It doesn’t matter if you’re a camping newbie or lifelong outdoorsman—summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy this beautiful planet. But before you trek into the woods, you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped with this summer’s best outdoor gear.
After last year’s pandemic-induced spike in outdoor recreation and subsequent gear shortages, products are finally returning to the shelves. That means now is a great time to update your kit. To help you dial in your setup, we’ve rounded up top-rated gear from outdoor companies including Therm-a-Rest, MSR, Marmot, Vasque and more. Here’s our favorite gear of the season.
The Best Outdoor Gear of Summer 2021
1. GoPro HERO9
If you’ll be playing outdoors this summer, the HERO9 will capture unforgettable memories in stunning 5K resolution. The most advanced outdoor camera on the market, the newest GoPro comes with several upgrades including a new front display, detachable lens, water-resistance down to 33 feet, and the ability to shoot crystal-clear 5K video or 20-megapixel photos.
2. Bajío Calda Sunglasses
Whether you’re fishing on a lake or hiking a ridge, you need to protect your eyes this summer. This premium pair of sunglasses from Bajío features polarized lenses to reduce glare and blue light transmission, while its nylon frame is strong and lightweight—perfect for high-energy activities.
3. Vasque Breeze LT GTX
A great hiking boot needs to be durable, comfortable, lightweight, and (ideally) waterproof. That’s exactly what you get with this premium boot from Vasque. The Gore-Tex upper creates a waterproof barrier that retains breathability, while the Vibram Litebase sole manages to cut weight while delivering top-notch traction on even the most treacherous trails.
4. Marmot Limestone 4-Person Tent
Going car camping this summer? You’ll want to invest in a high-quality tent, and this four-person shelter from Marmot is a top choice thanks to several standout features. It comes with a ventilated rain fly (no sweltering nights here), its roomy interior features two large doors, and color-coded clips and poles make it easy to pitch, too.
5. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad
The Topo Luxe is Therm-a-Rest’s thickest NeoAir backpacking sleeping pad yet. Four inches of loft provides exceptional comfort and good heat retention—it’s suitable for spring and fall camping as well. Dual valves allow for quick inflation and deflation, and because it doesn’t contain insulation, it’ll pack down to a small size, which makes it great for stowing in a pack.
[Starting at $150; thermarest.com]
6. Fjallraven Singi Two Seasons Long
Fjallraven’s commitment to sustainability and quality shine through in the Singi Two Season, a premium summer sleeper that uses traceable, ethically produced down and is designed for easy packability. Rated to 35 degrees, its strategically distributed down will keep your core warm during chilly nights in the backcountry.
7. MSR WindBurner Stove System Combo
Windy conditions won’t disrupt your dinner if you pack this premium cooking kit from the outdoor gear experts at MSR. A windproof radiant burner is paired with a ceramic-coated 2.5-liter sauce pot and eight-inch skillet so you can cook real food fast. And once you’ve enjoyed a hearty meal, all the components nest inside each other for efficient packing and storage.
8. Platypus PlatyPreserve
A lightweight and durable solution for bringing wine or whiskey into the backcountry, the 800ml PlatyPreserve brings the party to your camping trip. The food-grade lining and dark exterior graphics preserve your drink’s flavor, it weighs less than an ounce, and its nylon-polyethylene material is durable enough to withstand both the trail and rowdy nights around the campfire.
9. RinseKit Pod
Playing outdoors is a dirty business. The RinseKit Pod is the perfect solution for washing both yourself and your gear after a full day of adventures. The 1.5-gallon self-pressurized tank and spray nozzle will blast away dirt and grime, while the compact size makes it easy to store in a trunk or garage.
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