Summer Outdoor Gear You Need for An Amazing Camping Trip

Summer is already well underway. That means plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, paddling, and otherwise spending quality time with your family outdoors.

Every year we like to put together a list of the best camping gear available. This gear makes the outdoor experience even better.

This year we’ve reviewed 25 of the top outdoor products on the market. This is the best summer outdoor gear you need to make the most out of summer.

1. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station

Few portable power stations are anywhere near as rugged and powerful as the Yeti 400.

Though it’s large size prohibits taking it backpacking, it does equal greater battery storage capacity. A full charge offers around 30 full smartphone charges.

The device has 4 USB outlets and 2 AC outlets. It’s capable of powering anything from smartphones to laptops to televisions to mini fridges. Charge it with a wall outlet at home or a Goal Zero solar panel while camping.

Buy the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station now from REI.

2. ENO DoubleNest Hammock

The ENO DoubleNest Hammock is one of the best outdoor purchases you’ll ever make.

It’s ultra-lightweight for backpacking but comfortable and luxurious enough to string up in the backyard. The hammock fits two people and has a max capacity of 400 pounds, but still packs down to the size of a grapefruit.

The DoubleNest Hammock takes just minutes to set up. Note that you must buy suspension straps separately (we recommend ENO Atlas Straps).

Buy the ENO DoubleNest Hammock now from REI.

3. Campfire Defender

It’s not a complete list of the best summer outdoor gear without mention of the Campfire Defender.

The campfire management tool is perfect for warm, dry summer nights as it limits the amount of ash and embers that jump out. Or use it in rain, snow, or wind to protect your fire from the elements. Even use it to extinguish the fire without water.

The Campfire Defender is basically a sheet of fire-resistant material that stretches out over and above your fire to improve overall fire safety.

Buy the Campfire Defender now from Amazon.

4. Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle

One of the essential pieces of summer outdoor gear is undoubtedly a high-quality water bottle.

And few water bottles are anywhere near as durable, insulating, and convenient as the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle.

The 40-ounce version keeps hot things hot for 6 hours and cold things cold for 24 hours. The inside temperature doesn’t affect the outside temperature. The bottle is constructed from BPA free stainless steel.

Buy the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle now from REI.

5. Bic Sport Tough-Tec Cross Stand Up Paddleboard

There are few better ways to get started with stand up paddleboarding than with the Bic Sport Tough-Tec Cross Stand Up Paddleboard.

The beginner-friendly SUP is incredibly easy to ride. Designed for novice riders, it supports up to 285 pounds of weight.

The spacious deck increases balance. An EVA pad offers additional traction. Firmly secure your gear with multiple attachment points.

Buy the Bic Sports Tough-Tec Cross Stand Up Paddleboard now from REI.

6. Dynafit Feline Vertical Hiking Shoes

The Dynafit Feline Vertical Hiking Shoes are created from the ground up with summer hiking and trail running in mind.

One of the best pieces of summer outdoor gear for your feet, these hiking shoes utilize synthetic materials and a PU insert for the ultimate in rock protection, breathability, traction, and comfort.

The lightweight design means you barely notice them on your feet. Run or hike to your heart’s content without heavy boots or shoes weighing you down.

Buy the Dynafit Feline Vertical Hiking Shoes now from Amazon.

7. Ztylus Switch 6 iPhone Camera System

Record your summer memories with the top-quality Ztylus Switch 6 iPhone Camera System.

The 6-in-1 camera system is compatible with the iPhone 7 Plus. The system utilizes 6 lens that can be quickly swapped out with one another. These include a fisheye, wide angle, telephoto, and macro lenses.

This Ztylus camera system has the ability to extend your zoom range as well as capture extreme close-up detail. It features an ergonomic hand grip and a durable case that houses the camera system and protects your phone.

Buy the Ztylus Switch 6 iPhone Camera System now from Amazon.

8. GSI Outdoors Mini Espresso Pot

Our long-time favorite way to make camp coffee is with the GSI Outdoors Mini Espresso Pot.

All you have to do to make a cup of delicious coffee is fill the device with your favorite espresso grounds and set it on your campfire. Once the water is hot, it will drip from the spout into your eagerly waiting cup.

Like all GSI Outdoors products, their Mini Espresso Pot is created with quality components for the utmost in durability. Glacier stainless steel construction ensures it will last you for years on end.

Buy the GSI Outdoors Mini Espresso Pot now from Amazon.

9. Ruffwear Float Coat Dog PFD

The best summer outdoor gear isn’t just for humans. There’s some great gear available for dogs too!

The Ruffwear Float Coat Dog PFD is at the top of the list. It’s one of the best dog life jackets on the market. Not only is it incredibly buoyant, but it’s also durable and even fashionable as well.

The Float Coat is available in a variety of sizes to fit all breeds of dogs. It’s also available in a selection of colors. A low-profile handle makes it easy to help your dog out of the water.

