patterns. You can only get the new collection from Food52, and while you’re there, check out the site’s in-house brand of enviable kitchen and home goods.

Price: $TK+


Made In Oyster Shucker

made in oyster shucker

Made In

I guess I’m shucking my own oysters all summer long. While a plastic-handled, $10 oyster shucker can do the same thing as this one from Made In, the cookware brand’s shucker is objectively nicer with its walnut wood handle and high-carbon stainless steel blade.

Price: $49


Gantri x Muka Design Lab Arintzea Lamps

gantri arintzea collection with muka


Muka Design Lab, based out of Bilbao in Spain, is following up its popular inaugural lamp with Gantri, the Maskor, with the Arintzea line, consisting of a desk lamp and wall lamp. Made from plant polymers, like all things Gantri, the collection blends Art Deco ornamentation (just look at that rippled stand) with modern design and a touch of its Basque influence. They’re lamps, so they’ll obviously give you light, but on their own, they are decorative works of art that just so happen to light up.

Price: $148


Our Place Full of Pride Mugs

our place full of pride mugs with rainbow stripes on the inside

Our Place

Our Place, maker of the famous Always Pan, didn’t miss Pride Month with its latest release— instead, it wants to remind everyone that we should celebrate Pride every month. Ceramic artist Viviana Matsuda designed the new Full of Pride mugs, which come in sets of twos. They’re handmade, and feature the Pride flag colors within. They’re generously sized, and the mugs come with Brunch Banter cards, which hope to spark meaningful conversations around the dining table. Additionally, 20 percent of proceeds from the mugs go towards the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Pride Pantry, which alleviates food insecurity in the LGBTQ+ community.

Price: $60


Sipsmith Strawberry Smash

sipsmith strawberry smash alcohol


Wimbledon recently announced that British gin brand Sipsmith (the brand behind our favorite London dry gin) would be its official gin partner. To commemorate the partnership, Sipsmith released a new gin, the Strawberry Smash, which is made using Wimbledon strawberries and mint. The gin isn’t some fruity, sugary concoction, instead building upon a classic juniper-forward gin with just a hint of fruit and mint. Sipsmith even concocted the perfect cocktail recipe for Strawberry Smash mixing, two parts Strawberry Smash, one part lemon juice, half part simple syrup, topped with soda water.

Price: ~$40


Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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The 7 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers of 2021

If you dropped your keys in the grass and you’re having trouble locating them, it’s probably time to give the lawn a trim. Whether you’re new to lawn maintenance or you’re looking to get a new lawn mower, a self-propelled lawn mower could be the right pick for you. Rather than the lawn mowers you sit on — aptly called a riding lawn mower — self-propelled lawn mowers push themselves, and you just guide the mower to wherever you want it to go.

Self-propelled lawn mowers are easier to use than push mower, which are powered by your own movement, and they’re apt for most residential lawns. Self-propelled lawn mowers are good for going over bumpy and hilly areas, but you’ll probably pass out if you try to use it on your multi-acre property as they do require a decent amount of effort to use. We found a self-propelled lawn mower for every kind of person at every budget — these are the seven best self-propelled lawn mowers of 2021.

Best Overall Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Honda HRN216VKA 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Home Depot

HRN216VKA 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower



  • Good for yards up to one acre
  • Easy to control, even for hills
  • Twin blades

The gas-powered Honda HRN216VKA houses a powerful motor with variable speed control, with the ability to adapt to the speed of your stride. Because it is a three-in-one lawn mower, the HRN216VKA bags, mulches and discharges without the need for additional tools or accessories. There are five height settings and seven cutting heights, plus with rear wheel drive, hills are just as easy to mow as flat areas. The lawn mower is backed by a three-year warranty, and regular maintenance is uncomplicated.

Best Splurge Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Dewalt DCMWSP244U2 Walk Behind Self-Propelled Mower

Home Depot

Walk Behind Self Propelled Mower



  • Includes two batteries and two chargers
  • Six cutting heights
  • Long charge times
  • Small cutting width

Dewalt is a trusted brand of power tools, and a lawn mower falls under that purview. The electric-powered lawn mower from Dewalt has two batteries and two chargers for extra-long runtimes with shorter charging times. The mower has a sensor that adjusts its torque when going over overgrown patches. Reviewers rain praise 0n its ability to cut through grass with ease, and the fact that it folds down to be so compact makes it a great addition to the shed.

Best Budget Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Craftsman M220 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower


M220 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower



  • Strong motor in a budget pick
  • 3-in-1 convertible deck
  • Single speed

The cheapest mower on this list is good on the wallet and also good for your lawn. Housed in the Craftsman M220 is a trustworthy and powerful motor, and it’s armed with a 21-inch, three-in-one deck for mulching, bagging and discharging. There are also six height adjustments for fine-tuning how high you want your grass.

What to Look for in a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Tip #1: Gas Mowers vs. Electric Mowers

Gas mowers tend to trend lower in price than their electric counterparts though they do require you to get a little messy considering you have to refill the gas and change the oil. They also run longer and don’t require long charge times in between trimmings. Gas mowers tend to be louder (think motorcycle revving), but they do work exceptionally well when going through overgrowth.

Electric mowers used to be tethered by cables, but the advent of rechargeable batteries have really pushed electric mowers to popularity. They generally don’t last very long, so they’re more suited to smaller yards. Electric mowers require less maintenance than gas options, and they tend to be lighter in weight and smaller, making them easier to store.

Tip #2: Two Function vs. Three Function

Mowers will either be two function, which bag or mulch, or three function, which allow you to bag, mulch or discharge (either from the side or the rear). More expensive models will offer three functions, though some cheaper models may have the three-in-one function. Not everyone will need the choice for mulching and discharging, so don’t think a three-function mower is always better — it depends on whether or not you need those functions.

