Over the years we have been lucky enough to try out many different camping tents, sleeping bags, flashlights and more. While we loved most of them, there are only a few that make our most recommended gear list. Below you will find only gear that we know and love.
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Family Tents – These tents are big and built tough.
Kelty – We have always loved the Kelty brand tents. They are built incredibly durable and priced to where you can afford to use them while camping with your family. Kelty’s tents range from about $150 for a basic 4 person to $450 for their more durable and lightweight 6 person tents. You can purchase a Kelty tent directly from their website here.
Hiking Tents – These tents are lightweight and built for 1-2 people.
Sierra Designs – Known for not only their incredible quality but unique and eye catching designs, Sierra Designs makes some of the best hiking, 1 and 2 persons tents on the market today. These tents range from already light 5 lbs, to an incredibly light 1 lb 11 oz. You can purchase Sierra Designs tents directly from their website.
Family / Campground Sleeping Bags – Bigger, More Spacious, Not Built For Extremes.
If you are looking for something a bit more family friendly, many high end camping brands have a great selection of family / campground sleeping bags. These bags range from $40 for a Eureka bag to $200-$300 for some of their nicest campground sleeping bags. Some of our favorite brands such as Kelty, Alps Mountaineering and Marmot all with bags starting around $60 that are still higher quality than you will find at a “we sell everything under the sun” retailer.
Hiking Sleeping Bags – Lightweight, Warm & Easy To Pack.
Sierra Designs again makes our gear list for their exceptional quality. We personally have three different Sierra Designs sleeping bags, two garment style and one bed-style bag. The garment style allow you to put your arms through the sides and feet through the bottom so you can actually wear your sleeping bag in the evening if it is cold outside. The bed style gives you more room inside the bag and comes with a built in comforter to feel just like home. Read Beyond The Tent’s Full Review Here.
Hands down, Klymit makes some of the most amazing sleeping pads on the market today. Until we found their pads, we though sleeping pads were all about who’s was the fluffiest and lightest. Klymit has taken sleeping pads to the next level. Their Body Mapping technology has support for all the areas your body touches the sleeping surface while removing the remaining areas. This does two things, first, the pads are lighter, second this allows for your sleeping bag to not be compressed underneath you (not be squished) thus keeping you warmer. Read more about Klymit’s Body Mapping and Loft Pocket Technology. You can purchase Klymit Sleeping Pads at Amazon.
Eno Hammocks – Our family has had an ENO hammock for about three years now and it is absolutely one of our favorite camping accessories. Easy to set up (takes 2-3 minutes tops and can be done by our kids), lightweight for packing, and budget friendly, ENO hammocks are perfect for almost any occasion. You can see our full ENO hammock review here or check out a full range of ENO hammocks and accessories here.
Water Filtration & Hydration
The Life Straw is one of those cool inventions that can change the game. The Life Straw is a water filtration straw that allows you to literally lean over and drink water straight from the source. Being small and lightweight these are perfect for any emergency kit for campground camping, hiking or any other activity. Life Straw also makes a Family Pump version that allows you to have filtered water at your campsite or base camp. One straw will filter 264 gallons of water, that is the recommended amount of water for one person for a year! The really neat part about Life Straw is that they are using their proceeds to provide clean water to countries all over the world that are desperately in need. We ordered 25 of these and have been giving them out as gifts we love them so much!
For water bottles, hydration packs and water belts, Ultimate Direction sells some of the coolest hydration gear around. Ultimate Direction has been making hydration packs since 1986 and has been the pioneer in the field. Check out their complete line of hydration packs here.
Bugs & Mosquito Protection
The Thermacell is literally a break through in bug protection and your one solution for camping or any outdoor activity. The Thermacell works by burning a small butane cartridge that heats a small pad soaked in a repellant called allethrin, which is naturally occuring and safe for humans. The Thermacell creates a 15′ radius of over 96% bug free protection. You can read our full review of the Thermacell right here.