Are E-Scooters Safe Sustainable and Green or Dirty and Deadly

Rent E-Scooters and Electric Skateboards

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E-Scooters – If you live in a major American city, then chances are you’ve seen rentable electric scooters or electric skateboard within the past year. 

The National Association of City Transportation Officials now estimates Americans took about 38.5 million rides on these devices in 2018 alone.

Amazingly, that’s higher than trips on dockless bikes, which came in at around 36.5 million.

Obviously, a major reason for this surge in e-scooter use has to do with convenience.

For instance, recent data out of DePaul University shows most Chicagoans use e-scooters either in the morning or after work.

It’s also clear most people only “scoot” short distances on their daily commute.

So, the convenience factor is undeniable, but what about other claims e-scooter companies make?

Spin electric skateboards
Spin electric skateboards

E-Scooters Are They Safe & Sustainable or Dirty & Deadly – The Green Way Forward?

For instance, many companies claim e-scooters are an eco-friendly alternative to car transportation.

Is that true?

And, while we’re at it, just how safe are these devices?

Since e-scooters are such a novel invention, there isn’t a ton of info on these two issues.

The little official data we do have, however, reveals the answers to these questions are complex.

Below, we’ll run through some of the major studies investigating the environmental and safety concerns surrounding e-scooters.

We’ll also explore some of the actionable steps industry leaders could take to better integrate e-scooters into the 21st century city.

How Much Do E-Scooters Pollute? Just As Bad As A Bus:

The most important research to date on the environmental impact of e-scooters was published in August of 2019 in IOPScience.

For this study, researchers at the North Carolina State University examined carbon emissions from rentable e-scooters in Monte Carlo.

On average, the carbon footprint of one e-scooter over its life cycle was just over 200 g CO2-eq/passenger mile.

That makes e-scooters one of the least environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

Even diesel buses – provided they are transporting a lot of people on a busy street – performed better than e-scooters.

Unsurprisingly, walking remains the most eco-friendly way to get around the city; but rentable bikes and e-bikes also performed far better than e-scooters.

Lime E-Scooter
Lime E-Scooter

Driving a standard car, however, produced more CO2 compared with e-scooters.

What’s The Cause Of This E-Pollution?

North Carolina researchers are quick to point out charging and using e-scooters produce minimal carbon emissions.

Interestingly, the major reasons for e-scooter pollution don’t have to do with using these devices.

According to NC State’s findings, about 50 percent of e-scooter pollution has to do with the materials and processes used to manufacture the devices.

The vans that pick up and drop off e-scooters everyday account for another 40 percent of CO2 emissions.

These findings give scientists reason to be optimistic about the future potential of e-scooters.

Of course, there will need to be some serious changes to how these devices are made and collected to truly make them eco-friendly.

How Can Cities Address Electric Skateboard Pollution?

In their report, study authors recommended three strategies to make electric skateboards more eco-friendly.

All of these proposed solutions address how companies collect rentable e-scooters every day.

First, scientists suggest electric scooter companies require their drivers to only use hybrid or electric vehicles.

Next, researchers proposed only picking up e-scooters that had low battery life.

Lastly, NC State said companies could use GPS technology to track where low battery e-scooters are and then assign different drivers to specific areas.

Implementing these changes would require cooperation from both e-scooter companies and city officials over nightly pick-up policy.

These changes would also complicate how electric scooter companies relate to workers who transport and charge their devices.

Lyft Electric Scooter
A Lyft shared electric scooter on the Texas State Capitol grounds in Austin, Texas.

Most people who pick up electric skateboards nowadays are only considered “independent contractors.”

If e-scooter companies supply these employees with hybrid vehicles, for example, it might force them to change the legal status of these employees.

Of course, developing more sustainable manufacturing procedures would be beneficial in terms of CO2 emissions.

For instance, technicians might look into shifting away from heavy reliance on aluminum.

Also, manufacturing e-scooters in home countries rather than shipping the devices from China might reduce the overall CO2 burden.

If e-scooter companies only put the first three suggestions into place, however, they could significantly reduce their CO2 burden.

In fact, NC State estimates these three strategies in the collection of e-scooters could cut e-scooter emissions by 60 CO2-eq/passenger mile per device.

Onewheel electric skateboard
Onewheel electric skateboard

Are E-Scooters Safe? – What Two Studies Have To Say

Turning now to the safety issue: the first study to look into e-scooter safety took place at the University of California, Los Angeles for 12 months between 2017 and 2018.

Researchers found almost 250 people visited two area ERs with e-scooter-related injuries.

By comparison, 195 injured bicyclists and 181 pedestrians visited these clinics during the same time.

UCLA researchers discovered the most common e-scooter-related injuries were either head trauma or some type of fracture.

Only 4 percent of e-scooter patients who were admitted to the ER were wearing a helmet at the time of their crash.

Two people involved in this study required intensive care, but it’s unclear just how seriously they were affected.

Thankfully, none of these e-scooter patients died as a result of their injuries.

Shortly after UCLA published its report, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) released its own findings on e-scooter safety.

For their study, CDC researchers worked closely with Austin Public Health in Texas to analyze e-scooter injuries between September and November of 2018.

Scientists gathered data from two Austin emergency units looking for e-scooter related incidents.

They found just over 270 possible e-scooter-related injury patients.

Like in the UCLA study, most of these patients suffered from head trauma, fractures, or both.

Similarly, only about one percent of e-scooter riders were wearing DOT-approved helmets at the time of their accident.

The most common injuries from e-scooters are head trauma, bone fracture & other sprains, cuts and bruises.

What’s Behind These E-Scooter Injuries?

Taking these studies into account, scientists have proposed a few potential contributing factors to e-scooter injuries.

Let’s run through some of the most common explanations.

The most obvious explanation, of course, is that these devices are both new and extremely popular.

As people become better acquainted with how to properly use e-scooters, it’s likely overall safety figures will improve.

But e-scooter novelty isn’t the only reason driving these accidents.

Helmet compliance is a glaring concern in the e-scooter community.

Since most e-scooter users only ride the devices short distances, most don’t seem to feel there’s a need to wear a helmet.

Of course, most states also don’t require riders to wear helmets.

Another potential issue that might be driving e-scooter injuries is DUI.

Although the UCLA study didn’t find a connection between DUI and e-scooter accidents, a new UC San Diego study suggests otherwise.

Using data from three intensive care units between September 2017 and October 2018, UC San Diego professors found about 50 percent of e-scooter patients who had their blood tested showed a significant amount of alcohol.

Scientists also found marijuana in about 30 percent of patients who gave urine samples.

For all of these issues, scientists urge city and company leaders to increase public awareness campaigns targeting e-scooter safety.

Although more ambitious, researchers also recommend changing the car-centric layout of American cities and introducing more protected bike lanes.

The Potentials and Perils Of Electric Skateboard

Whether you like them or not, electric skateboard show no signs of disappearing.

In fact, e-scooter use is trending upward both in America and Europe.

Changing city infrastructure to better accommodate micro-mobility devices will be a major challenge for 21st century urban planners.

Hopefully, the studies presented above will encourage companies and city leaders to rethink how they integrate e-scooters for optimal safety and sustainability.

Best Toaster Oven Types – Toaster Oven Reviews

Best toaster oven reviews Retro 12-Slice Convection Toaster Oven

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Best Toaster Oven reviews – You may want to replace your toaster oven or maybe you are getting one for the first time.

One of the best things about toaster ovens is how versatile they are.

Most people agree they end up using toaster ovens for more foods than they originally thought they would.

Toaster ovens are ideal for cooking, baking and reheating foods.

A toaster oven is essential in the summer months when you don’t want to heat up your entire kitchen.

Toaster Oven Reviews ~ Best Toaster Oven Types

Best compact toaster oven reviews:  Breville Mini Smart Oven with Element IQ

Breville toaster ovens are known to offer easy keypads and dials and provide consistent, even cooking.

This toaster oven has state-of-the-art technology and safely features.

It’s compact but offers the best features of Breville’s larger models and takes up less space.

Best under the cabinet toaster oven reviews: Black and Decker Spacemaker, Under the Cabinet Toaster Oven TROS1000D

Black and Decker is the only brand which offers an under-the-cabinet, off-the-counter toaster oven.

It’s highly regarded, very safe and comes with mounting hardware.

Read our review of the Black and Decker Spacesaver Under the Cabinet Toaster Oven.

Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven
Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven

Best 6-slice toaster oven reviews: KRUPS 6-slice Convection Countertop Toaster Oven

The Krups 6-Slice Digital Convection Toaster Oven features a powerful quartz operated convection fan and digital display with push button control panel for consistent baking results and ease of use.

Owners of the Krups Toaster Oven also appreciate its self-lighting LCD display and timer function and attractive black finish.

It is well-built for frequent and heavy use.

The Krups Convection Select Toaster Oven offers convection fan baking in a compact size and is easy to use.

It’s ideal for when space is limited.

Krups 6-Slice Digital Convection Toaster Oven Reviews

  • Black enamel and plastic finish
  • 20 ½” x 14 ¾” x 10 3/8″
  • .5 cubic ft. capacity
  • 6 slice toast capacity
  • Quartz convection technology
  • Clear glass door
  • LCD display
  • Bush button control panel
  • Digital clock and 90 minute timer
  • Timer only function
  • Cycle complete alert
  • Toast darkness control
  • Multiple bake modes
  • Broiling settings
  • Automatic shutoff
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Non-stick interior
  • Cool-touch handles
  • 1600 watts
  • Instruction manual, baking pan, broiling rack and thermal resistant
    tongs included
  • 1 year factory warranty
  • Quality construction
  • Easy to use
  • Attractive design

Krups Convection Select Toaster Oven

  • Matte black and stainless steel finish
  • 9″ x 11″ x 17″
  • .5 cubic ft. capacity
  • 6 slice toast capacity
  • Convection fan settings
  • Adjustable timer
  • Temperature control knob: 150-450 degrees
  • Drop-down crumb tray
  • LED power light
  • Cycle complete alert
  • Automatic shutoff
  • Non-stick interior
  • Broil capability
  • Includes instruction manual, broiling rack and bake pan
  • 1 year factory warranty
  • Attractive design
  • Compact size
  • Easy to use

Aroma 2 in 1 Toaster Oven

  • Chrome steel and black plastic finish
  • Clear glass door
  • Measures 8” x 19 ½” x 12 ½”
  • Built-in extra wide 2-slice toaster
  • LED power indicator
  • Toaster stop button
  • Toast darkness control
  • Temperature adjustment knob
  • Automatic shutoff
  • 15 minute adjustable timer
  • Drop in crumb tray
  • Non-stick interior
  • 12 lbs overall weight
  • Includes instruction manual, bake pan and broil rack
  • Limited factory warranty

Best Aroma Toaster Oven Reviews

The Aroma 2 Appliances in 1 Toaster Oven features a traditional toaster oven with a built in conventional toaster for separate toasting.

Owners of the Aroma toaster oven appreciate its vertical toaster, sleek design and overall flexibility.

It does become quite hot during extended operation, and has a larger footprint than standard toaster ovens.

  • Attractive design
  • Multi-task capability
  • Easy to use
  • Large footprint
  • Becomes hot during extended use
  • Slow warm-up time

Elite Cuisine 2-Slice Toaster Oven with Heat Select and Timer

  • Power indicator light
  • Slide out crumb tray
  • Adjustable heat selector with 15 minute timer switch
  • Removable toasting pan

The Elite Cuisine 2-Slice Toaster Oven with Heat Select and Timer is an elegant, attractive unit and the perfect choice for baking and toasting purpose.

The unit features a power indicator light and a slide out crumb tray.

A removable toasting pan is included with the unit. The unit is easy to use and gives best results always.

  • Power indicator light
  • Sometimes toaster handle gets heated quickly

Daewoo Compact Microwave Oven with Built-in Toaster

  • Cool-touch stainless steel finish
  • .9 cubic ft. microwave capacity
  • Non-stick interior
  • Built-in 2-slice toaster
  • Removable crumb tray
  • 4 toast darkness settings
  • Toaster stop key
  • Extra-wide slots
  • Memory cooking function
  • Toast complete alert
  • 1000-watt microwave
  • Tinted glass door
  • Touch pad controls
  • LED clock display
  • 10 cooking power levels
  • 6 one-touch cook settings
  • 5 auto-cooking levels
  • Minute plus
  • Defrosting settings
  • Auto start
  • Internal light
  • Cycle complete indicator
  • Child safety lock
  • Instruction manual included
  • Limited factory warranty

Best Daewoo Toaster Oven Reviews

The Daewoo Compact Microwave Oven with Built-in 2 Slot Toaster combines a conventional microwave oven with a full-featured 2 slice toaster in a compact stainless steel body.

