The Brightest LED Flashlights: Not Just Toys

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A flashlight is not simply some toy for the holidays; a “what if” accessory for an emergency kit; or a tool for telling ghost stories around the campfire during a weenie roast with the kids. Men gravitate towards these as Father’s Day, birthday, and Christmas gifts because a flashlight is a practical item we use all the time at work, during recreation, or as part of our voluntary occupations such as Neighborhood Watch or checking bags for drugs at our teenager’s prom. The brightest LED flashlight provide a powerful glow but with a low heat rating, are extremely durable in tough conditions, but remain compact and light. As an employer looking for gear your crew of night watchmen or police officers can rely on, it’s important to find the best and brightest just as you did when hiring staff.

How have flashlights changed recently? Most American consumers are familiar with the Maglite, flashlight. For decades, Maglites were the paradigm handheld torch, carried in civilian cars and by police officers. Large and heavy like a weapon, the original Maglites cost between $40 and $50 and, depending on the amount of cells available, these incandescent “side arms” may produce close to 150 lumens in brightness. For its time and price point, this was the biggest, baddest and brightest flashlight on the market.

Since then, the move from incandescent light sources to LED light sources has spurred a market-wide evolution, reinventing every lamp, lantern and flashlight. This mass departure from the incandescent bulb has changed flashlights more than one would initially suggest. LED lights don’t burn out as quickly as incandescents, they require less power, the components in the bulbs themselves are smaller and lighter, but despite all these, they produce significantly more light. What are the best and brightest flashlights of today that are as affordable as the Maglite?

The Best and Brightest of 2016

As you approach fishing, hunting, hiking, or camping season in your part of the US or as part of a holiday, remember to pack your flashlight along with other safety gear. It’s as essential as your foil blanket and dehydrated beef stew; way more important than the beer, although small enough so you can take the six-pack and your flashlight. Consider the following when making your purchase or asking for a gift: how good is the battery; is the flashlight portable; and what’s its light output measured in lumens? Price is not a good way to gauge anything, but cheap purchases tend to be what you expect: short-lasting with inconsistent light emission. Also, think about where you plan to take this thing: is it going to get wet? If you drop it, what are the chances the fall will be short and the landing soft? How far will the beam travel? All of the flashlights listed below (aside from the one from Wicked Lasers) are priced under $120 and potentially less than $60 with online discounts.

1. Wicked Lasers: Bright, but Not LED

Wicked Lasers flashlightsThis Asian company advertises their flashlight/lasers as the brightest in the world. There probably isn’t anything else as powerful as the Torch by Wicked Lasers which provides over 4,000 lumens, making the light not only very bright but intensely hot. They say on their website you can start a fire or cook an egg with the Torch, so it is more than a way to break up darkness but an emergency source of cooking heat and a way to start fires without matches. They use only the best materials such as anodized, military-grade aluminum for a light finish that handles a heavy load for applications such as intense hiking and camping trips, hunting, fishing, patrolling, and even deployment with the armed services.

This is not an LED light, however, but a Halogen one so it costs three or four times as much as the best LED flashlights and doesn’t belong on this list except to say that Wicked Lasers asserts theirs are the brightest flashlights around. If you don’t have your heart set on high-efficient, cool-burning LED lights then the Torch by Wicked Lasers is a multi-function tool costing about $200 and for adults only; a present for your son when he graduates — from college.

Shop the Laserdock, Nano, and Flash Torch:

2. UltraFire CREE XM-L T6

UltraFire CREE XML T6 3800 lumens flashlightThis is a 3800-lumen flashlight made from aircraft-grade aluminum, a superior material that’s both light and sturdy. As the name implies, airplanes are made from it, so what more do you want? As far as brightness goes, this one is nearly as bright as the Halogen flashlight above which is why it takes top spot on this list. The switch is bottom mounted and there are five modes: low, medium high, strobe, and SOS. Expect the LED lights to last tens of thousands of hours the way LED bulbs generally do. CREE also makes chipsets for other flashlights. Check the review video we found for the CREE, which compares the UltraFire CREE XM-L T6 to a lesser strength light, the Pelican StealthLite 2400.

The most interesting part of the video (IMHO) is at around 5 minutes where the narrator begins to show us the actual lights at work in the dark. I honestly have to say I was very impressed by the CREE’s performance, and I think you will be too. I truly could not get over how that thing completely lit up the entire area. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you do nothing else, PLEASE check the video – especially the actual demo at around 5 minutes.

