50 things that'll make your summer so much better for less than $35 on Amazon

Culture
ByAnna Anderson

After a long and admittedly dreary winter, things are finally starting to look up again. (Cue the smell of barbecue, the sound of ocean waves, and the promise of road trips.) If you're ready to break out of the four walls of your home — even if it's just to hang out in your backyard — I've got a comprehensive list of things that'll make your summer better.

The first thing you need to know is that there's a snow cone maker on this list. Quite possibly the most fun way to beat the heat, it's easy to operate (just press a button) and only requires flavored syrup and some ice from your freezer. There's also a lightweight, packable hammock for lazy lounging in the great outdoors (whether it's outside your door or in a national forest) and a waterproof phone case that floats, so you can feel just a bit more relaxed when you're out on the lake.

Of course, for the heat-averse among us who dread the arrival of 90-degree days, I've included a good number of clever products that'll help you stay cool no matter how blisteringly hot it gets, like a kit that turns any standard pedestal fan into a misting fan that blows cool, damp air and a bamboo blanket that regulates temperature to keep you cool on balmy nights. For more awesome finds on Amazon that'll make this the best summer yet, keep reading.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

01

These classic shades with polarized lenses

If your future's so bright you gotta wear shades, you can't do better than this two-pack of polarized sunglasses. Available in a range of styles (including the classic set pictured here), they're polarized to prevent glare, so you can see clearly whether you're on the road, at the lake, or by the beach.

02

The mini ice cube trays for pseudo-crushed ice

Crushed ice is superior to ice cubes, and we all know it. Lucky for you, these mini ice trays create just about the closest thing to crushed ice that you can get at home, making about 160 small cubes total. The trays are made with flexible silicone, so it's easy to pop out as much (or as little) ice as you want.

03

An insulated water bottle that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours

The need to stay hydrated is a given once those hot days roll around, and this sports water bottle is a great way to get there when you're on the go. The powder-coated, vacuum-insulated bottle keeps drinks ice-cold for 24 hours, and it's leakproof and condensation-resistant. You'll also get three lids: a screw top, spout lid, and flip-top.

04

This portable fan for on-the-go cooling

Perfect for sports games, camping, and other outdoor activities, this portable fan is the way to go when you're trying to stay cool no matter where you are. The rechargeable fan boasts four speeds and can run for up to eight hours on the lowest. It comes with a flexible tripod, so you can set it up on flat surfaces or wrap it around tree branches, poles, or other objects.

05

The camping hammock that's lightweight & packable

Made from parachute material that's sturdy but ultra-lightweight (just 17 ounces), this camping hammock will fit easily in your backpack for your next wilderness adventure (but it's just as good for backyard use, too). It has a weight capacity of 595 pounds and comes with tree ropes and carabiners for easy setup. Choose from colors like blue, red, and khaki.

06

A rechargeable blender that doubles as a to-go cup

A smoothie is the perfect summer afternoon (or morning) pick-me-up, and this personal blender streamlines the whole process. It's rechargeable, so you can blend up a drink in the car or at your campsite, and each charge produces 15 to 20 batches. Even better, the blender doubles as a to-go cup, so you can whip up a smoothie and be on your way.

07

This watermelon slicer that's so easy to use

If there's anything that can deter you from eating a watermelon, it's the slicing process. This watermelon slicer makes it a breeze though, thanks to the rotating windmill blades that create uniform cubes in just a few minutes. All you have to do is halve the melon, dig in, and push.

08

This cooler that collapses for storage

A cooler can take up precious storage space when you're not using it, but this insulated cooler collapses down to a width of just 2 inches for compact storage. The insulated, zippered cooler can hold up to 36 cans of soda or beer, and there's a padded handle for comfortable carrying and a front pocket for a bottle opener, napkins, or any other necessities.

09

The s'mores maker that doesn't require a campfire

Conjure up the blissful days of summer camp — without going to the work of building a campfire — with this clever s'mores maker. The highly rated tabletop gadget uses a Sterno to toast marshmallows and features compartments around the outside for Hershey's, marshmallows, and graham crackers. You even get two roasting forks, so you don't have to search for wire hangers.

10

A ladder toss game for some competitive fun

With this ladder toss game, your objective is to throw the bolos from a distance in an attempt to sling them over the ladder rungs. Ideal for park days and barbecues, each set comes with six bolos, two collapsible ladders with built-in scorekeepers, and a convenient bag for carrying it all. Reviewers say it's "fun for all ages" and provides "endless hours of entertainment."

