A backyard in New York City is an undeniable luxury — even if concrete substitutes for grass and the only greenery is a monstrous weed. It’s an oasis where the city bustle fades away and you can savor a rare moment of privacy. Unfortunately, it’s also a difficult space to enjoy for most of the year.
During the winter, low temperatures and sporadic snowfall make it nearly impossible to spend time outside. And while spring brings a few days of perfect weather, summer quickly settles in with humid 90-degree days. So instead of drinking wine in my backyard, I stare longingly at it from my air-conditioned bedroom.
Unlike the various fans scattered around my apartment, the new Lasko fan is specially constructed to withstand the elements. The design is water-resistant and has a special UV protection layer that makes it safe to leave it outdoors in rain or shine. Fascinated, I quickly called in a sample.
It required minimal assembly — I only had to snap the two base pieces onto the 42-inch body of the fan. Although it’s slightly heavy at 15 pounds, I was able to use the sleek built-in handle on the top of the tower to easily maneuver the fan to its new permanent location in my backyard.
I was immediately impressed with how well it aesthetically fit into my space. Its simple design is tall and thin, with a muted silver coloring that won’t negatively draw your eye. The 10-foot power cord let me pick the ideal spot in my relatively sizable (for NYC) backyard, and I ultimately pointed it right at my outdoor couch.
When I finally powered on the device, I was surprised by the lack of sound. I’ve tested many fans — from the Vornado to other Lasko devices — and this is by far one of the quietest options I’ve tried. But don’t mistake that for a decrease in power: The fan imitated a gentle summer breeze on the lowest settings and a powerful gust of wind on the highest.
I quickly discovered the optimal setting was right in the middle (speed two) with the internal oscillation feature turned on. It provided a consistent airflow that was refreshing without becoming overwhelming. Better yet, it made a 90-degree day feel like a comfortable 75.
After a month with my Lasko Outdoor Fan, I can’t imagine my backyard without it. While my space is still far from perfect — thanks to an ongoing battle with rats — brutal summer temperatures are no longer my biggest concerns.
To buy: amazon.com, $129
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This story originally appeared on Real Simple