Genius things that make being outside way less uncomfortable

From fending off bugs to staying cool in high temps, we’ve got you covered.

ByClaire Epting
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Ah, the great outdoors. From hikes to camping trips, barbecues to beach days, is there anything better than spending some quality time outside? But not every outing is a walk in the park — sunburns, mosquitos, and surprise visits from pests can quickly sour the day. That’s why I’ve rounded up these genius things that make being outside so much nicer. From products that keep you cool on hot days to innovative tools you can stash in your backpack, these are the most clever items for your backyard and beyond.


A USB-rechargeable bug zapper that stops insects in their tracks

Gone are the days of rolling up a newspaper and swatting away those pesky flying bugs. Thanks to modern technology, we have this electric bug zapper that shocks and eradicates insects with a single flick of the wrist. It’s equipped with a purple light that attracts mosquitos towards the high-voltage grid — simply press down on the handle to activate it. Plus, it’s conveniently USB-rechargeable.


This portable mister that turns your patio into a cool oasis

On a hot day, does anything feel better than a light veil of cool mist? This portable mister takes seconds to set up — all you have to do is attach it to your garden hose. The long, flexible neck can be twisted into any position you prefer. Set it up on your patio, in your backyard, or next to your garden.

  • Available colors: black, blue, white


The large, durable canopy that blocks UV rays

Available in two dozen sizes and six shades, this durable canopy will keep the UV rays from beating down on your patio. Made out of high-density polyethylene fabric, it attaches to your walls and fence with a set of stainless steel rings. While it blocks out a good deal of sunlight, it’s also breathable — allowing air and breezes to pass through with ease.

  • Available sizes: 14
  • Available colors: 6


A hands-free umbrella that can be stored upside down

Shield yourself from rain, wind, and sunlight with this weatherproof umbrella — its unique C-shaped handle even allows for hands-free carrying on your wrist. When not in use, the umbrella can be stored upside down, allowing for water to more readily run off. Underneath the simple black exterior, you’ll find a vibrant hue or pattern — choose from flowers, camouflage, stripes, and more.

  • Available sizes: 49 inches, 56 inches
  • Available colors and patterns: 33


This portable hammock you can set up anywhere

As long as you have access to two trees, you can set up this fan-favorite nylon hammock that’s earned a 4.8-star overall rating after 47,000 reviews. It comes in a wide range of hues, from neutral gray and navy to high-visibility turquoise and fuchsia. Not to mention, the hammock and its pair of 9-foot talon straps can be packed down into the included storage bag for easy portability when you want to take it camping.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 15


A cooling towel that provides 2 hours of heat relief

To activate the cooling fibers in this towel wrap, all you have to do is add water. From there, the mesh fabric will provide up to two hours of cool relief; just drape it around your neck post-workout or after a long day in the heat — it’s also great for hikes and outdoor sports games. Plus, the towel offers UPF-50 protection, shielding your skin from the sun’s rays.

  • Available colors: 15


This lightweight net that keeps mosquitos from interrupting your al fresco meal

When the weather is nice, eating a meal outside is one of life’s simple pleasures — as long as there are no mosquitos, of course. This lightweight mesh canopy keeps bugs out while allowing breezes to pass through. It packs down to a compact size, so you can easily tote it with you to a friend’s backyard. Installation is simple, thanks to the included hooks, plugs, and rope.

  • Available sizes: 2


Some hydrating aloe vera gel that soothes your sunburn

No matter how much sunscreen you slather on at the beach or pool, sometimes, a sunburn is inevitable. Luckily, this soothing aloe vera gel eases the symptoms of red, irritated skin as soon as they start up. The moisturizing formula is gentle enough for your face and body — plus, the addition of papaya enzyme boosts the gel’s anti-inflammatory properties.


The genius tool that suctions the venom out of your bug bites

The more time you spend outdoors, the more likely it is that you’ll collect a few bug bites. That’s why it’s a great idea to have this genius bug bite tool on hand — it suctions up the venom, saliva, or other irritants from under your skin. Once the irritant is gone, the swelling and itching can subside on its own. A key chain hole on one end allows you to easily take it with you anywhere.

  • Available colors: 4


A pair of insulated tumblers that come in aesthetically pleasing hues

When spending time outside, staying hydrated is of the utmost importance. And, thanks to these insulated stainless steel tumblers, you can guarantee that your water, juice, or iced tea will be perfectly chilled for up to 24 hours. Choose from aesthetically pleasing hues of pink and teal, or opt for a cool marble or ombré pattern.

