There’s nothing more fun than spending time in the summer with the people you care about. Whether it’s Aperol Spritzes in the afternoon or a brilliant BBQ in the evenings, a few well chosen gadgets can make the great outdoors even greater. From Bluetooth speakers to BBQ tools and smart outdoor lights, these are our summer picks for every kind of budget and any kind of outdoor space.
Superb soundtracks for outdoor entertaining - £20 to £400
Good quality portable wireless speakers are cheaper than you might expect: while you shouldn’t expect incredible sound from a £20 supermarket effort, speakers such as Ultimate Ears’ BOOM 3 (£99) and JBL’s Flip (£66) deliver really great sound and value for money. High-end hi-fi firms have moved into the portable speaker market too, so if you already have Sonos speakers (or plan to get some in the future) you can add a Sonos Move (£399) to your multi-room setup.
Let there be light - £10 to £129
A little light goes a long way when you’re sitting outdoors. Even a simple string of LED solar lights can brighten up a balcony or make decking more inviting, but if you really want to have fun with your outdoor lighting you can invest in some Hue lights such as the £129 Hue Amarant. This enables you to paint entire walls with a wash of colour, and the app makes it easy to get the effect you want. It connects wirelessly and you can control it alongside other Hue outdoor and indoor lights with the Hue app, with Amazon’s Alexa or with Apple’s Siri too.
Brilliant BBQs for outdoor cooking - £40 to £450
If you like to cook over coals, Weber’s iconic kettle barbecue (from £99) is hard to beat and comes in a wide range of versions and colours. If you prefer the convenience of gas, there are literally hundreds of choices from cheap and cheerful twin-burner barbecues (around £89) to entire outdoor kitchens such as the Outback Saturn (£450) with its four burners and generous prep area.
Cook it low and slow - £500 to £1,175
If you’re really into your outdoor cooking a Kamado or egg barbecue is brilliant for cooking low and slow, resulting in food that falls apart and melts in your mouth. The big name here is the Big Green Egg (around £1,175) but you can pick up a Kamado barbecue for less than half that amount.
Fantastic food every time - £40 to £100
The arrival of barbecue season also heralds the arrival of food poisoning season. If you’d like a little help ensuring that your steaks are perfectly charred or your chicken cooked all the way through, an instant read thermometer such as the Thermapen (around £39) is a must. If you’d like something even smarter, the Meater thermometer (£79) uses Bluetooth to stay in contact with your phone: stick it in a steak or roast and it’ll even tell you when it’s time to take it out of the barbecue. And both products work just as well indoors all year round.
Make magnificent Margaritas - £10 to £250
If you already have a barbecue, a pizza stone or a dedicated BBQ pizza grill (around £120) enables you to make restaurant-quality pizzas that’ll delight your friends and family. And if you don’t, an outdoor pizza oven such as the Oony Fyra (£249) delivers mouth-watering Margaritas every time.
The smarter way to pay
No matter what tech you prefer, one of the best ways to buy it is with a Zopa credit card (34.9% representative APR variable) Not only does it enable you to spread the cost, but it also comes with a brilliant app that makes it easy to manage your money wherever you are and whenever you want. With Zopa you can get instant payment notifications and real-time balance updates, and the clever Safety Net feature keeps a little money aside for life’s little surprises. And when summer means we can travel overseas again, you can use your card abroad without any fees.
All of this comes backed with award-winning customer service that’s always here to help. Don’t just take our word for it: Zopa has a five-star TrustPilot rating based on over 15,000 reviews, and it’s won multiple awards for its innovative products – awards voted on by actual customers.
Click here to find out more about Zopa, the credit card that’s got your back.