Now that it's officially spring, you might be itching for a new bag to take to the streets (along with freshly styled hair). Or maybe you've been wanting to take up birding? Since you'll be away, you should probably add a security camera to keep an eye on things at home. We found deals on some of our favorite products for all of the above. Staying in? Earlier in the week, we rounded up great deals on tablets, TVs, and monitors, too.
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This is one of our favorite crossbody bags. It's big enough to fit the things you need to take with you—up to an 11-inch iPad Pro fits into the central pocket—with great organization, yet is still slim. It's also quite pretty and goes well with various outfits. We've seen it get below $200, but this is still a pretty good deal on a pricey purse.
If you prefer a sling bag to a purse or backpack, this is a favorite of WIRED reviewer Jaina Grey. She says it's the first of its kind she's fallen in love with. The main compartment has a key clip and a spot for sunglasses, and the strap has a magnetic closure so you can pop it off at a moment's whim. Even packed with all your essentials for a day out, it won't feel bulky against your back or chest. Unfortunately, only the blue and lunar colors are discounted right now.
Moment is a photography brand, so it knows a thing or two about keeping expensive equipment intact and easily accessible. We love its Rugged Camera Sling, with its modular interior that fits lenses or different cameras and accessories, depending on the size you get—there are 6- and 10-liters available, and both are discounted to $100. Its fabric is weather-proof (made from recycled sails!) and the back panel is designed to feel good no matter how long you're out shooting.
If you prefer a backpack, Moment has a great one too. The MTW is made of a super durable recycled nylon fabric with a double-layer waterproof coating. We recommend the 21-liter size instead of the 17, but as with the above sling, both sizes are on sale for the same price right now. WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu says to make the most of it, it needs the MTW Camera Insert, which is an additional cost (it's discounted right now to $50). It gets bulky really quick, which we didn't like, so try not to overpack. This deal is also available directly from Moment.
We're fans of nearly all Chrome Industries bags we've tried. They're rugged and made with a tough nylon exterior—this Naito Pack is 1050-denier, so it should last many years of regular use. It has a classic slim backpack look, but I was able to stuff it full with an iPad, Kindle, 15-inch laptop, a notebook (and pens in their dedicated slots), with a water bottle in the interior pocket.
The price has fluctuated on this bag recently, dipping to this price or lower since the year started. It's still a good deal on one of the cheapest backpacks we tested, and better yet it's made from recycled plastic bottles. The two front pockets are big enough to fit a tablet or Kindle, and one has organizational slots for pens and a key clip. The main compartment includes a 15-inch laptop sleeve. The gray straps on the top half look like a design feature when you aren't using them but expand slightly to hold an umbrella. Solo New York plants a tree for every bag sold.
Our guide to the Best Binoculars has more choices you might like and explanations of why they cost so much and what model numbers mean (for example, “8×42” means its magnification will make something eight times bigger, and the front lens is 42 millimeters).
These Nikon binoculars are our top pick for people just getting started with birding. WIRED senior writer Scott Gilbertson says they strike the perfect balance of optical power, quality, and price. You'll get bright views but less distortion in the sun, and they're light enough, with a very comfortable strap, to hang around your neck all day. You can find this deal on Nikon's site too.
The Viper HDs are our pick for the best high-powered binoculars. They're often $500 on Amazon. As the 10×42 number in its name suggests, these offer 10 times magnification, and Gilbertson says that's a significant difference over eight. You'll see things larger but with a narrower field of view so it can be harder to track fluttering birds. You might also find some blurring in your peripheral vision.
Our favorite compact binoculars from Olympus are significantly cheaper than these at just $88 (they rarely reach Amazon's listed price of $110), but the Zeiss Terra are an upgrade option if you can swing it. Despite its light weight and foldability, you'll get sharp images from their 8X magnification. They also come with a waterproof case.
Hair Tech Deals
This is the coolest-looking hair dryer I've ever seen, and it works well. It's also dirt cheap. The mouth is huge, so you should be able to dry your hair quicker than with some other models. I just wish there was a medium-speed setting between low and high.
Be sure to choose the bundle you want on the right side before adding it to your cart. Enter BEAUTY50 at checkout to see the discount. Shark's hair dryer is powerful and comes with innovative attachments. It's particularly useful for curly hair because the diffuser (in the curly set) is large, and its prongs can be shortened or lengthened for drying roots or different hair lengths. The air concentrator is also adjustable for a larger or smaller opening instead of having to switch between two, and the blow-dry brush attachment (which comes in the straight style set) rotates for better positioning. The curly hair bundle is discounted at Walmart for $200 ($30 off) and the straight style bundle is also $30 off at Best Buy.
I think this dryer is overpriced for what it is, but I can't deny it works well. It has what the brand calls an Advanced iLoop Smart Sensor Technology to measure moisture levels in your hair 20 times per second and automatically adjust heat and airflow settings. There's also an app.
Security Camera Deals
Arlo's Essential is our favorite video doorbell. It has a 180-degree view and alerts come through quickly with detailed video. WIRED contributor Simon Hill says false alarms are rare, and he found the notifications to be superior over the competition—an animated preview might save you from actually needing to open the app. To get the most out of this doorbell, you should consider getting Arlo Secure for $3 a month. You can get this deal from Best Buy too.
The Arlo Pro 4 is our top outdoor security camera pick. You can get just one camera for about $180, but this bundle includes three, as well as four batteries, a double battery charger, anti-theft mounts, and a yard sign. We saw this drop an additional $100 during Cyber Monday, but even at this price it’s a solid deal on a large bundle.
You'll have to sign up for a free month of SimpliSafe's Interactive Monitoring to get this deal on its Essential Security System (9/10, WIRED Recommends), but you can cancel it afterward if it isn't your thing. It comes with a base station, keypad, motion sensor, and three entry sensors for doors and windows. You can choose from the other preset bundles, or build your own based on what you need—all of them are 20 percent off right now. This is another sale that was better during Cyber Monday at 50 percent off, but if you don't want to wait for another major sales event like that, this price isn't bad.
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