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Tinted sunscreens are a multipurpose product that provides SPF protection and light skin coverage.
Although some mineral sunscreens can cause a white cast, tinted versions blend naturally.
We asked experts to weigh in on their favorite tinted sunscreen products below.
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If you’re a less-is-more kind of consumer, you’re likely already aware of the beauty of a good tinted sunscreen. Where some two-in-one products seem gimmicky, the best tinted sunscreen formulas provide both excellent daily sun protection, as well as a light coverage. The latter is intended to complement your skin tone, acting as a perfect base prior to makeup application or a smooth, natural fresh-faced look. Of course, with dual expectations, not every tinted sunscreen on the market delivers as promised, but the experts confirm which do in our FAQ section below.
These are the best tinted sunscreens in 2021:
Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 – Tinted
Because of the possibility of leaving a whitecast appearance on the face, Dr. Obioha generally recommends tinted SPF for those with more melanin in their skin. “Tinted sunscreens are a great option, especially in the summer. If you’re looking for some coverage but don’t want to apply a full face of foundation, a tinted sunscreen is perfect for you,” says the L.A.-based dermatologist.
Dr. Obioha recommends Elta MD UV Clear. Though only available in one tinted shade, the SPF 46 product gets the stamp of approval because of its ability to easily blend into the skin. The formula also includes iron oxides which help prevent hyperpigmentation. Plus, Dr. Obioha says this EltaMD product has buildable coverage. “Since the product is tinted, you will not experience a white hue as you would with other sunscreen products,” she says, adding that ultimately, if the product does not suit your skin, she still recommends the label’s clear-tinted option.
“In terms of an everyday moisturizer that has a little more coverage, I like the Nars Pure Coverage Radiant Tinted Moisturizer,” says Santa Barbara-based dermatologist Dr. Chan. “It’s really nicely formulated with mineral as well as chemical filters. And it just has nice coverage.”
The Nars product has SPF 30 protection and a natural-appearing “skin finish,” Dr. Chan shares. Best of all is the product’s color range, with an amazing 16 shade options. Because of its inclusive offering, Dr. Chan says this product is for most people, herself included.
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 (small)
Unsun Mineral Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30
For Branca, a favorite product is the Unsun Mineral Tinted Sunscreen. This formula offers broad spectrum — meaning against UVA and UVB — protection with SPF 30. “I find this better for skin that veers towards dry, as it has a bit of a heavier consistency,” she says. Ingredients also include shea butter, vitamin E, and coconut oil.
Unsun’s tinted sunscreen comes in two skin tone options: light/medium and medium/dark. Once you determine which is best suited for you, Branca suggests applying it some time before blending with other products or leaving the house. “This needs some time to set for a less ashy finish for deep complexions.”
This product was developed by and for surfers, and is formulated to be a waterproof and reef-safe — specifically made without oxybenzone and octinoxate, two products recently banned in Hawaii for their danger to marine life.
As a professional surfer, Anna Ehrgott is no stranger to intense and continuous sun exposure. “I generally spend at least two hours in the sun every day,” she tells INSIDER, “both my work and my free time are spent in direct sunlight.” Surf Mud is the product she uses for a tinted level of protection.
Ehrgott jokes that she likes the product so much she uses it as a makeup foundation. “I’m a bit pale in winter but my skin does tan easily in the sun,” she says. “I do think it’s a flattering shade that blends well with slightly tan to more caramel skin colors.”
Another favorite product for deeper skin tones is the Isdin Eryfotona Ageless, says Dr. Obioha. Like the EltaMD, Isdin’s formula only offers one shade of tint, but it’s easily blendable, even if the initial product looks lighter than your skin. (The doctor demonstrates this on her Instagram account, as well).
Isdin’s formula has SPF 50 protection against UVA and UVB rays, as well an other ingredients that can help improve overall skin health, including photolyase enzymes to support repair of sun damage and a peptide complex for collagen and skin elasticity.
With seven skin tint options, the Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer tops the list for Florida-based makeup artist Lennie Billy. As she and her clients spend significant time outdoors, she says sun protection is essential to her makeup kit, including this SPF 20 product.
“I love the Tarte formula because it’s super natural, fresh, dewy and is a beautiful product for those ‘no makeup’ makeup moments or even male grooming.” That said, as the SPF is on the lower end of the spectrum, Billy says she tends to use this product “for moments I or my client/model won’t be under the sun for long.” Therefore, those with much less daily sun exposure might be more drawn to an option such as this one.
NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection is a mineral sunscreen with SPF 50 that comes highly recommended by Branca. “I like the texture that is light, very fluid, and applies very easily,” she says. The formula also includes Polyhydroxy Acid or PHA, which have both exfoliating and hydrating properties. “The color though is probably more suited to lighter complexions,” notes Branca of NeoStrata’s singular skin tone sunscreen option.
Sunscreen options include those with chemical/organic or physical/mineral filters — and occasionally, both. Where each provides protection from harmful UV rays, chemical filters tend to have a more sheer, unnoticeable finish on the skin, whereas mineral options that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide may not.
“Mineral sunscreens provide the best UV protection and are the gold standard of sunscreen,” says Dr. Onyeka Obioha, MD a board-certified dermatologist and Glory Skincare Dermatologist Advisor tells INSIDER. “Unfortunately, mineral sunscreens often don’t blend in well.”
Dr. Obioha says she recommends tinted mineral sunscreens instead. “It will blend in better and not leave a gray hue to your skin, as many sunscreens do. Better yet, tinted sunscreens with iron oxides also protect against visible light which has been shown to contribute to hyperpigmentation, especially in darker skin.”
As cosmetic formulator Annalisa Branca explains, tinted sunscreens work by combining UVB/UVA filters and mixtures of oxides that create different shades to suit different skin tones. “The downside of these products,” says the Netherlands-based formulator, “especially when they are quite pigmented, is that people don’t apply nearly enough to avoid looking cakey.”
She personally prefers tinted products with just a hint of color as this might encourage more product — or rather, the appropriate amount of product — to be used. “A tinted sunscreen is sufficient only if it is used at the recommended 1/2 teaspoon for face and neck,” Branca confirms.
When should you wear tinted sunscreens?
“Tinted moisturizers are the best for everyday use,” says Dr. Aegean H. Chan, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. She reiterates the common dermatological advice that SPF protection should be used every day, and not reserved for designated outings where you’ll be in direct rays, such as at the beach. “If you’re going to be outside for a sustained amount of time, you should be using a proper sunscreen and make sure you’re putting on enough.”
For daily use — “You’re going from your house to your car, your office to your car, running a few errands,” she suggests — tinted SPF serves as protection and, for those who want it, a smooth finish that can help even skin tone. Spending hours in direct UV rays and still want a tinted product appearance? “You can mix with a proper sunscreen but it can be tough if you’re using a tinted product. The more product you use, the harder it is to blend in.”
No-show socks are notoriously known for slipping down your feet throughout the day – until now.
A good no-show sock fits snugly, is comfortable and breathable, and doesn’t bunch up in your shoes.
After testing, these five socks are the pairs we’d recommend.
Let us start by saying that no-show socks can be seriously hard to shop for. You might think you’re getting the best bang for your buck by buying some generic no-show socks in bulk online – only to find them slipping halfway down your feet after an hour or so of wearing them. Not to mention, some socks are self-proclaimed as “no-show,” but they’re still really visible. So, what are “no-show” socks, really? For this guide, we’re going to define no-show socks as ones that don’t rise above your ankle (excluding tabs) – but that’s not the only factor we’re taking into consideration.
To make it onto our top-five no-show favorites list, these socks had to pass some rigorous on-foot testing to make sure they are true to size, comfortable, slip-free, and meet some other must-have qualifications. If you’re interested in learning about our full testing methodology, you can read about it here. Just want to cut to the chase and upgrade your sock game, like, yesterday? You can totally do that, too. That said, after testing 11 different no-show socks, these five take the cake for being the best you can buy.
Maye-Williams might be a newcomer in the activewear world (est. 2018), but this company knows how to make high-quality, durable no-show socks. That said, please welcome Maye-Williams’ Flexforce No-Show Socks. Available in 3-packs of both women’s and men’s sizes in white, black, yellow, pink, green, purple, orange, and blue, these checked off every box for us. They’re super comfortable, soft, breathable (97% Polyester and 3% Spandex), and the best part: They don’t slide down while you’re wearing them.
My boyfriend tested out the men’s socks and I tested out the women’s, and our results were pretty similar. Neither of our socks ever slipped down during our walk and they even stayed on while we were sleeping (which is revolutionary, if you ask us). The only downsides? Although the men’s socks say they fit a size 6-12, my boyfriend, who is usually a size 11, found his to be a little too tight and pretty thin. There also doesn’t seem to be any other sizes to choose from, which might limit some people if they don’t fit within that size range. Otherwise, we both rate Maye-Williams’ Flexforce No-Show Socks as deserving of five out of five stars.