Tip #3: Consider Lawn Size

Your lawn size is going to dictate a lot of what you look for in a lawn. Smaller lawns won’t require you to find a mower with super-long runtimes, and you also won’t need mowers with a wide deck. Larger yards may mean you want to look for a gas-powered mower, which typically lasts longer than an electric-powered one. You can also get a wide-cut mower, which means you cut more grass at once, requiring you to make fewer passes across your lawn.

Tip #4: The Drive

Not all lawns are completely flat, and that’s when it’s time to consider drives: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive mowers are ideal for flat terrain, and they’re also a little cheaper than other mowers. They’re easier to maneuver and steer like a charm. Rear-wheel drive mowers put the power into the back wheels, which makes it easier to go over hills. With all-wheel drive mowers, you’ll have some of the best control over bumpy terrain but you will have to shell out a bit more money.

Best Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: EGO POWER+ LM2100SP Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower


POWER+ LM2100SP Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower



  • Superior control
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Battery sold separately
  • Quick recharge; long runtime

With variable speeds between 0.9 and 3.1 miles per hour, the EGO POWER+ LM2100SP lawn mower is easy to use (also thanks to its relatively light weight) and easy to store (thanks to its compact design). It’s a three-in-one lawn mower with six cutting height adjustments, between one inch and four inches. Reviewers laud the lawn mowers ease of control and quiet engine, while also being able to mow wet (which we advise against) and dry grass without much hassle.

Best Gas Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Troy-Bilt TB200 2-in-1 Gas FWD Self Propelled Lawn Mower

Home Depot

TB200 2-in-1 Gas FWD Self Propelled Lawn Mower



  • Easy to control
  • Folds down compactly

The all-terrain Troy-Bilt TB200 is an excellent gas-powered mower option for those looking to keep away from the electronics of an electric-powered motor. Choose between rear- or all-wheel drive depending on the terrain, so there’s never any complications whether you’re on a slope or flat land. It has really good handling, making it easy to maneuver small and large yards with ease.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for Hills: Toro Recycler 21466 SmartStow

Home Depot

Recycler 21466 SmartStow



  • RunSmart tech optimizes RPM and torque for efficiency
  • Nine cutting positions
  • Good traction in 11-inch rear wheels
  • Low battery life

The push-to-startToro Recycler 21466 SmartStow is well-equipped to tackle whatever lawn you put in its path, but it really does do a great job with hills. The mower moves at your pace, without requiring self-adjustment, and the 22-inch deck makes light work out of a tedious chore. The rear 11-inch wheels get excellent traction so you can easily go up and down hills even if they’re slippery. With nine cutting positions, the Recycler has some of the best fine-tuning when it comes to grass height, and the ultra-fine clippings make for premium nourishment for your lawn.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for Large Yards: Greenworks Pro MO60L427 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Home Depot

Pro MO60L427 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower



  • Larger cutting width than usual
  • Two batteries for double the runtime
  • Folds away for easy storage
  • 2-in-1: bag and mulch only

This Greenworks Pro has all the takings of a lawn mower meant for large yards. It has a wide 25-inch steel cutting deck, and it’s equipped with two batteries that switch from one to the other for 60 minutes of runtime. Bright LED lights allow you to mow at night, if you’re just dying to get your lawn manicured at any time of day, and the lawn mower is backed by a four-year warranty. Because it folds down easily, the mower can be quickly and efficiently stored until it’s time to tackle grass again.

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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Why Is Everyone Buying Cacti?

A version of this story first appeared in Gear Patrol Magazine. Subscribe today for more stories like this one, plus receive a $15 gift card to the Gear Patrol Store.

Cacti are photogenic in the most unphotogenic way. Bending arms, misshapen pads, random bumps — these are features that solidified the cactus as a plant to be cursed at, not owned. But now cacti’s unpredictable weirdness has people embracing them with open (albeit covered) arms.

A window-full of cacti at Tula in Brooklyn, New York’s Greenpoint neighborhood.

Henry Phillips

“Plants are all unique and imperfect and the shapes are what makes them so wonderful,” says Christan Summers, cofounder of the Brooklyn plant store Tula. When it comes to cacti, their all-around resilience goes a long way, too.

Cacti are capable of living and growing in extreme environments and on apartment windowsills alike. What’s more, they can live to be incredibly old, and they wear their age like a badge of honor. From scars to growth patterns, a cactus’s life is reflected in its looks. There’s gratification in watching them slowly grow into the looks that are unique to their upbringing.

Summers also thinks the sheer variety of species and shapes has drawn a new wave of prospective plant parents to cacti. And with upwards of 2,000 species to choose from, there’s a cactus for everyone. “It expands far beyond the common plant or tropical-oasis vibe into a world of shapely, blooming beauties that don’t demand too much attention to thrive,” she says.

Here, see select pieces of the desert that Summers brought into a little corner in Brooklyn.

Astrophytum ornatum

Why is its English name the star cactus? Just take an overhead look and see.


Astrophytum ornatum



Cleistocactus strausii

Worming its way up to the sky — and into your heart.


Cleistocactus strausii



Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’

Things are spiraling out of control.


Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’




The peanut cactus will flower faster than you can learn to pronounce its proper name.


Chamaelobivia ‘rose quartz’ (Echinopsis chamaecereus)



Crested Pachycereus Marginatus

Mexican fencepost cacti are rare; love for them is common.


Pachycereus Marginatus Crested



Eulychnia castanea spiralis

Like the popsicles of your youth, but spiny. And we don’t recommend putting this in your mouth.


Eulychnia castanea spiralis



Echinocereus rigidissimus var. rubrispinus

Sonic the Hedgehog, meet the rainbow hedgehog cactus.


