15 Random-But-Useful Finds That Will Seriously Upgrade Your Backyard This Summer

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You’ve weeded. Your shrub game is strong. You’ve already stocked up on canned wine and bookmarked your next five cookout menus. Summer 2022 is coming up fast, and we can already tell your backyard (or balcony, or whatever outdoor space you’ve got to work with) is going to be the place to be. To ensure you’re ready for whatever fun the season brings, we’ve rounded up the top random-but-useful finds for getting your friluftsliv on.

The Latest Way to Boost Your Curb Appeal? Create a Social Front Yard


1. Inflatable Solar Lantern

The sun is setting, but that breeze feels so good—and so is that page-turner. Now, you don’t have to stop binge-reading just because the light is getting low. This solar-powered lantern (which can also charge via USB) provides 80 hours of reading light, plus it’s waterproof and deflates to a 5-centimeter square, so storing it—or taking it wherever you go—is a non-issue.


2. Amazon Basics Oscillating 3-speed Tower Fan

A powerful fan is crucial for sweltering July and August days, but our editors love it for a less-obvious reason: The wind is just strong enough to keep bugs and mosquitos out of your face—and off the patio, for that matter. And it comes with a remote, so you can adjust it without having to move from your chaise.

Minni Dip

3. Minnidip Pup Dip

OK, maybe you can’t spring for an infinity pool this year, but pet parents will appreciate this foldable puppy pool to keep Sir Barks-a-Lot cool as the temperature surges. It’s made of heavy-duty vinyl and doesn’t inflate, so there’s no risk of little claws deflating it five minutes after you set it up.


4. Nerf Roboblaster

Parents, rejoice: Instead of your kid spraying you nonstop with their shiny new Supersoaker, they can battle it out against the RoboBlaster. The Blaster features targets all over it, which kids have to successfully shoot down to dismantle it—or risk being soaked. The challenge? RoboBlaster can spray water up to 30 feet and features a 60-degree rotation, so they may be duking it out for a while (as you stay high and dry on the deck nearby).

Home Depot

5. Ryobi 1,800-psi Electric Pressure Washer

You could spend $41/day to rent a pressure washer, but for less than $100, this compact cleaner can be yours. It isn’t just a fast way to boost your curb appeal before listing your home; day to day, we love how quickly it cleans grime off vinyl fences and restores outdoor rugs to brand-spankin’ new.


6. The Floral Society Floral Clippers

If you want to truly take advantage of that cutting garden you planted, you need shears that won’t elicit an endless stream of obscenities as you fight to snip through stems. At $88, these floral clippers are an investment, but the Teflon-coated carbon steel blades cut so cleanly and accurately that you’ll get the appeal after first snip.

Pottery Barn

7. Artisan Stone Spheres

Add some serious swagger to your estate with these very on-trend stone spheres. They’re just the organic modern touch to make a statement, even if your boxwoods are looking a little less-than-Bridgerton caliber.


8. Bug Bite Thing

Fine, so this is less something for your backyard and more something you’ll want anytime you’ve been in the backyard (and outside of your mosquito-free zone). The Bug Bite Thing is a handy gadget that sucks a mosquito’s saliva out of your skin after you’ve been bitten, so you feel relief from all that itching fast.

bed bath and beyond

9. Studio 3b Ryo Outdoor Chair

Comfy and chic can be a hard mix to come by, especially when it comes to outdoor furniture. These wicker chairs feature a modern boho look, yet they have a sturdy steel base and a gently curved seat, so your bum won’t get that pins-and-needles feeling 30 minutes into lounging.

bed bath and beyond

10. Just Grillin’ Steel Nonstick Grill Skillet

Come summertime, you’ll want to cook every meal on the grill. But veggies get a bit tricky, what with their propensity to slip through the grates. Instead of skewering everything, grab this grill pan. Sauté veggies in a flash, and when you’re ready to store it, the handle folds up so it takes up less space.


11. Convert-a-bench

On its own, it’s a bench. Buy two, and with their powers combined, they transform into a full-size picnic table and chairs. Figuring out where your crew will sit at the next cookout just got a lot easier.

bed bath and beyond

12. O2cool Beverage And Wine Clip

No cup holder? No problem, thanks to this smart clip, which clamps on to lawn chairs without a problem. (Oh, and it includes a built-in snack tray.)

bed bath and beyond

13. Metrovac Magic Air Inflator

If you have a pool, there will be pool floats. Spare your lungs. This weather-resistant, 120-volt model is powerful enough to inflate everything from air mattresses to all those giant swans and unicorns and Barbie convertibles you couldn’t resist stocking up on.

Home Depot

14. Greenworks 60-volt Cordless Leaf Blower

Nobody has time to sweep their deck, only for the next rain to send acorns, twigs and leaves scattered across it. This handheld leaf blower has been one of Greenworks’s best-sellers for a reason: A single charge lasts up to 50 minutes, and it requires virtually no maintenance, yet it makes your backyard look pristine in mere minutes.


15. Thermacell Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller

Real talk: A huge part of enjoying life outdoors in the summer is mosquito management. Thermacell’s USB-chargeable repeller doesn’t just look sleek; in our experience, it’s worked better than any citronella candles we’ve tried. Plus, it’s scent- and smoke-free, and it’s designed to create a 20-foot-round pest-free zone.