Go green this spring with Aquasana’s on-the-go, water-filtering, reusable bottle. Simply fill it up with tap water, and the built-in filter will reduce lead, chlorine, and 99 percent of bacteria and cysts. Each filter lasts for 80 gallons, the equivalent of 640 disposable plastic bottles. “It’s really nice to drink filtered, fresh-tasting water,” says friend of Your Teen Erica Brenner. “The bottle fits very well in your hand, and it’s nice to look at.” Available in glass or BPA-free plastic. $29-$39.
Mixed Chicks Shampoo and Conditioner
Kiss your frizz goodbye. Mixed Chicks Shampoo and Conditioner works with all hair types, but it’s especially good at taming curly hair … “whether you’re black, white, Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, or any glorious combination of the above,” say the founders. Your Teen Editor in Chief Susan Borison is a convert. “I love this stuff,” she says. “It got my curls under control in just one wash.” $14.99 and up.
The Great Plate
BBQ season is around the corner (really!), so we say stock up on a pile of these Great Plates. They solve that age-old party problem of what to do with your drink, while trying to eat off your plate. Just stash your beverage in the middle and bon appétit. It floats in a pool and doubles as a Frisbee (for real). Sold in packs of 12. $36.
Matador Pocket Blanket
This blanket is the perfect solution for the sports mom or dad, who doesn’t want to carry a folding chair from game to game. Throw a Matador Pocket Blanket in your bag — or stick it in your glove compartment — and you’ll always have a blanket to sit on. “This is a must-have,” says Will Erwin, nephew of Your Teen’s Stephanie Silverman. “You can use it anywhere.” And it’s water repellent, puncture resistant, and extremely compact. At 63 inches by 44 inches, it’s large enough for 2 to relax. $24.99.
The Power It Up USB Car Adapter and Power Bank
No one likes having that dreaded “low battery” icon pop up on their phone when they’re away from home, but we all forget to charge our devices sometimes. The Power It Up USB Car Adapter and Power Bank comes to the rescue. It’s a phone charger with an added bonus: a lithium ion battery pack that will keep it charging after you exit your car. “I tend to charge my phone or iPad on the drive to meetings, and there’s often not enough time to get a full charge in time, so being able to toss my device and charger into my bag, and know it’s still going strong is really helpful,” says Your Teen art director, Meredith Pangrace. $14.90.
SnapPower USB Charger
It’s an outlet cover. It’s a USB charger. Actually, it’s the SnapPower USB Charger, a combined outlet cover and USB charger in one. “This is so useful,” says Rick, husband of Your Teen’s Eca Taylor. “I can recharge a USB device, while not taking up an outlet spot. I installed it in the kitchen so it gets lots of use.” $20.
Nature Box Healthy Snack Boxes
Proofreader Jessica Semel enjoyed the nutritionist-approved healthy snacks from Nature Box, a monthly delivered service (prices vary depending on order). “These nutty nuggets were delicious and hit the spot for a mid-morning snack. All real ingredients with great flavor and lots of protein. Thumbs up!”
Getting Started Art Sets
Editorial Manager Diana Simeon loves these art kits. Surprisingly, so did her kids. Her kids, like many, are drawn to spending many hours in front of a screen. But when she offered them Getting Started Soft Pastels, a how-to art kit, they got very busy with the step-by-step instructions and discovered a hidden talent – they could create nice artwork. Back to the basics.