Issues with Freezer Temperature? Calling Appliance Repair Service in Manhattan

Freezer and Appliance Repair in Manhattan

While perhaps not as essential as other appliance units in the house, the freezer still plays an important role in the kitchen throughout the world. Be it for a little ice cream after dinner or a quick frozen snack, the freezer is an integral part of the cooking experience. For that reason, having a freezer break down can be a massive pain. For starters, the mess that it can create when everything begins to melt and food goes bad can be enough to make anyone not want to deal with the problem. When dealing with appliance repair in Manhattan and just freezers and refrigerators in general, there are a few things to keep in mind that should help out in many instances.

Freezer Too Warm

One of the most glaring issues people will experience with freezers and one of the most important issues when it comes to freezer repair is that the freezer is too warm. If this is the case, the freezer of obviously not functioning properly as it is not performing its sole task of keeping food frozen. If this has happened, there are four possible fixes that you can look into.

The first fix is an easy one and it involves the light inside the freezer. The door of the freezer has a switch so that the light will turn off when the door is shut. Yes, the light does really turn off when you shut the door. To test if this switch is working, locate it when the door is open. It is usually somewhere along the frame of the door. Simply push in the switch to see if the light is turning on and off.

If it has no effect, the switch will need to be replaced. It is always best to consult the owner’s manual for unit specific directions on replacing parts of the unit; however it is very important to remember to disconnect the freezer from any electrical source prior to doing any freezer repairs.

Issues with the Defrost Thermostat

The second common issue is the defrost thermostat. Once again, ensure that the unit is unplugged from the wall before doing any work and consult the owner’s manual to find information regarding where the thermostat is located. Once you have located it, use pliers to remove the connecters from the terminals and then proceed to remove the thermostat from the unit. Use a multitester to test the thermostat. It should give a reading of zero when cold, however if it has removed and sitting outside for some time it will have warmed up. If this is the case, the reading will show as infinity. If the readings differ from that, the thermostat is defective and will need to be replaced.

Next, there may be a problem with the defrost timer. As with before, use the owner’s manual to find the defrost timer and after removing it from the device you will need to test it. Test each connection using your multitester as with the thermostat. The reading on the 1st and 2nd connection should read zero, while the reading on the third connection will read as infinity. If you do not receive these readings, then the defrost timer is not functioning properly and will need to be replaced.

Issues with the Defrost Heater

The final part of this particular area in freezer repair involves the defrost heater. The defrost heater will need to be removed from the freezer before it can be tested. Using pliers remove the device from the unit; however do not pull on the wires to remove it. Once again, use a multitester to test the connections. Unlike before however, the connections should read more than zero, but less than infinity. If you receive any other readings the defrost heater is malfunctioning and will need to be replaced.

All of these items can be replaced on your own if you are comfortable working on the unit, however if not it is best to call a professional who specializes in freezer repair. These four devices are the core of controlling the temperature in the freezer, so if you are having any issues it is always best to check them before jumping to any other conclusions. For instance, even if the opposite of before is true and now the freezer is far too cold and the fridge too warm, check for faults in those four parts.

Calling a Freezer Repair Service in New York

If you cannot locate the problem or if you do not feel comfortable working on the machine, it is always best to call for help. Luckily, appliance repair shops are common throughout the country and there is always someone close by who will be able to assist you. If you have not used a company in the past, doing a quick online search will yield results. You can also read online reviews and find a company or individual who seems trustworthy and that you would be willing to call to take a look at the unit. An online search may also be able to answer any questions you have in regards to what might be wrong with the unit before the repairmen comes over to take a look at it. If the machine is newer, it is also important to remember that it might still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. However, if it is older it is not likely to be covered and you will likely to need to contact local freezer repair in Manhattan.

If and when the freezer stops working, don’t panic as it does not have to be too much of a headache to deal with. Keep in mind that it happens to everyone and there are plenty of people there to help you. Most people will not hesitate to pick up the phone and call a repair shop, however if you are willing and have the tools, you can always play around with it yourself and try and fix the problem. Just remember that safety is very important when dealing with appliances and you should always take the proper precautions to ensure your own safety.

Why you should choose Bear Appliance Repair for your appliance repair in Brooklyn

Bear Appliance Repair has been in the appliance repair business for years with technicians that are courteous and knowledgeable. Our prices are affordable, and our first priority is always our customers. With no work too small or too big for us, we will always be prepared to work in favor of you. All our work of appliance repair in Brooklyn is always 100% fulfillment guaranteed.

At Bear Appliance Repair, our goal is to provide our customer with the best value and better service. We will offer you the best quote for our appliance repair in Brooklyn and we are also accessible on all days in a week, even on Holidays and Weekends.

You can rely on our affordable and dedicated appliance repair service because our technicians are suitable trained to carry out the repair work of any appliance, irrespective of their model and make. Our appliance repair company is crammed with incredibly experienced, expert technicians and well-informed, gracious office staff, who provide our patrons with the finest quality work.

Who we are?

At Bear Appliance Repair, we continuously endeavor to stay well informed on any modifications in our industry, so that we will be capable of offering our customers the latest and most up to date information and services at all times.

Our well-trained technicians will always offer you a precise estimate for your appliance repair in Brooklyn and will get your approval earlier than starting any repair work. We have 95% of the most common components in our stock that are required for washers, refrigerators, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, stoves, ranges etc, regardless of their model and make..

We offer our dedicated services throughout Brooklyn and the adjoining areas, including Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island. If you come across any challenging issues with your appliances, you can get in touch with Bear Appliance Repair over your phone on any day at any time and let us address those issues so as to bring your appliance to usual working condition.

What appliances we service in Brooklyn?

As an approved, licensed and bonded appliance repair company in Brooklyn, New York, we are specialized in repairing:

  • v Freezers.
  • v Refrigerators.
  • v Washers.
  • v Ovens.
  • v Dryers.
  • v Stoves.
  • v Ranges.
  • v Dishwashers.
  • v Microwaves.
  • v Air conditioners.

We consider that the best appreciation for our technicians is client’s satisfaction.

Why you should choose Bear Appliance Repair in Brooklyn NY?

Although there are several reasons that Bear Appliance Repair happens to be the primary option for homeowners in and around Brooklyn for their entire appliance repair needs, some of the notable reasons include:

  • As a reliable appliance repair company in Brooklyn, we offer punctual, guaranteed and professional repairs on all leading brands.
  • We are the only business in the neighborhood to offer the lowest prices for repairing your appliances.
  • We do not charge you extra for evenings, holidays and weekends.
  • We offer our appliance repair service in Brooklyn on the same day of receiving your service call.

If any of your appliances have a problem, irrespective of its nature, we can assist. We even offer emergency appliance service in the neighborhood whenever an emergency exists.

Our service in the neighborhood is swift, gracious, and reliable from the time your service call is received by us. Our dedicated and knowledgeable repair technicians have been trained to pay attention, help and respond to your service requirements quickly.

Our technicians and we are Insured and licensed for your protection. We would like to make sure that you know who you have in your house and that you are entirely protected.

Bear Appliance Repair technicians are highly experienced and they have several years of field occupation behind them. We tender same day service on the majority of orders placed.

We are easily accessible in Brooklyn at all times, as we are situated at the heart of the neighborhood. Our appliance repair technicians will carry 95% of factory components in the trucks, so the majority of the jobs are completed during the first visit itself.

Above all, we offer a written guarantee for all the appliance repair work we undertake.

Whenever you are in necessity of an appliance repair in Brooklyn on emergency basis, give us a phone call. We would be glad to service your appliance requirements in a professional and in an affordable way. Get in touch with Bear Appliance Repair today to get an affordable quote for all of your appliance repairs in Brooklyn.

How to Find Reputable Refrigerator Repair in Brooklyn NY

RefrigeratorWe have been carrying out the service of finding refrigerator repair in Brooklyn for many years with technicians that are well-informed and polite. Our first priority is our customers and we offer our dedicated and professional services at affordable prices. For us, no job is too small or too big. Our technicians are appropriately trained to carry out the refrigerator repair in Brooklyn with great professionalism, irrespective of their model and make. We are 100 % dedicated to our services, so we are always prepared to work for you and our work is always 100% guaranteed.

Find Refrigerator Repair in Brooklyn, NY on all Leading Brands

At our Brooklyn-based business, our aim is to offer our clients the best value and best service. We will provide you with the best estimate for performing your refrigerator repair in Brooklyn and we are available on all days in a week, even on Holidays and Weekends, as well.

When you hire our service to fix your refrigerator, you can rest guaranteed that the job is in the hands of an approved, bonded and insured business, so you can relax or concentrate on your other usual errands. We are capable of fixing all leading brands of refrigerators, as our business is crammed with very experienced, expert, knowledgeable, gracious technicians, who supply our customers with the highest quality work. We consider that the best appreciation for our technicians is client’s satisfaction.

A refrigerator is one of the vital and most required domestic appliances in any Brooklyn, NY family. If it breaks down, all food items you preserve into it would get spoiled, so you have to fix it as quickly as possible by hiring a professional business, like us. We are the leading professional business in the neighborhood who can carry out your refrigerator repair in Brooklyn in a more professional way. When you hire our services, you will get a lot of benefits. Some of them include:

  • You will get the same day repair service.
  • There are no hidden charges involved in our services.
  • Our services are more professional.
  • We offer our work guarantee in writing.
  • You will get your refrigerator fixed at more affordable rates.
  • When you call us, you will get a quick response from our technicians.
  • Above all, we are insured and licensed providers, so you can rest assured that you will get your work done in a professional way.

Though there are several reasons that our business happens to be the primary option for refrigerator repair in Brooklyn, NY some notable reasons include:

  • We offer punctual, expert, guaranteed repairs on all foremost brands.
  • We are providing our services with the lowest prices for your refrigerator repair in Brooklyn.
  • We do not charge you extra for our services in evenings,holidays and weekends.

As we service all models and makes of refrigerators, if your refrigerator has a problem, we can assist on any day at any time, according to your convenience.

Our refrigerator repair service in Brooklyn is friendly, fast and reliable from the time your call is acknowledged by us. Our technicians have been trained to pay attention, help and react to your service requirements quickly. Our whole staff is insured and licensed. We would like to ensure that you know who you have in your Brooklyn home and that you are entirely protected.

The cost involved in repairing your refrigerator in Brooklyn, NY relies on:

  • Direct labor costs that include planning, material purchase and job equipment, area research, set up and onslaught.
  • Cost of materials that may be essential to repair a refrigerator, including fittings and connectors.

Furthermore, the cost of fixing a refrigerator will count on the nature of the fault, irrespective of the model and make.

Bear Appliance Repair is your fast and effective Brooklyn, NY refrigerator repair service with over 22 years of experience! At Bear Appliance Repair, we’ll do what it takes to get your fridge running at a high level once again, and our office is conveniently located in Brooklyn, NY. When you contact us for a refrigerator repair, we’ll quickly address your concerns and schedule your appointment with one of our trained and knowledgeable technicians.

How to Find a Reliable Service Provider for Stove Repair in Queens, NY

GE_Profile_stoveSometimes you wake up one morning on your way to work and you discover that there is a barrier between you and your favorite breakfast. The stove burner won’t spark or it is faulty and thus you can’t prepare your quick fix, or special morning heavy; a situation that prompts you to look for a reliable service provider for stove repair in Queens. You are left with no option other than reaching out to the corn or cereals with your ice cold milk or quick coffee. Especially due to the fact that it is a place quite busy and sometime tricky to navigate, getting a firm you can trust with your kitchenware may not as it may seem, come in as bread and butter in Queens, but can rather be daunting task that demands a few considerations. The process can however be less stressful if you utilize the below pointers and guide tips.

