Editors’ round-up: 18 car-camping essentials for your next excursion

Editors’ round-up: 18 car-camping essentials for your next excursion

With the explosion of interest in the #Vanlife movement taking over Instagram, social media accounts and basically the entire web, there’s a newfound, much broader attention on camping and getting outdoors with friends, family, the dog, etc. Given the growing popularity of hitting the trail without leaving all the comforts of home behind, we’ve compiled 18 of our favorite “glamping” accessories. These products may not be the most weight-efficient or portable for deep backcountry adventures, but they provide that extra bit of luxury when it comes time to set up shop for a few days. So, fill up the tank, make your way to the campsite and get out there before summer comes to a close.

Men’s AP Pant, Mountain Hardwear


This lightweight pant boasts a fit that’s somewhere between slim and regular; snap closures at the ankle so you can roll ’em up neatly when desired; a 75 percent cotton, 23 percent nylon and 2 percent elastane construction for a very typical-pant-that-you-can-wear-to-town-or-the-BBQ look, but with plenty of stretch for activities from hiking, to biking, to climbing; mesh pockets that are ultra-smooth against your skin; zippered rear pockets so you won’t lose your wallet; and a reflective component on the ankle for increased visibility in low-light settings. All told, it’s a fantastic summertime- and fall-centric option for the outdoors lover all at a very fair price, we might add.

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Ember Moc, Teva


Teva combined the quilted comfort and warmth of a sleeping bag with the functionality of a sneaker, resulting in the Ember Moc. Ideal for walking around the campsite or hopping out of the tent to pee in the middle of the night, the Ember Moc’s quilted stitching with polyester and suede overlays with a EVA foam midsole and rubber outsole will delight your little piggies for the whole camping trip.

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Mint Saloon tent, Big Agnes


The Mint Saloon was made for partying—plain and simple. With a 102 square foot floor areas and 100-foot height, you can boogy down with seven or eight of your closest friends, drinks in hand. The 31 square foot vestibule area is ideal for stowing your cooler full of beers and food, while a large window in the back provides some scenery during the fiesta. The Mint Saloon is also incredibly functional, featuring a 15K waterproof coating and fully taped seams to keep you dry when the storms arrive.

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Luminoodle LED light rope, by Power Practical


It’s waterproof, flexible and bright (180 lumens) and can be strung up or wrapped around just about anything. As far as camping goes, we recommend this piece for the purposes of illuminating the interior of a tent or boosting the overall aura of a campsite—just like those Christmas lights you strung around your dorm room. It’s usable as a string light and also as a lantern—just stuff the “noodle” into its translucent stuff-sack and hang ‘er up. It comes in a five-foot and 10-foot length ($29.99 and 360 lumens) and is compatible with any USB power source.

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Skeltool KB, Leatherman


Registering just 1.3 ounces, this bad boy is not even noticeable when it’s clipped to my pocket. I use it frequently during camping outings, around the house and also around the office as a box opener and letter opener for snail mail. In addition to its 2.6 inch blade it also features a bottle opener, allowing me to be at the ready when the clock strikes Beer:30. And like all of Leatherman’s tools, it’s backed by a 25-year warranty.

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Rambler one-gallon jug, YETI


Every campsite needs water—lots of it. (Or lots of homemade vodka-lemonade, depending on your preference.) Grab yourself a Rambler one-gallon jug to keep your liquids icy-icy cold (or burning hot) for longer with one full inch of insulation on the cap and double-wall vacuum insulation around the bottle itself. YETI’s thoughtful MagCap system utilizes a magnet on the lid to hold the cap in place while the jug is in use. This behemoth container is built with 18/8 stainless steel and is nearly indestructible, so it’s primed for your next adventure into the backcountry.

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Tundra 75 cooler, YETI


YETI’s Tundra 75 cooler is your best friend on car camping missions. Load this baby up with a block of ice and all of your food and drink and rest assured your precious cargo will remain icy cold for two or three full days, even amid sweltering heat. Extra-thick walls with up to two inches of insulation are to thank for this. The 75 liter is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate grub n’ brews for five or six people—enough to last a long weekend or so. If you’re bringing nothing but beers, this cooler holds up to 50 12 oz. cans with a recommended 2:1 ice-to-contents ratio. More to love: The Tundra 75 boasts a bear-resistant design to protect from furry, four-legged intruders. Additionally, ultra-strong strong handles complete with military-grade polyester rope allow for easy carrying. The 75 also comes standard with a dry goods basket. And like all YETI offerings, it’s going to serve you well for years, and years, and years.

