Escape to the desert with 15 remote homes on Airbnb across Texas, Utah, and the western US

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Best desert Airbnbs

  • A desert offers a dreamy backdrop for a secluded getaway amid nature, hiking, and stargazing.
  • Airbnb lists many unique homes in remote deserts and towns in Arizona, Nevada, and other states.
  • From Joshua Tree to Sedona, we rounded up the best Enhanced Clean Airbnbs near deserts under $600.

Think of the last time you looked up and saw a pitch-black sky speckled with stars. If a recent evening doesn’t come to mind, you’re due for a stay in a remote desert where stargazing and solitude are a nightly spectacle.

Desert landscapes also offer unrivaled hikes, historical landmarks, artisanal shops, and a crop of cool Airbnbs to add to your must-visit list.

I’ve driven across the country (twice), watching the trees become cacti and grassy terrain turn to sand, making stops in towns like Marfa, Texas; Palm Springs, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Sedona, Arizona, where I even stayed at an Airbnb on this list.

Though fall through spring is the best time to visit the desert, you can find cheaper prices during the summer if you’re willing to face the hot temperatures.

Browse all the best Airbnb homes in the desert below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best Airbnbs in desert towns, sorted by state and price.

Best destinations California Banner

Colorful oasis in Palm Springs

Colorful oasis in Palm Springs
This colorful adobe’s walk-in shower leads to a heated backyard private pool.

Book this Palm Springs home with a pool on Airbnb

While Coachella is not until next year, you can still enjoy a trip to Palm Springs, which is about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles.

Within the Colorado Desert, this colorful abode is located close to the main downtown area and is a vibrant, plant-filled oasis. Pop art and vintage books pay homage to celebrities who owned homes in Palm Springs, like Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. 

Bright orange and teal colors cover the walls underneath vaulted ceilings, alongside an open-concept kitchen with funky, colorful appliances. The bedroom includes a Queen-size, memory foam bed, couch, TV, as well as a workspace.

A spacious bathroom with a walk-in shower leads to the backyard with a heated, private pool and hot tub bordered by mod lounge furniture, a grill, bikes, and mountain views framed by cacti.

Artist’s loft in Joshua Tree

Art Loft near Joshua Tree
This urban loft is an art space to gain inspiration and create while on vacation.

Book Joshua Tree loft on Airbnb

Joshua Tree National Park, named for the spiny, palm-like botanical tree that grows here, is where two deserts converge: the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. With no light pollution, you’ll be able to spend evenings admiring the stars and days hiking 100-plus miles of trails — just beware of extreme heat warnings and pack more water than you think you’ll need.

This art-infused loft is a creator’s dream haven and is located just north of a few eclectic restaurants and the national park’s entrance on Park Boulevard. The remote home boasts floor-to-ceiling windows to soak up desert views, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms with Queen-size beds, two bathrooms, and open-concept studio space. 

Work on large projects that can be spread across a work table on casters, surrounded by six bar stools. Art supplies are stored in a desk that spans 22 feet, and a vintage Dutch typewriter awaits poetic inspiration. A chalkboard wall also makes sharing ideas easy, while music from a record player provides the score for artistic sessions. 

When you’re not working, dangle from a transparent hanging bubble chair or peruse provided books about art, design, travel, and photography. In the backyard, find a hot tub, fire pit, lounge area, bocce ball court, and a custom cabana inspired by a 2006 Burning Man bamboo sculpture.

Off-the-grid house in Pioneertown

Off the grid House in Pioneertown
Step away from society in this eco-friendly home with minimal Wi-Fi and no TVs.

Book this Pioneertown house on Airbnb

Unlike lively Palm Springs or hiker-laden Joshua Tree, Pioneertown offers total remoteness. Out of sight in the California high desert, this sequestered refuge is a 10-minute drive from local favorites like Pappy & Harriet’s, a quirky bar, restaurant, and music venue that’s hosted musicians like Paul McCartney to Diplo. 

There are no TVs in this industrial home, only satellite Wi-Fi for emergency communication. Guests are meant to instead soak in views of the desert with floor-to-ceiling windows in almost every room. Not only is the architecture stunning, but the property is eco-conscious, powering energy and hot water entirely using solar panels.

The modern and minimalist design also includes a petite kitchen island next to an expansive dining table and a living room with a hanging fireplace that serves as a focal point. A shaded outdoor patio is set between this part of the home and two bedrooms, one with a King-size and one with a Queen-size Casper mattress, where you can enjoy panoramic views from bed.  

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Nevada

Desert home near Death Valley National Park

Desert home near Death Valley National Park
This seemingly floating desert home is a remote retreat that’s 20 miles away from any civilization.

Book this Death Valley home on Airbnb

Set on 80 acres of land north of Las Vegas, this home is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, with the closest landmark being Death Valley National Park, 20 miles away. Designed by lauded architect Peter Strzebniok, the home was featured in The New York Times for its remoteness. 

The 1,200-square-foot marvel appears to be floating thanks to a concrete plinth that elevates the structure. There are two bathrooms and three bedrooms; the master has a Queen-size bed below a skylight for nighttime stargazing. In the office, a writer’s desk is set flush against floor-to-ceiling windows with desert views. 

The all-white kitchen, with pops of red from light pendants, is an open concept that flows to the dining and living rooms with a coffered ceiling. Glass doors slide open to a 900-square-foot deck with a sunken hot tub.  

‘Desert rose’ house in Las Vegas

‘Desert Rose’ house in Las Vegas
Take a therapeutic retreat from the city at this hacienda-styled home with a spa, pool, and massive tepee.

Book this Las Vegas home on Airbnb

A 10-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, this hacienda-style home in a residential neighborhood is nicknamed the “Desert Rose.” 

Stay in one of the master bedrooms and you’ll step out of a four-poster, King-size bed and onto cool ceramic floor tiles that lead to an en suite with two vanities, two shower heads, and a therapeutic copper bathtub. 

In the living room, a zebra rug and western throw pillows support a southwestern aesthetic, and the gourmet kitchen includes an expansive bar and two slot machines as a reminder of the home’s close proximity to casinos.

Outside, the large private backyard is an oasis with a garden veranda with barbecue grills and a picnic table. There is also a spa and pool with a water slide, chaise lounges by a Kiva fireplace, fire pits, and various seating arrangements. Finally, a tepee large enough to cover two rustic couches is an unexpected touch that makes this home stand out.

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Utah

Desert townhome in Southwestern Moab

Desert townhome in Southwestern Moab
Near Arches National Park, this townhome embodies the surrounding desert in its earth-tone decor.

Book this Moab home on Airbnb

This townhome is a 15-minute drive from Arches National Park with its gorgeous natural sandstone arches, and a 10-minute drive from downtown Moab with restaurants, shops, and galleries.

The color scheme incorporates orange and beige shades inspired by the surrounding desert, as well as a green velvet couch complemented by a spiral Peruvian cactus. In the dining room, a rattan light fixture hangs above a sustainably sourced mango wood table, and a fully stocked kitchen has stools for additional seating. In the master, a Pendleton Escalante duvet is spread across a King-size bed under a clay and cholla cactus wall hanging. There’s also a bunk room with four twin beds. 

The front patio features a striped beach chair surrounded by desert plants, and on the back patio, a grill, accent chairs, and a hammock are set in front of expansive views. 

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Arizona

Cowboy bunkhouse in Scottsdale

Cowboy bunkhouse in Scottsdale
A bunkhouse that feels like the Old West with its vintage cowboy decor and rustic charm.

Book this Scottsdale house on Airbnb

Scottsdale, nicknamed “The West’s Most Western Town,” is east of Phoenix, in the Sonoran Desert. While the area is known for upscale shops and dining, you’ll also find Frontier Town, which celebrates the city’s history with old-fashioned saloons, museums, and even gun show reenactments, which could have inspired the theme of this Airbnb dubbed the “Cowboy Bunkhouse.” 

The kitschy-cool, pueblo-style home takes design cues from the city’s heritage with wood-beamed ceilings and rustic, vintage furnishings. Decor includes cowboy hats and painted hanging bull horns, a painting of a cow, and barrel chairs with lattice woven bases.

In the master, buzzard statues perch atop a tree-branch headboard and in the guest bedroom, two bunk beds are stacked below cowboy dangling boots.

Outside, mariachi wire sculptures are set near a round dining table by a Kiva fireplace and a metal swing hanging from two trees.

Yucca Room at JTH Tucson

Yucca Room at JTH Tucson
This intimate lodge is set on a 40-acre compound in the Sonoran Desert.

Book this Tucscon lodge on Airbnb

The Yucca Room is a lower-level unit in the JTH Tucson, a five-suite inn on the outskirts of Saguaro National Park, near Tucson. The compound is set on 40 acres of the Sonoran Desert, peppered with cacti and native plants. 

The one-bedroom accommodations include a King-size bed below an exposed-beam ceiling and Tulum-inspired rattan light fixtures. Two rustic leather barrel chairs face a mustard-colored Kiva fireplace to create a comfy seating area, and on a private, shaded patio, twin chaise lounges and chairs also invite relaxation. There is also a bathroom, kitchenette, and a light breakfast of tea, coffee, granola, and fruit, served daily. 

To take full advantage of the property’s remoteness, be sure to stock up on groceries before arriving. Other common areas include a swimming pool surrounded by rock formations, a rooftop lounge, a yoga room, a fire pit, and a living room with a projector for movie nights.

Mountain-top getaway in Sedona

Mountain top Getaway in Sedona
Bask in this home’s panoramic views of the red rock mountains changing orange at sunset.

Book this Sedona house on Airbnb

Located in Arizona’s high desert, Sedona is surrounded by red rock mountains said to be where healing energies are palpable. I can’t attest to whether that’s true, but I can personally vouch for this property. 

I stayed here during a recent trip to Sedona, a small town where psychics and crystal shops line the streets. Inside, a desk is set up in the foyer between two bedrooms, one with a fireplace and King-size bed, and another with two Queen-size beds. A shared bathroom is tucked behind a staircase that leads to the open-concept kitchen with mint green cabinets stocked with organic tea, coffee, and oatmeal.

You’ll spot Buddha statues and quotes sprinkled throughout the house, a callback to the destination’s alleged spirituality, and an additional room that includes a pull-out couch for more guests. A full bathroom is attached to the living room, where a dark gray sectional and ottoman face a media console displaying guide books and board games. 

Best of all is the wraparound balcony with unobstructed views of red rock formations that turn bright orange as the sun sets. There are plenty of seats, including a dining table, plastic chairs, and a daybed, and the porch wraps around to more seating. At the back of the house, a gate leads to the National Forest that connects to Airport Mesa Trail, one of the 100-plus hikes to check out during your stay. 

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Colorado

Resort-like adobe in Grand Junction

Resort like adobe in Grand Junction
This luxurious adobe styled home has views of the Colorado National Monument, Colorado Grand Mesa, and the Book Cliffs formation.

Book this Colorado house on Airbnb

See the Colorado National Monument, Colorado Grand Mesa, and The Book Cliffs formation all from this adobe-style home. The southeast patio has rocking chairs for reclining while taking in views, while an expansive patio with a pizza oven, grill, and fireplace is optimal for watching the sunset.