Importance of Seeking Stove Repair in Queens, NY

When problems arise with your stove, you can either choose to fix it yourself or hire a professional technician to do the job. Doing it yourself might be effective in the short run, but you may not have the repair time, expertise, equipment, and the parts required in case replacements are necessary. If unprofessionally done, there is a possibility of faults reoccurring and leading to extra damages, not to mention your kitchen catching fire, or the appliance loosing functionality altogether. The beauty with a reliable firm for stove repair in Queens, NY is that they can fix your stove efficiently and professionally, which will save you from the possible risks, save you time and money.

  1. Start by Conducting a Research and Getting Referrals

Your friends and neighbors can come in handy as the first places to seek credible information. You never know, they too might have encountered the same thing in their kitchens. As you get a few referrals, also rely on your other friend, the internet for more research. Start by typing on the search bars, term such as “a list of best stove repair in Queens Companies.” If you know of a few real estate firms or hoteliers, you can as well liaise with them for credible referrals. From here you can come up with a list of some prospective companies ton vet based on the following considerations.

  1. Their Service Experience

How long a repair service provider has been in business will matter a lot, as more often than not, experience may be a direct translation of the level of expertise and as such their reliability for effective service and long-lasting solutions. Take precaution and only go for fully certified and registered appliance service companies in Queens. You do not want to have a newbie in the field experiment with your kitchenware. They might leave a potential hazard with you. If you manage to meet a representative from a prospective firm in person, you can ask them about training of their technicians and their experience levels as well.

  1. Their Customer Support Levels and Reputation

Just from the way a representative from a prospective firm answers your call, you can be able to summarize their service levels. Look for supportive customer service in your reliable service provider; by the way they handle your queries and concerns. How long they take to respond and how helpful they sound is highly important. A good firm will even give you directions and help you understand the various electrical requirements that will be involved. However, looking at their service history is also crucial. You don’t want to deal with a firm for Stove Repair in Queens; that has a track record of bad reputation. You can always get credible information from reviews and testimonials online. How previous customers and corporate references rate them determines how reliable they are.

  1. Consider the Cost Factor and Warranties

It would be unrealistic to say that price is not an important factor when choosing an appliance repair company. It is important to call a few service providers for stove repair in Queens and ask for their quotes to do comparisons. A good way to go about it as you make the call would be to go to the main problem direct, like “how much will you charge me to fix my stove burner that has a sparking problem.” However, it is crucial that you be on the lookout for extremely know service prices that may look unrealistic. This may suggest an inexperienced technician or pretender out to make some quick money from people like you.

Make comparisons carefully, and remember to consider quality more than price. Seek to know the rates (whether hourly, or per piece of work) and remember to ask whether there are other charges apart from the service fees as some notorious firms like hiding fees. The mode of payment is also important, s most people prefer credit cards for you can reverse a transaction if you were not satisfied by their services. You might also want to determine their warranty policies and whether they offer workmanship guarantees for their services. This is of crucial importance, just in case the appliance malfunctions after being serviced or ends up causing damages to your home, you need and insured service provider.

 

 

SonicSole Review: An App for Walkers and Runners to Ease Into Exercise

SonicSole Review: An App for Walkers and Runners to Ease Into Exercise Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

When it comes to running or regularly power walking, it’s getting into the habit that’s the hard part – and SonicSole wants to help. SonicSole is a walking/running/music app for beginners, with musical sessions that focus on providing the right beat for your pace. There are currently three difficulties: a starter session for those who want to practice walking or slower jogs, and an intermediate options for runners who want to run for 30 minutes and get a good workout and an advanced option. But is this app worth your time? That depends on your exercise history.

App Interface

SonicSole 2

SonicSole’s app can start a session in seconds.

SonicSole’s interface is shallow – but it’s designed to be that way, and the ultra-simple design plays to its strengths. Once you’ve signed up and accessed the app, the home screen is SonicSole’s collection of running/walking tracks. You can scroll through all the tracks available through a number of different genres, such as “Eternal Skies” or “Enter the Zone” and play any of them with a single tap. For those who prefer running apps they can start in seconds, it’s a handy feature. All the other buttons are immediately available as well, with large, clear options for adding a track to your favorite list, downloading it onto your phone, showing your progress, and more.

Read More: Best Running Shoes for 2017

There are two side menus that open up, but their options are limited. One sidebar lets you control coaching, duration, and difficulty. The other side allows you to look at your recent activity and any favorites you’ve collected. The whole experience is designed for those who don’t have any time to waste learning a new app – or who may be uncomfortable with apps in the first place.

Smart Features

SonicSole 4

SonicSole is strictly a phone app.

SonicSole may be a simple app, but it works hard to incorporate smart features. At any time during a session, you can share your score and run on Twitter or Facebook. The app judges your running distance and speed by using the accelerometer sensor in your phone, so it’s specifically designed for those lightweight phones that you can strap on your arm or legs while you walk/run – not the most comfortable solution, but it does provide more accurate results than a casual pedometer.

 

Song Content

SonicSole

SonicSole focuses on beat, but the music lacks much else.

Song content is the weakest feature of SonicSole. In some ways, the music selection feels like a work in progress, where “beat” was made the priority and everything else has been pushed aside for the moment. Every session is instrumental, and most are EDM or Chill (even the Rock option feels highly processed) with voice coach overlays. The bass isn’t particularly deep, and no session is particularly memorable – in other words, it’s all fluff. And that fluff is fine, easy to run to…for about 10 or 15 minutes. Then you start longing for a real, popular song with lyrics or a pulsing beat, like the kind available on dozens of apps already on your phones.

There are probably proprietary reasons that SonicSole can’t use real songs on its sessions, but there should still be a workaround here. A tie-in with internet radio stations has been proven possible – or the ability to tap into playlists already stored on your phone. Features like these need to be added to keep the music alive, or enthusiasm peters out quickly.

Speaking of that voice coach: it’s fine. If you’re looking for general advice and platitudes like the kind you would get in an average cycling class, they’re here. If you don’t like them, you can turn them off. They tend to repeat word-for-word as long as you stay in the same difficulty, but this is something that can be updated in later versions with more variety.

Read More: Best Headphones for Running

Final Thoughts

SonicSole is made for those who’ve never tried wearables, who haven’t tried the gym – who aren’t even sure they like this whole fitness trend. It’s made for people who don’t want to learn new apps or integrate their smart fitness platforms with lots of customization. It’s particularly friendly to people who don’t run or walk regularly but want to start, and prefer a simple app with light footprint to help them do it. A starter kit, if you will, for running or walking inspiration. Those with more experience will want to move onto greater customization though the app promises updates in the future.

The post SonicSole Review: An App for Walkers and Runners to Ease Into Exercise appeared first on Gadget Review.

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Best Sleeping Bags 2017

Best Sleeping Bags 2017 Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

Catch some Z’s while camping, hiking, or traversing the Ozarks with the best sleeping bags of 2017. Our top rated sleeping bags represent some of the very best cold weather, ultralight, budget, and camping sleeping bags on the market. For this round-up we narrowed our initial selections based on specific use and focused on temperature ratings, form factor, insulation type, features, and price to determine the absolute best sleeping bag for consumers in each category.

Our #1 top pick and Editor’s Choice for the best sleeping bags for cold weather is the North Face Inferno 0° Summit Series sleeping bag. The bag’s 800 fill is some of the highest quality down fill available providing excellent loft that traps heat and delivers nearly incomparable protection from the elements.

Best Sleeping Bags 2017

  The North Face Inferno 0F Western Mountaineering Summerlite Mummy 32F Klymit KSB 20F The North Face Blue Kazoo Kelty Dualist 6
Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now
The North Face Inferno 0F Western Mountaineering Summerlite Mummy 32F Klymit KSB 20F The North Face Blue Kazoo Kelty Dualist 6
Rank #1 – Editor’s Choice/Best Sleeping Bag for Cold Weather #2 – Best Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Bag #3 – Best Budget Sleeping Bag #4 – Best Sleeping Bag for Camping #5 – Best Compact Sleeping Bag
Consumer Rating five-stars five-stars 4andhalf-stars N/A 4stars-new
Low Temp Rating 0° F 32° F 20° F 15° F 6° F
Weight 1 lb 13.3 oz 1 lb 3 oz 2 lb 12 oz 2 lb 9 oz 4 lb 4 oz
Price $500 $420 $140 $203 $144


How We Choose the Best Sleeping Bag

As an avid backpacker, I’ve had my fair share of sleeping bags both during the fall in South Texas and the dead of winter in Northern New Mexico’s Wheeler Peak Wilderness – and I know how much of a bummer it can be to fall victim to a poorly constructed bag while on the trail. Our main goal with this roundup is to help you make a more informed decision, and reduce the probability of you having a bad time stuck shivering in the cold on your next adventure.

Sleeping bags come in a variety of temperature ratings ranging from 32° F, or warmer, all the way down to -30° and below. Since this roundup review is inclusive of bags which cover all climates, we didn’t eliminate sleeping bags based solely on temperature ratings. Having stated that, it’s important to understand exactly what a sleeping bag’s rating means and how it might affect you the next time you’re out in the wild.

Typically, summer bags are rated for 32° and higher, three-seasons have a rating of between 10° and 32°, and winter bags are designed for temps of 10° and below. Ratings listed on sleeping bags describe the lowest air temperature in which a user can sleep comfortably within the bag. These ratings usually assume that the sleeper is wearing long underwear, and using an air, or foam, sleeping pad in conjunction with the bag – some form of insulation between the ground (or passing air if you’re sleeping in a hammock) is required since the fill insulation within a sleeping bag will be depressed when you lay on top of it (effectively nullifying most of the insulating property).

The type of sleeping bag, either mummy, rectangular, semi-rectangular, or double should first be considered when considering a bag that suits your individual needs. Aside from the obvious differences, what are the advantages and/or disadvantages of using one form versus another? Casual campers will probably prefer a rectangular, or semi-rectangular, bag over a mummy style because these offer more internal space to move around, are often less expensive, and don’t hug the body as tightly as a more technically-designed mummy bags – mummy bags are meant for multi-night camps, or environments in which campers may be more exposed to the elements. They’re the ideal choice for cold weather environments because they’re designed to maximize efficient use of a small amount of space. Mummy bags are also typically lighter than rectangular bags, and pack better than bulkier rectangular sleeping bags. Double wide sleeping bags allow for two adults to share one bag which is nice if you’re planning a romantic evening under the stars.

There are three major types of insulation used to fill sleeping bags: synthetic, down, and water-resistant down. Synthetic filled bags are typically more common among lower cost sleeping bags unintended for heavy outback use. The synthetic fill is usually a little heavier than down, and it doesn’t compress as well, but it will still work as an effective insulator when it gets wet. Down filled bags are usually pricier, but they often offer a higher insulating value per pound and can be compressed more tightly making them a preferred choice among backpackers. A down side to down fill though is that if the down becomes wet it loses a lot of its insulating value. Water-resistant down is down that’s been treated to repel water and is another, more expensive option for consumers.

What about fill? How do you compare the quality and amount of fill between sleeping bags? The loft, or “fluffiness,” of a down product is referred to as the fill power and is related to the insulating value and relative comfort of a sleeping bag. The larger the fill power, the more air per ounce of down can be trapped which means a greater ability to insulate. While the fill power can be used to roughly gauge the total insulating value of a product, it is important to keep in mind that the quality of the fill makes a significant difference in the performance too. Fill greater than 750 is very different from 400 fills. Nearly all fill used in the production of the majority of sleeping bags is sourced as a byproduct from geese raised for food. This is where the majority of the lower-grade fill comes from. Most birds meant for consumption aren’t mature, and their feathers have not completely developed the way an adult bird’s feathers would. Higher-grade fills like those rated at 750, or more, are sourced from more mature geese which are kept alive for breeding purposes. Collection of the fill is more tedious as it falls away naturally from the birds, but the down lofts much better since it comes from older birds.

