17 Game-Changing Products to Get Your Backyard Ready for Summer
The best in toys, tools and gadgets to upgrade your outdoor space
Upgrade the Great Outdoors
Warmer weather is on the horizon, which means backyards are about to get a lot more use — especially as many continue to work from home. So we've compiled a list of innovative finds to help you create the ideal backyard setup. You'll never want to go back inside!
This balcony-friendly tower (with up to 30 planting pockets) makes watering a snap. When the top reservoir is filled, water flows down to reach all your plants at once.
Buy It! GreenStalk Original Vertical Planter, $99 and up; greenstalkgarden.com
Squirt Gun Pool Float
Floating around in the pool is fun — but battling your friends in a water war is better! This UFO-themed inflatable lounger has a built-in water gun in constant supply, perfect for battles in the pool or lake.
Buy It! Swimline 9078 Inflatable Float with Squirt Gun, $40; target.com
Compact First Aid Kit
Head outside and play without fear with this mini first aid kit at the ready for any bumps or bruises. The 130-piece case comes with bandaids, tape, hydrocortisone packets, ibuprofen and more!
Buy It! Welly First Aid Kit, $27; getwelly.com
A shade sail saves precious deck space, unlike a standing umbrella with a bulky base. Many — like this one! — are also made of UV-filtering fabric.
Buy It! Love Story Triangle Sun Shade Sail, $30; amazon.com
Solar-Powered String Lights
Café lights create instant ambience. This eco-friendly LED set has 14 color-changing options, so prepare to get the party started.
Buy It! Indoor/Outdoor LED String Lights, $69; potterybarn.com
No one likes yard work, but this adjustable tool makes it a whole lot easier. Not only are the fan head and handle expandable (depending on how big of an area you're working with), but it can also fold up for easy storage.
Buy It! Professional EZ Travel Collection Adjustable Rake, $38; amazon.com
Fail-Safe Patio Furniture
Outer's outdoor seating (like this side chair) comes with a built-in cover you can easily slide out and over the piece to protect it from the elements. Plus, the cushions are fade-proof, stain-resistant, water-resistant and easy to clean!
Buy It! Teak Outdoor Armless Chair, $1,550; liveouter.com
Umbrella Misting System
Trying to stay cool without a pool? Hook this misting system up to your patio umbrella (or any other backyard structure) and prepare to be showered with fine water droplets that evaporate in a snap, cooling you down but not getting you soaking wet.
Buy It! Island Umbrella Mist Cooling System Kit, $55; target.com
These slap bracelets for your drinks are like the wine charm of summer. Simply snap one around your bottle of choice and it'll keep it cool for hours using neoprene insulation. It's also got an LED strip for after-hours outings.
Buy It! SlapLit LED Drink Wrap, $12; niteize.com
Pizza Oven Grill Insert
This stainless steel, easy-to-install insert converts your charcoal or gas grill into a blazing-hot oven — ideal for firing up perfect pizzas in minutes.
Buy It! Kettle Grill Pizza Oven, $115 and up; amazon.com
Shark Pool Game
Like a mechanical bull for the pool, this inflatable game lets friends control how rough the ride is as each person grabs a handle and tries to buck the shark rider off into the waters below.
Buy It! Tidal Wave Shark Ride On Pool Toy, $56; homedepot.com
Temporary domes and bubbles became a staple of cold-weather outdoor dining amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This pop-up version allows you to make the most of your yard in any weather. Waterproof and wind-resistant, it can fit four to six people comfortably.
Buy It! Alvantor Bubble Tent, $470; amazon.com
Portable Mini Firepit
Everyone wants a firepit! They sold out in stores last spring amid calls for social distancing and Google searches for DIY versions hit an all-time high in May. For small outdoor spaces, camping or hitting the beach we love this portable, pocket-size, 4-inch unit that lets you take flames on the go. Don't forget the marshmallows!
Buy It! City Bonfire, $22; citybonfires.com
Bug Bite Suction Tool
Bug bites suck, but this suction device eases the irritation. By pressing up on the levers you pull out the saliva or venom that insects leave behind when they bite — removing the source of the itching, pain and swelling.
Buy It! Bug Bite Thing, $10; bugbitething.com
Avocado Pool Float
If you’re looking for the next trendy pool toy, this fun float is ripe for the picking! Plus, pop out the “pit” for an instant beach ball.
Buy It! Jasonwell Inflatable Avocado Pool Float, $33; walmart.com
Cuddle up in the great outdoors! These chic pillows come in Olefin fabric, which is quick-drying and water- and fade-resistant, so you don't have to worry about leaving them out in the elements.
Buy It! Sablon Outdoor Pillows, $79 for two; article.com