(Now please note that the video is from 2013, and there is a newer model of the Pelican StealthLite – the 2410 Recoil, available at HERE if you are interested.) Anyway, our article continues below the video!

Head to Amazon to Check out the Best Prices for the UltraFire CREE XM-L T6: CREE light


3. SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 Professional Series

Solaray refers to this model as their “Best and Brightest LED Tactical Flashlight” supplying 1200 lumens, a rechargeable battery, and a zoom lens. It is water-resistant so you can splash it, but don’t immerse the flashlight in water. The PRO ZX-1 is made from silicon carbide. Many people are familiar with aircraft-grade aluminum and its properties, but what about this material used by Solaray? Silicone carbide is light, strong, stable, and shock-resistant which is why it is used to make components found in turbines, seals, valves, and heat exchangers among other things. This super-bright flashlight uses a protected battery and features five modes, the same as you find in a CREE XM-L T6. A zoom-lens changes light coverage from a wide light to a longer beam for distance so you can either get people’s attention or focus a search on the ground nearest you. It’s a light, portable, and affordable item.

Buy It: – Solaray Pro ZX-1

Solaray Pro ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight 1200 lumens

4. EcoGear FX Tactical LED Flashlight

Every firm says their flashlight is the brightest, but ratings are tested in lumens, so the 1200-lumen EcoGear FX isn’t top of the heap, not even among LED flashlights. The CREE item rated Number One is more than three times brighter.This is a good investment, though with those five standard modes as featured above (low, medium, high, strobe, and SOS) and a zoom mode to change the nature of how this flashlight emits light: wide or far. The FX Tactical flashlight would be considered a professional-grade machine, suitable for many situations like military, private security, or police patrols. Use it under pressure-free situations such as fishing or camping.

Turn it to good use scaring vandals away from the park. Turn it into a weapon if you are under assault. Utilize SOS mode and emit a bright light to help rescuers find you in a gully where a fall has left you with broken bones and no way out except by helicopter. Aircraft-grade aluminum, as you already know, creates a tough, portable chassis. Internally, this is a CREE device using the CREE T6 chipset for LED flashlights as seen above. The EcoGear FX is resistant to shock, abrasion, and water though not an underwater flashlight per se. If you want a diving flashlight, that’s another matter.

Buy It: – EcoGear FX

EcoGear FX Professional Grade LED Flashlight Kit TC120X - 1600 lumens

Maglite ML300L 3-Cell D LED

How unexpected, Maglite makes a huge flashlight that not only serves as a club in cases of dangerous encounters, but is also highly functional, brighter and longer-lasting than all competition. After the last 30 years crowning the same flashlight king, who would have expected a Maglite to blow away the competition? Yes, everyone is the correct answer, but it had to be said that for the money, despite the differences in size, Maglite still makes a brighter flashlight. At $70.50, this 625-lumen torch is the brightest on the market under $100.

There may only be a few settings, but the high setting runs for 16 hours straight at such insane brightness and the Eco mode goes strong for 117 hours putting out 53 lumens. Needless to say, whether shopping for a weapon or a flashlight, long-lasting or brightest on the market, the number one seller of the last 3 decades is running strong with the pack, pushing the upper end of performance, while doing so in its own affordable Maglite way.

Sunwayman V11R $75

Up second to last, weighing in at $75, is the Sunwayman V11R. As far as ultra bright is concerned, the V11R leaves almost all opposition in the dust, boasting a Turbo setting that gives life to a 570-lumen bright source of temporary blindness. Although the duration of usability with Turbo is a shorter-than-expected 5 minutes, with a front-end that bright, it would be a miracle if the item was not piping hot after 5 minutes. The other two settings are High and Moonlight, which speak for themselves, while the 1.7-ounce weight does the same. This little guy may seem like not much to think about when clipped on someone’s belt, but it is capable of doing so much more with less than the competition, leaving a clear runner up for brightest and best flashlight.

Zebralight H502

Moving into a podium position the bronze medalist of LED flashlights is priced within $50 of both the runner up and winner. The Zebralight H502 slides into third place bridging the high and low prices of the last two competitors, at roughly $70.00. What makes the Zebralight H502 special? Not only is it a flashlight — it’s a head light, so for the professional who uses their hands a lot at night, this little gem is special. At 2.7 inches long and 1 ounce by itself, this is the smallest and lightest option in this countdown. It also has 3 main power settings (high, mid and low), each with 2 sub-levels. The second sub-level of each also has further settings, leaving more functionality than could ever be assumed upon. The High setting fires a light that is 278 lumens bright, leaving little more to be desired.