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CampStove 2, FlexLight, KettlePot and CoffeePress, BioLite

CampStove 2, $129.95 / FlexLight, $14.95 / KettlePot, $49.95 / CoffeePress, $14.95


Here we have the CampStove 2 and FlexLight; the KettlePot; and CoffeePress, by BioLite. The CampStove 2 itself is touted as a “smokeless” campfire. It burns twigs, wood chips, etc. and it cooks meals and boils water in mere minutes. The CampStove 2 also generates three watts of electricity for charging phones and other small devices like the included FlexLight—a light affixed to a bendable cord, convenient for nighttime or early-morning use. Electricity generated by the CampStove may also be stored via the on-board 2,600 mAh battery.

The KettlePot “pours like a kettle and cooks like a pot,” and it also doubles as a carry case for the CampStove 2. It holds 1.5 liters of coffee (or whatever else you cook up—might we suggest the Pad Thai and Thai Curry offered by Good To-Go). The CoffeePress nests with the CampStove inside of the KettlePot and is made with stainless steel and BPA-free polypropylene. French press in the wilderness? Damn straight; show the world just how serious you are about your coffee intake. All items sold separately; coffee beans not included.

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Table XS Lite, LEKI



As any experienced car-camper can relate to, the bulky gear is what you can’t leave home without and helps make the experience that much more unforgettable. One such item you can’t “glamp” without is a camp table. Fortunately, for the space savers out there, LEKI created the Table XS Lite. It has almost unnoticeable pack size and weighs next-to-nothing, leaving room for an extra case of beer or a few more folding chairs. It stands just over a foot tall, but is the perfect height for the majority of camp chairs out there that leave you low to the ground. The legs also adjust letting the table adapt to varying ground surfaces while still holding your drink or game of poker steady.

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Sub 1 camping chair, LEKI


This camp chair blurs the lines of backcountry and car-camping specific use. Weighing only 940 grams, this bad boy can accompany you on smaller backpacking trips without sacrificing comfort and stability. This chair was almost over-engineered: It boasts lightweight fiberglass reinforced plastic joints, a mesh seat for superior ventilation on summer nights and high-strength aluminum shafts to support all shapes and sizes of campfire-goers. The carrying case quickly fastens under the base of the chair to hold your phone, snacks or whatever supplies the particular occasion demands. The most crucial feature is the included cup holder that attaches on either side to ensure no party fouls are committed. We thought we’d never be this impressed by a camp chair. Bravo, LEKI, bravo.

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Yeti 400 Portable Power Station & Boulder 50W Solar Panel Kit, by Goal Zero


Ditch the fumes and hit the road with this sustainable, notably quiet, and ultra-portable power station from the gadget-makers at Goal Zero. This is the ideal system for the explorer that often spends multiple days off the grid, yet still requires significant power demands like keeping laptops, tablets, cameras and speakers charged for continued connectivity away from home.

What’s amazing is you can charge this beast in three different ways. Using solar rays from the sun, the Boulder 50-watt panel will charge the Yeti 400 power station in 16 to 32 hours, depending on the amount of light it receives; via a wall outlet there’s a five hour fill up time; and if you plug it in while you’re driving, it takes a total of 13 hours using the 12-volt adapter found in most automobiles. Trust this tech and join us in saying sayonara to dead appliances in the backcountry.

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Vela HD Double Quilt, Thermarest


Tired of not being able to snuggle with your adventure partner while in the backcountry? So were we. Thanks to Thermarest’s Vela HD Double Quilt we can now snuggle wherever we choose to count sheep. This three-season quilt has high loft 650-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down, draft protection from full-perimeter side baffles and ThermaCapture seams that retain radiant heat. The best part about this quilt is its ability to connect with other Thermarest products like the NeoAir Dream pad and Down Coupler to form the ultimate sleep system using the included loop kit and perimeter snap loops. At just over two pounds, you truly can take this quilt anywhere you please.

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Founder’s Edition flip flop, Rainbow Sandals


San Clemente, California is the home of Rainbow Sandals, where the company has been perfecting the art of flip flops since 1972. Sourcing the most durable, comfortable materials, Rainbow aims at creating the most resilient and stylish flops on the market. In collaboration between Flip Flop Shops and Rainbow founder Jay Longely, the Founder’s Edition flip flop was released this summer with updated styling and the same trustworthy construction. After a long day hiking, it’s time to take those boots off and let those little piggies breathe—no better way than with these Rainbow flops.

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Genesis Basecamp System, Jetboil


The ultimate basecamp cooking system. This award winning, dual burner stove boasts a Jetboil engineered valve for exceptional simmer control, easy-to-clean drip trays, a lever igniter, and attachable windscreen for use in all weather conditions.The FluxRing equipped 5L FluxPot brings a liter of water to boil in just 3 minutes, 15 seconds! This beast utilizes the Jetlink fuel output port to attach to compatible stoves (Gonzo Grill Cook System, Spire LX Camp Stove, and Halfgen Basecamp System) or a Luna Satellite Burner for a completely customizable backcountry cooking experience. Who says gourmet meals are only for the kitchen?

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