1. A can of DIY cold brew “bean bags” so you can brew up a solution to all the iced-coffee debt you’ve accrued this summer.
Promising review: “Best cold-brew coffee ever! I bought this as a gift for my husband and then as a gift for my mother and then we reordered a whole slew of them to have in our pantry so we wouldn’t run out. It isn’t too strong or bitter, the instructions are clear, and the concentrate lasts a week in the fridge. Also: The tin is perfect for a gift. I love the flavor of this coffee and we are now customers for life!” —C.L. Stephenson
Price: $16.06 (or $24.99 for two cans, available in regular and decaf)
2. A tube of natural watermelon toothpaste for kids (and the parents who steal it from their children) that doesn’t taste like trash.
Promising review: “My daughter is apparently ‘princess and the pea’ when it comes to toothpaste. So picky! All of them, according to her, are yucky! And she’s right: Have you ever tasted your child’s toothpaste? I bet it’s disgusting. They are gross! After trying close to 10 different toothpastes (no joke) she’s decided she loves this one. It tastes delicious, doesn’t leave a strange taste in your mouth, rinses nice and is price-comparable to similar toothpastes at big-box stores or high-end natural grocers. I love that it doesn’t have fluoride, but most of all, I love that she loves it. She tries to get us to brush with it — and sometimes I do! Yum!” —john
3. An entertainingly crude pop-culture charades game, if you thought Cards Against Humanity didn’t go far enough.
Promising review: “This game is NOT for the easily offended, but is for people like my insane group of friends. After watching a demo of this game, I knew I had to add it to the repertoire of party activities. I sprung it on my game group during a party, and the fun didn’t stop for about two hours. Everyone loved it right away, and the laughs never stopped. I will say it’s easier if you have a little floor space so you can act out certain cards. Don’t play near breakables.” —A.C. Meyer
4. A nine-piece mason jar fermentation kit, because you fer-meant to hop on this hobby ages ago but didn’t know where to start.
Promising review: “I have tried many different ways to create an airlock for mason jar fermentation but this is the best. The seal is simple and effective. The weighting stones are really good solution to the problem of air exposure and they are quite effective at keeping the good stuff fully submersed in the brine. The ‘kraut pounder’ is exceptionally well-made. With this kit I was up and running in no time. I was quickly able to shred up some cabbage, cut up some vegetables, and start several batches of healthy fermented food. This kit is worth every penny!” —Timothy L. Brown
5. A bento box with an insulated thermos that’ll make packing lunch much more exciting — or at the very least, a whole lot tidier.
Promising review: “We’ve been using this for almost two months and we love it!! My son has always eaten lunch at home (even in pre-K), so I knew hot lunches were the way to go when we started kindergarten this year. After hours of researching online, I finally settled on the Omiebox as it met all my criteria: bento style for efficiency (they have less than 30 minutes for lunch), keeps food warm, leakproof, and easy for him to manipulate. Why bento? I wanted to have all his food laid out in one go vs. having to open various containers. Not only does this save time, but I also feel it’s less wasteful (don’t have to toss multiple baggies). I pack an Honest Kids juice box, which fits perfectly in one of the compartments. I use the side compartment to pack fruits and a sweet treat. The slider can be moved to divide this into two spaces.” —NoVA Mom
Price: $39.50 (available in three colors)
6. A long-handled safety razor, if you’re looking to pivot to an eco-friendly option that won’t irritate your skin.
Promising review: “I can’t say enough about this safety razor. I was interested in buying a safety razor for environmental reasons, and the fact that a lot of online reviews said it gave them a closer, better, and cheaper shave certainly didn’t hurt. Once you have it down you won’t go back to those ridiculous triple- and quadruple-bladed monstrosities, where you’re paying $4 a blade, irritating your skin, and throwing away tons of plastic every year. If the blade is good, it should be about 15 cents and you only need one of them!” —Cameron
7. A water-resistant laptop bag with a sleek, minimal look (except, surprise, it is actually very extra and has a hidden USB port for on-the-go charging!).
Promising review: “I was looking for a low-profile light backpack to safely store my 13-inch flip notebook, extra phone charger, wallet, all sorts of small electronics and accessories, water bottle, and snacks, and still have enough room left to shove a sweater or an extra layer of clothing inside. This little backpack is amazing. It looks great, is made out of very handsome and upscale-looking outer shell material, and provides enough pockets to keep everything I can possibly need neatly organized.” —Schlemazl Beerbaum
Price: $30.99 (available in six colors)
8. A eucalyptus and peppermint seaweed body wash with more than 65 vitamins that’s formulated to help to counteract the effects of UVA and UVB radiation.
Promising review: “Hubby and I are huge fans of Seaweed Bath Company products. He has psoriasis and I have eczema, so a hydrating body wash that also soothes skin is important to us. Prior to trying this we had used the citrus and mint scents of the body wash. Many unscented products still have a smell — chemical or herbal. But these products do not. We use the unscented body lotion and have used the unscented bar soap, all of which still ‘smell’ ok, and this is no different. It is also great that you can use this on your face, so if you get facial psoriasis, this can help.” —Lynda Lippin
Price: $10.52+ (available in four scents)
9. An Alexa-powered trivia board game, because Alexa has always been down to clown, but until now, hasn’t had the proper stage to let her true comedic talents shine.