Fenix PD22

Number 4 on the list is the Fenix PD22, cutting the previous item’s price in half at an impressive $51.95 and shining a brighter light on tight-budgets producing 210 lumens on its highest setting, Turbo. The Fenix light also prevails over the SOG on number of settings, containing 6 different lighting options in total. Turbo: 210 lumens will run for 2 hours, High: 105 lumens will run for 5 hours, Mid: 45 lumens will run for 12.5 hours, Low: 3 lumens will run for a mind-blowing 120 hours and the SOS Setting signals on High mode and the Strobe Setting signals on Turbo.

The Fenix PD22 is also easily concealed, measuring 3.5 inches and weighing a negligible 1.6 ounces. That’s 1/10th of a pound, for perspective. Bright, inexpensive and more than earning a spot in the top 5 best flashlights, the PD22 needs no further introduction.

SOG Dark Energy 214

Coming in at a whopping $105, the SOG Dark Energy 214 is at the bottom of the field not only because it’s the most expensive of these options, but also because it is the least bright, producing up to 188 lumens on the highest setting. Although it comes in last in the top 5, the Dark Energy 214 is clearly no slouch. It may cost a pretty penny, but this handheld light does put out close to 40 more lumens than the traditional Maglite on the High setting, and there are options to run it at 40% power, reading light power (approximately 5%), or a constant strobe.

At close to 4 inches and 3 ounces, the SOG light is one of the biggest and heaviest, but the fixed belt clip is still plenty strong to hold this tiny powerhouse. This may be the most costly of the count, but it is plenty bright, has quite a few luxury features, fits seamlessly in a pocket and it is built to last.

The Best Article Writing Services for 2018

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If you own a business, then you know the importance of having a strong online presence that is supported by regular content updates. And, like many others, you likely do not have the time, skill nor interest in creating your company updates. This is where article writing services come into play. There are several of them out there for you to choose from.

Here are a few places that you can check to find the best article writing services for 2018:

With this article writing service, you can select from four different levels for basic articles. At the least expensive level, your article will be seen by all of the writers using the site. The higher pay restricts the pool. You can also offer jobs directly to writers that have done a satisfactory job.

You receive no time guarantees with this site, which means your articles could sit there for days, weeks or even months before a writer chooses to write it. If you need content quickly, this could become problematic. The quality and style of work can vary tremendously from one article to the next.

Owned and operated by Jon Leger, an Internet marketing leader, is an excellent choice for all of your article needs. From basic SEO-based articles to expert-level prose, you can select from a variety of options to ensure you receive exactly what you need. Whether you need a quick, 100-word blog post or a 20,000 e-book, you will see an amazing return time on your INA orders.

The site also has a “Marketplace” which has completely original high-quality articles ready to purchase. This new feature covers a wide range of topics. Only the best writers on the site are allowed to post articles in the Marketplace and you will pay a premium price for the content.

You can also obtain premium content and service through the Niche Jet system.

Once in a while, a non-native English speaker gets through their system and you may have to request a refund. Another drawback is that the turn around time can be slow if you have a difficult topic or a large number of article requests are posted. However, paying for expedited services will help to prevent that.

I have personally used, and you can see my review here for additional insight on this service (which I have to say is one of the best I’ve ever used), or you can head directly over to their site to check it out yourself:

Article Bunny by Bunny, Inc.

This site launched last year and has quickly developed a reputation in line with the other Bunny, Inc. services. You can set up orders so that you can get a return quickly or audition a few writers prior to choosing one. With the contest option, applicants will submit an outline or other introduction as per your request regarding the topic. You can choose the person who best grasps your concept.

This site is more expensive than the previous two. One of the reasons is that the applicants get paid in the contests. The order request form is time-consuming, as is the process of reviewing submissions and tweaking the instructions if needed.

This site is great for inexpensive SEO style articles. If you need a large batch of articles related to your niche, you can get them from this site. You can sign up for additional services that will automatically post the SEO articles to various directories for you, simplifying your work.