The has a wide array of user-friendly and child safety features and offers a space-saving alternative to having separate microwave and toaster units, but is somewhat heavy and higher priced than most separate units.

Microwave and toaster capabilities.

  • Easy-to-use
  • Child safety features
  • Heavy weight
  • Lack of extended warranty
  • More expensive than separate units
Best toaster oven reviews Retro 12-Slice Convection Toaster Oven
Retro 12-Slice Convection Toaster Oven

Best Euro-Pro Convection Toaster Oven

  • Brushed stainless steel finish
  • Measures 19 ¾” x 14 ¾” x 9 ¼”
  • .5 cubic ft. capacity
  • 6 slice toast capacity
  • Tempered glass door
  • LED power indicator
  • Convection fan settings
  • Adjustable timer
  • Adjustable temperature control: 180 – 450 degrees
  • Toast darkness control
  • Broil capability
  • Automatic shutoff
  • Non-stick interior
  • Drop-in crumb tray
  • 1500 watts
  • 21 lbs overall weight
  • Includes instruction manual, baking pans, and broiling accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty

The Euro Pro Convection Toaster Oven offers convection fan and traditional toasting and broiling settings at fairly reasonable price.

Owners of the stainless steel convection toaster oven appreciate its attractive design, ease of use and compact footprint, but have reported widely varying opinions about the quality of construction for this machine.

Some experience heavy smoke during the initial ‘burnoff,’ and problems with the door sealing after heavy use, but others have reported little or no difficulties.

When functioning properly, the Euro Pro is an affordable option for a compact convection toaster oven, but factory service turnaround is slow, and the machine may lose effectiveness after heavy use.

  • Attractive design
  • Easy to use
  • Compact size
  • Numerous extras included
  • Questionable durability

Best LG Electronics Combo Microwave Toaster

  • Cool-touch stainless steel finish
  • 8/9 cubic ft. internal capacity
  • Tinted glass door
  • Measures 21 ¼” x 12 ¼” x 16 ½”
  • Built in 2-slice toaster
  • 9 toaster settings
  • LED toaster indicator
  • 900-watt microwave
  • 12″ turntable
  • 6 auto-cook settings
  • 10 power levels
  • Defrost setting
  • Popcorn key
  • Broiling feature
  • LED clock display
  • Fully adjustable timer knob
  • Auto cook menu
  • Auto shut-off
  • Child lock-out
  • Cycle complete indicator
  • Instruction manual and broiling rack included
  • 1 year factory warranty

The LG Electronics Combo Microwave Toaster features a fully functioning microwave oven with a 2 slice toaster and a brushed stainless steel housing.

Owners of the report that both the toaster and the microwave features work as well as any individual units, and that the combo is a great space saver, but some prefer a separate toaster, as the toaster capacity is limited.

  • Fully functioning microwave and toaster
  • Attractive compact design
  • Easy-to-use
  • Child safety features

Best KitchenAid Toaster Oven

  • Onyx and brushed stainless steel finish
  • .5 cubic ft. capacity
  • Six slice toast capacity
  • Measures 19″ x 13″ x 10″
  • Tempered glass door with large handle
  • LED power indicator
  • Toast darkness control
  • Adjustable temperature: ‘warm’ – 450 degrees
  • Preset cooking function knob
  • Broiler capable
  • Automatic shutoff
  • Wave-Rack heat circulation
  • Removable dishwasher safe crumb tray
  • Non-stick interior
  • Includes instruction manual, bake pan and broil rack
  • 1 year factory warranty

The KitchenAid 6-Slice Countertop Oven offers attractive contemporary styling, easy to use control knobs and broiler capability.

Owners of the countertop oven appreciate its aesthetic appeal and ease of use.

Report that its construction quality is low, and that the Wave-Rack circulation system is somewhat ineffective.

Overall, this Kitchen Aid toaster oven should probably be purchased for its visual appeal, as opposed to its usefulness.

  • Attractive design
  • Easy to use
  • Compact size

Black and Decker Spacemaker Under Cabinet Toaster Oven

Panasonic 1300 Watt Infrared Toaster Oven

  • Silver stainless steel finish
  • Measures 10 ¼” x 13″ x 12″
  • 7.2 quart capacity
  • Tinted glass door
  • 4 slice toast capacity
  • FlashXpress infrared cooking technology
  • Push button control panel
  • LED display
  • Removable crumb tray
  • 25 minute digital timer
  • Toast darkness control
  • One touch auto cooking menu
  • Adjustable temperature control: 250 – 500 degrees
  • Cycle complete alerts
  • Broiling capable
  • Interior light
  • Automatic shutoff
  • 1300 watts
  • 10 lbs overall weight
  • Includes instruction manual, baking tray, and broiling accessories
  • 1 year limited factory warranty

Best Panasonic Infrared Toaster Oven Reviews

The Panasonic 1300 Watt Infrared Toaster Oven uses infrared light instead of traditional heat sources, which gives it a rapid warm-up time and decreased baking times.

Owners of the appreciate its cooking speed, ease of use, and very user friendly control panel.

Some report trouble when cooking dense dishes, such as lasagna, and Panasonic’s customer service for this product is quite negligent.

Overall, the Panasonic Flash Express offers a compact and fast alternative to traditional or convection toasting and cooking.

But may not be well-suited for cooking larger dishes frequently.

  • User-friendly controls and features
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Rapid cooking: 2 minute toast
  • Easy to use
Best Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ
Best Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ

Panasonic Toaster Oven with FlashXpress

  • FlashXpress technology
  • Bake and toast functions
  • 4 slice capacity
  • Auto cook menu with 6 illustrated preset buttons
  • Digital timer
  • Square shaped inner tray
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Reminder buzzer
  • Interior light
  • Max. Temperature  500° F
  • Power Output 1300 Watts
  • Reminder beep
  • Interior light

The Panasonic Toaster Oven with FlashXpress is a compact unit perfect for cooking.

It uses FlashXpress technology to cook toast and frozen pizza up to 40% faster than conventional toaster ovens.

The unit features digital timer and temperature keypad for precise cooking control.

There is a removable crumb tray which allows for easy cleaning.

Westbend Countertop Oven with Rotisserie Attachment

      • Convection oven with rotisserie bakes, broils, toasts, and keeps food warm
      • Large capacity accommodates whole chicken or 12-inch pizza
      • Nonstick interior
      • Temperature control from 150- to 450-degrees F
      • 60-minute timer with auto shut-off
      • Includes pizza disk, removable/reversible rack, drip pan, and handle attachment
      • Measures 20 by 16-1/2 by 14-1/2 inches
      • 1-year limited warranty

The WestBend Countertop Oven with Rotisserie attachment is equipped with the convection feature which cooks food up to 35% faster and the extra large capacity.

This combination toaster oven accommodates a 12 inch pizza, makes this Countertop Oven an ideal item for the home.

Don’t waste energy and heat up your kitchen with a standard oven when this unit will do the job.

5 functions of the Westbend toaster oven include:

      • Warming
      • Toasting
      • Broiling
      • Rotisserie
      • Baking

Accessory pieces include a 12″ pizza pan, a removable and reversible rack and a handle attachment for easy removal of food on the rotisserie.

Temperature control ranges 150 to 450 degrees.

Unit has a timer with continuous on setting or up to 1 hour auto shutoff.

Toastmaster 4-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler

      • White enamel and plastic finish
      • 14” x 11 ¼” x 8”
      • 4 slice toast capacity
      • Pull-out crumb tray
      • 30 minute adjustable timer
      • Broiler function
      • LED power indicator
      • Automatic shutoff
      • Fully adjustable thermostat
      • Wire rack and non-stick bake pan included
      • 1 year warranty
      • Instruction manual included

The Toastmaster 4-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler is one of the more inexpensive toaster ovens that also has a broiling feature, but some owners have reported that this fact is reflected by the oven’s quality.

The Toaster Oven may become stained without consistent care, and its controls are touchy, but its compact size, safety shutoff and low price make it appropriate for limited or dorm use.

      • Low price for toaster/broiler
      • Automatic shutoff
      • Compact size

Toastmaster 4-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler

      • White enamel and plastic finish
      • 14” x 11 ¼” x 8”
      • 4 slice toast capacity
      • Pull-out crumb tray
      • 30 minute adjustable timer
      • Broiler function
      • LED power indicator
      • Automatic shutoff
      • Fully adjustable thermostat
      • Wire rack and non-stick bake pan included
      • 1 year warranty
      • Instruction manual included

The Toastmaster 4-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler is one of the more inexpensive toaster ovens that also has a broiling feature, but some owners have reported that this fact is reflected by the oven’s quality.

The Toaster Oven may become stained without consistent care, and its controls are touchy, but its compact size, safety shutoff and low price make it appropriate for limited or dorm use.

      • Low price for toaster/broiler
      • Automatic shutoff
      • Compact size

Toastmaster Lightwave 6-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler

      • Stainless steel and silver finish
      • Uses infrared and halogen light for cooking
      • .5 cubic ft. capacity
      • Six slice toast capacity
      • Measures 18 ½” x 13″ x 12 4/9″
      • Tempered glass door
      • Electronic touchpad controls
      • LCD display panel
      • 2 hour programmable timer
      • Toast darkness control
      • Digital temperature display
      • Broiler capable
      • Multiple automatic baking modes
      • Removable crumb tray
      • Non-stick interior
      • Cycle complete lert
      • 14 lbs overall weight
      • Instruction manual, enamel baking pan and broiling rack included
      • 1 year factory warranty

The Toastmaster Lightwave 6-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler uses a combination of infrared and halogen light instead of conventional heat, which reduces warm-up time, and provides more even heat distribution.

Although this infrared toaster oven broiler has ample features and a flexible control pad, many customers report that it produces inconsistent results during baking, and that the LCD screen is almost too bright to be practical.

      • Ample features
      • Helpful control pad
      • Lightweight and compact

Best Sharp Toaster/Microwave

      • Cool-touch stainless steel and black plastic finish
      • .5 cubic ft. capacity
      • 17 ¾” x 11 3/8″ x 15 1/8″
      • Tinted glass door
      • Built-in 650-watt microwave
      • LCD display
      • 10 ½” turntable
      • Touch control pad and temperature knob
      • 20 automatic settings
      • 25 toasting options
      • 6 power levels
      • Minute plus feature
      • Popcorn setting
      • Convection settings
      • Broiler capable
      • Non-stick interior
      • Adjustable timer
      • End of cycle alert
      • Child lockout
      • Convection settings
      • Interior light
      • One-touch cooking
      • 31 lbs overall weight
      • Instruction manual and recipe booklet included
      • 1 year limited warranty

The Sharp Toaster and Microwave combines the capabilities of both a microwave and a toaster oven.

Loaded with user-friendly features such as a multi-button control pad, internal light, and raised ceramic turntable.

However, many owners of this combo microwave toaster oven report that it has a slow warm-up time, and may not function fully as individual microwaves and toaster ovens do.

Overall, the features, flexibility and compact size of the Sharp make it best suited when space is limited, and rapid baking time is not necessary.

      • Toaster oven and microwave capabilities
      • User-friendly features
      • Compact size
      • Safety features

Rival Microwave Toaster Oven Combination

      • Black metal and plastic finish
      • .6 cubic ft. capacity
      • 4 slice toast capacity
      • Glass turntable
      • Measures 17 ¾” x 14″ x 11 ½”
      • Tinted glass door
      • 1500-watt toaster oven
      • 700-watt microwave
      • Adjustable temperature
      • Adjustable timer
      • LED clock display
      • Touch control panel
      • Auto cook menu
      • Auto shut off
      • Broil settings
      • Removable crumb tray
      • 41 lbs overall weight
      • Instruction manual and bake rack included
      • 1 year factory warranty

The Rival Microwave Toaster Oven Combination is designed to serve as a replacement for both a microwave and a toaster oven by combining them both into one unit.

