The Consumer in Me: Floating Sunglasses, Boat Gadgets, Sound and More Just in Time for Christmas
Tyler Ryan shares some boat, eyewear, comfort, and convince products just in time for Christmas
COLUMBIA SC (WOLO) — With the official start of the Holiday Shopping Season, it is time to begin thinking about some cool gift ideas for everyone, arguably one of the most stressful parts of the whole Christmas celebration.
Full disclosure, I get sent all kinds of products to try, in hopes that they live up to making the cut. Most of the products are part of the American Dream – you know an inventor with a bright idea or a problem to solve, after all, “necessity is the mother of invention. To that end, I give each item a fair test drive, whether or not I might personally use it, to make sure they live up to the hype.
All the products and gift ideas below performed as advertised, and frankly, pretty neat…many of them are available at Amazon or other locations for an on-time Christmas delivery.
Let There Be Light
Up first, we’re talking light. We have all seen the ads for super bright lights, and they caught my eye. I did some research, and found a set on Amazon, and even without a “brand name,” it carried solid reviews, and where priced right, so I figured, “what the heck,” and they didn’t disappoint. I hung them in my garage, and sure enough bright as Fenway. Check out the link HERE.
Up next, it is all about comfort, right? Together Textiles sent along some sustainable loungewear, to, you know, lounge around in. The company was formed by a husband and wife team, who took a giant leap from a fulltime job overseas to setting up a company that produces products with the “ancient textile craftsmanship of Turkey,” in Columbus, Ohio.
According to the website, creators Guven and Allie design the robes in Ohio, and then are handmade on looms that are located in a small mountain village in Turkey. They use sustainable products, non-toxic dyes, and natural fibers.
They elected to sent a robe along for me to try out, so it would be rude if I didn’t at least put it on in the wee hours of the morning to put the show together, right? Fair enough…I really liked the feel of the hand woven cotton, and my favorite part was the hood!
You can learn more about Together Textiles HERE.
FresheTech Bluetooth Speaker
I happened across this little speaker, and although it is a small, light speaker, it sounds pretty good. It has several options for securing, and taking your music on the go. On the top, there is a clip to attached to a carabiner, backpack strap, or other place. It has a suction cup on the back, so putting it on the outside of a fridge, a boat or jet ski, or even shower. (Yes, it is full waterproof also.)
Connecting was very simple, and as I mentioned, I was pleased with how it sounded, especially if you are looking for a little personal speaker for your hike, bike, or camping. You can read more about it, and see if it would work for you HERE.
The next item was not only seen, but funded on Shark Tank, probably because of the need they satisfy. We all have experienced a soggy sandwich, and it is no fun. You carefully pack a cooler with ice, your favorite beverages, and of course, keep your lunch cool on a hot day. The issue, of course, is as the ice melts, it tends to soak into your favorite BLT, and you end up with a nasty ball of dough, lettuce, and tomato.
Being an avid boater and Charter Captain myself, I have fed more fishes that I can think of, tasty treats that were either mine or even worse, my guests. When I talked to the inventor of SubSafe, I was impressed with the simplicity, as I suspect the Sharks were, and yet how well he claimed it worked. I version I test drove was the three sandwich container. The SubSafe is BPA free, and according to their website, is made from the same material as a baby bottle, so it is waterproof, and it floats. I am a touch skeptical, so when I put it through its paces, I elected for a simple piece of bread, rather than a stack of turkey…I mean have you seen food prices?!?
The SubSafe performed exactly as claimed, it floated, kept everything bone dry. PRO TIP: Don’t let the name fool you – you can store most anything in this thing…keys, wallet, paperwork etc. In checking out their website, they have also expanded products to include wine containers, difference side sandwich containers, and of course, swag. You can learn more HERE. Check out the Shark Tank time HERE.
The Boat Gadget
Although the SubSafe and many of the products above can be used most anywhere, on or off the water, this next one is geared directly to boating…after all, it is in the name, Boat Gadget. When I learned about this little guy, I was very interested, as like in a kitchen, there is always a need, and seldom the right tool to get the job done in your hand. The Boat Gadget was pitched to me as being 10 boating tools in one, including a canvas snap opener, wine open, fishing line cutter, bottle opener, gas cap opener, drain plug wrench, and even a whistle…Don’t forget that most states require more than one sound making device on a boat.
What I liked about the Boat Gadget is that I have a need for several of these tools on every voyage, so having a tool all in one made a lot of sense. Of course, I put mine through the paces, ensuring that it fit at least my various needs, and found a use for at least nine of the ten, as I only have one gas cap. I found it to be pretty solid, and it really was a handy little thing to have. In fact, since I first tried it, it has continued to be an asset on the Manifest Destiny. I even liked the holder that can be attached directly to your stow, or wherever handy, so you don’t have to go digging through a tackle box or drawer. You can learn more about it HERE.
Rheos Nautical Eyewear
One of the things that make me appreciate a thought out product, is that it isn’t just cool, but actually solves a problem. In this case, I cannot tell you how many pair of sunglasses I have lost out on the water…it is an age old tale – You have your specs on the front of your shirt, and you bend over to tie a line, or help a friend back on the boat, and plop! Your glasses it the water, and as if there were bricks on them, they are on the way to Davy Jones locker before you can say “shiver me timbers.”
Rheoes sunglasses were created in Charleston, South Carolina, to solve that very problem. Founded in 2016, in the Holy City, the goal of the husband and wife creator team, was to create awesome polarized sunglasses that wouldn’t be sitting at the bottom of the harbor. I was curious about the name, and found that according to their website, Rheos is Greek for river current,” and note that a river is constantly flowing, changing, and carves its own path.
Kind of cool, right? Ok, so sure, they look cool, and have a thoughtful name, but do they live up to their claim? I elected for a more controlled test near the shore, rather than the middle of Lake Murray. I waded clear into my ankles, and gently set my pair in the water, and sure enough, sat right on the top, bobbing with the current. (See how I circled that back there?) All in all, I have enjoyed grabbing bumpers and tying lines without the stress of thinking about a large catfish wearing my eyewear.
You can learn more about Rheos HERE.
No monetary compensation was offered, requested, nor received for featuring these products. Each review is individually based solely on the product living up to the claims of the manufacturer and/or Founder.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tyler Ryan is an award winning television and radio personality, writer, investigative journalist, and professional emcee. He appears daily on ABC Columbia’s Good Morning Columbia, as well as the radio stations in the iHeart Media Network. Tyler also regularly appears as a criminal expert and journalist on regional and national crime based programs. You can contact him directly via EMAIL Or on the socials: Tyler’s Instagram // Tyler’s Facebook