1. A standing weeder because the worst part of gardening is having to kneel for hours plucking weeds. My back hurts just thinking about it! Thankfully, this tool has three steel claws that grip weeds and roots so you can pull them out while standing.
Grampa's Gardenware Co. is an Oregon-based, family-owned small business.
Made with a bamboo handle and powder-coated steel, it uses a simple lever system to made weeding easy.
Promising review: "Oh my god, I friggin' love this tool. I bought this on a whim given we bought our first house and know nothing about caring for a yard. Boy has it come in handy. Our new house had a ton of weeds in the front yard and this tool helped me get most of them out in no time. In fact, the process of yanking out the weeds was strangely satisfying! I don't think anyone can say that weeding is fun but this tool made it as close to fun as you can get, especially when you see a long root along with the weed you pulled." —JG
Get it from Amazon for $39.99.
2. An outdoor drink stakes set for securely holding your glass of lemonade in a safe spot. You know what's not fun? Setting down your soda only for it to fall over on uneven ground, get kicked accidentally, or be invaded by ants.
Promising review: "These are great. They are large enough to hold large drink tumblers like a Yeti, they will hold a beer with a thick foam koozie, they will hold a giant Fosters can, and yes, it is large enough to hold a bottle of wine. They are made out of metal and seem pretty durable. Each one is two pieces that screw together and they have a small tab to help you push them into the ground with your feet. The only thing I would improve is to make the foot tab a little larger, otherwise they have my stars." —Jamawama
Get a set of four from Amazon for $16.73.
3. A high-voltage bug zapper so you can say goodbye to not only mosquitoes, but also gnats, flies, moths, and other insects within a 1,500-square-foot area.
Promising review: "You will not be disappointed. I just moved out to the country and have been working out in the garage late at night. With the weather getting warmer, I've had the garage doors opened and mosquitos, gnats, and everything else have been finding there way into my garage, so I had to do something about it. I bought this and hung it next to my garage door opener because there's an outlet there and it is way better than expected. I have dead bees, stink bugs, gnats, mosquitoes, and other bugs that I do not know what they are. My 8-year-old son keeps asking me to remove the bottom tray so he can see all of the dead bugs that got zapped. Again, you will not be disappointed, I'm extremely happy I bought this!" —Chris & Jenny
Get it from Amazon for $33.99.
4. Or a garbage guard if your backyard is a mess of flies. 🤢 It sticks to the inside of your garbage can and releases an odorless vapor that prevents buggies for up to four months.
Promising review: "Got an outdoor can, the kind the mechanical arm on the garbage truck picks up and tips over, with the lid opening by gravity. Placed this on the inside of the lid, near the hinge to lessen the chances of it being scraped off during emptying and no flies/maggots! No apparent odor, just seems to put a big hurt on the fly party that used to be my trash can (litter box contents, remnants of meat, etc.) " —Michael E. Bradley
Get it from Amazon for $9.19.
5. A roll-up straw hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your face from sun damage (it's UPF 50+, which means it blocks 98% of the sun's rays). And it rolls up so it takes barely any space in your already crowded bag.
Promising review: "Extra satisfied with this purchase!! I ordered it for a trip to Florida. I wear hair extensions and was worried that it would be too small for my head but it fits perfectly. There is also a ribbon inside of the hat under the band that you can use to tighten/adjust if needed. Soft straw and flexible enough to mold to your head in the humidity and heat. I ordered the khaki color, which is perfect and neutral for any beach our outdoor vacation. I also purchased a few cute broaches to attach to the band to upgrade it a bit. It's easy to flatten out the brim if it gets wrinkled although I haven't had to adjust the top part of the hat yet. I was a little hesitant at first but so happy with this hat. Will def get good use out of it this summer." —Tlikey
Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in 22 colors).
6. And speaking of sun defense, a pair of wide leg cargo pants with UV protection, four-way stretch, plenty of pockets, a quick-dry material, and a loose and breezy fit that'll guard against the sun's hot rays and allow for air flow (No cases of Swamp Ass™ here!).
Promising review: "Love stretch tech pants. These are a little longer than others I have, but I love the cargo pockets. This fabric is very cool to wear in warm weather. I wore them in Hawaii when I didn't want to wear shorts and felt cool in them. I bought three colors and love them." —anonymous
Get them from Old Navy for $24.97+ (available in sizes XS–4X regular, S–XXL tall, and S–XL petite, and in six colors).
7. A pack of heel stoppers because trying to wear heels in grass, gravel, or dirt without tipping over, sinking into the ground, or destroying your shoes equals one word: impossible! Or at least it was before these guys came along.
They'll also prevent heels from getting caught in cracks in the sidewalk.
BuzzFeed editor Elizabeth Lilly put these to the test as a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding after writing about them in a ton of shopping stories. Here's what she had to say:
"When my friend asked me to be a bridesmaid and I learned I'd be walking on grass for the ceremony, I got a bit worried. What's a klutz with a high center of gravity to do while trying not to 1) fall down in front of approximately 150 guests or 2) keel over while quietly stifling tears during her friends' vows? Buy some Heel Stoppers, that's what! I was able to easily slip them onto the glitter-encrusted heels (and later remove them with no damage to the heels).
On the day of the ceremony, these sturdy pieces of plastic made the heels much easier to walk in and prevented me from aerating the lawn. My feet still hurt to high heavens because those gorgeous shoes don't have a lot of support for a seldom-stiletto-wearer like me. Out of all the dough I spent on my bridesmaid ensemble, these were the biggest bang for my buck!"
Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (available in four sizes).
8. A Scumbug for slurping up all the oils, sunscreen, and yuckies that are chilling in your pool. Just wring it out when it gets discolored, give it a rinse, and pop it back in the pool.
