The advent of crowdfunding has made it possible for anyone with a genius idea to turn their dream invention into a reality. Of course, not all inventions are well received, but these brilliant Kickstarter products with a cult following on Amazon have truly risen to the top.
Some of these products solve common, everyday problems — like preventing your travel mug from tipping over when you accidentally brush against it. And other products do (surprisingly) big favors for the environment, like an organic biodegradable chewing gum that's flavored with natural essential oils.
All these products stand alone as useful, delicious, or aesthetically-satisfying — attributes which are enough in and of themselves.
But I have to be honest — there's also something incredibly satisfying about knowing that you've supported someone who had the courage to turn their dream into a reality.
So whether you're looking for a faster way to charge your phone in your car, or a way to make instant tea that's better than using a teabag, I've got you covered. Or rather, these resourceful inventors have you covered.
What can I say? Believe in your dreams. Or at the very least — believe in these products. I do.
1. A Smartwatch That Keeps Track Of Everything (And Costs Less Than $50)
Not only does smartwatch eliminates the need to pull out your phone every time you suspect it has buzzed. Simply glance at your wrist to monitor texts, emails, incoming calls, and calendar notifications. And with a built-in microphone, you can reply quickly (or make a voice note to do it later). You can also download a ton of apps and stay up to date on weather, sports scores, and news. The watch even allows you to track activity and sleep. It's water-resistant up to 30 meters and you can charge it in any USB port.
Did I mention it's only $40? Because it's only $40.
2. A Travel Mug That Won't Tip Over — Seriously, Not Even If You Try To
No more cleaning up spills near your computer in a hurried panic. This travel mug vacuum airlocks onto any surface so that it won't tip over if something knocks into it. The vacuum releases easily when you lift the mug, so you don't have to give the old heave-ho just to take a sip. It fits into car cup holders, but you can also use it on trains (or boats, if that's your thing). It's BPA-free and dishwasher-safe and comes in colors like lilac, teal, pink, red, and cream.
3. These Versatile Lids That Fit Onto Any Mason Jar
Mason jars are great for using and reusing, but the lids can get rusty pretty fast. Enter these reusable lids that fit onto any standard size Mason jar. The lids are spill-proof so you use them to shake up a salad dressing, then pour it through the 1-inch spout with flipper lid. They're BPA-free, dishwasher-safe and made from high-quality plastic that's safe for food and beverages. And the plastic is break-proof, so you can stick it in the freezer without fear of cracking.
4. A Cookbook That Helps You Eat On $4 A Day
Anyone on a budget knows how hard it is to eat well when you're pinching pennies. This cookbook teaches you how to make healthy and delicious meals on just $4 a day. It includes recipes for lunches, dinners, soups, salads, snacks, and desserts. It also offers tips on economical shopping so you don't panic and just put a bunch of ramen in your basket. So put your dollars to work and enjoy a barley risotto or vegetable jambalaya. Bonus: the publisher donates a free copy to a family in need with every purchase.
5. These Tea Crystals That Brew Amazing Tea On-The-Go
Most tea drinkers would probably argue that the taste of loose leaf tea is far superior to tea bags... but it's also a lot more hassle. This black tea powder uses organic tea crystals that you can simply pour into hot water. The quality is equal to loose leaf tea, but it's a lot less mess. The Assam and Ceylon crystals are high in antioxidants and work to improve digestion, sustain energy, and relieve stress. In the words of one reviewer, "Not having to deal with strainers and used tea leaves makes this great for anyone on the go."
6. A Car Charger That Works Twice As Fast As Other Chargers
Not only does this USB car charger juice up your devices two times as fast as other car chargers, it also lasts two times as long, thanks to its military-grade durability. The charger is backlit and angled for easy access and it automatically detects what kind of device it's charging (phone or tablet), so that it delivers the appropriate charging power output. You can also download an app that helps you find your car in crowded parking lots.
