Reviews Furniture & Decor Outdoor Furniture

11 Outdoor Living Products That We Tested and Loved in 2023

We've used more than 100 products outside this year, whether in our backyards or out in nature, and these are the 11 that really wowed us.
The Best Outdoor Living Products Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

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When the weather permits—and even when it occasionally doesn’t—we like to get outside, and we bet you do, too. That’s why we’ve curated this list of favorite products to help you enjoy your outdoor living space or make your next outdoor adventure more comfortable. Among the dozens of grills, griddles, string lights, lanterns, fire pits, and coolers that we’ve used, we’ve found that these were the best of the bunch this year. Whether you want to add ambience and warmth with a fire, cook up some juicy burgers, or illuminate a space at night, this roundup has it all.

1. Blackstone 36-Inch Griddle With Hard Cover

Blackstone 36-Inch Griddle with hard cover on stone patio in sunny backyard.
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

Blackstone’s 36-inch flat-top griddle boasts more than 700 square inches of cooktop, complete with four gas burners. This versatile outdoor cooker can heat everything up from pancakes to burgers. In our tests, we loved that we could use the four burners to create different temperature zones for veggies and proteins, and that we could slide breakfast foods off its surface with ease (with some help from cooking oil, of course). It also includes several helpful extras: grill hooks, a magnetic utensil holder, and a paper towel rack. Its heavy-gauge steel construction, superior cooking performance, and thoughtful design make this griddle a great addition to any outdoor kitchen.

Get the Blackstone griddle at Tractor Supply Co. or Walmart.

2. Breeo X24 Smokeless Fire Pit

A fire burning in the Breeo fire pit
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Craftsman-quality design and construction made the Breeo X24 one of our new favorite fire pits this year. It has a rock-solid build—at a sturdy 62 pounds—and smooth welds throughout. Available in either Corten steel or stainless steel, this fire pit withstands weather and looks great doing it. When using the Breeo, we liked how quickly it lit up, how cleanly it burned, and how stable it was on the ground—no wobbling or rocking. Beautiful and well built, this fire pit is perfect for those who want to enjoy a lifetime of backyard bonfires.

Get the Breeo fire pit at Amazon, The Home Depot (Corten or stainless), Ace Hardware (Corten or stainless), Walmart (Corten or stainless), or Breeo.

3. Brightech Ambience Pro Solar String Lights

The Best Outdoor Living Products Option Brightech Ambience Pro Solar String Lights
Photo: amazon.com

Brightech Ambience Pro solar string lights are commercial-grade LED lights constructed with heavy-duty hardware for extended durability. This set’s 12 Edison-style bulbs span 20 feet and emit a cozy, warm white light. The weatherproof, shatterproof bulbs are suitable for indoor or outdoor use, with heat resistance to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. In our tests, we liked that this set was designed with longevity in mind, including replaceable bulbs and substantial cable construction. For great looks with low-maintenance installation, Brightech Ambience Pro LED solar string lights are a great option.

Get the Brightech solar string lights at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Brightech.

4. Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater

Glowing fire inside the fire box of a Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater.
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Designed to bring warmth and ambience to outdoor living areas, the Solo Stove Tower is also built to last, constructed of 304 stainless steel and cold rolled steel. The onboard hopper holds 25 pounds of wood pellets and uses gravity to automatically feed the fire for up to 3 hours. In our tests, the Solo Stove radiated a circle of heat that could be felt as far as 6 feet away. When it comes to warming the patio, the Tower offers better heat and cleaner fuel than propane tower heaters. Plus, buyers get the warm flickering flame that only comes from a wood burner.

Get the Solo Stove patio heater at Solo Stove, BBQ Guys, or Academy Sports and Outdoors.

5. Lepro LE Super Bright LED Camping Lantern

A person using the light from the Lepro LED lantern to see where to light a camping stove
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

With its bright 1000-lumen LED bulb and 360-degree illumination, the Lepro LE provides bright light in every direction, making it excellent for camping, power outages, or lighting dim spaces during DIY projects. This dimmable lantern also offers up to 12 hours of runtime, four light levels, a USB port, and a hook for hanging or carrying. Even on an overcast near-pitch-dark night, when we used the lantern, we had no problem illuminating a large area with the Lepro LE. It’s a great little light to have on hand for emergencies, nighttime hikes, and more.

