USA Today: The strongest Christmas tree stand


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Winter is coming—and there's no better time than now to prepare for the cold, snowy months ahead. Not to mention that some of your go-to summer and fall gear is also incredibly discounted now that the season is over.

Whether it's holiday must-haves (like the perfect host gift or Thanksgiving cooking essentials) or winter problem-solvers (like the coziest blankets), these are the 21 things you should buy ASAP before October 31st.

1. This camping essential with over 4,000 reviews

A night under the stars has never been so cozy.

Camping in the fall (yes, even all the way up to December 1!) is the best, from the beautiful foliage to the crisp evenings huddled around the campfire. To stay warm, though, thousands of reviewers recommend this oversized sleeping bag, which is the equivalent of a queen-sized bed. They like that it's also waterproof and lightweight and that you can always unzip it into two individual sleeping bags as well.

Get the Sleepingo Double Sleeping Bag from Amazon for $57.95

2. Our favorite comforter

Microfiber fabric makes this blanket super soft.

Colder weather means swapping your lightweight quilt out for a cozy down comforter. Our experts tested out some of the top-rated comforters out there and found that the LinenSpa was the best. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it's incredibly warm thanks to its hypoallergenic down filling and is stain-resistant.

Get the LinenSpa Down Alternative Quilted Comforter from Amazon for $29.99

3. This gift every host will love

Take this with you to your next holiday party.

I am not someone who prepares well for the holidays (a.k.a. I'm a Christmas Eve shopper). But if you are, you know that having some host/hostess gifts on hand for the season is essential. And you can't go wrong with a pretty cheese board, like this one from Anthropologie which customers rave is even more stunning in person and very well-made.

Get the Nina Marble Cheese Board from Anthropologie for $68

4. This expert-approved grill

The Weber is a grillmaster's dream.

The fall is the best time for buying a grill with the days of backyard BBQs coming to an end. If you're in the market for a gas grill, we recommend the Weber Spirit II E-310. 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.

Get the Weber Spirit II E-310 from Amazon for $499

5. This splurge-worthy winter coat

Perfect for any occasion from a city stroll to an all-day hike.

Canada Goose is like the Le Creuset of the winter coat world. It's expensive but totally worth investing in. People love the pricey parkas (which are insulated with goose down feathers) because they're incredibly warm, made to withstand even the most extreme weather, and will last for plenty of seasons to come.

Get the Kensington Slim Fit Down Women's Parka from Nordstrom for $925

Get the Emory Slim Fit Men's Parka from Nordstrom for $1,050

6. The strongest Christmas tree stand

Extendable legs add more stability to this stand.

I once made the mistake of waiting until December to go buy a stand for my Christmas tree. I ended up with one that fell over no less than five times before the holidays were over. To avoid that, buy a sturdy stand now—like our favorite out of all the Christmas tree stands we tested. It can hold any tree up to eight feet tall and could also withstand the most pressure before tipping over.

Get the Krinner Tree Genie Deluxe from Amazon for $89.12

7. The multi-cooker everyone is obsessed with

Of all the Instant Pot models, we like the Ultra the best.

If you don't already have an Instant Pot, now might be the time to get one. After all, the popular brand just came out with 10 new appliances (meaning the current models could go on sale!) and plus, you'll need all the help you can get in the kitchen with the upcoming holiday season. The Instant Pot Ultra was our favorite multi-cooker of the year because it has so many different cooking settings and is super simple to use.

Get the Instant Pot Ultra from Amazon for $109

8. This alarm clock to cope with daylight savings time

Wake up with the (fake) sun.

I love winter, but even I hate the fact that it feels like there are only four hours of sunlight a day (thanks daylight savings time!). To keep yourself awake, Amazon shoppers recommend this light-up alarm clock, which has over 4,500 positive reviews. Its users rave that it wakes them up gently by imitating the natural light of the sunrise and that it's much more soothing than your average blaring alarm.

Get the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock for $115.18

9. This super efficient air conditioner

This AC unit is great for spaces between 100 to 200 square feet in size.

As the temperatures drop, the last thing on your mind is your air conditioner—but it should be. Now is when you can get a great deal on air conditioners since retailers are trying to get rid of their summer inventory. Our experts found that this budget-friendly Keystone model is the best window air conditioner for cooling small spaces and has a surprising number of features for its price. 

Get the Keystone KSTAW05B PHC08LY from Amazon for $197.03

10. This car organizer for all your holiday travels

It can be adjusted to fit any size or style of car seat.

Heading to Grandma's for Thanksgiving is all fun and games—until you realize you're going to be crammed into a car with half your family (and all their luggage) for 14 hours. Keep some of your sanity with one of these organizers, which customers like because it attaches easily to your backseat and has plenty of pockets for holding everything you need, from tablets to water bottles to snacks. 

