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
  • Exterior trekking-pole design paired with vertical end walls and over-vertical sidewalls
  • Multiple mesh vents with protective eves keep air circulating while keeping weather out
  • Vertical, head-entry door with large awning coverage
  • Double slider zippers allows for venting from the top or bottom
  • Requires two trekking poles or Big Agnes accessory backpacking poles for set up - sold separately

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 Skydome Camping Tent, 2/4/6/8 Person Family Dome Tent with 5 Minute Setup, Strong Frame can Withstand 35MPH Winds, Roomy Interior with Extra Storage Included
  • 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, Shredded Memory Foam Travel Pillow with Reversible Cover for Outdoor Use, Green, Large
  • Versatile Outdoor Pillows: These shredded memory foam pillows have a durable reversible shell that easily morphs from a travel-friendly cover to a soft, clean sleep surface
  • Camping Pillows for Sleeping Comfortably: The water-resistant outer shell is easy-to-clean and designed to stand up to the great outdoors, while the soft Jersey cotton inner pillow case promotes sound sleep
  • Customized Comfort: This shredded foam pillow provides the perfect balance of support and comfort for a sleeping experience that matches your pillow at home
  • Travel-Ready Outdoor Pillow: This backpacking pillow packs down small for your next adventure but expands to nearly full size when you're ready for bed
  • Sleep Outside with Klymit: Our award-winning products, incliding our travel pillows for sleeping, are designed to help you sleep outside as comfortably as you do in your own bed

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; Highly Effective, for Patio; No Candles or Flames, DEET-Free, Scent-Free, Bug Spray Alternative; Includes 12-Hour Refill
  • EFFECTIVE MOSQUITO PROTECTION: Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Patio Shield creates a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes. Use this sleek repeller on patios, decks, pools, and more. Turn It On… Mosquitoes Gone.
  • HEAT-ACTIVATED TECHNOLOGY: No cords or batteries. Powered by a safe and compact 12-hour fuel cartridge. Emits scent-free repellent that drives away mosquitoes. Unscented repellent mats last up to 4 hours each and change color when time to replace.
  • EFFECTIVELY REPEL WITHOUT SPRAY OR SCENT: Repel mosquitoes without DEET sprays or lotions on your skin. No smoke, flames, or harsh odors like citronella. Enjoy max protection in 15 minutes. Device is compatible with all mat and fuel refills, including multi-insect repellent.
  • PLANT-INSPIRED REPELLENT FORMULA: Our synthetic allethrin formula is inspired by repellent extracts found in plants. Independently tested and EPA reviewed for safety & effectiveness. People and pet friendly.
  • THERMACELL GUARANTEE: Extend warranty to 2 years with registration (automatic 1-year warranty included). Backed by Thermacell Guarantee. See packaging for details. Includes repeller, 12-hour fuel cartridge, and three repellent mats.

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.

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Rocking Chair & Outdoor Camping Chair, Cinnamon
  • Rocking Chair for Outside: This portable folding chair for outside quickly and easily folds flat for simple storage and transportation
  • Quality Construction: Equipped with a sturdy powder-coated steel frame, this outdoor folding chair supports up to 250 pounds and includes padded armrests, a mesh backrest, and beverage holder
  • Smooth Rocking: Patented Spring Action Rocking Technology allows this outdoor folding chair to rock on most outdoor surfaces; This folding rocking chair for outside makes a great rocking camping chair, rocking sports chair, or rocking lawn chair
  • Simple Setup: This rocking camp chair for adults opens and closes smoothly via patented Eazy-Fold Technology; This folding camping chair for adults also features a convenient carry handle
  • Portable: This folding lawn chair for adults measures 24 x 25 x 34.8 inches when open with a seat height of 19.7 and folds to 24 x 4.9 x 34.8 inches; 12.1 pounds; Limited lifetime warranty

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 & Soul Kitchen Tables - Ultralight, Hard-Top Tables for Camping and Backpacking, Woodchuck Table (Asphalt)
  • 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 Travel Coffee Press Kit - 3 in 1 brew method combines French Press, Pourover, Espresso - without grit or bitterness - Small portable Full bodied coffee maker for camping & travel
  • An Amazing Cup, Now On The Go: Take the AeroPress Go with you and enjoy a truly delicious coffee wherever you go. The AeroPress Go is slightly smaller than the AeroPress Original, but can still produce 1-3 servings of espresso style coffee, and it features a handy mug and lid that double as a traveling case, making it perfect for the office, traveling, camping, boating and more
  • All About Taste & Practicality: The AeroPress Go travel coffee maker brews smooth, delicious coffee without bitterness or grit, unlike other methods like french press. There's no experience necessary for brewing with AeroPress Go; with a brewing time of just a minute, AeroPress is all about making it easy to brew delicious coffee wherever you are
  • Be Your Own Barista: The AeroPress Go is a new way of brewing coffee that delivers a delicious result in just under a minute. You can choose to brew hot coffee or espresso, or use cold water to make cold brew in two minutes. Tweak your combinations and find the right spot for you – with the AeroPress Go, you have total control over your coffee
  • How to Use: Just add coffee and water, stir, and press! Easily makes 8 oz (237ml) of regular coffee or 1 to 3 espresso style shots for use in lattes, cappuccinos, and other espresso-based drinks per pressing in about a minute. We recommend a medium-fine grind, but vary your recipes however you choose!
  • About AeroPress: Smart design and creativity have always been the heart of what we do, and we are now squarely focused on inspiring even more coffee lovers around the world to revolutionize their coffee routine. Designed in Silicon Valley, Made in the USA, Materials used in AeroPress coffee makers are free of BPA and phthalates

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 Cast Iron 10.25" Skillet with Rosie the Riveter Design
  • Celebrate Women's right to vote with the latest skillet in the Made in America Series. The new '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.