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Outdoor Tech

Outdoor Tech

It amazes me how many companies try to convince us that their products will work outdoors in our Canadian environment. Thankfully, we are definitely starting to see a technological-shift with products that are truly designed to handle extreme cold, lots of wet and transition straight into drought! (and I think that was just last week!)

My first product doesn’t even claim to be for the outdoors, but with the explosion in popularity of outdoor kitchens, KitchenAid’s new Magnetic Drive blender is a must have. The reason I feel good about it on my covered porch because all of the moving parts are contained! The blades in the blender are powered through magnets! Don’t be fooled though, this beast packs a real punch. It pulverized the ice for all of the poolside drinks with ease!

With record temperatures in our near future, Honeywell’s Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler is one appliance that everyone needs on their sunny patios. I personally tried the unit out on my mother’s back deck in the full sun. Thermometer said 29 but it felt like 35 degrees out there. Within 3 minutes, the temperature had drop 3 degrees. The technology is so simple. The unit can either hook up to a garden hose or have water added to a catch basin. Using the same amount of power as a 150-watt light bulb, it evaporates the water to create cooler air. Point it where you need it and you can feel the difference!

Solar umbrellas have been around for a bit, but the Uberhaus model from Rona has taken the process and made it so simple for the average homeowner. They put the panel on top of the post! Now you don’t even know it’s there and you have little discrete led lights on all of the ribs that turn on with a switch. This way you can choose to have free light at night…or not. They also made the system water-resistant, so that you don’t have to bring the unit indoors on a rainy day.

For all of those readers who live in areas where the weather changes on the hour, NeverWet by Rust-Oleum is a perfect for you! Spray it on any surface and it repels water. Seems pretty straight forward so I put it through the gears. I sprayed my patio umbrella; my outdoor cushions and even my leather work boots and turned the hose on them. This product works! No water went through my umbrella on to the dining table and my patio cushions were completely dry. Even my work boots were dry, without any spotting or discolouring. Now you can safely leave your outdoor cushions outside, even when its raining!

At this rate, outdoor living is going to have more toys and gadgets than the indoors, and I couldn’t be happier. Even if I only get to use my backyard for 6 months of the year…I am definitely going to make the most of it!

Carson Arthur is an international landscape designer with a focus on environmentally friendly design. Throughout his 15-year television career, Carson teaches homeowners how to raise the value of their homes through outdoor renovations. He is part of the Cityline team; writes a column for the Halifax Chronicle Herald and the Sun media group including the Toronto Sun about outdoor design and appears regularly in a variety of magazines with guest articles. He is the North America outdoor design editor for Outdoor Lifestyle magazine; the outdoor expert for Terra Greenhouses; Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; and the author of the sold out book Garden Designs for Outdoor Living with a new book scheduled to hit the shelves spring 2018.

His credits include; the host of HGTV’s Green Force and Critical Listing; the Gemini nominated Room to Grow on Global, ION and the Discovery network; Better Home’s and Garden’s Home, First Home on the Hallmark Channel in the U.S.; and an expert on HGTV’s blockbuster; Home to Win. Currently, Carson’s programs can be seen on every continent in the world.

Carson now represents Canada as the international ambassador for Save the Children. His expertise in growing food will help end the cycle of poverty for children all over the world by spearheading a Canadian initiative of adding agriculture to education called Fresh For All.