Echinocereus rigidissimus var. rubrispinus



Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Liberace would like the myrtillocactus geometrizans — it can grow to have a candelabra-like structure.


Myrtillocactus geometrizans



Myrtillocactus geometrizans ‘Fukurokuryuzinboku’

This cultivar of the myrtillocactus geometrizans comes from Japan. Fukurokuryuzinboku can be hard to say. It also goes by: The Boob Cactus.


Myrtillocactus geometrizans ‘Fukurokuryuzinboku’



Opuntia reticulata cobra

The prickly pear cactus is known for its pads. This cultivar can grow so that it looks like a cobra standing up, which is how it got its name.


Opuntia reticulata cobra



Opuntia miquelii

The opuntia miquelii regularly drops its spikes to be dispersed across the desert, leading to its multiplication.


Opuntia miquelli



Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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This Coffee Maker Works Wonders; But at What Cost?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to brew coffee at home. There are countless ways to go about it, from instant coffee packets you find in line at Starbucks to $1,000 machines that brew café-quality espresso right on your countertop. In between, there are a dozen drip methods, Nespresso machines and other contraptions that promise to extract the perfect flavor from your freshly ground beans. The one method we all know, however, is humble drip coffee.

Whether you’re used to the Mr. Coffee your dad used for your entire childhood or drink from an enormous industrial drip brewer at work, we’re all familiar with the flavor of drip coffee. It is rarely the best coffee you’ve ever had and often just what we drink to get through the day. In recent years, however, that’s changed; more and more residential drip brewers are being designed for exceptional coffee brewing instead of low price points. The Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker is one such brewer.

Not only is it the most beautiful drip coffee maker I’ve seen, but it is the fastest machine I’ve ever used. It even happens to make an excellent brew, to boot. Wi-Fi capability and a Specialty Coffee Association certification round out this powerful machine that really knows what it is doing. But is it worth your money?

Price: $349


café specialty drip coffee maker connecting to phone app to control brew settings


What’s Good

Flavor: Honestly, this machine just makes a damn good brew. There are four strength settings that you can choose from — gold, light, medium and bold. The light, medium and bold brew strengths speak for themselves, but the best of the bunch is the Gold setting. It is uniquely optimized to make the best brew no matter what roast or flavor profile you’re looking for.

Customization: Aside from the brew strength, you can also customize the temperature, enable auto brew settings and choose to brew anywhere between one and ten cups at a time. These custom options make brewing a breeze, no matter how many people you’re making coffee for or what time you need it to be ready.

Looks: It must be said, this coffee maker looks great. It is fairly robust and takes up quite a bit of space, but the copper accents and smooth matte finish help it fit into your kitchen aesthetic in a way that not many coffee makers can claim. It comes in three colors: matte black, matte white and stainless steel; the latter of which shines delightfully on my counter.

What’s Not So Good

Price: The only thing I can really hold against this machine is the price. At $349, it is without a doubt much more than most people will want to drop on a brewer. It delivers on everything it promises, but for that price tag, it isn’t easy to justify unless drip coffee is your bread and butter.

café specialty drip coffee maker copper handle detail



There are obviously dozens of drip coffee machines to choose from, with some of the best being significantly cheaper than this machine. Our pick for the best coffee maker is the OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker, which comes in at a much more reasonable $170 and our Step Up pick is the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker, which can easily be found for $300 (sometimes even less if there is a sale) — both of which offer a great brew without putting quite a big dent in your wallet.


This is an excellent machine and if you’re committed to brewing drip coffee each day and prefer something design-forward, it is a good option. The SCA recommendation and Wi-Fi are nice additions but don’t ultimately turn the tide for me. While I loved having the option to start up the machine from my phone, I would rather just pay less and have a machine without any bells and whistles.


Will Porter is Gear Patrol’s Commerce Writer.

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All the Coolest Home and Design Releases We Found in June 2021

It’s finally summer, and it actually feels pretty normal (at least, relative to last year). Brands released a bunch of gear to get people hyped for the warmer days ahead. Haus wants you to drink in the park with its new tote bag, which is designed to carry its low-ABV spirits, and Brightland released a kit for everything you need to grill (besides the actual grill).

Since June is Pride Month, a few brands released products to help support the LGBTQ+ community — and it wasn’t just performative action as profits went to LGBTQ+ causes. If this is what the summer holds in the product world, we can’t wait to see what July and August bring.

Here, then, are all the super-cool home releases we discovered this month.

Casamara Club Alta

casamara club alta

Casamara Club

Casamara Club is a brand of “leisure sodas” that are healthier than soda. The spritzes clock in at 15 calories and four grams of sugar, and they’re completely booze-free. Its popular Alta, which is its take on thee Negroni, gets the can treatment, and it’s not hard to see why the drink is so desirable. It’s citrusy and delicately sweet, and the addition of sea salt provides a bit of salinity that makes this a wonderful dinner pairing. Get this if you’re looking to make aperitivo time a time to remember.

Price: $36/12-pack


BKLYN CLAY Made Collection

bklyn clay made collection


BKYLN CLAY, a Brooklyn-based ceramics studio, just launched its first design collection, which includes the Saturn Dinnerware line. The stoneware plates and bowls are durable thanks to double-edged rims, which reduce the likelihood of chipping, and its white high-gloss glaze is resistant to silverware scratch marks. The plates also double as lids for the bowls, so dinnerware doubles as storage. Along with the Saturn line is the Crater Cup. The cups are prayed with contrasting colors, which create an illusion of lights and shadows, mimicking the craters of the moon.

Price: $40+


Corkcicle Flat Canteen

corkcicle flat canteen


Corkcicle’s latest release isn’t a koozie, but it’ll still keep your beverages cool … or hot. The compact Flat Canteen is a 17-ounce to-go container that easily fits into most tight spaces. It’s double-walled and helps to prevent condensation from forming on the exterior. Plus, the design has a very cool vintage look to it.