Buy the Ruffwear Float Coat Dog PFD now from Amazon.

10. Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad Dog Bed

The Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad Dog Bed is another top-quality outdoor dog product from Ruffwear.

Your dog deserves somewhere comfortable to lay down at the end of a long day playing outside. The Mt. Bachelor Pad Dog Bed is that somewhere. It also rolls down small for easy portability for camping with your dog.

The dog bed is constructed from durable, waterproof material. The easy to clean outer layer is made from microsuede. The warm, comfortable inner layer is made from recycled polyfill.

Buy the Ruffwear Mt. Bachelor Pad Dog Bed now from REI.

11. AmazonBasics Waterproof Car Bench Seat Cover

If your dog is anything like mine, they get really dirty when hiking and camping. And that dirt gets all over my car on the ride home.

The AmazonBasics Waterproof Car Bench Seat Cover prevents this problem. It’s specially designed for dogs to keep them directly off your car’s back seat.

The waterproof cover secures to the seat over the headrests and seat anchors. It’s made of 100% polyester to not only protect your car from water damage, but also scratches, spills, and more.

Buy the AmazonBasics Waterproof Car Bench Seat Cover now from Amazon.

12. GHOST Kato FS 2 27.5 Bike

Hit the trails this summer – on a mountain bike instead of your hiking boots – with the GHOST Kato FS 27.5 Bike.

The entry-level mountain bike is perfect for beginners just getting a feel for riding trails. It features full suspension, rugged Shimano components, and 27.5 inch wheels.

Every detail of the bike is designed with performance in mind. It has all the control, speed, and maneuverability you could ask for from an entry-level mountain bike.

Buy the GHOST Kato FS 2 27.5 Bike now from REI.

13. Ka-Bar BK2 Camping Knife

Camping with a knife just makes me feel better. Though it won’t do much to offer protection from wild animals, it gives me peace of mind and always proves a handy tool as well.

That’s where the BK2 knife enters the picture. Created by Ka-Bar, one of America’s best knife manufacturers, this camping knife features a sturdy handle, a wide blade, and fixed-blade, full-tang construction.

Simply put, this knife is a beast. It’s incredibly durable and will hold up for years on end. It’s tactical black look is attractive and fashionable.

Buy the Ka-Bar BK2 Camping Knife now from Amazon.

14. Trekology Ultralight Pillow

I’m the type of backpacker that always brings along a pillow. Because my normal pillow is too bulky, I’ve settled on the Trekology Ultralight Pillow as my backpacking pillow of choice.

The inflatable camp pillow folds down to the size of a soda can. It weighs only 2.75 ounces. The small size means it won’t take up space or weigh you down on a long backpacking trip.

The pillow is also notable for its ergonomic design. Unlike many inflatable pillows, this one is actually extremely comfortable. It provides superior back support and leaves me feeling like new in the morning.

Buy the Trekology Ultralight Pillow now from Amazon.

15. RinseKit Portable Shower

Here at Beyond the Tent, we’re in love with the RinseKit Portable Shower. It’s the best portable camp shower we’ve ever used.

What makes the RinseKit Portable Shower so special is pressurization. It’s currently the only portable camp shower on the market with pressurization that doesn’t come from hand pumping, batteries, or gravity.

The tank holds 2 gallons of water at a time. You get a pressurized spray for up to 3 minutes. In addition to showering, the device is also perfect for cleaning of dirty summer outdoor gear.

Buy the RinseKit Portable Shower now from Amazon.

16. Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar Kit (w/ Nomad 20 Solar Panel)

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar Kit is at the top of the list of the summer outdoor gear you need.

Buy it with the Nomad 20 Solar Panel for the best in portable power. The combination allows you to quickly recharge multiple devices simply by utilizing the energy of the sun.

Every component is designed for camping so you don’t have to worry about durability. This Goal Zero solar kit enables you to charge all your devices including smartphones, laptop computers, lights, and much more.

Buy the Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar Kit with Nomad 20 Solar Panel now from Amazon.

17. REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot

I find few pieces of summer outdoor gear more valuable than the REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot.

Use it while camping for a better night’s sleep. The comfortable cot features a taut sleeping surface made from 600-denier ripstop polyester fabric. The sleeping surface holds up to 300 pounds and is supported by a steel frame.

This camping cot from REI is also notable for its intuitive design. It folds and unfolds easily for the best in storage and portability.

Buy the REI Co-op Camp Folding Cot now from REI.

18. Camp Chef Summit 2-Burner Camp Stove

A quality camp stove is always an essential piece of summer outdoor gear. And you have few better options than the Camp Chef Summit 2-Burner Camp Stove.

The affordable camp stove packs a whole lot of power despite its small size. The burners go up to 20,000 BTU each (hotter than most stoves at home). The accurate temperature control enables you to adjust the heat as needed.

Every component used in the camp stove’s construction is top quality. The strong steel cooking grate, in particular, holds up to a beating.

