Home Blog Page 2

The Best Inflatable Kayak for Rafting Adventures

Best Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable kayaks are easy to store and transport. They are great for beginners since the inflatable hull makes them more stable on the water.

You can have all the fun of an outdoor adventure without having to purchase a more expensive hard-shell kayak or worry about transporting one. Here is what to look for when shopping for the best inflatable kayak and a few recommendations.

A Few Questions to Ask Before Shopping for an Inflatable Kayak

You need to invest in a quality product to remain safe on the water. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for an inflatable kayak.

best inflatable kayak 1 person

What Are the Different Types of Inflatable Kayaks?

You will find two main designs when looking at inflatable kayak:

  • Sit-on-top kayaks. It’s easy to get in and out of a sit-in kayak, and we recommend them for beginners.
  • Sit-in kayaks. Part of the hull will cover your legs from the elements.

It’s best to use a sit-in kayak if you are a beginner since it’s easier to get back in if you capsize. However, a sit-on-top inflatable kayak can be a good option too since you will be a lot less likely to capsize in an inflatable kayak.

You can also find tandem kayaks. These kayaks typically have a sit-on-top or open design.

How Do Materials Impact Quality?

Pay attention to the materials used when shopping for an inflatable kayak. Choose sturdy materials to prevent tears.

PVC is a popular option because it’s affordable. However, UV rays can cause damage to PVC.

Hypalon and nitrylon are more expensive alternatives. These materials are more durable compared to PVC. They can add weight to the kayak, which is why you will usually find kayaks that use different materials for the parts of the hull that need reinforcement.

Pay attention to the seams since this is where damage often occurs. It’s relatively easy to fix a small hole or tear in a PVC kayak but repairing other materials might not be possible.

Which Features Should You Look for When Choosing an Inflatable Kayak?

Use this checklist to compare products and find the best inflatable kayak for your needs:

  • Check the length and width of the kayak.
  • Find out how resistant the materials are.
  • Is the kayak quick and easy to inflate and deflate?
  • Are there storage options on the kayak?
  • Is the seat inflatable or does the kayak come with a hard seat?
  • Does it come with accessories like a pump and paddle?
  • Make sure the manufacturer offers a comprehensive warranty.
  • Is it possible to fix the kayak with patches?
  • Are there separate air chambers in case you damage the kayak?

How We Reviewed Different Inflatable Kayaks

We looked at different kayak manufacturers and selected the brands with the best reviews and reputation. We narrowed down our selection to the inflatable kayaks that have consistently received great reviews from shoppers.

We compared the designs and materials used to give you different options to consider. We made sure the kayaks listed below meet high standards in terms of quality and safety.

How Much Do Inflatable Kayaks Cost?

Inflatable kayaks are a lot more affordable than hard-shell kayaks. You can find entry-level kayaks in the $60 to $100 price range if you are shopping for a one-person inflatable kayak. There are even a few tandem kayaks in this price range.

If you would like to get a kayak with more features or need heavy-duty materials, we recommend shopping in the $200 to $400 price range.

Top 4 Best Inflatable Kayaks

Here are some of the kayaks we recommend if you want to purchase a quality inflatable kayak for your next outdoor adventure.

1. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Sale
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
  • Nimble, durable kayak is made of durable welded material with eye catching graphics for added safety on the lake or slow moving river
  • Cockpit is designed for comfort and maximized space, and inflatable I beam floors add stability. Removable skeg provides exceptional directional movement
  • Cargo net to store extra gear, and grab line on both ends of kayak; inflatable seat with backrest
  • Comes with 84 inch aluminum oar, repair patch and Hi output manual hand pump; Rugged vinyl construction
  • Measures 108 by 13 by 30 inches (W x H x D), with 27.2 pound weight and 220 pound maximum capacity

We like this one-person kayak because of its simple design. Intex uses vinyl to make durable kayaks, and the welded assembly process makes the kayak more durable and resistant.

The maximum capacity of this inflatable kayak is 220 pounds. The kayak is just under nine-feet long and is two feet and five inches wide.

The cockpit measures 1’10” by 5.’ It’s a comfortable sit-in design with a wide sitting area. The hull will cover half of your legs.

The kayak weighs 26 pounds when deflated. It fits in a small carrying case with handles. You can set up the kayak in a few minutes and fold it back into the carrying case when it’s time to go home.

You will find a keel under the hull of the kayak. The keel improves tracking and stability in the water.

There is a net that covers the front of the hull. You can secure a few items thanks to this net, but overall, this kayak doesn’t have a lot of storage space.

It comes with a durable aluminum paddle and a manual pump. You will also get a few repair patches.

We like this kayak because it’s fun and easy to use. It doesn’t take long to inflate and is the perfect size for one person.

Pros

  • Affordable option
  • Bright colors
  • Fun to use
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Large sitting area

Cons

  • There are more durable options than vinyl

You will find this one-person kayak from Intex for approximately $60 on Amazon. Intex gives you 30 days to return the kayak if there is an issue with the product. Given the excellent reviews, we don’t think you will need to use the warranty.

Buy on Amazon

2. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

Sale
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Blue, 8'7" x 3'
  • 5-minute setup lets you spend more time on the water
  • Easy-to-carry backpack system turns into the seat
  • 21-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use
  • Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures
  • Multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if one is punctured

This kayak from Sevylor is another option to consider if you want to get a one-person inflatable kayak. The design is slightly different compared to the one-person kayak from Intex. The sitting area is higher, and there is more room in front of you.

We like the seat of this kayak because it features some reinforced plates that offer more support than an inflatable seat. There is a small net on the hull that you can use for storing a few items.

The manufacturer claims that you can fully inflate the kayak in five minutes. The quick and easy setup makes this kayak a convenient option, and it comes with a small backpack you can use to store the deflated kayak.

The primary material is quality PVC fabric. There is a layer of tarpaulin on the bottom of the kayak to prevent tears. There are different air chambers to prevent the kayak from sinking if you damage it.

The dimensions of the kayak are 8’7” by 3.’ The maximum capacity of the kayak is 400 pounds. It comes with a pump and paddle.

Pros

  • Tarpaulin at the bottom
  • Three air chambers
  • Quick setup
  • Folds into a backpack
  • Supportive seat

Cons

  • Limited storage space
  • The backrest doesn’t look very comfortable

There is a markdown on this kayak, and you can currently order it for $100 from Amazon. The seller offers a 90-day limited warranty.