Price: $80


Momofuku Toasted Sesame Oil

momofuku toasted sesame oil


Last fall, David Chang’s food empire Momofuku launched its first pantry line, and since then, it’s only gotten bigger. The latest staple in the lineup is a toasted sesame oil, an essential in almost everything Momfuku creates. The cold-pressed sesame oil is miles better than what you may buy from the grocery store, providing a more complex flavor profile that goes beyond oily sesame seed flavoring. Up your cooking game with just a couple drops or a drizzle of this stuff, and feel like you’re a Momofuku chef.

Price: $25/2-pack


Tuft & Needle Nook Nightstand

tuft and needle nook nightstand

Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle’s calling card may be mattresses and beds, but its latest release, a nightstand, really rounds out the rest of the bedroom. Nook’s winning characteristic is its simplicity. There isn’t much to it besides a roomy drawer to stow away your goods, and that’s all you really need when it comes to nightstands.

Price: $325


X by Glenmorangie

glenmorangie scotch whiskey


Single malt scotch whiskies are almost always served straight up — adding it to a cocktail feels a little bit like blasphemy. Glenmorangie wanted to make a scotch whisky just for mixing, so it went ahead and did it with X by Glenmorangie. The new mixing scotch is less stuffy than other scotches (which may elicit images of a robe-adorned man drinking beside a fireplace), and brings a lighter, more youthful touch to the whisky space. X by Glenmorangie is sweeter than conventional single malts, aged in bourbon casks, with some finished in new char oak casks. The bottle comes in under $40 at most retailers, and Glenormangie has a breadth of recipes to try using the new whisky.

Price: $39


Petee’s Pie Company Bake-at-Home Kits

petees pie company bake at home kits

Aliya Ikhumen

Petra Paredez, head baker and co-owner of Petee’s Pie Company, is making some of the best pies in New York. If you’re not lucky enough to live near one of her pie shops, she’s now selling her pies though Goldberry so you can get a taste of Petee’s wherever you live. The pies, available in six inches and nine inches, come unbaked and are ready to be tossed in the oven and brought to life without any of the rolling, proofing, or assembling associated with baking a pie from scratch. Flavors include Hudson Valley Apple, New York Sour Cherry, Wild Blueberry and Strawberry-Rhubarb varieties, all of which are made from organic flour from Champlain Valley Milling, grass-fed butter from Kriemhild Dairy and fresh fruit from small local farms. Want a pie all to yourself? Four-inch mini pies are also available, and they arrive fully baked in sets of four, eight and 12.

Price: $45+


Chubo Knives Sakai Takayuki Homura Guren Wa-Gyutou

chubo knives sakai takayuki homura guren wa gyutou


Specialty Japanese knife retailer Chubo Knives added a new blade to its lineup, and it’s one to drool over. Handmade by Master Blacksmith Itsuo Doi, the chef’s knife is made of crazy sharp blue steel #2. Doi crafts the knives by alternating between low-temperature forging, cold hammering and traditional water quenching. He then leaves the blade unfinished in what’s called the kurouchi finish, or blacksmith’s finish, which gives the knife its scaly texture, thereby reducing reactivity on carbon steel knives. The chef’s knife was released alongside the vegetable-specific wa-nakiri ($337) and multipurpose petty knife ($250).

Price: $397


Jono Pandolfi Pet Bowls

jono pandolfi pet bowls

Jono Pandolfi

Jono Pandolfi’s dinnerware has been served as some of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the world like Eleven Madison Park. Now your furry friends can eat in Michelin-approved bowls, and kibble has never felt more luxurious. Based on the design of the Square-Sided Bowl (for humans), the pet bowls have slightly higher walls and a weighty base so they don’t go slipping and sliding with your dog’s a little too eager to be digging in. Jono Pandolfi dinnerware has some of the most beautiful glazes, and it’s no different for the pet bowls, available in warm sky blue, yellow, and white.

Price: $80


Aurora Elixirs x Artet Mediterranean Citrus & Chamomile Aperitif

aurora elixirs x artet mediterranean citrus and chamomile aperitif


Aurora Elixirs, which makes botanical-infused non-alcoholic sparkling beverages, collaborated with Artet, which makes cannabis-infused beverages on a new sparkling hemp aperitif. The aperitif, called Mediterranean Citrus & Chamomile, is Artet’s first offering that doesn’t have THC, instead containing 25 milligrams of broad-spectrum CBD. Bittersweet grapefruit pairs wonderfully with mellow chamomile, making it a good drink to enjoy on its own or to be mixed in a booze-free cocktail. The aperitif also comes with two reusable straws and a bottle opener.

Price: $20/4-pack


High West Prairie Dash

high west prairie dash

High West Whiskey

High West made a video game. The whiskey brand released a mobile game called Prairie Dash in which players take control of a pronghorn, completing quick-action challenges to help North America’s fastest land animal reach its maximum speed. For every game played, High West will donate $1 to American Prairie, capping the donations at $50,000. American Prairie is a non-profit that’s been working to preserve America’s Great Plains. The organization has also been a longtime partner of High West, which named its flagship bourbon after American Prairie.


Spicewalla Love in Every Flavour Collection

spicewalla love in every flavour collection


In honor of Pride Month, spice brand Spicewalla is selling a 10-pack of spices called the Love in Every Flavour Collection, which features the what the brand calls its “most vibrant, flavourful, and uniquely fun blends.” The collection is part of Spicewalla’s larger Pride offerings, which includes items like a tote bag and a cookbook and spice pack combo. Any purchase from the Pride collection will benefit the Campaign for Southern Equality, which will receive 25 percent of sales.