11

The wristbands that repel mosquitos

Slip one of these mosquito repellent bands over your wrist before heading outdoors, and you can spend the day bite-free. The stretchy, one-size-fits-most bands are DEET-free — instead, they're infused with plant oils and natural compounds that mosquitos despise, like citronella, lemongrass, and geraniol.

12

A waterproof phone pouch that floats

If you're spending the day at the lake or lounging by the pool, you can keep your phone protected with this waterproof phone pouch that floats. The IPX8 waterproof pouch can be submerged in water up to 3 feet, but the padding gives it buoyancy, so, lucky for you, it'll just stay on the surface. Both sides of the clear-window case are touch screen-sensitive, so you can still take pictures and check texts.

13

A mineral sunscreen that's reef-safe

Beach meccas like Hawaii are now banning certain sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate because of their harmful effects on coral reefs. Go the reef- and ocean-safe route with this SPF-50 mineral sunscreen that uses zinc oxide to keep skin protected from UV rays. The paraben-free formula dries on clear and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Even better? It's made with solar power in Australia for even more earth-friendliness.

14

The portable & waterproof Bluetooth speaker with a 100-foot range

This portable Bluetooth speaker has earned a 4.6-star overall rating after more than 1,600 reviews, and it's pretty easy to see why. The IPX7 waterproof speaker has an ultra-long Bluetooth range of 100 feet, so you don't have to tether your phone (and yourself) to the speaker. Plus, it has a playing time of up to 28 hours, and at just 4.5 inches tall, you can pack it up and take it anywhere.

15

This 4-pack of unbreakable stainless steel wine glasses

A balmy evening calls for chilled rosé on the porch, and these stainless steel wine glasses are a good way to guarantee you don't break any glass while you're sipping. The 12-ounce cups are double-wall insulated to maintain your drink's temperature, and the sipping lids help prevent any spills. When you're done, they clean up in the dishwasher.

16

A cold-brew maker for more refreshing coffee

A hot cup of joe just doesn't sit well on a July day, but you can still get your caffeine fix with this cold-brew coffee maker. It's made with temperature-resistant glass and stainless steel, and the fine mesh filter keeps any grounds from sneaking through into your coffee. The carafe makes up to four 8-ounce cups at a time — more than enough to get you through the afternoon doldrums.

17

These portable underarm wipes that keep you feeling fresh

Hot, humid weather might make you want to take a shower midday, but it's not always possible. Keep these antiperspirant underarm wipes on hand to cleanse, deodorize, and prevent sweating. Also great post-workout or for camping trips, the set comes with 15 individually-packaged wipes that you can stick in your bag or car glovebox

18

This inflatable drink holder that floats

With this inflatable drink holder, you can have a floating swim-up bar in your home or Airbnb pool. The sturdy float has four cupholders for cans and bottles, as well as two slots for phones or other essentials. This is definitley the definition of living it up.

19

These no-touch tools that minimize contact with high-touch surfaces

If you're a little freaked by germs in general these days (who isn't?), these no-touch tools are a great way to feel a little better about being out and about. They do everything from opening door handles to pressing buttons to performing as styluses, so you can even sign credit card transactions. Each pack comes with three.

20

The USB projection light for a starry ceiling

Even if you're not technically sleeping under the stars this summer, you can still "sleep under the stars" with this projection light. The USB-powered light is super compact and has a flexible arm, so you can aim the image wherever you want to, and the seven modes let you toggle between different colors and patterns.

21

This tap that lets you make watermelon cocktails

This watermelon tap just might be one of the more genius inventions on Amazon. Just pour vodka into the melon, then insert the tap for a fresh, ready-made cocktail. It's made from durable stainless steel, so it'll last for many summers, and it even comes with a coring tool that makes inserting the tap an easy, leakproof affair.

22

A big beach blanket that packs up small

This beach blanket is generously sized at 7 by 6.5 feet, but rolls up to just 6 by 5 inches, so you can stash it in your beach bag without it taking up a bunch of space. The durable, triple-stitched blanket is waterproof and machine-washable, and comes with four stakes, so you can secure it to the ground in breezy conditions.

23

This 5-pack of drink coasters for sand-free beverages

There's nothing worse than going in for a swig, only to be met with a bunch of sand in your mouth. These beach coasters put an end to that. They elevate your drink off the ground to keep it sand-free, and they also keep it steady, so you don't have to worry about it getting knocked over.

