Picks

Holiday Shopping Is Going to Be Weird This Year. Prime Day Can Help You Get an Early Start.

Amazon’s annual supersale features gifts to make the coming pandemic winter a little more bearable.

An assemblage of products previously featured in the Amazon Prime Day sale.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Amazon.

Update, Oct. 14, 2020: This post has been updated to include additional deals.

Holiday shopping, as with everything else this year, will not be normal. It may feel difficult to justify lavish spending when the unemployment rate remains over 7 percent, and many people won’t be able to travel to see their families because of the ongoing pandemic. However, if you are planning on doing presents in spite of 2020, it’s a good idea to get started early. Retail industry analysts are guessing that online sales will grow up to 35 percent at the holidays compared with last year. Since the uptick in online orders has already taxed the mail system, we can assume that things may slow down even further with the increased demand. And there’s also the chance that more online shopping will cause popular items to go out of stock sooner than you’d expect.

So if you’re ready to get going with your gifting, Amazon’s annual Prime Day sale is the place to begin. Slate is here to help you sort through the full two days of deals, whether you’re looking for gifts for family, a gadget upgrade for yourself, or new gear for your newly all-season pandemic patio setup.

Stasher Reusable Storage Bag

Epicurious writes: “Stasher is made of 100 percent food grade silicone and has won handfuls of design awards for its innovative (and heavily patented) engineering. Not unlike Ziploc to the world of single-use plastic bags, Stasher is the queen of the reusable airtight bag-iverse.”

SodaStream Fizzi Bundle

Wirecutter writes that the Fizzi creates the bubbliest water of any of the models tested, including the higher-priced OneTouch model. This bundle also includes a set of two Co2 canisters, which usually costs $65 on Amazon.

Eufy RoboVac 30C

PCMag gives this model an “excellent” rating and writes: “The RoboVac 30C does well maneuvering around and underneath furniture. In testing, it moved swiftly around chairs, tables, and desks. Thanks to the vacuum’s low height, it managed to suck up dust bunnies underneath air vents as well.”

Glass Spice Jars (14-count)

A reviewer says: “I harvested a bushel of oregano from my home garden and dried it to give as gifts. I had fun using the blank labels to write my own. I used about 10 jars for this. I may order these again to organize my own spices! Great quality!”

Kindle (2019)

Wired says that when it comes to e-book readers, this Kindle model “has all the essentials,” adding that it’s practically indistinguishable from the higher-priced Paperwhite.

Garden Treasures 48000-BTU Liquid Propane Patio Heater

It’s become difficult to find in-stock patio heaters since they became the most in-demand item of the fall, but we spotted this one in-stock today. A reviewer writes of this model: “The manual included … very concise directions to assemble and explanations of use and care. It was easy to put together. Easier with two people but doable with one. Everything is top quality and it looks very nice and works well.”

Bose SoundLink Revolve

PCMag writes of the Revolve’s sound: “There are rich lows and sculpted, well-defined highs here. For its size, the SoundLink Revolve delivers laudable audio performance.”

Apeman Mini Projector

If you miss the movie theater, a projector is a great way to get your big screen fix or even to hold a viewing outside with friends. A reviewer says of this projector: “I have hooked up my DVD player, PS4, Xbox One, my Samsung S8+ phone, and the Amazon Fire Tablet up to it and all had great picture to them. I loved playing all of my game consoles using the projector. There was no lag time, and I could see EVERYTHING much faster than on a 42-inch TV screen.”

DJI Mavic Mini

Wired calls the Mavic Mini the best drone for most people, writing that it “packs nearly all of what’s great about the company’s larger, more expensive drones into a palm-sized package.”

Braun Series 9

Wirecutter names the Braun Series 9 their upgrade pick, writing that it exceeded the performance of every other razor they tester—though at a higher price. However, the model is currently discounted to 31 percent off the regular price.

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi System

We are featuring the deal on this mesh Wi-Fi system as the most important one to snag this Prime Day, as a reliable home network is more essential than ever. Reviewers have praised this version for its easy setup, reasonable price, and reliable coverage.