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15 buy-it-for-life products you won’t regret spending money on

15 buy-it-for-life products you won’t regret spending money on
Posted at 10:01 AM, Jan 29, 2024

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

As a society, we’ve never had more products available to us — or at least it seems that way. And we keep spending money, even as prices go up. It’s easy to look for cheaper items, but sometimes, that’s not the best way to go.

Purchasing higher quality products that are designed to stay useful — some even for a lifetime — can be the best return on investment. These are often costlier than other available products in the same category, but they have a reputation for staying useful and possibly being passed down for generations. Because of this, they may end up being cheaper than their inexpensive counterparts in the long run.

Here are 15 buy it for life products that may cause you to look twice because of their price point, but are considered a good value because of their longevity.

1. Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

Dick's Sporting Goods

$143 (was $239) at Public Lands $120 (was $239) at Dick’s Sporting Goods

Patagonia clothing and outerwear is designed for performance, sustainability and durability. And if you should experience a tear or other issue, the company will repair your items, usually for free, and it offers an Ironclad Guarantee just to make sure you are satisfied. It will also recycle or repurpose worn items. If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors — or aspire to — this is a brand you’ll want to buy from.

The Nano Puff jacket, made from 100% post-consumer recycled content, is well-insulated, moisture-wicking, water-repellent and windproof. It has elasticized cuffs and a drawcord hem, two zippered handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket, and it fits into a small bag when you’re not using it. This makes for a great layering item in winter! You can also get a men’s version for as low as $143 from Public Lands right now.

2. Vitamix 5200 Blender

Amazon

$479.95 from Vitamix $399 (was $550) from Amazon

The Vitamix 5200 is among the priciest options for blenders — but there’s a reason for that. It consistently appears on “best of” lists and this thing uses stainless steel blades to pulverize the ingredients placed inside, which makes for a smoother texture that its fans love. Vitamix blenders are designed to last for up to 10 years, and the company claims you’ll get two to 10 times the lifespan of other blenders.

This one has 10 speeds so you can create a variety of textures, along with a 64-ounce container. It has speeds fast enough to heat soups! And it’s self-cleaning in a minute or less with dish soap and warm water. If you are a fan of soups, smoothies, hummus, or just experimenting in the kitchen, this is the tool for you.

3. Away Carry-On

Away Travel

$275 at Away

Away suitcases are on the pricey side, although Away isn’t the most expensive luggage brand out there. However, these bags have a reputation for simply working well and lasting a long time, and the customer service is on point (we have personal experience with this one!). A lifetime guarantee offers safety for buyers. Anyone who travels by plane will want one of these on their next trip.

This hard-shelled model has a 21.7-inch height and is the company’s smallest suitcase, suitable for overhead bins. It’s lightweight, with an interior compression system, easy-grip handle, smooth wheels, and a strong zipper. You should note that Away suitcases no longer include an ejectable battery, although they were famous for them when they debuted in 2015.

4. Craftsman 57-Piece Household Tool Kit with Hard Case

Amazon

$58.19 from Lowe’s $67 from Amazon

If you’re looking for a set of tools any homeowner will be able to use these to improve their house, this set from Craftsman is a good bet.

The 57 tools in the set include slip joint pliers, a fiberglass hammer, comfortable screwdrivers, utility knife, tape measure, spinner handle, drive sockets in different sizes, specialty bits, hex keys, drive-bit adapter and a blow-molded case that will hold everything.

5. Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler

Amazon

$325 from Yeti $325 from Amazon

Yeti is a relatively newer brand. However, over the past decade or two, the company has developed a good reputation, especially for its almost indestructible coolers. They are expensive and can get heavy, but perform well and can keep food and drinks cool for an entire weekend camping trip.

The Yeti Tundra 45 can hold 26 cans along with the ice to keep it cool. It’s certified bear-resistant and is armored to the core, with a “T-Rex Lid Latch” which offers quite the fun visual. This particular cooler is 25.5 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 15.5 inches high. It comes standard with one dry goods basket.

6. KitchenAid 600 Pro Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

Amazon

$500 from Walmart $500 from Amazon

If you know anything about baking, you know that KitchenAid is the brand to beat when it comes to creating products that last for generations. These mostly metal stand mixers are powerful, versatile, and will last forever given the right care. They are adjustable and repairable — and they’ll also look great in your kitchen.

This version in red is highly rated, with 67-point mixing action, 10 speed settings, and three accessories: a flat beater, wire whip and spiral dough hook. It comes with a 6-quart bowl. It’s perfect for avid bakers — or aspiring ones.

7. Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Lamy

$37 from Lamy $24 (was $36) from Amazon

OK, so pens are a dime a dozen at your house. You have tons of them, and they’re relatively disposable. They’re not like Lamy pens. These are designed to keep you writing for ages and they make writing more fun; you’ll feel elegant just using one. You can refill them, so they will indefinitely. If you love actually putting words to paper, you’ll love the feel of this pen!

The Lamy Safari was first introduced in the 1980s and has become a classic since then. Today, it’s available in many colors. It has a distinctive look, an ergonomic grip and a flattened shape that keeps it from rolling away. Lamy even has a version for left-handed folks. And don’t forget to make sure you’re stocked with refills!