24

The packable towel that's perfect for camping

When you're backpacking, you don't have a lot of space for taking along a towel, which is what makes this extremely packable camping towel such a great buy. Not only is the full-size microfiber towel absorbent and fast-drying, but it packs into a carrying case that's small enough to loop onto your backpack zipper. Choose from six colors and three sizes.

25

This snow cone machine that's just like being at an amusement park

Nothing beats a snow cone on a blisteringly hot day and thanks to this snow cone maker, you don't even have to hit up an amusement park to get one. All you have to do is add ice to the machine and let the stainless steel blades do their work. It comes with one reusable cup, but you can get more here (and stock up on some flavored syrups while you're at it).

26

The solar charger that doubles as a flashlight

Going off the grid this summer? You can still keep your phone powered up with this solar charger (you know, in case you get lost). Along with a solar panel, it's outfitted with a compass, flashlight, and SOS strobe light. Plus, the power bank can also be recharged via standard wall outlet before you head out on your trip.

27

The beverage can lid that keeps out bugs and seals in carbonation

It's an unlikely invention, but this beverage can lid has a couple things going for it. First, it covers the opening of the lid, which keeps bugs out when you're not sipping, and second, it seals in carbonation, so you can enjoy your soda or beer at your own leisurely pace — without missing out on any fizzy bubbles.

28

These clips that keep your towel secured to your lounger

If your beach towel isn't blowing away in the wind, it's bunching up on your lounger every time you shift position. Keep your towel secure on your lounger or beach chair with these clips. They're colorful, heavy-duty, and come in a pack of eight.

29

A beach umbrella anchor that stands up to the wind

Insert this umbrella anchor into the sand before popping open the canopy, and it'll safely keep your beach umbrella from blowing away — even in winds as strong as 50 miles per hour (although it might be a good idea to head home before it gets quite that windy). It's lightweight, portable, and compatible with umbrellas of all sizes.

30

A tray that attaches to your beach umbrella pole

Speaking of umbrellas, this handy umbrella tray attaches directly to the pole, so you can keep up to four drinks, snacks, and your sunglasses within arm's reach. Plus, the shade afforded by the umbrella will help keep drinks cool and your phone from overheating.

31

The SPF lip balm that comes in summer flavors

Keep your lips hydrated and protected from UV rays with this SPF-30 Sun Bum lip balm. The hypoallergenic formula is made with soothing and moisturizing ingredients like aloe, cocoa butter, and vitamin E. The best part? It comes in seven delicious, summery flavors: banana, coconut, key lime, pomegranate, watermelon, and pineapple.

32

A kit for making ice pops at home

Concoct your own frozen treats at home with this ice pop mold. Along with the 10-cavity mold, the kit comes with everything you need: sticks, wrappers, and a funnel for adding ingredients. Experiment with fruit juice, yogurt, chocolate pudding, fresh fruit — the frozen treat world is your oyster.

33

These mesh covers that keep bugs off food

Don't let flies ruin your next picnic or barbecue — get these pop-up food tents that block insects while still giving you a good view of fixings. Made from mesh, the tents are collapsible for portability, and each set comes with six. Another bonus: You can place these over small plants to keep rabbits and other small creatures from gnawing away.

34

A can cooler with finger grooves for a good grip

An upgrade on the standard beer coozie, this insulated stainless steel can cooler will keep your beverage cold for hours. Compatible with both bottles and cans, it's condensation-resistant and features finger grooves to give you a secure grip (so no spills or party fouls here).

35

These submersible pool lights that add magic to night swims

Take night swimming up a notch with these submersible LED lights. Also suitable for baths and hot tubs, the lights adhere to the walls via strong suction cups, and they come with a remote control so you can customize everything. Choose between 16 colors, five brightness levels, four color-changing modes, and two timer functions.

36

The wireless earbuds with 200,000 ratings

No matter what your summer has in store, a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds can ensure you've got a great soundtrack to go along with it. Boasting more than 200,000 reviews, these earbuds offer fantastic sound and six hours of playtime on one charge, with an additional 24 when stored in the charging case. They're waterproof and pair with your phone in one effortless step.

37

The kit that turns your fan into a mister

Looking to stay cool in hot, dry weather? Look no further than this misting kit that turns your fan into a misting fan. Just use the included cable ties to attach the misting ring to the head of your fan, then hook up the water supply to a standard garden hose and hit the power button for a cool, damp breeze.