Price: $55


Brightland The Summer Grilling Capsule

brightland the summer grilling capsule


Just in time for peak summer grilling, Brightland released its limited-edition Summer Grilling Capsule, which includes Brightland’s Lucid lemon olive oil with the brand’s The Spout for cleanly pouring olive oil, two cedar grilling planks from Wildwood Grilling, and sea salt from J.Q. Dickinson. Now go forth and get to grilling with everything you need. (Well, you’ll need a grill.)

Price: $65


Brooklinen x UrbanStems

brooklinen x urbanstems


Brooklinen, known for its limited-edition sheets, made its first floral colorway, and it did so in collaboration with Urban Stems, one of the best online flower delivery services. Dubbed the Wildflower colorway, the print was created by Hudson Valley-based artist Emily Isabella. The print is available for Brooklinen’s Classic Core Sheet set and Luxe Core Sheet set, and it was released in tandem with Urban Stem’s Wildflower bouquet ($65).

      Price: $149+

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      KonMari x Paravel Organization

      konmari x paravel organization


      You need to buy more stuff to stay organized — just ask Marie Kondo. The Queen of Clean’s online retailer, KonMari, is packed with stuff to get you organized, and it just tapped luggage brand Paravel for a collection of organizing tools. The collection includes Paravel’s popular Cube Quad sets — available in small, medium and large — decked out in a limited-edition colorway. The Storage Cube is a completely new product that’s designed to fit perfectly inside Paravel’s Aviator Grand luggage, or it can be used to store off-season clothes under your bed. All of the storage solutions are water-resistant and made of Negative Nylon, which is fashioned from post-consumer plastic water bottles.

      Price: $65

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      Tilit Summer Club Collection

      tilit summer club collection

      Heidi Geldhauser

      You may be forgiven to think Tilit is just an apron brand. It is, after all, the preferred apron brand of Ghetto Gastro’s chef Lester Walker. Tilit also happens to be an all-around workwear brand that’s favored by those in the hospitality industry, and its collection for summer 2021 is meant to transition from the kitchen to the streets. Comprising pieces like utility pants and tees to jumpsuits and work shirts (and, of course, aprons), the Summer Club collection is full of summer-ready gear in classic and vibrant colors. While the brand has offered clothing here and there before, this is the first time it’s offered a cohesive collection, and we hope it won’t be the last.

      Price: $36+

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      Quintal Coffee Subscription

      quintal coffee subscription


      Eduardo Umaña and former World Barista Champion Raul Rodas source and roast rare Latin American coffee — at origin — every month and send it to your door. It’s only just begun, but the first round of coffee was exceptional, and $20 a month for 10 ounces of some of the best coffee in the world isn’t a bad deal at all.

      Price: $20

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      Goldune Biodegradable Biker Bottle

      goldune biodegradable biker bottle


      Goldune is the go-to online market place for sustainable goods, and it’s been slowly making more in-house products. Its latest release is a water bottle (specifically one that you’d use while cycling or using a Peloton) that’s dishwasher-safe, compostable and all-around great. While the market is oversaturated with reusable water bottles, Goldune’s might very well be the best of the best. Inspired by her love of cycling, founder Azora Zoe Paknad helped to create the bottle based on one used by Team Astana, which used a polyethylene-derived version of the iconic cyclist’s bottle that was biodegradable. Goldune tracked down the manufacturers of the Tour de France cyclist-approved bottles and made one to suit Goldune’s design and aesthetic. The end result is a bottle that you’ll probably never throw away — though you shouldn’t have to worry about its impact on the planet if you do.

      Price: $23

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      Lady M x Iwai Tradition Whisky Dark Chocolate Cake

      cake and whisky


      Confectionary Lady M put whisky in its newest cake. And it’s not just any whisky, but Mars Iwai Tradition Whisky, a lighter version of our pick for the best Japanese whisky, Iwai Mars 45. The cake combines dark and milk chocolate whisky mousses with whisky jelly and chocolate sponge cake into a very satisfying nine-inch cake. The bottom of the cake has a layer of feuilletine, which is like a crispy thick crepe, and flavors of chocolate, whisky and orange play off each other like a boozy Chocolate Orange. And if you’re wondering just how much whisky Lady M really could’ve used, just know that you have to be 21 years of age or up to buy.

      Price: $125

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      Kettl Chef’s Series Tea #1Sushi Noz

      kettl chef's series tea


      Kettl is a New York City-based tea retailer that specializes in all things Japanese tea from the actual leaves to the brewing equipment. Its new Chefs Series has Kettl partnering with the chefs at some of the world’s best restaurants, who hand pick tea to serve at their restaurants and sell at Kettl. For the inaugural tea from the series, Kettl worked with the Michelin-starred chef of Sushi Noz, Nozomu Abe, who went for a type of green tea called Tamaryokucha. Its tasting notes, as described by Kettl, are hops and toasted sesame, with a “lingering sweetness.” Like the other teas Kettl says, it offers the ideal way to brew to achieve the perfect cup of tea.

      Price: $22

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      Floyd The Rug

      floyd the rug


      If the Dude from The Big Lebowski knows anything at all, it’s that a rug can really tie a room together. Floyd just released a new rug collection, and they all pretty much go with everything. The rugs are crafted of high-quality fibers whether it’s wool from New Zealand or cotton from India. The rugs are timeless and simple, and they’ll handle however much foot traffic that comes their way. Get them in five colorways, each available in five sizes. The Dude would approve.

