SUMMER ON THE AMAZON
The sun is out, the temperatures are rising, and the kids are almost out of school: For some folks, there are no better reasons to seek sanctuary in their smartphones or their homes and go shopping. Amazon may lack the overt seasonal product displays of bricks-and-mortar retail stores, but that doesn't mean there aren't seasonally specific sales and deals hidden within its vast catalog of goods. We did some early summer shopping on Amazon and came up with at least 40 reasons for you to sacrifice some time in the sun to snag some hot online sales and deals. (Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.)
AMAZON PRIME MEMBERSHIP
Price: $99 a year until June 16, $119 afterward
This is existing Prime members' last chance to snag a year of free shipping, video streaming, e-book borrowing, music downloading and other Prime perks at the old $99 a year price if they renew their annual membership before June 16. After that, the price jumps to $119 for renewing members. The price went up for new members earlier this month.
COLEMAN ROAD TRIP LXE PORTABLE GRILL
Price: $128 | Buy it
The standard two-burner Coleman camp stove is a classic, but leaves a lot to be desired for the modern camper. This upgrade has cast-iron and porcelain finishes, 20,000 BTUs of heat, and a rolling, folding, portable stand. It's the compact little grill for when you need a bit more than just boiled water.
THERMOS STAINLESS KING 40-OUNCE BEVERAGE BOTTLE
Price: $22 | Buy it
With a cup as a lid, a handle on the side for easy toting, double-walled insulation, and a sassy metallic cranberry exterior, the Thermos is a camping and beachfront classic. Whether you're keeping the night's cocoa warm or keeping a cocktail shaken and cool, this bottle's here for all your outdoor beverage needs.
FOLKLORE ENAMEL CAMPING COFFEE MUG
Price: $12.80 | Buy it
Yes, we're hitting all of the campfire classics on this list, but we figured 2018 might be a good time to ditch the cobalt blue cups with white flecks for a slightly friendlier pattern. Leave the old-school pattern to your camp kettle: The foxes and owls on this mug demand their place in your car-camping wilderness.
COLEMAN STEEL-BELTED PORTABLE COOLER
Price: $89 | Buy it
It comes in a few more shades than green and red these days, but this 54-gallon metal cooler still gets the job done. It boast a capacity of "85 cans" (12 ounces, of course), vows to keep your ice intact for up to four days, and it has rust-resistant hardware to last for generations. If you don't believe those claims, look up Coleman metal coolers on eBay or in any antique shop. They stand up to the years thrown at them, and are well worth spending the extra $13 on if you covet one with a bottle opener.
INTEX EXPLORER K2 TWO-PERSON INFLATABLE KAYAK
Price: $79.90 | Buy it
Is this the year you dip a toe into kayaking? You'll need a bunch of other gear like life jackets and wet suits, but this well-built starter kayak comes with paddles and its own air pump. It'll work on lakes and mild rivers, which is where beginners should start anyway, but it's a cost-efficient way to start paddling.
IGLOO 10-GALLON SEAT-TOP BEVERAGE JUG
Price: $52.42 | Buy it
Anyone who's been on a youth sports team or to a camp knows this cooler all too well. It fits 10 gallons of bug juice or anything else you'd like to put in it and will keep ice intact for three days. Oh, and it also has a sleeve for disposable cups.
HEALTHY PACKERS COOL PACK ICE PACKS
Price: $13 | Buy it
Use them as a supplement for your camp or beach cooler or just use them in your lunch bag if you don't want yogurt or a tuna wrap to go bad during a 90-degree commute. Either way, these bags tend to come in handy during the summer months.
ANYTIME FAMILY MARSHMALLOW-ROASTING FORKS
Price: $12.95 for 5 | Buy it
You don't know where that stick has been. Rather than maiming a nearby tree, searching for driftwood, or scraping around for any twigs you can find, use those twigs for kindling and invest in some of these telescoping forks.
COLEMAN SUNDOME 4-PERSON TENT
Price: $60 | Buy it
This is the best-selling tent on Amazon for a simple reason: It's the tent every casual camper needs. It has pockets for you stuff, a rain fly for wet weather, a water-resistant exterior, a tarp bottom and an easy-to-assemble system of extension poles and hooks. Oh, and it's kind of a four-person tent, but it most comfortably sleeps two.
COGHLAN'S POP-UP TRASH CAN
Price: $15 | Buy it
There's a simple phrase for what you're supposed to do with trash at the beach, while camping or during a hike: Pack it in, pack it out. If you don't feel like using supermarket bags and contributing more waste, take along this collapsible polyethylene bin with a zip-up lid. Your trip and your hosts will be better off for your efforts.
HONEST OUTFITTERS CAMPING HAMMOCK
Price: $20 | Buy it
It's cute that Honest Outfitters markets this hammock for "backpacking," and we're sure some people use it for that purpose, but we just envision a loop of campsites with their driveways, picnic tables, fire rings, water spigots, and trees. At least two of those trees will be home to hammocks like this one with its sturdy tree straps.
