March 28, 2014 at 8:12 AM ET
From a garden that grows inside to rain gear for the whole family, here are 9 of the greatest and latest products in the gadget world that are less than $100.
Color changing umbrella, $40; Momastore.org or Hammacher.com
April showers never looked so good. These umbrellas, which come with images of the NYC skyline or raindrops, are made with something called “hydro-chromatic ink,” which is white when it’s dry but changes colors when it gets wet. So when it rains, your umbrella brightens the dreary day with color.
Canine Raincoat, $49.95; Hammacher.com
Let’s not forget our best friends! Dogs need raincoats, too, and this one will keep them dry through and through. Its exterior is made with water-repellent nylon material, while cozy, warm fleece lines the inside. The adjustable transparent rain hood keeps his vision splatter-free without covering his ears. It also attaches to the pup’s leash or allows for a harness.
Columbia quick drying and water draining running shoes, starting at $63; Columbia.com
If you’re a huge fan of trail runs and rainy-day runs you will love the Columbia lineup of Drainmaker and Powervent shoes. Each pair has drainage and unique construction that allows for quick drying. Water in, water out!
Sea to Summit dissolving laundry paper, $3.95; Rei.com
I could have really used these over the weekend on a travel shoot, but instead I wore the same hoodie for four days straight. Sea to Summit makes “leaves,” are dry sheets of different types of soap, including laundry wash. Each environmentally friendly sheet dissolves completely and is phosphate and paraben free. The tiny pack weighs just a half-ounce and comes with 50 sheets.
Lumiball LED Lighted Golf Balls, $24.99 (set of three); Brookstone.com
These Lumiball LED Lighted Golf Balls stay lit for eight minutes after they’re hit, so you don’t have to worry about scouring the rough. Each ball come in packs of three with assorted colors and have 40 hours of battery life.
illoom LED balloons, $7.94 for 15 balloons; iloomballoons.com
File this under something I’ve never seen – glowing balloons! These LED balloons glow for 15 hours and look pretty spectacular. Just pull the tab to activate the illumination.
Glo-Loons LED Balloon Lights, $6.99 for five; Skylanterns.us
Light up the night with a flashing balloon! Glo-Loons contain mini LED lights, and you can make them glow in three different modes: fast flash, slow flash or continual. They’ll stay lit for a full 24 hours, so you can keep the party going all night long.
Light Up Sunglasses, starting at $19.97; Electricstyles.com
Light up spring break or just cast a glow on a night out. These fun lighted shades and glasses make a statement, and you can select among regular shades, shutter shades, strobe mode or motion control.
Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden, $99; ClickandGrow.com
Grow your own fresh herbs at home with this hot-off-the-market kit. Funded on Kickstarter, each starter kit includes cartridges for basil, thyme and lemon balm (additional refills and herbs available). Just plug in the device, add water and the gadget will supply the plants with just the right amount of nutrients, water (an indicator light will let you know when to add more) and oxygen. All natural and pesticide free; sprouts will show after just a week or two.