      Price: $195+

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      Blk & Bold The Warm Up Coffee

      blk and bold the warm up coffee

      Blk & Bold

      Blk & Bold, an Iowa-based coffee roasting company, partnered with the NBA on a medium roast coffee called The Warm Up blend, which combines Ethiopian and Central American beans to make a nutty, fruit coffee. The blend is a available in two packages: one that pays homage to the blue motif of the NBA’s Eastern Conference, while the other carries the red color of the Western Conference. The NBA will match Blk and Bold’s five-percent commitment to the non-profit For Our Youth, which assists with youth development, for each purchase of The Warm Up.

      Price: $14

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      Vans x Hedley & Bennett Collection

      vans x hedley and bennett sneakers

      Hedley & Bennett

      Much-adored apron brand Hedley & Bennett did another shoe collaboration with Vans, releasing two versions of Vans’ Sk8-Hi Tops and its Slip-Ons. The sneakers have slip-resistant outsoles and rainbow soles, and the uppers are treated with Vansguard, which repels liquid and dirt. While the shoes are extra grippy (great for working in slippery kitchens), they’re not deemed “slip-proof” by the ASTM or CSA, two standards organization, so Hedley & Bennett recommends getting manager approval for wearing them in professional kitchens.

      Price: $80+

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      Pineapple Collaborative x Exau The Olive Oil

      pineapple collaborative x exau the olive oil

      Pineapple Collaborative

      EXAU is a 100-year-old Italian olive oil brand, the first to be run by a Black woman, Skyler Mapes. The brand partnered with the female-founded food collective Pineapple Collaborative, which itself produces an olive oil, on a collaborative extra-virgin olive oil that, as the brands proclaim, “boost one another’s craft.” The olive oil is a mix of Coratina. Leccino and Carolea varietals, which were harvested in October 2020. Use this for practically anything that’ll allow the flavor of the olive oil to shine through like as a grilling oil, roasting oil or finisher.

      Price: $34

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      Vessel Eclipse Kit

      vessel eclipse kit


      Spark up your favorite dry herbs with Vessel’s Eclipse Kit, which the brand claims is “tailormade for the dry herb purist.” The kit includes Vessel’s Air, a minimalist chillum that resembles a pre-roll, handcrafted with a sandblasted, smoked glass finish; the Basin, an aluminum waterproof stash jar; Carbon, a very discreet butane lighter; and Drift, a travel pack to keep all your gear together.

      Price: $99

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      Tuft & Needle Haven Litter Box

      tuft and needle haven litter box

      Tuft & Needle

      You must really love your cat to get them a $700 toilet. This plywood box hides away your cat’s litter box so they can go in peace (and you don’t need to see them do their business). The Haven can fit a standard-sized litter box, which isn’t included, as well as a scoop and brush. The front panel drops down so you can easily clean the litter box, and the vented screen window allows for airflow.

      Price: $699

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      Purple TwinCloud Pillow

      purple twincloud pillow


      The adjustable pillow market just got a new type of pillow, and it’s from one of the leading mattress brands, Purple. While adjustable pillows either fall into two categories — loose fill or swappable inserts — Purple’s new TwinCloud pillow is a little more interesting. The down-alternative pillow is basically an extra-long pillow that folds in half and zips together to create a standard-sized pillow. One side is soft, the other firm, and you get to choose which is more to you liking. The fully washable pillow can be zipped with others to create multiple configurations like a body pillow or even a mattress topper.

      Price: $89

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      Minna Tablecloths

      minna tablecloth


      Based out of Hudson, New York, Minna is an ethically made homewares brand that works with artisans from around the world. Its latest release is a line of tablecloths, handwoven by a family-run workshop of flying shuttle loom weavers in Mexico. The neutral tablecloths are “inspired by the play between shadow and light,” as the product description explains. Complementing the tablecloths are reusable cloth napkins, which retail for $20 each.

      Price: $145

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      Haus The Picnic Set

      haus the picnic set tote and alcohol


      One of our favorite low-ABV booze brands, Haus, made a picnic set that’s ready to go for all your, well, picnics and outdoor gatherings. Score a bottle of your favorite Haus aperitif and a fresh heavy-duty Haus tote bag, designed to house two upright bottles. Let people know that you take your low-ABV spirits seriously.

      Price: $60

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      Xiao Chi Jie Soup Dumplings

      xiao chi jie soup dumplings


      Seattle-based restaurant Xiao Chi Jie is known for its soup dumplings, and because of the pandemic, it started selling its frozen soup dumplings nationwide, as well as sauces and bamboo steamers. Available in packs of 50 and available in pork, shrimp and pork and chicken, the soup dumplings are ready to eat in 10 minutes and come with steamer liners so they don’t stick to the tray. Get them while they’re hot, er, frozen, because soup dumplings are notoriously hard to make without lots of experience.

      Price: $40+

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      Airbnb Host Essentials by Muji

      airbnb host essentials by muji


      People are getting ready to travel again, and Airbnb hosts better be prepared for the influx of travelers. At least Muji has those hosts covered. With the new Airbnb Host Essentials by Muji, Airbnb hosts (or those just looking to stock up on home essentials) can get 23 Muji products guaranteed (not really) to get them five stars. The $400 set includes the essentials to accommodate two guests, with items ranging from bathroom necessities to kitchen and dining goods. We can’t guarantee your Airbnb will look as good as a Muji hotel, but it’ll be damn close with Muji stuff.

      Price: $400

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      Momofuku x East Fork

      momofuku x east fork

      East Fork

      The latest collection between Momofuku and East Fork brings two new glazes — orchard and peachy keen — to the latter’s enviable hand-thrown pottery. Surprisingly, the plates, cups and dishes are still in stock, but we’re pretty sure it won’t be for long.

      Price: $12

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      Dad Grass July 4th Collection

      dad grass july 4th collection smoke pack and shirt

      Dad Grass

      When you light up on July 4th, do so to more than just fireworks. CBD joint brand Dad Grass dropped a July 4th-inspired collection, which includes a t-shirt, as well as a new stash box to hide your stash. No, those aren’t actually M-80s in there, just some good times rolled up into a joint.