Other critical components of the best sleeping bag construction which we considered during our review were the shell and lining material. A bag’s outer shell is usually made using a ripstop nylon (in some cases polyester) to enhance durability. Some fabric shells are treated with a water repellent finish (referred to as a Durable Water Repellant, or DWR) to make external surfaces hydrophobic (water beads up and falls away instead of being absorbed by the fabric). Since perspiration is a relatively common human function during sleep, internal surfaces are typically developed to disperse moisture and therefore aren’t made to be hydrophobic.

Sleeping bag hoods are especially important if you’re spending your time camping in cooler temperatures. Some hoods are designed with a pillow pocket as an added optional level of comfort for users.

Stash pockets, sleeping pad sleeves, stuff sacks, storage sacks, and each sleeping bag liner was also considered in part to ensure that consumer comfort and storage options were taken in to consideration when manufacturers designed these bags.

In order to compare sleeping bags properly, all of these variables must be accounted for, weighed, and considered based on individual use.

Why You Should Buy the Best Sleeping Bag

No two camping trips are identical. While it’s easy to unzip a bag that’s too hot, if you’re constantly having to adjust a zipper because you’re uncomfortable in a bag you’ve probably brought along the wrong bag for the job. Keep in mind where and when you plan on using your sleeping bag and then narrow down your options based on the coldest possible temperature for the environment you’ll be spending time in.

Backpacking sleeping bags are more compact when compressed than camping sleeping bags, and often weigh less too. If you’re obsessed with cutting down weight, reducing the weight of your sleeping bag is one of the top ways to cut weight fast. Consider an ultralight option that’s suited for the trip.

Taking everything we’ve touched on into consideration, let’s get on with the list of the best rated sleeping bags of 2017.

#1 Pick The North Face Inferno 0F – Editor’s Choice/Best Sleeping Bag for Cold Weather

Best sleeping bags - The North Face Inferno 0F

Our top pick as the best sleeping bag for cold weather camping and backpacking

Price: $500 | Low Temp Rating: 0° F | Weight: 1 lb 13.3 oz | Material Durability Rating: A+ | Water Resistance: Yes

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING BAGS TOP PICK: Solidly constructed and built with performance athletes in mind, this sleeping bag will keep you comfortable and protected from the elements again and again.

The North Face Summit Series demonstrates product design and manufacturing excellence in every product facet that bears the badge. Consumer focus is at the heart of any successful company, and The North Face truly delivers with its line of professional-grade products developed in conjunction with athletes that know what true adventurers and adrenaline junkies need.

This is a professional-grade, zero degree sleeping bag intended for winter campers, or serious expeditions that require nothing short of the best in outdoor technology. The bag is insulated with The North Face’s 800-fill ProDown – a water-resistant fill that’s designed to retain its dryness and loft for 100 minutes instead of six to seven minutes like regular down.

Roomy on the inside thanks to a wider cut than other comparable sleeping bags, the Inferno 0° allows sleepers to wear more layers should they require a greater degree of protection from the elements. Heat loss prevention elements such as a full-draft collar and integrated draft overlap ensure that body heat stays where it should when bundled up in the bag.

External surfaces on the hood, foot box, and back are constructed from a water-resistant Neovent Air fabric which helps to avoid water absorption in wet areas.

Noteworthy features of the Inferno 0° include a trapezoidal side baffle designed to mitigate movement of the down while you sleep, a center zipper for easier access, an internal gear pocket, hood cinch-cord , and a compression and storage sack for stowing both on and off of the trail. Combining the bag’s superior performance and materials makes justifying this bag as one of the best sleeping bags of 2017 easy.

Other great sleeping bags for cold weather: TETON LEEF 0°, TETON ALTOS 0°

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#2 Pick Western Mountaineering Summerlite Mummy 32F – Best Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Best sleeping bags - Western Mountaineering Summerlite Mummy 32F

Tough, ultralight, simple, and sure to keep you protected from the elements.

Price: $420 | Low Temp Rating: 32° F | Weight: 1 lb 3 oz | Material Durability Rating: A+ | Water Resistance: No

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING BAGS TOP PICK: High quality down from geese raised for breeding is all that Western Mountaineering uses, and that means excellent fill for all of the company’s bags. In addition to that, the Summerlite is the lightest bag they make – which makes it a perfect fit for weight conscience backpackers that want high-quality, ultralight gear.

Coming in at only 1lb 3oz, the Summerlite from Western Mountaineering is the lightest sleeping bag the company offers in which a continuous baffle construction is used. Insulated draft protection and a full-length zipper keep comfort levels in check when on the trail too.

Other excellent ultralight bags are available, ranging from 13.9 to 21.9oz, but we’ve found that the Summerlite “takes the cake” with respect to cost, warmth, weight, versatility, and comfort grading reports.

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#3 Pick Klymit KSB 20F – Best Budget Sleeping Bag

Best sleeping bag - Klymit KSB 20F

One phenomenal bag that’s well priced for the amount of protection and comfort it offers.

Price: $140 | Low Temp Rating: 20° F | Weight: 2 lb 12 oz | Material Durability Rating: A | Water Resistance: Yes

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING BAGS TOP PICK: It’s difficult to find a sleeping bag that’s both comfortable and affordable – not to mention reliable – but that’s exactly what Klymit has brought to consumers with the KSB 20° Down. An excellent product that won’t break the bank, and is sure to keep you sleeping like a baby on your next adventure.

Klymit is known for its unconventional approach to manufacturing high-quality, outdoor gear at competitive prices, and the KSB 20F is the perfect example of that. One of the best sleeping bags of 2017, it’s constructed from a lofty 650 down fill and is both comfortable and highly insulating for a reasonable price.

Heat loss is mitigated through the use of an incorporated draft collar, fat foot box, mummy hood, and flexible baffles around the core of the sleeping bag. In addition to a little extra loft in the foot box, a half-moon shape design helps to keep warmth in the bag, provide sleepers with a little extra foot room, and even can accommodate one of Klymit’s sleeping pads inside the bag itself.

In field testing, this bag surpassed expectations in comfort, durability, temperature rating, compression, and cost – We tested this bag in the Ozark Mountains on a three-day hike and it made us want to stay even longer. Low temps touvhed in the high 20s and with one base layer and a Kylmit V Sleeping Pad we felt nearly as cozy as we would have at home in our beds. The bag compresses down smaller than most others in its segment and we had no problem stuffing it in the lower section (sleeping bag compartment) of our packs.

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#4 Pick The North Face Blue Kazoo – Best Sleeping Bag for Camping

Best sleeping bags - The North Face Blue Kazoo

You’ll never go wrong with a Blue Kazoo – our top pick for the best camping sleeping bag of 2017.

Price: $203Low Temp Rating: 15° F | Weight: 2 lb 9 oz | Material Durability Rating: A+ | Water Resistance: Yes

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING BAGS TOP PICK: A classic sleeping bag that has protected three-season hikers and campers for generations.

It’s no wonder so many campers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiast go with The North Face when it comes to gear selection – they make some of the best outdoor gear on the planet, just ask someone that owns the Blue Kazoo. It’s a sleeping bag that’s been around for at decades and for good reason, its superior quality and reliability make a staple among some that frequent the great outdoors.

The bag’s over-sized hood and widely cut chest section make even large-bodied sleepers feel comfortable when all zipped up (and if you’re not Goliath you can easily turn over while in the bag). The foot area is roomy and comfortable too.

Rated to 15° F, we’ve found that with a quality sleeping pad and base layers you can comfortably rely on this rating – potentially even lower, although we haven’t tested this bag in temps under its rated limit. The compressibility of the bag may leave a little to be desired (9 x 17″ when in its compression sack), but when compared to other bags offer by The North Face, like the Cat’s Meow, we’ve found this one to be on the smaller side (no real complaints from our team of testers).

Other Great Sleeping Bags for Camping: Paria Mummy 15F, The North Face Campforter, The North Face Cat’s Meow

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#5 Pick Kelty Dualist 6 – Best Compact Sleeping Bag

Best sleeping bag - Kelty Dualist 6

The absolute best compact bag you can find.

Price: $144 | Low Temp Rating: 6° F | Weight: 4 lb 4 oz | Material Durability Rating: A+ | Water Resistance: Yes

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING BAGS TOP PICK: One of the absolute best sleeping bags for hikers that need fantastic protection in a small package. This synthetic jewel is an excellent choice!

The synthetic ThermaDri insulation used in the Kelty Dualist 6 sleeping bag is ideal for camping and hiking in cold and moist environments. Experienced hikers will tell you they know all too well how much it sucks to be stuck with wet down gear. In fact, if it’s really cold outside, having a wet down sleeping bag can be life threatening – leaving hikers with only one option, to keep hiking until their gear drys, or they’re in a warmer climate.

This bag’s water resistant, quick-drying material helps to solve the problem of wet down (wet down offers little to no protection from the elements). A super tough exterior polyester shell and lining deliver exceptional durability without compromising comfort and the bag’s ability to breathe.

The foot box and hood offer plenty of room to move around and stay cozy, and a full-length zipper is constructed with an antisnag binding tape making venting a breeze even in pitch black darkness.

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Key Factors to Consider

Temperature Rating

  • Temperature is the most important aspects of any sleeping bag
  • Make sure your bag is rated for your specific environment’s lowest possible temperature
  • Expect the cost of winter bags to be significantly more than summer, or three-season options

Materials

  • Synthetic materials will often cost less than down alternatives, but will typically weight more and offer less insulation value per pound than down
  • If exposed to water, untreated down will not maintain its insulating properties like synthetics
  • Water-resistant down is the more expensive, but more reliable when exposed to moisture
  • Higher fill (+750) is usually a better quality down which offers more loft than lower-grade down

Weight

  • One of the three most heaviest components in a backpacker’s pack (shelter, sleeping bag, sleeping pad), your sleeping bag should be picked carefully to ensure it’s ideal for your specific use. Having something that’s too heavy will quickly become a hassle on the trail
  • On the other hand, if you’re a casual camper weight may be the least important thing you consider when buying. Larger rectangular bags will probably be better suited for casual overnight stays

Key Best Sleeping Bags Features

Shell and Lining Material

  • Exterior materials should be thicker and more durable since they’ll likely be exposed to rougher surfaces than the inner lining.
  • Durable Water Repellent materials (DWR) are ideal for bags with untreated down fill, in which users expect moisture could be problematic.

Hood

  • Nearly everyone has heard that 40 to 45 percent of a person’s body heat is lost through the head, but that’s actually completely false. Body heat is lost evenly according to most medical studies on the subject. Regardless, it’s important that you keep all of your appendages warm in colder weather so an attached hood is ideal for those seeking more frigid environments.

Stash Pocket

  • We all love pockets. They help us organize our stuff, and we all love our stuff too. Stash pockets come in handy for those important bits of gear that you need to keep close to yourself when you sleep. Maybe it’s a phone, a GPS unit, a headlamp, or maybe it’s a note from your girlfriend in Barcelona
  • Keep in mind, an extra pocket (or any pocket) means extra weight. If you’re an ultralight enthusiast, you know you don’t need a pocket.

Sleeping Pad Sleeve

  • These work really well for people that tend toss and turn in their sleep. Not much else sucks more than having to get up in the woods at night and readjust your sleeping pad so you’re not lying on the ground

Pillow Pocket

  • If you need more than your extra sweater to cushion your head while you camp, a sleeping bag with an included pocket for a camping pillow might be right for you

Stuff Sack

  • A necessity for the backpacker, a stuff sack helps compress that bulky sleeping bag down to a smaller size for cramming in your backpack. We prefer stuff sacks that have compression straps.

Mistakes to Avoid

Unfortunately, we all are prone to making not so perfect decisions from time to time, and one of those decisions could be buying a sleeping bag that you really don’t need. Maybe it’s temperature rating isn’t ideal for you, or perhaps after buying you find that a rectangular bag is better suited for your particular sleeping needs. Rest assured, with a little research (and a helping hand from our review team) buying the right sleeping bag for your adventure doesn’t have to be difficult.

