Last summer sucked. We stayed inside and video-chatted with our loved ones, pining for some karaoke or at least a semblance of normalcy. This year, thanks to finally having Covid-19 vaccines available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced relaxed masking guidelines, and summer travel is picking up. Instead of staying home and trying to find a thermometer in stock or scouring the web to save money on hand sanitizer, we’re finally beginning to emerge from our Netflix stupors and socialize without so much distance. We’ve gathered up deals to help with just that.
strike through items that sell out or rise in price as of publishing. We will update this article, but discounts sometimes return quickly, so be sure to check for yourself. Our picks come from our team’s experiences reviewing products and research. You’ll need a subscription to Amazon Prime to get most of these deals.
Updated Tuesday: We’ve added the 1More ColorBuds, Colgate Hum, Cards Against Humanity, Stasher Bags, and a number of other items to the list!
WIRED’s Prime Day Stories
Backyard Party Deals
The newer version of this made our list of the best Bluetooth speakers, but we still like the original, especially at this price. The JBL Boombox packs a punch—handy for beach-bound bassheads—and the battery lasts for a full day. It’s $5 cheaper than the previous best price we’ve seen.
If you host friends or family at your house over the summer, this countertop appliance comes in handy. It’s like a fancy, futuristic Crock-Pot. It has several functions, like pressure cooking and sautéing, and enough capacity to feed up to six people. I (Louryn) use mine to make rice and mashed potatoes quickly. These tend to go on sale during major shopping events like Prime Day and Black Friday.
Going viral on TikTok or shooting a stellar Instagram Story will be much easier with the help of this gimbal. It stabilizes your smartphone so you can take shake-free cinematic shots no matter how bad your caffeine tremors are. It even has smart features like active object tracking and the ability to swap between portrait and landscape orientation with one press of a button. While you can use it like a monopod, it the built-in tripod can prop up your phone on a table or other flat surface. We haven’t tried out this specific model, but we like other stabilizing gear from DJI.
We aren’t normally advocates for fast fashion. But for your first post-pandemic summer barbecue, we will make an exception for this truly amazing pineapple print Hawaiian shirt.
This is also a great price for these binoculars, which you can use to catch the Perseids or go birding this summer. This set comes within $5 of the best deal we’ve seen for them. The binoculars are good for beginners and intermediate users. The kit comes with everything you’ll need to get started. You can also get this other pair for $88, though the price isn’t as enticing compared to past discounts.
If you’re one of those people that’s actually looking forward to getting ready again, this is a good price for one of our favorite hair dryers. The diffuser will add volume and shine (and cut down drying time drastically.) Shipping is slightly delayed, but you can get in on the deal now if you don’t mind waiting.
This is my (Louryn) favorite self-tanner, and it hardly ever goes on sale. The kit comes with tanning foam, an applicator mitt, and a storage pouch. The best part, though, is the included kabuki brush—the bristles are the perfect density for applying foam to areas like your fingers, ears, and knees, and it helps make sure you don’t turn orange. This product smells better than other tanners, too.
No camping excursion, tubing adventure, or sporting event is complete without the help of a cooler. This one is both cheap and tiny. It has enough room for six cans, plus ice, making it a better option for a trip to the park or a parade than for a multiperson, multiday outing. Other, bigger Coleman coolers are also on sale today.
This gadget’s fun design earned it a spot on our best Bluetooth speakers roundup. The price is really good too—about $70 cheaper than the next-best we’ve seen. The built-in handle makes it perfect for parties, especially when you’re bouncing from room to room playing songs that make you nostalgic. (Does anyone else do that after a couple of beers?)
This is cheaper than the previous historic low price by $50. The Fitbit Sense is a capable wearable that can keep tabs on your stress levels, blood oxygen level, and more. Read our in-depth review for details about everything it measures. Our favorite fitness watch, the Fitbit Charge 4, is also on sale, for $100, though it’s not technically a Prime Day deal. Either would make a good companion for summertime workouts.