Buy on Amazon

3. Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Sport Kayak

Sale
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Sport Kayak
  • A kayak designed to perform in universal water conditions. Roomy, comfortable, and lightweight
  • Proven aluminum bow and stern ribs provide increased paddling performance, easy movement & control under all conditions
  • Quick set up time, fast to inflate and deflate, lightweight 26 lbs., designed for 1 person, max weight of up to 250 lbs
  • Large cockpit area for easy entry and exit. 4 air chambers
  • Paddles similar to a rigid hard shell kayak. Compact, no roof rack needed, packs in the trunk of your car

We recommend this kayak if you need a more performing option. We think this inflatable kayak is your best option if you are ready to spend more on a quality product but can’t justify buying a hard-shell kayak or can’t transport one.

The materials used for this kayak include PVC, tarpaulin, and 1000 Denier polyester. This kayak stands out thanks to the reinforced aluminum frame and sides. We recommend this kayak if you want something you can use in an area with strong currents, rocks, or other hazards.

The solid frame improves control and tracking on the water. It delivers a feel that is similar to a hard-shell kayak. You can also gain more speed than with other inflatable kayaks.

This product is the best inflatable kayak if you need something that can handle waves and strong currents.

The kayak weighs 26 pounds and can support up to 250 pounds. It has four air chambers and a large cockpit area. It’s a sit-in design with a comfortable seat.

It measures 10’5” by 32” and folds into a convenient carrying case. There is limited storage on top of the hull, but you can store additional items inside of the sitting area.

Pros

  • Quick setup
  • Reinforced frame
  • Better tracking than other inflatable models
  • Four air chambers
  • Large cockpit

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a pump
  • More expensive

This reinforced inflatable kayak costs around $400 on Amazon. There is a 90-day warranty you can use to exchange or return the product if you encounter an issue, but keep in mind that you will need to register your purchase with the manufacturer.

Buy on Amazon

4. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Sale
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
  • Comfortable for anyone: Kayak includes an adjustable inflatable seat with backrest; Cockpit designed for comfort and space
  • Dimensions: Inflated size 10 feet 3 x 3 feet x 1 feet 8 inch; Maximum weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • Directional stability: Removable SKEG for directional stability
  • Increased visibility: In case of emergency, bright yellow color helps visibility
  • Made for smaller bodies of water: Explorer k2 is made for smaller bodies of water including lakes and mild rivers

This two-people kayak is a fun option if you need a tandem model. It’s comfortable and easy to set up. It’s an open kayak with two inflatable seats in a row.

The main downside of the kayak is that one of the seats doesn’t have much legroom. This small drawback won’t be an issue for a child or teenager but might be a problem for an adult, especially if you plan on using the kayak for hours at a time.

Having two people in the kayak increases your risks of capsizing, especially if you are new to using a kayak. We recommend using this tandem kayak on calm bodies of water to minimize risks. If you have a child, make sure they wear a life vest when using the kayak.

The primary material is PVC. The kayak measures a little over 10 feet by 36 inches. It can carry up to 400 pounds. Inflating the kayak is quick and easy, and you can get the kayak ready in no time.

There is a removable skeg under the hull. We recommend using it to enhance the stability of the kayak and get better tracking in the water.

We like the open design of the kayak. There is a large sitting area with two seats and plenty of space for storing items at the bottom of the kayak. However, the kayak lacks a net or bungee cord you could use to secure items to the hull.

There are two air chambers to prevent the kayak from sinking in case of a tear. It comes with two paddles and a pump.

Pros

  • An affordable option for a tandem kayak
  • Two air chambers
  • Open design
  • Comfortable seats
  • Quick setup

Cons

  • One of the seats has limited legroom

You can order this inflatable tandem kayak for $75 on Amazon. You will have 30 days to return the product and get a refund if there is an issue with the kayak.

Buy on Amazon

Comparing Different Inflatable Kayaks

Which inflatable kayak is best for you? This table should help you compare the different products we recommend.

Best budget option

  • Product name: Intex Challenger K1 Kayak
  • Materials: Vinyl
  • Design: one-person sit-in kayak
  • Price: $60
  • Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • View product

Most performing, reliable and durable kayak

  • Product name: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak
  • Materials: PVC, tarpaulin, polyester
  • Design: one-person sit-in reinforced kayak
  • Price: $400
  • Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • View product

Best inflatable tandem kayak

  • Product name: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
  • Materials: PVC
  • Design: open tandem kayak
  • Price: $75
  • Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • View product

Verdict: Which Product Is the Best Inflatable Kayak?

Intex is an excellent manufacturer with consistently excellent reviews. We highly recommend the Intex Explorer K1 and K2 inflatable kayaks.

The K1 model is the perfect option if you want an affordable one person inflatable design, and the K2 tandem design is a ton of fun.

The materials used are durable, and the kayaks have received thousands of reviews from Amazon shoppers with a negligible percentage of negative or mixed reviews. We feel confident recommending these fun inflatable kayaks as long as you plan on using them on calm bodies of water.

If you want to use an inflatable kayak on a body of water with waves or currents, we recommend the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak.

The reinforced hull and sides will keep you safe and preserve the integrity of the hull. These elements will also improve speed and tracking on the water.

Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag Review

Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag Review

Finding the right sleeping bag for your next backpacking adventure can be a stressful experience. You definitely don’t want to end up sweating or shivering throughout the night, but it can be hard to tell exactly what a sleeping bag will do until it’s too late and you’re already on the trail.

Hyke and Byke is a newer brand that has made waves in the outdoor adventure realm, but like we said before, it can be hard to know what you’re really getting until you’re zipped up on the trail. We’ve created this Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review for that very reason – to see what you’ll really be getting. 

As we go through this Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review, we’ll cover not only the popular features of this sleeping bag but also the specs that are important to different styles of backpacking, camping, or hiking (whatever your need for the sleeping bag may be).

Once we finish the Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review portion, we’ll move on to a comparison where you can see exactly where it stands against other popular brands.

This way not only will you get to see exactly what Hyke and Byke can add to your adventure gear, but you’ll also see how realistic their specs are and get other options in case the Hyke and Byke sleeping bag doesn’t work out for your needs.