Buy the Camp Chef Summit 2-Burner Camp Stove now from REI.

19. Smith Lowdown ChromaPop Polarized Sunglasses

One of the top names in the business, Smith is world renown for creating top-of-the-line sunglasses for outdoor adventurers.

Their Lowdown ChromaPop Polarized Sunglasses are no exception. The sunglasses feature a slim, lightweight profile with Smith’s signature nose-bridge detail.

Impact-resistant polarized lenses make these sunglasses a piece of summer outdoor gear you don’t want to skip out on. They’re perfect for hiking, backpacking, and paddling or just taking a road trip with friends.

Buy the Smith Lowdown ChromaPop Polarized Sunglasses now from REI.

20. Black Diamond Moji Charging Station/Lantern

The Black Diamond Moji Charging Station/Lantern blends two important pieces of summer outdoor gear together into a single package.

First up is the ultrabright lantern. It provides 250 lumens on the highest setting and 10 lumens on the lowest. The light is bright, ambient and perfect for a camping basecamp.

The second piece of the puzzle is the portable power source. Charge the lithium-ion battery before your trip. Now you can plug in your USB devices for recharging on the go.

Buy the Black Diamond Moji Charging Station/Lantern now from REI.

21. LifeStraw Water Filter

You never want to be stuck backpacking or hiking without water. The LifeStraw Water Filter solves that problem.

The 2-ounce filter is small, lightweight, and easy to pack no matter how much gear you’re carrying in your backpack. It’s not exactly the best primary water filter, but can be a lifesaver as a backup water filter.

The straw-like water filter has a hollow-fiber filter membrane inside. Basically, you sip on one end of the straw and the unfiltered water is filtered before it hits your mouth. The filter removes over 99.99% of bacteria and is effective up to 264 gallons of filtering.

Buy the LifeStraw Water Filter now from REI.

22. Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak

Get your kayak on this summer with the Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak.

Created with beginners in mind, the kayak is extremely easy to use and stable in the water. It tracks great in flat conditions without sacrificing maneuverability in rough water.

The Aspire 105 Kayak boasts a high-density polyethylene hull that will stand up to years of use and abuse. Special mesh padding and contours increase your comfort in the kayak. Plenty of storage space is added to stash your gear.

Buy the Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak now from REI.

23. Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire GPS Watch

The uncompromising construction of the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire GPS Watch makes it an essential piece of summer outdoor gear.

The outdoor watch comes with all the navigation features you could ever ask for, including GPS, GPLONASS, EPL, and an activity tracker.

The construction is equally full featured.  A stainless-steel bezel and sapphire crystal glass display make the watch extremely durable. The high-resolution color display is easy to read, even in bright sunny conditions.

Buy the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire GPS Watch now from REI.

24. NEMO Puffin Blanket

The NEMO Puffin Blanket is literally one of the most comfortable camping blankets around.

It’s so comfortable that I even use it at home. Usually on the couch, but sometimes in place of my normal blanket on my bed.

The Puffin Blanket is made of soft micro-ripstop nylon and synthetic insulation for the utmost in warmth, comfort, and durability. It features a curved shape and a foot hideaway for even more coziness.

Buy the NEMO Puffin Blanket now from REI.

25. Pelican Elite 30 Quart Cooler

A cooler is an essential piece of summer outdoor gear – and few coolers do it as well as the Pelican Elite Cooler.

The 30-quart version features 2 inches of polyurethane insulation to keep food cold for up to 6.5 days. It’s extremely durable and guaranteed for life by Pelican. It’s ruggedness and insulating qualities make it the perfect choice for camping or off-the-grid living.

Additional features include multiple cup holders molded into the lid, a wide latch for securing the lid, a grizzly-resistant lock slot, raised feet, and molded handles and tie-downs.

Buy the Pelican Elite 30 Quart Cooler now from REI.

Additional Summer Outdoor Gear Buying Guides

Didn’t find what you’re looking for on our list of the best summer outdoor gear for 2017?

Then maybe one of our additional outdoor gear buyer’s guides can help. Campers and backpackers love our complete guides on:

Our complete guide to planning a backpacking trip offers even more outdoor gear recommendations as well as tips on how to choose the best products.

Final Thoughts

All 25 of the summer outdoor gear products here are the absolute best of the best.

They’re sure to make your summer that much more memorable, whether you’re into hiking, backpacking, camping, paddling, or biking.

Yet they’re still only the tip of the iceberg. If there’s another piece of gear or type of product you’re interested, let us know in the comments below.

`Chances are we’ve used it before or at least know someone who has. We’re always happy to help answer outdoor gear related questions!


    • Hey Mike – I’ve never used an actual air conditioner, but the Coleman CPX 6 Lighted Tent Fan is a staple in my setup. It’s battery-powered, has a built-in light, and comes with a magnetic base to hang it from the top of the inside of your tent. Definitely good for air circulation. Let us know if you find a portable air conditioner that works well for you!


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