The summer is winding down and there may be a crisp breeze incoming, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up and head inside. It’s time to weatherize that outdoor space you’ve been enjoying these past few months, so you can stave off cooler temps and still enjoy some fresh air. A few small, affordable upgrades will keep you outside longer without breaking the bank. You can get (almost) everything on this list for less than $150—and most of it even rings in at under $100. A small price to pay for three extra months of cozy evenings spent outside, right? So, stock up and get ready for with fall these four extra cozy additions.
Hopefully, you already have a fire pit that you have been roasting countless s’mores over. But if you don’t, I can attest that there isn’t a cozier addition you could make to your outdoor evenings than an open flame. And luckily, there are plenty of portable fire pits that don’t require much space or an Eagle Scout badge to start. We love the Biolite Smokeless Fire Pit ($250) because though it burns wood pellets, it (as the name suggests) produces nearly zero smoke. It also doubles as a grill, and it is incredibly easy to use. If you’re looking for a portable pit that is easier on the wallet, there are a few impressive options. The Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit ($130) is a minimally designed fireplace that allows you to scratch your outdoorsperson itch. It’s the perfect size and allows you to build a proper campfire anywhere without damaging the ground. If you want something more traditional, this Mayday wood-burning fire pit ($109), made from steel, comes with handles, so you can move it around, and a mesh screen to prevent sparks. This Lewisville model ($165) has all that, plus a handy cooking grill and a vinyl cover to keep it safe throughout the winter. If your outdoor space is particularly small and doesn’t accommodate major open flames, the convenience of the FLICKR Fire Personal Concrete Fireplace ($95) is ideal. It’s a teeny-tiny package stuffed with chic ambience and is fueled by rubbing alcohol. Could it get any easier?
Heat lamps and space heaters
While a fire may be cute, it’s not always the most convenient way to stay warm. There’s a reason why the best restaurant patios have heat lamps and space heaters. And having one for your space doesn’t have to be expensive or clunky. The Vornado Glide Heater ($70) combines the power of a space heater with a fan to direct the warmth exactly where you want it (while sporting a refined design that doesn’t take away from the aesthetics of a space). It’s electric, though, and should be taken back inside when not in use. If you’re looking for a more rugged option that runs on propane, we recommend the Dyna-Glo Portable Propane Heater ($131). It’s small, easy to tote from place to place, heats up to 450 square feet efficiently, and is completely cordless—making it a perfect option for almost any space. If your space can handle a bigger, more traditional outdoor space heater, you can’t go wrong with this Propane Tabletop Patio Heater ($100). Standing heat lamps are in short supply these days, but crucial if you want to heat a larger space: This affordable Mainstays model from Walmart ($109) will do the trick.
An outdoor blanket
The most basic and convenient of all coziness and warmth has got to be a blanket. And while 2020 may not have given us much thus far, it has given us Rumpl outdoor blankets. These blankets are made with a ripstop shell and are insulated—so they are as warm and element-hardy as they come. You can keep them outside, take them to the park, bring them along on camping trips—you name it. They are versatile. Plus, they are made with 100% recycled materials. The Original Puffy Blanket by Rumpl only costs a cool $99—and trust me, you will get your money’s worth.
The days are getting shorter and that means you’re going to need some light in your space if you want to enjoy it past 7:30 pm. And while some may say they’re cliché, I will never stop loving the soft glow of a good set of string lights. These Edison-style String Lights (starting at $10) are hefty and classic enough to feel timeless instead of trendy—plus, they come in both a 11-foot and a 30-foot length to fit your space’s needs. Wayfair also makes its own line of outdoor string lights ($25) that are shatter- and weatherproof enough to withstand rain, sun, and snow. If you are looking for battery powered lights that bypass the need for an outlet altogether, this 12-foot strand of LED string lights ($13) is highly rated. Or if you really, really just hate string lights and all that they stand for, the PC Portable Lamp ($80.75) from Hay Design is a dimmable, rechargeable, design-savvy lamp that brings a warm glow wherever you take it. Or you can light your space with an affordable, attractive lantern ($49) and fill it with a flameless candle.
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