To make your next great escape to the outdoors that much better, we’ve compiled gear essentials that will make your campsite feel like a home away from home, even when you’re miles away from civilization. From must-have equipment to accessories that’ll keep you comfortable, we’ve tested the following products to ensure they’ll improve your camping experience ten-fold.
The North Face The One Bag
The thoughtful designers at The North Face want you to bring this bag anywhere, in any condition. Utilizing a three-in-one, zippered layering system, The One Bag offers interchangeable layers to keep you warm in five-degree, 20-degree or 40-degree temps. The base layer also doubles as a campsite blanket—cha-ching!
Zenbivy Light Camping Mattress
Zenbivy brings out all the finest features you can possible fit into a camping mattress. Fully baffled insulation with 180 grams of insulation will keep you warm against the cold ground, but it’s really the inflation system that piques our interest. The stuff sack doubles as an “inflation sack” that replaces the need to huff-and-puff until the mattress inflates. The mattress’ unique reversible valve also allows you to adjust the pressure to the perfect softness, or quickly dump the air for storage.
Goal Zero Yeti 200X Power Station
This powder bank from Goal Zero is a no-brainer for photographers who spend time editing in the wild or someone enjoying the liberties of working from the road. Rechargable via attachable solar panels (sold separately), a car’s 12-volt outlet or with a wall outlet at home, it’s easy to keep this power station juiced up. Featuring multiple charging ports best suited for medium or small devices, the 200X Power Station can charge a laptop up to four times.
Goal Zero Nomad 50 Solar Panels
Built tough for mobile base camps and off-grid adventures, the Nomad 50 is perfect for longer trips when you need more power without sacrificing packability. The versatile, four-panel design makes it easy to unfold and collect solar power while stationary, then quickly pack away in tight spaces in your vehicle while traveling. Pair with a Yeti Power Station to keep laptops charged, run portable fridges and power essential electronics.
Black Diamond Icon 700 Headlamp
The redesigned Icon 700 is Black Diamond’s brightest, most powerful headlamp designed specifically for backcountry skiers, ultra-runners and adventurers who demand high-output lighting. Featuring 700 lumens—comparable to the lights in an operating room—this headlamp will certainly guide you through the darkest of alpine starts.
Voormi Eleven.9 Hoodie
When thinking about summer gear, most people don’t immediately think “hoodie” but the Eleven.9 is a clutch piece when the sun starts to set and cooler temps prevail. Constructed with a surface-hardened wool that’s coated with a durable water repellent, this midlayer thrives on those cool evenings up in the altitude. While the hardened wool exterior might not sound super cozy, four-way stretch and a soft nylon backing ensure you’ll be relaxing in complete comfort.
Voormi Everyday Gaiter
We live in a new world and whether you like it or not, “masks” are a part of it. The Everyday Gaiter from Voormi makes this requirement a little more comfortable and certainly looks better than sporting a surgical mask. Made of a blended and breathable wool, the Gaiter is lightweight and odor-resistant. Two loops for your ears hold it comfortably in place and it doubles as a neck gaiter, too. When it’s time to wash it, just toss it in the machine with the rest of your laundry.
L.L. Bean Trailblazer 400 Lantern
Trying to cook dinner in the dark? Need a bit of extra light around the campsite while you’re hanging with friends? This powerful lantern cranks out 400 lumens that will successfully (and brightly) illuminate your campsite. The nice part here is, with a carabiner handle, it can be easily hung from a tree branch or a tent strap, making its lighting power extremely versatile.
Eureka Ignite Plus Camp Stove
You know that feeling when you’re trying to chef up a nice little camp dinner but you can’t get heat right? Here’s the solution: Eureka’s Ignite Plus Camp Stove. Tthis stove is similar to other high-end stoves, but what sets it apart is what Eureka calls “Simmer Control.” In simple terms, it’s the ability to easily adjust the flame between low, medium and high levels of output; it may seem simple, but many companies haven’t quite nailed it. For cooking space, the Ignite Plus has enough width for two 12-inch pans, so you don’t have to worry about your crew going hungry. The unit is also made of durable steel so it can take a lickin’ and, when it’s time to stow it away, it folds up easily and there’s a convenient carry-handle built in.
Yeti 45 Hard Cooler
Packed with all of Yeti’s finest technology—outrageous insulation, animal-proof latches and easy-to-grip handles—this 45-liter cooler offers enough space for a couple day’s worth of beers… exactly 28 brews, according to the manufacturer. For longer trips, you might need a bigger cooler, but for weekend warriors who only spend a few days at the campsite, this cooler is the perfect size.
Thule Tepui Rooftop Tent
First and foremost, rooftop tents offer a level of comfort and ease-of-use that you just don’t find with those old, “on the ground” offerings. The Tupui’s interior is lined with insulation and it comes standard with a foam mattress for super comfy sleeping while the side panels can be propped up as an awning to further protect you from the elements. The tent can also double as a cargo carrier, just like a standard storage box. If rooftop tents are on your mind, the Tupui should be at the top of your list.
The North Face Wawona 4 Tent
With an oversized vestibule for storing gear and changing clothes and a large, four-person footprint, the Wawona 4 is the ideal tent for a larger group who want to cozy up together at the end of the night. While tent’s height may not be ideal for windier, unprotected campsites, it’s easy to setup with color-coated instructions and offers a spacious solution to sleeping in the outdoors.
REI Camp Roll Table
The REI Camp Roll Table is a must-have for car campers—and anyone who is mixing up drinks or making lunch in the ski area parking lot. Setup is a breeze and the table packs down into a pack with a shoulder-carry strap, much like your favorite beach chair. If there’s one thing your missing in your car camping setup right now, it’s this sturdy, lightweight, portable table.
If you plan to venture deep into the backcountry once you set up camp, Garmin inReach devices may be your next best purchase. Utilizing satellite technology and an active subscription, you can stay in touch—and on track—globally. Send and receive messages, navigate your route, track and share your journey and, if necessary, trigger an SOS to get help from a 24/7 global emergency response team. Venture out with confidence.
Gibbon Flow Classic Treewear Slackline Set
Instead of hanging out in a hammock all afternoon, maybe it’s time to try something a little more… exciting. The Gibbon Flow Classic slackline set provides everything you need to try out this popular outdoor hobby. Practice balancing technique and challenge your friends to get to the other side; it sure beats lying around waiting for the stars to come out.
Adventure Medical KitsSportsman Series
While a first aid kit isn’t the most exciting piece of gear you’ll buy this year, it might be the most important. With the right kit, you’ll be able to treat minor injuries out in the field or triage major mishaps to potentially save a life. Adventure Medical Kits’ Sportsmans Series offers a four sizes of self-contained, well-organized medical kits for a range of uses. Inside, all of the contents are clearly labeled and each kit comes standard with a field guide to help you treat whatever type of accident you may encounter. Pick one up before you need it, stow it in your trunk and thank yourself later.