10 Cool Camping Gear Items for This Year’s Camping Adventures

Cool camping gear for 2021!

The beginning of the summer camping season is a good time to review your camping checklist and take stock of your outdoor gear. If you have the time and space, drag it all out so you can take inventory. it might help to ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What needs to be repaired? (That broken tent zipper, the torn sleeping bag, etc.)
  • What needs to be replaced? (The water bottle you lost, the hiking shoes that don’t fit, etc.)
  • What’s been working well?
  • What gear do I still need? (A decent raincoat, a camp stove, etc.)
  • What gear do I want?
  • What’s my budget?

Keep in mind that some places like REI offer rental programs where you can rent outdoor gear. This is helpful if you’re new to camping and aren’t sure if you want to invest in the gear quite yet. Once you know what you’re looking for, read on to learn about 10 must-have items for this year’s camping adventures.

cool camping gear for hiking and camping

1. Hyperlite Mountain Gear REpack

It doesn’t look like much but don’t let that fool you. This simple-looking bag from Hyperlite Mountain Gear is a piece of very cool camping gear that can change the way you cook on the trail or at the campsite. The REpack is an innovative cooking system that can both store your food and cook it. Dehydrated meals are standard fare for most backpackers. To reduce space (and recycle packaging at home), it’s a good idea to repackage dehydrated meals in individual plastic freezer bags before you leave home.

These individually packed meals can be stored inside the REpack. Then, when it’s time to eat, remove the bagged meals and fill the REpack with hot water. Cook your chosen meal by placing it inside the hot water. The video below shows exactly how it’s done.

2. Big Agnes Scout 1 Platinum

A tent without poles might seem like a mistake. But this new lightweight 1-person tent from Big Agnes doesn’t need them. That’s because its construction depends on two things that a hiker probably already has: trekking poles! Just two trekking poles are enough to set it up and anchor it in place. It’s an amazing lightweight shelter solution (it weighs less than a pound!) for backpackers or any camper looking to lighten their load. And despite its size, it’s a tent that’s made to stand up to the elements with waterproof silicone-treated nylon, taped seams, and a storm flap.

Big Agnes Scout 1 Platinum Crazylight Backpacking Tent, 1 Person
  • Our NEW Scout 1 Platinum is a single-wall, insanely lightweight yet roomy trail phenom. At less than one pound, there’s no reason this tent shouldn’t be in your pack for fast and light solo missions. The full-body mesh vent system on this trekking-pole supported tent keeps air circulating and weather out, which makes this spacious, single-wall shelter your ultralight adventure must-have.
  • CRAZY LIGHT TECHNICAL COMFORT – The Scout Platinum single-wall tent offers generous living space for ultralight trail missions where every ounce of weight and inch of space count. The vertical, head-entry door featuring storm flaps on exterior zippers along with extended dry-entry eve saves weight while keeping you protected from outside weather. The crazy light, durable materials and construction will ensure you’ll want to get outside on your favorite trails all season long.
  • ROOMY PROTECTION - The exterior trekking-pole design paired with vertical endwalls and over-vertical sidewalls creates a spacious floorplan. The tent requires two trekking poles or Big Agnes Accessory Backpacking Poles for set up - sold separately. Two 45”/114cm poles for the front. Rest assured, the reinforced pockets for your trekking poles keep your tent body protected.
  • FULL FEATURED – The Scout Platinum tent has two oversized 3-D bin pockets that provide ample storage without encroaching on your livable space; also includes 2 full length wall vent pockets. The multiple vents with protective eves keep air circulating while keeping weather out. Double slider zippers on the door allows for venting from the top or bottom.
  • READY TO PITCH AND PACKABLE – All Big Agnes tents come ready to pitch; with pre-cut guy lines and tensioners attached to fly. Self-adjusting guyouts on the front corners are easy to use and provide the perfect pitch! Reflective guy lines and webbing on tent corners make your tent easily visible at night. All seams taped with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape (No PVC or VOC's). Trail weight is 13 oz! and packs down to 16 x 4.5 inches.

3. Coleman Skydome Tent

Coleman’s new Skydome tent series is designed with nearly vertical walls to provide campers with more headspace—20% more than Coleman’s previous dome-style tents. Skydome tents also come with a wide door to accommodate air mattresses and are available in a “Dark Room” version. The “Dark Room” is a tent with darker colored fabric designed to block 90% of sunlight and heat. And like most Coleman tents, the Skydome is available in many sizes from a 2-person tent up to an 8-person. Even better? They can be set up in 5 minutes or less. Watch this for a how-to.

