The Best Outdoor Living Products Tested in 2022
From fire pits to folding wagons, we tested everything you need to take outdoor living to the next level.
Just as having the right tools for the job matters, we strongly believe that investing in the right gear enhances your time outdoors. After all, high-quality outdoor products encourage more time spent in nature—and hold up to multiple seasons of use.
In backyards across the country, we spent almost 300 hours testing 130 outdoor living products before whittling it down to the top 16 items that take patios, yards, and beach trips from good to great.
Outfit your deck for year-round use with a warm and inviting heater, or choose just the right cantilever umbrella to protect summer cocktails from the sun’s harsh rays. Create an outdoor kitchen using our top picks for grills, pizza ovens, and coolers. And when day turns to night, we’ve got you covered with motion sensor lights and excellent outdoor projectors.
Keep reading to see our favorite products to enhance your time outside and live your best outdoor life.
If you’re looking for a patio heater that pushes out plenty of heat, this mushroom-style heater is the way to go. We found this heater to be convenient and efficient. Its construction was primarily sound, except for the cylinder access door for the propane tank at the base. We also wish this unit came with a rain cover to help keep it clean when not in use.
The steel-constructed heater offers a diameter of warmth between 10 and 12 feet around. It also features an adjustable table for added convenience and a wheeled base for maneuverability. The heater has a clearly marked ignition mechanism that allows users to start the heater easily and safely.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Patio Heaters guide.
For an attractive fire pit that produces enough warmth to keep everyone toasty, check out the Endless Summer 30-Inch Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit. This fire pit stood at a comfortable height for those seated nearby and offered a quick warm-up for those standing. The gray fire glass made an attractive accent to the bright flame, even in low evening light. It took about 20 minutes to assemble the fire pit, but we did need to make a few adjustments to have the cabinet door align properly.
This square table-style fire pit produces 50,000 British thermal units of heat on a 20-pound propane tank. A spark ignition makes for a quick fire up. When not in use, an included steel insert covers and converts the fire bowl into a regular table.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Fire Pits guide.
Get the Endless Summer gas fire pit on Amazon.
The Solo Stove brand has received lots of attention, and after testing the Bonfire, we’ve got to say it lives up to the hype. After a quick, easy start, there was a small amount of smoke. But once the firewood was well lit, the smoke quickly dissipated. Within about 10 minutes, the secondary burn kicked in for a bright, cheerful display.
The burn down lasted about 2 hours. Afterward, there were almost no coals or ash left inside the burn chamber. Overall, the visual flame quality, warming heat, and smoke control were excellent.
This Solo Stove Bonfire wood-burning smokeless fire pit is large enough to warm a backyard living space. At 20 pounds, it’s lightweight enough to transport and also has a convenient carrying case with handles.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Smokeless Fire Pits (for Wood) guide.
A solid build, attractive finish, and versatile size make this model from Inno Stage one of the best pellet-fueled no-smoke fire pits. Pellet fire pits were new to our testing team, and we were happily surprised with their ease of use.
Within a few minutes of lighting, the fire’s flames reached about 18 inches above the pit. The burn down lasted about 40 minutes, and within an hour, virtually all of the material in the chamber had burned up. The flame quality and smoke control were excellent, and the warmth was good.
With its compact size and mess-free fuel, this could make a convenient choice for those with smaller patio spaces. Handles on the sides and a carrying case make transporting this 15-pound fire pit easy.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Smokeless Fire Pits (for Pellets) guide.
Get the Inno Stage smokeless fire pit on Amazon.
Weber is highly regarded for quality and performance, so we had high expectations for the Q1200, and it didn’t disappoint. The Q1200 arrives mostly assembled—we were able to get ready for testing in less than 10 minutes.
We liked the grill’s consistent heating and thoughtful features. Our thermometer revealed even heating across its cooking surface, though there’s only one burner. A built-in thermometer monitors temperature while roasting, and the Q1200 comes equipped with small foldout side tables that create valuable prep space.
The two nonstick grill grates and the grease tray can be removed for cleaning, and the interior was fairly easy to wipe out. A portable grill should be manageable to move, and at 31 pounds, the Q1200 is.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Portable Grills guide.
While all of Weber’s kettle grills are impressive, the Weber Premium sets itself apart with a larger cooking surface and well-designed ash-management system. Out of the box, the Weber Premium kettle grill was ready to go in about 30 minutes. It was easy to roll the grill into the backyard thanks to two wheels and a front-mounted handle.
Weber’s kettle grills are well regarded for even heating, and the Premium is a great example of this. Its intense heat made it easy to sear a crust onto burgers, but it was challenging to avoid overcooking. Useful features include a 22-inch cooking grate, integrated lid thermometer, and easy-to-use ash-control system.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Charcoal Grills guide.
A little Jealous Devil goes a long way. This premium charcoal product uses quebracho blanco, one of the densest hardwoods in the world. The dense wood takes more time to get going, but once it does, it burns hot and long. The bag contains medium-size chunks with a nice mix of large and smaller pieces for good airflow and easy lighting.
We found Jealous Devil to have a more intense smoky aroma than American hardwoods, resulting in stronger flavors. This high-quality charcoal burned quite efficiently, leaving very little ash behind, which made cleanup a relative breeze. There were also plenty of large pieces left that could be recycled for another burn.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Charcoal guide.