A well-lit master suite is outfitted with a King-size bed, sling-style leather seat, a hide rug, and ensuite bath with a tub and walk-in shower. Bed configurations include a Queen-size bed, a twin and double bunk, and a Murphy double bed in the office. 

There is also a full kitchen with a coffee station and margarita machine, a dining room, and a living room framed by bookshelves showcasing eclectic art and maracas.  

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner New Mexico

Casita de cacti in Albuquerque

Casita de Cacti in Albuquerque
This southwestern townhome is filled with earth-toned decor and desert plants everywhere.

Book this Albuquerque house on Airbnb

New Mexico’s largest city in the high desert state is home to this townhouse, nicknamed “Casita de Cacti,” filled with cacti and other desert plants. Red clay concrete floors, a gray stone fireplace, and natural woods are also incorporated to mimic the local landscape. 

On the lower level of this two-bedroom, two-bathroom property an all-white, full kitchen opens up to the living room, which includes a contemporary couch upholstered in an orange-red velvet that faces accent chairs, a round pouf, and a transparent coffee table. The dining room flows nicely to the patio, where guests can relax on two circular lounge chairs. 

The master bedroom has a Queen-size bed, ensuite bathroom, and a balcony that overlooks the backyard with a colorful mural.

Secluded home near Santa Fe

Secluded home in Ojo Caliente
While staying here, take advantage of area spa offerings.

Book this New Mexico home on Airbnb

Ojo Caliente is north of Santa Fe and is a natural spa destination, known for its concentration of hot springs. Between wellness experiences, retreat to this home with a King-size, four-poster bed that looks out into the living room with a wood-burning fireplace.

A four-person dining table is set behind the couch, and the marble-topped kitchen comes equipped with stainless steel appliances. 

The bathroom includes a walk-in marble shower and plush Frette linens, and the covered backyard patio features a gas grill and chairs facing the mountains.

Modern house in Taos

The Modern Taos House in El Prado
This modern bungalow is a summer and winter off-the-grid destination.

Book this New Mexico bungalow on Airbnb

Home to a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Taos preserves a pueblo with the only living Native American community in the U.S. The high desert area on the outskirts of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains experiences scorching hot summers and snowy winters, making it a ski destination. 

Whether you prefer the heat or cold, this off-the-grid luxury home is far enough away to feel totally secluded yet close to haunts like the Taos Mesa Brewery Mothership that’s just two miles away.

The 1,250-square-foot home has two bedrooms with King-size beds, two bathrooms, and a Queen-size sofa bed to comfortably accommodate up to six. In the living room, a brown leather couch and Papasan chair are arranged around royal blue ottomans in a modern, industrial setting. The kitchen includes a hand-polished concrete island and expands to the dining room table, which was custom-built to also function as a ping pong table.

The home runs on rainwater and solar power, which is possible because Taos experiences 283 sunny days on average per year.

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Texas

Corte del Norte in Marfa

Corte del Norte in Marfa
This unique home is part of a three-home compound in the heart of this artsy town.

Book this Marfa house on Airbnb

The western Texas city of Marfa is an unexpected art hub. It draws travelers to pose in front of Prada Marfa, an art installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset that depicts a life-size designer store replica in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert.   

Part of a three-home compound called Corte del Norte, “The Love House” accommodates up to six guests in an eclectic setting. Find Big Bend Coffee Roasters coffee in the kitchen’s vintage cabinets, and in the dining room, rustic blue walls complement an expansive wooden table. A TV room is complete with a large couch, cowhide rug, and marble coffee table. 

One bathroom stocked with Marfa brand soap is shared by two bedrooms with Queen-size beds and one daybed. The accommodations are quirky with accents by local artists, including a Woody Farris painting and a striped armchair by Constance Holt Garza.

Luxury yurt in Terlingua

Luxury yurt in Terlingua
A luxury yurt that has a 360-degree view of the Chihuahuan desert and mountains.

Book this Texas yurt on Airbnb

You’ll find this luxury yurt near the entrance to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas, which is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Encompassing 573 square feet, this circular, permanent structure is sealed to protect from extreme winds or rain, and provides both electricity and running water during your stay. 

The home boasts a King-size bed, a designer lounge chair and pouf, as well as a wood-burning fireplace and telescope. There’s also room for a dining table with four chairs, and a full bathroom with a walk-in shower.

Outside, plush Stori Modern furniture is set up on the deck for unobstructed, 360-degree views of the desert and mountains. Beyond is an outdoor campfire ring with two rocking chairs.

FAQ: Staying in the desert

When is the best time to visit a desert? 

Plan a trip to the desert during the fall through spring in order to avoid extreme heat warnings. In summer, temperatures skyrocket well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, temperatures can still dip low enough to spot snow on the mountains, too. No matter the time of year, evenings can feel brisk after the sun sets, so be sure to pack a jacket.

How much does it cost to stay in the desert?

Prices for Airbnb rentals in the desert will vary based on the location, the number of guests, and the time of year you plan to visit. During the off season in the summer, rentals can run cheaper than the more desirable months to visit in fall through spring.

What is the best desert town to visit?

When deciding which North American desert — Great Basin, Mohave, Chihuahuan, and Sonoran — to visit, choose to stay in a town that caters to your agenda: Joshua Tree, California, is an ideal hiking destination for the active traveler; Sedona, Arizona, is a retreat for the wellness-minded; Marfa, Texas, is perfect for the art enthusiast; and Taos, New Mexico, is attractive to those who want to go totally off-the-grid or ski. 

Why vacation in the desert?

Deserts offer stunning scenery and secluded stays, but there’s also plenty to do beyond relaxing and disconnecting. When visiting a US desert, you can visit hiking trails, holistic spas, historic landmarks, art colonies, quaint downtowns, artisan shops, and so much more. Plus, you can enjoy stargazing at night without any light pollution in the sky.  

Is Airbnb safe?  

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US.

Additionally, medical experts say that private Airbnbs are safe, perhaps even more so than hotels because they minimize interactions with other people. Plus, Airbnb hosts are required to follow enhanced cleaning procedures.

What should you look for in an Airbnb? 

When choosing an Airbnb, similar to the criteria we set above, look for a listing by a Superhost with a high rating and positive reviews, participation in the Enhanced Clean program and the amenities you may need during your stay, like access to Wi-Fi, a washer and dryer, parking, a full kitchen, and more.

When specifically looking for desert Airbnbs, think about booking close to a grocery store, or plan on stocking up on food and water prior to your arrival in order to enjoy the remoteness of the property. Also, be sure to ask your host about whether the property has air conditioning and how strong the cell service is before booking. 

What is Airbnbs cancellation policy? 

Each Airbnb property has a cancellation policy that’s been implemented by the individual host, causing stipulations to differ from home to home. To learn more about Airbnb’s cancellation policies, click here.

More remote places to stay on Airbnb

Private cabin with hot tub Next to Purg Resort colorado airbnb
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‘Ted Lasso’ is back for a second season – here’s how to watch the Emmy-nominated series on Apple TV Plus

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TedLassoAppleTVPlus
Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso.

  • “Ted Lasso” is a sports comedy following the fictional British soccer team AFC Richmond.
  • The show stars former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jason Sudeikis as the title character.
  • The second season premiered exclusively via Apple TV Plus ($5/month) on July 23.

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The second season of “Ted Lasso” premiered on July 23 exclusively on Apple TV Plus ($5/month). The show recently received 20 Emmy nominations, including lead actor in a comedy series for Jason Sudeikis’ portrayal of the titular coach.

The comedy series focuses on the fictional British soccer team AFC Richmond. Sudeikis stars as Ted Lasso, a football coach from Kansas City who is hired to lead the team despite having no experience with soccer. The team’s owner, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), hopes Lasso will run the team into the ground as part of a revenge plot she’s hatched against her ex-husband, but the good-natured coach is more skilled than he first appears.

The first season of “Ted Lasso” premiered in August 2020, and Apple has already renewed the series for a third season. Season two will include 12 brand-new episodes. The show received widespread critical acclaim, and both the first and second seasons are certified fresh on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Currently, season one holds a “91% Fresh” rating and season two holds a “100% Fresh” rating.

In addition to Sudeikis’ nod, the show received 2021 Emmy nominations for outstanding comedy series, directing for a comedy series, and writing for a comedy series. The show also received six nominations for actors and actresses in supporting roles.

How to watch ‘Ted Lasso’

You can watch the second season of “Ted Lasso” exclusively on Apple TV Plus. The season premiere debuted on July 23, and new episodes are expected to arrive weekly every Friday. In addition, all 10 episodes of the show’s first season are available to stream right now.

Apple TV Plus costs $5 a month for access to all of the platform’s exclusive streaming shows and movies. New members can get a free seven-day trial to test the service.

People who purchase select Apple devices can take advantage of a free three-month subscription, and PS5 owners can get a special deal for a six-month trial. College students can bundle Apple TV Plus with Apple Music for just $5/month.

You can access Apple TV Plus on most media devices and smart TV brands, including Apple TV 4K, Roku, and Fire TV.

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Apple also bundles Apple TV Plus with other services as part of its Apple One platform. The base package includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud, and Apple Arcade for $15 a month. Other plans include more iCloud storage and – if you pay $30 a month – you can get Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus, as well.

New Apple One members can get a free one-month trial for any services they haven’t signed up for before. If you’re interested in any of Apple’s other services, Apple One is a better deal compared to Apple TV Plus on its own.

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8 of the best places to buy men’s T-shirts, from everyday basics to performance undershirts

Everlane

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • T-shirts are one of the cornerstones of a wardrobe, no matter how fancy or basic they may be.
  • There are many options to choose from, so we’ve narrowed it down to the best in every category.
  • Everlane’s Organic Cotton Crew is the best overall because it’s affordable and backed by a warranty.

If you take a look at anyone’s wardrobe, you’re almost guaranteed to find a few T-shirts. As a quintessential item for all, T-shirts are readily available from just about every clothing company. With a countless number of tees readily available, you might be wondering why you’d need a guide to make a decision, but that’s exactly why. We decided to cut through the seemingly endless options to narrow it down to the absolute best ones.

Whether you’re searching for a stretchy moisture-wicking T-shirt to work out in, a comfort T-shirt for working from home and lounging, or low-cost T-shirts to stock up on, you’ll find it here. I’ve selected five of the best T-shirts based on the many brands I’ve personally tested or bought over the years. You’ll find picks for comfort, affordability, undershirts, working out, and the best overall.

It’s also worth noting that while all the T-shirts listed below are in men’s sizing, anyone can wear them. If you’re unsure of which size fits you best, check each brand’s size chart for more details. Speaking of fit, the styles below are what the industry calls “men’s t-shirts.” What qualifies as a “men’s t-shirt” has everything to do with sizing and fit. These tend to be boxier, broader, and longer than tees that were made for women. If you’re looking for something shorter and more fitted, check out our guide to the best women’s T-shirts.

