It happens to the best of us. It’s hot and muggy or sweaty and sandy, and as much as you love summer – you’re a bit over the mess of it all. Here are 10 genius gadgets to help you keep your cool in all kinds of sticky situations!
This personal air cooler is about the size of a lunchbox, portable, can sit on a desk or kitchen counter and creates your very own personal, perfectly controlled and cooled micro-climate. The website warns that while it cools your personal space, you shouldn’t expect it to cool an entire room, but I use it in our 100-year old house in Oakland, California that doesn’t have air conditioning – it works great for the entire upstairs. (Better than one fan in each room!) It also works best in hot, dry climates.
Lyric T5 Wifi thermostat ($149.99)
I love a smart thermostat, and my personal pick for these at-home devices is the Lyric T5 Wifi thermostat. It connects to an app on your smartphone – so that your house is always the perfect temperature when you walk in the front door – but you’re saving money while you’re away. Add a plug and play Honeywell Lyric Gateway security and smart home hub and use it to keep bad guys out – control the lights, thermostats, locks, window shades and more – everything – from near or far.
California Roll by Lemon, $249 (pre-order, shipping later this month)
This is a just released, waterproof, solar powered speaker that pack a punch, and is also durable enough to accompany you anywhere. It uses nine NASA grade solar cells to convert sunlight into direct current electricity – providing 20 hours of playback from 7 hours of sunlight. It can also serve as an extra power supply for your other devices. Waterproof, shockproof and temperature proof (up to 175-degrees!). Awesome sound quality – replicated 3D with three individual surround sound drivers There’s also a voice recognition system that, when connected to your smartphone, lets you change your music on the fly, using your voice alone.
GoTenna: ($149 for two)
This little device lets you text when there’s no cell service – by using radio waves and satellites. Download an app and pair it. Comes with two – so take one with you and give the other one to someone you want to keep in touch with if you’re going off grid. Type a message, send a GPS location, and access free offline maps for the whole world via the goTenna app. It gets rid of channel-switching and interference. Lets you do private 1-to-1 or group chats, and public broadcasts.
Scrubba Wash Bag ($55)
This is a laundry bag that you take camping or hiking, on road trips, wherever you might need to wash up a few clothes at a time. Fill it with water, toss in some soap, a few dirty socks and skivvies, close and deflate the bag; then rub from the outside for up to 3 minutes. There’s a little washboard inside the bag and gets the grime out. Rinse and hang your clothes to dry. It really does wash your clothes as well as a washing machine in as little as three minutes. Packs back up super small to carry around everywhere.
Ruffwear Swamp Cooler ($59.95)
The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler provides protection from the sun and cooling through evaporation. In warm climates, dogs typically stay cool by seeking shade during the heat of the day and moving around in cooler temperatures. To activate the Swamp Cooler, soak in water, wring out and place on your dog. The light-colored fabric reflects solar radiation, while evaporative cooling pulls heat from the dog. The integrated leash portal allows leash attachment.
Froggs-Toggs Cooling Towels: (from $11.99)
I bought one of these in Atlanta last week, and it’s amazing. Athletes have been using them for years. When wet, these cooling towels and pads begin to evaporate and cool, providing cool comfort for hours. The frogg toggs Chilly Pad, Chilly Dana and Chilly Sport, are all constructed of a durable and organic “”man made sponge”” called polyvinyl alcohol.
Tesalate No-Sand Towel, ($59)
Sick of getting sand in your crack? The Tesalate beach towels are ultra compact, super absorbent, dry rapidly and are super colorful. Most importantly sand doesn’t stick to them, even when wet. Made from AbsorbLite fabric and are full beach towel sized. Compact when rolled. Fits in your bag. Ultra absorbent; over 1 liter of water. Rapid-drying. Half the time of a regular beach towel.
Square Cash, Free
Forgot your wallet? No big deal. Square Cash is a free app that makes it super simple to send and receive money, via email or phone number, anytime, anywhere. Just download the app and sign up – takes all of about one minute, thensend and receive money in real time – no fees – to any account you’ve connected to the app. All you need to know is someone’s email or phone number to send money – same goes to receive cash. They also let you use #Cashtags. (Mine is Jennifer Jolly Tech, in case anyone wants to know…..) This is a genius way to split dinner, help pay for gas on a road-trip, pay someone back for concert tickets…or ask your parents to bail you out if you get stuck somewhere and run out of dough! You can even use Apple Pay to spend money you keep in the app.
Great for camping, summer travel, and emergencies, this collapsible, waterproof, floatable, solar lantern gives an LED glow for up to 12 hours and recharges in seven hours in direct sunlight.
Have any summer hacks to share? Be sure to email or comment and let us know! You might even win one of these gadgets listed above!