Promising review: "Scummy water bugging you? I just got this gem of a product last night. Popped it into my hot tub and from the picture I attached, you can see that in just about 12 hours, this little Scumbug ate up all the oil and filth in the hot tub. The water not only looks better, but smells better too! Highly recommended!" —Mickey D.
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
9. Some vented wine covers so you can let your freshly uncorked cab breathe without it turning into a swimming pool for bugs. The covers are weighted so they won't blow away at the slightest breeze.
Promising review: "My husband and I love to enjoy a glass of wine on our back porch at the end of the day. Unfortunately, so do the bugs. These tops work wonderfully. The silicone outside kind of sticks to the glass to keep them in place, and the metal mesh part lets the wine breathe but keeps the critters out. The only better thing would be if they had some kind of sippy spot where you wouldn't have to remove them to drink the wine, but I'm not sure how that would work anyway. I'd buy these again, and probably will if we lose any of them." —DKF
Get a four-pack from Amazon for $24.99 (available in three color combos).
10. A breathable sweat-proof tee with absorbent underarm gussets if you sweat through shirts just seems like an inevitability these days. Well let me tell you, not only do the gussets help prevent dreaded pit stains, but the fabric is designed to keep you cool, which may mean you don't even sweat!
Promising review: "Even with using prescription-strength anti-perspirant, I will have pit stains within an hour of putting on a shirt. Because of this, I have almost exclusively worn black shirts for years. But no longer! I bought two of these shirts to try out and can now go all day long with no pit stains! I even tried going on a long walk with a sweater on and did not sweat through it. These shirts are very comfy and are thin enough to be able to wear under another top without having visible lines. This shirt is worth every penny." —K.M.
Get it from Numi for $65 (available in women's sizes XS–1X and five colors — not all colors available in all sizes).
11. A natural shoe deodorizer spray to rid your sweat-soaked shoes of any funky smells after a long day outside (or even just a short trip to the mailbox in 95-degree heat). It's made with essential oils and smells like lemon and eucalyptus so you'll probably want to spray it around the rest of your house, too.
Promising review: "This product WORKS! You won’t be disappointed. I used to get embarrassed taking off my flats in my office because they smelled so bad, but not anymore! My work flats make my feet sweaty and this spray helps keep the awful odors away at least four to five days (probably longer but I was so excited I just sprayed my shoes again because I liked the smell haha!) The lemon is strong and the eucalyptus I love, so I would purchase again! Although it will likely last a while! I have a little boy who gets sweaty feet also so i’m sure I’ll soon be using this in his shoes also." —Traeannah Brown
Get it from Amazon for $13.95.
12. A lawn repair formula that'll regrow the grass so you have something to mow this summer. It's designed to reverse scorch marks from pet urine, damage from digging, and wear in high traffic areas.
Promising review: "I have lacrosse players and dogs and this stuff is amazing. My yard looked like an abandoned lot before this and it literally 'grew anywhere' just like it said. The bag I planted last year actually came back strong this year so I put more down and it is working like a dream!" —chchmom
Get it from Amazon for $16.44+ (available in five sizes).
13. A set of portable soap paper sheets because the great outdoors doesn't come with soap dispensers whenever you need one (so weird!). Instead of dashing into a, frankly disgusting, public restroom to discover there's no soap or being forced to forego a hand wash before your park picnic, simply reach into your bag and pull out these portable soap sheets. Look at you being all prepared!
Promising review: "It always seems that when I use a restroom in a store or restaurant they never seem to have soap in the dispenser so I I bought these to carry with me. I just tried them out at home to see how foamy they get, and it’s good. So I carry one packet with me and gave one to my friend. Yeah, they’re worth getting." —alwaysbrowsing
Get 100 sheets from Amazon for $7.99 (available in four scents and in larger packs).
14. Some acne patches for those days when the combination of summer heat + sunscreen + mask = clogged pores and breakouts. These hydrocolloid stickers are gentle on the skin while still drawing out fluids and pus from your pimple — and they'll prevent you from popping or picking at your zits.
These are hands down the best pimple patches I’ve ever used. Why? Because they actually work. IMO they work best on whiteheads, drawing out the pus and preventing me from picking. Once all the fluids are drained (yum!), I plop a patch on what was once home to a very angry whitehead and replace it twice a day (once in the morning and once at night). In my experience, that has been the best treatment for preventing really noticeable hyperpigmentation and acne scarring, which my skin is really prone to after breakouts.
Get a pack of 36 from Amazon for $12.99.
Check out the rest of my Hero Cosmetics Mighty Pimple Patches review for more deets!
15. A pooper scooper so you can quickly and easily scoop the dang poop instead of having to look at or smell it when you're relaxing outside.
Promising review: "With three dogs, two small and one large, scooping the yard is a never-ending job. But with the Arm & Hammer swivel bin and rake, there is no more bending to pick up the doggy droppings. I am able to easily use the rake to push the droppings into the bag covered bin. When I am done cleaning up the yard, I just simply remove the plastic bag from the scoop, tie it off, and dispose. I do spray the rake off with the hose sprayer and then clip the rake onto the scooper for easy storage. I really like this handy scooper. It makes a very icky job much easier to handle." —Kelly Eldred
Get it from Amazon for $19.99.
16. A pack of DressWeights if you're tired of having to hold down your dress and waddle like a penguin until the breeze dies down.
DressStrong is a New York City-based small business. Christina, the owner, came up with the idea in 2012 to save us all from unwanted Marilyn Monroe moments.
Each adhesive should last ~six uses with proper care.
Promising review: "What an amazing invention! I had my bridesmaids use these for my destination wedding. I got married outside by a very windy gazebo and they worked like a charm. Highly recommend!" —kimberlyo143