Some sleeping bags are offered in both a regular and long length option. If you’re taller than six feet, chances are you’ll need a bag that’s meant for it. Don’t make the mistake of buying a bag that’s too short, that’s a recipe for poor comfort for sure.

Always, always, always pay close attention to the temperature rating on the bag you’re considering. Having one of the best sleeping bags rated for 0° is great, but if you never camp in environments less than 30° you don’t need it. Buy something that’s perfect for the trip and you’ll stay happy on the trail.

What Else You Should Think About

Through bag testing and field research with experienced hikers, both weekend trekkers and thru-hikers, we’ve found that another critical factor to consider is bag volume when compressed. Some sleeping bags don’t compress well, and if you’re toting around a relatively small pack (say 45 liters), packing a large sleeping bag might present a challenge – especially if you can’t strap it outside of your pack. If you’re hiking for any extended period of time, we suggest making sure that your sleeping bag of choice packs well.

Don’t forget that sleeping pad! Our article on the best sleeping pads can help you pick the perfect sleeping bag companion from the litter. Without a pad you risk reducing your bags insulation value, and potentially damaging your bag on rough ground. If you’re on the hunt for a great tent, check out our article on the best backpacking tents – it should help. This article on the best tents of 2017 is a good resource too.

Looking for something that’s a little less serious and a little more fun? Check out our review of the shark sleeping bag, bear sleeping bag, and the tauntaun sleeping bag. These make epic children’s sleeping bags, conversation pieces, or some of the best sleeping bags for adults on the trail if you have an ineer geek that needs a fix – just make sure you pay attention to that temperture rating.

Our #1 top pick and Editor’s Best Choice for the best sleeping bags for cold weather is The North Face Inferno 0° Summit Series sleeping bag. It will keep you warm and dry in some of the most challenging environments, and it’s competitively priced to ensure your hard-earned money is spent wisely.

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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD Projector Review

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD Projector Review Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

Until recently, there were two very distinct categories of projector: 4K, and everybody else. Sony had a firm grip on the ultra-elite market, producing just three projectors that could actually display at 4K for the cool price of $10,000 a pop (or more).

Now however, as technology always does, the price is finally starting to come down a bit for a new class of projector like the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB. This is a projector which features what the company refers to as “4K enhancement”, a form of upscaling that brings the quality up and the costs down for those who want a 4K home theater system but don’t have $10k laying around in spare change.

But how does 4K enhancement stand up to true 4K, and is it worth the extra cost? Read on in our Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB review to find out!

Overview

Price: $2999.00 on Amazon 
Available: Now
Model: 5040UB

Summary: The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB is one of the best looking projectors on the market today, one that gets you near-4K quality at a fraction of the cost of standard 4K projectors.

What We Liked

  • Spectacular image quality in all tests
  • Gaming performance was great
  • 4K quality was apparent at medium viewing distance

What We Didn’t

  • Big, bulky profile
  • No speakers
  • Expensive
  • Runs loud and hot

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD Specs

61rmngherl-_sl1500_
Amazon Rating 4.5stars-new
Screen Size 50″ – 300″
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Lumens 2,500
Contrast Ratio 1,000,000:1
Refresh Rates 60Hz
3D Capable? green-check-mark
Display Technology 3-chip LCD
Short Throw? red-x-icon
HDMI Ports 1 2.2/MHL, 1 2.0
Onboard Speakers red-x-icon
Weight 24.3 lbs
Device Dimensions 17.7 x 20.5 x 6.7 inches
Price $2,999.00
Buy Now


Design

When I first reviewed the Epson 5040UB’s cousin, the Powerlite 1440, I noted how the projector’s (what I thought at the time) massive footprint may not fit on a shelf or coffee table comfortably without you having to move a few things around.

The 5040UB on the other hand may have you reorganizing your entire living room around its humongous 20.5″ x 17.7″ x 7.6″, 24lb frame. I haven’t met a projector mount to date that’s rated for 24lbs, and although I’m sure there are a few that could handle it, for the most part I would expect to be installing this monolith somewhere very central to your home theater layout as a whole. 

The actual design of the Epson isn’t too bad to look at, with rounded white edges and a small lens door that opens on its own when the projector is in use. The automatic whirring to life of the lens door gives the projector more of that cinematic, “curtains unfurling” kind of feel, which is a nice after touch considering how much you have to spend to get a ticket into this theater.

Hardware

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB

As big as this projector is, it keeps the port options to a minimum

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD  projector uses 3-LCD chip technology to create its images at a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080 (with 4K upscaling and HDR), alongside a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and ANSI lumen rating of 2500, with the ability to show an image as large as small as 50″ or large as 300″ across from corner to corner, at a distance of 32 feet.

For such a beast of a projector, the PowerLite 5040UB is suspiciously low on available ports, with just 1 HDMI 2.2, 1 HDMI 1.4, 2 USB 2.0 slots, one mini-USB, and 1 LAN jack on the back.

User Interface and Settings

The users interface of the Epson 5040UB doesn’t deviate much from what we first saw on the PowerLite 1440, however I will say that I was sorely disappointed in the keystoning options we were given.

Unlike other projectors (such as the Optoma HD HD28DSE) include the choice of four-corner keystoning, which is far superior to the plain one-axis vertical keystoning on the 5040UB.

For such an expensive projector we would have assumed this feature was a must-have, but guess the lack of it might have something to do with the Pixel Shift technology that’s used to make the 4K enhancement work.

Testing and Performance

Brightness/Picture Quality

The Epson 5040UB uses what’s known as “pixel shift” technology to create what the company calls “4K enhancement” quality images, which uses a 1080p 3LCD chip and then shifts the number of pixels to approximate at 4K resolution.

Without getting too technical, essentially this means that while you can technically display at a resolution that looks similar to 4K, in reality it’s only got about half the pixels, or twice that of 1080p.

Epson PowerLite 5040

Whether it was a game or movie, the color reproduction on the 5040UB was superb

Regardless of what some 4K purists might say however, I personally thought the quality on the Epson 5040UB was well worth the price, producing some of the most luxuriously deep and nuanced colors we’ve seen on a projector to date.

One area where the projector could have worked a little harder was in the brightness department. Here, at a distance of 10ft in near-total darkness with the projector set to its own preset “Bright mode”, we recorded a rating of 1,131 lux in the middle of the image, with a variable rate of 900 – 1300 lux around the corners.

Gaming Performance

Just as good as movies like Zootopia looked on this projector, games like Ori and the Blind Forest looked even better.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB

Projector gaming performance at its finest

This is the game I like to use to test the color and responsiveness of any given device because aside from it being one of the most gorgeous titles to be released in the past ten years, it’s also highly dependent on quick response and reaction times to master its punishingly accurate movement system.

The 60Hz refresh rate, as usual, might rub a few hardcore PC gamers the wrong way, but if you’re running the Epson on a console you shouldn’t be able to notice any glaring issues whether you’re gaming online or off.

3D Performance

3D performance was just as eye-dazzling as what we saw in movies and games on the 2D side of things, however there was a more discernible difference in the pixel density when we put the glasses on.

This is likely again due to something in the way the 3LCD chip actually upscales the content it displays, but without knowing the technical details of how the pixels are actually being shifted, we can’t say for sure.

Noise and Heat

Being such a loud, proud machine, it’s no surprise that the 5040UB churned out some serious noise and heat during our various testing procedures.

To keep the pixel-shifted chip and lens cooled down, the fans had to run at around 43dB, just to keep the resting temperature of the projector at 128° F.

If you plan on running this projector without an air conditioner around, be ready to get hot under the collar during love movie watching or gaming sessions in an enclosed space.

Sound

When it comes to sound, I guess Epson assumed that if you can afford a $2,999 projector, you’ve probably got at least another $50 lying around to drop on a decent pair of additional speakers because there are none to “speak” of on this model.

If you want additional sound it will need to be external, so keep that in mind before dropping a few paychecks on this Epson.

Wrap Up

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD produces beautiful 1080p images that look just about as close to 4K as they need to at this cost.

Look anywhere else (like on our Best 4K projectors of 2016 list), and you’ll see that a normal 4K chip will cost you, at a minimum, $10,000 to get in your home. At just over a quarter of the cost, the Epson projector is undoubtedly the best projector we at Gadget Review have used before…but it’s also the most expensive, so take all that praise with a slight grain of salt.

If you want to be the first person on your block to display 4K content at pictures sizes larger than 80″ across, the Epson is your best bet to make that happen now, without forking over the down payment on a house in order to do it.

Read More: Best Home Theater Projector for 2016

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How to Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator

How to Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

If you have stainless steel refrigerator you know what a hassle it can be to keep it clean and glimmering.

In fact, just Googling “how to clean stainless steel refrigerator” turns up all sorts of Google searches related to the problem, like:

  • what do you clean a stainless steel refrigerator with
  • how to clean fingerprints off stainless steel refrigerator
  • how do you clean stainless steel refrigerator door
  • how to clean stainless steel appliances with baking soda

It’s clearly a common problem that many face – and there’s a ton online regarding the “right” method of cleaning and polishing stainless steel. We’re here to make the process as simple and painless as possible, and get that stainless steel refrigerator shining like new in no time.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator and what are the products you will need.

So, what do you clean a stainless steel refrigerator with? Various cleaners are sold specifically for cleaning stainless steel, but you can use any common household cleaners to get the job done. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Dawn (or any dish soap)
  • Baby, Mineral, or Coconut Oil – Alternatively, you can use a stainless steel cleaner.
  • Cotton Towel (x2)

Note: The bottom to top cleaning method ensures that the cleaning solution is used maximally.

how to clean stainless steel refrigerator - Common Stainless Steel Cleaning Products

While stainless steel cleaners can be purchased, simple dish detergent can be used in conjunction with an oil (like baby oil) to get the same result

Pay Attention to the Grain

Stainless steel has “grain” lines similar to wood. Inspect your stainless surface closely and note the direction of the grain. This should be the direction in which you both clean and polish the surface.

Pay special attention to stainless handles and knobs as these most likely have different “grain” patterns from flat sheets like a door. “Grain” patterns are actually finishing patterns created by the forges that create these metals. Avoid using abrasive materials on your stainless steel refrigerator as this will most likely result in permanent damage to surfaces.

Clean Stainless Steel First!

Dirty Stainless Steel Refrigerator

This stainless steel refrigerator needs a good cleaning and polishing

Dish soap, like Dawn, can be diluted with water for a simple and effective cleaning solution. Nothing too precise is required here, just squeeze a small amount of dish detergent into a closed kitchen sink and dilute with water until you have a homogeneous mixture of soapy goodness. Use a cotton rag, or sponge, to soak up some of your cleaning solution and then proceed to wipe the stainless surface down from bottom to top.

Wipe the surface with a dry towel after you’re done with this step.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners like bleach as these will stain and damage a stainless steel refrigerator. Avoid using sprays, or solutions, that contain bleach too. Even dirty water and cleaning solutions not meant for stainless steel refrigerators can stain and damage surfaces so be very cautious when selecting cleaning materials prior to your first time cleaning.

Polish

Clean Stainless Steel Refrigerator

See the difference between the close and far sides of this side-by-side refrigerator after cleaning?

Once you’ve removed any stains, grime, and dirt from the surface it’s time to begin polishing your stainless-steel appliance.

Apply a very small amount of oil (about the size of a dime per refrigerator door area) to a dry cotton towel, or microfiber cloth. In sections, rub the oil into the grain of the stainless steel, working your way from bottom to top once again. Ensure moderate pressure is used when rubbing oil into the steel. Continue to buff the surface until it feels just a little smoother than the rest of the untreated sections – usually this will take a few minutes per section if you want it done right.