However, owners of the microwave toaster combo oven report that it builds up condensation easily, and like most other microwave toaster oven combos, it lacks the full effectiveness of either.

The Rival is compact and convenient, but not capable of outperforming separate microwave and toaster units.

      • Microwave and toaster oven capability
      • Ample features
      • Compact size
      • Black metal finish
      • 3/5 cubic ft. capacity
      • 6 slice toast capacity
      • Measures 14 ¼” x 14 ½” x 21”
      • Tempered glass door
      • Dual baking racks
      • 30 minute adjustable timer
      • Adjustable temperature control
      • Toast darkness control
      • Broil, roast, griddle, grill, warm, rotisserie capable
      • ‘Stay on’ mode
      • Removable crumb tray
      • Cycle complete alert
      • Built in storage drawer
      • Includes instruction manual, recipe booklet, baking pans, and rotisserie
        accessories
      • 1 year factory warranty

The George Foreman Toaster Oven/Broiler/Rotisserie is a compact multi-purpose toaster oven broiler and rotisserie from the makers of the Foreman Grill.

Owners report that it is easy to use, toasts well, and has great overall flexibility for a countertop toaster oven.

The George Foreman also includes rotisserie accessories, other toaster oven cookware and a recipe booklet from George Foreman.

Overall, this large toaster oven/broiler/rotisserie provides consistent results and many different uses for a reasonable price compared to several separate units.

      • Large size
      • Easy to use
      • Many extras included

Toaster Oven Reviews of the Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler

      • Black enamel and silver finish
      • .5 cubic ft. capacity
      • 6 slice toast capacity
      • Tinted glass door
      • Measures 19” x 15 ½” x 13 ½”
      • LED power indicator
      • Removable crumb tray
      • Adjustable temperature control: 200 – 500 degrees
      • Toast darkness control
      • Broil capable
      • Automatic shutoff
      • Dual level rack positioning
      • Rack safety stop
      • Function control knob
      • Cycle complete alert
      • Cool-touch handles
      • Non-stick interior
      • 1500 watts
      • Includes instruction manual, recipe booklet, bake trays and broil rack
      • 3 year factory warranty

The Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler features an attractive design and easy to use controls, but some owners have reported difficulties with the machine’s engineering.

The toast control of this electronic toaster oven may need to be serviced after heavy use, and it becomes extremely hot during baking cycles.

Although the Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler is reported to provide excellent results when functioning properly, and is backed by a 3 year warranty, the construction quality for this particular Cuisinart Product is rather inconsistent with its price.

Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler

  • Attractive design
  • Easy to use
  • Reputed manufacturer
  • Healthy warranty

Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven

      • Brushed chrome and black plastic finish
      • .5 cubic ft. capacity
      • Six slice toast capacity
      • Measures 17″ x 14″ x 9 ¼”
      • Non-stick interior
      • Total Touch touchpad controls
      • Exact Heat food temperature sensor
      • LED display
      • Oven timer
      • Built in clock
      • Convection fan
      • Multiple pre-programmed baking settings
      • Customization settings
      • Dual position rack
      • Temperature ready indicator
      • Removable crumb tray
      • 4 hour automatic shutoff
      • 1500 watts
      • Instruction manual, recipe book, baking rack and broiler pan included
      • 3 year factory warranty
      • Easy to use
      • Ample features
      • Helpful recipe booklet
      • Healthy warranty

Why get a toaster oven

Whichever toaster oven you choose, you will find yourself using it for much more than you intended… baking, roasting, broiling and more.

Toaster ovens are great for reheating foods and for frozen foods, like chicken strips, frozen pizza and appetizers, and French fries.

However, you will likely find many more uses for it, especially in the summer months when you don’t want to be hot in the kitchen.

Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ
Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven To Save Counter Space

Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven To Save Counter Space

Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven

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Under Cabinet Toaster Oven ~ Counter space is an issue in every kitchen, and toaster ovens are usually part of the problem.

Even a small toaster oven takes up valuable space.

An under-the-cabinet toaster oven can be mounted under the cabinets and can help save precious room.

The leader for under-the-cabinet toaster ovens is Black & Decker.

Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven

Black and Decker model, TROS1000D is the best…if you can find it. Click here

No other model or brand can compare for quality.

Black and Decker Spacemaker Under the Cabinet Toaster Oven Review

NEW BLACK and DECKER UNDER CABINET TOASTER OVEN

You will enjoy superior convenience and versatility in this compact, easy-to-use appliance.

You will find yourself using this toaster oven for more things than you originally intended.

I use it almost exclusively in the hot summer months because I don’t want to heat up my kitchen.

It heats up quickly too.

I use it to cook bacon, to reheat leftovers, toast bagels, bread and waffles, to bake chicken, potato dishes, French fries, chicken nuggets, pizza.

It’s fantastic for cooking frozen appetizers and other frozen foods.

It works great for baking cakes and muffins too.
Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven

Best off-the-counter toaster oven: Black and Decker Spacemaker Under Cabinet Toaster Oven

Spacemaker Under Cabinet Toaster Oven Features:

The oven has these functions: Bake, Toast, Keep-warm

Simple manual controls allow you to quickly and easily set cooking functions

Clean-looking, neutral exterior goes great with virtually any decor and adds a smart, contemporary look

Save-A-Plug; outlet lets you connect another SpaceMaker appliance directly to your toaster oven

Under-cabinet mounting frees your counter tops of appliance clutter

Convenient positioning reduces crowding in your kitchen’s active work areas

Installs easily under the cabinet; the hood and mounting hardware are included

The Black and Decker SpaceMaker Traditional Toaster Oven large capacity enables you to toast up to four slices of bread at a time or bake a 9-inch pizza.

Approximate dimensions in inches: 18.1 x 11.4 x 10.6.

SpaceMaker Under-the-Cabinet 4-Slice Toaster Oven TROS1000D is the best mounted toaster oven.

Under Cabinet Toaster Oven Mounting Hoods

If you buy the Black and Decker TROS1000 reviewed above, it comes with the mounting hardware, so this will not pertain to you.

We strongly advise buying a toaster oven specifically designed to hang under the counter.

It comes with the appropriate venting and cooling elements for safety.

This section discusses mounting a toaster oven on your own.

This used to be more common years ago; now, it could be considered dangerous, especially if you don’t have the proper toaster oven model to fit with the mounting hood.

Note: Be aware that not all models of toaster oven will fit into every mounting hood.

Black and Decker is the only brand to consider for a mounting hood.

Often, they are not sold or are unavailable due to the convenience and potentially safer option of buying the safer option of buying the TROS1000.

The mounting hood device attaches underneath cabinets and holds the toaster oven aloft.

Special vents deflect heat away from the cabinets, which is critical to ruining your cabinets and to safeguard against fire.

When it’s available and only if you have the correct toaster oven, a mounting hood can change a bulky counter-top toaster oven into a under cabinet toaster oven in minutes.

It truly is better to purchase the Black & Decker toaster oven that already mounts. It is the best under cabinet toaster oven.

Black and Decker TMB3 Toast-R-Oven Heat Guard

NOTE: **TOASTER OVEN NOT INCLUDED. SALE IS FOR HEAT GUARD ONLY.**

The Black and Decker TMB3 Toast-R-Oven Heat Guard requires drilling 4 holes through the bottom of your cabinet or mounting surface.

Then you can easily slide a wide variety of toaster ovens into position.

Avoid costly custom under the cabinet models and buy the Black and Decker TMB3 today to convert your current model.

Adjusts to Fit Most Cabinets, Fits Black and Decker Toast-R-Oven models TRO-200 TRO-300 TRO-400 TRO-500 TRO-600 & TRO-700 series Black and Decker.

Black and Decker TMB10 Toaster Oven Heat Guard

Silver stainless steel finish, mounts flush with cabinet or counter.

Designed for Black and Decker TRO1000 thru TRO3200 line of Toast-R-Oven™ Broilers. Measures 3″ H x 15.75″ W x 10.5″ D.

Mounts under cabinet or counter with 4 bolts, included. Listed Black and Decker toaster ovens sized to slide into place, other brands may as well. 3.3 lbs overall weight.

Includes hardware and instructional manual. Limited factory warranty.

The Black and Decker TMB10 Toast-R-Oven is coordinated to fit with the TRO1000-3300 line of Black and Decker Toast-R-Ovens, but can fit with models from several other brands as well to convert regular toaster ovens into under the counter toaster ovens.

The TMB10 Heat Guard has open sides, and an attractive silver finish to match any contemporary decor.

You may be able to save a lot of time and effort looking for a custom under cabinet toaster oven by trying system by trying this unit first.

Mounts easily, fits a variety of toaster oven models.

Creates space-saving under cabinet toaster oven.

Less costly than custom units.

Requires some labor to install.

Not guaranteed to fit non-specified models.

*Please use extreme caution when mounting any electrical appliance in your home or living space.
Black and Decker Spacemaker Under Cabinet Toaster Oven

Best Toaster Oven and Best Under Cabinet Toaster Ovens

Best Toaster Oven to Buy

Toaster ovens are an amazing small kitchen appliance with bundle of features comprised within a single cooking device.

These are idle for cooking a wide variety and small quantities of food, that too instantly.

Any oven can be used as second ovens or can be used in place of a large oven to reduce energy consumption.

There are basically two types: regular which are used for toasts, bread or warming up food, etc; and the other are convection toaster ovens.

Choosing Popular Toaster Oven Manufacturers

Basically just a mini-oven that you can sit on your counter.

You could use it to toast bread – or for cooking basically anything you can cook in an oven.

These mini ovens are the best small kitchen appliances ever made which assists in overall cooking.

With a mini toaster oven you never knew how handy it was until you purchased one.

The toaster ovens of today feature many more options and make it a bit confusing for the consumer.

There are a few simple tips to have in mind when you buy a toaster oven.

There are several brands which are the leaders in the small kitchen appliances category that produces state-of-the-art ovens.

Our main motive is to broadcast all these manufactures and all their models which have created history in comprehensive cooking.

Shopping will make your selection easier and offer you the most resourceful information and provide you the best available reviews of all top toaster oven manufacturers.

Our handpicked collection will certainly help you in selecting the best from all the available brands.

While buying toaster ovens you can compare prices read reviews and also make your purchase simple with very few and easy steps.

Best Toaster

We hold a wide variety of brands and manufacturers. This is your final and best destination to choose the popular brands like Avanti, Black and Decker, DeLonghi, Hamilton Beach, Proctor Silex and Oster.

Choosing the best brand name toaster for your kitchen can be pretty overwhelming.

The options seem endless, and it’s difficult to know where to start.

The following list of suggested brand name toasters is far from comprehensive, but it’s a good cross section of quality toasters from the best manufacturers, and should give any toaster shopper a good idea of what’s out there.

Braun Toaster MultiToaster : Features variable slot widths along and reheating mode.

DeLonghi Toaster Retro: Sports a classic appearance, 6 settings and an easy to read thermostat.

Sunbeam Toaster 4-Slice: Features dual centering bread guides and the trademarked Cooltouch exterior.

Oster Toaster 2-Slice: Has extra long slots and an attractive stainless steel finish.

Cuisinart Toaster 2-Slice Custom Control Touch: Has extra wide slots and a cancel button.

KitchenAid Toaster 4-Slice: Features a defrost option and a dishwasher safe stainless steel crumb-tray.

Krups Toaster 2-Slice: Offers 9 levels of browning and an LCD display.

Dualit Toaster 4-Slice: Features auto shut-off and a high lift mechanism for extracting small food items.

How Toasters Work

An electric toaster is not complex machine, but there’s more going on in that little slotted box then the average person probably thinks.

The basic principle (bread goes into slot, slot gets hot, toast pops out) is easy enough to follow, but what’s really going on beneath the toaster cover is a bit more complex.

Here’s how it works:

A rider in the slot holds the bread.

When the handle is depressed the rider carries the bread down into the slot.

Grates close around the bread to center it and an electromagnet holds the rider down until the timer goes off.

At the same time a pair of contacts are forced together, sending current through nichrome wire that is crisscrossed over a mica sheet.

This causes the highly resistant nichrome to produce a great deal of heat very quickly.

The bread is toasted (i.e. lightly charred) by infrared radiation produced by these heated coils.

When the timer, i.e. the toaster’s Darkness Setting, goes off the electromagnet is deactivated, causing the spring-loaded tray to pop up and disengage the contacts, which in turn breaks the circuit and stops the current from flowing through the heating element.