Here are the best places to buy men’s sized T-shirts in 2021:

Everlane

Everlane Uniform Tee

As part of the Everlane Uniform collection, the Organic Cotton Crew Tee is backed by a one-year warranty and comes in a handful of colors.

Sizing options: XS-XXL, runs true to size

The T-shirt is quintessential to casual style, so there’s a good chance you already wear one on a regular basis — sort of like a uniform.

Everlane created the Uniform Collection to make getting dressed feel more effortless. Among those styles is the Organic Cotton Crew Tee, which is easily the best T-shirt on the market.

During the design process, Everlane put the Organic Cotton Crew Tee through 25 wash cycles, three tests for fading and pilling, and six measurements for shrinking to make sure it can withstand constant wear.

To fully stand behind the quality, the Organic Cotton Crew and everything else in the Uniform collection is backed by a 365-day guarantee. If it shrinks, rips, fades, or does anything else that compromises the original quality, Everlane will replace it for free. 

Aside from the quality, the variety makes these tees good for any wardrobe. There are more than 10 colors to choose from, and you can also choose from styles that have a pocket or a V-neck. They’re fairly inexpensive at $18 for one, or $45 for three ($15 each), so it’s easy to stock up on multiple of your favorite or most-worn colors.

Read my full review on the Everlane Uniform collection

What to buy:

The Organic Cotton Crew (small)
Rhone

Rhone Reign T-shirt

Built for performance, the Rhone Reign T-shirt will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable during your workouts.

Sizing options: S-XXL, runs true to size

Rhone is one of the leading startups in the athleisure menswear space, so it’s no surprise they’ve figured out how to make a really good T-shirt. The brand offers a decent selection of performance T-shirts, some specifically for sports like running, but the Reign T-shirt is its best for all-around performance. 

The brand doesn’t make mention of the T-shirts being stretchy (I guess at this point, it’s pretty much expected from any performance gear), but its blend of nylon, polyester, and spandex material does have an impressive amount of stretch. The material is also moisture-wicking and features GoldFusion technology to fight body odor. 

I use my Rhone T-shirts exclusively for the gym, and I’ve found the GoldFusion technology to be effective. This is an important feature for me because washing my gym clothes after one wear is simply unrealistic. The shirt also has built-in UPF 50+, so you’re getting extra sun protection for your outdoor workouts and activities too. 

When I do wash my Rhone shirts, they come out of the washer and dryer in perfect condition. At this point, Rhone shirts have been in my gym rotation for about two years, and I’ve yet to experience fading or shrinking — and at $68 each, that type of quality is expected.

Aside from the stellar quality and fit, I really appreciate the quotes that Rhone incorporates into its shirts. The bottom of the hem on the Reign T-shirt reads, “While living I want to live well.” It’s a nice touch for people who are working to reach their goals and could use some extra inspiration.

Again, at $68, this shirt is expensive, so I’d suggest going with a cheaper option if you only need something to wear casually or to lounge in. 

What to buy:

Reign Classic Short Sleeve (small)
Brooklinen

Brooklinen Prospect Tee

The Brooklinen Prospect Tee is so soft and comfortable, you won’t want to take it off.

Sizing options: XS-XXL, runs true to size

Before testing the Brooklinen Prospect Tee, I wasn’t expecting to have such a positive experience with it. Just about any T-shirt can be considered comfortable to some degree, so I figured Brooklinen’s wouldn’t be much different. After all, it is just a T-shirt. 

But as soon as I put it on, I was proven wrong. The Prospect Tee is super soft and has a slightly relaxed fit that makes it especially comfortable to wear. I originally wore it around the house and then to bed since Brooklinen technically considers it loungewear, but I’ve also worn it quite a few times outside. Don’t let the word “loungewear” trick you into thinking you can’t wear this T-shirt in the real world, because you absolutely can. 

Brooklinen says that each piece undergoes five separate quality-control checks to ensure it won’t warp, shrink, stretch, sag, or pill, and so far I’ve found that to be true. My Prospect Tee, as well as the Bergen Joggers (a pair of lounge pants I’ve also tested from Brooklinen), have held up amazingly in the wash. Both pieces are just as soft as the first time I wore them.

If you prefer a V-neck, the York Tee has all the same great features. 

Read our full review on Brooklinen loungewear.

What to buy:

Prospect Tee (small)
Tommy John

Tommy John Undershirt

Tommy John is unlike any other undershirt on the market — in a good way. The collar stays flat, it fits closely to your body, and never comes untucked.  

Sizing options: S-XXL, fits snug, but as an undershirt, that’s how you want it to fit. 

Tommy John started with the mission to bring men’s undergarments into the 21st century and its undershirts are, in my opinion, the best example of how it’s doing that.

To be completely honest, I gave up on T-shirt-style undershirts a long time ago because they’re almost always ill-fitting at the collar, the sleeves become loose, and they rarely stay tucked in. To put it plainly, they look sloppy.

Tommy John’s undershirts are the complete opposite. They’re close-fitting, but not tight, long enough to stay comfortably tucked into your pants, and they almost disappear underneath your top layer of clothes.

While browsing, you’ll find that Tommy John undershirts are available in two materials — Second Skin and Cool Cotton. I’ve tried both and I can’t say one is better than the other; it really depends on what you look for most in an undershirt, whether that’s softness or breathability.

I especially like Tommy John’s undershirts instead of basic tank tops when I’m wearing dress shirts. They’re more comfortable (which is important when you’re already wearing not-so-comfortable dress clothes), they help prevent sweat stains on the armpits, and they’re a lot less visible if you’re wearing a white or light-colored shirt.

Read my full review on Tommy John undershirts.

Second Skin Crew Neck Stay-Tucked Undershirt 2.0 (3 pack) (small)
Uniqlo

Uniqlo Packaged Dry T-Shirt

If you simply need a good T-shirt without spending a lot of money, Uniqlo’s Dry Crew Neck T-shirts are the way to go. 

Sizing options: XXS-3XL. Fits true to size. Size up for a more relaxed fit.

Uniqlo’s Dry T-shirts are far from the brand’s best-made T-shirts (check out the Uniqlo U Collection if you want higher quality), but they’re still essentials in my wardrobe. 

I love them because they’re affordable enough that you can stock up on a bunch of colors. You never know when you’re going to need a T-shirt in a specific color, so you can buy all of your favorites and have them on deck. 

Something to note is that they come folded and packaged (hence the name), so you’ll want to quickly hit them with a steamer to get rid of the creases. 

In my experience with Uniqlo Dry Packaged T-shirts over the years, I have seen fading, shrinking, and pilling after a decent amount of wears, washes, and dry cycles, but I didn’t mind. By the time they were worn out, I felt like I had gotten my money’s worth.

If you like to buy a T-shirt and wear it repeatedly — not sparingly — then I’d recommend a higher quality pick, but these will certainly get the job done.

What to buy:

Dry Color Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt (small)
Cuts Clothing

Cuts Clothing

The T-shirts from Cuts Clothing are soft, fitted in the right places, and come in a variety of fashionable hem styles and colors.

Sizing options: S-XXL. Shirts have a close-to-body fit, but they are true to size.

As the self-proclaimed makers of “the only T-shirt worth wearing,” I had pretty high expectations before trying the shirts from Cuts Clothing. But, they ultimately lived up to the hype.

Founded in 2016, Cuts Clothing was created for men looking for high-quality clothing that could be worn anywhere. Most T-shirts are more or less the same, but Cuts Clothing’s T-shirts have notable differences that give them a unique and elevated feel.

The shirts use the brand’s proprietary custom-engineered material, which is just as soft and stretchy as some of the best performance gear I’ve worn. What makes the shirts special is the contemporary cuts and colors available.

You can choose between fitted or regular; crewneck, V-neck or henley; regular, split, rounded or elongated hems. I had the opportunity to try the crewneck with every hem style and I enjoyed being able to create different looks.

In addition to the great assortment of shirt styles, Cuts is also known for its contemporary colors. You’ll always find basic colors like black, white, and grey, but the brand also offers out-of-the-norm colors like Red Rum and Laurel Oak. 

If you like to get dressed with a bit more consideration than whether your T-shirt is clean and if it matches, then Cuts Clothing is a great option.

What to buy:

T-Shirts (small)
Carhartt

Carhartt

Designed as workwear, Carhartt T-shirts are roomy and extremely durable.

Sizing options:  Standard sizes are S-2XL, Big and Tall sizes are 3XL-5XL and Large Tall-4XL Tall

Carhartt is one of the most popular outdoor workwear brands and its T-shirts are a brand staple. They’re designed to be durable enough to withstand the rigors of hard work, but they’re also more than capable of being a long-lasting casual piece. 

Whether you decide to wear it for hard labor or casually, you’ll get far more wears and washes out of any Carhartt T-shirt compared to other options.

The brand has one of the most inclusive size ranges and the shirts are designed to be roomy for a comfortable fit. If you prefer a more fitted T-shirt, it’s recommended to go down a size or pick a slimmer T-shirt altogether.

Most of Carhartt’s T-shirts feature a left chest pocket, which is equally good for utility and style. You’ll also find plenty of color options. 

What to buy:

Men’s Loose Fit Heavyweight Pocket T-Shirt (small)
Tomorrow’s Laundry

Tomorrow's Laundry

Tomorrow’s Laundry is a subscription box that will fill your closet with high-quality T-shirts in both staple and unique colors.

Sizing options: S-2XL. Runs true to size.

Tomorrow’s Laundry is a new subscription box that helps people fill their closets with stylish T-shirts that are built to last. 

For $68 per month, you’ll receive one or two items, but you can also shop a la carte with T-shirts starting at $60. The subscription is definitely the more valuable option between the two, but being able to pick specific styles makes shopping outside of the subscription a good choice in some cases.

Although there are more affordable options on the market, the quality doesn’t disappoint. I’ve washed and worn all of my shirts from Tomorrow’s Laundry multiple times and they all look just as they did when they were new. I haven’t experienced color fade, shrinking, or pilling.

Monthly Subscription (small)
Check out our other men’s style guides

best shorts
Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch basketball at the Tokyo Olympics, including the new 3-on-3 tournament

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Kevin Durant dribbles for USA Basketball.
Kevin Durant is one of the many NBA stars playing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

  • The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will feature men’s and women’s tournaments for 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 basketball.
  • Olympic basketball games will be spread across NBC, NBC Sports, USA, and CNBC.
  • The NBC sports app will stream every game, and US men’s games will also stream live on Peacock ($5/month).

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyPremium (Monthly Plan) (small)TV (small)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will feature professional basketball players from the top international leagues as well as the debut of 3-on-3 events, an Olympic first. Twelve nations have qualified for the traditional men’s and women’s 5-on-5 tournaments, while eight teams will play in men’s and women’s 3-on-3 events.

Players from the NBA, WNBA and other professional basketball leagues from around the world will compete in the 5-on-5 tournament. The US men’s team, a perennial favorite, is led by stars like Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, but they’ll have to face top international talent like Rudy Gobert of France and Luka Doncic of Slovenia. The US women’s basketball team has won six consecutive Olympic gold medals dating back to 1996. This year’s squad is led by stars like Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart, and Brittney Griner.