What Is the Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag?

What Is the Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag

Let’s kick off this Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review with a first look of the company. Hyke and Byke offer a wide variety of different styles in terms of sleeping bags and other outdoor gear and equipment.

They also go the extra mile to make sure you know what you need before buying by creating manuals and buying guides.

These will help you understand what you may need for your next adventure and can help you narrow down what specs and features are important. 

While Hyke and Byke definitely go beyond just sleeping bags, let’s zero in our focus to this piece of equipment.

There are definitely plenty of options for your different outdoor needs, like bag fill options, hammock compatibility options, and synthetic build options. Each will cover different temperature ranges and have a different fill and fill amount as well aslength options to round out your outdoor needs.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ve picked just one of Hyke and Byke’s sleeping bags to compare and dive into, which we’ll go over in the next section of the Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review.

Product Specs: Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag Review

Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag Specs

For this review, we’ve chosen the Elos 0-degree hydrophobic goose down sleeping bag. This sleeping bag offers 3 sizes from 5’6″ to 6’6″ and is still completely compressible with an 800 fill level. Hood and shoulder draw strings aid in overall comfort and fit while an oversized shoulder and zippered baffles bolster heat retention.

The use ofgoose makes use of nature’s best insulators to keep you from shivering all night while also keeping your pack lightweight.

The sleeping bag only weighs around 3 pounds (give or take a few ounces for sizing differences), so it won’t put you in the position of determining whether you want to pack the lightest option or the most appropriate option.

The exterior is also built to be waterproof, an often overlooked but very important feature for a sleeping bag. Spills happen, rain happens, and it’s impossible to know exactly what’s coming. The better prepared your gear is, the better off you’ll be.

This bag is made out of 400T rip-stop nylon to ensure it will be durable throughout your adventures. Even the zippers and velcro patches are designed not to snag and not to damage the bag, so everything remains intact and protected.

Pricing

If you’re looking beyond the $$ big box store sleeping bags that are only built for generic use, you can expect to spend anything from $$ to over $$$.

The Elos 0-degree sleeping bag can be found for around $$$, and many of the other sleeping bags on this comparison will fall around that price point as well; however we have pulled from both ends of the spectrum to ensure a more comprehensive comparison.

Instead of listing exact price points, we’ve opted for listing each of the following sleeping bags in terms of a budget range.

We feel this will more accurately narrow down options for users needing to stay within a budget as well as accommodate changing prices on the market.

How It Compares

Now that we’ve covered the Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review portion, let’s move on to the comparison. We’ve chosen a few other top models to see where the Hyke and Byke specs really fall; however it is also important that this review remain straightforward and non-biased.

To ensure that, we’ve opted for the following grading criteria: features, price, ease of use, design quality, warranty, and pros and cons (out of 5 stars where applicable).

We found these to not only highlight the important features and specs, but also to show any drawbacks or issues users have faced with each model.

  • Teton Sports Mammoth Sleeping Bag
  • Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bag
  • Nemo Kyan Mummy Sleeping Bag

1. Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag

Hyke & Byke Eolus 0 F Hiking & Backpacking Sleeping Bag - 4 Season, 800FP Goose Down Sleeping Bag - Ultralight - Black/Clementine - 78in - Regular
  • 0 Degree Sleeping Bag: Perfect cold weather sleeping bag features WR 800 fill power goose down insulation with a revolutionary microscopic ClusterLoft base to keep you warm from 0 - 30 F
  • Hiking Gear: Designed for thru-hiking, backpacking and camping, this ultralight sleeping bag boasts superior weight-to-warmth ratio at only 3.10 lbs for Regular; Sleeping bag stuff sack included
  • Hydrophobic Water Repellent: DWR-Coated camping sleeping bags for adults feature 400T 20 D ripstop nylon fabric liner, 2 large YKK zippers with anti-snag sliders, velcro, drawstring & vertical baffles
  • Save Space & Weight: Don't sacrifice comfort! The regular mummy sleeping bag will fit a 6ft person; Warm but ultralight, 4 season winter sleeping bag
  • Hyke & Byke Sleeping Bags: USA-based brand offers premium quality camping gear collection of adult & kids sleeping bags, camping tents & sleeping pods for all your adventures in the great outdoors

Ease of Use 5 Stars

Set up time and take down time are both short and simple. Many of us can relate to the struggle of stuffing a bigger sleeping bag back into the small pouch they are carried in, but the compression on this model is great, so no worries about feeling like you’re tying to squish a square into a circle (and ultimately giving up to end up with a half stuffed carry bag that somehow is also too full).

The addition of no-rip and no-catch zippers, as well as drawstrings and baffles, make this sleeping bag easy to use and comfortable to adjust. While you should definitely follow the care instructions on rolling it up properly and drying it out if needed, this is standard across the board for sleeping bags and will greatly aid in their overall durability and lifespan.

Design Quality 5 Stars

The choice of goose down is a great one in terms of warmth and insulation as well as weight and packability. It offers a variety of benefits without making you weigh pros and cons every time you pack it up. 

The zippers and velcro closing are well designed and don’t catch, which is often an inconvenience people just accept when it comes to sleeping bags.

Having the ability to adjust fit and temperature with the drawstrings and baffles are a great addition as well and definitely add to the overall function and design. 

The nylon waterproof material is a great feature both in terms of durability and function. Users should get a lot of use out of the bag is it’s being properly cared for.

Warranty 5 Stars

Hyke and Byke offers a lifetime warranty for their products that really bolsters user’s confidence in the build, material quality, and overall longevity of the sleeping bag.

As the sleeping bag is built to last, this warranty covers unusual wear and tear and any malfunctions the sleeping bag has that are not attributed to user error.