Best toaster ovens

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We have been in the business since 1998 and truly appreciate the opportunity to serve you today and in the future!

At Toaster-Oven.net you can browse our large selection of products, check out our collection of toaster oven recipes, and toaster oven reviews.

We add new toaster oven recipes all the time so be sure to bookmark our recipe page.

If you want to share your toaster oven recipes or ideas be sure to visit our chat board.

Every day we help customers find the Toaster Ovens, Under-the-cabinet toaster ovens and Toaster Oven Products they need.

Checkout our Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ and Best Toaster Oven Reviews

Best Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ

Best Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ

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Best Toaster Oven Hacks

What is the difference between enamel and aluminum interiors?

Enamel or “durastone” as it’s entitled on some models is usually found in the higher end toaster ovens.

The difference is that enamel interiors are much easier to maintain.

To clean, you simply wipe the remnants off.

With aluminum, cleaning your toaster oven may prove a little more difficult.

Also, some manufacturers claim that the enamel distributes heat for a more evenly distributed heat supply.

Can I put aluminum foil in my toaster oven?

It is possible.

Some manufacturers warn against it, due to the heat capacity inside the machine.

If you do, you should be careful to avoid placing it too close to burners or the side of the interior.

How can I maintain my toaster oven?

Some toaster oven interiors are coated with a non-stick enamel, as mentioned above (check your manual).

If this is the case, abrasive cleaners may strip the interior of this protective layer.

Therefore, enamel interiors require only mild soap and water.

Also, many toaster ovens are equipped with special features like a crumb tray or self-burning interiors that burn off drips on contact.

If these options appeal to you, shop around for the cleanest, most efficient model.

What is the difference between the toast, bake and broil settings on my toaster oven?

The toast and bake functions are virtually the same.

Some models vary with pre-set temperatures, but both mean that the top and bottom-heating units will be active.

Broil simply means that heat will only come from the top.

Other options include convection style cooking, rotisserie, defrosting, dehydrating, etc…which will make your toaster-oven recipes rock.

Check our explanation of different types of toaster ovens or the terminology section to find out more.

Are there differences in performance from analog to digital?

Digital controls give you a broader range of one-button options.

You can adjust and configure predetermined settings, but the toast gets toasted either way.

Usually, digital is handier and more user-friendly.

What is an average warranty for a toaster oven?

Usually, a toaster oven’s warranty length is one year.

If you have technical problems or something stops working, it usually means you have to send away for service and repairs.

Depending on the expanse of the company, it could be 10 miles or it could be 300.

What is the temperature range at which a toaster oven can operate?

It varies, but most operate around the mid-100’s for warming up to about 500 degrees to bake.

For the average toaster oven user, this is more than enough to toast and reheat.

How will I know when my food is ready?

There are a variety of ways to determine when the toaster oven cycle is complete.

Some have specific settings for heating things such as pizza or pie and will shut off after cooking for at an allotted temperature for a predetermined time.

Other, more advanced models have heat sensors that determine when to stop a specific cycle.

And others still have basic timers that ding or buzz when the time’s up.

What are some safety-related features available in toaster ovens?

If you have small children who could reach the machine, you may want to consider the automatic shut-off option.

Most manufacturers make something along these lines.

If the door is down, the heat is off, so you don’t need to worry about it being a fire hazard in moments of forgetfulness.

Also, some toaster ovens offer cool-to-touch exteriors.

Some that do not offer this can become dangerously hot every time they are used.

Toaster Oven Reviews – Toaster Oven Types

Toaster ovens are an amazing small kitchen appliance with bundle of features comprised within a single cooking device.

These are idle for cooking a wide variety and small quantities of food, that too instantly.

Any toaster oven can be used as second ovens or can be used in place of a large oven to reduce energy consumption.

There are basically two types of toaster ovens the regular toaster ovens (used for toasts, bread or warming up food), and the other are convection toaster ovens.

These use energy the same way as convection ovens, but more efficiently.

In these ovens you can bake smaller pieces of chicken, small pizzas, and even a small cake.

Toaster ovens come in different sizes and colors, and they tend to be big and bulky, so make sure that you have enough space on your counter.

Further the toaster ovens are categorized into these types like combination microwave, convention, combination, rotisserie and infrared.

Best Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ
Best Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ

Selecting the Perfect Toaster Oven Types – Best Toaster Oven Information

Toaster Ovens Information

Toaster ovens are available in a number of sizes.

The capacity of a toaster oven equals the interior of the toaster oven is measured in cubic feet.

Broadly speaking, the capacity of a toaster oven can be judged by the number of slices of bread that can be toasted in it at the same time.

A 2 slice toaster oven is going to be a small toaster oven, with a capacity of around .12 cubic feet.

A 4 slice toaster oven is likely to be a large toaster oven of .3 cubic feet or larger.

An extra large toaster oven of .5 cubic feet may hold 6-slices of bread or more, or a 12″ pizza!

A large capacity oven is a good choice for a family toaster oven, or for a chef who enjoys using toaster oven cooking.

Mid-sized toaster ovens (4-slice) are sufficient for most consumers, and tend to take up less space.

Small capacity toaster ovens (1-slice) are perfect for dorm rooms, motel rooms or similar small spaces.

An under the cabinet toaster oven allows you to have a mid to large size toaster while freeing up much valued counter space.

Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven To Save Counter Space

Best Toaster Ovens to Buy

Convection Toaster Oven Information

The basic principle behind the operation of convection ovens is the flow of heat from the heating element through the conducting medium (the air) to the food.

This differs from microwave or open flame cooking in that those sources of heat travel directly from the heat source to the food.

The heated air that is circulated by the convection fan allows for a slower, more even cooking process.

Every convection toaster oven, from a convection oven rotisserie toaster to a convection digital oven toaster works through this process.

Convection microwave oven toasters switch mechanically between the two.

The best branded convection oven toasters have Quartz heating elements, preferably on the top and bottom, and a reflective crumb-tray.

These features can speed up cooking time by 30% or more, depending on the oven wattage.

It is also helpful if the heating element is of the “drop-down” type, which makes for easy cleaning.

Finding the right convection toaster oven can be difficult.

There are a vast number of brand names to choose from.

The following list is far from comprehensive, but it does recommend some popular models from the best brand names as a kind of starting-point.

Best Combination Toaster Oven

To those unfamiliar with them, toaster ovens sound like a combination in and of themselves, but this isn’t precisely true.

A toaster oven is, at it’s most basic, just a small oven in which bread can be toasted.

By contrast a combination toaster and oven is a toaster oven with a built in slot toaster that is otherwise identical to a stand-alone toaster.

Combination toaster and toaster oven models are great for quickly cooking a small breakfast with toast on the side.

A microwave toaster oven combination switches from one kind of heating process to another.

That is the direct radiation heat of a microwave and the oblique, heated air circulation of a convection oven.

The two don’t work in tandem, so the only advantage is that two separate units don’t have to fight for space in the same kitchen.

Other kinds of oven “combinations”, such as oven/broilers or rotisserie ovens are actually just functions of the oven rather than a genuine secondary mechanical function.

Best Infrared Toaster Oven

An infrared toaster oven may sound a little scary, but there’s no need to fear.

Infrared is just the part of the electromagnetic spectrum between light visible to the human eye and microwaves.

Best Infrared toaster ovens generally use a combination of near and far infrared light to cook the oven’s contents.

Infrared toaster ovens are fast, versatile and very efficient.

They aren’t all that different than using a microwave oven, and share many of the same benefits, though the results are usually much tastier.

Instead of using, for instance, heated air as in a convection oven, infrared shoots the heat straight through the food.

As a result there is little-to-no preheating necessary and the food cooks up to 40% faster than in other electric toaster ovens.

Infrared Toaster ovens are more efficient in other ways as well.

They require less energy and suffer less heat loss than conventional toaster ovens.

And another benefit to infrared toaster ovens is that they actually push moisture into food rather than drying it out, increasing flavor.

Best Microwave Toaster Oven

Combination microwave toaster ovens combine the easy convenience and time saving qualities of a microwave with the cooking options of a toaster oven.

What’s more the combo microwave oven toaster’s versatility is matched only by its space-saving qualities, freeing up valuable counter space for other useful appliances.

Note: Some confusion may arise from the fact that the term “combination toaster and oven”.

Sometimes can refer to microwave ovens that feature a built-in toaster on one side.

Microwave toaster ovens mechanically switch between heating methods, and act as both kinds of ovens.

Best Microwave Toaster Oven Brands

The hunt for the best microwave toaster ovens is a little harder that some other toaster ovens.

These combination toaster ovens convert from conventional convection toaster ovens to microwave ovens with the turn of a dial.

This is, of course, ideal for saving space.

It’s unfortunate that so few of the top toaster oven manufacturers carry a line of microwave toaster ovens, but it does make finding one a little less daunting.

Here is a short list of suggestions for finding the best brand-name microwave toaster oven.

Best Rotisserie Toaster Oven

Rotisserie roasting is one of the oldest cooking techniques known to man.

The process allows for even cooking, a crisp crust or skin and allow meat to basted in its own juices.

A convection oven rotisserie toaster oven is a perfect way to use this ancient technique in your own home.

The basic parts and accessories of an oven rotisserie toaster kit include.

Rotisserie accessories for toaster ovens are normally removable.

Most rotisseries need a large capacity toaster oven, like a GE oven rotisserie toaster or convection Deni oven rotisserie toaster in order to hold items such as whole chickens.

Pizza Toaster Oven

One of the great things about electric toaster ovens is the ability to make homemade pizzas.

For hot, delicious pies made from fresh ingredients and piled high with the toppings of your choice, a pizza toaster oven can’t be beat.

Pizza Toaster oven cooks pizza quickly and efficiently in air-driven convection ovens that can hit 450 degrees F.

But the secret weapon is the pizza stone.

With a pizza stone toaster oven pies come out like the best restaurant pizzas.

That’s because the stone absorbs moisture to redistribute the heat evenly.

This bakes the pizza dough evenly, creating a crisp, tasty crust without drying out the sauce or overcooking the toppings.

The pizza stone also absorbs the flavor of the dough while baking and transfers this flavor to subsequent pizzas.

The stone should be washed prior to baking with plain water and a scrub-brush.

But never with soaps or detergents, which will be absorbed by the stone and transferred to any food baked on it.

Stones are either round or rectangular.

Specialty Toasters

Toasters, as has been stated before, are fairly straightforward, even mundane items, and generally serve exactly one function, making toast.

But there are some specialty toasters out there that either take on one specific job and do it well, or pull double duty in various ways.

The bagel toaster will, of course, make toast, but it is designed with the bagel in mind.

The slots on bagel toasters are at least 1.5″ wide to accommodate the halved bagels.

The 4-Slice Bagel Hamilton Beach Toaster and the Bagel Perfect Toastmaster Toaster.

For a couple of examples, have both wide slots and special settings to toast the cut side of the bagel and keep the other side warm and chewy.

The patented Radio Toaster combines a fully customization radio with, you guessed it, a toaster.

This space saving little wonder does both jobs admirably.

For multi-function madness it’s hard to beat Back to Basic’s Muffin and Egg Toaster Cooker and Poacher.

While muffins, bread or bagels are toasted a side unit simultaneously steam poaches and egg and heats a pre-cooked meat patty for a delicious breakfast sandwich in 4 minutes flat.

Perhaps the most unique toaster we’ve run across is Duchcambell’s Hot Diggity Dogger Hot Dog Toaster.

This hilarious and handy little contraption has two cylindrical wells for heating hot dogs and two extra long/wide slots to vertically toast the buns.

Best Toaster Oven Accessories

Toaster ovens make great gifts for occasions like weddings or housewarming parties, but even the best toaster can seem to list a little bit over the utilitarian side of the fun/useful line.

One way to supplement the sheer neatness of a toaster is to invest in a few toaster oven accessories.

Everyone love toasted sandwiches, right?

Well enough people anyway.

But toasting a sandwich in your toaster is asking for a mess. unless, that is, you’ve got the right toaster accessory.

A sandwich cage will keep the whole thing from coming apart, as will a toaster safe toasting bag (these really keep your toaster clean).

Both of these devices work best in wide or variable width slots.

Toaster cozies (or toaster covers if you want to sound a bit more butch) are a fun and attractive way to keep your toaster clean.

