Backed Hard: The Best Stuff We (Actually) Bought in February

February 28, 2022 Off By Rec Room Staff

Welcome [drops cloak] to our monthly dish of editors’ picks, where we break down the best stuff we (actually) bought, tested, licked, and loved the hardest. Last month, we brought home chonky weighted blankets, boxes of Theraflu to see us through the omnomcrom variant peak, and a retro-cool fleece jacket to take us into spring. And if there’s one thing we learned—or rather, reiterated—through this month’s selection, it’s that we sure do love to be horizontal, swaddled, and lathered by luxurious Japanese bubbles in the bath. Not only were we sudsing like a boss in February, but we were snuggling up to body pillows, super-soft boxers, and wearable-duvet coats, and hydrating our pores with Kiehl’s facial cream (yes, it really is worth the hype). Given that February has the same energy as stale bread, Tuesdays, and action figures that look nothing like the actors they’re modeled after, it’s no wonder we went extra hard for some self-care, and found not only comforting accessories for ourselves, but portable Carhartt cozies for our brewskies. 

Perhaps you’re in the mood for a little bit of R&R and beauty accessories, from gua sha tools to easily dosable solid cologne, or maybe you’re dying to hit the streets in a temporary, 2003 Lord of the Rings tramp stamp tattoo and a red leather coat. Whatever your avatar is today, we’ve got you. These are our February editors' picks; enjoy.

Casper’s wearable duvet 

I work on the couch, lounge on the couch, and eat meals on the couch—and overall, it rocks. However, it's a chore to get my blankets situated correctly, and as soon as I’m in the perfect position, I inevitably realize I’ve left my drink on the counter, or the remote on the TV stand, and I subsequently have to get up, wreck my blanket nest, and repeat the process. That all changed when I got my new Snoozewear Blanket Robe from Casper. It’s basically a big, wearable duvet (similar to a house coat) that shrouds you in a cloud of fluffy comfort. I literally just plop down anywear and immediately become a ball of swaddled bliss. Plus, it has big pockets, features a button closure, and you can still use your arms while maxin’ and relaxin’. —Ian Burke

A Japanese-style floor lamp with shelves

I’m what you would call a “nightstand crowder,” because I’m constantly balancing and shoving books, snacks, and mugs around on my side tables and nightstand. I wanted to see if I could find a lamp-shelf-hybrid for under $100, and along came this bad boy, which is svelte enough to fit in my smallest corner without looking cheap. “This lamp is definitely one of my favorite[s],” writes one reviewer about this Japanese-style lamp, which has a 4.6-star review on Amazon, “It’s bright, study, and minimalistic. They are about 5 feet tall and made with real solid wood. There are hooks on the back to run the wire so it’s hidden and contained.” Perfect for loading with empty mugs and magazines.  —Mary Frances Knapp

The platonic ideal side sleeper pillow

Side sleepers, unite! Even as a big-time pillow aficionado, I was so wowed by Honeydew's Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow that I had to write a full-length review of it. Its firmness, shape, and composition somehow really do lead me to better, deeper sleep, the kind where you wake up in the exact same position in which you dozed off. Can't evangelize enough about this thing; it's been miraculous in lulling me into a deep enough REM world that I no longer wake up with the existential scaries at 3 a.m. —Angel Kilmister

Fulton and Roark solid cologne 

I’ve always had a soft spot for solid cologne. With spray bottles, I always either get too much or too little, but with the bar stuff, it’s easy to dose effectively. Plus, thanks to its small size and discreet packaging, you can always bring it with you and reapply as needed. “Ramble” from American fragrance brand Fulton & Roark is what’s currently on my dresser—or rather, filing-cabinet-that-I-use-as-a-nightstand. I’m digging it because of its piney, spicy smell that’s subtle, yet noticeable, and the unique swivel action of the tin reminds me of my first cell phone, the SAMSUNG Juke. —Ian Burke

A stainless-steel gua sha tool

Lord, do I love a day that starts out with some gua sha. For the unfamiliar, it's pronounced "gwa sha,” and as Refinery29 explains,  “[This] is a treatment that involves gently scraping or pulling a flat jade or rose-quartz stone along the skin to relax facial muscles, boost circulation, and encourage lymphatic drainage.” The only caveat about using my gua sha stones in the past has been that I never really know how to clean them; folks say a bit of mild soap and water will do the trick, but I’ve always been apprehensive to really scrub, as stone is porous. This stainless steel version feels just as cooling and luxurious, but it’s non-porous and makes me feel like Trinity from The Matrix.  —Mary Frances Knapp