  • Available colors and patterns: 10


These mesh tents that protect your picnic from bugs

When the weather is nice, nothing beats a cookout or a picnic — but don’t let bugs get to your meal before you do. These mesh tents fit right over your trays and plates, keeping flies and ants away from your food. You get three covers total — two are square-shaped, while the third is rectangular. Each one collapses flat when not in use.


This anti-chafe balm that keeps skin irritation at bay

Stop chafing before it starts with this hydrating balm from Body Glide. Made with naturally derived ingredients, the formula readily absorbs into your skin without any greasy residue left behind. Spread it along your inner thighs, under your arms, and around your neck — anywhere that frequently rubs up against skin or fabric.


A cooling baseball cap that keeps you comfy in high temps

While it may look like a traditional baseball cap, this performance hat has a hidden cooling power — all you have to do is rinse it and wring it out to activate the technology. The curved brim protects your face from UV rays, while the lightweight fabric keeps your head cool for up to two hours at a time. Choose from a handful of colors, like navy, mint green, or gray camouflage.

  • Available colors and patterns: 6


The charming drink dispenser shaped like a Mason jar

There’s something about a Mason jar that’s just so charming. This glass beverage dispenser is just as nice to look at as it is functional. The stainless steel spigot is easy to twist open and shut, allowing your guests to easily pour themselves a glass of lemonade, iced tea, or your own house cocktail. Fill the removable cylinder with ice to keep your drink chilled without any dilution.


This waterproof blanket you can tote to the beach or park

With a waterproof backing, this outdoor blanket is perfect for taking to the park, beach, or campground. You can choose from a variety of sizes and striped patterns in shades of navy, orange, and red. Plus, its foldable design and built-in handle allows you to easily tote it from place to place.

  • Available sizes: 8
  • Available colors and patterns: 9


An outdoor rug that makes any patio instantly more inviting

With a distressed look, this rustic rug adds an instant cool factor to any porch or patio. It comes in a wide range of muted shades and several different sizes, so you can pick the one that fits your outdoor space the best. When it’s time for a refresh, simply run a vacuum over the rug or spot clean with a stain remover.

  • Available sizes: 9
  • Available patterns: 7


These twinkly fairy lights that illuminate your outdoor umbrella

Just because the sun went down doesn’t mean you can’t utilize your patio’s umbrella. Simply attach these fairy lights to the ribs of the umbrella, then turn them on using the included remote control. You also have the ability to switch between brightness and lighting modes. Don’t worry about having to plug them in, either — they conveniently run on batteries.


This camping chair that’s tricked out with convenient features

Camping trips, outdoor concerts, and beach days are made so much better with the right chair. Made from durable fabric with breathable mesh panels, this camping chair fully supports you wherever you happen to be. The best part? It has an integrated cupholder, storage pouch for reading material, and a mini cooler for keeping drinks cold. It’s also super easy to fold up and carry around — it weighs under 10 pounds total.

  • Available styles: 3


The slim can holder that keeps your seltzer perfectly chilled

Fans of hard seltzer, rejoice — this insulated cooler is designed specifically for slim cans. Made from stainless steel, the locking drink holder keeps your beverage chilled while you sip. Available in dozens of vibrant hues and unique patterns, it’s easy to find one that fits your personality.

  • Available colors and patterns: 33


An adjustable fanny pack that holds so much stuff on walks & hikes

You have the option of wearing this spacious fanny pack around your waist or cross-wise over your chest — either way, you’ll find that there’s plenty of room for your wallet, keys, phone, and even a travel umbrella. The adjustable strap is ultra-stretchy, and the included extension strap guarantees a comfortable fit. An opening on the side of the nylon pouch even allows you to run a pair of headphones through while you’re taking a stroll.

  • Available colors: 4


This outdoor smart plug that allows you to control your lights from anywhere

With this outdoor smart plug, you can control your patio or string lights from anywhere via mobile app — even when you’re not home. The unit is also compatible with Alexa-enabled devices, so you can even make adjustments to brightness with a simple voice command. Plus, you can conveniently set schedules for your lighting so that it automatically pops on at dusk.


An elevated dog bed that keeps your pup cool on hot days

This durable mesh dog bed is elevated to promote airflow beneath your pup’s body — in other words, it will keep your pet nice and cool on hot days. Its durable, anti-skid design makes it suitable for outdoor patios and yards, so your dog can join you in enjoying the nice weather. There are four different sizes to pick from, with the smallest option supporting up to 40 pounds and the largest accommodating up to 150 pounds.

  • Available sizes: small — x-large
  • Available colors: 6


This portable fan that sits comfortably around your neck

Perfect for theme park trips and music festivals, this portable neck fan offers a surefire way keep from overheating. The compact unit offers three different wind speeds, delivering a constant stream of cool air for up to 16 hours on a single charge. It’s available in eight different hues, so you can even pick one that matches your wardrobe.

