10 products we loved testing so much we bought them for ourselves
They're so good, we had to have 'em.
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Here at Reviewed.com we test a lot. And I mean a lot. From home appliances to gadgets you never knew you needed, we’ve seen it all and we end up knowing the best of the best. So, often times after testing products, we end up buying them (naturally). It’s one of the best (and possibly worst) parts of the gig.
Since I’m new on staff and haven’t had the chance to test and buy products (yet), I asked around the office to see what product performed so amazingly that my coworkers just had to have them—and that will probably end up in my shopping cart soon.
1. A newer Roku model that cuts out lag time
I had a second-generation Roku for a couple years that I liked, but it always felt a bit laggy and the picture quality was never quite right. When I tried a Roku Ultra at work I realized that my old Roku was roughly 500% slower and that I had been living in the Stone Age. So, for just $100 I massively upgraded my movie and TV watching experience, and I donated my old Roku to Goodwill. - Jeremy Stamas, Video Production Manager
2. A winning backpack that holds everything
I tested the the Best School Backpacks (and wrote the article), and then promptly bought the winner, the L.L. Bean Quad Pack, the minute I was done testing. I love how roomy it is, with two laptop slots and two water bottle holders. It also is much more comfortable to wear than my previous backpack. - Julia MacDougall, Senior Scientist
3. A strong, yet versatile cordless vacuum
The only standout that I can recall is that after writing The Best Cordless Vacuums, I bought the Electrolux Ergorapido. After spending a week testing it and all other cordless vacuums, I came to really appreciate its versatility and power. While it wasn't objectively the best, it was the best for me. - Jonathan Chan, Senior Lab Technician
4. The cult favorite pressure cooker
When I first started writing about products we (and our readers) love, I hadn't even heard of the Instant Pot. But after learning more about how you can cook stuff way faster with this miracle device, I decided to try it out. Now it's easily my favorite possession. I use it at least 3-4 nights out of the week, nights when I used to order unhealthy, rarely even good, takeout.
Not only does it take minutes instead of hours to cook virtually anything, but it's all done in one dishwasher-friendly pot. And it's really hard to screw things up. I'm not a bad cook, but I make my fair share of mistakes cooking in pots and pans. Pressure cooking is so insanely simple and convenient, and even though Crock Pot bested Instant Pot in our tests, I still love my IP and wouldn't trade it for the world. - Samantha Gordon, Managing Editor—Ecommerce
5. The scrubber you never knew you needed
One of the items I use the most is the Amagabeli Cast Iron Chainmail Scrubber that Michael Desjardin suggested in his piece, 15 products under $40 that totally changed my life. We use our cast iron skillet a few times a week. I was using a brush that was made for the task for years, but it always seemed dirty. The Chainmail Scrubber is actually more effective at cleaning cast iron and you can stick it in the dishwasher when you’re done. I love it. - Sunil Doshi, VP, Product
6. A non-gaming monitor that’s still perfect for gaming
Back when we did regular computer monitor reviews, I ended up testing the very unassuming Asus VS228. Despite being completely un-flashy and quite affordable (it's only $100 right now), it kicked serious butt on every test we threw at it. So, I bought one for myself. I gamed on it for a couple years (it's got great response time for a non-gaming monitor), and eventually brought it into the office. It's never failed me—and considering since 2011 it still has a 4 1/2 star rating with 8,500 reviews on Amazon, I'm guessing failure just isn't in this monitor's vocabulary. - Lee Neikirk, Editor—Electronics
7. The best stroller for new parents
My wife and I got a Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller due to our Best Strollers Right Now and the fact that literally everyone else we asked said that they loved theirs. Our daughter is juuust about big enough to start using it and we're both really looking forward to it because the current Snap N Go we got to go with her carseat sucks and we hate it. - Michael Roorda, Video Producer/Editor
8. A chef's knife that makes you feel like, well, a chef
This 8-inch chef's knife from Wustof came in second for the Best Overall category of our Best Chef's Knives, and it's been a total game-changer in my kitchen, too. I work in the kitchen frequently enough that I keep a close eye on the sharpness of my blades, but there's really no better feeling than introducing a new knife to your cooking arsenal. This one's got significant weight in its fully forged handle, making it easy to take on any and all tasks with precision. - Michael Desjardin, Senior Staff Writer
9. A hair dryer that might be better than Dry Bar
After reading the review our beauty expert wrote, I bought myself this amazing Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultra Light Pro Dryer. Pricey? Yes. But it literally cut my blowout time in half. - Cindy Bailen, Senior Staff Writer
10. A backpack for a long (and rough) commute
A few months into working here, we tested the best backpacks for students. At the time, I was lugging my beaten up Timberland everyday to and from work, and my back would be aching by the end of the day (since I always seem to have about 20 pounds of stuff in my bag at any given moment). I desperately needed a new backpack, so it was perfect that we had a bunch coming in to test.
I ended up testing, loving, and then buying the backpack I now bring to work everyday. It's the the North Face Jester Backpack (perfect for a jester like myself) and even though it didn't win our top pick for the best backpack, it fit my needs perfectly. The straps were comfortable, and the extra strap that buckles across the chest provides extra support, so my shoulders and back don't hurt by the end of my commute! - Patricia Camerota, Social Media Editor
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.