If you aren’t satisified with the luster after buffing with oil, a trick that many professional cleaners will use is to treat the surface again with a fine layer of flour. Yep, common cooking flour. Take a very fine coating and cover the entire surface. Then, buff again as you did with the oil, rubbing into the grain for a few minutes. Wipe away any excess flour and you should be left with a lustrous shine worth showing off to guests.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBXCLxCdEi

*Video Note: Stainless-steel will not oxidize for a very long time – not something you should be concerned with.

If you’re using a stainless-steel cleaner instead, work the cleaner into the metal using the same method, go with the grain, not against it. We recommend Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner to get the best results.

Other Considerations

Some homeowners prefer using white, or apple cider, vinegar to clean stainless steel appliances as these products don’t release as many volatile organic compounds  as store bought stainless cleaners. If you’re cleaning with an aerosol product, it’s important to adhere to manufacturer warnings and proper use directions to ensure you stay safe while using the product. You might also want to consider the use of an indoor air purifier to keep your home’s air quality at its highest level while you clean.

Additionally, if you’re truly after that professional-grade shine – consider using a commercial-grade stainless steel refrigerator polish coupled with an electric buffer. These can be purchased online, here’s a favorite of ours, and used to buff a stainless steel surface to a high-grade sparkle relatively quickly. Scratches can be buffed away using this method too. If you’re using an automatic buffer, be sure that you buff the entire area and not just segments as an inconsistency in shine will be noticeable. Don’t forget to clean that surface first though!

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Best Sleeping Pad

Best Sleeping Pad Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

While a portable Sleep Number mattress isn’t an option (yet), a best sleeping pad offered by an outdoor specialty manufacturers can ensure a sound night’s rest on the trail without needing to count sheep. Don’t make the mistake of packing the wrong sleeping pad for your next wilderness adventure – Nothing blows harder than hiking fifteen miles, setting up camp, and laying down only to discover your pad isn’t going to cut it. Follow our guide below for a little help picking out the perfect sleeping pad for your next excursion.

For those in a hurry, our #1 top pick and Editor’s Choice for the best sleeping pad is the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol ($35-45). Its unique dimple design makes it a comfortable choice, it’s lightweight, and its level of insulation exceeds expectations for a pad that weighs only fourteen ounces and costs under $50 USD.

Best Sleeping Pad

  Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol REI AirRail 1.5 Exped SynMat Hyperlite Klymit Static V2 Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol REI AirRail 1.5 Exped SynMat Hyperlite Klymit Static V2 Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
Rank #1 – Editor’s Choice/Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad #2 – Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad #3 – Best Ultralight Sleeping Pad #4 – Best Camping Sleeping Pad #5 – Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers
Consumer Rating 4andhalf-stars 4stars-new 4stars-new 4andhalf-stars 4stars-new
Weight 14 oz 26 oz 14.6 oz 16.3 oz 16 oz
R-Value 2.6 4.2 3.3 1.3 3.2
Price $44 $90 134 $60 $160


How We Choose the Best Sleeping Pad

Like any other gear, sleeping pads should be carefully selected based on your unique hiking and/or camping conditions. Each of our top picks have been selected for application-specific properties. If you’re planning on camping overnight in extreme winter conditions, a pad’s R-value (its thermal resistance rating), should be a primary performance indicator that you consider. On the other hand, if you’re camping on the beach in July, comfort and cost may be the only two aspects you’re interested in. We weighed these properties in each top category below, with the most significant taking priority.

Some designs compliment human anatomy more so than others. Things like a tapered cut, side baffle inclusion, air compartment distribution, and foam cell construction all play in how well a sleeping pad supports someone while they sleep. Design elements like these also function to extend the usable life of pads through careful consideration of functionality and potential stress via use.

Insulating materials are rated for thermal resistance using a numerical value referred to as the R-value. This is used to classify the ability of an insulating material, in this case a sleeping pad, to withstand changes to an external environment’s temperature variations. Sleeping pads with higher R-values will generally keep campers warmer than those with lower values (i.e. 2.3 is better than 1.5). Performance testing to determine an R-value is done in a controlled, 70° Fahrenheit environment without airflow across the surface of the pads being examined. Because of this testing standard, R-values should be considered carefully based on trial and error. If you’re comparing similar pads (for instance, both foam dimple designs with equivalent thicknesses), then the corresponding R-values can be used to measure relative thermal protection reliably. If, however, you’re comparing an air pad to a foam pad with similar R-values, the best way to arrive at a definitive conclusion is to use both pads in the field.

For our ultralight top pick, weight was obviously a more important factor than other design and performance aspects. Weight, as it should be, was considered based on intended application; family, overnight campers aren’t going to value a one pound weight reduction as much as ultralight, cross-country hikers.

Other comparable pads’ costs were evaluated to determine if the cost alone was enough to keep them competitive. From our study, general use pads typically cost between $20 and $40 USD. Sleeping pads with significant R-values (5, or higher) can range between $110 and $250. And true ultralight pads (weighing less than 1 lb) start around $130 USD.

There are three primary types of sleeping pads: manually-inflated, self-inflating, and closed-cell foam pads. Manually-inflating and self-inflating pads are often preferred over foam pads because foam is rigid, bulky, and firmness can’t be adjusted like it can be with an inflatable variant. Backpackers, campers, car campers, and everyone in-between that prefer a highly-compressible pad (something that can easily be stowed away in a backpack) will typically opt for an air pad. For our review, construction type was considered in relation to application just like our other sleeping pad variables. As with everything else, your unique situation should be evaluated carefully when selecting one of the best sleeping pads for your next outdoor adventure.

Note: All of our top pick prices, weights, and packed sizes reflect those for regularly-sized sleeping pads.

Why You Should Buy One of the Best Sleeping Pads

No matter what you’re planning on your next trip, it’s important that you go prepared. Even a well constructed, lofty sleeping bag isn’t going to keep you warm if you’re using it on the ground; Down fill (or synthetic) within a sleeping bag compresses when you lay on it, reducing the ability for warm air to become trapped inside. If you’re sleeping on the ground with only a sleeping bag, you’re going to lose body heat. A sleeping pad ensures that you’re insulated from the ground.

In colder temperatures, having another layer of insulation between you and the ground (or air if you’re a hammock camper) can mean the difference between life and death (in extreme cases). It’s important that you plan accordingly for the environment you’ll be spending time in. Cold weather backpacking can be a lot of fun, but if you’re unprepared you’re going to have a bad time.

Many newer sleeping pads are engineered with higher-grade insulating materials, reflective components for radiating body heat back toward a sleeper, tougher materials which better resist sharp rocks and twigs, and often are lighter weight than older sleeping pads.

#1 Pick Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol – Editor’s Choice/Best Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Best Sleeping Pad - Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol

A no-brainer for the classic adventurer

Price: $44 | Packed Size: 20 x 5 x 5.5″ | Weight: 14 oz | R-value: 2.6

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING PAD TOP PICK: Super lightweight, worry free closed-cell foam construction, and a staple among outback trekkers, the Z Lite and Z Lite Sol are some of the best backpacking sleeping pads on the market.

The Therm-a-Rest brand is manufactured by Cascade Designs and is known among outdoor enthusiasts for its ultralight, trekking, travel, and camping sleeping pads. The brand’s website actually has a nice sleeping pad selection tool that steps consumers through their needs to determine the best fit for each adventure.

Ideal for backpackers, thru-hikers, and mountaineers, the Z Lite Sol is the brand’s improved design on the already great Z Lite mattress. Both are some of the lightest, compact, closed-cell sleeping pads on the market. They conveniently fold into an accordion-style shape for easy, external stowage on a pack, and the dimple design helps to retain heat from a sleepers body. The Z Lite Sol sets itself apart from the original in that it also has a reflective coating, ThermaCapture, which helps to capture radiant heat (Therm-a-Rest claims this increases overall warmth over the original model by almost 20%).

Closed-cell foam used in the construction of this pad is designed to be softer on the top and firmer on the bottom so that sleepers benefit from a surface that gives just a little more to their unique physique.

View on Amazon

#2 Pick REI AirRail 1.5 – Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Best Sleeping Pad - REI AirRail 1.5

Air rails help sleepers stay secure and warm on the trail

Price: $90 | Packed Size: 9 x 6.5″ | Weight: 26 oz | R-value: 4.2

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING PAD TOP PICK: A self-inflating dream come true, REI’s AirRail 1.5 is the perfect sleeping pad for campers looking for a lightweight alternative in which comfort doesn’t have to be sacrificed.

REI’s AirRail 1.5 Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad offers backpackers a low-weight pad with superior comfort. It’s a hybrid design combining an insulated foam filler with internal air compartments and side baffles. The air compartment firmness can be adjusted manually by filling the pad with more air through the inlet/outlet valve. Side baffles help to insulate a sleeper’s sides while also mitigating the possibility of rolling of the pad during a night’s sleep.

Quick-closing, high-flow valves ensure that inflation and deflation takes less time than comparable pads. The pad is constructed of a durable 75-denier polyester top and bottom, all seams are welded, and the top of the pad is embossed with a nonslip surface.

All in all, REI’s AirRail 1.5 made our list as  the best sleeping pad of the self-inflating variety due to its reliability and great combination of features which hikers often look for in a pad.

 

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#3 Pick Exped SynMat Hyperlite – Best Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Best backpacking sleeping pad - Exped SynMat Hyperlite

An outstanding design that keeps adventurers warm and cozy all night long

Price: $134 | Packed Size: 9 x 5.25″ | Weight: 14.6 oz | R-value: 3.3

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING PAD TOP PICK: The Exped SynMat Hyperlite is so lightweight you’ll forget you packed it, and it can be compressed to a near pocket-sized volume.

Exped’s SynMat Hyperlite delivers comfort on the level of an at-home mattress to the outdoors and minimizes the amount of weight you’ll need while trekking in to the outback.

Unique baffles that run the length of the pad create a support structure that gives to a sleepers body contours, helping develop a comfortable surface every time – even against uneven terrain. Welded seams ensure an airtight construction and mitigate the risk of a pad failure.

A lofted, microfiber insulation is engineered in a way that allows this sleeping pad to retain heat and function flawlessly even in colder environments – this is a 4-season pad.

Exped’s “FlatValve” design facilitates high airflow in and out of the pad and reduces the probability of tearing around the valve-to-pad interface which effectively increases the expected life of this mat.

A stuff sack and tear/puncture kit are included with this mat for extra measure, comfort, and convenience.

 

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#4 Pick Klymit Static V2 – Best Camping Sleeping Pad

Best backpacking sleeping pad - Klymit Static V2

A home run for comfort and compressibility

Price: $60 | Packed Size: 8 x 3″ | Weight: 16.33 oz | R-value: 1.3

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING PAD TOP PICK: Klymit hit the nail on the head with this sleeping pad. It delivers an excellent combination of comfort and compressibility for its cost.

Exceptional comfort and only one pound of weight, the Static V2 from Klymit hit the mark when it comes to performance, cost, and design. Ideal for back country hikers, campers, and even casual use, the V2 has a “body-mapped” ergonomic design on an over-sized sleeping area for maximum comfort.

Side rail cushion compartments help to cradle sleepers for a better nights sleep and added security from rolling off of the pad during the night. The segmented air compartment inside of the pad helps to reduce air movement when on the sleeping pad, and also mitigates air loss in the event of a puncture. A twist-pull valve allows for inflation in as little as ten breaths, and deflates with ease. The valve also locks closed to prevent inadvertent opening while sleeping.

30-denier polyester on the top and 75-denier polyester on the bottom help improve comfort and durability. The pad comes with a patch kit, storage bag, and is treated with an anti-microbial laminate to prevent bacterial growth in and out of the pad.