This site has an amazingly fast turnover time and very low prices. On the other hand, there are no guarantees regarding the ability of writers on the site. Many are not native English speakers/writers. You may end up wasting time sifting through these poor quality articles or those that have been spun. Also, the writers can see if you have rejected articles but not why. If you get bad work in the beginning, it will harm your statistics and keep good writers from wanting to take a risk on their own statistical standing.

When you are looking for the best article writing services, you need to first consider what you need from the content. While the quality of articles for backlinks does not have to be incredibly high, anything associated directly with your business should be. Use the information about the pros and cons of each site to determine which one will best suit your article needs.

Best Ride On Mowers (IMHO)

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A lawn mower is a simple tool but aside from just making beautiful patterns, they can do much more. There are options out there than can help in mulching, decrease your mowing time, and minimize carbon footprint on the lawn. Various factors will determine the right tool for your individual needs. New technology makes it easier to deal with your lawn more efficiently.

You will work through the biggest to the smallest lawn in less time, using less energy, and more efficiency. You can choose from a wide variety of zero-turn, gas riding and commercial riding mowers that will keep your lawn decent throughout the seasons. On a lighter note, it is a good gift idea for Father’s Day.

Factors to Consider Before Acquiring a Riding Mower
The property matters. A small piece of land requires a smaller lawn mower that can maneuver easily. An larger yard, on the other hand, will require a mower with a wider deck size that can effectively get the job done. This accommodates maneuverability in tight spots. If, for example, the property has trees, a smaller deck will be able to fit in between with ease.

Your budget is also a crucial consideration. Depending on your financial abilities and needs, you can acquire one of these bad boys from a range of $250 to over $10,000.The determining factor here is the price, compared to the features they come with. Consider the availability and cost of spare parts for future repairs or maintenance too.

Speed makes a big difference too. The faster your machine cuts, the lesser time you spend on the mowing job. As a trained landscaper or professional, this will greatly increase efficiency and profits, naturally. The placement of the engine is of great importance too. If the engine is placed at the back, it offers less power as opposed to front-placed engines. Front-placed engines are more accommodating and improve control of the mower too.

Additional features are significant too. Features such as multi-blade cutting systems, automatic transmission, fuel optimized engines and/or automatic transmissions play a big role. To get more functionality from your machine, attachments can be added. These can be in the form of baggers, feed spreaders, aerators and cultivators.

After much research, here is a list of the five best sit down lawn mowers for your consideration. The models are the best in their particular fields considering terrain, size, power and taste.

Some of the Five Top Rated Lawn Mowers
Bad Boy MZ Magnum: It features an enormous 726cc Kawasaki engine that achieves up to 6 miles-per-hour. It has a 48-inch blade that is effective for large lawns. It is a zero-turn piece of machinery, meaning it can maneuver around any object by spinning on its wheels. Hydrostatic transmission ensures your can concentrate more on steering using both hands. For more precise mowing, the blades can be adjusted between the ranges of 1 inch to 4 inches. Additionally, you can use the foot-pedal to adjust the blade clearance height in case you come across an obstacle such as a rock. In short, it gets more work done better and in a shorter time.

Husqvarna YTH21K46: Carrying a 21 Horsepower engine and a 46-inch deck, this machine can comfortably make it through tight spots and wide yards. It has a large lever located near the steering wheel that simplifies disengaging and engaging the engine. Speed control is made less complicated by the forward and reverse right-foot pedals. This is important since it lets you concentrate on steering with your hands full in close proximity maneuvering. It is much cheaper that an average mower.

John Deer D110: This model is particularly recommended if you intend to use it in a hilly terrain, an area with roots, or a yard that has obstacles. This is because it has a power take off (PTO) lever and a hydrostatic foot-pedal drive allowing easier manipulation of the mower in rocky places.

Cub Cadet LTX 1045: If your land is small, then this is your best choice. A piece of land with many obstacles would also benefit from this mower. It has enlarged right foot-pedals that are hydrostatic with special emphasis on the reverse foot-pedal. Additionally, reverse mowing interlock is connected to the ignition switch, marked, and further connected to a push button. This is a plus for reverse mowing since not many models make it easy to make this move.

Craftsman YT 3000: Packing a 46-inch deck and a $1,740 price tag, this baby has a lever on the rear fender that shifts the mower into forward or reverse mode. It acts similar to a cruise control feature, especially in big areas. The rear tires have nine-inch treads, two-inches wider that those of other mowers, thereby reducing the carbon footprint all over your lawn.