The Garmin Fenix 6S Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is the best outdoor fitness tracker. It’s comfortable and not too bulky, and the watch has features like user-friendly maps and intelligent power management to ensure you can keep using most of the features even if you’re totally off the grid. You can also save on the Garmin Venu (on sale for $220, its best price). It earned an honorable mention spot in our guide.
CamelBak is known for its hydration bladders, but the brand also makes solid water bottles. This one’s designed to fit seamlessly into most bike cages (though you could use it when you’re not biking). It’s easy to squeeze and has a lifetime guarantee, and the Prime Day price is a match of the lowest we’ve seen. For more, check our roundups of the best reusable water bottles and best bike accessories.
Is your kiddo ready to ditch the training wheels? Keep their noggin safe with the help of this discounted bike helmet. It’s available in a few colors, none of which go on sale very often. Just make sure to measure their head and consult the company’s sizing chart. For grown-up helmet recommendations, this guide might help.
Luggage and Travel Deals
Briggs & Riley bags are expensive, but they’re long-lasting investments. Senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So has dragged hers around the world for more than 10 years without fail. This two-wheeled carry-on contains a built-in garment bag that lets you fold suits, shirts, and jackets without as much wrinkling as if you’d just folded or rolled them up.
The ColorBuds are the best wireless earbuds you can buy, and thanks to Prime Day, they’re at their best price too. They’re comfortable, colorful, and the sound quality is on par with much pricier pairs. Here’s our full review. If you don’t want over-ear headphones, these might be the perfect fit for summer streaming.
Do you miss the maddening din of airports and train stations? We don’t either. The Sony WH-1000MX4 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are the best wireless headphones. This is a very good sale price. In fact, we haven’t tracked a price this low for this model. With active noise-canceling and impressive call quality, plus 30 hours of battery life, this is a fantastic choice if you’re in the market for new headphones.
Contigo’s reusable mugs are good for camping, road trips, or chugging caffeine while you work from a local park. These will keep drinks hot for five hours and cold for up to 12, and they’re easy to use one-handed. The AutoSeal lids prevent the vessels from leaking.
We love Baggu’s reusable bags. They’re attractive, pack down small, and are infinitely useful in any travel scenario—if you need to make an emergency stop at the grocery store, contain wet or gross clothes, or simply bought too many souvenirs.
It wouldn’t be Prime Day without a LifeStraw deal—for some inexplicable reason, WIRED readers seem to really love these discounts, which don’t pop up too often. This year, you can get two straws for half off the normal price. These have a cult following, probably because they’re so simple to use. The straw’s built-in filter cuts out 99 percent of gross bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt, and other nonsense. Stash them in your zombie apocalypse bag or hiking pack and you’ll be able to stay hydrated without worrying about anything (except the zombies).
Make sure to clip the on-page coupon and go all the way to checkout to see the discount. This is the best electric toothbrush, and the slim size means you can easily stash it in your purse or weekender. This is the best price we’ve ever tracked for it. It even has built-in savings; Using the app gets you some money off replacement heads.
Planning to document a road trip or a family reunion? Make sure you don’t run out of space with this super-fast solid-state drive. While not featured in our website coverage yet, a couple of our Gear team members have used this and loved it. It has blazing-fast transfer speeds so you can easily back up videos or photos on the go, and it works as reliably as SanDisk’s other storage gadgets. This Prime Day deal is a match of the best price we’ve tracked.
No beach picnic or cold lunch is complete without Stasher bags. They’re just like the plastic sealable bags you buy at the store, except when you’re done, you clean and reuse them rather than throwing them away. Other sizes are also discounted.
The discount might not seem fantastic at first glance, but these products do work, and they rarely drop in price. I, Louryn, have a miniature version of this in my purse at all times. Need to catch a nap on a plane despite your lack of armrest space? Crashing on a friend’s couch with a terrible blanket and somehow-worse pillow? One swipe of this lavender-and-chamomile concoction always sends me straight to sleep.
I don’t care what anybody says: Sleeping on the ground sucks. It seems like no matter how well you sweep the area for rocks and twigs, something always manages to stab you in the back while you try to rest. I (Louryn) swear by self-inflating camping pads, especially for car camping. They’re sort of like air mattresses, meaning you’ll want to keep a close eye out for leaking air, but they make it much easier to sleep outside. They roll up compactly and take very little effort to inflate, even if it’s dark outside.
