10 Products That Have Actually Gotten Better Over The Years



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Not Everything Is Doomed

While there are plenty of products that don't work as well as they should, there have also been plenty of remarkable product innovations over the years that have made our lives easier. Whether it’s the fact that a car engine can go for hundreds of thousands of more miles than it used to, or how much more durable so many of today’s shoelaces are, many improvements suggest we’re not entirely doomed. 

It’s important to pause now and again to remind ourselves that humans have managed to invent and improve some pretty cool things. Here are just ten examples of products that have actually gotten better in recent history.

Light the starry sky

1. Flashlights

You wouldn’t assume that flashlights have made exceptional leaps and bounds in terms of technological advancements that they have, but here we are. The Maglite flashlights of old — considered by many to be the gold standard of the 1980s to early 2000s — were around 27 lumens (lumens represents brightness). 

Nowadays, your typical everyday flashlight can offer 500 lumens of light (and some are even brighter) in a much smaller package. That translates to a beam distance range of up to several kilometers. The next big evolution for flashlights could be ensuring that flashlights can achieve such a high amount of lumens without overheating in a short amount of time.

Tyieing the strings

2. Shoelaces

You might remember growing up as a kid, running around playgrounds, tearing up sandlots with your new shoes, only to realize that one of your shoelaces had been ripped clean in half at one point. Nowadays though, kids and adults have it made. This could be due to the fact that many shoelaces are made with synthetic and highly durable fibers like textured polyester, spun polyester, and nylons.

powerful engine

3. Car Engines

When you trace the trajectory of how car engines have evolved over the years, it is wild. No kidding, cars back as far as 1970 would generally average a measly 5.7 years (anywhere from 50-100,000 miles on the road) of operation on the road before being tossed. Nowadays though, thanks to fortified steel, unibody constructions, and cutting-edge protection against rust, cars and their engines are in it for the long haul. That promising picture translates to car owners being able to enjoy their rides without routine visits to the auto shop until they’ve sustained upwards of 200,000 miles on the road

Related: 18 Most Reliable Cars You Can Drive Into the Ground

Computer Gaming PC on desk in dark room with neon Futuristic modern workplace

4. PC Components

Building a computer is crowning achievement for some and a relaxing hobby for others. The good news either way is that it’s never been easy to try to build your own computer than it is today. The actual software and firmware that you need to build a working PC are easy to customize and come with far less risks. 

Related: 103 Tech Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

Black garbage bags tied with blue strings

5. Garbage Bags

Garbage bags. We all need them. Thankfully, the garbage bags of today are absolutely nothing like the garbage bags of the 70s and 80s. Some folks might remember the flood of ads that would depict unimaginably enraged people dealing with messes around their homes because the garbage bags that they hardly filled had simply had enough. Today though, you can stuff even the cheaper-priced garbage bags to the brim without having to worry about any messy aftermath. 

Related: 16 Filthy Things That Even Neat Freaks Miss

Close up of a hands on a laptop keyboard
Zorica Nastasic/istockphoto

6. Laptops and Computer Security

You might remember the old days when using the internet required vigilance, and generally cautious navigation. The last thing you wanted to do was have your laptop infected by a nasty instance of malware. Thankfully now, not only are many laptops sold to customers with easily downloadable, top-notch security features, they also have crazy impressive battery life. With so many people working remotely out of cafes with a select number of outlets, proper battery life is a non-negotiable.

Related: 11 Signs You're Getting Scammed While Shopping Online

Woman using phone with white screen while lying on sofa at home , mock up screen
Abdullah Durmaz/istockphoto

7. Cellphones

While it never hurts to pay respects to the various brick phones and other throwback phones that got the whole cellphone movement started, thank goodness that we are where we are today. Your average smartphone typically comes with all the bells and whistles you could need. This could include an exceptional camera, access to an infinite number of apps that cover all the bases (health, social media, lifestyle, gaming, weather, maps, etc.), and are evolving to be universally intuitive to navigate.

Related: Power Up: 8 Tips and Tricks To Maximize Your Cellphone’s Battery Life

Vegan burger with beetroot cutlet, avocado and vegan mayo sauce on gray background. Healthy veggie food

8. Gluten-Free And Fake Meat Foods

There was a time, not even so long ago, that ordering a gluten-free and/or vegan meal from a restaurant (regardless of its rating) was one of the more bold and risky ventures. It was just hard to know if the restaurant was going to provide something edible, with actual flavor or instead serve you a plate of something gooey and lifeless. Thankfully, the mindful shift by restaurants and cafes, both near and far to adopt gluten-free and vegan meal options is undeniable. Some of today’s “fake meats” taste almost identical to the real thing.

Related: The 9 Best Online Vegan Grocery Stores for Plant-Based Pantry Staples

Car service procedure.

9. Automotive Brakes

Thank goodness for the continued commitment toward improving automotive brakes. Specifically though, we’re talking about the advancement of anti-lock braking systems (ABS). These handy systems are responsible for providing steering assistance during emergencies by restoring traction to your tires. The ABS helps ensure your wheels don’t lock up. Just think about the countless number of lives that have been saved by that.

Related: Car Expenses That Are Really Worth the Money

Golf ball on tee in the evening golf course with sunshine background
Somchai Sookkasem/istockphoto

10. Golf Balls

While there’s something to be said about the wisdom of the belief that the gear doesn’t entirely make the player, the gear in sports across the board has evolved to crazily advanced levels. Golf balls for instance, are nothing like they used to be. Today’s golf balls have advanced from the old and inexpensive 2-piece design to instead, 3-piece, 4-piece, 5-piece, etc. designs. 

These different designations are referencing the differing number of layers of actual rubber materials that serve to make up the cores of different golf balls. Naturally, more layers of materials can work to encourage more control over the ball, and even the potential for greater distanced shots. 

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