The 3-on-3 basketball events will use a different format than traditional basketball, with shots being counted as one and two points, rather than two and three points. Teams win by scoring 21 points, or by leading after 10 minutes.

The 3-on-3 teams will play each other in a round-robin format to determine seeding for the medal tournament. The 5-on-5 teams are separated into three groups for match play leading to a final tournament.

How to watch Olympic basketball

Nigeria's Atonye Nyingifa (R) vies with United States' Katie Lou Samuelson during the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament match between Nigeria and USA, on February 9, 2020, in Belgrade
Nigeria’s Atonye Nyingifa (R) vies with United States’ Katie Lou Samuelson during the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament match between Nigeria and USA, on February 9, 2020, in Belgrade.

Olympic basketball coverage begins with 3-on-3 events on July 23; 5-on-5 match play begins on July 24. To watch Olympic basketball you’ll need access to NBC’s family of networks. Select games will air on NBC, NBC Sports, USA, and CNBC.

If you already subscribe to a pay-TV provider with access to NBC’s channels, you can stream all Olympic basketball events through the NBC Sports app or NBCOlympics.com. This is the best way to catch all the action live, as a lot of the broadcast coverage will be shown as replays.

In addition, all US men’s basketball games will be streamed live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s standalone streaming service. Peacock Premium starts at $5 a month for ad-supported streaming.

Premium (Monthly Plan) (small)

If you’re not already subscribed to NBC channels through your cable provider, you can sign up for a live TV streaming service to follow Olympic basketball online.

Sling TV is one of the most affordable options, starting at $35 a month for Sling Blue with NBC, NBC Sports, and USA ($10 for new subscribers), and an additional $17 for CNBC and the Olympic Channel, which require extra sports and news packages. That’s $52 in total, or $27 if you’re a new Sling subscriber.

TV (small)

Other live TV options – like YouTube TV, FuboTV, and Hulu + Live TV – also include access to the necessary NBC stations but, while they all feature more channels than Sling, they’re also more expensive with prices starting at $65/month each. If you’re just signing up to watch the Tokyo Games, Sling is a more economical option.

TV (small)+ Live TV (small)TV (Starter Plan) (small)

Men’s 5-on-5 Olympic basketball schedule

Kevin Durant of Team USA
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant of Team USA basketball.

July 25

Event Time Channel
United States vs. France (Group A) 8 a.m. ET Peacock, NBCOlympics.com
United States vs. France (Group A) 4 p.m. ET (replay) NBC

July 26

Event Time Channel
United States vs. France (Group A) 12 a.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network
Argentina vs. Slovenia (Group C) 6 p.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

July 28

Event Time Channel
United States vs. Iran (Group A) 12:40 a.m. ET Peacock, NBCOlympics.com
Australia vs. Italy (Group B) 11:30 a.m. ET (tape delay) NBC Sports Network
United States vs. Iran (Group A) 3 p.m. ET (replay) NBC
France vs. Czech Republic (Group A) 5:15 p.m. ET (tape delay) NBC Sports Network
United States vs. Iran (Group A) 11:30 p.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

July 31

Event Time Channel
United States vs. Czech Republic (Group A) 8 a.m. ET Peacock, NBCOlympics.com
United States vs. Czech Republic (Group A) 4 p.m. ET (replay) NBC
Australia vs. Germany (Group B) 10:30 a.m. ET USA

August 1

Event Time Channel
United States vs. Czech Republic (Group A) 1:45 a.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

August 2

Event Time Channel
Men’s quarterfinals 12:40 a.m. ET Peacock

August 3

Event Time Channel
Men’s quarterfinals 10:45 p.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

August 4

Event Time Channel
Men’s semifinals 12:15 a.m. ET Peacock

August 5

Event Time Channel
Men’s semifinals 6 p.m. ET (replay) USA
Men’s semifinals 11 p.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

August 6

Event Time Channel
Men’s gold medal game 10:30 p.m. ET NBC, Peacock

August 7

Event Time Channel
Men’s gold medal game 6 p.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

August 8

Event Time Channel
Men’s gold medal game 1:30 a.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

Women’s 5-on-5 Olympic basketball schedule

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird for Team USA.
Diana Taurasi (left) and Sue Bird compete for Team USA.

July 27

Event Time Channel
United States vs. Nigeria (Group B) 12:40 a.m ET USA
United States vs. Nigeria (Group B) 2:45 a.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network
United States vs. Nigeria (Group B) 4:15 p.m. ET (replay) USA

July 30

Event Time Channel
United States vs. Japan (Group B) 12:40 a.m ET

USA

United States vs. Japan (Group B) 4:15 p.m. ET (replay)

NBC Sports Network

United States vs. Japan (Group B) 8 p.m. ET (replay)

NBC Sports Network

July 31

Event Time Channel
Canada vs. Spain (Group A) 11:30 p.m. p.m. ET USA

August 2

Event Time Channel
United States vs. France (Group B) 12:40 a.m. ET USA
United States vs. France (Group B) 4 p.m. ET (replay) USA
United States vs. France (Group B) 11 p.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

August 4

Event Time Channel
Women’s quarterfinals 6 p.m. ET on (replay) USA
Women’s quarterfinals 10 p.m. ET (replay) NBC Sports Network

August 6

Event Time Channel
Women’s semifinals 10 a.m. ET USA
Women’s semifinals 4:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET NBC Sports Network

August 7

Event Time Channel
Women’s gold medal game 8 p.m. ET NBC

August 8

Event Time Channel
Women’s gold medal game 9 a.m. ET (replay) USA

3-on-3 Olympic basketball schedule

3x3 basketball
A 3×3 basketball test event in Japan in May 2021.

July 24

Event Time Channel
Men’s and women’s pool play 12:30 a.m. ET (tape delay) NBC Sports Network
US vs. Mongolia and US vs. France 8 p.m. ET CNBC
Basketball and archery elimination rounds 10:40 p.m. ET USA

July 25

Event Time Channel
Men’s and women’s pool play 4 a.m. ET (tape delay) NBC Sports Network

July 27

Event Time Channel
United States vs. Japan 4 a.m. ET CNBC
Men’s and women’s pool play 6:30 a.m. ET (tape delay) NBC Sports Network

July 28

Event Time Channel
Men’s and women’s semifinals games 5:30 a.m. ET USA
Gold and bronze medal games 8 p.m. ET NBC Sports
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The 13 backpacks our team swears by for long commutes and weekend trips

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Tortuga Outbreaker

  • Backpacks are perfect for anyone who commutes or carries a lot of gear when out and about.
  • Whether you’re looking for style or utility, there’s a backpack out there to meet your needs.
  • We asked our team for their favorites and incorporated picks from our other guides, too.

Backpacks became my go-to item when I started working in an office. Simply put, I found it to be the best way to carry all my daily essentials – laptop, book for the commute, and lunch when I remembered to pack it – without destroying my already tension-prone shoulders.

Although the word “backpack” still reminds me of middle school, modern-day styles are anything but childish. It’s possible to find a backpack that’s equal parts cool and functional, too.

A good everyday backpack should fit what you need, come with built-in organization, and shouldn’t strain your shoulders and back.

Here are the 13 best backpacks we love:

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack

A favorite backpack among members of the Insider Reviews team is the Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack. It’s a wonderful carrier because of its eight color and three-size options. The backpack’s quick-dry neoprene material is water-resistant, hand-washable, and perfect for gym trips, work commutes, and day hikes alike. 

There’s an interior pocket to store your laptop and even a pouch to hold an extra pair of shoes. This work-life balance bag, as Dagne Dover describes it, is also insulated and evenly distributes weight to add comfort to its sophisticated design.

Dakota Neoprene Backpack (button)
Tortuga Outbreaker

Tortuga Outbreaker

The weather-resistant Tortuga Outbreaker was tested by Jen Gushue, guides editor, along with eight other top travel backpacks on the market, and it was a top-performer for its convenient storage options — enough to house four-to-five days of travel necessities. Aside from the zipper-bordered main compartment, there are two large mesh compartments on the opposite side, as well as impressive organization pouches throughout. 

The adjustable harness system features a wide hip belt that makes traveling customizable and comfortable. It’s a splurge for sure, but worth the price tag.

Outbreaker (button)
Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel Bag

Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel Bag

If you’re looking for a shoulder bag that can store as much as an airport carry-on, but want to spend a little less than the Tortuga pack, the Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel Bag is a comparable all-in-one option. It will store anything you need in its sack-like structure and comes with small side pockets and a water-resistant pocket for shoes or laundry.

Even when fully packed, Jen Gushue noticed it felt lighter than some of the smaller-capacity bags they tested, and it also landed a spot as one of the top picks in the best travel backpacks guide.

Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel Bag (button)
The North Face Jester Backpack

The North Face Jester Backpack

For a backpack apt for carrying books, your laptop, and other study essentials, look no further than The North Face Jester Backpack. Buying Guides Fellow Victoria Giardina selected this as the top carrier for college in our best backpacks for students guide, notably for its large laptop compartment — the tried and true school staple.

Whether you’re commuting to class or en route to the library, the backpack’s durably-padded design features a large main compartment, two mesh water bottle pockets, and even a reflective bike light loop for evening campus walking.

Jester Backpack (button)
JanSport Big Student Backpack

JanSport Big Student Backpack

Similar to The North Face, the JanSport Big Student Backpack is clad with organized storage compartments to carry textbooks, a pencil pouch, and study materials. It also comes in different fun colors and patterns.

Style and Beauty Reviews Fellow Katie Decker-Jacoby swears by this backpack for its durability, size, and storage — the trio that made her repurchase it when she was a student. She loves the flexibility of the polyester material and its ability to endure all weight and wear. It’s also the top overall pick in our best backpacks for students guide.

Big Student Backpack (button)
Dakine Split Adventure 38L Backpack

Dakine Split Adventure 38L Backpack

For an easy-to-carry backpack for weekend trips, the Dakine Split Adventure 38L Backpack is especially fit for those who don’t want to roll luggage with them on a flight. Home and Kitchen Reporter Owen Burke said he hasn’t found another bag broken down so simply and thoughtfully, from its convenient laptop sleeve and two outer compartments to its suitcase-like inner straps and interior storage pockets.

Out of these features, Burke is most impressed by the laptop sleeve. It doesn’t run all the way to the bottom of the bag but instead sits an inch or so up, so that when you place (or drop) your backpack, you’re not running the risk of damaging your laptop — a flaw he has found in some other designs.

Split Adventure 38L Backpack (button)
Yeti Panga 28 Backpack

Yeti Panga 28 Backpack

The Yeti Panga 28 Backpack is also one of Owen Burke‘s favorites, particularly for its ability to withstand any weather conditions. As a part-time captain, he noticed other “waterproof” backpacks not living up to their claim.

This carrier comes with a heavy-duty airtight zipper and is crafted with high-intensity tear-proof nylon and TPU. Burke’s Yeti even managed to find its way into the smoldering cinders of a bonfire and still came out shining. For easy access, he finds the addition of the velcro-attachable, waterproof Sidekick convenient.