Ride on mowers provide better handling especially if your choice is a zero-turn model. They have stronger steel blades that can cut even through long grass without risking clogging or jamming. They can handle terrain that is punishing and most of them have features to adjust accordingly. In contrast to a robotic or a push mower, riding mowers are time-saving and efficient, in turn, saving you money. The best advantage of these machines is the comfort they offer while you work on your lawn.

The best sit down mower will ultimately depend on your personal needs. If you wish to use a bagger to collect the cuttings or just let the cuttings mulch up your lawn, it is your prerogative when purchasing this machine. Different terrain and size of property will also make the difference on the type of the machine to buy. As a conscientious neighbor, also consider the levels of noise from one of these landscaping machines. Having a well-maintained lawn does not have to mean irritated neighbors. Environmentally friendly individuals should consider mowers with low pollution or none at all.

The best riding mower is one that will get the job done faster, effectively, comfortably and affordably. Make sure you have good protection against malfunctions and breakdowns by ensuring reasonable warranty from dealers. Technology moves in a fast pace. Always make sure to do thorough market research on these products to guarantee you get the best deal available. Increase your odds of getting a mower that will offer you the best service for many years.

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Makes Paddling Portable

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When I first heard about inflatable stand up paddle boards (SUPs) recently, it totally piqued my interest! Paddle boarding is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. It looks like something I’d really enjoy on an occasional hot weekend (I don’t think I would be able to do it as a regular activity since I only live near water for half the year). But, there are two primary things that have been in my way when it comes to buying a paddle board in the past: 1) space to store my SUP (there just isn’t any space in my home), and 2) a way to transport the SUP to the water (I have a car the size of a very large pumpkin. Okay, the size of a REALLY REALLY large pumpkin. Basically, too small to cart around a board).

As most people who have experience with paddleboards already know, the traditional hard shell SUPs have hulls which are typically either foam (with fiberglass and epoxy), hollow core, or polyurethane foam. They are long, wide, and cumbersome for travel. Of course, if you’re heading to the beach for a weekend, there are rental companies that have sprung up to rent out equipment like paddle boards and kayaks to individuals, couples, groups, and families who – like me – just don’t have room in or on the vehicles for large items like these or who find their prices prohibitive.

Or, maybe kayaks made the cut but paddle boards had to stay home. Enter the inflatable version which at least answers the first concern: lack of room. Now, some people say that the price of an inflatable SUP is a lot lower than a hard shell model, but that is debatable because I’ve seen some hard shells less than $1,000 (not many though), and while I haven’t (yet) seen an inflatable over $1,000, some have run pretty close. I’m thinking that most of the time the inflatable is probably a little lower, but I don’t think that the price point is the primary concern here. In fact, when it comes to the topic of “stand up paddle board – inflatable vs rigid,” really the only differences appear to be material. The general weight of either one is similar (if an inflatable SUP (or ISUP) is about 30 pounds, plus or minus, you’ll find that the rigid SUPs are close.

And, like I said, I’ve seen plenty of rigid boards way over $1,500 (and if you’re REALLY into it, you can spend over $3,000 too!) – but I’ve also seen them under $1,000 (which is where most of the ISUPs seem to fall when it comes to the price of paddle boards in the inflatable category).

The primary concerns, as I voiced earlier is the storage, transportation, and space issue. That’s the bigget reason for considering an inflatable stand up paddle board, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, I could actually ship it somewhere far more easily than I could ship a rigid board if I needed to.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, let’s compare 3 ISUPs that caught my eye. The first one I loved – I’m trying not to be biased, but it’s the first one I liked – is the Atoll Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board. Then, I saw the Vilano and then the ISLE Touring Paddle Board. So this seemed like a good place to start my comparisons.

How does the Atoll Inflatable SUP stack up against the competition? We’ll compare it to the pair of other ISUP boards that I mentinoed, one cheaper and smaller, the other slightly larger. These are, of course, the Vilano and an ISLE Touring Paddleboard.

First things first. We’ll start with the Atoll.

Inflatable SUP by Atoll

Starting out as a small package, this Atoll product inflates to 6 inches thickness, 11 feet in length, and 32 inches wide with the use of a pump. This high-pressure tool gets the job done quickly so that, in just minutes… boom! We are staring down at a full-sized paddleboard that’s ready for the water – and all for $749.99.