CORE 9-PERSON DOME TENT
Price: $120 | Buy it
When it comes to any tent, shoot for less than full capacity. Yes, this 16-by-9-foot tent could hold nine people if necessary. But if you're trying to wedge mattresses and gear in there, you may be better off with six.
SPORT-BRELLA ALL-WEATHER SUN UMBRELLA
Price: $56 | Buy it
This is the latest step in the evolution of the beach umbrella. Once simply an umbrella that you planted in the ground and moved or tilted depending on the sun's direction, it is now an aerodynamic lean-to designed to not only block out the sun, but any breeze that may blow through. We'll admit that this is by far the most portable beach umbrella we've seen, but we'll also admit that this beats going to the beach and pitching a half-tent because it's breezy.
SIXTHREEZERO HYBRID CRUISER BIKES
Price: $400 | Buy it
Summer in lakefront or oceanfront towns means cruiser bikes, nice upright easy-riding two-wheelers that let you just pedal through town or along the boardwalk at a leisurely pace. They're built for comfort not for speed. While the women's and men's styles are a matter of preference, the price is the same no matter what you choose.
CUISINART ICE-21 FROZEN YOGURT / ICE CREAM MAKER
Price: $44.25 | Buy it
In the summer months, you may occasionally toy with the notion of making your own ice cream. If you decide to take the leap and do so, this is the ice cream maker to get. The 1.5-quart freezer bowls eliminate the need for ice, and they sell separately if you feel the need to have a backup (or to make multiple batches at once), and the mixer itself is one of the most durable appliances you can own.
HAMILTON BEACH ICY TREATS ICE SHAVER
Price: $18.09 | Buy it
Can't you just do this in a blender? No. Professional-grade shavers go for upward of $100 and take up far more space than this. Hamilton Beach appliances may be entry-level, but they last a surprisingly long time for their price tag. Besides, this process requires only ice and some syrup: Using a $20 machine on that doesn't seem like much to ask.
BREVILLE BJE200XL COMPACT JUICE FOUNTAIN
Price: $99.95 | Buy it
Why are we touting this as a summer buy? Because much of the best juicing fruit and berries come into season in the spring and summer months here in the U.S. The Breville gets the nod for being small, for having enough muscle to extract large amounts of juice, and for having a whole lot of dishwasher-safe parts for peak juicing season.
PRODYNE FRUIT INFUSION FLAVOR PITCHER
Price: $16.73 | Buy it
Who says you have to crush every fruit or berry you see and absorb all of that sugar (and its accompanying carbohydrates and calories)? This infuser lets you turn any pitcher of water into a flavorful beverage by letting the water absorb fruit juices on its own. Any pitcher will do this, but this one was the prettiest.
TOVOLO LEAK-FREE SPHERE ICE MOLDS
Price: $10 | Buy it
You're going to make a lot of ice this summer, but a big ice sphere in a rocks glass looks amazing during a summer cocktail party. There are only two silicone molds in this set, so make your spheres well in advance.
OXO GOOD GRIPS STAINLESS STEEL ICE CREAM SCOOP
Price: $15 | Buy it
There isn't anything special about this scoop. It's solid stainless steel, it has a rubber handle, and it scoops ice cream. However, a good ice cream scoop will do that for many summers to come, and OXO Good Grips' durability will make this the only scoop you'll ever need.
NORPRO FROZEN ICE POP MAKER
Price: $10.49 | Buy it
Do you know what you get when you pour lemonade into an ice-cube tray, cover it in plastic wrap and poke toothpicks into the mold? Garbage. Every kid knows those aren't actual ice pops, which is why we firmly suggest getting a mold that at least looks like Creamsicles or Fudgsicles, springing for some real popsicle sticks, and coming up with recipes better than frozen "drink mix."
YONANAS 902 DESSERT FRUIT SOFT SERVE MAKER
Price: $40 | Buy it
This machine is built to turn frozen fruits into an ice cream or sorbet alternative, which comes in handy when you're trying to avoid the dairy products and added sugar of those particular summer treats. With many of the key components dishwasher-safe, don't worry about a few failed attempts at blending overripe fruits with chocolate or other sweet flavors.
MR. COFFEE 3-QUART ICED TEA AND COFFEE MAKER
Price: $27.39 | Buy it
Do yourself a favor and banish powdered drinks this summer. This pitcher can brew tea bags or loose tea into iced tea and has a removable brew basket for easy cleaning. Oh, it also makes iced coffee, but maybe give that a test run before committing to it as a full-time coffee maker as you may prefer other techniques for making cold brew.
CUISINART ICE-45 SOFT-SERVE ICE CREAM MAKER
Price: $69.86 | Buy it
Didn't you already recommend an ice cream maker? Yes, but there are different people in the world who want different things. Some of them prefer soft-serve and not having to package quarts of ice cream every time they make it. For them, this machine dispenses soft serve directly into cones or a bowl and adds sprinkles, chocolate morsels, M&Ms, or other toppings as they wish.