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#5 Pick Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad – Best Sleeping Pad for Side Sleepers

Best sleeping pad - Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite

An unbeatable sleeping pad that’s reliable and effective for most adventures

Price: $160 | Packed Size: 9 x 4″ | Weight: 16 oz | R-value: 3.2

WHY IT’S A BEST SLEEPING PAD TOP PICK: Best-in-class comfort, compression, and insulation, the NeoAir XLite is a phenomenal sleeping pad for both side, back , and stomach sleepers alike.

Ideal for hikers, thru-hikers, and back country minimalists, Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad is an excellent product that delivers a high level of comfort, a solid R-value for keeping sleepers warm, and a low-weight option for those that value every ounce.

A specially made reflective layer helps to reduce heat loss and trap body heat in air pockets without adding too much bulk to the overall design. The NeoAir XLite uses advanced fabrics and a tapered design to keep the warmth-to-weight ratio as ideal as possible.

The pad can be a bit noisy, but the combination of comfort and weight at this price point is difficult to beat.

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Key Sleeping Pad Factors

Trip Specific 

  • Picking the right pad for the job is the most important factor when navigating the hundreds of options available to consumers.
  • Foam pads may not be ideal for an ultralight backpacker. Keep function in mind first and foremost.

Size

  • If packability is a crucial component of your essential gear then a highly-compressible air pad may be a better choice than a foam pad.
  • Consider how you’ll carry your pad, and then eliminate the ones that don’t match your criteria.

Weight

  • Ultralight fanatic? Even if you aren’t, backpackers know how important pack weight is.
  • Your sleeping pad is one of three main weight and volume contributors in a pack (tent/hammock, sleeping bag, sleeping pad) and should be selected carefully to ensure your gear is technically ready for its specific use.

Best Sleeping Pad Features

Self-Inflating

  • Self-inflating sleeping bags have an open-cell foam layer internal to the outer polypropylene (or similar synthetic) layer. Once the air valve is opened, the foam layer expands and pulls air into the bag. Additional air can be blown into the bag to adjust the firmness of the mattress.

R-Value

  • A sleeping pad’s R-value is a measure of how well a pad can resist heat conductivity. The higher the value, the better a pad’s ability to insulate you.
  • R-values range from 1 (minimum insulation) all the way to 9.5 (extremely well insulated). As with all other features, consider every aspect of a pad before making a final decision.

Baffles

  • Some sleeping pads have side baffles meant to keep you snugly on the pad while sleeping (they’re also quite nice in hammock tents). Other pads have integrated pillow baffles.
  • From a purely functional perspective, these features do little to add value to a pad – but personal preferences vary greatly. These are options  if you fancy them.

Inflation Methodology

  • Valve types and air chambers vary greatly between inflating air pads. Notable features include fast-filling (or high-volume) inflation and deflation valves which allow for a fast setup, or breakdown, often only requiring a few large breaths.
  • Multiple air chambers have the added benefit of ensuring a pad retains most of its air in the event of a puncture, as well as reducing heat loss via compartmentalization.

Pad Textures

  • Another common feature to look for is pad texturing meant to keep sleepers more comfortable, but also helping maintain the position of the pad while moving around throughout the night. Textures vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but are typically coarse and applied to pads with an adhesive.
  • Some non-slip coatings can make re-packing your deflated pad a bit more difficult. We recommend floading up the pad in such a way so that the non-clip coating is contained within folds before rolling up and storing in a stuff sack.

Packed Size

  • Dependent on your particular needs, sleeping pads are available in a wide variety of packed sizes and can accommodate even the strictest ultralight hiker.
  • Typically packed size is relative to pad weight (the heavier the pad, the larger the packed size)
  • Foam pads are rigid and usually need to be strapped to the outside of a pack for trekking
  • Our top air pad picks all compress to a volumetric space of approximately 215 cubic inches, or about the size of an MSR camping cookset.

Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for the Best Sleeping Pad

We really can’t emphasize just how important it is that you pick a pad designed for your intended use. Always check weather reports if you’re planning on spending any time exposed to the elements while your hiking, or camping, and ensure that your gear can collectively protect you from the lowest possible temperature. Both air pads and foam pads can effectively help to insulate you from external temps and reduce the amount of body heat lost through a night in the wild.

If you’re packing an air mattress, ensure you’re equipped to handle a tear, or rip. Most air pads will come with an include patch kit, but if your doesn’t you can buy these online, or from a local outdoor retailer for a few bucks. Nothing sucks more than having to sleep on a cold, hard surface because you’ve accidentally puncture your bed.

Regular, short, wide, and everything in-between. Make sure you check pad measurements in relation to your individual needs. Most pads come in a variety of sizes to accommodate men and women of both the large and small variety.

What Else You Should Think About

Having one of the best sleeping pads is just one facet of the overall equation. Another thing to consider is if you’re well-equipped when it comes to a backpacking backpack. Check out of list of the best backpacking backpacks to see how yours measures up, or to shop for one of the year’s best. Have light for the trip? Consider reading our review of the best hiking headlamps of 2017.

As with any outdoor adventure, remember to leave with what you bring in. Leave no trace, and stay safe. Hiking in the wilderness can be very rewarding and exciting, but you should take care to ensure you’re prepared for the worst each and every time. Let family and friends know where you’re going, take the right GPS unit and physical maps with you, and plan based on the environment and seasonal climate.

Our top pick and Editor’s Choice for the best backpacking sleeping pad is the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol. It’s lightweight, durable, and its R-value relative to its construction properties is a good value for nearly every budget.

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What Should Your Refrigerator Temperature Be?

What Should Your Refrigerator Temperature Be? Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

If you have food spoiling every day, you may have a faulty refrigerator, or an accidental adjustment to your fridge’s temperature settings. Another headache you could be facing is that you’re finding items in your refrigerator frozen when they shouldn’t be. So what gives? Why is your refrigerator temperature too warm or too cold? What should your refrigerator temperature be?

The Ideal Refrigerator Temperature

The purpose of a refrigerator is to slow the growth of bacteria on produce, dairy, and meat. If you’ve found that your machine is having issues either chilling or freezing (depending on the compartment), then you need a solution and you need one fast.

A refrigerator’s main compartment is meant to be regulated between 35° and 38° Fahrenheit (regular refrigerator temperature should be closer to 35°), the regular refrigerator temperature. Bacteria development begins to increase exponentially at around 40 degrees, and most materials start to freeze at 32°. Your freezer temperature range should be between 32° at the highest, and its absolute lowest setting possible.

Managing Your Refrigerator’s Temperature

Do you have a digital display on your refrigerator? If you do, you can check the internal temperature and the machine’s set points from the display. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to navigate the digital interface, we recommend you consult with the owner’s manual. If you’ve misplaced the manual, a simple Google search with the brand name, model number, and the words “user manual” should result in uncovering a PDF version of the manual online. Manufacturers publish this material for free on their websites.

Refrigerator Temperature

A digital interface that displays the internal temperature of a refrigerator

If you have an older refrigerator without an exterior display, open the doors and look inside each compartment for a numbered dial. Machines without electronic controls will have a manual knob inside to adjust the internal temperature settings of each compartment. Unfortunately, this doesn’t actually provide the current temperature inside the refrigerator.

A simple, standalone thermometer can be placed inside the refrigerator to get a temperature reading and compare with the manual setting. Numbered settings on older machines may not display actual temperatures, but rather a fridge temperature setting 1-7 (or something similar like, “fridge temperature 1-5”). If this is the case, we again recommend that you consult your owner’s manual for guidance.

Manual Refrigerator Control Knob

An older refrigerator model with manual temperature adjustments

If you’ve managed to resolve a temperature setting and you’re still concerned about maintaining the temperature set point in your fridge, keep reading:

  • Don’t transfer hot items directly into the refrigerator, as this will cause the machine to use more energy to cool the overall space and also warm up the temperature of surrounding food.
  • A fuller refrigerator will help regulate temperature more consistently versus a fridge that has little in it. As food reaches the refrigerator’s cooling/freezing set point it lowers the amount of work the fridge has to do to keep everything cool, or frozen.
  • Older machines may have frayed, or missing, seals along the door’s edge. Check to see if seals are missing. Missing seals can be replaced very easily, and do-it-yourself superstores like Lowes and Home Depot sell self-adhesive seals for this very purpose.

Stay Away from the Danger Zone

If food in your freezer has fallen below 32°, then it may have begun to melt, and you should always be cautious of re-freezing defrosted food. Frozen foods, especially meats, actually begin to cook when warmed (even from freezing to 40°), but according to the FDA (if stored properly) most meats thawed in a refrigerator can be refrozen without health issues – although quality of taste may decline.

If your main refrigerator compartment has fallen below 40° for too long, then bacterial growth has multiplied by at least a rate of three. There’s no hard and fast rule on how long food can last in the danger zone before becoming inedible – however we encourage readers to pay close attention to items that have spent more than half an hour in a fridge that has stopped working. Always ensure products won’t harm you if they’re ingested after spending an extended time in the bacterial danger zone, and try to avoid multiple changes in food temperature prior to consumption.

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French Door Refrigerator Vs Side-By-Side

French Door Refrigerator Vs Side-By-Side Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

What are the differences between a french door refrigerator vs side-by-side fridge? Well, wonder no more as you’ve come to the right place as we’ll take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of refrigerators.

Many consumers will testify to their preference regarding a French door, or side-by-side refrigerator – and neither side of the argument is entirely wrong. Some features of each configuration are ideal for a few and inconvenient for others. For example, many owners of side-by-side refrigerators complain of too little freezer space. Similarly, some French door refrigerator owners dislike vertically storing frozen food since it’s difficult to organize stacked items.

Listed below are the most common differences between these two refrigerator types: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

French Door Refrigerator vs. Side-by-Side

  French Door Side By Side
Largest Storage Volume green-check-mark red-x-icon
Freezer Location Bottom Left Side
Less Space Used for Ice Machine red-x-icon green-check-mark


What is a French Door Refrigerator?

Three-Door French Refrigerator

A three-door French Refrigerator

French door refrigerators come in a wide variety of configurations however, they differentiate themselves from side-by-side refrigerators with a third (and even fourth) door. The refrigerator portion of the appliance is located on the top two-thirds of the fridge as a dual-door chilling space (just like a traditional side-by-side), but the bottom one-third of the refrigerator includes either one or two pull-out freezer compartments.

A 3-door vs. 4-door French refrigerator has one freezer compartment on the bottom instead of two. French door refrigerators are ideal for larger kitchens that don’t require custom-built, or built-in machines. Custom-built refrigerators are specifically designed and constructed based on a customer’s unique specifications. They can be as large as the customer wants and include any features requested, however their cost, as should be expected, is quite a bit higher than usual. If price might be an issue for you then you’re likely better off going with a standard build instead.

Built-in machines are prefabricated refrigerators designed to be used in custom-fit cabinetry installations. Cost is usually in-between the average of regular, consumer models and completely custom refrigerators.

What is Side-by-Side?

Side by Side Refrigerator

A standard side-by-side refrigerator

A side-by-side refrigerator has two full-length doors which open out and away from one another. Typically the section on the right is used for cold storage and the section on the left is used as the freezer. Side-by-side refrigerators are ideal for medium-sized kitchens, and are the most frequently purchased style out of all others available today.

Benefits of French Door Refrigerators

French door refrigerators usually offer more storage volume than other styles, and typically you’ll see a difference of about three cubic feet in the refrigerator and a little more lateral width for storage compared to side-by-side models.

Consumers that prefer French door machines to side-by-sides often say it’s because the majority of chilled contents are at eye level, while the freezer compartments (which are accessed less frequently) are stored at the bottom of the unit. Access to the primary fridge area is thus easier because it’s full-width unlike a side-by-side unit.

A compromise with this style of refrigerator is that frozen foods must be stacked on top of one another, and owners will need to bend, or squat, down to access the freezer compartments.

French door refrigerators we love: Samsung Chef Collection 4-Door Flex, GE Profile Series

Avg Cost: $3,600

Benefits of Side-By-Side Refrigerators

The biggest benefit of this design is that access to the freezer section is much easier, and the overall storage area can be organized for accessibility in a way that French door machines cannot.

