11 Products You Need for Your Next Zoom Meeting

Amazon
Amazon

There are a lot of pros to Zoom meetings: You can wear pajama pants, you can mute yourself so no one hears your music in the background, and you can even turn your video off if you’re having a bad hair day. But there are also a lot of headaches. Whether your laptop video camera only works half the time or your microphone cuts out with every other word you say, the Zoom struggle is real.

To make your WFH life easier—or to help you get by in a socially distant office—we’ve curated a list of products that will make your Zoom experiences a little more enjoyable. Zooms may not always be as easy as in-person meetings, but at least you’ll be able to (momentarily) forget that you’re not sitting in the same room as all of your favorite coworkers.

1. Logitech C270 Webcam; $53

This budget-friendly webcam from Logitech is perfect for a simple camera that still gets the job done. The Logitech C270 is designed for high-definition video that, at 30 frames per second, has the ability to self-adjust to its lighting conditions, making nearly any room suitable for a Zoom call. The camera also has a noise-reducing mic that will allow your coworkers to hear you even if your background is on the noisy side (You: 1. Barking dog: 0).

Buy it: Amazon

2. Logitech Pro Webcam; $149

If you’re doing nothing but Zoom meetings these days, you might want to try the Logitech C920 Pro. The model offers a 78-degree field of view and a 1080p HD picture that will ensure your image is crystal clear and wide enough to allow your unruly cat to make an appearance without interrupting too much. The Logitech C920 also sports two mics—one on each side—and has a frame rate of 60fps, making it an ideal choice for live video.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Saicoo LED Desktop Lamp; $86

If you want to look your best during your Zoom calls—even if you’ve just rolled out of bed—you’re going to want some good lighting. This Saicco LED lamp has a touch-sensitive panel that allows you to easily control color temperature and brightness. It’s also built with a special light reflection feature to reduce eye fatigue. The Saicco lamp even has a built-in charging port, so you’ll be able to hop off your Zoom and onto a conference call without ever needing to check your phone battery.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Ubeesize Ring Light With Tripod Stand; $37

For a great light that doubles as a phone stand, you’ll want to try this combination tripod and ring light from UBeesize. This set comes with three different lighting rings—warm light, cool light, and day light—which can all snap directly onto the tripod. You can adjust each ring to 11 brightness levels, and the set even comes with a remote for your smartphone that can turn your camera on without awkwardly having to adjust it before a presentation.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Mic; $99

You’ll feel like an old-timey radio host (and not just like you’re running through your weekly update with your boss) with this digital condenser mic from Shure. The microphone has a custom-tuned microphone to provide high-quality sound, and it has both iOS and USB connectivity to make it easy to link to whatever device you’re using. There's also a Shure app that syncs with your microphone for easy recording, editing, and sharing afterward.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Logitech Noise-Canceling Headset; $50

A headset is a great solution for improving both sound and speaking quality, especially if you do more phone Zooms than video. This model from Logitech lets you easily adjust the volume or mute the microphone via its in-line audio control button, and it even has an LED indicator light so you’ll know whether you’re actually on mute during a meeting. These headphones are designed to cancel out any outside noises, but you can also easily adjust the microphone to muffle sound on your end, too (which makes it great for when you're snacking while chatting).

Buy it: Amazon

7. Ubeesize Phone Tripod; $12

UBeesize’s portable tripod will ensure your Zoom game is always on point no matter where you are. This tripod is built to last, with flexible legs that are reinforced with a rubber coating, sturdy foam, and nonstick feet. And it comes with a remote control for your phone that can be used up to 30 feet away

Buy it: Amazon

8. Comfilife Gel-Enhanced Seat Cushion; $33

Whether you’re working from home or commuting to the office part-time, many of us are sitting a lot more these days. To make your Zoom meeting feel more like a trip to the spa, a memory-foam seat cushion may be just what you need. This cushion is ergonomically designed to reduce pressure on your tailbone and improve your posture with each use. You can double up your back support with an additional lumbar support pillow, so you can sit up nice and tall for every meeting without discomfort.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Fictional Map Wall Art

For a Zoom backdrop that’s much cooler than a green screen, hang up a map from your favorite novel or video game for a look that’s both stylish and personal. Many of Redbubble’s maps are custom-cut or custom-made to ensure that they’re high quality, and some also come with tools or materials to help with framing. The independent artists over at Redbubble have maps inspired by The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Zelda, and more, so no matter what you’re into, you’ll be able to bring a little pizzazz everywhere you (virtually) go.

Buy it: Redbubble

10. Vintage Travel Posters; Various

If you’re more into real places, Redbubble has an incredible wealth of vintage-inspired travel posters to give you that air of prestige and culture you never knew you needed until now. With posters for locations like Cote D'Azur, the Adirondacks, Amsterdam, and Chicago, your new wall art will make you feel like you’ve spent the last few months on vacation (even if your longest journeys these days consist of walking from your desk to the kitchen and back again).

Buy it: Redbubble

11. TIJN Blue Light Glasses; $16

Looking alert during meetings is always key, but it’s especially important during Zooms. Give your eyes a break with these blue light glasses from TIJN. The frames can effectively block 100 percent of harmful UV rays and relieve eye fatigue, allowing you to get through any grueling conference calls without looking tired. The frames are super light and abrasion-resistant, too, and they’ll be comfortable and durable enough to last you for however long virtual meetings are the norm.

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Adorable Products You Can Buy for International Sloth Day

Amazon
Amazon

It’s that time of the year again, folks—the time when we all collectively lose our chill over a slow-moving, two- or three-toed mammal with an adorable squeak and poop that defies physics. That’s right: International Sloth Day is on October 20. Here’s a list of must-have coloring books, onesies, and Christmas sweaters that you can pick up to showcase your love of one of the internet's favorite animals.

1. Cuddly Microwaveable Sloth; $20

Intelex/Amazon

Warm your heart and your body with a plush sloth that doubles as a soothing heating pad. The toy is filled with millet grains and dried French lavender, a combination intended to help you get to sleep easier.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hanging Ceramic Sloth Planter; $18

FattyBee/Amazon

This flower planter pulls double duty, communicating both your love of sloths and your appreciation for plants. And it makes a tasteful piece of hanging home decor, too.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Sloth Coloring Book; $7

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform/Amazon

Sloths themselves are already works of art, but you’d be forgiven for wanting a few more sloth-related crafts in your life. Now you can make your own masterpiece with this detailed coloring book. All you'll need are some colored pencils and you'll be ready to go.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Farting Sloth Coloring Book; $7

M & L Coloring Books/Amazon

But maybe traditional coloring books aren’t your thing. You’re in luck: Amazon sells a coloring book for the crowd that both loves sloths and laughs a little too much at farts.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Sloth Socks; $14

Good Luck Socks/Amazon

These socks are ideal for people who might not want to wear their love of sloths out in the open but are very comfortable showing it off on their ankles.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Sloth Onesie; $40

Tipsy Elves/Amazon

No list of sloth-related products would be complete without a cozy onesie, and this one from Tipsy Elves is perfect for either pajamas or a last-minute Halloween costume. This onesie even comes with zippered pockets and cuddly sloth claws!

Buy it: Amazon

7. Sloth-Themed Ugly Christmas Sweater; $69

Tipsy Elves/Amazon

Why not celebrate the upcoming holiday season with this sloth-themed ugly Christmas sweater? You’re sure to be the hit of any holiday pub crawl or office Christmas party.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Sloth Mug; $10

LOZACH/Amazon

Embrace your inner sloth and declare your lazy feelings along with your morning cup of coffee.

Buy it: Amazon

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