Bungee straps are located back and front so you can go out for hours with your board and not lack anything you want or need such as food and water. Store items securely within their elasticated bounds. A number of D-rings enable you to attach items more securely.

A second layer over the board adds greater durability to the EVA foam and prevents slipping so you stay on top of your board. The Atoll ISUP comes with a repair kit, a pump, a detachable fin, and a rebuildable three-part paddle with a nylon blade which is also designed for portability.

ISLE Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Many of the same features of the Atoll paddle board are also present here in the ISLE Airtech. The Airtech comes in 2 lengths, 10, and 12.6 feet but maintains the same dimensions otherwise and can be deflated to a mobile size as well. The build is touted for its lightness but incredible durability. Of course, the company does not recommend abusing your product, but states that you could do almost anything to it and the ISLE ISUP will stand up to the abuse while remaining viable as a safe and effective piece of equipment. Bungee cords at both ends and D-rings let you strap on a waterproof camera, extra clothes, a picnic, or whatever you desire. The paddle comes apart for additional portability and you get all of this for a little less than $850 for the 12.6 foot version, and about $695 for the 10 footer.

Vilano Stand Up Paddle Board, $429 (for the 10-foot Vilano Navigator)

Another durable option is the Vilano inflatable board, an economical alternative. It’s shorter at 10 feet when fully inflated but that’s still too long for most vehicles, especially those already crowded with gear. But if you can take the pump with you to the beach, no problem (it does come with a pump). Durable PVC facilitates many months and years of fun on the local lake and a 3-piece paddle can be stowed away in the trunk. Although this Vilano Navigator is touted as durable, it is also affordable ($429). The Vilano Voyager, at 11-feet, is a little more expensive ($499), but it does have a few higher reviews.

Price and Durability

Each of these boards is promoted for its durability, but none of them is as heavily promoted for this feature as the longer, more expensive ISLE. The makers insist you could drive a car over it and the board will be alright. With inflatable items, the risk of tears is always a concern, especially when you are going camping. Rocks become jagged. Well-meaning participants are sometimes rough when unpacking, enthusiastic to get started. People really do drive their cars and trucks over sporting equipment in their haste to get to the beach or drive home with fractious children. But how durable does a board need to be to satisfy this criterion?

All of these items receive some good reviews, though the first of them seems best where reviews are concerned. Customers could buy any of these and enjoy at least a few summers on top of the waves; perhaps more summers with the first two than the last.

There is just one set of bungee straps on the Vilano but most people wouldn’t use all of the front and back capacity of the other two. A shorter length makes this a potentially excellent starter board for younger, smaller boarders. It is also less cumbersome, but some might say that additional length increases stability. Still, it’s hard to argue with the price difference.

If you had a family and wanted to paddle in pairs, note that the Vilano is just over half the price of an ISLE inflatable stand up paddleboard. The Atoll version is not quite as expensive as the ISLE and makes a good compromise if a $100 difference means you can afford to buy other accessories or enjoy more fun activities on your holiday.

Each of these products, however, shares a common convenience factor. They represent the freedom to take stand up paddle boarding anywhere. Repair gear is included plus a bag for carrying everything neatly and safely to prevent punctures. The paddle is part of this deal, not a separate $100 purchase as could easily have been the case.

Anyway, I hope that after reading this inflatable stand up paddle board review, you agree that getting an ISUP might just be the perfect water toy for you and your family! Thanks for reading!

SUN BASKET Meal Delivery Has Expanded to the Eastern U.S.!

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This is fabulous news for fans of the Sun Basket Meal Delivery service, the top rated meal delivery service, that is!! We got the word early last week that the eastward expansion was finally in place! Many of us – me included – had reached out to the folks at Sun Basket, lamenting that, at the time, they were only available on the West Coast. (UPDATE: September 2016: We have just completed what we feel is the most comprehensive Sun Basket review available. Read our Sun Basket Review Here!)

Eat Clean $30.00 OffI well recall their very welcoming response, and gratitude for interest in their home delivered, farm-to-table meals. Until now, there had been nothing like it in our area, and well… we just felt left out! 🙂 So these are indeed exciting times for both us, and Sun Basket. I urge anyone on the east coast who has been hoping for a true healthy food delivery service to support the effort to make sure that they stay!