7. A Monitor That Tells You Exactly Why Your Check Engine Light Just Came On — In A Way You Can Understand
The Check Engine light can induce a feeling of dread in the best of us. This car health monitor hooks up to an app and tells you what's going on with your car — in plain English. It even tells you how serious the problem is and estimates the price of maintenance once you get to the mechanic, so you can be sure you're getting a fair deal. The monitor works with any gas-powered vehicle built after 1996 (Note: does not detect airbag, ABS, or TPMS lights.)
8. A Belt That Eases Back Strain And Improves Posture
This posture belt gives you an ergonomic sitting experience no matter what chair you're sitting in. The belt fits around your lower back and has straps that loop around your knees, creating a supportive balance. It eases pressure on the back and prevents slumping by stabilizing your pelvis, restoring the natural curve of your spine, and sustaining lumbar support. You can also use it 15 minutes a day as a training device to improve your everyday posture.
9. A Mount That Keeps Your Phone Secure On Bike Rides
This iPhone lock case mounts onto your bike's stem or handlebars for safekeeping. You can more easily track your distance on fitness apps or use maps to navigate your way through the city. It includes a poncho weather-resistant cover to guard your phone from rain, dust, mud, and sweat on those hot-day rides. Its dual-locking system means your phone is totally secure. One reviewer extols its hardiness: "Ride it over railroad tracks, jump holes and take high speed turns and it just sits there!" And with a stellar 4.7 average rating, this invention has a true cult following in the biking crowd.
10. The Most Backed Card Game On Kickstarter — But Now With A NSFW Twist
The Exploding Kittens card game is one of the biggest Kickstarter campaigns of all time, so maybe it was only a matter of time until the NSFW edition found its way into players' hands. The gist of the game is the same — it's like Russian Roulette, but with exploding kittens that can be defused with laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip. Of course, this version's a bit more crass (i.e. more boobs and butts), so don't say we didn't warn you.
11. A Travel Mug That Brews A French Press Or A Pour Over On-The-Go
It can be hard out there for a coffee snob, but this travel coffee press makes getting a good cup of joe easy. It uses a patented double micro-filter that gives your coffee a full, rich flavor, without leaving any grit behind. The 10-ounce mug is made of insulated double-walled stainless steel that keeps your java warm for four to six hours. And this invention isn't just for French press-inclined. You can also brew loose leaf tea or stock up on some paper filters to make a pour-over.
12. This Phone-Charging Cable That Can't Be Destroyed
Charge your phone with this lightning cable that's encased in two layers of indestructible, flexible, high-strength steel. Billed as the "world's toughest cable", it's especially helpful if you've got a pet that has a fondness for gnawing on stray cords. This reviewer says it's kept her cats away: "The chewer came over and tried to bite through, but got frustrated after just a few minutes of honest effort."
13. This MultiColor Lightbulb You Can Adjust In A Zillion Different Ways
Even light bulbs are becoming high-tech. This adjustable light bulb works with smart home technology like Alexa, so you can adjust the lighting to fit your mood. With voice control technology, you can change the level of warmth, intensity, brightness, and even color — because why not turn your living room into a glowing haze of purple with a simple command? You can also create lighting schedules, so that you're greeted with a cozy, lit-up house at the end of a long workday.
14. This Small Outdoor Speaker That Delivers Big Sound
Like its larger counterpart, the Big Turtle Shell Boombox, this Turtle Shell HiFi Speaker is meant for outdoor listening. Measuring about the size of a hand, it's tough, water-resistant, and stands up to dust and dirt. The triangle-themed design provides multi-directional, hi-fi sound, so it's perfect if you're looking to up the ante in the bass department. And for the aesthetically-inclined, the speaker comes in an array of fun colors, like purple, orange, sea foam, red, and electric blue.
15. These Self-Sealing Containers That Keep Your Food Fresh and Flavorful
This self-sealing food storage container keeps air out so your food remains fresh longer. All you have to do is push down on the stainless steel lid and voila — all the air is sucked out. Made out of heavy duty borosilicate glass, the containers resist odors and stains. These are great for coffee, tea, cereal, granola, herbs, and spices. You can choose from three sizes, and the sleek design looks great on your counter.