We fell in love with the Ooni Karu during testing, and despite its high price point, it’s worth the money. The construction is extremely high quality, and setting it up was relatively easy. We really enjoyed the built-in digital thermometer, watching the pizza cook without opening the door, and the double-insulated walls for maintaining even cooking temperatures.
Out of the box, this model works with charcoal or wood, but there is a propane burner available as a separate purchase. If there is one complaint, it’s that this oven is quite heavy compared to the others (it’s over 60 pounds). However, it cooks pizzas in less than a minute, so we’ll gladly overlook the model’s heft.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens guide.
ABCCanopy makes some of the best pop-up canopies on the market. We tested this canopy on a rainy and windy mountain camping trip, and the canopy protected the cooking area and stayed in place. The hot sealing tape on the seams proved its worth, keeping out all water. The canopy has room for four tables, three beach chairs, or 10 people. This model also features a center pole with a crank, making it more stable, especially in wind.
It’s not difficult to set up or take down thanks to the push-button release mechanisms on the legs and slider. While we like the neutral white canopy, this model is available in 22 colors and seven sizes.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Pop-Up Canopies guide.
Safavieh is known for its stylish and durable products, and this patio umbrella is no different. It dropped easily into our existing base for a quick setup and looked great over our outdoor table.
The umbrella felt sturdy out of the box with its metal pole and polyester covering. We tested it on, arguably, the windiest day of the season, and it stayed put. The 9-foot canopy was very easy to raise and close; even our children could manage it. The tilt mechanism was also effortless, with optional right and left positioning. One minor drawback is that the canopy lacks a tie to secure it while closed, but we didn’t find that significantly affected the overall functionality.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Patio Umbrellas guide.
Add color to a patio with this cantilever umbrella from Le Conte. This model popped up within 20 minutes thanks to the company’s straightforward setup instructions. With a 10-foot round canopy, the umbrella provides plenty of all-day shade. It is waterproof, UV protective, and fade-resistant.
The rust-resistant and powder-coated iron frame also makes this umbrella a sturdy pick for outdoor living. Reinforced joints add some stability. This model did well in a breeze, but if the wind picks up, close it up quickly. The lack of stability doesn’t come from the umbrella itself but the base. The only way to improve stability would be to bolt it to a deck, which is doable with the frame design.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Cantilever Umbrellas guide.
Get the Le Conte cantilever umbrella on Amazon.
The Westinghouse security light had to meet very high standards to qualify for the top spot in our lineup of the best solar flood lights. This model’s 9-foot cord allowed us to install the light where we wanted it—not just in the sun. It emits a bright light when it detects motion within about 20 feet. Once triggered, the light stays on for 30 seconds.
This light comes with an IPX4 moisture rating. We got a snow/sleet storm, and this light was covered in a thin layer of ice for a couple of days. After the ice melted away, it still performed well.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Solar Flood Lights guide.
Get the Westinghouse solar flood light on Amazon.
When we first opened the box of four Urpower lights, we weren’t super impressed. Their simplistic design makes them look more like toys than security lights, but we underestimated their performance and function.
After dark, we approached the Urpower lights to see how close we could get before triggering them. The manufacturer lists a detection distance of 10 feet, but each one of the lights lit up when we were as far as 13 and 14 feet away. The illumination distance was about 25 feet from each light. After we walked out of range, they remained on for about 30 seconds.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights guide.
Get the Urpower outdoor motion sensor lights on Amazon.
When it comes to the complete package within a single portable outdoor projector, the BenQ GS50 Portable Outdoor Projector just about has it all: fantastic image quality, built-in Android TV streaming apps, high-quality audio, ample wireless and wired connectivity, and the size and durability for truly portable use.
The GS50 autofocuses its picture very effectively, and the remote has easy-to-operate corner correction with the flexibility to place the projector in a variety of positions. The GS50’s colors, contrast, and detail of the picture really stand out, especially for a portable outdoor projector. The 2.1-channel speaker system sounds clean, balanced, and potentially quite loud for a projector of this size. All in all, the GS50 is the most well-rounded outdoor video projector we tested.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Outdoor Projectors guide.
Finding a folding wagon that can do it all is a tall order, but the MacSports Classic Folding Wagon is filled with features and functions. This wagon sets up and breaks down in seconds, and its large capacity can handle most hauling tasks easily.
We appreciated the combination of simplicity and strength built into this wagon. There was plenty of cargo space for our 45-quart cooler and loaded beach bag. The heavy-duty fabric also held up perfectly while hauling a load of firewood. The wagon features rubber wheels that attach directly to the frame as well as a telescoping handle for easy maneuvering. It collapses quickly and folds up to just 8 inches thick. The included storage cover makes it easy to pack away.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Folding Wagons guide.
This premium Yeti cooler won big in our test for its refrigerator replacement potential. It boasts rotomolded construction and 3 inches of pressure-injected commercial-grade polyurethane foam in the walls, making it virtually indestructible. The Tundra can also be filled with dry ice, which has about three times the chilling power of regular ice.
The cooler is large enough to fit 28 cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio. It’s designed with a dry-goods basket, bear-resistant construction with two spots for padlocks, and tie-down slots for mounting on a boat or truck. There’s a screw-in gasket drain plug and comfortable haul handles. With its dual T-Rex Latches, the lid opens and closes easily but stays firmly in place during movement.
Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our Best Coolers guide.