If both you and your car are the worse for wear after a year without travel, you may want to consider your own jump starter. We haven’t tested this jump starter our selves, but this well-reviewed lithium battery starter weighs only 2.4 pounds and is more reliable than waiting for a friendly passerby to see you and stop on the side of the road.
Entertainment and Kids Deals
This is the best Kindle for most people. It’s $5 cheaper than we’ve seen before. This is the model with ads; you can choose the version without ads, but it’s a bit more expensive. Kindle ads tend to be tasteful and unobtrusive, and they never appear while you’re actually reading. But if you don’t want to see them on your lock screen, you can always upgrade the software to get rid of them. This ereader features a built-in backlight, a super-long battery life, and a paper-like display that won’t strain your eyes the way other screens can. Once you take a Kindle on a plane, you’ll never go back to analog books. The waterproof Kindle Paperwhite is also on sale, as is the luxe Kindle Oasis.
For older kids that don’t need toddler-like guidance but also don’t need a smartphone with free rein of the internet, the Fire HD 8 Pro Kids Edition is worth a look. It’s snappier than other Amazon Fire tablets, with a better display and more apps available. You won’t sacrifice parental controls or the two-year guarantee, though. Check out our Fire tablet buying guide for additional info, and keep in mind that there are lots of other Prime Day Amazon device deals.
Now that you and your vaccinated friends can take face-squished-together selfies, a photo printer like this could come in handy. Simply link your smartphone with the printer and pick your favorite shots. It’ll print them out on sticky-backed paper—no ink cartridge necessary. The printer comes with 10 sheets of paper; you can get more here.
This card game is hilarious, vulgar, and a great way to get to know how twisted your Grandma’s sense of humor can be. It’s definitely not appropriate for kids, but there are other family-friendly games on sale for Prime Day.
Every parent dreads it: At some point between weeks two and six of summer vacation, your child will track you down and say, “I’m bored!” This Spirograph kit should help keep them entertained. It comes with several different gears, plus pens, paper, a guide book, and a storage case that features a built-in work surface. It goes on sale frequently but rarely this low.
Yes, it’s from a random brand, and the reviews are slightly mixed, but it’s also a slip and slide! And the price is better than Amazon has offered before. It measures 16 feet long and features a built-in sprinkler. It even includes two boogie boards to prevent that horrible plastic-skid burn. When in doubt, you could always go analog and buy a discounted tarp.
You haven’t lived until you’ve pulled an all-nighter watching all three extended Lord of the Rings movies back to back to back. This is the lowest price Amazon has offered for this box set, which includes a digital code as well as bonus content in addition to the Blu-ray discs. Your summer sleepovers are about to get a whole lot nerdier.
This is a good price for this Nerf blaster, but more importantly, it comes with 15 darts you can fire at your roommates, your kids, your girlfriend, or your roommates’ kid’s girlfriend. Of course, you could totally send your kids outside with them to play for a few hours—but what would be the fun in that? More Nerf blasters are discounted here.
This is the best price for one of the coolest Lego sets ever. It’s a tricky one, but it looks amazing when completed, and it could make for a great family rainy-day activity. (OK, maybe a rainy week, considering there are nearly 1,000 pieces.) This is part of a bigger Prime Day Lego sale.
Cross dodgeball with a card game and you have Throw Throw Burrito. This is the outside edition of the classic version—the burritos are bigger, bouncier, and burrito-ier. If you’ve ever wanted to pelt something at your loved ones, all in the name of good sportsmanship, you’ll probably have a blast playing this over the summer.
Nothing says summer quite like friendship bracelets. This kit is only $10, and while it’s usually pretty affordable, the Prime Day price is a match of other lows we’ve tracked. It includes a bunch of embroidery floss, a plastic clip, and beginner-friendly instructions. Added bonus: Busting out your summer camp floss-braiding skills will definitely impress your cool niece or nephew.
Retailer Sale Pages
If you’d like to check more deals yourself, here are some links to sales going on this week.
WIRED’s Prime Day Stories