Another, often overlooked, benefit is that the ice dispenser usually takes up less space in a side-by-side than it does in a French door design, due to the engineering style of more compact features in a French door refrigerator.

Cost is another big advantage that side-by-side machines have over French door units – they’re typically quite a bit cheaper (sometimes as much as a $500 difference).

Side-by-side refrigerators we love: LG Door-in-Door, Samsung Showcase

Avg Cost: $2,060

What Type of Refrigerator Should I Buy?

Ultimately the decision is your own, because everyone has unique preferences and needs for their particular home and kitchen. If you’re someone that rarely uses the freezer space you have, and would like your most frequented items around eye level, then a French door refrigerator might be your best option.

Related: What is a Counter-Depth Refrigerator?

If, on the other hand, you prefer easier access to your freezer section, and believe that a French door arrangement might make freezer accessibility a pain, a side-by-side refrigerator could suit you better – it’s worth mentioning that individuals with limited mobility could benefit from a side-by-side since access to a lower freezer compartment (like on French-door units) could be difficult, especially if the user is in a wheelchair. Small kids that raid the fridge often will also benefit from a side-by-side over a French-door unit since access isn’t hindered by height.

Another thing to consider is the difference in style, and the variation in cost. If aesthetics are of high importance, many prefer the French door to the side-by-side because the three-door and four-dour models break up a normally plain wall of stainless steel. Some even believe that it adds value to their home (although the significance of that value could be argued). Others are more budget-centered, and have value at the forefront of their buying decisions. If that’s you, many side-by-side refrigerators offer a great combination of storage space, features, and visual appeal for less money than most French door machines.

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Novi 4-in-1 HD Home Security System Review

Novi 4-in-1 HD Home Security System Review Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

We live in a world that demands simplicity, streamlining and combining many of our favorite products like home security cameras (and some of our not-so-favorites, like smoke alarms) into single, seamless systems. The Novi 4-in-1 HD home security system is just such a product, mashing some of the most key parts of our home together in a bid to help you protect you and your family from break-ins, fire, and burglary all at once.

But is the Novi another case of “Jack of trades, master of none”? Read on in my Novi 4-in-1 HD home security system review and find it out it’s one of the best home security systems!

Overview

Price: $235.24 on Amazon
Available: Now

Summary: The Novi HD 4-in-1 kills two birds with one stone, but the software is still a little slower and less reliable than we’d like to see in a device that’s designed to be the last stop between burglars and the rest of your home.

What We Liked

  • Simple, effective design
  • App UI is easy to use
  • Setup was quick

What We Didn’t

  • App was buggy and didn’t always work as advertised

Novi 4-in-1 HD Smoke Alarm System Specs

  61ley4cqisl-_sl1500_
Novi 4-in-1 HD Alarm System
Activation + Installation Fee $0
Monthly Fee $11.99
Contract Agreement None
Equipment Cost $235.24
Cellular Connection red-x-icon
Control Panel red-x-icon
Motion Detection green-check-mark
Door or Windows Sensors red-x-icon
Smoke, Carbon Monoxide green-check-mark
Mobile App/Remote Access green-check-mark
Home Automation red-x-icon
Crash and Smash Tech red-x-icon
Power Outage Protection green-check-mark
Pet Friendly red-x-icon
Installation Process DIY
BBB Rating A+
Cancelation Policy n/a
Buy Now


Hardware and Design

Novi 4-in-1 HD

The Novi HD looks almost just like any other smoke alarm…with one hidden camera underneath

The basic Novi home security kit comes with four components installed in one device: a smoke alarm, a motion sensor, a 170° 720p camera, and 90dB siren. The idea is that you can install the Novi in place of a normal smoke detector, and the unit will knock out several birds with one stone, giving you a “birds-eye” view of your entire home while also providing you with a sense of security while you’re away.

The unit itself is designed with a fairly basic black-on-white aesthetic in mind, and isn’t really meant to draw attention to itself as anything but a plain old smoke alarm, which is sort of the point. Unlike other home security cameras and devices which are plainly obvious to the naked eye, most burglars wouldn’t think twice about robbing a house if all they saw inside was a smoke alarm to guard the premises. This allows the Novi to hide in plain sight, and ensures that your home will be kept safe from the “smash and crash” methods that other home security systems fall prey to all too often.

Setup and Installation

Novi 4-in-1 HD

Getting the Novi HD set up and installed was a breeze thanks to the intuitive app

From opening the box to the system being fully functional, it took me about 15 minutes to get the Novi Security system up and running, thanks in due part to its highly intuitive and easy-to-use app.

Related: Canary Home Security Review

After that it was only a matter of finding a spot to mount the unit, and while I didn’t actually mount it (this was just a review, after all), the mounting kit was a standard size and would have clipped in easily to my pre-existing smoke alarm spots without much hassle.

Software

Novi 4-in-1 HD

This is what we call barebones simplicity at its best

The Novi Security app for iOS and Android is where all the magic of this device happens, and it’s where you can manage how the alarm reacts to certain events, as well as the same place you’ll respond in case of an event.

Related: Scout Home Security System Review

The app itself was well designed and simple to use, but perhaps a little bit too simple. Honestly beyond the actual functions there wasn’t much more to the security aspect than a barebones camera shot, and the option to save any captured images to your phone’s onboard gallery.

Performance

Novi 4-in-1 HD

The Novi app was a little too buggy for our home security tastes

Although the Novi 4-in-1 HD home security system isn’t designed to be a full-fledged security option with add-ons like door sensors or glass break detectors available, we still wanted to test it against standard protocol that we’ve used for other similar devices in this category.

Read More: Netgear Arlo Q Security Camera Review

Unfortunately, the Novi HD still seems like it has a few kinks that need to get worked out, as it only caught our movements about 80% of the time. We tried placing it in various parts of the house and tried burglary scenarios like opening the front door or coming in through the window, and at least in the latter case, we could barely get it to register on the app that we had broken in at all.

The same was true for telling the system to take a picture of the event. Half the time the camera would simply hang in limbo before the app crashed, while the other half it would only take a picture way after we had pressed the button on our phones. For a device that’s supposed to catch potential thieves in the act, this device might not even get a snap of them until they’ve long since left the building with all your valuable possessions.

Pricing/Subscriptions

One upside to the Novi is that unlike some other security systems, professional monitoring services are offered on a completely a’la carte basis. After paying the $235.24 upfront cost for one unit (additional units are available for $152.96 a pop), you can either opt out of recurring fees altogether, or choose from a number of different time limits for when you want your home to stay under watch.

This includes daily monitoring for one 24-hour period ($3.99), weekly ($5.99), monthly ($11.99), or buy for a full year at $124.99. This is a nice way to mix things up, because if you’re going on a trip where you know you’ll lose cell service like on a plane, this can pick up the slack for much less than what you would pay for monitoring on competing systems.

Wrap Up

When it works, the Novi HD 4-in-1 home security system is a novel, if slightly buggy way to keep your home free of unwanted intruders.

Its unassuming design and integrated app make it perfect for anyone who wants to really catch burglars in the act, and its simple set up makes it easy for anyone of any technical skill level to get it installed in a matter of 20 minutes or less.

That said, its app wasn’t as reliable as we would like if you plan on using the Novi as your one and only home security system, but hopefully the team behind this smoke alarm/motion sensor/camera will be able to patch things up in a few months and get everything running up to the standard we demand for keeping our living spaces secure.

The post Novi 4-in-1 HD Home Security System Review appeared first on Gadget Review.

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Best Pool Vacuum Robot

Best Pool Vacuum Robot Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

If you want to cut down on pool cleaning costs and keep a happier, cleaner swimming pool, you should consider the best pool vacuum robot. These bots are designed to roll around the bottom and sides of your pool, filtering out debris while also cleaning the surface to help remove any new algae or other problems.

The best of the best, and our #1 pick, is the Dolphin Nautilus Plus ($685.00), with it’s 60-foot swivel cable, intelligent mapping system, and thorough 2.5 hour cleaning cycle. This pool bot is both easy to use and very effective with 360-degree filtration, two different filters for fine and coarse particles, and cartridges that are simple to clean. That makes this model a great choice for more challenging pool shapes – but lets take a look at other factors that may be important to your unique situation.

Best Pool Vacuum Robot

  miele-dynamic-u1
Dolphin 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Hayward RC9990CUB TigerShark Quick Clean
Rank #1 – Editor’s Choice/Best Robotic Pool Vacuum #2 – Best Pool Vacuum Robot for Small Pools #3 – Best Pool Vacuum Robot for Large Pools
Amazon Rating 4andhalf-stars 4stars-new 4stars-new
Cleaning Cycle 2.5 Hours 2 Hours 1.5 Hours
Surfaces Walls, Coves, Floor, Waterline Walls and Floor Floor, Walls, Coves, Waterline
Cable Length 60 Feet 40 feet 55 feet
Price $685.00 $295.07 $982.79
Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now


How We Choose the Best Pool Vacuum Robot

One of the features we take a close look at is navigation. A pool bot isn’t much good if it can’t accurately read your pool shape and make sure surfaces are cleaned equally. The best options use digital mapping to scan the pool accurately, and then run a circuit without bumping into anything (something our Dolphin pick does particularly well). Great models can also scoop around the waterline and handle curves with ease.

Then we took a look at cleaning and filtration. Filtering out debris is nice, but we prefer to see rubberized brush rolls that can take care of algae and other serious pool problems too. Filter systems can either be bags or cartridges, but they should be large and easy to rinse out at the end of a cycle. And when it comes to cleaning, powerful suction is also important! Our top picks have efficient pumping systems that can move a lot of water in a short time.

Design is important as well. Simple designs that don’t require extra hook-up accessories or tubes are important: Our top picks all have pre-formed shells that don’t have any easily breakable parts, and are simple to open up if necessary. This can also affect the warranty:  The durable design of our Dolphin pick is one reason that the warranty is a full 2 years instead of just one year. Hayward, meanwhile, offers up to a 3 year warranty depending on the model that you ultimately choose.

We also pay attention to, for lack of a better word, handling. These pool bots are larger than many people realize, and then need to be easy to place in the water and (this part is important), and easy to safely remove without trouble or injury. Handles and lightweight designs are particularly important here. Our top pick got the weight down to 16.5 pounds, which is great compared to the 18-20lb range that most models come in at.

While it’s sometimes hard to tell based on photos alone, one of the most important components of pool vacs is the cable. Cables should never tangle or get caught while the vacuum is running through its program. Models need to have swivel cables that re-orient themselves when necessary to avoid this…and they need to be long enough for your pool, preferably 40 feet or longer depending on your setup – and as you can imagine, more complicated hidden swimming pools may require even more cable than that.

 

Why You Should Buy a New Pool Vacuum Robot

The right swimming pool robot vacuum can save you money on cleanings, if you know what you’re doing and choose the right model for your pool. This is especially true if you have a pool that tends to struggle with debris (near to trees, frequently uncovered, in a windy area, etc.) and can benefit from frequent cleaning. The less time debris spends in the pool, the less chance of problems like algae developing, so frequent bot cleanings can contribute to the longevity of your pool – and it may not even cost that much electricity.

A pool robot vacuum can also catch grime, slime, and other problems that you or a pool cleaner may not notice, especially if equipped with fine filtration beyond just a mesh screen. This is particularly useful for extra-large pools where the in-pool filter may not be able to handle everything effectively.

Read More: 16 of the World’s Most Extraordinary Swimming Pools

#1 Pick  Dolphin 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus – Editor’s Choice/Best Robotic Pool Vacuum

Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Vacuum Robot

This pool vacuum has a long reach and excellent cleaning features.