      Price: $37

      SHOP NOW

      Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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The Best Affordable Furniture You Can Buy From Amazon

You can buy a lot from Amazon: toothbrushes, gadgets, random knickknacks you’ll use once. The most underrated section in Amazon, however, might be the furniture. That’s right: you can buy furniture from Amazon, and some of it is even eligible for Prime’s two-day shipping. Better yet, a lot of it is crazy cheap. While nothing will be heirloom-quality, you can be sure that there’s something to fit most interior design sensibilities. Head right now to find a desk, a bed or a dresser and you’ll be inundated with more options than you’d care to sort through. Don’t worry; we did it for you. From industrial-chic desks to mid-century modern sofas, these are the 20 best pieces of cheap furniture you can buy from Amazon.

1 TV Cabinet


This TV cabinet isn’t from Ikea, but it is just as easy to assemble. With its barn yard-chic appeal and helpful storage, this TV cabinet is a no-brainer buy.

2 Cornelia Coffee Table

Christopher Knight Home

It’s no Noguchi, but it’s a well-designed coffee table that will, of course, hold your coffee and anything else you throw its way. Some assembly is required, but it’s nothing you haven’t done before if you own almost anything from Ikea.

3 Genevieve Nightstand

Two drawers — one small, one big — and a classic design. Let your nightstand be the statement piece in your bedroom.

4 Accent Chair

Available in mustard, grey, blue and purple, this accent chair is the type of seating you slink into after a long day and read a book. Or drink a beer. Or smoke a cigar. It doesn’t matter — it’s your chair.

5 6-Tier Bookcase

“Bookshelf” is a bit of a misnomer these days. Sure, they carry books, but they’re also just really good at displaying stuff. This 41-inch bookshelf can support up to 44 pounds on each of its six shelves. The shelves alternate between mesh backing and X-shaped backing, bringing an industrial-style look to your home.

6 Lucca Retro Black Dining Chair, Set of 2

For $162 you get two, count ’em two, dining chairs that fit with practically any design style. Reviewers say they can set up in about 15 minutes, and one said, “No regrets!”   

7 Theo 2-Shelf Industrial Wall Mount Ladder Table

Nathan James

Small homes require small desks. This wall-mounted ladder table takes up space vertically so you can save your precious square footage for more important things.  

8 Accent Chair and Ottoman Set

Ball & Cast

If an Eames lounge chair isn’t in the budget right now (and you’re not willing to buy a straight-up knock-off), this chair and ottoman set can do the trick — sans reclining. 

9 Rattan Arm Chair

This easy, breezy arm chair combines the best part of an outdoor resort chair and an indoor arm chair for something that’s bound to get you lots of compliments. 

10 Computer Desk with Hutch and Bookshelf


If you don’t have space for a bookshelf and a desk, get a two-in-one. For a Frankenstein’s monster of a desk, this doesn’t look half bad either. 

11 Farmhouse Coffee Table

Stone & Beam

This coffee table is an open book. Its hollowed-out frame exposes everything you store, so it’s the perfect coffee table for those looking to put their wares on display. Overall it has a nice farmhouse aesthetic if you’re into that kind of thing.

12 Suzanne Metal and Wood Platform Bed Frame

Bed frames usually don’t come this cheap, and they also don’t usually look this good when they do. The mix of wood and steel is a timeless pairing, and non-slip tape on the platform helps to prevent squeaking.  

13 Bertha Mid-Century Velvet-Upholstered Swivel Office Chair


Now 26% off

It’s not going to give you optimal lumbar support and top-of-the-line ergonomic features, but this office chair does bring the style, and it’s hard to deny that.

14 Buffet Sideboard

Walker Edison

This buffet sideboard is for your wine, cocktail-making accessories and other booze gear. Or, you know, you could just use it for other non-alcoholic related stuff.

15 Ophelia Lounge Chair

Elle Decor

The Ophelia chair, inspired by Italian mid-century design, pairs a deep blue seat with complementing brass legs for a luxurious chair that you’d expect to have a much higher price tag.

16 Brayson Modern Walnut Dining Table

This simple dining table will be where you want to take all your meals (and work calls if you still don’t have a desk). And if you’re worried about hauling this 50-pound table into your home, one reviewer, who describes themself as 5-foot, 3-inches and 125 pounds, said they set it up with no issue.

17 Harvey Park Dresser


Now 5% off

One doesn’t need much when it comes to a dresser. It just has to look nice and give you as much space as you need to put your clothes. The Harvey Park Dresser by Sauder ticks off all the right boxes.

18 Sideboard Cabinet

Walker Edison

Hide all of your stuff inside this stylish sideboard cabinet. The angled doors add a bit of fun to an otherwise un-fun piece of furniture. And if you have some stuff you want to show off, those exposed shelves will do the trick.

19 Benton Sofa Couch

Sofas eat up a huge chunk of home furnishing budgets. This mid-century modern option from Zinus does not, and it looks shockingly similar to a much-adored direct-to-consumer furniture brand’s sofa, which goes for three or four times this price. Almost 1,000 people have copped this sofa, probably owing to its timeless design, ease of assembly and, of course, its low price.

20 Frederick Mid-Century Leather Sofa


Now 11% off

This isn’t cheap, per se, but for a leather sofa it is. The Frederick leather sofa from Amazon’s in-house brand Rivet is made of genuine leather, featuring a bench-style seat and channel-tufted. Like velvet? It comes in velvet, too.

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

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MIT Built a Magic Carpet That Tracks Your Movements

Motion tracking for exercise, gaming, and even safety has been around for quite a while now, but it always required cameras or body scanning for effective tracking. That changes now with, as you might have…

The post MIT Built a Magic Carpet That Tracks Your Movements first appeared on Cool Material.