They’re especially handy if you toaster is the wrong color for you kitchen, or just plain homely.

Toaster covers generally come in vinyl, plastic and quilted varieties.

Best Toaster Oven Features

When it comes time to compare toasters the toaster’s special features can give certain models the edge.

Not every toaster can handle bagels, for example, and even a simple toaster cover can make a world of difference when spring-cleaning time rolls around.

Here are some features to look for when deciding which toaster is the best choice for you.

Every toaster oven accessory listed below provides another option for toaster oven cooking.

Cookies, toast and pizza are only the tip of the iceberg, though.

A toaster oven chef can make casseroles, kabobs and buttery scones, and still not exhaust the possibilities; all that’s needed is the right tool for the job.

Best Toaster Oven Accessories

  • Toaster Oven Crumb Tray: a standard extra; reflective trays aid in cooking.
  • Toaster Oven Liner: liners protect the interior and make cleaning easier.
  • Toaster Oven Sandwich Cage: sandwiches can be held in these while toasting.
  • Toaster Oven Baking Pan: a small, nonstick pan for the toaster oven.
  • Toaster pizza Stone: helps bake the pizza evenly, with a crisp crust.
  • Toaster Oven Cookie Sheet: a small, nonstick cookie sheet for the toaster oven.
  • Hanging Toaster Mount: attaches the oven under cabinet to save space.
  • Rotisserie Kit: forks,a turning spit and drip-tray that fit inside a toaster oven.
  • Slice #: 2 slice toaster or 4 slice toaster.
  • Slot Size: Standard size slot or extra wide slots.
  • Defrost Function: To unfreeze frozen bread.
  • Bagel Setting: To perfectly toast bagels.
  • Reheat Option: Warms without browning.
  • Browning Controls: For precise browning.
  • Cancel Button: Stops toasting immediately.
  • Self-Centering Bread Racks: For even toasting
  • Extra High Rack Lift: For easy removal of small items (e.g. English Muffins).
  • Toaster Cover: Keeps unit clean/protected when it’s not in use.

Best Oven Thermometer Features

Different oven thermometers offer different special features depending on the type of oven thermometer.

Some of the following oven thermometer features apply to all thermometers and others are specific.

  • Oven Safe Thermometer: Will not be damaged by intense heat.
  • Stainless Steel Meat Oven Thermometer Probe: Long lasting and easy to clean.
  • Meat Outside Oven Thermometer Stainless Steel Probe Cord: Safe & durable.
  • Temperature Alarm: Alerts user when a preset temperature is reached.
  • Magnetic Mounting: Conveniently attaches directly onto metal surfaces.
  • Easy to Read Digital Read-out: Accurately monitor temperature at a glance.
  • Shatterproof Lens: Prevents damage and food contamination by broken glass.
  • Wide Temperature Gage Range: At least 32 degrees F to 450 degrees F.
  • Anti Bacterial Pocket Sleeve: Disinfects meat probes after use.
  • Automatic Off Switch: Saves the battery by turning off when not in use.

Here are a few suggestions for find the best brand name oven thermometers.

The list is far from comprehensive (the oven Taylor thermometer is only one of may fine products from that brand, for example, and KitchenAid is always a safe bet) but it does make for a good start.

  • Digital Maverick Oven Thermometer Features 2 hour count-up/count-down.
  • Digital Oven Probe Pyrex Thermometer Timer Timer sounds when pre-set food temperature is achieved.
  • Oven Taylor Thermometer Wireless with Remote Pager: The base unit may also be used a food timer.
  • KitchenAid Stainless Steel Oven Thermometer: With a large, easy to read numerical dial.
  • Polder Cooking Thermometer with Timer and Clock: Also hand washable.
  • OXO Good Grips Oven Thermometer: Has both Celsius and Fahrenheit dials.
  • CDN Proactive Digital Programmable Probe Thermometer: Runs of a single AAA battery.

Selecting an Oven Thermometer

When selecting any tool it is important to know the job it’s intended for, and oven thermometers are no exception.

A grill surface thermometer does a very different job than a candy or deep fry thermometer, for example.

There are 2 basic types of oven thermometer, each with a number of sub-types.

Oven Probe Thermometers:

Measure core temperature by inserting a metal oven probe into the food item.

Electric Cord Oven Thermometer Probe

The thermometer probe goes in the food time and transmits the temperature to the thermometer display via a cord.

These are usually digital oven thermometers.

Oven Thermometer Wireless Electronic Probe

Wireless Oven remote thermometers work like a corded electronic probe thermometer, but the temperature is transmitted via a radio signal.

Instant Read Oven Thermometer Probe

The thermometer display is attached to the end of the probe.

Surface Temperature Oven Thermometers:

Measures the surface temperature of the cooking surface or food item.

Analogue Surface Oven Thermometer is a simple thermometers that read surface temperature.

An Infrared Laser Oven Thermometer reads surface temperature digitally without the need for direct contact.

Checkout our Toaster Oven Hacks FAQ and Best Toaster Oven Reviews

The Best Camping Hammock Guide – MUST READ

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Best Camping Hammock Guide – Are you in the market for a hammock for your next camping trip?

If yes, then surely you’ve noticed that there is more than one type to choose from.

And suddenly, you realize that choosing the best one can be a little bit difficult as there are plenty of things to consider when buying one.

Obviously, you’d want the one that best suits your needs and requirements.

You’d also want it to be comfortable and sturdy enough to withstand the elements.

But there’s more to consider than comfort and safety when it comes to buying the best camping hammock.

The Best Camping Hammock Guide

The Best Camping Hammock Guide
The Best Camping Hammock Guide

What to Consider When Choosing a Hammock for Camping

When buying a hammock, it’s essential to consider these following factors:

Hammock Size For Camping

Hammocks usually come in sizes based on its capacity, whether that’s single or double.

Here are some tips for choosing the right hammock size:

Single Hammocks

This type usually has a width of 4 to 5 ft, and a weight limit of up to 400 lbs.

Also, some ultralight models have a 250-lb limit, which is perfect for those looking for something lightweight.

If you don’t need the extra space and if you’re looking for a lightweight option, then a single capacity backpacking hammock will be your best choice.

However, the trade-off here will be a less comfortable sleeping experience and less space for extra gear.

Double Hammocks

This type usually has a width of 5 to 6 ft, and a weight limit of up to 500 pounds.

Double capacity hammocks are best for those looking for a spacious lounging and a more comfortable sleeping experience.

If you want to have more legroom, extra space for camping gear, and an option to share your hammock with another person, you should definitely consider getting a larger double capacity one.

Hammock Length

A single or double hammock typically ranges from 6 to 7 ft in length.

Unless you’re an extraordinarily tall person, there will be no need to worry about this measurement.

Nonetheless, a good rule of thumb when it comes to sizing a hammock is to make sure that it’s at least 2 ft longer than your height.

This ensures that you’ll have ample leg space for added comfort.

Hammock Fabric

Different hammocks use different fabric materials.

However, when it comes to the best ones, they usually use heavy-duty fabrics that have high denier numbers—the unit of measurement that expresses fiber thickness of individual threads or filaments in fabric materials—such as nylon quilted fabric.

Generally, the high-denier fabric will wear out longer than a low-denier fabric, especially when used in rough conditions.

Hammock Accessories

Various hammock camping accessories can be used to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Here are some you should consider:
Best Camping Hammock

Suspension System or Support Straps

This accessory is utilized to tie and secure your hammock between two anchor points.

Some hammocks have built-in suspension systems, while others need to be attached and secured with each use.

You should also be aware of whether or not the one you’re buying comes with support straps.

If it doesn’t have one, make sure to buy a strap that’s at least 0.75 inches wide to avoid it from digging and damaging trees.

Rainfly

This is somewhat a necessity when it comes to camping accessories.

Rainfly or rain tarps hang above your hammock and utilizes guylines to maintain a taut pitch.

It will keep the rain outside your hammock, keeping you dry and warm all day and night.

Under Quilt

This accessory is designed to fit comfortably in your hammock to improve insulation, especially at night.

For example, if you’re sleeping with cold air wrapping around the bottom of your hammock without an under quilt, even a slight gust of wind would feel icy cold.

Bug Net

This is another accessory that you should always have in your camping trips.

It is specifically designed to keep annoying critters such as mosquitoes from sneaking inside your hammock.

Be sure to get one that has no-see-um netting to keep those tiny insects and pests from away from you.

Additionally, you can also get a bug net that offers 360 protection for added safety.

Top Quilt

This camping accessory is an extremely portable and lightweight quilt that can be used for additional comfort and warmth.

Most campers prefer using top quilts rather than mummy bags because it’s more comfortable and easier to use in confined spaces.

Sleeping Pad

This accessory is for those car campers who are not concerned about additional weight and are more interested in providing themselves with additional comfort and better insulation.

Sleeping pads are specifically designed to fit securely inside a hammock without sliding or slipping around.

Useful Items for a Great Sleep in a Hammock

These items are not necessary, but they can be beneficial in most circumstances.

Here are some essential things to have:

Extra Carabiners for Hammock

Although most hammock suspension systems have Carabiners, it’s always a good idea to have a few extra ones in case of emergencies.

Extra Carabiners can also be used to attach additional gear to your hammock or your backpack.

Extra Guylines

Guylines are often an overlooked item in camping hammocks.

However, keep in mind that they are essential in pitching tarps and other shelters.

Stakes

Having a set of camping stakes will allow you to quickly set up a rainfly, tarp, or other shelters.

You can also use them to prevent your hammock from swaying too much when running into strong winds.

Paracord

There can be many ways to use a paracord in a camping setting.

You can use it to safely and efficiently suspend your hammock in a pinch.

Best Holiday Destinations for Hikers

Getting the Best Hammock For Camping

When it comes to buying camping hammocks, quality is essential.

Getting yourself a high-quality hammock is not only important for durability, value, and comfort, but also for safety.

When looking for your next camping hammock, make sure to consider the things listed above and do your research before buying one.

Keep in mind that finding the right hammock is essential in ensuring a fun and exciting camping experience.

Chester Minima Spinner Carry-On Luggage ~ What’s great about it!

Chester Minima carry-on luggage

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We are excited to share our Chester Minima luggage review. For years I’ve wanted spinner luggage. As my kids got older, I wanted them to have their own suitcases as well. 

I knew they would love having their own luggage as they’ve always enjoyed pulling our wheeled suitcases. But to have their very own sleek and compact suitcase with spinner wheels?!

That was more than they could have hoped for.

We were excited they would have their own carry-on suitcases for our cruise to Alaska.

They were able to tote their Chester Minimas in many ways: From our car to the airport parking lot; walking to the airport and then inside through security and to the gate; and on the plane.

Chester luggage

After that, we got in a Lyft to the cruise terminal. Then, they accessed them for their items once we were on the ship.

There are many great things about the Chester Minima

Chester Minima review

Fits airlines’ carry-on requirements

First and foremost, we needed suitcases that fit in the overhead compartment as we do not check baggage when we travel.

The lighter the load, the less of an impact. We wanted to be as environmentally friendly as one can be while taking an airplane and then taking a cruise. The less you bring, the better.

It’s easy to lift this suitcase and put it in the overhead bins, even when full. 

The Chester Minima is TSA-approved.

It also fits easily in the car. These are sleek and compact, sturdy, hard shell suitcases.

Easy to maneuver on airplane

I am always envious of people I see in airports with their spinner luggage. You might not think it makes that much of a difference because wheels are wheels, right? Wrong!

A major stress has always been once I’m on the airplane.

I’ve got to navigate my carry-on suitcase with wheels — but not spinner wheels — without bumping into airline seats and passengers. It’s not easy to do.

Most of the time, I’m doing a combination of lifting and twisting my suitcase on its side, dragging it along, trying to rush through the airplane aisle… all while trying mightily to not bump into passengers already sitting in the aisle seats.

Chester Minima in overhead compartment
Chester Minima in overhead bin on airplane

I am always saying “sorry” and am incredibly stressed just trying to get to my seat.

When I saw my kids gliding their Chester luggage effortlessly, without bumping into people already in their seats, it was such a relief!

It made everything so much less stressful.

Lightweight and compact

Chester Minima is seven pounds empty. That’s considered light in the luggage world. While I didn’t weigh it, I’m surprised it’s even that much. 

The outside is polycarbonate. 

Despite it being so lightweight, it’s very well made and sturdy. This is high quality luggage. 

