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Cool items worthy of a place on the patio

As an ‘all things outdoor’ kind of guy, I love it when companies known for indoor products and technology send me their cool new samples for the deck or patio. I get to test drive them in sun and rain…and even some snow. Most of these products you will never hear about because they come from places that don’t really understand our Canadian climate. That said, every now and then I find a few that surpass my expectations. So I figured I’d share them with you!

Recently I got to travel around the country talking about Honeywell’s Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler. At first glance, this piece of equipment is kind of large and cumbersome on a deck or patio. Once you turn it on it is very easy to overlook its appearance. I tried the unit out on my mother’s back deck in the full sun. Thermometer said 29 but it felt like 35 degrees out there. Within 3 minutes, the temperature had drop 3 degrees. The technology is so simple. The unit can either hook up to a garden hose or have water added to a catch basin. Using the same amount of power as a 150-watt light bulb, it evaporates the water to create cooler air. Point it where you need it and you can feel the difference!

Solar umbrellas have been around for a bit, but the Uberhaus model from Rona has taken the process and made it so simple for the average homeowner. They put the panel on top of the post! Now you don’t even know it’s there and you have little discrete led lights on all of the ribs that turn on with a switch. This way you can choose to have free light at night…or not. They also made the system water-resistant, so that you don’t have to bring the unit indoors on a rainy day.

NeverWet by Rust-Oleum is a perfectly named product. You spray it on any surface and it repels water. Seems pretty straight forward so I put it through the gears. I sprayed my patio umbrella; my outdoor cushions and even my leatherwork boots and turned the hose on them.  This product works! No water went through my umbrella on to the dining table and my patio cushions were completely dry. Even my work boots were dry, without any spotting or discolouring. When it comes to outdoor fabrics, this product is a game-changer.

With the explosion in popularity of outdoor kitchen’s we are seeing more appliances making their way outside. KitchenAid’s new Magnetic Drive blender is a perfect example. There are no claims that this is a product designed for outdoors, however, I personally have added this to my own outdoor kitchen space specifically because all of the moving parts are contained! I love that the actually blending functions on this machine are inside of the base unit and you don’t see any of the moving parts. Don’t be fooled though, this beast packs a real punch. It pulverized the ice for all of the poolside drinks with ease!

At this rate, outdoor living is going to have more toys and gadgets than the indoors, and I couldn’t be happier. Even if I only get to use my backyard for 6 months of the year…I am definitely going to make the most of it!



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