38

These reusable & expandable bags for farmers market trips

Summer means more trips to the farmers market, and these reusable net bags will be there for you when it's time to haul your peaches, heirloom tomatoes, and sweet corn home. Made from 100% cotton, the set comes with three mesh bags that expand to accommodate your entire haul.

39

A carafe that chills iced tea in 30 seconds

Brew a carafe of iced tea in 30 seconds flat with this iced tea maker. The fine-mesh tea infuser can be used with both loose leaf tea and tea bags, and the patented Flash Chill technology cools down a just-brewed carafe almost instantly. Just add tea and hot water, then — after brewing — remove the infuser, add ice, reseal the lid, and shake.

40

This bamboo blanket that's temperature-regulating

If you sleep hot but still like the weight of a blanket on you, this highly rated cooling blanket is for you. Made from temperature-regulating bamboo, it's mega-soft and stays cool-to-the-touch all night long. One reviewer wrote, "As someone who sleeps HOT this blanket is AMAZING. It's heavy enough to get the blanket feel I want but I don't overheat."

  • Available sizes: 51 x 63 inches, 59 x 79 inches, 79 x 91 inches, 108 x 90 inches
  • Available colors: 8

41

This water bottle holder with a shoulder strap

Heading out for a hike? Slip your water bottle into this holder, then sling the strap over your shoulder, or use the smaller handle to carry it by hand. It's insulated to keep water cool, and it has two zippered compartments for your keys, credit cards, and lip balm. Choose from five colors.

42

The portable mini fridge with a Bluetooth speaker

This portable mini fridge plugs into the wall, but maintains temperature even after it's unplugged, so you can take it with you on the road. It stores up to 12 beverage cans and has an adjustable temperature dial and — get this — an integrated Bluetooth speaker. The vintage-style fridge comes in colors like pink, aqua, and yellow.

43

An affordable citronella candle that fends off mosquitos

If mosquitos are a summer nightmare for you, haul out this citronella candle when you're outdoors. Happy reviewers say it "actually works" and that it's "one of the best citronellas on the market." It provides up to 20 hours of use and the scent is effective but not overpowering for human noses.

44

A steering wheel tray table for road trips

If you've got a summer road trip in the works, this steering wheel tray table is a great way to eat lunch on the go. It hooks right onto the wheel and features a cupholder to keep your drink upright. The best part? It'll help keep mess to a minimum, so you can arrive at your destination with a car that's free of crumbs and ketchup drips.

45

An activated charcoal air freshener for your car

If you're hitting the road, you can keep your car smelling clean with this activated charcoal air freshener. Perfect for anyone who doesn't like fragranced air fresheners, it's completely odorless and simply neutralizes any smells. It loops around your car headrest and lasts for up to 365 days.

46

This cooling towel that keeps you comfortable all day

When the weather heats up, you can stay comfortable with this cooling towel. This clever invention retains cool temperatures for hours on end (one reviewer reports it lasted eight hours in the Texas sun), and all you have to do is dip it in cold water, wring it out, then wrap it around your neck or shoulders.

47

This 5-pack of athletic shorts that stay cool when you work up a sweat

There's no such thing as too many athletic shorts once summer rolls around, and this set comes with five pairs that are ideal for sports, working from home, and running errands. The best part: They're ventilated and made with moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and sweat-free all day.

  • Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large
  • Available color combos: 10

48

These drink umbrellas that'll transport you to a tropical locale

Whether you stick them in a piña colada or a Diet Coke, these drink umbrellas will add a little island flavor to your at-home happy hour. The set comes with 24 mini umbrellas in an assortment of colors.

49

This 5-pack of sweat-wicking T-shirts

This five-pack of T-shirts will see you through any hot, sweaty week. They're designed to wick moisture and dry quickly, and the UPF-50 sun protection will shield you from any UV rays. They're tag-free for ultimate comfort and come in a range of color combinations.

  • Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large
  • Available color combos: 13

50

50.The satin pillowcases that stay cool all night

If sleep is hard to come by because your bedroom is hot as Hades in the summer, stock up on these satin pillowcases. They're naturally temperature-regulating to keep you cool all night long, and the smooth texture also helps prevent morning bedhead. And although they feel luxe, they're machine-washable for easy upkeep.

  • Available sizes: standard, queen, king, body
  • Available colors: 18