Price: $685.00 | Cleaning Cycle: 2.5 Hours | Surfaces: Walls, Coves, Floor, Waterline | Cable Length: 60 feet

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Ease of use and excellent filtration mark this great beginner’s model.

Not sure what pool bot to get? Start with this excellent Dolphin model, which does just about everything right. From full scrubbing for all pool shapes (including coves), to an extra-long cord, to cartridge filters that are easy to unlock and rinse, this pool vacuum robot is made to be useful…and the price is highly competitive for such a feature-rich model.

The 360° suction ensures that more floating bits get capture by the bot, while the two rubberized rollers take care of nearly any pool surface out there. The Plus model also comes with scanning tech that learns the individual shapes of each pool so that it makes fewer awkward mistakes, and generally acts with more intelligence while it cleans. The two filters are divided into fine filtration and mesh for coarse filtration, for one of the most complete cleaning cycles we’ve seen yet.

The model also has “waterline” cleaning, which means it pokes above the surface of the water a few inches to make sure all those floating bits get taken care of. Additionally, with the modular components you can handle most maintenance tasks and replacements yourself, a great feature for new owners. However, keep in mind that the 2.5-hour cleaning cycle is a little long, so give this bot plenty of time to get the job done.

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#2 Pick  Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen – Best Pool Vacuum Robot for Small Pools

Smartpool NC22 Smartkleen

A nimble and affordable model for smaller pools.

Price: $295.07 | Cleaning Cycle: 2 Hours | Surfaces: Walls and Floor| Cable Length: 40 feet

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: An affordable model ideal for smaller pools.

Look for a less expensive model that can still get the job done? Try out this Smartpool model, which is designed primarily for smaller pools closer to home – suggested for 14′ by 28′ by 6′ pools or less. Fortunately, the model supports pretty much all surfaces (vinyl, fiberglass, concrete) and is relatively fast and lightweight for easy handling.

It also has solid tracking technology – not quite Dolphin’s mapping system, but enough detection to avoid bumping off walls. The average cleaning cycle lasts for 2 hours before automatic shutoff, so it doesn’t take as long to run a cycle as the Dolphin model, either. If you’ve got a small pool, this is the bot cleaner for you.

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#3 Pick  Hayward RC9990CUB TigerShark Quick Clean – Best Pool Vacuum Robot for Large Pools

Hayward RC9990cub Tigershark

Hayward’s powerful cleaner is made for larger, more complicated pools.

Price: $982.79 | Cleaning Cycle: |1.5 Hours | Surfaces: Floor, Walls, Coves, Waterline | Cable Length: 55 feet

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A masterful unit that can handle even the most challenging pools – for a price.

This Hayward pool robot vacuum is a high-end, super-fast model that’s excellent for pools which have more awkward shapes or cleaning needs. The high price is offset by the short cleaning cycle (two cycles recommended for the average pool), as well as the bot’s ability to handle pretty much every kind of pool you throw its way.

The cartridge filters are easy to remove and clean, and the whole system is designed for quick, simple use on all pool surfaces, including pebble and tile. Plus, the motor is made to save electricity! If it wasn’t for the high price, we would have scored this model higher, but you may not want to pay nearly $1,000 for a pool bot that has many of the same features as models half the cost.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Pool Vacuum Robot

Surface Material Compatibility

  • While we tried to pick models that work well on all common surfaces, pool vacs are all designed the same way. Pool surfaces can be vinyl, fiberglass, gunite-style concrete, pebble-and-tile, and more. We don’t have time to go into the advantages and disadvantages of these surfaces right now, but all you need to know is you want to look for a model that’s properly rated to handle your pool’s particular type of surface.
  • The last thing you want is a bot that has a chance of damaging your pool surface, because nothing is more annoying or expensive to fix over the long term. One reason our Hayward pick is so pricey is that it’s made to work on just about any surface, without causing damage.

Cable Length for You

  • Cable lengths can vary quite a bit – and so can your needs, depending on the setup. Most models have a “control unit” that you install or plug in, and then a cable that runs from the control unit to the bot. Based on where you plug in the control unit, your cable needs to be long enough for the bot to cover all the surface area of your pool.
  • Unfortunately there’s no easy way to judge this other than taking some precise measurements before buying – and choosing a longer cable to make sure there’s no problem.
  • If you know your own system well enough, choose a spot where your control unit can be place (according to your electrical setup), and then measure the distance to your pool. Add the distance that the bot will need to travel inside the pool – this can vary based on bot behavior, but adding in a couple lengths from the longest side of your pool should be enough. When in doubt, call out an electrician or pool expert to ask for help.

Above Ground vs. In-Ground

  • An above ground pool vacuum robot is generally designed for smaller spaces and easier cleaning jobs, since above ground pools tend to be smaller setups. In-ground pools are larger, and tend to favor larger bots with larger filtration capacities. Our top models are designed to work well both for in-ground and above ground pools, but it’s important to note the difference.

Certifications

  • Any time you mix electricity and water, you need assurance that the device is going to be safe. Certifications help ensure your peace of mind on this matter. There are many different certification options (CE, UL, ETK, CSA), which are typically defined by region.
  • Make sure that a model has been certified for your region – multiple certifications show a brand that understands safety is important.

Remote Control

  • Does the pool bot come with a remote control, or do you need to manually turn it on or off? Remote controls are generally more useful, however there’s wiggle room here for personal preference. If you’d rather not keep track of a pool remote at all times, manual controls may be more your style – especially if you’re already in the pool when you need to switch the bot’s program over.

Mobility

  • Mobility is a general factor that focuses on how well the pool bot handles and turns. Soft turns with high-quality mapping are usually better, because they clean corners more effectively and avoid the possibility of cable tangles more reliably. The bot should also be able to easily find traction and climb your pool walls to the water line without being dislodged.

Read More: 20 Awesome Personal Swimming Pools That You Can’t Swim In

Mistakes to Avoid

Ignoring Power Supply. Control panel installation and cables are an important part of pool vacuum cleaners, so you need to pay close attention to their requirements. Take a look at specs like output voltage (24 V DC, for example, is a common requirement) and make sure your electrical system can support it. This is especially important for models sold internationally, which may have varying power requirements.

Never Rinsing the Filter. Rinse out the filter after every use! That’s why filter bags and canisters are there – they need to be cleaned out so that your pool bot operates effectively. Otherwise, you aren’t getting your money’s worth because the pool bot can lose suction and cleaning capacity when the filters are backed up.

Not Taking Safety Precautions. Pool vacs add a bot and a long cord to your pool area. Be very careful when it comes to tripping or stumbling hazards. Even falling onto the bot in the pool can result in some serious injuries. Pool bots should be used while the pool is empty, but we know it can be tough to find time when a pool is both uncovered and not in use. Be careful no matter what.

Forgetting Other Pool Care: A pool bot does filter out dirt and scrub the walls, but that’s all it does. You can’t just forget about other types of pool care. Whether it’s you or a pool service, you need to make sure that the chemical balance of the pool remains optimal and that run times and temperature are both set as recommended. Improper chemical balances or temperatures will cause problems with algae and decay no matter how many pool bots you throw in.

What Else You Should Think About

When looking for the best pool vacuum robot, remember to find one that works with your pool size, pool surface materials, electrical system, and pool shape. That’s a lot of variables! Research is your friend here – and remember, you can always call a pool cleaner or similar service and ask about which of our picks would be best for your pool situation. This little video gives you an idea of how to start your pool vac, and there are also many resources on maintaining your pool chemical balance. Speaking of maintenance, you can save money with careful DIY maintenance on your pool bot – just remember to take safety precautions!

Keep in mind that robot pool vacuums and floor robot vacs are two different models (it sounds obvious, but please don’t get them confused). If you want to learn about today’s latest robot cleaning options to automate cleaning inside your house as well as outside, check out our feature on Neato vs. Roomba.

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How to Descale a Keurig

How to Descale a Keurig Gadget Review – Your lifestyle gadget site

Let’s talk about how to descale a Keurig in the most efficient way possible – and why it matters. Is your Keurig running slow, pouring out tiny little cups, or generally misbehaving? Are you wondering, “Why does my Keurig say descale? What does it mean?” You probably have a problem with “scale”, or mineral coatings that precipitate out of hard water and coat the inside of your Keurig, and can cause blockages and slow-downs if left for a long time without a good scrubbing. So, how do you descale a Keurig? Fortunately, all it takes is a little time (and white vinegar), so we’ll show you how.

Get Your Keurig Ready

Descaling

Start with a little prep work: empty out any remaining water in your Keurig tank, take out any disposable cups, and clean up the surrounding area. This is also a great time to get a brush and scrub at the corners of your Keurig for a full cleaning, but if you don’t have enough time for this process, you can move on to the next step of creating the cleaning mixture.

Related: Best Coffee Maker with Grinder 2017

Prepare Your Cleaning Mixture

The cleaning mix is a simple recipe: it has an acidic quality that dissolves scale as it passes and pushes the remnants out of your Keurig. Now, the company does sell its own Keurig descaling solution for this very purpose, however we don’t suggest you use it. For one thing, it’s a lot more expensive than other options, and for another it uses a citrus mix that tends to get poor reviews as users complain that the smell/taste lingers even after thorough rinsing.

A better idea is to use simple Keurig descaling solution ingredients like white vinegar. Most people have a bottle of white vinegar around somewhere, and if not, you can grab one at the store for a dollar or two (we suggest getting the largest jug possible).

When are ready to descale your Keurig with vinegar, fill up water tank with a mix of around 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water. This is a lot of vinegar, so you may want to grab a gallon-sized version of the stuff. It’s also really going to smell when you heat it up, so don’t do this during lunch hour.

Run The Mixture Through

Keurig Cleaning

With your tank filled to the proper level, it’s time to turn your Keurig on and run the mix through. Wait for it to heat up, and as soon as it is ready, pour out a full cup of the mixture. Use a mug that you can quickly empty out, because you’re going to pour out the entire vinegar brew, one cup at a time, and dumb it away until the tank is empty. Wait as little time as possible between pours to maximize the effect. Now keep in mind you won’t see the scale come off since the residue is microscopic, but the acidic vinegar will do the job nonetheless.

After you’ve waved away the clouds of vinegar, consider the state of the pouring process. Has the flow between the tank and the cup become steady, clean, and reliable like it should be? If not, run through a second tank of the vinegar mixture. If a second tank doesn’t show any improvement, your problem probably isn’t scale, but some other obstruction or serious problem that can’t be fixed with a cleaning run alone. A Keurig clogged with debris, or a Keurig not brewing even after descaling, requires more professional repairs.

Read More: Keurig Platinum Review

Rinse Out

One you have run the mixture through your Keurig, you need to get all that vinegar residue out, along with any bits of scale remaining. To do this, fill the tank with regular, fresh water, and run it all through with another series of poured cups. You may want to try a quick taste/sniff of the last cup to make sure all the essence of vinegar is gone, and this may take several rotations of the tank so don’t get discouraged if the water coming out doesn’t smell perfect after the first time you run it.

Finally, take a look at your instructions and reset your Keurig. If your pour amounts have been out of whack, this should help restore the balance. Also, resetting will typically turn off that Kuerig descale light or notification.

Read More: Keurig Vue Review

Maintain, Maintain, Maintain

Keurig Maintenance

Keurig’s official suggestion on this subject is that you descale your Keurig every three to six months. However, you can keep the coffeemaker healthy and happy by properly maintaining it in the meantime. Remember how we mentioned that scale is typically caused by hard water? If you use filtered or distilled water every time you make a fresh cup of Joe, you can drastically reduce the amount of scale that becomes trapped in your Keurig. Don’t just pour directly from the tap if you can avoid it (though this will happen at work, no matter what guidelines are set, so sometimes it can’t be helped), and lastly don’t wait until the last minute to clean away scale – the longer you wait, the worse it gets. For a home unit, you may want to descale every several months. For a busy office unit, you may need to have a descale day once a month.

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