Panga 28 Backpack (button)
Fjallraven Raven 28L Pack

Fjallraven Raven 28L Pack

Deals Reporter Sarah Saril was initially drawn to the Fjallraven Raven 28L Pack because it comes in nine colors and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be an excellent carrier for travel and daily use. It compactly collapses yet has enough capacity to store her 13-inch MacBook, Nintendo Switch, chargers, a change of clothes, and travel necessities. 

Aside from its versatility, the Fjällräven has a ton of internal sorting pockets. It’s made from durable G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco in recycled polyester and organic cotton, making the back panel and shoulder straps especially comfortable.

Raven 28L Pack (button)
Haerfest Large Nylon Travel Backpack

Haerfest Large Nylon Travel Backpack

The Haerfest Large Travel Backpack‘s durable nylon materials, adjustable shoulder straps, and excess pockets aren’t the only features Style and Beauty Editor Ashley Phillips adores. The ability to store two laptops is a sleek and rare feature that makes it a standout.

Though Phillips says the large size is slightly overpowering for her five-foot-two frame, she finds it perfect for travel because of the front hidden slip pocket that easily stores boarding passes and other documents. Its generous size and reliable functionality make it a great option that also conveniently fits on top of checked luggage.

Large Nylon Travel Backpack (button)
Mountaintop 40L Hiking Backpack

Mountaintop 40L Hiking Backpack

The long-form, buckled Mountaintop 40L Hiking Backpack is a multi-use carrier that’s exclusive to hiking. Though Personal Finance Reporter Liz Knueven has taken it on trails before, she finds it best for traveling and said she was never questioned by airline companies if it will fit in a bin or under the seat.

The polyester pack has many built-in compartments that are easy to store small items. Kneuven said it has held up, it’s affordable at less than $50, and comes in a variety of colors.

40L Hiking Backpack (button)
The Daily Edited Pebbled Leather Backpack

A  model wearing the The Daily Edited Pebbled Leather Backpack on their back

Nylon backpacks may be durable, but they’re not always the most aesthetically pleasing option to pair with formal workwear. When style and beauty editor Ashley Phillips needed something more spacious than a tote bag but that wouldn’t look out of place with a nice dress or silk blouse, she turned to this leather option from The Daily Edited

The pebbled leather hides scratches more easily and the simple silhouette works as an alternative to a briefcase. The one drawback is that there’s no dedicated computer sleeve, but she found that there’s enough room to store a 13-inch laptop. You can also adjust the padded shoulder straps and add a monogram to make the bag feel more customized to you.

Pebbled Leather Backpack (button)
Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack

The Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack in dark moss hanging from a stroller

Dagne Dover’s Dakota backpack may be more well known, but the brand’s Indi diaper backpack is also worth checking out. Former style and beauty fellow Jacqueline Saguin swears by this bag for travel, even though she doesn’t have any kids. 

The bag is overflowing with organizational pockets that keep everything in its place, so you don’t have to go digging for toiletries or your ID as you pass through airport security. You’d never know the Indi is a diaper bag because of its clean design, and as another travel hack, Saguin uses the fold-up changing mat as a portable work-from-home station. Currently, only the small size is available, but it’s typically offered in medium and large sizes too.

Indi Diaper Backpack (button)
Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

A model posing with two of the Fjallraven Kånken Water Resistant Backpacks in orange and yellow

The Kanken backpack is another Fjallraven favorite, and it’s also the brand’s signature style. It’s offered in more than 50 colors and multiple sizes to best fit your storage and laptop needs. Along with its cool Scandinavian design, what makes this backpack special is a built-in sitting pad you can pull out at a moment’s notice. Senior story producer Emily Hein counts this bag as her go-to and says that “The included sitting pad is especially useful in the summer — a saving grace at parks and beaches.”

Hein also says there’s a good reason you’ll spot these so often on the streets of New York City. “It’s spacious enough to fit all my necessities for the day (including my 13″ laptop, albeit tightly), but not bulky or noticeably heavy.”

Kånken Backpack (button)
Check out our other portable carrier guides

The best messenger bags

The best travel backpacks

The best backpacks for students

The 5 best places to buy faux leather bags

The 4 best picnic baskets

The 5 best backpack coolers for hikes, picnics, and days at the beach

The best hiking backpacks

The best soft coolers

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 24 best gift baskets for your favorite foodie in 2021

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Bokksu box

  • Gift baskets are perfect for sending a nice surprise with a delivery full of goodies.
  • You can pick unique boxes to send, including a salami or ice cream basket.
  • If you’d rather not send food, there are plenty of other subscription boxes to choose from.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

A gift basket is a common and easy gift to give to a client, host, or in-laws, but all too often, they’re filled with uninspiring, bland items.

A great gift basket includes a large quantity of high-quality items that have been curated around your giftee’s interests and tastes. Whether you’re planning to gift food, coffee, or seasoning-filled baskets, you’ll want to make sure they’ll use every item. We’ve gathered 24 unique gift baskets, including a salami bouquet, a bucket of candy, and even ice cream. Many of our picks contain perishable items, which means they ship quickly.

However, we recommend checking the estimated delivery date closely before purchasing to ensure they’ll arrive in time for your purposes. Check out our other gift guides here if you’re looking for more ideas.

Here are 24 gift baskets to treat your loved ones:

A box of lemon-flavored items

Spoonful of Sunshine box for best gift baskets

Spoonful of Sunshine Box, available at Spoonful of Comfort, $59.99

Perfect for a hot summer day, the Spoonful of Sunshine box will light up the recipient. This lemon-filled basket comes with sparkling lemonade, lemon cookies, two mason jars with straws, and a serving tray shaped like a lemon. 

Maple bitters collection for cocktails or baking

Maple Bitters for best gift baskets

Maple Bitters Collection, available at Runamok Maple, $29.95

A truly unique gift for someone in your life who enjoys trying wild flavor concoctions, these bitters can be used in cooking, baking, or cocktail creations. The set of three comes in floral maple, aromatic maple, and orange maple flavors.

A box of spicy pickles

Spicy Pickles box for best gift baskets

Spicy Pickles Box, from Mouth, $80

This box of spicy pickles is perfect for someone who likes a good amount of spice added to their food. There are five jars of hot pickles included in this gift set, including chile, jalapeño, and spicy dill.

Crunchy, flavorful popcorn

best gift baskets 8

Popcornopolis Gourmet Popcorn 5-Cone Gift Basket, available at Amazon, $39.99

We love snacking on the savory and sweet popcorn from Popcornopolis. The delicious popcorn comes in five flavors (zebra, caramel, cheddar cheese, cinnamon toast, and kettle) and is wrapped up in distinctive striped cones. 

Four pints of ice cream (toppings included)

Jubilee Sundae kit for best gift backets

Ice Cream Jubilee Ice Cream & Sundae Toppings – 4 Pints, available at Goldbelly, $89

It’s usually hard to gift ice cream without it showing up at the door as a melted mess. Thankfully, Goldbelly packs all its gift kits with dry ice. Your recipient can enjoy this sundae kit of four ice cream pints and four toppings including, chocolate candies, rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, and gummy bears. You can choose four flavors from the 21 types of ice cream available.

A bouquet of gourmet salami

Food52 Salami Bouquet

Olympia Provisions Salami Bouquet, available at Food52, from $50 + $11 shipping surcharge

This salami arrangement will likely be one of the most unique gifts they’ve ever received. The pork salami comes from Oregon and will help them craft extravagant charcuterie boards. Your bouquet can include three or six salamis.

A coffee sampler of best-sellers and customer favorites

La Colombe Sampler Gift Box

Medium Light Roast Workshop Sampler Gift Box, Available at La Colombe, $30

East Coast coffee shop favorite La Colombe offers coffee enthusiasts unique blends of coffee in multiple grind options. If they don’t live in one of the six states with La Colombe locations or if you just want to treat them to a coffee shop experience right at home, gifting them this sampler will help them easily choose their new favorites.

A flight of wild wine flavors

Wild Child Flight

Wild Child Flight, available at In Good Taste, $65

If they choose wines based on what they’re eating and love to try new flavors, In Good Taste’s Wild Child Flight will be the perfect gift as it offers non-traditional wine flavors such as black currant, pineapple, fig, and black cherry. Each flight includes eight tasting bottles and every purchase comes with a complimentary interactive virtual wine tasting.

A variety bucket filled with sour flavored candies

Dylans Sour Lovers Gift Basket

Sour Lovers Gift Bucket, available at Dylan’s Candy Bar, $45

This giant bucket is the perfect gift for those that never grew out of their sweet tooth and includes sour belts, sour gummy bears and worms, and more. The retailer also offers other fun options such as its movie night-themed gift basket.

A basket fit for your favorite home cook

Williams Sonoma gift basket

Best of Italy Gift Basket, available at Williams Sonoma, $99.95

With three pasta varieties, Parmesan cheese, wine-infused salami, and other ingredients, this massive basket will be an appreciated addition to any kitchen.

A gift box for the cocktail expert in your life

City Bird cocktail gift box

Cocktail Connoisseur Gift Box, available at City Bird, $79

This gift box contains everything they’ll need to craft the perfect cocktail. The set includes two engraved glasses, premium cocktail cherries, metal straws, and most importantly a pair of round ice molds so your recipient can avoid watered-down, bland drinks.

A tin full of rainbow chocolate chip cookies

Baked in color rainbow

Rainbow Colors Chocolate Chip Cookie Tins, available at Baked In Color, from $30

Whether you choose the rainbow colors or your own custom colors, these cookies and brownies stand out. This tin basket contains colorful rainbow cookies in quantities up to 30.

A flavorful pack of seasonings and sauces

Momofuku pantry pack

Pantry Starter Pack, available at Momofuku, $55

If they’re always looking for ways to add new flavors to their meals, this seasoning starter pack is a great place to start. This set includes unique blends of savory, tingly, and spicy seasoned salts as well as chili crunch, and restaurant-grade tamari and soy sauces. 

A box of Japanese snacks they can’t get in the US

Bokksu box

Classic Box, available at Bokksu, from $44.95

Bokksu works directly with snack makers in Japan, so your recipient won’t be able to find these unique and delicious treats here. Every month’s box has a different theme and contains 20 to 25 snacks, as well as a tea pairing. The first box is called, “Seasons of Japan” and will feature snacks from every season of the year. 

Treats for the ultimate sweet tooth

best gift baskets 20

The Sweet Spot, available at Milk Bar, $92

It’ll be hard to decide what to eat first from this trio of Milk Bar favorites — will it be the moist birthday cake truffles, buttery Milk Bar pie, or the chewy cookies in creative flavors like Blueberry & Cream? 

Unique infused olive oils

best gift baskets 28

Giusto Sapore Olive Oil Gift Set, available at Amazon, $59.99

The five-bottle set of flavored olive oil will transform their dinners — from spicy chili to make their pizza more exciting to blood orange to freshen up seafood dishes. 