Pros

  • Lightweight and insulated
  • Adjustable fit and temperature
  • Built to last
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Can have a strong smell at first
  • Still needs insulated pad to be effective (though this is standard)
  • Material is light, so snagging may be unavoidable

Teton Sports Mammoth Sleeping Bag

TETON Sports Celsius Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag - Queen-Sized Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag with Full-Length Zippers - Double-Layer 2-Person Camping Accessory for Car & Tent Campers, 20˚F, Gray Taffeta
  • Double Sleeping Bag: Unzip this sleeping bag completely to make 2 car or tent campers comfortable
  • Adult Sleeping Bag: The durable, water resistant shell and soft liner can withstand your adventures
  • Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag: The camping accessory features a mummy hood that keeps you warm and dry in the winter
  • Warm Camping Gear: Full baffles, a no-snag, 2-way zipper, and draft tubes to keep out the cold. Outdoor and camping gear that gives you the freedom to explore nature and the world
  • Lifetime Warranty: The outdoor camping and hiking gear from TETON Sports has a lifetime warranty

This sleeping bag has a comfort rating for around 20 degrees, so it’s well suited for colder temperatures. It unzips on both sides for easy entry (and exit) and has shoulder draft tubes to better insulate. One of the more popular features of this bag is the lack of rolling needed to stow the bag. The sleeping bag itself is compressible, but the carry bag aids in helping you just stuff the bag in easily and go.

Ease of Use 3 Stars

The zippers make it simple to get in and out of the bag easily, and the shoulder tubes are a great addition for insulation. However, the zippers do catch and the bag is (unfortunately) not as easily compressible as it is marketed to be.

When testing, we had an incredibly difficult time putting the sleeping bag back into the carrying bag, and most testers eventually gave up and packed it into a duffle bag instead.

This is also a bigger sleeping bag, so it is not suited for hiking or backpacking. This is best used for camping where you can use a vehicle to tow your supplies up as the bag will ultimately take up too much space otherwise.

Design Quality 4 Stars

This bag does insulate well for the temperature, and the shoulder tubes help there as well. This is not a waterproof bag, though, which can ruin a camping trip if something gets spilled.

The interior fluff isn’t goose or duck, so it’s not nearly as lightweight as others out there, and you will definitely need a sleeping pad to help insulate you from the cold ground.

There are various zippers, and they do catch sometimes, but overall users have been happy with the durability and insulation: especially this particular model, as it is a double sleeping bag, so it’s great for snuggling.

Warranty 5 Stars

Teton also has a lifetime warranty that will include replacing the bag or just specific parts as needed. This is a great feature for those users who find zippers or buckles breaking often or just get a lot of use out of the bag and need a replacement.

Pros

  • Warm
  • Multiple zippers for entry and insulation
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Heavy and big
  • Nearly impossible to put back into the carrying bag
  • Not waterproof

Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bag

Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20 Degree Sleeping Bag Royal Blue 6FT / Left Zip
  • 20° F temperature rating and 5IN loft
  • Made with very breathable and weather resistant 20 denier shell fabric and filled with 16 ounces of 850 plus fill power goose down
  • Full-length #5 YKK zipper with an insulated draft tube and a full down collar to keep the warmth in
  • 5 1/4IN spacing/continuous baffles which encircle the bag from zipper to zipper and allow you to shift the down insulation to fit your ideal temperature
  • 1 lbs. 13 oz. total weight and 59IN/38IN shoulder/foot Girth

Here we have a sleeping bag within the upper portion of our price range. It is lightweight and packable–great for trekking or backpacking–and built for around 30 degrees.

It is breathable and down-filled (850-fill). There is a full down-filled draft collar for added insulation as well as shoulder draws to adjust insulation.

Overlapping down tubes prevent wind chill, but even with all that bolstered insulation the sleeping bag only weighs about 2 pounds.

Ease of Use 5 Stars

These bags feature left-handed or right-handed zippers, which definitely come in handy when you’re trying to zip up or zip out of your bag.

Users haven’t had any issues getting the bag back into the carrying bag, which is great news, as this backs up its compact and compressible build and weight.

Design Quality 4 Stars

This bag is designed to be warm, and it doesn’t let you down there. Even below the 30 degree rating, users have been well insulated and comfortable.

The zippers don’t seem to catch, and the material is long lasting. It is not waterproof though, which is an important feature to keep in mind.

There is also no hood, which can detract from the overall insulation. Beyond that though, users have been well pleased and definitely recommend this option if it’s within your price point.

Warranty 4 Stars

While this brand does include a lifetime warranty, it is more limited in only covering manufacturer error or malfunctions and only for bags that have obviously been laundered and well taken care of.

For something within this price point, we would expect a more free-flowing warranty that would include replacing zippers or other pieces as well.

Pros

  • Warm even below temperature rating
  • Durable build
  • Compressible and lightweight

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not good for warmer weather
  • Not waterproof
  • No hood

Conclusion

Now that we’ve concluded the Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review, as well as the comparison, where does the Hyke and Byke bag rank?

While there are definitely a lot of options in terms of sleeping bags, and there are things to consider like temperature, weight, style, and durability, we found this sleeping bag to perform well overall.

Throughout the Hyke and Byke sleeping bag review portion, it was easy to see what is offered that caters towards the actual use and function of a sleeping bag – like adding waterproof material and non-catching zippers. While no product is perfect, we can solidly stand behind this option and give it 5 stars with our recommendation.

How To Plan A Picnic That Everyone Will Love?

How To Plan A Picnic

It’s nearly summer and time for picnics again. There’s nothing more fun than packing a large basket of goodies and heading off to the beach or the park.

Or maybe you’d prefer a small hamper with dinner for two and an evening listening to music under the stars. In fact, almost any occasion is right, so long as you know how to plan a picnic.

How to Plan a Perfect Picnic

Everyone knows the basics, or they should: food and drink for everyone and a few extras, plus bags or baskets to carry them in. You need a tablecloth, you can’t have a picnic without a tablecloth, and preferably it should be red checked.

You’ll need some outdoor games and maybe a scavenger hunt. To be a real expert in how to plan a picnic, you also have to have a plan to repack the used and empty dishes and carry out the trash.

What’s A Good Occasion For A Picnic?

Birthdays, music concerts, a day at the beach or in the park, hiking, or just a beautiful day to be outdoors: any occasion is right for a picnic.

With the weather cooperating, meals outdoors are one of the joys of summer. It does take some planning and effort to pull off a successful picnic that everyone will enjoy.

One of the basic principles for how to plan a picnic is to make sure that there’s enough food and drink and that it suits everyone’s tastes and preferences.

After all, a picnic is meant to be a happy occasion, and it’s no one fun if one or two people can’t find anything they can eat or drink.

