Gear to Get You Through the Pandemic: Our Bay Area Editor’s Guide

Staying at home for months on end has had us all online, and shopping online, a lot more. Our Bay Area Editor Kate Loweth feels us. A full-time, working mom with three kids, we asked Kate for her top 12 products that have gotten her through the pandemic, the summer, and beyond. 

Kate says:
I’m a full-time working mom home with three kids ages 9, 11 and 12 (and while we have been doing a lot of glamping recently, the past few months have been no walk in the park, as I’m sure you understand. Because sharing is caring, I’m  giving you the scoop on everything I’m obsessed with at the moment. Scroll through to find my favorite backyard toys, camping gear, water bottles and more. I hope it gives you the inspo you need to get through another week!

Activ Life LED Bike Wheel Lights

Bike riding is a favorite activity around here (full confession: my kids have sweet rides and I'm still on my 20-year-old 10-speed). After getting all our bikes tuned up at the beginning of the pandemic, we've extended our bike riding into the twilight hours with the addition of these awesome bike lights. If you see us around town, we're like our own parade. 

Get yours here, $13.99. 

Owala Water Bottles

The ultimate water bottle is hard to find but this one is on the top of my list. I only like straw water bottles (especially in the car) and this one has the ease of straw sipping with a lid you can lock to carry in your backpack. Bonus: it's insulated and will stay cold all day! 

Get yours here for $29.99. 

Outdoor Style Water Bottle Stickers

Yes, I'm a 40-something VSCO girl over here, decking out my new water bottles with these awesome stickers that commemorate all the time we've been spending in the great outdoors. 

Buy yours here, 50 for $4.99. 

Hammock with Stand

This has seriously be the best purchase of the summer. Negative: my kids fight over it. Positive: it gets them outside. I like that I can easily sit in it with a kid and it's light enough to drag around the yard to follow the shade. 

Buy yours here, $136.99. 

Slackline for Kids

My less-than-handy husband worked his YouTube tutorial magic and set a post into cement so that we could set up this slackline in our backyard for our son's ninth birthday. We love it because it teaches balance, increases core strength and has the kids exercising when they don't even know it. 

Get yours here, $79.87. 

KEEN Kids' Newport H2 Water Shoe

I'm slightly obsessed with these water shoes. From new walkers to adults, they are a great investment because they will last through hundreds of adventures and even multiple kids. 

Buy a pair here, $35.99. 

Giant Inflatable Pizza Slice Pool Float

There are a ton of super-fun pool floats out this summer but we have to admit, the pizza slice is always the kid favorite. My youngest actually used his own money to buy it and it's been a great investment, for sure. 

Buy one here, $27.95. 

photo: Kelty

Kelty Mesh Low-Loveseat

We love this loveseat-style camping chair for beach days, lake days, backyard camping and all the summer fun. It's low enough to bring to use at our backyard movie nights and the mesh bottom is perfect for when you want to park yourself in the creek all day (like we did at our recent glamping vacay at Wildhaven Sonoma). 

Get yours here, $107.53. 

Coleman 4-Person Dark Room™ Skydome™ Camping Tent

Since this is officially the summer of camping, a good tent is key. We particularly love this one from Coleman because it encourages the kids to sleep past 5 a.m. with it's Dark Room™ technology. Bonus: it's super easy for us to set up even for impromptu backyard camping nights. 

Buy one here, $103.32. 

CINEMOOD Portable Movie Theater

One of our favorite summer activities has always been all the outdoor movie nights in the parks near us. Unfortunately, this summer has us swapping those for backyard movie nights instead. These could not be easier than they are with the CINEMOOD. Not only can you stream Netflix and YouTube from it, but you can download content in advance for when you are movie watching off the grid. We recently used it to stream Nacho Libre (a family favorite!) on our glamping tent wall to encourage bedtime after an exciting day in the Russian River. Bonus: it comes with some kid content already loaded on, including bedtime stories!

Get yours here, $349.95. 

Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit

My kids all know that it's really not summer until we bust out the official t-shirt of Camp Mom, the tie dye! This kit makes it easy and you'll be amazed what creations they come up with.

Get yours here, $14.99.

Zeus on the Loose

I've been on the hunt for screen-free options for road trips and this one's a winner. We love Zeus on the Loose as it teaches Greek mythology and math skills at the same time. Bonus: it's actually fun for parents, too! For younger ones, we usually team up to make it a more fair match. 

Get yours here, $11.40. 

All images courtesy of retailers

Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase.

—Kate Loweth


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