Rolling Stone Essentials: 8 of Our Favorite Things We Tried This Month
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Hundreds of products come across our desks each month, but only a few can earn the Rolling Stone seal of approval. After extensive testing and real-life use, our RS Recommends editors have put together a few of our favorite products for February.
Whether you need easily adjustable dumbbells for your home gym, or want to finally improve your ski skills with a digital instructor that fits into your boot (no, really), here’s what we bought and used this month.
Carv Digital Ski Coach
Even if you’re the most enthusiastic skier on the mountain, most of use stop getting proper, dedicated ski instruction after we’re teenagers. But if you’re relying on advice from friends and fellow skiers to improve, you can get stuck at the same level for years. Enter: Carv Digital Ski Coach.
Now, I’ve been sking black diamonds pretty regularly for years, but there was still a gap between how advanced my sking actually was, and being able to breeze down double black diamonds and moguls. Carv fit right into the liner of my boot, and could capture motion and pressure to provide real-time assessment of my ski technique assessment.
While you can do coaching over live audio, I opted for just checking my “Ski:IQ score” on the app. This let me know in simple graphics that I was unbalanced on my left turns and edge angles could be higher. This allows you to figure out what you need to course-correct in simple terms, no instructor necessary. If you want to get the most out of your ski runs, there is nothing more invaluable than having Carv as your personal ski companion. — SA
At the beginning of my New Year’s Resolution kick, Instagram’s favorite blender was in heavy rotation in my kitchen. You have to try it for yourself to see that this high-tech blender truly lives up to its name.
With no fancy presets or a million settings, it’s easy to whip up smoothies fast with just one minimalist button that uses an “intelligently programmed” one-minute blending cycle. It slows down and speeds up accordingly so ingredients can settle and not get stuck. While the ribbed vessel technically serves a purpose (breaks down ingredients for smoother results), it honestly just looks really rad.
Will its 1,000 watt motor beat out a Vitamix in terms of sheer, raw power? No, but the whole set is sturdy, and can still crush frozen ingredients well. The added hydration bottle also allows you to add blended fruit infusions, which makes drinking water a whole lot more fun. Elegant and modern, the Beast Blender can blend up almost anything, and look good doing it. — SA
Sonos Roam Portable Speaker
There’s no shortage of decent Bluetooth speakers out there that can pump out big sound. But if you made me pick right now, no other compact portable speaker sounds better than the Sonos Roam. Built for on-the-go streaming, it’s an essential for music lovers.
With a waterproof build, the Roam works both outdoors and inside your home, and it comes with a 10-hour runtime per charge. And if you already own other Sonos speakers, you can connect all of your speaker systems together using the Sonos app on your phone. That means that you can easily stream music all over the house with the touch of a button. — JL
Ruggable Indoor Washable Rug
Ruggable says that their rugs are like “washable art for their floors,” which is true, but we think that they’re made more for whatever life throws at them. No more having to be precious with an antique rug, or losing it over spills.
Life happens, and Ruggable’s rugs are prepared for water, dirt, dander, dust, and even pet accidents. They come in two pieces: a nonslip rug pad made of yoga mat materials, and a machine-washable lightweight rug cover. We added one in my apartment and they seriously clean up well. The rugs are stain-resistant, water-resistant, and most importantly, actually fit in my washing machine.
You won’t suffer utility for style either — there are rugs for any space, from runner rugs to large area rugs to fill up your entire living room. There are soft plush rugs, and even flat, woven styles meant for the outdoors. Their collaborations with the likes Star Wars and Disney also make their unique designs worthy of being the center of your living room. — SA
Echo Show 15
The newest installment of the Echo Show boasts a 15.6-inch FHD screen and packs all the features of its predecessors you’ve come to love.
With Alexa built-in, you can check your appointments, learn new recipes, check on your other smart home devices and even stream your favorite movies and TV shows, all completely hands-free.
You can also transform your new smart display into a digital frame and display artwork or upload your own photos through Amazon Photos or Facebook.
Don’t worry about privacy either, there’s a convenient mic/camera turn-off button so your smart home gadget will never spy on you. — ND
If you’re always looking for your next read, the new Kindle Paperwhite is a great companion for you.
It’s fully waterproof, so take it from the bed to the beach, and the 6.8-inch display even features adjustable warm lighting to keep eye strain to a minimum.
This e-reader’s best feature is its battery life though, which Amazon says should last up to 10 weeks — yes, you read that right. We’re still testing this out, but its compact build and ability to store hundreds of my favorite books, this Kindle Paperwhite is well worth its price. — ND
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
Bowflex’s SelechTech adjustable dumbbells have been a best-seller for a while now, but we finally got our hands on a pair. And they live up to the hype. Each dumbbell can be adjusted between five and 52.5 pounds, in 2.5-pound increments, meaning you essentially 15 sets of dumbbells in one. Adjustment is fairly easy too: just twist dials on either end of the weights.
When you buy the SelechTechs you get a free year-long membership to JRNY, Bowflex’s collection of on-demand fitness classes with equipment-specific lessons. Classes are available for all skill levels, but we think they’re especially geared towards beginner lifters.
We’ve been using the SelechTechs for quick strength training workouts in our living room, and it’s pretty fantastic. There’s no need to wait for dumbbells in a crowded gym (see: Covid-risk), and the classes prove that you can work just about every part of your body with just the two dumbbells.
Best of all, Bowflex is discounting the SelechTechs right now. As of writing, their price is cut by $150 on Amazon. — OH
Filson Rugged Twill Tote Bag
This Filson tote is unique: it’s durable enough for rain and scrapes yet handsome enough to be our new office bag. It’s made of abrasion-resistant, water-repellent twill (a tightly-woven cotton), and the handles are saddle-grade Bridle Leather. One of our favorite features is how stiff the bag is: you can place it upright and it’ll actually stay that way (even when full of gear).
Larger than your typical tote, it’s big enough for a laptop, headphones, chargers, and even a change of clothes. Plus, because it’s from Filson, the bag is likely to stay in good shape to come. — OH
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