What's A Good Occasion For A Picnic

Picnics can be family reunions, kids’ parties and impromptu meals with neighbors. You can celebrate special occasions like Fathers’ Day and the Fourth of July. They can welcome new neighbors or bid farewell to old friends.

​A specially fun type of picnic is if you can add it to a berry-picking expedition. Different kinds of berries ripen at different times in the summer, beginning with strawberries, then blackberries and raspberries, and finally blueberries. There’s always some kind of fruit to pick, and you don’t have to bring any dessert: just some whipped cream!

How To Plan A Picnic

​If you can master how to plan a picnic, you’ll have the secret to making people happy; especially the people you care for most of all. It does take some planning, though.

You need enough food and drink for everyone plus the one or two extras who are somehow always added to the party. You’ll need some way to transport the food to your picnic spot, and that’s a big decision.

​Once you’ve found the right bags, baskets, and coolers to carry your stuff, you need to do is to plan some games and maybe some music. Tablecloths, napkins, and rugs to sit on (in case the grass is damp, which is very often is) are also picnic basics.

A red checked tablecloth can be a very cheerful setting for your picnic food, so it’s worth investing in one that you can use again and again over the years.

A new and positive trend in how to plan a picnic is avoiding the use of throw-away plastic and paper items as far as possible. Reusable flatware, washable melamine plates, and mugs, and even earthenware dishes are much more eco-friendly and also more attractive than plastic. It’s also important to remember to bring along bags so you can take away the trash and uneaten food.

Choose Your Location

The location you choose will also play a major part in your planning and ensuring the success of your picnic. In fact, the location can also become the occasion for a picnic.

To start with, you must pick your location based on the occasion. For a large family reunion, with older relatives, an easily accessible park is a good choice.

For a family outing, a state park with hiking trails or pools for swimming is a good idea. The exercise will hopefully tire out the kids so the meal can be eaten peacefully. A family beach picnic is an eternal favorite.

​You don’t really have to go far for a picnic, and some of the best outdoor meals are at home in the backyard.

And then there are the romantic picnics, when you pack a small and luxurious hamper with gourmet food, fine china plates, champagne flutes and, of course, champagne for two.

Finding The Perfect Picnic Basket

There’s a secret to finding the perfect picnic basket and it’s this: the perfect picnic basket is whatever suits your style and the occasion.

There are no hard and fast rules about what you can use: it may be a bespoke Victorian-style wicker hamper with specially made silverware and plates and crystal drinking glasses, or a canvas tote bag that you normally use to carry your swimming things.

At a pinch, you can even use a backpack. What’s important is that the container or containers you choose should be large enough to hold the food, drink, plates, flatware etc.

They have to be sturdy enough, with straps or handles to carry it to the picnic site. A flat bottom is better for stability, which will help prevent spills and breakages.

​If you’re feeling super-organized, you could get two large bags, one of which is insulated, to carry the food and drink.

Or you may be among those for whom a picnic isn’t a picnic without a cooler full of drinks and ice. Another great suggestion for packing a picnic basket is to substitute plastic and paper with reusable cutlery and plates.

Washable melamine is lightweight, earthenware pottery has character, and fine china will add a nice touch of luxury. Always remember to bring a bag or two to pick up and carry out the trash.

​Plan Some Games

This part may not take a lot of planning, and you can just bring along a frisbee, bocce ball or softball and catchers’ mitt to add some activity to the day.

If you’re feeling creative, you can plan a scavenger hunt. If you know the location well, you can make getting to the site a scavenger hunt for your guests.

It’s a good idea to bring along some board games for quieter times and older guests.

Choosing A Picnic Menu

Choosing the menu is probably the most crucial part of how to plan a picnic. This is when you do all the planning and hard work that makes for a successful outing.

There are some tried and tested favorite picnic foods that are easy to make, pack and eat outdoors. You can vary these with new flavors and ingredients.

Choosing A Picnic Menu

The best picnic foods stretch, which means that if you have an extra guest or two there will still be enough food for everyone. When planning a picnic menu, it’s a good idea to have something for everyone.

That’s because any picnic is supposed to be a happy occasion, and you don’t want anyone to feel left out. And you certainly don’t want anyone to go hungry just because no one bothered to take food preferences and allergies into account when planning the menu.

​Some Basic Picnic Menus

Some foods are just easier to make and carry, while others are so closely associated with the idea of a picnic that it would be incomplete without them. The classic picnic menu includes a macaroni salad, some kind of baked, grilled or fried chicken, salad, fruit, and lemonade.

You can plan all kinds of variations on this menu by adding bacon to the macaroni salad or Thai, Mexican or Cajun flavorings to chicken.

Sandwiches and wraps are always popular. Lemonade is a picnic staple for a number of reasons. It’s a great thirst quencher, everyone loves it and it’s inexpensive. Flavors like strawberry, raspberry and watermelon give this old favorite a new taste twist.

​Salads are also a picnic staple, but again, you can vary the ingredients almost infinitely. Substituting grains like quinoa for lettuce solves the problem of wilting greens.

Fruit salads are refreshing and easy to make. Cookies, brownies, and any kind of pie make the best desserts. If you don’t mind the extra work, you can go for more elaborate and seasonal desserts like fruit parfait, with individual servings in easy-to-carry jam jars.

Helpful Tips For Carrying Food

​It can be important to keep food cool in hot days. The ideal temperature for storing food is 40F. You can achieve this by lining the bottom of your cooler with ice or freezer packs.

There should be about one part ice to three parts food in the cooler. If there is any room left, pack the cooler with ice.

​Conclusion

Helpful Tips For Carrying Food

Picnics are one of the best things about summer. Once you know how to plan a picnic, you’ll find it easy to set up outings that your family and friends will love.

What Is A Yurt? Here Is What To Expect

What Is A Yurt

The world of alternative housing choices has been growing in popularity in recent decades. This is no doubt because of the growing awareness of environmentalism and sustainability. As the standards for living evolve, the style of homes will too. But what is a yurt?

With growing demand in alternatives to standard housing since the 1960s, the western world has looked to ancient cultures and the traditions of the far east for inspirational designs and concepts for sustainable housing practices.

The simple and efficient home structures found in these cultures have influenced the way the western world views home construction.

This melding of cultures has led to innovative twists on the simplicity of yurt design. Let’s look at this history and its influence.

What Is a Yurt?

