Summer is all about the gadgets.
With the polar vortex now a distant memory (well, almost), we’re staring down a full season of sunshine, barbecues and long nights spent on the patio.
Whether you’ll be manning the grill and serving up summer treats, traveling cross-country, or getting outside to break a sweat, these 10 gadgets will make life a lot more fun—and a little bit easier, too. Make the most of every moment this summer with these hot finds that you’ll enjoy through Labor Day and beyond.
Skip the sugar-laden frozen desserts and turn your favorite summer fruits into a healthy treat that looks and tastes like soft-serve ice cream. Simply freeze a selection of fruits (bananas work best because of their creamy consistency) for 24 hours, turn on the machine, and push the frozen fruit through the top using the “plunger.” Toss in any extra add-ins—like dark chocolate, pretzels or nut butter—for a customized treat that’s ready in seconds.
Create big flavor with The Smoking Gun, a hand-held culinary tool that allows you to add natural, cool smoke to everything from fruits, salads and sauces to meats and even Bloody Marys. Fill the easy-to-load chamber with the combustible of your choice—wood chips, tea, herbs, spices, etc.—switch it on, light it, and apply the smoke to anything your heart desires—no barbecue required!
Serve up fruit-infused water or ice-cold lemonade with this innovative new pitcher set. The set comes with an infuser stick, which you can load up with fresh fruits, vegetables or herbs, and an ice core to keep your drinks cold without watering them down. The new auto-seal technology seals the pitcher between pours to lock in freshness and prevent spills and leaks. It’s also stain and shatter resistant, BPA-free and comes with a lifetime guarantee, so it can stand up to your rowdiest crowd.
Who says you need a campfire to make summer s’mores that taste like they were roasted in the great outdoors? This flameless (aka kid-friendly) marshmallow roaster means you can make summer’s favorite treat anytime, anywhere. Store your s’mores supplies—graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows, and any other toppings—in the divided tray for easy access. The set comes with four stainless-steel forks to hold marshmallows over the electric heater, so you’ll be ready to roast in no time.
Master the grill this summer with the new iGrill mini, a compact smart thermometer that ensures you never overcook burgers or serve slightly pink chicken again. iGrill mini takes grilling to the next level with Bluetooth connectivity and an app that allows you to monitor your meats from up to 150 feet away. Power up the device and it automatically connects to your phone though the app to give real-time updates on temperatures and levels of doneness. This pocket-sized device uses magnetic mounting to attach to the outside of the grill and boasts a 150-hour battery life—that’s a lot of steaks.
Summer is full of hours-long al fresco meals, complemented by a few cocktails of course. Easily monitor your alcohol consumption with Breathometer, the first smartphone breathalyzer that estimates your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels from your mobile device. This tiny gadget, which was featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” discreetly fits into a pocket or purse. Just plug it in to the audio jack, blow into the blue illuminated opening, and Breathometer detects your BAC and the approximate time until you’re sober. Not ready to drive home? The Breathometer app can access local cab services to deliver you home safely.
Traveling this summer? Never lose track of your luggage again with this lightweight device that conveniently tucks inside your bag. When your flight lands, you’ll get a text or email to let you know that your checked bag arrived, too. If your bag didn’t make it to your destination (ugh), the text alert will report the exact location of your luggage for easy retrieval. Trakdot tracks your luggage anywhere in the world and will work anywhere your mobile phone does. It can also be linked to multiple mobile phones to give travelers the ultimate peace of mind.
Road tripping just got high tech. The Cobra JumPack contains a 7,500 mAh battery that quickly charges all of your devices on the go—smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, you name it. Oh, and it can also jump start your car. The built-in LED flashlight, strobe light and S.O.S. functions are also important to have on hand in case of emergency. The fierce battery on this small device holds a charge longer and will keep you going strong on that cross-country road trip—whether you’re charging up the iPad for the kids or bringing your car back to life on the side of the road.
Never let those always-in-the-way earbud cords interfere with your workout again. These wireless stereo headphones use Bluetooth connectivity to play your tunes and even allow you to answer calls hands-free. The eight-hour battery life is impressive, and the headphones are sweat-proof, ultra lightweight and they stay in place during a tough sweat session. Bonus: The included neoprene storage case doubles as an armband that encases your smartphone while you work out.
Bring the party to life with this colorful wireless boombox, perfect for toting to the beach or pool. Powered by Bluetooth, it connects to your iPhone, iPad, Android or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. Stream your own playlists or jam to built-in FM radio, with the option to enhance sound through line-in and line-out jacks. A seven-hour lithium battery will keep this old-school-styled boombox powering through a full day at the beach or night in the backyard.