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There are some things you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on, like fancy waffle makers and iPhone chargers. But for other things, like luggage and cookware, it’s worth spending a little extra on a quality product that will last you a lifetime.
These are the 17 things you should invest in—because if you do, you’ll never have to buy them again.
1. Our experts’ favorite luggage
One of the things you should never travel without is high-quality luggage that will stand up to all the wear and tear that comes with jet-setting around the world. This spinner suitcase is our experts’ top pick because it’s expandable and there’s a compression panel for over-packers. It also has a durable exterior that won’t get damaged during the baggage handling process.
2. The most popular stand mixer
KitchenAid is like the BMW of stand mixers—they look gorgeous and everyone wants one in their own kitchen. So it’s no surprise that it was named our number one stand mixer of 2019. No matter what your cooking or baking needs are, there’s an attachment for that (all of which are easy to use and clean, by the way) and customers say that their mixers perform well for years and years.
3. This high-quality knife set
Behind every good home cook is an even better set of knives. Of all the sets our experts tested, this one from Mercer was the best. It has all the essential knives like an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, and a 6-inch boning knife. Each one is sharp enough to cut easily and comfortable to hold.
4. This vacuum that was built to last
Robot vacuums may be all the rage right now (and we love them in their own way) but you still need a powerful upright vacuum to keep a clean house. The Miele is more than worth its high price tag because it picked up more dirt than any other vacuum we tested and handles as easily as it cleans.
5. This top-rated flashlight
Just because your smartphone has a built-in flashlight doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also have a more powerful, stand-alone flashlight in your home for emergencies. This one from Anker—which our experts say is the best portable flashlight out there—has a rechargeable battery which lasts much longer and is much more powerful than the average flashlight’s AA batteries.
6. The number one cast iron skillet
If there’s one thing that’s been beaten into my head by my grandma, it’s the importance of having a trusty cast iron skillet. And it’s true—everything from biscuits to steak taste better when cooked in cast iron, and it’s oh-so versatile. Lodge makes the best cast iron skillets because they cook food evenly and are durable enough that they can be passed down to future generations.
7. This tool kit with a lifetime warranty
Tools aren’t the sexiest purchase out there, but they are a necessary one. While we’re in the process of testing new toolkits now (stay tuned!), we’ve always loved Craftsman’s products and so do plenty of Amazon shoppers. You’ll get a lifetime warranty on any Craftsman purchase, and we found that this tool kit in particular is full of every basic tool you’ll need because they’re all sturdy and well-made.
8. The best gas grill
Buying a grill can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be—and you only have to do it once if you choose the right one. We recommend the Weber Spirit II E-310 if you’re in the market for a gas grill. Not only does it reach high temperatures for grilling and cook food quickly and evenly, but it’s also built to last with sturdy side tables and easy-to-adjust grilling grates.
9. This ‘smart’ toaster
Like many people, I use my toaster every single morning. So I need one that won’t break easily and that can tolerate my constant pushing and pulling on the levers. Our experts voted the Breville Smart Toaster as the best toaster of the year because it can handle all of that. Made of stainless steel, it has plenty of easy-to-use features and toasts bread evenly.
10. These rain boots with a cult following
You can’t think about rain boots without thinking about Hunter. That’s because the brand is renowned for producing some the best quality boots that are as comfortable and still 100 percent waterproof. One of our writers loves that they keep their feet warm and dry and that the rubber is flexible and quick-drying so you can go from the rain to the office.
11. The only cookware set you’ll ever need
Stainless steel, nonstick, cast iron, aluminum: There are so many options when it comes to choosing the perfect cookware set for your home. According to our experts, though, this 12-piece set from Cuisinart is the best cookware to invest in. Not only do they look sleek and professional, but they’re easy to handle. And since they’re made of stainless steel, they have great heat conductivity and hold up over time.
12. The strongest Christmas tree stand
You only use your Christmas tree stand once a year—so if you buy a good one, you should never have to replace it. We like this one the best out of all the stands we tested because it can hold any tree up to eight feet tall and was the most stable. It could also withstand the most pressure before tipping over.
13. These incredibly popular containers for storing food
There’s a reason that food storage containers were one of the most popular wedding registry items of 2019. They’re a necessity for keeping food fresh and preventing waste. Of all the options, our experts recommend this Pyrex set because the glass containers won’t leach harmful chemicals into your food and the lids secure tightly, so your leftovers won’t spoil.
14. This splurge-worthy Dutch oven
I never knew I needed a Dutch oven until my mom gave me one for Christmas (her idea, not mine). Now, I wonder how I ever lived without it. If you’re going to buy one—which you should—our experts picked the Staub as the number one Dutch oven. It’s solid and sturdy without being too heavy, and cooks evenly, whether you’re simmering a stew or braising lamb shanks.
15. This umbrella our editor-in-chief swears by
Take it from our editor-in-chief—the Davek umbrella is well worth shelling out a little extra cash for. He’s owned it for over four years (which is basically unheard of in the world of cheap, easy-to-break umbrellas) and raves that it keeps him dry on even the rainiest of days. Bonus: Davek offers a lifetime guarantee, so you’re covered if anything does break.
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16. This backpack everyone is obsessed with
Year after year, our experts choose L.L. Bean backpacks as some of the best backpacks you can buy for kids and adults. This year’s pick is the Quad because it’s sturdy and spacious, meaning it can hold much more than books and electronics. It’s also comfortable to carry around and L.L. Bean has an 100 percent satisfaction guarantee so you can return it at any point if you’re unhappy with it.
17. This sturdy outdoor trash can
You need somewhere to throw away all the cheap things you (shouldn’t) have bought. If you don’t want your trash can to end up in that pile, too, opt for this heavy duty one. Our experts deemed it the best outdoor trash can of the year. It’s taller than most trash cans so your garbage will be secure from scavengers and has an ergonomic design that makes it easy to move around.
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Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
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