Also, this is going to be the only suitcase my kids own. It needs to be functional in all situations. The size is perfect.

It also fits nicely in their closets at home to store it.

Spinner wheels

When the Chester Minimas arrived in boxes, we didn’t tell our kids what they were. We “wrapped” them in blankets as a surprise for them.

bottom of suitcase — look at these wheels!

They were stunned when they saw the suitcases, even before they realized they had spinner wheels.

Then they really had fun rolling them around our house, seeing all the different ways they could roll it, pull it, and twist and turn it. 

It’s effortless to use! There are four sets of two wheels, eight wheels in total, and they move seamlessly over every type of surface they encountered when traveling, including carpeting, concrete, gravel, ramps, moving walkways, and more.

Easy-to-use handle

The handle goes up and down easily. It’s adjustable to various heights and situations. It’s easy for kids to use and also convenient for adults. 

In addition to the telescoping handle, there are two other handles. One is on the top and one is on the side. These handles don’t move. They are if you want to carry your Minima instead of roll it.

Combination lock

Another surprising thing is the built-in combination lock. It’s right at the top of the suitcase.

zipper pulls in locked position

If you don’t want to use the locking mechanism, you can leave the zippers without putting them next to the lock.

There are three numbers. You can choose to lock it or not. My tech-savvy kids figured out how to use it right away.

Back in the day, when I was growing up, we had luggage with little locks and little keys. That was always a worry — where are the keys?

Since then, there have been innovations for sure, but they involved buying a lightweight combination lock. We love that this lock is built into the suitcase. 

It’s not a big factor when we are flying because we carry our luggage on the plane. However, we like locking our suitcases when we leave our bags in hotel rooms, or in this case, in our cabin on the ship.

We also like it’s just three digits, making it easy to remember. The lock is TSA-approved as well. 

Attractive design and colors

My teen sons were going to be the primary owners — us parents will be borrowing them, however! Chester Minima comes in a variety of colors:

  • Charcoal
  • Ocean blue
  • Black
  • Sand
  • Aluminum grey
  • Sky blue
  • Pink

We have Charcoal and Ocean blue.

This luggage is all-around attractive. It’s professional-looking and sharp. You can use it for weekends away, work travels, and for a week-long vacation.

It will exceed your expectations whether you are going on a road trip or traveling internationally.

It’s equally great luggage for teens, kids and adults.

On escalator in airport

It’s lightweight

It’s seven pounds empty and seems much lighter. 

Even filled up, it is easy to roll and lift.

Spinner wheels are a joy to use

We’ve never owned luggage with spinner wheels. I’ve for sure envied those with it every trip I took, especially as I would struggle with my regular pull suitcase, trying to navigate it through the airplane aisle and everywhere else.

These spinner wheels are amazing! My kids could push and pull and roll them every which way. They loved being in charge of their own luggage.

Easy to maintain

The shell is waterproof. It’s easy to wipe down. Luggage is sometimes made with a fabric outer layer making it harder to truly clean.

Chester Minima’s size

This is the perfect size for my teens, even with the various clothing they needed for unpredictable Alaska weather. My sons were able to fit everything from their swimsuit and flip flops to their sweatshirts and rain gear. 

The exterior dimensions are: 21.5″ x 13.5″ x 8.5″ 

Interior dimensions are: 19.5″ x 13.5″

Pockets and extra bag

In addition, on one side there is a small zippered pouch which hangs along the side. This is also a good hiding spot as it’s the same lined pattern as the rest of the lining, making it camouflaged. 

The zippered covers also have pockets.

It also comes with a separate zippered bag which you can use for dirty laundry or anything. (Note, in the video above, my son says it’s a drawstring bag; it’s not. It’s zippered. He did this video within five minutes of opening his suitcase; he was so excited to talk about it!)

Luggage for teens 

In my kids’ junior high and high school, they go on several school-sponsored trips. This suitcase will be perfect for that.

using in airport parking lot

I’m also really liking what they will be able to use as a hidden space to keep their extra money.

The interior liner fully covers both sides of the suitcase, hiding the telescopic handle and shell. The liner zippers on both sides.

I’m going to tell my kids to hide their extra cash in the lining. 

Sturdy zippers

The exterior zipper and interior zippers are easy to use and are sturdy. This is a quality suitcase you can use for years.

Clamshell design

Perhaps other spinner luggage is designed this way; I don’t know because I’ve never paid attention or owned luggage with spinner wheels before. 

All of the other luggage we own without these types of wheels has one main compartment. The Chester Minima has two compartments of equal size. 

In other words, imagine laying the suitcase down and unzipping it. Open it, and you will have two equal halves to fill with your clothing and belongings.

You can fit a lot on each side. After you pack a side, you can zip it so everything is contained.

I was also thinking it would be handy to put something in between both of these zippered sides. If you had an iPad, paperwork or work documents, you could put those in the middle, keeping them intact. 

My kids put a book in between theirs. In this way, when they were in the airport, they could access it without having to unzip a side. 

Once in our cabin on the cruise, they were able to easily find their belongings instead of digging through unearthing everything.

There aren’t exterior pockets on the Chester Minima. I liked that because it’s often a place to stuff snacks, wrappers, etc. which are usually forgotten about. 

Fits a lot

You may consider the size, and because it’s a bit smaller than the maximum TSA allows on planes, you may be concerned of how much you can fit inside. We found it to be deceivingly large. 

Dust cover

You can travel with this cover; there are openings for the handles

It comes with a velcro cover which you can slip on the Chester if you wanted to use it when you store it or if you check your luggage.

This would prevent it from getting dinged up. However, know that the outside shell is — sturdy with a little give — polycarbonate hardshell. 

Luggage tag

It also comes with a luggage tag. I like that it’s one that has a flap to cover our personal information.

10-year warranty

It’s hard to imagine a luggage company offering a 10-year warranty but Chester does. That’s saying something! This company seems to have a good reputation and stands behind their products.

What makes Chester luggage different?

You may think luggage is luggage — so what’s the big deal? Not all suitcases are the same!

The Chester Minima is a really nice-looking suitcase. It is durable and should fit what you need for your trip. It’s a great carry-on bag.

The wheels are superior to anything we could have imagined. My kids used these suitcases expertly every which way.

They were able to fit in many different types of clothes for our trip, including toiletries, easily.

My teens were used to carrying duffel bags on trips. What a dream this was to be able to glide through the airport, passing easily through security, and being able to lift and lower it from the airplane overhead compartments easily. 

My teens took pride in their luggage, taking ownership of their things and had fun with it at the same time.

It was easy for them to find and see what they packed. Even when filled up, the Chester Minima was still light. It exceeded our expectations. My husband and I wish we had this luggage and will be borrowing it for sure.

Chester Minima luggage

 

 

Brazos Walking Sticks – This Hickory Walking Stick ROCKS!

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Brazos Walking Sticks – This Hickory Walking Stick ROCKS!

Over the years, I’ve hiked thousands of miles…in the military, as a Boy Scout Leader, just in my rural neighborhood.

For many of those miles, especially recently, I’ve used a sturdy walking-hiking stick.

My favorite is from Brazos Walking Sticks

The quality of the hiking/walking stick you carry makes all the difference.

The day I first tried Brazos Walking Sticks changed my hiking life forever.

In fact, their Brazos Hickory Hiking Stick has become my favorite companion on dozens of treks.

It’s so comfortable in my hand that I’ve started to feel a little out-of-step when I don’t have it with me even for a short stroll around the block.

I didn’t always feel that way.

Brazos Hiking Sticks

I used to meet people on the trail who were using walking sticks, and I couldn’t figure out why they’d want to burden themselves with that extra gear.

In my mind, walking sticks were designed for strenuous, multi-day treks through back-country terrain.

I just didn’t want to be weighed down with a stick.

My perspective began to evolve when I joined a group that included a number of avid hikers.

Many of them stared at me in disbelief when I expressed my preference for hiking without a walking stick.

They enlightened me as to why a stick might be a handy piece of equipment to have on a day hike, even one that covers well-known terrain.
Brazos Walking Sticks – Brazos Hickory Walking Stick

Benefits of a Brazos Walking Sticks

Carrying a walking stick truly does enhance your safety in the wild.

It also can make for a more comfortable trek.

This is especially important as you age and body parts like your knees start to protest on those longer hikes.

There’s nothing like a walking stick for shoring up your balance when you’re on a steep slope.

When you’re moving uphill, the stick helps to propel you along.

If you’re going downhill, it can help you to control your descent.

In addition, it will take some of the pressure off of your knees and lower back.

Plus, using a walking stick is a great way to incorporate more of an upper body workout into your trek.

Periodically switch hands on the stick throughout your hike to get the most benefit and to keep muscle development in balance.

Moving through tricky terrain is easier, too.

It’s helpful to have another supportive limb making contact with the ground when you’re moving over an especially rough or rocky area.

I’ve found that walking sticks are handy when fording streams.

Spring runoff can cause a small stream to become a rushing creek.

Just probe the depth of the water with your walking stick before you step in.

You just might save yourself from a sprained ankle.

Walking sticks can make for excellent self-defense on the trail as well.

I’ve used them to ward off dogs that approach aggressively without a human in sight.

I’ve clicked my stick against a rock to scare off sizable wildlife.

For areas with venomous snakes, a walking stick can be a lifesaver.

Really, there are so many uses for walking sticks, that I’m surprised now that I hiked for so long without one.

The Walking Stick You Choose Makes a Difference

I’ve known some hikers to just pick up an obliging tree limb lying alongside the trail.

Others have whittled their own walking sticks.

I acquired my first one at a sporting goods store with little more consideration put into the purchase than a glance at the price tag.

That walking stick was all right.

It got the job done until it didn’t.

That was the day that it broke.

Unfortunately, I was planning a big hike for the very next day.

I was unfamiliar with the trail, but I knew that the going was reported to be tough.

I really needed a walking stick for that adventure, and I didn’t want to put it off.

So I called a friend who wasn’t going on the next day’s trip.

He offered me the use of his Brazos Hickory Walking Stick.

Half-jokingly, he told me that he was afraid I wouldn’t want to give it back to him.

I laughed and told him, “It’s just a walking stick!”

“You won’t want to go back once you’ve tried it,” he answered. “Just make sure that you bring mine back to me. You’ll have to buy one for yourself.”

I reassured him that I understood that this was a loan, but I was shaking my head as I hung up the phone.

That day, I felt like my friend was more than a little obsessed with his walking stick, but by the end of the next day, I was beginning to understand his feelings.
Brazos Walking Stick

Brazos Walking Sticks is a Superior Hickory Walking Stick

The walking stick that I borrowed was a Brazos Hickory Walking Stick, and it really changed my perception of this particular piece of equipment.

After using it on one hike, I understood what a difference quality craftsmanship and using only the best materials and methods can make.

I contacted Brazos to see if they would send me one to review. (All of these opinions are my own)

I learned it’s available in four sizes: 41 inches, 48 inches, 55 inches and 58 inches.

The size you choose depends largely on your height.

I love that each and every walking stick that Brazos makes is a one-of-a-kind original.

They build each one by hand, one at a time and using only natural wood.

This makes for exceptional strength and durability, which are both critical when you’re completing a challenging trek.

More than that, these walking sticks look incredible.

It’s a combination of the wood and the finish, which gives the piece a beautiful patina.

Best of all?!

They are made in America!

Walking stick customization

Unlike mass-produced walking sticks, you can customize Brazos hiking sticks.

Some of the add-on features and accessories include:

  • Laser engraving like a monogram, name, initials, etc.
  • Compass on the top of the stick
  • Thermometer
  • Whistle “cut in” the top
  • Spike tip (choices)

Brazos Hickory Walking Stick

Free Form Hickory Hiking Stick

I can’t say enough about the sturdiness and quality of this stick.

To be sure you choose the correct height, you can look on their website which explains it easily.

There are also pictures to help you choose correctly.

It’s a good weight to carry on a longer hike, but still has enough heft to it to feel really solid in my hand.

Also, it’s just the right diameter to fit comfortably in my hand.

It feels natural to have it with me.

Hickory Walking Stick

Everyone loves the way it looks, and so do I.

The artisan who made it really paid attention to the tiny details and found ways to bring out the natural textures in the hickory.

Again, I also appreciate these walking sticks are made in USA.

