MEGATech Showcase: Summertime "Beat the Heat" Gear Beth Snyder June 18, 2014 Features Summer is finally here for most of us, and depending on where you live, it's a hot one. Now that the kids are out of school, you're probably looking for something to occupy their time since "I'm bored" has probably already been heard often enough you want to pull your hair out. One way to occupy your kids' time while also ensuring they're getting exercise and actually spending some time outdoors is by creating a water funland in your backyard, so today we're going to look at a few ways to make that happen, with or without a swimming pool. First up is the Malibu Aquapark (which I know isn't a backyard toy, but it's neat). Shown in the picture attached to the Malibu Lounge to give the adults some space of their own, this is a 12-foot diameter floating trampoline with an attached water slide. It also features a 10-foot walkway for easy boarding, or to attach to the aforementioned Lounge (or you could also choose to attach the Malibu Island). It's suitable for up to eight users, and will definitely add some fun to your day at the lake. This one runs about $700.00 US. Source: 7 Gadgets If heading to the lake isn't your thing, maybe the Crocodile Isle inflatable water park from Blast Zone is more your style. This is an inflatable pool with a climbing wall and two water slides, topped by a lookout platform so your kids can keep an eye out for those pesky crocodiles. You can even add optional plastic balls to the pool for even more watery fun (or use them without water for a sort-of ball pit). Inflated, it measures about 16 x 14 x 8 feet, and when deflated it rolls to about the size of a sleeping bag. The blower is included, and it inflates in just a few minutes. It's recommended for up to five kids at a time, and costs about $650.00 US. Source: Gadget Review Similar yet different is The Plunge: a water slide and pool that's fun for everyone. The pool is 12 feet in diameter, and the slide is 9' 6" tall with a climbing wall on the back (overall dimensions 21.2' L x 12.0' W x 9.5' H). It comes with a blower and anchor bags you fill with water, and the slide is rated for up to 120 pounds. They do recommend only one person on the slide at a time, but you can pretty much put however many people will fit in the 20" deep pool (just be aware of others using the slide). This one is a little less expensive at about $530.00 US. Source: Craziest Gadgets Scaling back a step further is the Jump and Splash Bounce House Bouncer. This one measures 11.5' x 9' x 6' H when inflated and has a bounce house in addition to the pool and water slide. It's rated for up to 100 pounds per person, with a 300 pound maximum for all users at any given time. The pool measures 78" x 58", the bounce house 54" x 51", and the slide is 78" long. It includes a blower, and sets up in under five minutes. This is the least expensive of the three, coming in at around $400.00 US. Source: 7 Gadgets Don't have the room to put up a water park? How about a Splashblaster Hydro Rocket from Prime Time Toys? This takes playing in a sprinkler to a whole new level, requiring only a stomp to send the Hydro Rocket soaring up to 35 feet in the air. You also stomp to splash, which I assumed was a given. The rocket measures 8 x 3 x 13.5 inches, and hooks up to a regular garden hose. At about $24.00 US, this is a great way to get your kids out of your hair and into some backyard fun. Source: 7 Gadgets You say you've got a swimming pool already? How would you feel about having your tunes right there with you in the water? The Aqua SunBlast Bluetooth Solar Speaker is designed to float in the pool so you never have to worry about missing your favourite song. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and powers either from a rechargeable battery or through the solar panel mounted on top. Fully charged, it gives you about four hours of music. It even has a microSD card slot in case you'd rather not have your phone nearby. Pick one up for around $100.00 US. Source: Ladies Gadgets Your best friend probably wants to cool off as much as you do, but not all dogs are good in swimming pools. In fact, I'd venture to say most dogs aren't. Instead of worrying about Fido falling in, why not fit him with a Shark Fin Life Jacket? In addition to making me giggle every time I look at it (I am a HUGE fan of cheesy shark movies), the fin can be used as a convenient handle to haul your dog out of the drink when necessary, and there's a D-ring so you can attach a leash for your walk to and from the water. Each one ranges from $30-$40 US, depending on where you shop. Source: Gizmodiva Don't worry, there's stuff for grownups without kids here, too. This inflatable Tiki Bar is designed for your pool, measuring 90" x 90" when inflated. It features six drink holders and two ice bins, while the canopy keeps the sun off your bartender du jour. It may not be overly practical, but it's a whole lot of fun and certainly fits in well with the beach theme most folks tend to have for their summertime parties. Pick one up for about $110.00 US. Source: 7 Gadgets Don't want to be stuck at the bar? No problem! Just get a set of these Palm Tree Drink Rafts, and your guests can take their beverage of choice along with them as they float without worrying about tipping it into the pool. They inflate in seconds, and each one will easily hold a bottle, can, or plastic cup for you. They come in a set of three for $10.00 US. Source: Foolish Gadgets Sometimes, you just want to chill out in the pool alone. But then you have to keep getting out to refresh your beverage, and that's no good at all. What you need is this Wow Sports First Class Lounge. Not only is it an inflatable lounge chair where you can float to your heart's content, but each arm rest has coolers built right in! You can fit up to four cans or three bottles with ice into each one, and their tops zip closed to keep your drinks cold. There are also cup holders in each arm rest, so your drinks are always close at hand. Of course, you could also put other things in the coolers, but that's no fun. Each lounge is about $80.00 US. Source: Craziest Gadgets Sometimes you don't want to be in the pool. Or you don't have one and just want to hang out in the yard (that's what I do). This is the mother of all lounge chairs, and the price tag shows it. It's the Solar Powered Entertainment Lounger, and it does everything but make you breakfast. A hydraulic lift controlled with a button handles reclining and sitting up. Each armrest contains nozzles that will spray a cool mist over you when you get too hot (from internal tanks hidden from view). It's got integrated Bose speakers that connect via Bluetooth to your phone so you always have your tunes. Overhead is a detachable awning for shade (or not) as you desire. And the two 24" x 6" solar panels on each side of the base require just four hours of sun each day to keep the 12-volt battery charged, which is where power for all the gadgets comes from. Oh, and did I mention it's also got a USB charging port? About that price tag. This costs $4,000.00 US. But then that shouldn't surprise you. Source: Coolest Gadgets I have always wanted a hot tub, but they're so expensive and the maintenance is a pain. The Silver Cloud Inflatable Hot Tub might well be a good compromise, though. It measures 71 inches in diameter, about 28 inches deep (holding about 184 gallons of water), and offers an affordable alternative to installing a normal hot tub. You do still have to use chemicals to keep the water clean, but being inflatable you could put it away if you aren't going to use it for a while. It's got a built-in heater and 110 jets, all controlled from the built-in control box. Some folks even put it inside their house! If you want one, it'll cost you about $670.00 US. Source: The Awesomer Share This With The World!