Get the Lepro LED lantern at Amazon, Walmart, or Lepro.

6. Magellan Outdoors 45-Quart Pro Explore Icebox

The Best Outdoor Living Products Option Magellan Outdoors 45-Quart Pro Explore Icebox
Photo: academy.com

This well-designed rotomolded wheeled cooler from Magellan boasts an ample 45-quart capacity and nonflat rubber wheels. Among its many convenient features are a built-in bottle opener, a rubberized seal around the lid, a removable divider that doubles as a cutting board, a dry-goods tray, and three handle options. While we liked all of these features in testing, our favorite was the lid. Its unique design, which allows it to hinge on either side or be completely removed, was a huge plus for us. This ultraconvenient cooler could make a party, a tailgate, or a camping trip even better.

Get the Magellan Outdoors wheeled cooler at Academy Sports and Outdoors

7. Ocoopa H01 PD Pro 10,000mAh Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Ocoopa Hand Warmer Review
Photo: Chase Brush

The Ocoopa is packed with features not often found in other hand warmers. Its 10,000 milliamp hour (mAh) battery can charge itself and other devices faster using a built-in USB-A or USB-C port. The H01 PD Pro also features a soft silicone strip that covers the charging ports, giving the device an IP45 waterproof rating. When we used it, the Ocoopa met and even exceeded its advertised temps, reaching 140 degrees Fahrenheit in a freezer, compared to the maximum listed of 131 degrees Fahrenheit. All of these features, together with its max 15-hour runtime, make it the best all-around hand warmer money can buy.

Get the Ocoopa rechargeable hand warmer at Amazon or Ocoopa.

8. Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

Solo stove showing flames in a backyard
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

The Bonfire 2.0 is Solo Stove’s follow-up to its popular Bonfire smokeless wood-burning fire pit. This upgraded model features a new removable fire grate and ash pan, making cleanup a breeze. It also comes with a stand and a soft-side carry case. Sized right for three to five people, the fire pit is made of durable 304 stainless steel, and its dual-wall construction ensures a cleaner-burning wood fire. In our tests, this fire pit started instantly with just one match. The Bonfire 2.0 has the same look, feel, and functionality as the Bonfire, but the removable ash makes this sequel better than the original.

Get the Solo Stove fire pit at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Solo Stove.

9. TerraFlame Wave Tabletop Fire Bowl

The Best Outdoor Living Products Option TerraFlame Wave Tabletop Fire Bowl
Photo: amazon.com

This portable fireplace is hand cast from organic concrete (which won’t get hot to the touch), is suitable for use indoors or outdoors, and comes in several finishes. Its gel fuel canister offers up to 3 hours of burn time and crackles when lit, mimicking the sound of a campfire. In our tests, the TerraFlame produced a bright flame that looked great and was nicely sized for small to medium tables, even making an excellent dining table centerpiece. This mini fire pit easily lends a calm ambience to any setting.

Get the TerraFlame tabletop fire pit at Amazon, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, or TerraFlame

10. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

The Weber Original Kettle Premium charcoal grill in use grilling meat in a yard
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

This 22-inch Weber kettle grill features 363 square inches of cooking surface, two wheels for maneuvering, a large removable ash-catching system, a heat shield for the lid handle, and a built-in thermometer. When we used it, we especially liked that the cooking grate hinged open so we could add charcoal if needed, and the innovative ash collection system that made cleanup a snap. Durably built with heavy-gauge sheet metal and thick enamel coating, this well-designed grill should last through several outdoor cooking seasons.

Get the Weber charcoal grill at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

11. Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Dolphin Escape robotic pool cleaner power adaptor set up next to an above-ground pool
Photo: Stephanie Cronk for Bob Vila

This robotic pool cleaner is one of the most powerful and effective models on the market. With dual ballasts, dual motors, and dual scrubbing brushes, it has both stability and power. It also has three filter options: fine cartridge, ultrafine cartridge, and oversize debris bag. In testing, we watched how powerfully its HyperGrip tracks roamed over the floor and climbed back up the walls, eating up everything in its path. For those living in a warm climate where they can often enjoy swimming in an inground pool but battle the elements, this product is ideal.

Get the Dolphin robotic pool cleaner at Amazon, Walmart, or Poolbots.