TOVOLO KING CUBE ICE TRAY
Price: $8.49 | Buy it
We are all about the fancy ice cubes for summer because, frankly, we care about making an impression on our guests. Also, a 2-inch cube of ice beats going back and fetching ice constantly. This tray makes six such cubes that are great for cocktails.
PICNIC AT ASCOT PORTABLE PICNIC TABLE
Price: $90 | Buy it
There are a whole lot of picnic tables out there, but few that you can take with you without bringing a whole bunch of chairs as well. This square table has four seats attached, but folds flat enough to fit into the trunk of a car. If there's a summer party that needs extra seating or just a home that doesn't need a full-time picnic table, this will do.
MR. ICE BUCKET
Price: $30 | Buy it
You don't recommend as many ice cubes as we have without having somewhere swank to store them. This bucket has a mid-century vintage look that seems natural poolside or on your improvised summer cocktail bar.
KITCHENAID 5-SPEED BLENDER
Price: $82.39 | Buy it
We haven't gotten into frozen margaritas, daiquiris, piña coladas, or other drinks yet because we hadn't found the right blender. You folks with Vitamixes, Ninjas, and other three-figure blenders can sit this one out, but if you're a person who needs a blender for summer cocktails and the occasional cooking chore, you can't go wrong with this 56-ounce jar blender. Not only is it powerful enough for all your needs, but it's also durable enough to be the only blender you'll ever own.
WOMEN'S MARK170S ROUND SUNGLASSES
Price: $134 | Buy it
Splurge this summer. Get a decent, gorgeous pair of rose-gold sunglasses that do more for you than keep the sun out of your eyes.
MEN'S BAMBOO WOOD ARMS CLASSIC SUNGLASSES
Price: $10 | Buy it
Or don't. Summer sunglasses seem like a great investment, but they have a tendency to get lost quickly. If you're someone who manages to lose a $100+ pair of sunglasses on a regular basis, start at $10 and work your way up.
COSIMO ROSE GOLD BLUETOOTH PORTABLE SPEAKER
Price: $30 | Buy it
You wonder what our ancestors did before Bluetooth. Did they just run extension cords out to pools, patios and decks. Did they wire outdoor spaces with speakers that just rusted in the elements after months of disuse? Fortunately, we don't have to ponder these questions too deeply, as inexpensive and stylish speakers like this one stream from your smartphone without any of the issues above.
LING'S MOMENT 5-FOOT, 10-LIGHT PINEAPPLE LIGHTS
Price: $13 | Buy it
Amazon has its pick of fun, summery party lights. But with Edison bulbs in just about every reclaimed-wood bar, restaurant, and wedding venue, maybe it's time to bring fun back again. Maybe it's time to put some illuminated golden pineapples on the deck, porch, patio, or balcony and enjoy the 21st Century in delightfully kitschy fashion.
SUNNY LIFE PINK FLAMINGO
Price: $70 | Buy it
Know what says "I love summer and maybe have a bunch of disposable income floating around?" A $65 pool toy that literally floats your disposable income around. Ride it around your pool or just use it as decor: It's your $70 inflatable flamingo to do with as you will.
CAS SHARK ATTACK SALT AND PEPPER SET
Price: $35.18 | Buy it
You know the thing about a shark is, it's got lifeless eyes, black eyes like a doll's eyes. It also has your salt, and it has its teeth wrapped around pepper stored in a disembodied leg. Maybe you take a look at this salt-and-pepper set, reconsider that swim in the bay, grab another plate from the grill and settle in to watch "Jaws" instead.
COLEMAN OVERSIZED QUAD CHAIR WITH COOLER
Price: $27.94 | Buy it
Anybody will sell you a quad camping chair. Health and beauty stores sell them for as little as $10, while summer sales at discount stores reduce them to around $5. They'll rust out by summer's end, if they don't tear, which is why we heartily suggest this oversized chair with its own mesh bag, cup holder and a four-can cooler bag attached to one of its arms. It's not only more durable, but more useful.
REPEL 100 INSECT REPELLENT
Price: $5 | Buy it
This bug spray is DEET-free and claims to keep mosquitoes away for up to six hours with a cool, refreshing scent. It receives solid reviews from buyers on Amazon and has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
SOFIA'S LINEN FLAX LINEN BLANKET
Price: $90 | Buy it
There's one big reason to recommend a blanket at the hottest time of the year: To have a blanket that wicks heat and moisture off of you and actually cools you down at night, and this one will do that. It's time invest in some seasonal bedding.
BOSE SOUNDLINK REVOLVE+
Price: $300 | Buy it
The summer is a great time for Bluetooth speakers. However, if you're a stickler for sound quality and want a speaker that will be around for dozens of summers to come, this speaker with its 16 hours of battery life and optional charging cradle is just about the best option available at this price.