If you’re looking for a sock that’s super no-show, Allbirds’ Trino Sprinters No-Show Socks will definitely fit the bill. Besides being available in three colors, Seafoam, Malibu, and Pacific, and in sizes S-XL, these socks have tons of other features that make them notable. They’re made of a super-breathable eucalyptus fiber and merino wool mesh knit material, which keeps your feet cool (despite the wool), they have a reinforced heel and toe, are made with totally renewable carbon-neutral materials, they help minimize odor, and they wick away moisture.
So, when I tested them out, the first thing I noticed was the compression in the arch and how soft they were. After walking around in them, the compression made them feel extra snug (but in the best of ways) and my feet stayed cool the entire time. No slipping down, either! The only downside: I did notice a small, loose string coming off of one of the socks, and since they’re pretty thin, I’m a little worried about how long they’ll last. Regardless, these passed the test for being one of the best no-show socks you can buy — bonus points for Allbirds offering a variety of sizes!
What’s really great about Swiftwick is the brand really takes the time to go through the details of what makes its socks stand out from the rest. I tried out a few different types of Swiftwick’s no-show socks, but the Aspire Zero No-Show Socks are what sold me. But before we jump into why, we need to talk about Swiftwick’s slogan, which is “The best socks you will ever wear guaranteed.” With something like that written on the socks’ packaging, my expectations were pretty high. Turns out, those high expectations were met. These socks tout a thin, contoured compression fit (AKA no awkward bunching or blisters), moisture-wicking fiber, a breathable “barely-there” feel, and the company follows totally sustainable practices to boot.
I tried out the White Navy color and I got tons of compliments from my friends on how chic and nice my socks were. (How often do you get complimented on your socks?!) I especially love the firm compression, how they hug my feet perfectly, and how they didn’t budge once. In other words, I definitely understand why these are Swiftwick’s most popular running socks. The only downside? These rise a little higher than some of the other no-show socks I tested out, but they still don’t rise above the ankle (tab excluded), so they work!
The last thing you want to worry about while running or training is needing to pull up the sock that’s bunching up in your shoe, which is why Lululemon made a serious effort to make these Power Stride No-Show Socks with Active Grips totally athlete-friendly. These socks are extra stretchy, provide micro-cushioning, and have super-stay grip tabs on the backs, all while providing awesome arch support. You can buy them in packs of three in White, Black, White/Blue Linen/Black, or White/Heather Grey/Black.
It was a little chilly out while wearing these, and they actually helped keep my feet warm — but definitely not hot. They’re very breathable and lightweight, so I was surprised at how comfortable the micro-cushioning is. Despite being light, you can tell they’re made of durable material that will make them worth their price. And the arch support? It felt like my feet were being gently hugged the whole time wearing them. The only “downsides” I could find are the slightly awkward fit at the bottom of the heel and the slightly tall grips — but I had to try pretty hard to find any cons at all, so these no-show socks rank pretty high up there.
Power Stride No-Show Socks with Active Grips (small)
ToeSox Casual Dash No-Show Socks
You can consider blisters a thing of the past with ToeSox’s Casual Dash No-Show Socks. These ultra-soft casual no-show socks are available in the colors Black and Carbon. They have a snug spot for each of your toes to fit into so they won’t rub against each other or generate too much heat or moisture. Plus, the silicone grips on the backs of the socks help keep them in place, so you can focus on what you’re doing throughout the day instead of being inconvenienced by your sliding footwear. Bonus points for them being made of organic cotton!
That said, I’ve never been a fan of socks with spots for your toes — until now. These are awesome and way more comfortable than I thought socks with spots for your toes would be. They fit snugly on my feet and toes and didn’t fall down once while wearing them. Although the initial process of fitting my toes into each spot took a little longer than I’d like, once they were on I didn’t want to take them off.
To test each of these no-show socks, I walked around the courtyard at my apartment building twice while wearing the same sneakers each time and taking note of how comfortable, breathable, and supportive each pair of socks was. The most important thing, though, was making sure they didn’t slide down my feet.
As someone who owns several pairs of no-show socks that all slide down while wearing them, I was so ready to find some that don’t budge. After taking a walk, I wore each pair for a few more hours to see how they held up while sitting at home and lounging, then I created a pros and cons list for each of them.
That said, the reasons why some of the other socks didn’t make this list are because they slid down, fit awkwardly, were uncomfortable, left behind red marks, or were too tall to actually be considered our definition of “no-show.”
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Tokyo Olympic swimming events start on July 24 and conclude July 31.
Swimming events will air on USA and NBC via live TV streaming services.
On the USA team, expectations are high for Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel.
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Swimming events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics start on July 24 and continue daily until July 31. Live coverage will be broadcast on NBC and the USA network.