Yurt

If you are not familiar with these simple homes, you may be asking, “what is a yurt?”. The invention of the yurt is not new at all. We have used these styles of homes for centuries leading all the way back to at least 425 BC, but they were certainly used before then as well.

Yurts are round homes with cone-shaped roofs that are easily portable and simple to build. While traditional yurts were not built to be permanent structures, in today’s world many people are choosing yurts over traditional homes to be their permanent dwellings. Because of advances in building technology, this is possible.

Yurts of old were a direct answer to a complicated problem for nomadic people groups: they needed housing that was versatile, protective, and yet easy to erect. These homes needed to withstand a variety of weather and other environmental conditions.

The materials had to be naturally occurring and readily available, while also being able to be altered depending on the weather. But they also needed to be easy to take apart, transport, and put back together. Thus the yurt was born.

The History of the Yurt

Yurts were the go-to style of housing for nomadic tribes throughout central Asia. Yurts are easily transportable and structurally sound. This simple design was ideal for those who moved frequently in small groups.

Herodotus documented his encounter with nomadic tribes and their yurts in Greece during his lifetime between 485 BC and 420 BC. This is the oldest known documentation of the yurt design. Ghengis Kahn and his violent followers were known to utilize yurts as they trampled through various regions of Asia and Europe.

Today yurts are still used in central Asia. Herders and other nomadic lifestyles rely on these simple homes to move from place to place conveniently. Yurts have now made their way into western civilizations and have been used in the United States since the 60s.

Modern History

William Copperthwaite is recognized as the person that first introduced the United States to the question “what is a yurt.” While Copperthwaite was teaching a math class about roof design, he stumbled upon an article in a magazine that featured Mongolian yurts. He subsequently built a yurt with his students, which eventually led to the establishment of the Yurt Foundation in 1972.

From this point onward, the popularity of the yurt grew. Copperthwaite’s students spread out across the country building yurts and promoting their use. In 1978, the Pacific Yurts company was started, and this company was the very first to offer commercial sales of yurts. Today there are many yurt companies offering rentals and sales of different types of yurts.

Yurts have proven to be more sustainable and better for the environment than traditional houses. Many activists and nature lovers choose yurts to lessen their carbon footprint; though naturally there are some downsides to using a yurt.

Is a Yurt Different from a Tent?

Is a Yurt Different from a Tent

Tents and yurts may serve similar purposes, but these simple structures are quite different. Traditional yurts were essentially more durable and structurally sound versions of tents. Yurts were often covered in animal hides and built using saplings or other natural materials.

While tents tend to be a covering simply draped over a simple framework, yurts implement slightly more complex designs. Some yurts have straight roofing poles; others have curves roofs.

Yurts may have proper wooden doors compared to a tent with just a flap door. Yurts are often compared to the Native American teepee, although the teepee is closer in design to the modern tent.

Our modern the yurts and tents have changed dramatically. With many people choosing yurts as permanent homes, the technology used to build them has to keep up with the modern standards.

While the cylindrical design and cone rooftops remain, the materials used are more technologically advanced, consisting of steel, acrylic and polyester among others.

How Yurts Work?

How Yurts Work

To understand the question “what is a yurt,” we need to learn about how they work. The simplicity and effectiveness of yurt construction is quite ingenious. There is no other building that is as easy to build while remaining durable and comfortable.

Design

The traditional design of yurts used lightweight wood in a lattice formation for the walls. This lattice supported sapling beams that were held securely by a wooden ring at the top. The pressure from the roof put tension onto the lattice,
which was held tightly together by a leather strap attached to the perimeter of the building.

This framework was then covered by wool mats or other materials. These mats could be adjusted depending on the weather.

The warmer the temperature, the less covering needed. The colder the temperature, the more covering needed.

Today traditional yurt structures have meshed with modern design to create an industry of yurts. With the advent of space-age insulation, curved glass widows, and military-quality sailing cloth, yurts have been taken from obscure dwelling places to modern works of art.

It’s even possible to build your own with the right guides, and there are many books available that can teach you how to do just that.

Why Yurts?

We have seen that yurts are very simple to construct. This is appealing to many people who wish to be self-sustaining and build their own home.

Many yurts come in kits with instructions and all the materials you need. You can also hire a specialist to build them, and many of the top companies use these specialists to help promote their sales.

Science has shown that these structures are some of the most safe and resilient in the housing industry. The simple round design combined with a curved or slanted roof has proven able to withstand the heaviest of snows and harsh winds.

Another key factor in yurt construction is that they do not have to be permanent. Yurts are so simple to construct that it’s fairly easy to deconstruct one and rebuild it elsewhere if necessary.

The use of modern materials for covering the frame has also improved how structurally sound these are during intense weather.

These homes can be modified or customized to suit the needs of any family or individual. The future of housing might just be found in this marriage of simple ancient design and technologically advanced materials.

Conclusion

Whether you’re seeking a modern tent for camping trips or completely invested in a modern home, yurts are for you. These dwellings may have their roots in ancient nomadic groups of central Asia, but they are taking the modern housing industry by storm.

Traditional houses have proven to be structurally weak and complicated to build. They use materials that are not sustainable and cannot be easily dismantled.

Our traditional homes are also very expensive compared to yurts. The future of housing is taking place now, and yurts are on the forefront of this movement.

Many hopeful homeowners may be wary of new housing designs. This is understandable in a fast paced and unpredictable world.

There are many states and cities that have restrictions on alternative housing, and loans may be tough to get for a yurt. Do your research and find out about local laws as you decide if a yurt is right for you.

If you are interested in owning a yurt but wish to try it out first, there are many yurt rental sites and also vacation retreats that only rent yurts. This is a great way to test out the homes and truly learn for yourself the answer to the question “what is a yurt.”

So whether you are seeking to live in a home that is environmentally friendly and resilient, or maybe just curious about alternative housing, yurts are a great place to begin.

For modern and moral housing, the yurt is incomparable. If you care about the environment or wish to live closer to nature, yurts are for you. If you want to save money and own a more efficient home, yurts are for you.

There truly is no end to the benefits of owning a yurt: choose this alternative housing to improve your life and do your part to protect our world.

