A curated collection of things which are beautiful, durable, well-designed, and available on Amazon. These are the best things I know.
Adapted from a list of things which are actually quite good which lists a few more items, and discusses the philosophy a little more.


An inexpensive cast iron skillet, with a smooth polished surface – the only cast iron I’ve ever found which works, and by far the best non-stick surface I’ve ever used (and I’ve searched and experimented a lot!).

A vacuum teapot which won’t over-steep your tea – you turn a knob on top to stop the tea steeping more. Tea is hot all day.

Insulated, double-wall glasses, with lids – so your hot tea now sits in an insulated glass, and is hot for most of an hour.

An insulated water bottle with excellent lid ergonomics – big enough for ice cubes, the whole black lid comes off. The drinking spout has a clever lid which only requires a quarter twist to open, but never, ever leaks. I love this thing.

The perfect egg timer.

Add a device to neatly pop the lid on boiled eggs – performs absolutely perfectly about one time in three (operator error?) and when it does, you want to dance a little jig the cut line in the egg shell is so neat.


“Scissors” for cutting tin cans and the like – I often use these on heavy plastic bottles.

A big thick adjustable velcro strap with a handle for carrying books etc.

Storage and Organization

A perfect storage bag for organizing small things – I replaced the string with different colored paracord because I have several.

A perfect storage bag for organizing a lot of things – dump it out, search, then recontain with a single gesture.


A beautiful smokeless wood stove for smokeless small group camp fires.

The warmest packable blanket ever made – freaking nanotechnology, I’ve never seen anything like it. Outrageously warm.

A water-resistant insulated poncho / blanket / sleeping bag. Packs up small, light, flexible, warm. A really competent object. Pair with a standard military poncho for total weatherproofness.

Inexpensive and excellent binoculars. There are many many good options.

An absolutely beautiful, small, and inexpensive headlamp.

Add a rechargable battery which fits it, replacing the 3AAAs it normally runs on. The batter has a USB port on the battery to charge it.

D2 is a very good, inexpensive steel for knives.

Knives also come in exotic performance steels.

String that is much stronger than steel cable. Be careful with this!

A comfortable, lightweight folding chair – the original.


Inexpensive, reliable automatic watches – there are many in this range with different faces and straps.

A fountain pen with several nibs. Even flying, mine has never leaked. Also, beautiful.

Whiteboard markers that stop working immediately when they are empty. This does not sound like a big deal, but in quality of life terms, this is the single best value item on this list.