A unique charcuterie assortment you can’t find at a regular grocery store

best gift baskets 26

Delicious Duck Cure Bundle, available at D’Artagnan, $87.95

Expand their charcuterie horizons with this box of dried and cured duck meats, including duck rillettes, duck prosciutto, smoked duck breast, and duck saucisson sec. There’s also a rich black truffle foie gras, which goes well with some bread. 

Read our review.

The gift basket that’s perfect for a picnic

best gift baskets 21

Bella Cucina Italian Antipasti Basket Gift Set, available at Food52, $239

They’ll definitely want to reuse this spacious woven tote, which contains savory and sweet spreads (like artichoke lemon pesto), crackers and flatbread, and an olive wood knife. It’s a gourmet splurge, but a beautifully packaged one at that. 

A healthy variety of nuts and fruits

best gift baskets 4

Oh! Nuts Holiday Nut & Dried Fruit Gift Basket, available at Amazon, $29.95

There are a few out-of-the-ordinary fruits in this box: dried summer plums, papaya, and pear. Pair them with crunchy nuts, meat, and cheese, or enjoy them on their own. 

A carb-heavy box of pastries and breads

best gift baskets 5

Signature Bakery Tray, available at Harry & David, $79.99

The tray of cookies, cakes, and other pastries will be a big hit for anyone who loves lingering in bakeries. Reviewers love the lemon poppyseed cake and raspberry galettes. 

A cheesy collection from a New York City institution

best gift baskets 6

Greatest Hits, available at Murray’s Cheese, $76

If they crave a mild cheese, there’s a manchego. For a sharper edge, try the cheddar. There’s also an aged gruyere and creamy mini brie. To go along with this sampler of Murray’s Cheese’s popular varieties, there are cherry preserves, crackers, and almonds in the box as well. 

Eight servings of ‘tea drops’

Tea Drops classic set of 8 in best gift baskets

Classic Assortment set of 8, available at Tea Drops, $15

Tea Drops are tea leaves that come in fun shapes such as hearts, flowers, and stars. As the name suggests, simply drop the packed tea leaves into boiling water to create a cup of tea. The tea kit contains both caffeinated and non-caffeinated varieties. 

Nostalgia-inducing Mrs. Fields cookies

best gift baskets 7

Mrs. Fields Large Sunshine Basket, available at FTD, $80

Your favorite food stand from the mall offers a box of 48 bite-sized cookies, 30 brownie bites, and eight regular cookies that arrives right at their door. It wouldn’t be a “Sunshine” box without four frosted sun cookies. 

A snack box that travels to a different country every month

best gift baskets 13

Yum Yum Box, available at Universal Yums, $31

If you know that they’re open to treats from all over the world, gift a box from Universal Yums. They can travel the world and sample sweet and savory snacks from countries such as Greece, Indonesia, Colombia, and Italy. 

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The 24 most popular books of 2021 so far, according to Goodreads members

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Collage of Goodreads top books, including Between Two Kingdoms, The Sum Of Us, and One Last Stop, on green background 4x3
Goodreads members added books like “The Four Winds,” “Crying in H Mart,” and “The Push” to their “Want to Read” lists.

  • Goodreads is a platform where users rate and review books.
  • Every July, Goodreads releases a list of the most popular books of the year so far.
  • This list includes the 24 most popular fiction and nonfiction books of the first half of 2021.

Goodreads is the world’s largest platform for readers to rate and review books. You can track the books you want to read, participate in challenges, and get personalized recommendations. Goodreads hosts its “Readers Choice Awards” annually, but halfway through the year, the platform also announces the most popular new books among its 125 million members.

The books on this list are both fiction and nonfiction, chosen for how often they’ve been added to readers’ “Want to Read” shelves. Goodreads eliminated any book below a 3.5-star rating, and each one had to be published in 2021 to be considered.

Whether you’re looking for a new release from an adored author or a timely nonfiction read, these books were the 24 most popular amongst Goodreads members in the first half of 2021.

The 24 most popular books of 2021 so far, according to Goodreads members:

Fiction

Nonfiction

Fiction

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

The cover of The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristin Hannah

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49

Kristin Hannah is known for her heartbreaking and exciting historical fiction novels. “The Four Winds” takes place in Texas in 1934 during the Great Depression and an insufferable drought. Elsa must make a choice to stay and fight for the success of her land, her home, and her community or take a chance and head to California in the hopes of a better life. This is a story of the search for the American Dream, one of a painful and shocking journey that is likely to pull tears from many readers. 

“The Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner

The cover of The Lost Apothecary: A Novel by Sarah Penner

“The Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.19

This is a historical fiction read that mixes fantasy and mystery to bring a female apothecary in 1700s London to life. The old apothecary dispenses poisons to help free women from those who have wronged them. In 1791, a young girl seeks the help of the apothecary women, spurring an intense string of events that reveals the secrets of many women the apothecary has helped. When a present-day woman discovers an old vial near the river, she begins to uncover the “apothecary murders,” twisting the fates and stories of women across centuries. 

“The Push” by Ashley Audrain

The cover of The Push: A Novel by Ashley Audrain

“The Push” by Ashley Audrain, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.36

“The Push” is a thriller that demands to be read in a single sitting. Blythe was determined to be the mother she never had — but struggles when her daughter starts to behave differently, possessing a vaguely sinister quality that no one else notices except Blythe. When Blythe’s son is born, she has the blissful motherly connection for which she always hoped, until the life she imagined changes in an instant. 

“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

The cover of Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

“Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80

In 2017, Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize in Literature — this is his first novel since the award. Set in the near future, “Klara and the Sun” explores the human condition through Klara,  an Artificial Friend. Klara is AI, keenly observational and eerily understanding the depth of human emotion as she watches out the store window and waits for a customer to one day choose her. This book is sweet, gripping, and subtly beautiful, exploring connection, loss, and love in this speculative science fiction read. 

“The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles

The cover of The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

“The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.56

This historical fiction novel is based on the little-known but true story of World War II librarians at the American Library in Paris. It begins in 1939, where young librarian Odile faces the fear of losing her library as the Nazis invade her city. In 1983, Lily is a teenager in Montana whose school project leads her to interview her French neighbor, uncovering her mysterious past and the secret that may connect them. This is not a war novel, but a descriptive and deeply intriguing piece of historical fiction that will pull on the heartstrings of all book lovers. 

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The cover of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80

Taylor Jenkins Reid novels are known for being absolute page-turners, and “Malibu Rising” is no different. This book bounces between an epic, life-changing party over 24 hours and the family history of four famous siblings. Together, they’re a fascination to the world, children of the legendary rockstar Mick Riva. They’re all looking forward to their annual party for different reasons except Nina, recently abandoned by her husband and resentful of the spotlight. By morning, the house will be up in flames, but before that the party will become completely out of control and the secrets of the family will rise to the surface. 

“The Rose Code” by Kate Quinn

The cover of The Rose Code: A Novel by Kate Quinn

“The Rose Code” by Kate Quinn, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.49

In 1940, three very different women come together during the war to help break German military codes, creating deep bonds that are broken by the pressure of secrecy and the pain of loss through the war. Seven years later, the women are reunited at a royal wedding by a mysterious letter and must revisit a past of betrayal and heartbreak in order to crack one final code and stop an elusive enemy. This is a brilliant and riveting read, a bestseller with perfectly plotted narratives that has quickly become an undeniable 2021 favorite. 

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

The cover of People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry, available at Amazon and Bookshop, $9.98

From the author of the 2020 hit “Beach Read” comes another summer favorite of two unlikely friends that vacation together every summer. Alex and Poppy couldn’t be more opposite: Alex, a quiet boy with hometown charm, and Poppy, a wanderlust-fueled wild child. After sharing a ride home in college, the two form a friendship, sharing a vacation together every summer for a decade, until two years ago when they ruined everything. Now, Poppy and Alex come together for one more trip to see if they can mend their friendship or if there’s really something more between them. 

“Concrete Rose” by Angie Thomas

The cover of Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

“Concrete Rose” by Angie Thomas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12

“Concrete Rose” is the prequel to the super popular YA novel “The Hate U Give”. In this book, readers meet Maverick Carter: a 17-year-old high school student who deals with the gang his father once ruled. When Maverick learns he’s a father, he decides to “go straight” by no longer dealing drugs, working a part-time job, finishing high school, and being there for his son. Torn between loyalty and responsibility, this book is Maverick’s coming-of-age journey as he decides what it means to him to be a father and a man. 

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston

The cover of One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston, available at Amazon and Bookshop, $10.25

August believes the best way to move through life is alone. That is, until she meets Jane on the subway who offers her a simple solution to her bad day. August can’t stop thinking about Jane and luckily sees her every day — strangely on the exact same train, in the exact same car. Jane is from the 1970s, caught in a magical timeslip with little memory of her past. Determined to help, August sets out to rescue Jane from the subway to which she appears to be tethered. This book is a magical young adult queer romance featuring diverse characters, tons of romantic scenes, and a charming plotline that keeps readers yearning for more. 

“Outlawed” by Anna North

The cover of Outlawed by Anna North

“Outlawed” by Anna North, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.95

This book is a fast-paced and dangerous story that’s piqued readers’ interest by breaking the mold of traditional Westerns with a queer, feminist Western girl gang. In 1984, Ana is a respected midwife who hasn’t been able to get pregnant after a year of marriage. With the fear of being hanged as a witch, Ana joins the Hole in the Wall Gang, a group determined to create a safe haven for outlawed women. When the gang devises a risky plan, Ana must decide if she’s willing to risk her life for the chance of a new future for them all. 

“This Close To Okay” by Leesa Cross-Smith

The cover of This Close To Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

“This Close To Okay” by Leesa Cross-Smith, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.99

This story takes place over a single weekend after Tallie convinces a man named Emmett to step back from the edge of a bridge and join her for coffee. As a therapist, Tallie aims to create a safe space for Emmett though hesitant to admit it’s also her job. As Emmett begins to confide in Tallie, she releases her own heavy truths and challenges. This book is touching, the tale of two strangers meeting under wild circumstances and finding solace in each other. 

Nonfiction

“Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant

The cover of Think Again by Adam Grant

“Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.75

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who studies how people find motivation and meaning. In this book, Grant encourages people to not only learn from being wrong, but explore how it makes us feel. He examines why we’re uncomfortable “thinking again,” how we can develop greater introspection, and how we can teach others to think again in a way that is often more productive than getting everything right the first time. This book encourages readers to overcome overconfidence and embrace not knowing everything.

“How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” by Bill Gates

The cover of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

“How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” by Bill Gates, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.99

Backed by ten years of research, Bill Gates uses this book to explain why and how we must work towards a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions. Split into three main parts, Gates describes the environmental fate we currently face, the ways in which technology can function to help us reduce or eliminate our greenhouse gas emissions, and an accessible, well-defined plan by which all individuals, corporations, and governments can abide to reach this goal. This read is urgent and practical, an ambitious plan but one that is optimistic about the future of our environment. 

“Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted” by Suleika Jaquad

The cover of Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaquad

“Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted” by Suleika Jaquad, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.24

In a transformative story that grips readers from the first pages, we meet Suleika Jaquad in the summer after graduating from college with a world of opportunities ahead of her. After a swarm of strange itches, inescapable exhaustion, and a flurry of tests, Suleika is diagnosed with leukemia just before her 23rd birthday. After four years in a hospital bed, Suleika finally beats cancer to find a new set of challenges ahead of her: How to live rather than survive. Full of emotional truths, this is a story of heartbreak and triumph from a survivor with a chance to begin again. 

“Broken (in the best possible way)” by Jenny Lawson

The cover of Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson

“Broken (in the best possible way)” by Jenny Lawson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.83

Jenny Lawson is a popular blogger known for her sarcasm and unique outlook on life. She’s been open about her struggles with depression and her mental health journey and, with this book, encourages readers to humanize and destigmatize mental health in her own notoriously hilarious ways. With a series of funny anecdotes, Jenny hopes readers feel less alone in their own experiences with depression and anxiety, especially in a time where more people are struggling with their mental health than ever before. 

“Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” by Michelle Zauner

The cover of Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

“Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” by Michelle Zauner, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.17

 Michelle Zauner explores growing up Korean American, feeling the high expectations of her mother, and bonding with her grandmother over late-night food in Seoul. As she grows into adulthood, she feels more and more distant from her Korean heritage — until her mother is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Forced to reconnect with her identity, Zauner offers the truest look at her most difficult days, portraying every bit of grief and conflict mixed with stunning food descriptions. 

“Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

The cover of Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

“Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.20

This is a chronological account of 400 years of previously silenced Black history in America. Curated by two historians, this book begins with the arrival of 20 enslaved Ndongo people in 1619 and continues to tell stories of slavery, segregation, and oppression over 80 chapters. There are also celebrations of African art and music, a life-changing collection that concludes with an essay from Alicia Garza on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders

The cover of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders

“A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99

George Saunders teaches Russian short stories to MFA students at Syracuse University, focusing on what makes stories great, what fiction can tell us about ourselves, and the ways in which literature reflects our world today. This book is a version of his class, using Russian short stories across seven essays to demonstrate how relevant great writing still is. This book is highly accessible, abandoning complex literary concepts in the search for more straightforward answers, making it a perfect new publication for those who loved Stephen King’s “On Writing”. 

“The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos” by Judy Batalion

The cover of The Light of Days: The Untold Story by Judy Batalion

“The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos” by Judy Batalion, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.99

This is a nonfiction book that reads like a thrilling historical fiction novel, a previously forgotten story of Jewish women who became resistance fighters in World War II after watching the Nazi destruction of their communities and the murders of their family members. The author is the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, transporting readers to 1939 where Jewish women bribed German soldiers, paid off guards, hid revolvers, and bombed train lines to fight for the freedom of their people.

“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee

The cover of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee

“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.98

Heather McGhee is an economist who explains how racism and white supremacy have negative social and economic effects on white people, too. She uses the concept of “zero-sum” (the idea that progress for some comes at the expense of others) to introduce her own new concept: The Solidarity Dividend, an idea that progress is felt amongst all when people come together across race and achieve what cannot be done alone. Heather uses historical examples and individual stories to explain how racism against minorities has had negative consequences for everyone, and to offer real solutions for a better future. 

“Aftershocks: A Memoir” by Nadia Owusu

The cover of Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

“Aftershocks: A Memoir” by Nadia Owusu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.89

“Aftershocks” is a memoir from a woman who was raised all around the world, struggling to understand all the pieces of herself. Nadia Owusu’s memoir is a beautifully written story about a complicated earthquake of a young life and understanding the aftershocks of trauma and vulnerability. When Owusu’s mother abandoned her at two years old and her father died when she was 13, she was raised by her stepmother, unable to shake the feelings of loneliness. Her story is a weave of memoir and generational history, a journey of understanding the compilation of experiences and cultures that comprise an identity. 

“You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism” by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

The cover of You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

“You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism” by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.08

Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar are sisters who collaborated to create a compilation of what seem like absurdly unreal stories of racism, yet are all true and sometimes regular experiences for Black people. Told with hilarious sibling banter, the sisters swap stories of people mistaking them for Harriet Tubman, putting their whole hand in their hair, and their interaction with a racist donut store owner. Amber and Lacey shed light on these ridiculous moments of racism with which Black people can commiserate and others can learn from.

“Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York” by Elon Green

The cover of Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green

“Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York” by Elon Green, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.99

This is a true crime book about the Last Call Killer, a serial killer who targeted gay men in New York in the 1980s and ’90s. Because of the high murder rates, the AIDS epidemic, and the sexuality of the victims, the Last Call Killer had been mostly forgotten despite the graphic and horrifying nature of the murders. This book traces the decades-long search for the murderer while also sharing the stories of the victims and the resilience of the gay community. 

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The 7 best compression socks of 2021 for runners, seniors, and anyone looking to improve circulation

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Compression socks help speed muscle recovery and potentially improve athletic performance.
  • They also improve blood flow for venous or lymphatic issues for pregnant women or the elderly.
  • Our top pick, CEP’s Progressive+ Compression Socks, are incredibly comfortable and won’t sag throughout the day.

Compression socks are one of those garments that seem gimmicky but science actually backs up their biggest claimed benefit: Improving your circulation.

“Compression socks help the vascular system move blood and other fluids, which can help manage swelling and inflammation,” Jenelle Deatherage, a physical therapist at the UW Health Sports Rehabilitation Clinic, told Insider.

At their foundation, compression socks work by squeezing the walls of the veins and leg tissues to help blood work its way against gravity to the heart. The compression also improves the flow of lymph fluid, which helps remove cellular waste and circulates bacteria-fighting white blood cells throughout your body.

Deatherage added that several categories of people may benefit from wearing compression socks, including athletes who could look to enhance their workouts. This is especially true for runners.

“There’s not great research on performance, which is what a lot of patients look for, but the good news is that there is some research that shows [compression socks] might help with muscle fatigue and reduce soreness if you wear them during a workout,” she explained.

Because of those benefits, compression socks have become quite popular recently – and that popularity brought with it a surplus of options. To help narrow down what’s available, we tested dozens of styles across brands like Swiftwick, CEP, and Sockwell. Our guide features socks that provide great comfort, are relatively durable, and are fit to wear in a variety of situations.

At the end of this guide, we’ve also included some insight into who Detherage says may benefit most from compression socks, tips on how to shop for them, and the best methods for how to use and wear them.

Here are the best compression socks:

How we test compression socks

The compression socks featured in this guide each went through a series of on-foot tests to see how well they compared across these four categories: Fit, function, durability, and value. Here’s how each category specifically factored into how we tested each pair of compression socks and how it influenced which made this guide:

Fit: A compression sock is far more able to perform its primary function if it fits the wearer properly, both in terms of the actual size as well as how well it stays fitted throughout the day. To test for this, we judged how true-to-size the socks were and also looked at if they avoided sagging when worn for anywhere multiple hours in a row to a full day. 

Function: Most compression socks feature a compression rating that indicates how tight (or loose) they are, and their function is tied entirely to these ratings. A wearer’s needs may fluctuate wildly (and are certainly different from person-to-person), so to test this, we looked at how many size options and ratings each brand offered and if they catered to a wide range of needs. 

Durability: Compression socks aren’t often cheap per single pair, so it’s important that they’ll last – and for multiple months, at that. This meant stress testing the socks in environments they wouldn’t typically be worn to see how well they held up. If some faltered by sagging easily or tearing, then we knew they’d likely break down far quicker in the long run than we’d like.

Value: Testing the value of a compression sock takes more than just looking at its sticker price. Rather, true value is a combination of the above three categories plus how much it costs. We often think it’s better to spend more on a quality product that lasts as opposed to spending less more often. 

The best compression socks overall

compression socks

Whether you are a runner or just someone who wants to relieve lower leg ailments, the CEP Progressive+ Compression Run Socks 2.0 provides all-day comfort.

Pros: Incredibly comfortable, thinner, won’t sag over the course of the day

Cons: Expensive, sizing can be tricky so be sure to measure before ordering

The CEP Progressive+ Compression Run Socks 2.0 (available in men’s and women’s sizes) stand out from the other socks on our list due in large part to the fact they offer unparalleled comfort — and should be considered by anyone, despite a steep price tag. 

The brand’s parent company, Medi, has been producing medical compression products for over 70 years. The founder of CEP, who is an Ironman competitor, leveraged Medi’s technical knowledge and designs for athletes.

Made of polyamide and nylon (60%), elastane (25%), and polypropylene (15%), CEP’s socks offer precise 20-30mmHg graduated and consistent compression so they won’t sag as the day goes on.

The Progressive+ 2.0 Socks also feature a halo top band that lands right below the knee. This keeps your socks in place and the front ribbing allows air to flow through to cool your skin’s surface. Per CEP’s website, the company offers a six-month guarantee that covers wearing the socks up to 150 times before the compression lessens. 

These socks are recommended for anyone who suffers from shin splints, Achilles issues, or plantar fasciitis. They’re also great for runners looking to rehab their leg after a long run or workout. 

The best budget compression socks

compression socks

The SB Sox Lite Compression Socks are the least expensive pair in our guide, yet they stay up and provide reliable comfort.

Pros: Inexpensive, relatively durable, snug fit

Cons: Available in just two sizes

Though the SB Sox Lite Compression Socks are about one-fifth the price of our top pick, they rival it in performance. These socks have a graduated compression rating of 15-20mmHg, which is slightly less than the CEP socks but still supplies sufficient compression for blood circulation.

The socks are made of breathable and lightweight spandex and nylon, which helps to wick away sweat and moisture from your feet. SB Sox come in 11 different colors and two sizes: S/M and L/XL.

Though they seem thinner and lighter than other picks on this list, SB Sox socks hold up well through numerous wears and washes. Plus, they provide a snug fit that doesn’t feel too constricting. More sizing options would be welcome, though.

The best compression socks for circulation

sockwell

If you experience circulation problems due to chronic health issues, the Sockwell Elevation Graduated Compression Socks may be your best bet for achieving leg comfort.

Pros: Lightweight, maintain their snugness all day long

Cons: The top of the sock might warp over time, only comes in two sizes

For people with venous or lymphatic issues in their legs, compression therapy can help move blood through the veins and tissue better, which in turn promotes healing and prevents ulcers and other issues. Compression stockings are one of the easier options to put on and less cumbersome than medical bandages, says a 2014 study in CMAJ.

The Sockwell Elevation Graduated Compression Socks (available in men’s and women’s sizes) are made in the United States using bamboo rayon (31%), merino wool (31%), stretch nylon (30%), and spandex (8%). This combination helps with moisture management, thermoregulation, and odor control.

What’s more, these are one of the firmer pairs from Sockwell offering compression of 20-30mmHg. A 2019 study analysis in BMC Geriatrics found elderly folks with chronic blood flow issues (venous insufficiency) and swollen legs who wore class 2 compression stockings (pressure between 20 and 30 mmHg) regularly were less likely to have leg ulcers come back compared to wearing lower compression class 1 stockings (pressure below 20 mmHg).

