Finally – a way to keep that cold drink really cold, even after it sits in a hot car for 36 hours, thanks to triple-insulation technology. I gave EcoVessel the test, and my 700-milliliter insulated, stainless steel bottle lived up to the claims. The silicone straw means that you can keep the bottle upright when drinking — a good idea when you’re at the wheel. EcoVessel comes in various sizes and colors. Visit ecovessel.com/.
We are a society on the go, and that has, in the past, meant transporting food in plastic wrap and containers. A former investigative journalist in the Bay Area has come up with what she says is the “solution to pollution” caused by all that plastic. ECOlunchbox offers lunchboxes, lunch bags and snack containers made of non-toxic materials: stainless steel, cotton, and plastic-free silicone. All products are BPA- and phthalate-free, recyclable, surprisingly lightweight and environmentally friendly. Visit ecolunchboxes.com/.
Lighten that load that you haul to the beach, park or concert with the Matador Pocket Blanket. Made of super-lightweight parachute material, it is both water- and puncture-resistant. The blanket folds down to the size of a wallet, and has weighted corners and an attached pocket for compact storage. Also great for storing in the car for possible emergencies and stashing in a backpack. Comes in two sizes: two-person (63 inches by 44 inches; $30) or one-person ($20). Visit matadorup.com/.
Attention ponytail people: Now there’s a hat (and a visor) made especially for you. Trying to adapt a man’s baseball cap to a woman’s hairstyle has always been a bit of challenge. Hytail Hat was designed by women for women, which is why it has a wide back band and a wider-than-usual opening that allows you to pop the ponytail through without snagging or pulling, and to wear your ponytail high. Made of lightweight material that breathes and is easily foldable and packable. Visit ADActivewear.com.
The beach is a great place to spend summer days, but it also can make you all too familiar with frizz. Between the sun, salt air and the wind, your hair can take a beating. After washing out all the sand, apply Renpure products to combat those frizzies, cut the tangles and protect from dryness. Coconut water and oil are the secret weapons. All ingredients are natural. Find at Target, Walmart, Ulta and Amazon. Visit renpure.com/.
Hot Logic-blue box
Can it be? A mini oven that goes with you?
Yup, that’s what the Hot Logic Mini was designed to do.
It claims to be the world’s first portable mini-oven that can cook meals from scratch, reheat leftovers or frozen dinners, and keep your food warm for hours. Take it with you on a short trip or use in your hotel/motel room when you just don’t want to eat out. Also ideal for those who must adhere to special diets. Amazingly, the mini-oven has no buttons, dials, settings or timers, so even kids can use it. Food generally ready in 60 minutes to 90 minutes, and it stays hot for up to eight hours. $40-$50 depending on size. Visit hotlogicmini.com/.
Lonely Planet magazine
International travel experts at Lonely Planet have put together a new quarterly magazine with advice, secrets, first-person accounts and guides for those who love to pack a suitcase and go. And as always, the photos are superb.
The summer issue includes, rightly, features on America’s great national parks, road trips, and Mini Guides to popular cities. (In this issue: Boston, Warsaw, Madrid, Vancouver and Rio.) Each guide provides a map, the not-to-miss essentials of the city and local favorite haunts. All this information is included on a two-sided pull-out page because – well, sometimes it’s just nice to have something to tuck into your pocket. Lonely Planet magazine is available at Barnes & Noble, Hudson Booksellers and Whole Foods Market ($5.99). Digital editions available for iPad, Kindle and Nook. Visit lonelyplanet.com/usmagazine.
This post has been corrected since its original posting.