The Best Tennis Racquet for Every Player

Best Tennis Racquet

The best tennis racquet for adult and teen players varies, according to the individual’s abilities and playing style. Full-size racquets vary according to weight, width, length, string pattern, string quality, handle grip and over a dozen other features.

You should look at how a particular racquet handles serves, volleys, topspins, and other aspects of your game.

For example, test out racquets designed to help your serve if you have trouble with that part of your game, or find a lightweight racquet if heavier racquets cause arm fatigue.

FAQs About Tennis Racquet

How many grip sizes are there for racquets?

There are four or five grip sizes available for most adult racquets. The grip size is the measures the perimeter of the handle’s octagonal cross-section.

The US grip sizes commonly used are 4 1/8, 4 1/4, 4 3/8, 4 1 /2, and 4 5/8. You can measure your tennis grip size by using a ruler or tennis racquet handle.  

How do I find the best racquet for my playing ability?

Write a list of how you want to improve your game, and then look for racquets geared to improving those faults. The right racquet can boost the aspect of your game that keeps you down.

How much do racquets cost?

Racquets cost anywhere from $20 to $250.

How We Reviewed

We checked out the following features of many tennis racquets to compile this best tennis racquet list.

  • Frame Construction
  • String Pattern
  • Weight
  • Grip
  • Cost
  • Brand Name
  • Control
  • Serve
  • Power
  • Topspin
  • Maneuverability
  • Comfort
  • Overall Design  

We also looked at the customer and expert reviews of each racquet.

Overall Price Range of This Product

The tennis racquets on our list are priced at about $80 to $220, but tennis racquets, in general, cost anywhere from $20 to $250.

best tennis racquet for beginners

Determine what you want from a tennis racquet in terms of control, weight, string pattern, sweet spot, and grip before purchasing one.

The features in a racquet should be your primary concern, not price. There are many excellent budget racquets n the market today if your budget is an issue.

Top 7 Best Tennis Racquets

The best tennis racquet for you may be different than the best one for another player. The racquets on our list vary in size, construction, how they handle returns and groundstrokes, weight, and other factors.

Read descriptions and talk to tennis, playing friends, and your instructor or coach to determine which model is best for your game.

1. HEAD Ti.S6 Strung Tennis Racquet (Strung)

HEAD Ti S6 Tennis Racket - Pre-Strung Head Heavy Balance 27.75 Inch Adult Racquet - 4 1/4 In Grip
  • HEAD PERFORMANCE: Born out of revolutionizing how we ski and play tennis, HEAD has constantly pushed athletic equipment into the modern era. For all levels of play, HEAD offers nothing but top tier tennis equipment.
  • BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE LEVEL: The HEAD Ti S6 graphite tennis racket is an ideal choice for a wide age range of casual players. The oversized 115" head creates a larger sweet spot, great for players still mastering precision.
  • HEAD HEAVY ADVANTAGE: The adult tennis racket has a head heavy balance which can aid in stability and control when hitting the ball.
  • DURABLE TITANIUM: Made with a durable and lightweight titanium & graphite fiber technology, the S6 tennis rackets are built to last.
  • DIMENSIONS: Frame Weight: 252 g / 8.9 oz, Head Size : 115in, Grip Size: 4.25in, Length: 27.75in.

The Head Ti.S6 Strung Tennis Racquet can be used by any player, from beginners to advanced players. Many online reviews from users recommend this for improving your game.

Some players recommend changing the strings that come with the racquet if you want to get the most out of the Ti.S6.

Key Features

This racquet is best for beginners or younger players. It has a 16-19 string pattern and is 27 ¾ inches long. The strings’ fan pattern reduces vibration after you hit the ball. The racquet weighs 8.9 ounces strung.

There’s a better sweet spot to hit the ball due to the racquet’s width.  

Pros

  • Large sweet spot
  • The extra-wide body design
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Relieves pressure on wrists

Cons

  • Limited control
  • Lower quality strings come with racquet

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Warranty

No information available

Coupons/Deals

There are coupons and deals occasionally available on Amazon or at sporting goods stores.

2. Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus Tennis Racquet

The Babolat Pure Drive is excellent for beginners, but advanced baseline players and big servers can benefit from using this racquet.

Key Features

The Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus Tennis Racquet weighs 11.2 ounces and is easy to hold and maneuver. You can direct your serve with this racquet, but there’s added pop to keep the ball away from your opponent’s strike zone. The frame has a 100 square inch head and a 16×19 string pattern to control topspin.

FSI technology uses a woofer system to boost the sweet spot’s power and size. The strings work simultaneously, and the tightly-patterned strings give you better control.

The elliptical design increases rigidity in the frame and reduces flex. Carbon fiber GT technology strengthens the racquet head.

Active cortex technology located at the racquet handle limits vibrations when the ball makes contact.    

The Pure Drive has a 328 swing weight and 71 stiffness.

Fabio Fognini, Dominika Cibulkova, and Garbine Muguruza are among the pro players using the Babolat Pure Drive.

Pros

  • Powerful topspin
  • Gives you power without a lot of muscle
  • Excellent for serves and groundstrokes
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May be too powerful for some players
  • Stiff frame

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Warranty

No warranty information available

Coupons/Deals

Occasional deals are available from Amazon or at sporting goods store.

3. Volkl V Feel 8 (300G) Tennis Racquet

Volkl V Feel 8 (300G) Tennis Racquet
  • Power: Volkl Power Fiber II
  • Control: Volkl V Feel

The Volk V-Feel 8 300g is an updated version of the Volkl V-Sense 8 300.   

Key Features

The Volkl V Feel 8 (300G) Tennis Racquet weighs 11.1 ounces and has

a four-point head light balance for easier handling. The racquet offers a 100 square inch head and 16 by 18 string pattern. The Feel 8 is available in five grip sizes –some tennis racquets are only available in four sizes.

The Volk V Feel 8 is made with REVA, ethylene vinyl acetate mixed with a compound resin that reduces vibration and heightens feeling. The light racquet weight is easy on your arm, and you won’t feel much vibration or shock during strenuous play.

The material VTEX provides a solid feel and dampening to the racquet butt cap. The racquet also has black carbon added to the frame to improve response.

You can generate lots of racquet head speed with the Volkl V Feel 8 (300G). The four-point head light balance helps the racquet stay stable as you play.