But wait, there’s MORE! You have heard of BuzzFeed, right? Well, there’s even more terrific news! Sun Basket had told me that:

“in a recent head-to-head meal delivery kit faceoff – held independently by BuzzFeed – Sun Basket received a perfect score. Our great taste, amazing recipes, premium ingredient quality and ease of cooking and cleanup won over the judges!”

Now, of course I love Sun Basket, but I wanted to see this for myself! So, off to BuzzFeed I went, and actually found the FIRST high marks from an April 4, 2016 column, 10 Life-Changing Things To Try In April – and among those “life-changing things” was Sun Basket! (Note: I was also pleasantly surprised to see that among that “life-changing” list was the famous Squatty Potty that we originally learned about from Shark Tank, and feature here on MyFavDeals.)

So, anyway, in that original BuzzFeed article, the writer, Nicole Nguyen explained why Sun Basket was thus far her favorite meal-in-a-box kit for 3 primary reasons: 1) The company appears to be environmentally responsible since they offer a return label so that you can ship the box, ice packs, and insulation back to them so they can reuse them, 2) they source their products from regional farms, and 3) – and possibly most important for many people who just want to eat and not worry about planning what they want to eat, she said that she considered the recipes to be healthy and filling, and – her words, “INSANELY good.”

Now, fast-forward to this month (May 2016), and BuzzFeed did a comparison of eight different meal-in-a-box kits – here’s the basic rundown:

  • Sun Basket: Hands down – the BuzzFeed favorite! They gave it a rock solid 10 out of 10 rating. In these reviews, they would talk about the “Good” and the “Bad.” The “Good” here was that the recipes worked AND tasted great, there was little packaging waste, and the meals were easy to prepare. The “Bad?” Nothing! And I quote: “Honestly, there wasn’t anything really bad about this service. They kinda nailed it.” But, to be fair, let’s look at the other 7 options that they reviewed…
  • Marley Spoon: They liked for some of the recipes themselves, but not so much the way the instructions showed what appeared to be non-representative of the actual dish pictured. They did give this a 9/10 rating.
  • Purple Carrot: This is a primarily plant-based meal delivery kit, and it won BuzzFeed’s vote for “most eco-friendly,” but felt some of the esoteric ingredients might be puzzling to some. They gave it a 9/10.
  • Hello Fresh: The panel thought the meals were easy to make, but felt that overall they were a little boring, giving it a 7/10 – but from my perspective, not everyone is looking for fancy meals, so in all fairness, because this group also makes family-sized kits, this might be the ticket for families. See Hello Fresh discounts here.
  • Plated: The biggest thing the panelists seemed most concerned about – and understandably so – was that in one of their meals, the main ingredient (lamb) was missing. Kind of a bummer. They also felt like the instructions didn’t work the way they were supposed to, and Plated wound up with a 7/10.
  • Blue Apron: This did not get much praise from the group; they said a lot of people might buy this option simply because they’re one of the originals in the meal delivery space and people recognize the name. Also a turn off was that the packaging containing the chicken was punctured, and so raw chicken juice leaked out. Yuck. From their description, it sounds like I might leave them alone and try one of the newer guys. And, BuzzFeed seemed to think that they’d only recommend Blue Apron to people who had literally never heard of anything else. The rating was a 6/10. And if you’re trying to weigh SunBasket vs Blue Apron? Well, again, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Sun Basket’s quality is coming in ahead. Moving on…
  • Terra’s Kitchen: “Plant strong and nutrient dense” seemed to be the catch-phrase here. The BuzzFeed panel said that these were VERY easy to prepare, but the ingredients didn’t smell at all fresh. They didn’t recommend the service, giving it a 2/10.
  • Home Chef: Well, this is at the bottom of their list. They just didn’t like it and gave it a 1/10. It’s possible that they just got a bad delivery. They didn’t care for the way the recipes worked either. It’s too bad, because I’ve seen a number of good reviews for them.

But, that’s the run down on what BuzzFeed had to say about these meal delivery services, and again, Sun Basket is just kicking butt when it comes to this niche!

So, to sum it up, not only is Sun Basket meal delivery service now pretty much nationwide, they are becoming the leader in being able to create and deliver delicious, healthy recipes using the best, freshest organic, non-GMO ingredients!

Oh – they are also the only meal delivery service (that I’ve seen) that offers a breakfast option. They definitely have customizable meal plans for Paleo, Gluten Free, and Vegetarians. Eat what you want without the grocery shopping!

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