A red leather trench coat

The greatest Onion headline of all time, in my humble opinion, turns 10 years old this month. It reads, "Study Finds Owning Cool Leather Jacket More Rewarding Than Raising Children," and the reason why it's so great is because, as people who own leather jackets can tell you, it really does enhance your quality of life. I'm a longtime leather freak, but only recently got a weird impulse to buy a red leather trench coat, and I found an incredible deal on one on eBay—just over 50 bucks including shipping from across the country. This thing looks fucking dope, especially with a short skirt and boots à la that one Cake song. If you're ready to let something similar into your life, this bright red vinyl Paloma Lira coat and vintage oxblood trench on Etsy and have the same "I'm the final boss"/Carmen Sandiego energy. —Hilary Pollack

Unflavored protein powder

You know how you hate the taste of sweets, but love the taste of plain ol’ cow’s milk? No? Maybe that’s just me, and other cultured individuals of my (m)ilk. I was a little nervous that “unflavored” would just turn my protein shake into a nasty, chalky sludge, but it actually did… nothing? I was shocked—popping one scoop of this Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein mixed into a glass of milk literally just tastes like a glass of milk. Which, to me (and anyone looking to make a shake without having to account for the added flavor of whatever protein powder they’re using) sounds pretty freakin’ good.  —Ian Burke

The best Japanese bath salts for a DIY milky spa

Baths are underrated. What's with millennials and their obsession with showering? Like, you could be lying down, folks. I'm really into the smell of hinoki, aka Japanese cypress with relaxing aromatic properties, and came across this set of milky bath salts while on the lookout for some new ways of unwinding. Yo, they are amazing. They come in four different sets and 13 individual packets, and instantly turn your bath into a fragrant, pastel dream. Five-star reviews as far as the eye can see. "These salts smell SO good. Like a really natural outdoorsy scent, " one reviewer on Amazon writes, "My skin also feels so nice after. I'm not usually someone that believes in products like this but it was genuinely nice. I ended up spending over 2 hours in the bath haha." Couldn't have said it better myself! A must-buy if you're a bath baby (of any age) like me. —Hilary Pollack

A Kiehl’s moisturizer that suits pretty much everyone

Is your dry, winter skin still raging against the machine? Kiehl’s makes facial cream for people who don’t care to understand facial creams, because its light but hydrating formula is ideal for all skin types; both my mother and I use it daily, and despite having very different skincare needs, find that it always has our pores feeling cared-for, but not clogged. It has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, with over 500 reviewers praising things such as it’s easy absorption. “A little goes a long way,” writes one reviewer, “so that makes me feel better about [the] price. My theory is if you spend money on the right products, apply them regularly, then you will see results.” Agreed, thanks to this cream. —Mary Frances Knapp

The perfect sleep boxers

Alright, so as much as I would be more-than-fine with never hearing a word about any Kardashian ever again, I've gotta admit that SKIMS, Kim's intimates brand, makes some really great underwear and loungewear. These cotton rib boxers were an impulse/curiosity purchase that have ended up being essential, great for snoozing, lounging, screaming at the TV while watching the finale of Love Is Blind (you dodged a bullet, Natalie!), and cuddling whatever human or body pillow you share a mattress with. —Angel Kilmister

Carhartt’s beverage caddy 

You already know we’re Carhartt stans, so if you both a) care about the Earth, and b) drink a lot of beer, this reusable sixer by the classic workwear company is a must-have item in your boozy, planet-saving arsenal. Though a lot of companies have ditched plastic O-rings altogether, you can fill this Carhartt beverage caddy with loose bottles and cans you’d normally pop into those cardboard, “make your own six-pack” containers or four-pack plastic snap-tops from the grocery store or bottle shop to cut down on plastic and cardboard use. Drink beer, help the planet. —Ian Burke

‘The Lord of the Rings’ 2000s promo tattoos

Is there anything better than an Elvish tramp stamp? Or rather, is there anything more emblematic of Y2K-marketing than realizing New Line Cinema made temporary tattoos to promote The Lord of the Rings in the 2000s? There’s a surprising amount of these faux tats online, and I can’t wait to put this one right over my ass crack for a night out; In the words of Gandalf, “Speak friend, and enter.”  —Mary Frances Knapp

A crazy-chill, soothe-all-woes jade eye mask

I've recently learned how much a washable silk eye mask helps with sleep, so I've been looking for other stuff to put on my face to make my life better. Along came this jade eye mask, which feels cool to the touch and is sooo relaxing to just let chill (literally and figuratively) on your mug while you take a few minutes to yourself on the sectional, are fighting off a headache, when you've just woken up, and/or any time you want to de-puff your eye area. Rocks: They rock. —Hilary Pollack

See you next month!

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.