Coleman Camping Tent | Skydome Tent
  • QUICK PITCH: Sets up in under 5 minutes thanks to pre-attached poles
  • MORE HEADROOM: 20% more headroom than traditional Coleman dome tents thanks to nearly vertical walls
  • WEATHER PROTECTION: WeatherTec system’s tub-like floor, patented welded corners, and inverted seams help keep water out; strong frame withstands up to 35 mph winds
  • WIDER DOOR: Makes it easier to move air beds, sleeping bags, and other gear in and out of the tent
  • ROOMY INTERIOR & EXTRA STORAGE: 8 x 7 ft. with 4 ft. 8 in. center height; fits 1 queen-size air bed; mesh storage pockets and a gear loft keep small items organized

4. Klymit Drift Camp Pillow

Sometimes the smallest luxuries can make the biggest difference. If you’re laying on the ground (even if you’ve got a great sleeping pad), sleep often comes more easily if you’ve got a comfortable pillow. Yet camp pillows are often too small or don’t offer enough support. Not so with the new Drift pillow from Klymit. Available in two sizes, the Drift pillow also comes with two cases: a water-resistant ripstop nylon shell for travel and a softer cotton jersey shell. The pillow itself is filled with shredded memory foam to offer a soft—but supportive—place to lay your head.

Klymit Drift Camping Pillow, Reversible Cover for Travel and Sleep, Shredded Memory Foam Comfort with Durable Shell (Large-Green)
  • VERSATILE: Pillow easily morphs from travel-friendly use, to a soft, clean sleep surface
  • DURABLE COVER: Easy-to-clean, water resistant outer shell
  • SOFT: Jersey cotton inner pillow case
  • CUSTOMIZED COMFORT: Shredded memory foam strikes the balance between support and comfort
  • TRAVEL READY: Packs down small for your next adventure

5. Thermacell Patio Shield

Even when mosquitoes don’t ruin a camping trip, they can make evenings (especially dinnertime) uncomfortable. Rather than coating yourself in bug spray or lighting yet another citronella candle, try Thermacell’s Patio Shield. This handy device uses a fuel cartridge and insect repellent mat to create a 15-foot bug-free zone. It’s DEET-free and scent-free. Each repeller comes with 3 insect repellent mats for a total of 12 mosquito-free hours.

Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller, Blue; Highly Effective Mosquito Repellent for Patio; No Candles or Flames, DEET-Free, Scent-Free, Bug Spray Alternative; Includes 12-Hour Refill
  • TURN IT ON… MOSQUITOES GONE: Thermacell Patio Shield creates a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitos. Ideal for patios, decks, pools, porches, camping, and more
  • HEAT-ACTIVATED: No cords or batteries. Powered by a safe and compact 12-hour fuel cartridge (included), repel without smoke, flames, or citronella. Not a messy trap or gimmicky sonic. Independently tested. EPA reviewed for safety & effectiveness
  • LONG-LASTING DEFENSE: Unscented repellent mats (3 included) last up to 4 hours each and change color when time to refill. No mess, no DEET, no spray, and no on-skin chemicals make Thermacell a better solution. Easy to refill
  • NATURE-INSPIRED REPELLENT: Our active ingredient is based on naturally occurring repellents found in plants. We've harnessed its power to fight the toughest mosquitoes on earth (including in your backyard)
  • THERMACELL GUARANTEE: Extend your warranty to two years with registration (automatic 1-year warranty included). Developed and Tested at our New England based R&D center. We stand by our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee

6. GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

There’s an incredible variety of camp chairs on the market—from minimalist camp stools to loungers that are more comfortable than a living room recliner. A chair option that’s somewhere in the middle is GCI Outdoor’s Freestyle Rocker. This camp chair is made with a durable steel frame and comes with padded armrests and a drink holder. But unlike a standard camp chair, it has specially designed pistons that create a spring-loaded rocking motion. And despite the chair’s size, it easily folds flat and comes with a carrying handle.

Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Rocking Chair & Outdoor Camping ChairGCI
  • Outdoor Rocking Chair: Portable folding chair quickly and easily folds flat for simple storage and transportation
  • Quality Construction: Constructed from sturdy powder-coated steel, foldable chair frame supports up to 250 pounds and includes padded armrests, a mesh backrest, and beverage holder
  • Smooth Rocking: Folding rocking chair with patented Spring Action Rocking Technology rocks on most outdoor surfaces; Use this outdoor folding chair as a rocking camp chair, lawn chair, or sports chair
  • Simple Setup: Outdoor rocking chairs open and close smoothly via patented EAZY-FOLD technology; These folding chairs for outside also feature a convenient carry handle

7. Big Agnes Woodchuck Camp Table

When your campsite doesn’t come with a picnic table—or you simply need extra prep space—it’s helpful to have a camp table. This option from Big Agnes is lightweight and easy to set up. At just 2 pounds, it folds down to fit in a compact carrying case. Yet it’s also sturdy enough to be used for a camp kitchen. The Woodchuck camp table’s surface is 15.5 x 21.5 inches. If you’d like a little more space, Big Agnes’s Soul Kitchen camp table is 24 x 27.5 inches.