Get the Uleeka Backseat Organizer (2-Pack) from Amazon for $21.99

11. These pods to make pumpkin spice lattes at home

Year-round PSLs? Yes please.

October is almost over which means pumpkin spice latte season is almost over, too. But you don't have to say RIP to your favorite fall drink quite yet if you stock up on these festive K-cup pods. People on Amazon swear they taste as good as the real thing—all you have to do is pop one in your Keurig, press the button, and voila!

Get the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups (24-Pack) from Amazon for $29.28

12. This calligraphy kit so you can DIY your Christmas cards

Send the most stylish snail mail.

Call me old-fashioned but I still send handwritten Christmas cards to my friends and family each year. If you're the same way, up your card game this year by hand-lettering each envelope using this calligraphy kit. It has everything you need to learn, from a beginner-friendly pen to a traceable alphabet, and fans say it makes for a great gift, too.

Get the Calligraphy Starter Kit from Amazon for $42.99

13. These plants to freshen up your home

Add some green to your space this winter with The Sill.

Now that it's almost winter, plenty of nurseries and garden centers will be having close-out sales. While you can save money there and snag some houseplants for the coming months, you can also save by purchasing one via The Sill, which is one of the best places to buy plants online. One of our editors tried it and loved how much variety there is (so many plants!) and how her plants are shipped directly to her doorstep.

Get a live plant from The Sill starting at $5

14. This Thanksgiving must-have

Perfect fluffy potatoes are headed your way.

Sorry turkey—everyone knows that the real star of the show on Thanksgiving is mashed potatoes. Here at Reviewed, we chose this potato ricer as one of the best Thanksgiving tools because you can press an entire potato through it with just one hand (a.k.a no more hours spent chopping potatoes!).

Get the Chef'n FreshForce Potato Ricer Press from Amazon for $21.74

15. These cult-favorite jeans

Everyone swears by Madewell denim.

If you haven't tried Madewell jeans, you haven't lived. Or at least, you haven't lived in comfortable jeans. The company is famous for its super soft, worn-in denim that fits and flatters all different body types. I bought my first pair last year and let's just say I haven't looked back.

Get the Madewell High Rise Skinny Jeans for Women from Nordstrom for $128

Get the Madewell Athletic Slim Jeans for Men from Nordstrom for $128

16. This high-quality cookware

You'll get 2 saucepans, a stockpot, a sauté pan, 2 skillets, and a steamer insert

With all the cooking, baking, and hosting coming up, you need to be prepared with top-notch pots and pans. According to our experts, this 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.

Get the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set from Amazon for $197.21

17. These reusable bags to help you survive Black Friday

Each bag can hold the equivalent of 4 gallons.

Tis the season for shopping, shopping, and—wait for it—more shopping. Instead of going through plastic bags galore, opt for reusable bags like these highly-rated ones from Amazon. Customers appreciate that the spacious bags have a reinforced bottom so they don't tear or sag and have sturdy handles that make for easy carrying.

Get the EarthWise Reusable Bags (3-Pack) from Amazon for $23.97

18. These incredibly popular candles

Every scent in the Capri line smells amazing.

Whether you're hosting out-of-town guests during the holidays or simply want to stock up on cozy comforts, look no further than these famous Anthropologie Capri candles. They're such a hot item (pardon the pun) because they come in the best-smelling fragrances and burn for up to 75 hours.

Get the Capri Blue Spiced Cider Jar Candle from Anthropologie for $30

19. This gadget that will make your towels nice and toasty

The rack can be freestanding or mounted to the wall.

You know the feeling of curling up in sheets that are still warm from the dryer? Now you can get that for your towels without even turning on your dryer, thanks to this warming rack. Reviewers like that you can simply plug it into the wall and within 30 minutes, your bath towels will be perfectly heated for when you step out of the shower.

Get the Homeleader Towel Warmer from Amazon for $56.99

20. The softest tissues you can buy

Goodbye chapped nose.

Some call it the holiday season, others call it flu and cold season. But before you raid the Kleenex aisle, consider this: We tried out nine of the most popular tissue brands and found that Puffs are actually softer and more gentle on your nose than cult-favorite Kleenex. Plus, they don't tear as easily when you're blowing your nose for the hundredth time.

Get Puffs Ultra Soft (4-Pack) from Amazon for $6.49

21. This number one lawn tool for next year

You'll be thankful for this purchase come June.

We know, we know—next summer feels like forever away. But it really isn't, and it's never too early to start planning ahead. Fall is the ideal time to purchase out-of-season summer supplies, like our experts' favorite string trimmer. When testing lawn tools, the Greenworks trimmer came out on top because it's lightweight and easy to maneuver and cuts grass effectively and efficiently.

Get the Greenworks 13-Inch Corded String Trimmer from Amazon for $29.98

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews, and more.

Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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