Promising review: “This is a really astonishing use of voice technology. Typically, we all glaze over at board games while having to read through all the rules… but Alexa guided us right through the setup without any issues at all – it’s an extremely well-made experience. We’re big trivia fans, and love the variety of the questions and voices in the game. Alexa has some extremely funny moments, and we all loved the back-and-forth between Alexa and the locals. The option to choose between easy and hard questions is a great touch, and means younger players can still contribute to their team, which has always been a problem with trivia games in our family. It’s very affordable too, especially considering the quality of the pieces and board. This is definitely a game we’re going to be showing off to our friends. If you have an Echo and like games, this is a no-brainer.” —Kevin Marks
10. A travel coffee press, for those “rolled-out-of-bed-an-hour-late” kinda workday mornings.
Promising review: “Simple, elegant, solid, well-built, and effective. It was delivered yesterday afternoon and I did a quick unboxing, washed it, but let it sit on my counter waiting for the right time to give it a test drive. I picked it up several times and noted how well-balanced and how solid it felt. Making my first cup was the same — the plunger went down slowly and you could tell it made solid contact along the walls of the cup. Absolutely no grounds leaked into the coffee. Even better: It’s portable! Throw it in your bag and have a great cup of coffee wherever you can find ground coffee.” —Nearbolt
Price: $28+ (available in eight colors as well as with the option of a tea filter)
11. A durable silicone spatula so you can stop scraping the bottom of the barrel, and instead do it with this premium utensil that doesn’t leave a mark.
Promising review: “Great spatula! Withstands high heat while cooking, can bend and get into the curves of my pots and pans, and cleans up easily. I mainly use wood spoons and spatulas when I cook, in order to avoid scratching the insides of my pots and pans. But I didn’t like how the wood would absorb color and odors if left for more than several minutes. And I hated having to oil my wooden utensils (my cat loved it and would often run his head all over them at night…not very sanitary). But these GIR spatulas are wonderful. I got all white ones, and so far they haven’t stained or melted. They hold their shape extremely well, do a great job scraping all the tasty bits off the bottom of a pan when deglazing, and are great when I have to fold in ingredients when I bake.” —Happy Mommy
Price: $12.95+ (available in four sizes and 13 colors)
12. A highly educational app-controlled robot that kids will enjoy teaching to move, dance, and converse.
Promising review: “There are not enough wonderful, descriptive words to say what a fantastic ‘toy’ this is. All three of my daughters now have ‘Dash’ and ‘Dot’ because they are interesting and educational. The app is super kid-friendly — parents don’t have to do much. Also, the toys are incredibly durable. They literally throw them around and nothing has ever broken. What’s more: They continue to develop new abilities as your child spends more time working with them and teach coding skills. We have tried MIPs and several other programming toys, but this one excels beyond them all.” —Rachel Dawn
13. A 12-pack of tasty AF gluten-free plant-based crisps that make a perfect snack.
Promising review: “I LOVE these!! Due to health issues, I’m very limited to what I can eat (no corn, no gluten, etc.) so it’s really difficult to find something I CAN eat that I actually like. These have lots of flavor. Just as the name suggests, they’re sweet with a little kick of spice. (I admit I’m a bit addicted to them!) And I love the fact they contain 15 grams of protein. I ordered one case at first, but have just received my second order of three cases. Will definitely be ordering these on a regular basis.” —L. Hughes
Price: $28.49 for a 12-pack (available in sweet chili and garlic and herb)
14. A super-intuitive app-controlled thermometer, because the last thing a sick person needs is another inconvenience.
Promising review: “The thermometer was very easy to connect to my phone, even for someone like me who isn’t a techie. I was able to set up a profile for my granddaughter using their free app and take her temperature in a couple minutes. She likes to watch the bubbles that pop up on the screen while it’s taking her temperature. I like that its easy for me to see immediately if she’s got a fever or not. I also like that the app gives guidance on which medications to use to treat her fever that’s based on her age.” —Scott A. Miles
15. An interactive monkey that borrows much of its charm from the beloved Furby (but won’t haunt you in your sleep).
Promising review: “It’s adorable and reminds me of when I had a Furby as a kid. I keep this little gal, who I’ve named Marshmallow (the glittery white one), on my desk hanging from a pencil in my pen-holder cup. It’s fun to pick her up randomly and play with her in between work and she’s a great conversation starter. Everyone that sees her comments on how cute she is and what a wonderful toy.” —Blue’s Mom
Price: $12.89+ (available in eight colors)
16. A collapsible water bottle that reviewers say has made TSA checkpoints less of a total hellscape — truly the highest praise any product can receive.
Promising review: “Perfect for trips! Fits in a carry-on or beach bag without taking up a ton of space. Then I just fill it with fresh water once past TSA. Love that it’s easy to wash and no plastic!” —J Miller
Price: $25.95 (available in six colors)
17. And a pair of men’s jogger pants that work to rapidly remove sweat and eliminate odor.
Promising review: “These are really nice workout pants. I like the high-performance vaporactive technology and think these workout pants are very nice. They are comfortable and are lightweight, soft, and easy to move in. They are also heavy enough to feel comfortable wearing them out in public. They have an elastic waist and drawstring and two convenient pockets.” —Mike Wallace
Price: $20.02+ (available in sizes S-XXL and in four colors)