18 awesome things you need for the perfect summer backyard

These products will transform your backyard into an outdoor oasis.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

The days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, and trees are gaining back their leaves. With the birds chirping in the trees and all the animals finally out of hibernation, there are no better reasons to spend more time outside in your own backyard.

Together with our friends at This Old House, we scouted a selection of great outdoor living products—from grills to patio furniture to backyard ornaments to lighting—that let you make the most of those longer, fairer days from morning through nightfall.

1. The ultimate grill for the ultimate barbecue

gasgrill
Credit: Weber

In Reviewed’s latest test of gas grills, our experts deemed the Weber Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill the best. We loved its high-and-low burning temperatures and its overall ability to grill anything perfectly, from chicken to veggies to burgers. The grill also features a Bluetooth-enabled thermometer that connects with your smartphone to send you updates, so you won’t risk overcooking your favorite foods. Another bonus? The great-looking grill will look make your patio look that much better.

Get the Weber Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill from Home Depot for $449

2. A charcoal cooker for that iconic afternoon

WeberCharcoalGrill
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

For a less-expensive grill that gives your food smokey-good flavor, the Weber Original Premium grill delivers. This instantly-recognizable spherical grill—seriously, name a more iconic duo than a dad in some cargo shorts and a Weber—rated the best charcoal grill option in our charcoal grill test due to its ease of setup, large grilling surface, quick heating time, and affordable price.

Get the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal 22 Inch Grill for $165 from Home Depot

3. Long-handled tongs to keep your fingers far from the fire

OXOTongs
Credit: Reviewed / Lindsay D. Ruckar

No matter which grill you use, you’ll need a great pair or two of tongs to flip and grab your food. The great tongs in question? The OXO 16” Good Grips Tongs. They provide unrivaled gripping and grasping power, both for your hands and whatever food you want to pick up.

Get The OXO 16’’ Good Grips Tongs from Amazon for $14.99

4. Gardening gloves to keep your hands soft, clean, and bandage-free

gardeninggloves
Credit: Exemplary Gardens

If you're following the This Old House guide to building out a rose garden, you'll need a strong pair of gloves to keep the cuts away. These gardening gloves currently have the highest customer rating of all the offerings on Amazon, with 90 percent of nearly 3,000 reviewers awarding them five stars. Reviewers say they use the elbow-length goatskin gloves for everything from clearing trails to grooming cats to their intended use of pruning thorny roses. The gloves, though hardy enough to withstand prickly plants, are also treated with lanolin inside to keep your hands moisturized.

Get the Rose Pruning Gloves from Amazon for $25.79

5. An extra-accessible gardening tool

rake
Credit: Corona

This rake, designed especially for narrow spaces and raised plant beds, has a 36-inch reach, which makes it possible to turn over soil (even while sitting down). It has a soft gel grip that feels good on your hands and gives you greater control while gardening.

Get the Extended Reach ComfortGEL 7-Tine Rake from Amazon for $21.15

6. An outdoor planter to warm up your deck or balcony

planter
Credit: Home Depot

One way to add a boost of color to your outdoor space, no matter how large or small it may be, is with a cheerful planter. This particular one from Home Depot rests atop the railing of your deck or balcony, with spacers that help it stay secure on railings as narrow as one or two inches wide. The container is also more stable than others, thanks to the double-sided compartments that better balance your greenery—one reviewer wrote it was able to hold its own against strong Chicago winds.

Get the Flower Bridge Planter from Home Depot for $24.82

7. A big, comfy hammock to doze away on languid afternoons

hammock
Credit: Vivere

The Vivere Double Hammock comes with a sturdy steel hammock stand for easy no-trees-needed setup. But you’ll probably want to stick it under any trees in your backyard so you can lounge outside in the shade, because, based on its reviews, you’ll want to stay in it for hours. In the hammock’s near-perfect 5,000-plus reviews on Amazon, customers praised its mattress-rivaling comfort, durability, and wide variety of colors and patterns.

Get the Vivere Double Hammock on Amazon for $89.99

8. An outdoor fire pit for a cozy backyard centerpiece

firepit
Credit: Pure Garden

Few things warm up an outdoor space—literally, in this case—like a fire pit. This one, with its steel lattices and mesh spark screen, serves both aesthetic and functional purpose by looking great in virtually any backyard, and, due to its open design, providing a sufficient amount of airflow to keep the fire going.