It’s a family-owned company located in the Brazos River Valley.

Not everyone agrees that a walking stick is an essential accessory for the day hiker, but I have plenty of arguments to counter them.

I love my walking stick.

What is Eco Fashion?

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What is Eco Fashion – Every time we turn around it seems there is a new word popping into our collective vocabulary.

This is especially true when it comes to the green movement.

The term for environmentally-friendly clothing or fashion design, for instance, is eco-fashion.
What is Eco Fashion

What is Eco-Fashion? Defining Eco-Fashion

The “official” definition of eco-fashion is a focus on clothing that takes into account not only the environment, but the health of the consumers who will be wearing the clothes and the working conditions of the people involved with making the clothes.

More specifically, eco-fashion encompasses:

  • Clothes made using raw materials such as cotton grown without the use of pesticides or silk made from worms raised on organic vegetation.
  • Garments and clothing made from recycled textiles, including creative use of materials such as recycled plastic.
  • Articles designed to be more durable so they last longer.
  • Clothes made without the use of certain harmful chemicals, dyes or bleaches.
  • Accessories and clothing made under conditions where workers are treated fairly and paid a fair wadge for their efforts. Eco-fashion incorporates some human rights elements, specifically how workers who make the fashion items are treated.

Fabrics made from organic fibers are grown without toxic pesticides.

In addition, farmers may rotate crops, weed by hand, and plant different crops together.

Vegan clothing is also considered eco-fashion.

Eco-friendly vegan clothing means it’s free from any type of animal products.

It’s only made with plant and man-made fibers.

These are typically sustainable as well.

Embracing a Rising Trend of Eco-Fashion

Once upon a time, eco-fashion focused more on practical items.

It was characterized by solid, neutral designs.

There were organic tee shirts and skirts as well as linen pants and other everyday items.

Thanks to the creative vision of up-and-coming designers, eco-fashion is now perceived as a hot, rising trend.

Using safe dyes, there are brighter colors and unique patterns.

It took a long time to overcome the initial reaction to eco-friendly fashion as a novel concept.

Now, eco-fashion clothing and accessories are attracting a wider range of consumers.

Crush Your To-Do List with the Erin Condren LifePlanner
eco fashion clothing

Eco-Friendly Designers

Some of the big names in the fashion industry began to realize the potential for going green when it comes to the clothes we wear.

Anne Salvatore Epstein was one of the first designers to embrace the idea of eco-friendly fashion when she was pregnant.

Epstein wanted to embrace a more organic lifestyle for the sake of her child.

Epstein collaborated with Marc Jacobs to figure out a way to make organic fashion trendy.

Organic cotton, bamboo and recycled leather trims were incorporated into existing fashion lines to ease into the trend.

Making Eco-Friendly Designs Fashionable

Birkenstocks and hemp bracelets have been replaced by attractive organic blends.

Sworn Virgins introduced a line that is 100% biodegradable, consisting mostly of dresses and knit tops.

Linda Loudermilk has expanded the line of eco-designs to include dresses, shirts, suits and even jeans.

Loudermilk has been credited with making eoc-fashion more sexy and cutting edge.

Stella McCartney has created a line of high-end eco-fashions including everything from laid-back tops to chunky sweaters.

Expanding the Definition of Eco-friendly Materials

The material used in a garment does not necessarily have to organic to be considered eco-fashion.

As long as the materials used are considered sustainable, a particular design fits the accepted definition of eco.

A sustainable material is material that comes from a crop that can be regrown or replanted once it is harvested for use in making garments. Bamboo is one example.

Cotton can also fit this definition, even if some chemicals are used during the processing stage.

Hippy Feet is a Minneapolis-based company who employs homeless youth for their embroidery, screen-printing and packaging.

They make socks, shirts and caps with eco-friendly materials, including recycled cotton.

In addition, some of their socks include recycled cotton and recycled polyester.

The company, Marc Skid, uses organic Pima cotton to make their eco-underwear. In addition, each pair uses one recyclable water bottle in the elastic.

They donate $4 from every undergarment they sell to one of nine non-profits (you can choose from three of them, depending on the product you purchase).

Animal-based materials such as wool and cashmere can also be considered eco-friendly, as long the animals were not harmed in the gathering process.

Use of Natural Dyes in Eco-Fashion

Clothing with color is one of the biggest changes.

Plant-based dyes are acceptable to provide coloration to eco-friendly materials.

An additional benefit for consumers is less irritation from natural plant-based dyes and a reduced exposure to certain toxins.
eco bags

Saving a Little Green

At a time when many people are cutting expense, many eco-friendly fashions are very affordable.

Best Travel Pants for Women

Sure, there are some high-end eco-fashion lines, but you’ll find that anywhere in the fashion industry.

Many manufactures are looking to cut costs and offer lower-priced alternatives to consumers focused on economizing.

Add to that the growing awareness of the importance of natural resources, and it’s easy to see why eco-fashion is so appealing.

Eco-fashion has evolved to the point where you really can’t tell the difference between ecologically-friendly fashions and traditional fashion pieces.

The big difference is knowing that what you’re wearing was manufactured by methods acceptable to Mother Nature.

Not only will you feel better about wearing such apparel, you’ll look good too!

Best Travel Accessories for Women
World’s Cheapest Shopping Destinations

Best Earth-Friendly Products and How They Make a Difference

earth-friendly products

Updated:

While green living has become second nature in many ways, sometimes we want convenience. Other times, we don’t know there are sustainable options or earth-friendly products available.

And as much as we want to use what we have, we still shop.

We are consumers.

The great news is we can shop and still be environmentally conscious.

We can buy products which will minimize our impact.

There are some purchases which eliminate the need to buy other products.

Others extend the life of products.

E-Scooters and Electric Skateboards Safe Sustainable and Green?

The best eco-friendly products are made with low-impact materials, minimal packaging, and help communities or non-profit organizations as well. Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires

Best earth-friendly products

We will continue adding to this list as we find more innovative eco-friendly products.

There are many things we can do to live green.

Here are our favorite eco-friendly products for home.

Some will be good for traveling as well.

Sustainable paper towels

Bambooee The unPaper Towel

Many of us use paper towels — a lot!

While we love the idea of dish towels and cleaning rags, it is often more convenient to grab a paper towel.

They are handy for spills, to clean counters and floors, to clean bathrooms and to dry hands.

We tuck them into our kids’ lunch boxes in place of napkins.

Sometimes we use them at the dinner table.

It’s sometimes more sanitary to use a paper towel than a regular towel.

They’re typically inexpensive so it’s easy to grab one, use it, and toss it… without giving much thought to what goes into making a roll of paper towels.

Unfortunately, we don’t love the waste and the materials and how most of us use them once and then throw them away.

Bambooee makes washable, rayon from bamboo, paper towels.

Each roll comes with 20 sheets.
best eco-friendly products
Because you can wash and reuse them, a roll with the 20 unpaper towels is the equivalent of 286 paper towel ROLLS!

Wow! We were happy to find this product and anxious to try them.

This is what we learned:

  • Each sheet is 11.5″ x 11″.
  • Bambooee makes them from a certified organic bamboo source.
  • They are soft, absorbent and durable.
  • With every roll you purchase, they plant a tree.
  • Bambooee was featured on Shark Tank.

Reusable paper towels

It’s remarkable you can wash each sheet up to 100 times.

What does this equate to?

This small roll of unpaper towels is the equivalent of 2,000 paper towels.

What does that really mean?

If you use up a typical paper towel roll each week, replacing them with Bambooee will equal almost 5.5 years.

We’ve used them to clean our kitchen counters, stove top, windows, and bathrooms.

In addition, we’ve found them to be ideal to bring on trips.

They are easy to wash, hang to dry, and reuse.

These reusable paper towels take very little space in the suitcase and are handy to have for whatever comes up.

When you want to travel green, it helps to have some easy habits in place.

Packing these is easy!

They are sturdy and strong, even after washing.

The only downside to these is you have to remember to air dry.

So if you put them in your washing machine, be sure to remember how many to find and air dry before putting the items in the clothes dryer.

The other negative is they are made in China.

While it’s rare to find products made in the USA, it’s always our preference.

However, these paper towels are innovative and eco-friendly.

In addition to being reusable, what makes Bambooee earth-friendly is the rayon from bamboo is grown without fertilizer and pesticides.

Eco-friendly floor cleaner

Bambooee Sweeps

Bambooee also makes sweeps with scrubbing dots.

Put one on a floor sweeper and you have a reusable floor mop to use wet or dry.

Just like their Unpaper Towels, these sweeper pads are machine washable.

In addition, the rayon is made from a certified organic bamboo source.
reusable floor sweeps
Each roll includes 15 Bambooee Sweeps.

What’s great is these 15 sweeper pads can replace up to 1,500 of the disposable floor wipes and sheets.

They are versatile as well. You can use them dry — they do an excellent job of picking up dust and hair — or wet (run one under the faucet and ring it out so it’s damp) — like you use other wet wipes for mopping.

You can wash each sheet up to 100 times in the washing machine.

You have to pull them out so you don’t put them in the dryer.

They measure 11.5″ x 10.1″ which fits well on regular floor sweepers that use disposable pads and wipes.

In addition, for every roll you purchase, they plant a tree.

We don’t like the disposable, one-time use floor pads because they aren’t sustainable.

Plus, they are filled with chemicals.

Instead, we were using microfiber cloths on our floor sweeper in an effort to be more environmentally-aware. 

Best Microfiber Travel Towel

However, now that we have Bambooee Sweeps, we are only using these on our floors.

Soap holder extends life of bar soap

SoapStandle

We mostly use bar soap in our home because of the chemicals in liquid soaps.

We have found bar soap with safer ingredients but we want it to last as long as possible.

We also like being able to use less soap.

In the past, when we used liquid soap, we were using a lot more than necessary which was drying out our skin.

SoapStandle

In addition, liquid soap comes in plastic containers which we try to avoid.

When we heard about SOAPSTANDLE, we were excited to try it out.

Other soap holders

In the past, we used a soap stand but it mostly served as a placeholder for the soap.

It didn’t help circulate air around it.

Also, it was often a gooey mess to clean.

It was rather unappealing to pick up the bar of soap from the holder.

After that, we found another soap holder and bought several for our showers.

There was a suction cup which stuck to the wall.

You put a magnetic disk into the soap and it would hang from the wall.

They worked well except you had to really gauge the soap with the holder so it would stay in place.

It helped to dry out the soap which is what we wanted.

However, the soap would often fall down if it wasn’t wedged in the soap enough.

Other times, the suction would loosen from the wall and everything would fall into the tub.

We did like the concept of them because it worked to air dry the soap.

Extending the life of your bar soap

We have bar soaps and shampoo bars in our showers.

Before using SOAPSTANDLE, in addition to trying the above holders, we would do a lot of different things to dry them out.
eco-friendly way to save bar soap
We want our soap to last as long as possible and not waste away because it’s sitting in water.

We would tip the soap on its side, prop the bar on a cup, or prop it on one side and leave it on a towel.

For our soap bars in the shower, this would mean we would need to take it out of the shower stall/tub and move it to the counter by the sink.

SOAPSTANDLE is a practical and eco-friendly solution.

These soap holders help extend the life of your bar soap.

You won’t need to buy liquid soaps which come in plastic — even if you refill them, it still comes in plastic containers.

Much of it is water which is heavy and takes up extra room during transport from the manufacturers to the stores.

Eliminates the soap mess

We use SOAPSTANDLE for each bar of soap and for our shampoo bar and conditioner bar.

These soap holders prevent the soap scum and goo and extend the life of your soap.

You won’t need to clean the soap holder like you do with other soaps.

When you finish the bar, you use SOAPSTANDLE again.

This soap stand makes it much more convenient to use bar soap and will hopefully encourage consumers to not buy liquid soaps which come in plastic containers.

SOAPSTANDLE is made in the USA.

We are very pleased with this simple solution for your soap.

Clothing to help homeless youth

Hippy Feet

This Minneapolis-based company supports homeless individuals in many ways.

Hippy Feet helps homeless youth by using a portion from each sale to provide transitional employment through their Pop-Up Employment Program.

Hippy Feet’s program gives its participants the opportunity to do all the embroidery, screen printing, and packaging for their products.

In so doing, they earn a wage as well as learn skills and basic job training.

Hippy Feet has a goal to get homeless youth into stable housing and eventually into full-time employment at other companies.