Seth Rogen Uses This $600 Gravity Bong. Why?

Gravity bongs are filled with ingenuity. Making your own grav bong is easy in theory, but there’s a level of MacGyver-ing involved that leads to creations and innovations with objects as simple as the bottle (milk jug, Hawaiian Punch bottle) or larger water receptacle (bucket, plastic bin).

Stündenglass — “hourglass” in German and owned by vaporizer company Grenco Sciences — takes that ingenuity and creativity to another level with its gravity hookah, made of borosilicate glass and aircraft-grade anodized aluminum.

According to Timothy Cotter-Patenaude, marketing director at Stündenglass, the company’s founder story begins in 2012 with Tracey Huston, an Apple employee at the time, wanted to retire his own at-home grav bong set-up for something… that wasn’t a jug and a bucket. As the patriarch of a large family who didn’t have time to sesh, he enjoyed the ability to take one big hit, but wanted to improve the grav bong experience and design.

A family friend who knew Seth Rogen gifted the stoner-celeb a prototype of the Stündenglass. Rogen proceeded to put a video of him using it on social media, where it went viral. Huston began selling the Stündenglass out of his garage.

What began as a passion project became a new business venture in 2020, when Grenco Sciences invested in Stündenglass and hired Huston. Now, you’re likely to find Stündenglass in weed cafes and hookah lounges. But should you shell out $600 to have one in your home?

Price: $600



Gravity Hookah



What’s Good

Easy to Use: The Stündenglass is easier, and less risky, to use compared to the traditional gravity bong. There’s no anxiety of ruining your weed by getting it wet, the mechanics of the Stündenglass allow for smooth, flavorful hits every time. It’s also exponentially classier than using a literal bucket and jug.

In an age where cannabis consumption involves apps and haptics, it’s a breath of fresh air to use something more analog that’s just as science-y. Seeing gravity work its magic and fill the Stündenglass with smoke felt like I, a cool adult scientist, was in charge of a cool adult science experiment. The base is incredibly sturdy, meaning you won’t tip anything over while you’re flipping the glass. The smoke is smooth and easy to ingest, and the high from it is body-encompassing. The Stündenglass fills with enough smoke to share between two people for a comfortable high, but if taking a single, very large hit is more your style, Stündenglass can accomplish that without destroying your lungs. Overall, the high you get from Stündenglass is cleaner than one from a regular bong.

steam coming out of bong

Amanda Reed

Zero-Contact Smoking: The contactless delivery on the Stündenglass is incredibly effective. In the era of COVID-19, where our perception of germs has been heightened and we definitely don’t want to use something that someone else’s mouth has been in contact with, the product is less grimy than passing around a hookah wand or bong. And, it’s backed by trusted stoners. Along with Rogen, rapper Wiz Khalifa is also a fan and frequently posts videos using the Stündenglass on his Instagram stories.

Not Just for Getting High: The versatility of Stündenglass is also impressive. On top of using it with flower, hookah and wood chips, you can also attach a dab rig — either an e-nail or a regular banger — to the device. So, despite its hefty price tag, you’re getting at least four devices in one. According to Cotter-Patenaude, there are plans to make more attachments to Stündenglass, including a tea and coffee brewing attachment. Added with the product’s 10-year warranty, that means you could be using Stündenglass to make an entire breakfast. If you’re looking for some ideas to really stretch Stündenglass’ capabilities, take a look at the product’s subreddit.

light the bong

Amanda Reed

What’s Not Good

That $600, Though… : The price is pretty steep, objectively. And, although it is a hit among celebs, it might not be a hit among the stoner plebeians, no pun intended. “I can’t imagine it being 50 times better than what I can make it [sic] home for $10,” Reddit user DeadpotSociety wrote.

Tricky to Assemble: Per my crafty partner who loves building Ikea furniture, the Stündenglass instructions are like “diet Ikea instructions.” The videos on the company’s YouTube channel are definitely a must-watch to get an idea of how to use the Stündenglass. Although Cotter-Patenaude said it’s easy to set-up, there are a lot of parts that look the same upon first glance (e.g., the hookah wand and the upstems). The product could definitely benefit from marking the parts using lettered stickers.

Multi-Use … If You Have the Tools: Smoking alcohol and food using the Stündenglass is difficult without the proper tools. You need a blowtorch, wood chips and a smoking hood to do so — all of which are sold separately as of this writing. Although Stündenglass often markets the device as a smoker, official Stündenglass smoking hoods aren’t available yet on the site. Because I am a very middle-class journalist and lazy minimalist with average taste who doesn’t want to buy extra things, I tried using what I had on hand (a lighter and a large piece of Tupperware) to upgrade my Old Crow whiskey ginger and grilled cheese into a five-star meal. It didn’t really work, mostly because I didn’t have a blowtorch. If you’re really into dabs, you probably already have one, but not everyone is, including me, since “long hair,” “fire,” and “apartment” don’t really mix.

infusing food with smoke
Using a grav bong to pump smokey flavor into food is a bit extra, but it kind of rules.

Amanda Reed


You can always make your own grav bong, purchase a separate hookah and smoker and just let all three devices be separate devices. There are also Stündenglass knock-offs on the internet. Additionally, there’s the Infinity Waterfall, which also brands itself as a multi-functional gravity pipe, and Freeze Pipe’s Gravity Bong.


If you want to invest in a piece that does a lot, makes a statement and functions as a part of your home, sure. The contactless delivery really sets the Stündenglass apart from other devices on the market and the device has a lot of versatility. But if you don’t really like hookah, don’t have a desire to smoke food, or you’re not super into gravity-related devices, it might be worth passing if your regular bong makes you happy.

Price: $600


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