Backyard Essentials

Seven outdoor products that will take your yard from functional to fabulous

This time of year represents a summertime slow-down: vacations had, visitors come and gone, the kids’ backpacks sitting next to the front door ready for the first day of school. And while fall is just around the corner, here in Maine the weather couldn’t be finah. We’ll be hanging out back every spare moment from now until the first frost, surrounded by these seven outdoor essentials.

MUCK BOOT COMPANY | Muckster Low Boots

We love a slip-on for the yard, and these have all the quality and durability you’d expect in a Muckster boot while being perfect for garden chores. The supportive sole allows you to prune, weed, and water for hours without sacrificing your back, and the stretchy upper lining keeps dirt and grass where it belongs: outside. Full disclosure, these start out a little tight around the ankle and might take a few wears to get used to, but once you’re past the break-in period the Muckster low boot will provide comfort for years to come.

Shop It: Muck Boot Company

COALATREE | Kachula Adventure Blanket 

Outdoor blankets are not all created equal, and this puffy hooded number from eco-minded gear brand Coalatree is proof of that. Made from recycled fabric and durable ripstop nylon, this utilitarian blanket resists snags and rips, and is water- and stain-resistant, making it the perfect picnic blanket, either in the backyard or on a mountaintop. When the temp drops, convert the Coalatree into a lightweight but super warm hooded poncho, great for hanging around the fire pit. Ready to sleep under the stars? Stuff it into the internal pouch for a cozy camp pillow.

Shop It: Coalatree


There is a point in every grill master’s life where they either decide to get burned once in a while or they admit to needing some protection (hand scars will usually indicate who you’re dealing with). Look no further than Proud Grill Company’s Heatshield BBQ Glove, which protects your hands, wrists, and arms with Kevlar fibers, wool lining, and a long split leather cuff. We love it not only for smashing burgers but also for loading up our fire pit or wood stove.

Shop It: Proud Grill

TENTSILE | Stingray 3-Person Tree Tent

Okay, essential might be pushing this one, but there’s maybe nothing cooler than a backyard treehouse that you can move around—and take on your next camping trip. Once you find the right location, this is a breeze to set up and is cozy for sleeping in the trees, with tension settings at the bottom that keep you from rolling into the middle. Other good uses? We recommend a kid fort (rope ladder included), a mosquito-free hammock, or just being the most impressive tent at the campsite. Spring for the tent wall for privacy and the Sky-Pad inflatable mattress for the ultimate sleep experience.

Shop It: Tentsile

CALIBER GAMES | TowerBall Bundle

We love a game of cornhole, but for something a little more versatile (and brand new!) check out this four-sided, 360 degree toss game from Caliber Games. Designed for simple, casual competition, TowerBall is easy to learn and great for family get-togethers, birthday parties, and everyday backyard hangs. The panels feel durable and well-made, are weather resistant, and also collapse and store into a backpack carrying case, making setup and storage quick and easy.

Shop It: Caliber Games

YETI | Hopper M20 Soft Backpack Cooler

We love the sleek design and legendary toughness of Yeti’s coolers, and the Tundra Haul Wheeled Hard Cooler is great for major backyard bashes. But when it comes to a smaller affair—or a trip to a neighbor’s backyard—the new Hopper M20 Soft Backpack is the cooler to grab. The ultra-strong magnetic top keeps ice, snacks, and drinks locked in, the shell withstands punctures and UV rays, and the interior and exterior materials are treated to be mildew resistant. Oh, and it’s hands-free, meaning we can wrangle kids, portage a canoe, or scramble up a rock, all with lunch on our backs.

Shop It: Yeti

RIO | RIO Gear 4-Position Hi-Boy Beach Backpack Chair

You’ve seen RIO’s comfortable and adjustable chairs dotted across your local beach, but we love this 17-inch tall version for the backyard. The built-in backpack straps make it easy to move outside when needed, the four positions are great for moving from reading in the sun to reclining for an afternoon nap, and the connected pouch is perfect for keeping essentials like a cell phone and keys at hand. There’s even a mini cooler stitched into the back, great for storing a couple of cold ones.

Shop It: ShelterLogic

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