8. JanSport SuperBreak Plus
JanSport

$42 from JanSport

JanSport backpacks are an everyday staple of students everywhere, but adults wear these too. The company says it stands by its products, so it is known for its lifetime warranty.

The SuperBreak Plus backpack is available in a variety of colors, so you can pick something that stands out or blends in, according to your personal preferences. This is the classic version, which includes a 15-inch laptop sleep, front pockets, a padded back panel, side bottle pockets and a perfect size (16.75 inches high) to carry everything you need for the day.

9. Darn Tough Women’s Critter Club Micro Crew Lightweight Hiking Socks

Darn Tough

$24 from Darn Tough

All right, maybe you don’t think socks should be a buy-it-for-life product. Clothing goes in and out of fashion, after all. But some socks definitely last longer and perform better than others. Vermont-based Darn Tough says it knits its socks on small-needle, fine-gauge machines to create high-density socks without bulk. The products are made with reinforced merino wool with nylon and lycra. They’ve been getting plenty of buzz from people who like to travel, hike, and generally have toasty (but not sweaty) toes.

The brand’s moisture-wicking, anti-microbial Critter Club socks feature cute animal prints, along with light cushioning on the base of the feel, seamless construction and a low profile to peek out of high-top hiking boots.

10. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Le Creuset

$420 from Le Creuset

Le Creuset is the gold standard of enameled cast-iron cookware, and its Dutch oven is no exception. The cookware’s enamel retains heat well and is easy to clean. The company says the products have been crafted by French artisans since 1925. You can actually get this product in a variety of sizes from 2 to 13 1/4 quarts, along with dozens of colors.

This 5.5-quart pot is shock-resistant with a lid that promotes perfect cooking, along with wide handles and a stainless steel knob. It’s basically the perfect combination of form and function. If you’re on a budget, though, casserole fans also swear by Lodge Dutch ovens.

11. All-Clad D3 Stainless Everyday 10-Piece Pots and Pans Cookware Set

All-Clad

$649.99 (was $1,200) from All-Clad

If you’re interested in cooking with stainless steel pots and pans, you can’t go wrong with All-Clad. This classic brand from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, is known for lasting forever and producing tasty, even results. The D3 line, featuring three bonded layers of stainless steel and aluminum, offers great results consistently.

This 10-piece set includes 8-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 2-quart and 3-quart saucepans, a 3-quart saute pan, and an 8-quart stockpot, plus lids. It’s a great buy for people who are perfectionists about the food they put on the table!

12. Dyson V15 Detect Vacuum

Amazon

$750 from Dyson $590 (was $750) from Amazon

Back in the 1980s, Dyson vacuums were introduced as the first bagless vacuum cleaners. Today, the brand’s cordless vacs are among the most coveted by anyone who has to clean floors on a regular basis. If that’s you, you’ll want to consider these expensive, yet effective appliances. Few vacuums last for more than a few years, but experts say Dysons tend to have a longer lifespan of up to 10 years, making the high price tag more worth it.

This particular Dyson V15 is slimmer and smaller than other Dyson models, and it’s highly rated. It has a 60-minute run time, a power trigger, an LCD screen, and a hair screw tool. It even converts to a handheld for cars, stairs, and furniture.

13. Otterbox Defender Pro iPhone 15, 14, 13 Case

Otterbox

$64.95 from Otterbox $64.99 from Target

If you tend to drop your phone — and who doesn’t? — you’re going to want a protective case to keep it safe. Otterbox phone cases, available for Samsungs, iPhones, and other models, are a great option and have saved many a phone from cracks, scratches, and other types of damage. Plus, Otterbox offers a seven-year warranty on its smartphone cases, which is probably longer than most of us will have our phones.

The Defender Pro is a little bulkier than some styles, but it’ll keep your phone as good as new. It’s antimicrobial and has been drop-tested, and it also works with wireless changing pads. If you prefer a slimmer profile, we’re also partial to the Symmetry.

14.  Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Timbuk2

$99 from Timbuk2 $79 from Amazon

Timbuk2 messenger bags are known for their durability and craftsmanship, along with the tri-color design that makes them stand out in a crowd. The company offers a great lifetime warranty and ensures no bags are sent to landfills; most are repaired or repurposed.

This bag is spacious and weatherproof, with a comfortable foam-padded shoulder strap and an air-craft grade buckle for easy strap adjustment. They also use recycled materials, so you’re being sustainable. The brand’s classic bag comes in sizes from XS to L; the largest one is big enough for a 17-inch laptop.

15. Tweezerman Rose Gold Slant Tweezer

Sephora

$24 from Sephora

If you check the reviews for Tweezerman products, you’ll see that many of its fans marvel at how well they work and how precise they are. This company has been providing quality grooming tools for more than 40 years. While it’s not objectively expensive, its tools do cost more than others in the same category. But the brand’s sharpening and repair guarantee is second to none.

This particular set of tweezers doesn’t qualify for sharpening because it’s metallic, so it has a special coating. That’s OK—it should last you a good long while anyway. These brow tweezers are ergonomic and great for shaping and sculpting. They are also easy to clean. And you can get a point tweezer to match as well.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.