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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.