  • Available colors: 8


A reef-safe sunscreen made with nourishing island botanicals

Blended with Hawaiian plumeria as well as kukui and macadamia nut oils, this zinc oxide sunscreen treats your skin like it’s going on a tropical vacation. The SPF-50 formula offers broad-spectrum protection without any annoying white cast or sticky residue. Plus, the full list of ingredients is reef-safe, so you can feel extra good about your purchase.


The personal water filter straw with sky-high ratings

There’s a reason why the LifeStraw has an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars after 90,000 reviews — it’s super useful when trekking through the great outdoors. The personal filter removes 99.99% of bacteria and parasites from stream, pond, and lake water as it passes through the straw. Weighing less than 2 ounces, it’s a no-brainer addition to your backpack — you never know when you’re going to need it.

  • Available colors: 4


This camping pillow that compresses for portability

If you’re someone who prefers a few creature comforts to totally roughing it, you’ll love this compressible travel and camping pillow. The memory foam cushion is wrapped in a microsuede cover, comfortably supporting your head and neck as you gaze up at the stars. The smaller size packs down to just 9 by 6 inches, so it won’t take up much room in your duffel or backpack.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 5


The water-repelling spray for your camping gear & patio furniture

Don’t let rainy days get the best of your patio furniture or camping tent — this water-repelling spray can be used to shield your nylon, polyester, cotton, and leather items. While you’re at it, go ahead and weatherproof your backpack, grill cover, and jacket. All it takes is one application to protect your belongings from rain, snow, and splashes.


A trio of cupholders that you plant directly in the sand

The spikes on the bottoms of these cupholders allow them to stay securely in the sand during your beach day. But before you plant them near your chair and towel, make sure to take advantage of the built-in bottle opener located on the base of each one (genius). Besides drinks, these lightweight holders are also great for securing your phone, keys, and other small essentials, so they don’t get lost in the sand.


This flameless lighter that even works in windy conditions

From lighting your grill to sparking kindling for a campfire, this USB-rechargeable lighter is bound to come in handy — especially on windy days. It uses plasma technology to start a fire without a flame, activating with just three clicks of the base. The extra-long neck keeps your fingers at a safe distance while you use the device. The best part? Since it charges, you’ll never have to refill it with lighter fluid.


These outdoor curtains that offer extra privacy

Give your patio a more private feel by hanging up this set of thick outdoor curtains. Made out of durable, waterproof polyester, the drapes are designed to stand up to the elements. A set of rustproof metal grommets makes installation a breeze. With plenty of neutrals and jewel tones to pick from, you’re sure to find a set to match your patio’s vibe.

  • Available sizes: 21
  • Available colors: 14


A light-up dog leash that keeps you visible at night

Between work and errands, sometimes the only time to walk your dog is at night. This LED leash ensures that both you and your pup can be seen in low-light settings from up to 350 yards away. Available in high-visibility shades of pink, yellow, and blue, the leash offers up to seven hours of light on a single charge, and has three modes: on, strobe, and blink. The padded handle keeps it comfy in your hand.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 8


This clever sand anchor that keeps your umbrella upright

On a windy day, you can expect that beach umbrella to topple over — unless you anchor it in the sand. This ingenious umbrella anchor features a three-tier screw that plants it firmly in place, as well as reinforced handles for easy removal. Simply place your umbrella pole in the top opening and twist to tighten.


The durable backpack that doubles as a cooler

Any outing is made better by an ice-cold beverage — and thanks to this durable backpack, you can guarantee that your lunch or drinks will stay nice and chilled as you travel to your destination. The exterior is made of hard-wearing 600-denier Oxford fabric, while the interior has an insulated lining that keeps your items cool for up to 16 hours with ice packs. You’ll even find a hidden bottle opener on the strap, so you can get the party started ASAP.

  • Available colors: 5


These waterproof globe lights that create a cozy ambience on your patio

Waterproof and heat-resistant, these globe lights work in nearly any weather — so you can always count on them to provide a cozy ambience on your patio. This 25-foot-long string of lights is conveniently connectable, so you can pick up multiple to get more coverage. Each bulb is also designed with a hook on top, so you can easily attach them wherever you need.

  • Available colors: 4


This hooded rain poncho with a brim for extra coverage

Designed with a brimmed hood for extra coverage, this waterproof poncho is bound to keep you dry when conditions turn rainy. It’s made out of ripstop polyester with a TPU coating, so it’s excellent at repelling moisture. Plus, it comes in high-visibility shades such as neon yellow, blue, and orange, which is particularly helpful when hiking in a group.

  • Available colors and patterns: 22