Get the Crossweave Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit from Wayfair for $104.45

9. A long-lasting lamp to brighten your night

TaotronicsLamp
Credit: Tautronics

This bestselling portable touch-powered lamp sheds light in a range of brightnesses at the tap of a hand. Its fully customizable dimming options (as opposed to presets) easily transition from a soft glow to light bright enough to read by. The battery lasts up to 110 hours before requiring recharging, so you could even bring the lamp on a weekend camping trip.

Get the TaoTronics Portable Touch Lamp on Amazon for $31.99

10. Fairy-like string lights for that ethereal ambiance

lights
Credit: Brightech

These cheery string LED lights are waterproof, dimmable, and help create a cafe-like atmosphere in your own backyard. Of the lights’ 2,000-plus reviews on Amazon, nearly 90 percent give the lights top marks for features including their ease of installation, brightness, and overall high quality.

Get the Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor Lights on Amazon for $52.99

11. Practical patio furniture that will last all summer long

patiofurniture
Credit: Tessio

The top criteria that sets great patio furniture above the rest: the ability to withstand sun and rain well enough to be left outside for long periods of time, and being comfortable enough to actually enjoy sitting on. This set from Wayfair accomplishes both. It comes with a loveseat, two chairs, and a coffee table, and is one of the highest-rated patio furniture sets on the site. Reviewers praised the set’s overall durability, classic style, and good-value price point make it a fine pick for most people.

Get the Tessio 4 Piece Rattan Sofa Group With Cushions from Wayfair for $174.99

12. A classic rocker to curl up in

rockingchair
Credit: Beachcrest Home

This rocking chair, made of weather-resistant acacia wood, earns a near-perfect score from Wayfair shoppers. Reviewers say it’s easy to assemble and comfortable to sit on, thanks to a padded seat cushion. With a neutral finish, it pairs well with any outdoor decor. And, you can make sure it lasts for summers to come by following This Old House's tips for taking care of outdoor wooden furniture.

Get the Coyne Acacia Rocking Chair from Wayfair for $191.99

13. A smart sprinkler control system to keep your yard green

rachio
Credit: Reviewed / Flo ion

A smart sprinkler control system is a great way to keep your backyard enviably lush and luxurious. And the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller may be your best way to do so—with the ability to easily integrate with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit, it allows you to customize your sprinkler (or choose a preset function if you don’t want to think about it too much) in a way that feels easy and natural.

Get the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller from Amazon for $229

14. A versatile outdoor umbrella to keep the sun out of your eyes

umbrella
Credit: Zipcode Design

At first glance, this outdoor umbrella doesn’t look much different from any other. It does a fine job shading you from the sun, with a crank lift and a tilting mechanism to adjust the angle as the sun travels across the sky. But when night falls, its solar-powered LED lights come to life, casting a downward glow along the brim, so your outdoor fun can continue past dusk. Because of these attributes, it’s no surprise that the umbrella has more than 900 positive reviews on Wayfair.

Get The Jericho 9’ Market Umbrella from Wayfair for $81.11

15. An outdoor smart plug to keep your backyard lights bright

meross
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

A smart plug is essential for any smart home, and a backyard-friendly outdoor smart plug will let you control the outlets even when you want to avoid the elements.
Reviewed’s top pick is the Meross MSS620 Smart Outdoor Plug, which has a dual outlets, is easy to use and control, and is as rugged as an outdoor plug should be.

Get the Meross MSS620 Smart Outdoor Plug from Amazon for $24.99

16. A better bird bath that keeps the bugs away

waterwiggler
Credit: Allied Precision Industries

If you’ve long yearned for your backyard to be the neighborhood hangout for birds but fear the still waters of a bird bath will become a mosquito breeding ground, you should get a Water Wiggler. This small instrument, placed within a bird bath, creates a natural rippling effect in the water. The movement helps to keep mosquitoes away while drawing birds to it like bees to honey. (Or, you know, like birds to a water wiggler.)

Get the Allied Precision Industries 5WWG Water Wiggler on Amazon for $35.55

17. A sturdy birdhouse for your feathered friends

birdcottage
Credit: Cartman

This portable cottage-style aviary will help bring birds into your backyard in style. It has a front "porch" that allows any bird to perch in comfort, and a sliding back door for your cleaning purposes, allowing you and your backyard birds to live together in harmony.

Get the Colored Country Cottages Bird House on Amazon for $17.99

18. A sanctuary for the good kind of bugs

beehouse
Credit: Niteangel

A way to attract insects is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of backyard essentials. But this handcrafted wooden “bee hotel” draws bugs like ladybugs, mason bees, wild bees, and butterflies, and those creatures can help pollinate your backyard garden and make it bloom even brighter.

Get the Niteangel Natural Insect Hotel Bee Bug House at Amazon for $16.95

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews, and more.

Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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