Big Agnes Woodchuck Camp Table
  • LIGHTER, STRONGER, & EASIER TO USE - With their unbeatable strength-to-weight ratio, the 2lb Woodchuck and 4lb Soul Kitchen excel on both camping and backpacking trips where convenience is key; They’re sturdy, quick to set up, and so lightweight and compact you could carry them to the moon and back
  • SAY NO TO PLASTIC HUBS - While other tables rely on flimsy poles and plastic hubs that wobble under the weight of a camp stove, Big Agnes’ patented hub-less frame is made entirely of heavy-duty aircraft aluminum; It packs smaller, weighs less, and creates a much stronger table to support your camp kitchen for years of use
  • REVOLUTION IN CAMP UTILITY - The Woodchuck and Soul Kitchen aren’t just lightweight and durable, they’re also a breeze to assemble; Fully shock corded, color-coded architecture pulls together in a flash, and the folding hard top easily clips onto the frame to create a secure, flat surface
  • BACKCOUNTRY TOUGH - Made with ultralight nylon ripstop for extra durability, paired with high-tenacity robic yarn that adds 25% - 30% more strength; Waterproof UTS coating withstands mountain weather; The Woodchuck Table has a trail weight of 2lb 3oz, packed weight of 2lb 6oz, and packed size of 3.5" x 4.5" x 21.5"
  • WARRANTY INCLUDED - All Big Agnes products are 100% guaranteed against manufacturing or material defect; If one of our products does not perform to your satisfaction, Big Agnes will help you find gear that fits your needs

8. Aeropress Go

The Aeropress has gained a huge following since it came on the market. Now this popular coffee-brewing method is available in a camp-friendly size. The Aeropress Go uses the same total immersion brewing process of the original but comes in a compact 5-inch size. Plus, it’s fast. It can make between 1-3 cups of coffee at a time: 1 minute for hot coffee and 2 minutes for cold brew.

AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press, 1-3 Cups - Makes Delicious Coffee, Espresso and Cold Brew in 1 Minute
  • IT’S ALL ABOUT TASTE - ON THE GO: The AeroPress Go travel coffee press makes smooth, delicious coffee without bitterness, unlike slow brewing methods and French Presses.
  • PERFECT FOR HOME OR TRAVEL: The AeroPress Go features a small size that makes 1-3 cups per press. Features a mug and lid that double as a traveling case. Perfect for traveling, camping, boating and more!
  • PORTABLE AND VERSATILE: The rapid, total immersion brewing process brews hot coffee or espresso in a minute. Brews cold brew coffee in two minutes.
  • EASY AND CONVENIENT: Brew anywhere! The AeroPress Go is simple to use and clean up takes seconds.
  • 350 MICRO-FILTERS INCLUDED: No grit in your cup like with a French press. Smooth, flavorful coffee on-the-go!

9. Lodge's Rosie the Riveter Skillet

This year as a part of its Made in America product series, Lodge introduced it’s “Rosie the Riveter” skillet in honor of women who’ve worked in manufacturing. Think of it as a classic cast-iron skillet with a history lesson. Marketing aside, a cast-iron skillet is one of the best camp kitchen purchases you can make. Check out some of our favorite camp recipes here.

Lodge 10.25" Cast Iron Skillet, 2020 Made in America Series, Rosie the Riveter, Black
  • Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment-women's right to vote-with the latest skillet in the Made in America Series. The 'Rosie the Riveter' design not only recognizes an icon of American history, but honors our country's strong manufacturing background.
  • 10.25-Inch Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with assist handle is at home in the oven, on the stove, on the grill or over the campfire
  • Seasoned with oil for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use
  • The right tool to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry or grill
  • Brutally tough for decades of cooking, cast iron is unparalleled in heat retention and even heating

10. Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Trekking poles can be pricey and unless you hike a lot (or have your sights set on one of these thru-hikes), they might not seem worth the investment. This set of aluminum poles from Montem, however, are great for the casual hiker and budget-friendly. Their lever locks and foam grips add to their comfort.

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles, Pink (Matte) , One Pair
  • ✅【EASILY ADJUSTED】Adjustable quick locks allow you to QUICKLY & EASILY lengthen the poles from 24” to 53” in order to achieve the perfect height for your needs.
  • ✅【FREE LIFETIME REPLACEMENT PROMISE】We at Montem promise to replace your poles for life. Shop the most trusted brand in trekking poles today!
  • ✅【ULTRA STRONG & LIGHT 】Montem trekking poles weigh only 9.6 ounces per pole so you don’t feel weighed down - you’ve already got enough to carry, your poles are here to help you, not hinder. Crafted out of Aluminum 7075 - the same material used to build airplanes. Experience truly strong trekking poles. Lifetime Replacement Promise(!)
  • ✅【COMPACT & TRAVEL READY】Our trekking poles pack up easily for storage in luggage, backpacks, and duffle bags. Montem hiking poles also come with easily storable rubber tip protectors, pole connectors, and mud baskets.
  • ✅【NEW IMPROVED MODEL!】Strap up - Your trekking poles come with padded straps to ensure the most comfortable and ergonomic grip. Never worry about dropping your trekking poles again.