These Sockwell socks have four zones of graduated compression beginning at the ankles and moving up. Since the compression starts at the ankles, the toes remain comfortable. There are four colors for men to choose from and eight in the women’s style.

The best compression socks for post-workout

compression socks 1

After running countless miles, slipping on a pair of Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks can decrease soreness and help your muscles recover.

Pros: Great for easing muscle soreness, cushioned bottom, durable, 4 sizes, 14 colors

Cons: Might not be tight enough for everyone’s needs, long drying time

The Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks come in four sizes, which is helpful for ensuring you get the right fit — the appropriate sock size gives you the appropriate level of pressure. Constructed of 82% polyamide and 18% elastane, these socks feature ultra-zone ribbing which targets ankle and arch stabilization, which is ideal for runners with weaknesses in these areas.

The 200 needle count construction is designed to make the socks denser, durable, and reduce stretching over time. They’re sweat-wicking, too, but don’t tend to dry out very quicky, so are best worn in cooler weather. Zensah offers the socks in 14 colors, including Black, Heather Grey, and Neon Pink. 

The best compression socks for runners

Aspire Socks

Swiftwick’s Aspire Twelve help relieve muscle soreness and prevent or relieve shin splints — something any runner can appreciate.

Pros: Offers comfortable compression for runners, promotes blood flow, helps relieve shin splints, and wicks away moisture

Cons: Can be difficult to put on

Swiftwick’s compression socks run the gamut of everything from knee-high versions for those looking for full leg relief to no-show options for golfers. For runners, its Aspire Twelve socks are an excellent option to help relieve muscle soreness, prevent or care for shin splints, and provide stability and comfort. 

Comprised of a blend of 43% nylon, 11% spandex, and 46% olefin, the Aspire Twelves don’t just offer the benefits of compression but also help wick away moisture to keep your feet dry. They work well to keep on even after your run as you’ll continue to reap the benefits of compression as you recover. 

The best compression socks for standing all-day

compression socks

If your job requires you to be on your feet for most of the day, give your lower legs a break with Sockwell’s Circulator Graduated Compression Socks.

Pros: Good for reducing foot and ankle swelling, incredibly comfortable, inexpensive

Cons: Concerns about durability, socks may only come up to mid-calf in taller people

The Sockwell Circulator Graduated Compression Socks have a lot of the same features as our pick for best circulation, the Sockwell Elevation socks. They both have four zones of graduated compression from the ankle on up, which keeps the toes feeling comfortable, and each is made of a combination of spandex, bamboo rayon, stretch nylon, and merino wool.

But the main differences are that the Circulator socks have moderate compression (15-20mmHg) and cost a bit less ($30 per pair).

The Circulator socks only come in two sizes. but there are nine colors to choose from, including Black Stripe, Charcoal, Black Solid, and Port. Regardless of the size, the socks aren’t very long, so they’re best used for people with shorter builds. 

The best patterned compression socks

Vim Vigr socks

Vim & Vigr combines form and function with its fashion-forward compression socks that you’ll just love to be seen in.

Pros: Stylish, comfortable, available for both men and women

Cons: Can get expensive

First and foremost, Vim & Vigr compression socks work. After all, no amount of aesthetic creativity would be able to make up for compression socks that don’t do much by way of compressing. Luckily, that’s not the case with these.

I’m particularly fond of Vim & Vigr’s medical-grade compression level, which are designed with a Gradient Knitting Technology to help promote circulation in your calves. The socks feature a structured leg but a flexible toe and heel so that you’re supported where you need it but still able to move. These socks offer moderate to firm compression, with somewhere between 20 and 30 mmHg depending on the style.

Regardless of your selection, however, you’ll find that Vim & Vigr helps to prevent swelling in your legs, and alleviates pain and achiness. I found that these socks were just as helpful during runs as they were during HIIT workouts — especially as the weather gets colder and circulation becomes increasingly important.

What sets Vim & Vigr apart are its fun, unique designs. Not only is there a wide range of colors to choose from but the brand also offers several interesting patterns. I’m a fan of the color block options, as well as a Rugby Stripe pattern for men.

Vim & Vigr offers wide calf versions of all their socks for both men and women, so you don’t have to be uncomfortable even when donning a tight pair of socks. If you don’t need medical-grade compression, you can always opt for the brand’s moisture-wicking nylon material, or the remarkably warm merino wool composition. You could also check out Vim & Vigr sleeves, which compress your calves without encasing your feet.

Who should wear compression socks?

Anyone can wear compression socks but they do figure to benefit some groups more than others. This predominantly includes athletes, pregnant women, and elderly people, though anyone who sits or stands for long periods of time at work should consider them as well.

Deatherage suggested that if you work out in the morning before sitting at a desk or standing all day, where your calves and ankles stay at the bottom of the gravity chain, it’s smart to wear compression socks post-workout. This helps with swelling and gets blood back to the heart.

Conversely, if you sit all day and prefer to work out at night, wearing compression socks while exercising after work may allow for less fatigue in the lower legs and can help enhance circulation.

Athletes

Concerning the exact impact of compression socks on athletes, Deatherage told Insider that their effectiveness is still somewhat undecided. There is some research that confirms that wearing compression garments helps improve running endurance or cycling sprints, while others say it doesn’t change a thing.

A recently-published analysis in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine looked at 21 studies and found that a small number do show that wearing compression socks during exercise improved performance. Mostly, though, the studies showed wearing the special socks during a grueling workout helped fit folks feel like their leg muscles were firing better, fatiguing less, and, after the workout, less sore.

Even if it’s just a placebo effect, those training hard, particularly for long endurance events like a marathon, wearing compression socks during workouts and after for recovery may help make training easier.

“When looking at the cost-benefit ratio and considering what research is out there, it’s not a bad idea,” Deatherage said. “And it’s an easy thing to do.”

Pregnant women

Besides runners, Deatherage says pregnant women may benefit from compression socks, as they’re more prone to swelling. Venous issues are also particularly high for pregnant women as they have a larger volume of blood pumping through their bodies. 

Some 40% of pregnant women develop varicose veins, while the risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) is four- to five-fold higher for moms-to-be compared to non-pregnant women. Wearing compression socks or stockings during pregnancy can potentially help reduce swelling and discomfort, improve circulation, and minimize varicose veins.

Seniors

Elderly people with deep vein thrombosis, those who just had surgery on their legs, or anyone trying to minimize varicose veins or blood clot concerns, might also benefit from compression socks. The catch is here is that these more serious vascular issues, including varicose veins, would benefit more from medical grade compression socks, Deatherage added, which requires a doctor prescription and are often more expensive.

How to shop for compression socks

If you’re simply looking for workout recovery or want relief from more minor issues of swelling or soreness, say on long flights or during long work shifts on your feet (like nurses), you may see advantages from more moderate compression socks, Deatherage said. This includes socks with ratings of about 10-20mmHg, which stands for millimeters of mercury (a measurement of pressure).

When shopping around for compression socks, Deatherage said that besides a sock’s mmHg rating, the most important thing to look for is comfort, saying that “compression socks only work if you wear them.”

Look for a pair in which the material feels comfortable against your skin, and a set that feels snug but not too tight — you don’t want to restrict your movement. If you can find a pair that offers customization for your size, that’s even better.

Compression sock ratings

As noted above, the compression in the stockings is measured in mm Hg. Specifically, compression socks are rated based on blood pressure. The majority of compression socks either have a moderate pressure rating of 10 to 20 mmHg or a firm rating of 20 to 30 mmHg.

None of the socks we reviewed have a rating above 30 mm Hg, but there are specialty shops where you can find these if needed. Graduated compression socks, the most common type, are tighter near the ankle than at the calf to avoid cutting off circulation.

Fabrics used

Most compression socks are made from a blend of synthetic fabrics that provide a snug and stretchy fit. In the reviews that follow, we let you know what materials are used in the construction of the socks but unless you have an issue with a specific material, you should let performance be your main guide in choosing the best compression socks.

How best to use compression socks

There is a bit of a paradox associated with wearing compression socks. You may have purchased them to deal with leg swelling. Yet, this same swelling makes it hard for you to put them on. So, what can you do? There are countless resources on the web to help you out, plus we’ve compiled a few tips here, as well: 

  • Apply talcum powder or cornstarch to your feet before putting your socks on.
  • Wear dishwashing gloves to get a better grip.
  • Roll the socks before you put them on so you can just roll them up your legs.
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The best deals and sales happening on Amazon right now – save on the Kindle Paperwhite and Fitbit Charge 4

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Amazon Best Deals and Sales 2x1
Amazon Best Deals and Sales

  • We update this list of Amazon deals every day with the new discounts as they crop up.
  • You can sign up for a free 30-day membership trial to get Prime shipping along with other perks.

Amazon’s dynamic pricing strategy can make shopping tricky for the average consumer, but if you know where to look⁠ – and when to act fast⁠ – Prime members can save a ton of money.

We’ve gathered all the best discounts currently available on the retail giant. Below you’ll find one-day sales via Amazon’s Gold Box promotion, exclusive coupon codes, and, of course, deals ranging from tech, fashion, and gaming all the way to home goods.

Due to the unpredictable nature of online shopping, prices may change without warning. For more ways to save, check out our round-up of the best sales going on right now.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best deals on Amazon brand products

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Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

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The best online sales and deals happening now, including Headspace, Mirror, and Crest Whitestrips

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Best Online Sales Deals

We rounded up the best sales and deals happening online today, including discounts at Chewy, Madewell, and United by Blue.

Deals in this story are subject to change throughout the day. The prices listed reflect the deal at the time of publication. For even more deals and savings across the web, check out our roundup of the best deals from Amazon.

The best deals available right now

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The best sales and discounts happening right now

Get up to 60% off at Athleta

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Get up to 60% at United by Blue

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An apparel brand recommended by Insider for its mission rooted in sustainability and comfortability, United by Blue has essentials for every closet. From clothing to home goods, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Now through July 26, get up to 60% off sitewide and an additional 40% off sale items. 

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Chewy is known for its discounts, and right now it’s offering some solid price drops on our picks for your furry friend. From dog flea treatment to cat litter, several brands we trust are included in the sale.

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Shop the Madewell’s Secret Stock Sale or take a look at the deals we rounded up.

Madewell is having a secret stock sale where you can save up to 60% current and recently added sale styles using the promo code PSST. Sale items are already marked down, but this sale is rare, as Madewell doesn’t do additional discounts on sale items very often. Signing up for Madewell’s rewards program can also save you money with year-round student and teacher discounts and other great offers you can hear about first as a Madewell Insider.

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Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale doesn’t start until July 28 this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prep ahead of time. All you need to do is make or sign in to your account (free to join), preview the deals, and add them to your wishlist for quick checkout the day of. If you’re a Nordstrom credit cardholder, you can even shop the sale now. 

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Shop the Menlo Club Summer sale now.

Now through August 1, Menlo Club is offering some huge summer savings. Shoppers can snag their first box for only $30 — a 50% discount. Just use the promo code MENLOTB30 to get the price at checkout. Whether you’re looking for styling help or just hate going to the store, Menlo Club is a great way to dress nicely without overspending.

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Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

 

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