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The Toys We’d Buy for a Summer Home on the Lake

It’s never too late to splurge on a few toys for your summer home.


Welcome to another installment of Staff Picks from our Outdoors and Fitness team. Every other week, we select our favorite pieces out of the gear we’re testing, mainstays in our kits, as well as items on our wish lists. It’s like a sneak peek at the gear we’re testing and what we’re stoked on. Have something you think we should check out? Or just want to say hi? Drop us a line at outdoor@gearpatrol.com.

Ecoflow River


Summer homes are prone to power outages. Whether it’s a bone-shaking thunderstorm or a rogue bear that knocks out the power, it’s best to be prepared for when you’re without power. Enter Ecoflow’s portable battery charger. It features a plethora of different outlets and offers a 114,000mAh capacity. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor

Buy Now: $599


If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium ($480) | Anker Power House ($500)

Jarvis Boards San Jacinto


The entire purpose of having a lake house is to spend as many hours as possible on the lake. Swimming, tubing, boating, kayaking and sailing are some of the best ways to fill those hours. Another fantastic way to spend leisure hours? Stand-up paddleboarding. Hop on one of these boards and immediately feel your abs and glutes go to work. Your knees have to stay slightly bent to keep your balance, so your quads are at attention while your upper body paddles. It’s an easy way to get in a workout, while also checking out any new neighbors on the lake. And if you lose your balance, you’ll likely get wet, but after paddling for a while it’ll be a welcome dip. This all-wood touring board is beautiful and would look just as nice on my wall as it would in the water. These boards are handmade in Austin, Texas and feature a cooler tie-down and drink storage, so you can spend your entire day out on this guy. Lazy river, here we come. — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer

Buy Now: $1,600+


If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Red Paddle Co. Activ MSL ($1,399) | Three Brothers Boards ($1,049+)

L.L.Bean West Branch Canoe


Motorboats are fun and all, but for those glassy mornings, I prefer a slower approach to boating. My family has owned a canoe for as long as I can remember, and my first memories of overnight trips involve paddling over and portaging between the lakes of New York’s Adirondack region. A canoe forces its guide into a closer relationship with the water and its currents, as well as his paddling partner — all three must be in sync to allow for efficient travel. Sadly, my family canoe has fallen into disrepair; one of its wicker seats has a hole punched through it by a misplaced knee, and its wooden gunnels are soft with rot from years of exposure to New England weather. For me, a lake house will likely always be a hypothetical, but a canoe won’t be. — Tanner Bowden, Associate Staff Writer

Buy Now: $1,999


If you’re looking for something similar, but the pick above isn’t quite right, try these alternatives: Old Town Discovery 158 ($1,000) | Mad River Canoe Explorer 16 FGX ($2,459)

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