The USA team has several strong competitors in women’s and men’s divisions, but all eyes will be on Katie Ledecky when she gets in the water. Ledecky already has an impressive collection of five gold medals and one silver medal coming into the Tokyo Olympics. If she snags three more gold medals in Tokyo, Ledecky will tie swimming legend Jenny Thompson as the winningest female US Olympian of all time.
In the men’s division, Caeleb Dressel is expected to lead the pack after his impressive showing at the 2019 FINA World Championships. Dressel earned two gold medals during the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
How to watch Olympic swimming
Live broadcasts of Olympic swimming events are split between two channels: USA and NBC. For both men’s and women’s events, you can watch the preliminary heats on USA and the finals on NBC. Swimming heats will air in the mornings starting around 6 a.m. ET, and final races will air later in the evening during primetime coverage.
If you already have access to NBC and USA through a pay-TV provider, you can also stream every swimming event live via the NBC Sports app or NBCOlympics.com.
If you don’t have cable, you can get NBC and USA through a variety of live TV streaming services. Sling TV is the cheapest subscription service for watching all the Olympic swimming events. New members can get their first month for just $10 (regularly $35). NBC is only offered in select markets, however, so be sure to check Sling’s website for availability first.
FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV are additional live streaming services with access to both channels for watching Olympic swimming, but these options are more expensive at $65/month each.
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Viewers who can’t tune into events live can stay caught up on the action by catching highlights and primetime coverage on NBC. For free swimming highlights and videos from additional Olympic events, you can download the Peacock app or visit NBCOlympics.com.
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If you want to watch the Olympics without cable, Sling TV is one of your cheapest options.
New subscribers can get their first month of Sling’s Blue plan for just $10 (normally $35/month).
NBC, NBCSN, and USA are all included on Sling Blue, and the Olympic Channel is free through August 8.
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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have arrived, and if you’re looking for a way to watch the games without signing up for a pricey cable service, Sling TV is offering special deals for new and returning subscribers throughout the Olympics.
New Sling TV subscribers can get their first month of Sling Blue for just $10 – a $25 discount from the full $35/month price. Sling TV is also making the Olympic Channel and NBC Universo free to all subscribers. Those channels usually require additional packages for an extra fee. The Olympic Channel is free through August 8, while Universo is free through September 5.
Certain Olympic events will air on CNBC, which costs $6 with Sling’s news extra package. If you’re interested in watching Olympic golf, you’ll have to add the sports extra package for the Golf Channel.
All together, new Sling TV subscribers can get every channel needed to watch the Olympics for $27 during their first month of service, while current subscribers will pay $52.
How to watch the Olympics on Sling TV
To watch all of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics on Sling TV you’ll need to sign up for Sling Blue, the Sling news extra package, and Sling’s sports extra package. This will get you live TV access to NBC, NBC Sports, USA, CNBC, the Olympic Channel, the Golf Channel, and NBC Universo.
Sling Blue costs $35/month. New members can get their first month for $10. Sling’s news extra package costs $6/month, and the sports extra package costs $11/month. This brings the total price to $27 for new members for their first month, or $52 a month for existing members.
Sling Blue comes with 50 hours of DVR space to record live TV, and up to three devices can watch at the same time with a single account. The Sling TV app is available on most streaming TV platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android devices, and Chromecast. You can also download the app on LG and Samsung smart TVs, and Xbox consoles. On your phone or computer you can watch Sling via Sling.com.
What else can I watch on Sling TV?
Sling TV Blue, the package needed for Olympic networks like NBC Sports and USA, offers a wide range of live TV channels, including the NFL Network, TNT, the Food Network, Comedy Central, and the Fox family of networks.
If you have a pay-TV provider with access to NBC’s various channels, you can use your account information to stream every Olympic event online via the NBC Sports app or the NBCOlympics website. You can also visit NBCOlympics.com to view the daily Olympics schedule with specific channel information for each event.
NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, will also feature daily highlights, docuseries, and commentary for free. Peacock is available on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire, Xbox, web browsers, and select smart TVs. You can read more about how to follow the Olympics on our main hub.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Airbnb‘s 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.
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“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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
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 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.
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Check out our other men’s style guides
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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).
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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
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.
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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.
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.
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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:
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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.
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.
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.
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The North Face Jester Backpack
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.
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JanSport Big Student Backpack
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.
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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
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.
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Fjallraven Raven 28L Pack
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.
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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.
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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.
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The Daily Edited Pebbled Leather Backpack
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.
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Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack
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.
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Fjallraven Kanken Backpack
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)
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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.
“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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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 theOpen 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.”
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.
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.
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.