In addition to all of what they do to help homeless youth, all of Hippy Feet’s products are made in the United States using environmentally friendly materials.

Hippy Feet long-sleeve tees for adults

  • Peace Out
  • Let Love Grow in green and blue

They sent us a large Let Love Grow long-sleeve tee shirt in the light blue.

It’s made with 100% organic cotton.

HIppy Feet is an eco-friendly company

We machine washed and dried it in the dryer without it shrinking.

The organic cotton is very comfortable.

It’s fun and easy to wear and runs true to size.

This shirt has three small flowers embroidered on the front and “let love grow” is screen printed on the back up near the collar.

Vintage Hippy Tee 

This short sleeve t-shirt is made with 100% organic cotton.

Homeless youth do the screen printing for each shirt.

Check it out on their website — it looks to have a flattering cut and the colors are neutral yet retro and bold at the same time.

Hippy Feet socks for adults and youth

  • Crew
  • Ankle
  • Knee high

Check their website for all of their fun patterns and solids.

Hippy Feet makes their socks with eco-friendly materials.

Their adult socks include recycled cotton.

They make their youth socks with recycled cotton and recycled polyester.

Hippy Feet socks with signature from person who packaged them.

We asked to try their solid black and white socks.

They sent an adult pair in S-M and a children’s pair in S-M.

We’ve never tried eco-friendly socks before and have been using them for active pursuits.

They wick away moisture well.

We love them.

It was also interesting to see the company gives their employees additional opportunities to feel proud of their work.

On each sock, there is a “Packaged by:” area, and the person who packaged it signs it.

Also, there is minimal packaging made with eco-friendly materials.

Hippy Feet hats

  • Denim cap
  • Green twill cap

They sent us the green twill cap which has a great fit and feel.

It’s adjustable as well. It’s lightweight and also made with environmentally-friendly materials.

The embroidery on it is through a nonprofit that provides job training to youth who are dealing with homelessness.

Homeless youth do the embroidery on Hippy Feet’s products.

This is really a perfect example of an eco-friendly company: Hippy Feet provides transitional employment to homeless youth; they use eco-friendly materials and packaging; and they make everything in the United States.

Sustainable option for beverages

SodaStream

Our family isn’t one for gadgets.

We don’t want to have to store extra appliances nor do we have room on our counters to leave them out.

That said, we do own a few so that we can make things from scratch, like our bread maker.

Until we learned about SodaStream, we didn’t know you could make soda and carbonated water at home.

We don’t buy soda often.

Much to our kids’ dismay, we only buy it — mostly in 2 liter bottles — when we have parties.

However, we do regularly purchase sparkling flavored water.

We go through a case of 24 cans every three weeks.

After hearing about SodaStream and how it could be an environmentally-friendly option, we did the math.

We buy and use approximately 417 aluminum cans a year just from flavored water.

That adds up to a lot of one-time use cans as well as the cost of buying the drinks and the hassle of carrying them home from the store.

SodaStream eliminates plastic bottles and aluminum cans

Sure, cans and bottles can be recycled; however, recycling is expensive and taxing on the environment.

It also takes costly steps and materials to make the cans and bottles.

They use a lot of raw materials.

It also is a burden on the environment to get the drinks from the manufacturing plants and distributors to the stores. It all adds up.

Also, once you finish the drink from a canned beverage and one-time use plastic bottles, there’s not much you can do with it to reuse or re-purpose them.

So at best, you recycle it.

eco-friendly way to make carbonated drinks
The SodaStream machine lets you make drinks right at home — eliminating the demand for aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles.

They sent us their SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Electric sparkling water maker.

We are reviewing the Starter Pack.

SodaStream One Touch Electric

We were happily surprised with how narrow and streamlined the SodaStream is.

We can store it easily in one of our taller cabinets.

Also interesting is there are three carbonation — aka fizz — levels.

We didn’t realize that would be something that you could customize.

The Fizzi One Touch comes with a one liter plastic bottle which is customized to use with the machine.

It also includes a 14.5 oz carbonating cylinder.

There is enough CO2 to make 60 liters.

For our purposes, this means we can use one CO2 cylinder to make and replace 169 cans of the sparkling water we were buying.

We learned we can bring our empty cylinder to a SodaStream retailer and get a full one for a discounted price.

On their website, there is also an easy way to exchange them with a delivery person.

You return the empty cylinder, and they trade you for a filled one for what-seems-to-be half the price of a filled one at a store.

The SodaStream is really easy to use.

It’s fast too.

You just fill the bottle with tap water, place it in the machine, and press the button.

Fun to make drinks at home

It’s also been something fun to do with our kids.

We made carbonated water with the SodaStream and added lemons and raspberries to our glasses.

Another time we used lime.

And the third time we used lime and fresh mint.

We have only made carbonated water so far with it.

The next time we go to Target or Bed Bath and Beyond, we will look for the Drink Mixes to make soda.

Each small bottle of their soda mix makes up to nine liters.

This small bottle will be a lot less wasted plastic than the 2-liter bottles we usually buy.

We hope to find their root beer and ginger ale.

They also sell bottles of Fruit Drops in lemon, orange, cucumber, watermelon, etc., but we plan to use whatever fruits we have on hand.

We are looking forward to our kids using it as something to do with their friends when they have play dates.

We are also thinking it will be a hit when we have parties.

Our friends and family will really enjoy making their own drinks.

Already we are planning to have it out for our Summer Solstice party with our neighbors and will include a lineup of fruits so they can customize their beverages.

And we know our kids will be proud their friends will be able to make their own soda as well.

We will update in June!

We plan to have a “bar” set up with cucumbers, mint, rosemary, lemon, lime, pineapple, berries, oranges, etc.

It will be perfect for the summer.

Instructions for SodaStream

Again, it’s really easy to set up and easy to use.

It was interesting there wasn’t a written instruction manual but rather an easy-to-follow insert with illustrations.

Sparkling water maker choices

We have the “middle model” which is the One Touch Electric.

It comes with a one liter plastic bottle.

There is also the Fizzi Classic which is more compact and also cordless.

It comes with a one liter plastic bottle as well.

The Aqua Fizz comes with dishwasher-safe glass carafes.

We really love they are glass instead of plastic.

However, according to the website, these carafes are .62 liters (620 ml) instead of the liter the other two models come with.

Sustainable option for beverages

Think of the cans and bottles of specialty drinks you buy.

For the most part, these 2 liters of soda, and 12 and 24 packs of soda are used once — you drink it — hopefully recycle the bottle or can — and that’s it.

The waste from these receptacles — even if you recycle — really adds up as far as the raw materials used to make them and the cost to transport them and then to deal with them in the landfills or the costs involved with recycling them.

We love our SodaStream and how it will eliminate us buying one-time use bottles and cans.

Sustainable undergarments from a company that gives back

Here’s a perfect example of eco-fashion — underwear!

Marc Skid

Did you know you can buy sustainable underwear using organic Pima cotton and water bottles?

The elastic from every pair of Marc Skid underwear is made from one plastic, recyclable water bottle.

Also, each pair of Marc Skid underwear is made with organic Pima cotton.

It’s grown on family farms and is non-GMO.

According to their website, less than 2% of the world’s cotton is Pima cotton.

And just .0005% is organic Pima cotton.

In addition to being made with environmentally-friendly materials, this eco-unders company supports non-profits.

Marc Skid donates $4 from each sale of underwear to a charity.

Depending on which pair you purchase, there are three non-profits you can choose to support.

These charities are in three groups: feeding, curing, or saving.

They support nine non-profits in total.

And just by going to their website and entering your email address, they will donate $1 to a medical clinic in Honduras.

Cure the World Joan Bikini

Marc Skid sent us their Cure the World Joan Bikini underwear.

They are soft, comfortable and hip in a bright orange red.

They held their color and shape after washing them and putting them in the dryer.

In addition, they are true to size.

They seem like they will wear well and last a long time.

eco-friendly organic cotton underwear

Marc Skid supports charities

You will be able to choose to support the charity based on the color of underwear you purchase.

Feed the World

Choose green and will get to choose to Feed the World.

You will be able to support one of these charities: Action Against Hunger; feedONE; or The Hunger Project.

Cure the World

Orange/red is Cure the World.

You can choose to support one of these organizations: Catholic Medical Mission Board; Concern Foundation; or Project C.U.R.E.

Save the World

Blue is Save the World.

By choosing blue, you will get to select to donate to: Amazon Conservation Association; Carbon Fund; or Water.org.

Open World

White is Open World.

When you choose underwear in white, you get to select to donate $4 from the purchase price to any one of the nine charities.

Donating $4 from each pair

Something different about Marc Skid is that not only are they donating from every pair you buy, they tell you how much they are donating.

Many companies who donate often state they are donating “a percentage” from every sale.

But what does that mean?

How much is it?

You won’t have any way of knowing how much that amounts to.

Even if they state they are giving “1% of the profit” to a cause, how much is that?

In addition, the nine charities Marc Skid supports are fully vetted by Charity Navigator.

In this way, you know they are responsible charities who are making a huge impact in the areas they serve.

They offer three styles — Joan Bikini, Laurinda Hipster, and Philip Boxer Brief — in green, orange/red, blue, and white.

Their John Boxer pair is available only in white.

Organic, sustainable underwear

As you learn more about environmentally-friendly clothing, you may learn how manufacturing clothing uses many man-made resources which contribute to burdening our environment.

Choosing organic cotton underwear — even better: organic Pima cotton underwear — becomes an easy choice.

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Best earth-friendly products

Be aware of companies who make green claims.

Dig a little deeper to find out in what ways their products are sustainable, low impact, etc.

There are many ways to think about eco-friendly products.

Sometimes they are products you can use again and again.

They use sustainable materials and often eliminate the need for consumers to buy replacements.

Other times, environmental products may extend the life of a product you use and cut down on waste.

In addition, environmentally-friendly companies may make a difference in their communities and contribute to non-profits.

This is important to remember even when you travel.

If you enjoy buying souvenirs, try to buy something that is made locally and supports the local economy.

Also, depending on where you are, you will want to be sure whatever you buy is sustainable.

We have choices in how we want to shop.

Likely, there is a company who is offering a better solution, making less of an impact, and making a difference in the world.

Overall, consumers have become really good at recycling and reusing.

Now it’s time to think of other ways to lessen our impact and to do good.

These product are among the best earth-friendly products available.

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

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Smell Proof Backpacks – When you’re enjoying the great outdoors with a young child, it’s all-but-inevitable that you’ll have to pack some stinky items.

After all, most babies and toddlers will need a diaper change if you’re spending more than an hour on the trail.

Additionally, you never know when some kind of diaper emergency may arise.

Since it’s vital that you pack out everything that you pack into the wilderness, you may be stuck with carrying a stinky diaper.

That’s why smell-proof backpacks are the ideal solution for adventurous parents and little ones who are on the go.

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids
Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

These even come in handy when you’re in any public place and don’t have immediate access to a garbage can.

Many companies are manufacturing smell proof backpacks.

Used to transport sweaty gym clothes, recreational marijuana and anything else that might cause an annoying odor, these backpacks are the perfect accessory for the hiking parent who’s on the trail with young kids.

Not only will you not be troubled by an unpleasant smell but also you won’t be attracting wildlife that would be interested in the odor.

Most of these backpacks are equipped with a carbon filtering element.

The carbon filtering uses chemical adsorption to get rid of impurities and contaminants.

Effectively, this element locks smells into your backpack and doesn’t allow it to reach any other compartments or the world outside.

Like other backpacks, these packs are available in a wide range of sizes and colors.

Many of them have the same features that you would find in top-of-the-line backpacks that have no odor control abilities.

However, they tend to have tighter zippers to help ensure that odors stay locked where they’re supposed to be.

Hiking or Camping with Kids

Even if you’re not hiking or camping with kids, you may find that smell proof backpacks can revolutionize your outdoor experience.

They are perfect for transporting food in the wilderness, and if you’ve got stinky laundry that you have to pack with you, there’s no better bag.

Some of the best of these backpacks are made by companies such as Skunk, Dime Bag and Funk Fighter.

Price ranges vary considerably, so even if you’re on a budget, you’ll find a model that works for you.

Many of them are waterproof and feature heavy-duty construction to serve you over the long haul.

One of these backpacks just might encourage you to get back to the outdoors with your little ones.

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