Pros

  • Uses REVA to reduce vibration
  • Lightweight
  • Available in five grip sizes
  • VTEX used on the racquet butt cap for better dampening
  • Easy to handle  

Cons

  • Occasional loss of control
  • May not perform as well on volleys  

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Warranty

Check the manufacturer’s website for details.

Coupons/Deals

Check for deals on Amazon or at sporting goods stores.

4. Wilson Ultra Tour Tennis Racquet

Wilson Ultra Tour Tennis Racquet (No Plastic)
  • Power: Wilson NXT Power
  • Control: Luxilon Element

Key Features

This 11.4-ounce racquet provides lots of maneuverability due to its low weight. The Wilson Ultra Tour is made for the advanced player, with an 18 by 20 string pattern, exceptional control, and 320 string weight. The Ultra Tour has better plow-through when compared to heavier racquets.

Use this racquet to hit from baselines for better shots. The 97 square inch head, along with the string pattern, makes topspin production harder, however.

Pros

  • Easy to swing from the frame
  • Excellent control and precision
  • A classic feel suitable for a wide variety of players
  • High user rating for control and comfort
  • Easy racquet to customize

Cons

  • Some problems with topspin
  • Low power when compared to other racquets  

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Warranty

Check the manufacturer’s website for information.

Coupons/Deals

Look for deals on Amazon or sales at sporting goods stores.

5. Yonex 2018 VCORE 98 (305) Flame Red Tennis Racquet

The Yonex VCORE 98 has a 98 square inch head with a stable frame to keep the ball deep in the court and provide topspin.  

Key Features

The Namd graphite used to make this racquet gives it better flex, which increases comfort. A 3D Vector Shaft reduces frame twisting and provides grooves on the racquet’s throat. This attractive racquet features high-quality paint and finish.

The isometric Yonex head boosts the sweet spot by seven percent when compared with round frames.  The drilled holes on the outside strings increase the sweet spot and improve the way strings move when you play.  

The Yonex VCORE 98 is a near-perfect tennis racquet if you use it correctly. It offers a good feel and helps you pop the ball for better shots.

Many pro players endorse this racquet, including Gael Monfils and Madison Keys.

Pros

  • Flexible
  • Excellent stability
  • Great at generating spin
  • Helps you direct the ball more accurately
  • Best for serves and power

Cons

  • Less control on groundstrokes
  • Highest user rating for serves

Where to Buy

No products found.

Warranty

Look for information on the manufacturer’s website.

Coupons/Deals

Check for deals on Amazon or at sporting goods stores.

6. Tecnifibre – T-Flash 300 PS Tennis Racquet  

This 11.2-ounce racquet has enough power and topspin, which will help many players.

Key Features

The PS or Power Stab feature improves the bottom hoop of the frame head for better stability and power. The lightweight frame makes the racquet easier to maneuver.  There’s enough power at the baseline to take big, accurate shots.

The effortless power of this racquet comes from a 100 square inch head.

Pros

  • Power Stab Technology
  • Excellent topspin
  • Lightweight frame
  • EZ Lock Eyelets at the tie-off point to reduce grommet wear
  • Armor Cap Plus bumper cap to prolong racquet life

Cons

  • The frame is somewhat stiff
  • Unstable when returning big serves

Where to buy

Buy on Amazon

Warranty

Contact seller for warranty information.

Coupons/Deals

Deals are occasionally available on Amazon or from sporting goods stores.

7. Wilson Pro Staff 97L CV Tennis Racket

The Pro Staff 97L is a racquet with a lightweight frame geared for intermediate players. The 97L gives the ball plenty of pop and drive when you serve.

Key Features

The Wilson 97L is lightweight and gives you speed and power. The 16 by 19 string pattern gives you more control but less topspin.

This 10.8-ounce racquet is suitable for younger players and is somewhat lighter than the previous Wilson RF97 racquet.  The 97L has a three-point head light balance.

Pros

  • Balanced and solid feel
  • Excellent maneuverability
  • Provides precision and control
  • Highest ratings for volleys and topspin
  • Great racquet head speed  

Cons

  • Countervail carbon fiber feature removed from the racquet
  • Less power than similar Wilson models

Less power than similar Wilson models

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Warranty

Check the manufacturer’s website for warranty information.  

Coupons/Deals

Look for deals on Amazon or sales at sporting goods stores.

Comparison Table

Here’s how our top seven choices compare for price and a few other features.

ProductPriceDetailsBest For
Wilson Pro Staff 97L CV Tennis Racket$220Weight: 10.8 ounces   Warranty: Check manufacturer’s website   Features: Lightweight, gives you more topspin and controlAll skill levels
Tecnifibre – T-Flash 300 PS Tennis Racquet  $149-$199Weight: 11.2 ounces   Warranty: Check with seller   Features: Power Stab, lightweight frame, EZ Lock Eyelets, Armor Cap Plus bumper capsPower and Topspin
Yonex 2018 VCORE 98 (305) Flame Red Tennis Racquet$219Weight: 11.3 ounces   Warranty: Check manufacturer’s website   Features: Namd graphite for more flexibility, isometric headFlexibility and stability, generating spin
Wilson Ultra Tour Tennis Racquet$179Weight: 11.4 ounces   Warranty: Check manufacturer’s website   Features: 18 by 20 string patternAll skill levels, control, and comfort
Volkl V Feel 8 (300G) Tennis Racquet$200Weight: 11.1 ounces   Warranty: Check manufacturer’s website   Features: Made with REVA for reduced vibration and better feel, 16 by 18 string pattern, VTEX racquet butt capEasier handling, racquet head speed
Babolat Pure Drive Tour Plus Tennis Racquet$219Weight: 11.2 ounces   Warranty: N/A   Features: FSI and cortex technology, reduced vibrationBig servers, experienced baseline players
HEAD Ti.S6 Strung Tennis Racquet (Strung)$80Weight: 8.9 ounces   Warranty: N/A   Features: Large sweet spot, extra wide designPlayers of all ability levels

The Verdict

Overall, the top tennis racquet for players of all skill levels is the HEAD Ti.S6 Strung Tennis Racquet (Strung). We like its versatility ad the large sweet spot for better, more accurate serves.

Some reviewers don’t like the strings that come with the racquet, but you can always re-string it to your liking. The racquet is affordable, so even buying new strings won’t put you over your budget.