16. This Fish Tank That's An Ecosystem Unto Itself
This aquaponic fish tank is actually a self-sustaining, closed-loop ecosystem that grows plants and provides a clean living environment for betta fish. How does it work? Waste from the betta fish fertilizes the plants and the plants, in turn, keep the water clean (which means you don't have to clean the tank yourself). The set includes a tank, wheatgrass and radish sprouts, fish food, fertilizer, gravel, and a coupon for a betta fish (no, the actual betta fish is not included).
17. This All-Natural, Biodegradable Gum
Here's an interesting fact: most gums contain an ingredient known as "gum base" which includes — wait for it — plastic. It's not super appetizing, and it's also not great for the environment. Simply Gum uses natural, biodegradable, non-GMO ingredients that are free of synthetics and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Flavors like mint, ginger, and fennel licorice are steam-distilled from essential oils. Each order comes with 6 packs of 15 pieces each, so you get plenty of bang for your buck.
18. Silicone Lids That Take Make Pickling Food Fool-Proof
Aiming to make the art of pickling easier, the creators of Masontops Pickle Pipe created these airlock silicone lids to regulate the pressure in a jar thus eliminating the risk of mold as well as the need to monitor the pickling process on a daily basis. With these lids you won't need to burp jars, maintain water levels, or keep track of airlock systems. The silicone lids are compatible with any wide-mouth Mason jar and are dishwasher safe.
19. An Offensive Game For Dark And Twisted Minds
Joking Hazard is an extremely not-safe-for-kids (and not safe for work, family get-togethers, or the faint of heart for that matter) card game that is wracking up five-star reviews on Amazon. The games is based on the cult-favorite online comic Cyanide & Happiness — a site I recommend familiarizing your self with before investing in this offensive (albeit hilariously entertaining game) to make sure the dark twisted humor is inline with your sensibilities. To play you will need a minimum of three players. There are a few variations of the games, but the primary object of the each iteration is build to disturbingly funny comic strips with the random panel cards you are dealt.
20. A Super Slim Wallet That Carries Everything You Need
The mission behind this minimalist leather wallet was to create something simple and efficient, yet high quality and socially conscious. Combine that with the relatively small price tag and it's no wonder it has hundred of five-star reviews. The wallet is made out of vegetable tanned leather and features two compartments for cards and one for cash. Despite it's small size it can cary six to 10 cards making big enough for most people.
21. A Combo Router/Extender That Works Works With Your Smart Home System
This wifi router doubles as an extender that increases the range of your wireless connection. The touchscreen setup is super simple to navigate and it only takes about three minutes to get your internet up and running. It gets cooler. This router acts as a hub with smart home systems like Nest and Alexa, so you can control other smart home devices, like lights and thermostats with the accompanying app.
22. An Ultra-Durable External Charger That Can Withstand Being Run Over
You may not need an external battery that can withstand being run over by a truck, but should you ever accidentally run over this battery (or, ya know, just drop it), you'll be glad to know it's is crush-proof. But it's not just durable, it's capable of fast charging, charge-through (which means you can charge it and your phone at the same time), and determining the best charging power depending on your device.
23. A USB Adaptor That Actually Works With Your MacBook
MacBook users, listen up — this USB adaptor allows you to connect your USB devices, like iPads and iPhones, to your laptop. Use the USB-C to USB-A adaptor to charge your phone or transfer data at 3.0 SuperSpeed. Made out of aluminum alloy (just like your MacBook), it's teeny tiny — about the size of a quarter — so you can stick it in your pocket and take it with you anywhere.
24. A Scannable Digital Notebook You Can Scribble On
Sometimes it's easier to scribble notes with a pen and paper, but that doesn't always translate well in the digital age. This smart notebook solves that problem. It includes 36 reusable pages that you can take notes on and then blast to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud and email. One reviewer writes, "The scanning is perfect, it captures the colors, exposes the page with the right lighting, and crops and adjusts the page properly."
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