We’ve spent all of 2018 testing out some of the coolest gear available. These are our favorite things that are the most affordable, the most functional, and by far get the most compliments. We have no doubt that they will be a big hit this holiday season, and will bring joy every single time they get used. Consider this your “Rockstar Checklist”!
As you may or may not know, this was the hottest selling piece of hiking/camping gear on Amazon in 2018. In a 36-hour window on Prime Day, they sold over 150,000 of these extremely popular water filters! Yes, you read that number right. They are one of the biggest names in water filters and currently go for under $18. No matter what climate one hikes in, a filter is one of their most essential pieces of survival gear…one that’s not included in almost any first aid kits.
Pro Tip: For every LifeStraw purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.
Here’s another piece of gear that will be a huge hit both on and off the trail. You’ve seen the Yeti name on crazy expensive coolers, and their line of drinkware has quickly become a massive hit amongst hikers and non-hikers alike. You can now simultaneously create envy both in the office and on weekend camping trips!
Pro Tip: Unlike most vacuum sealed drinkware on the market, this bad boy happens to also be dishwasher safe, so you won’t see it sitting in the sink.
You have seen their gear on the trail, in your office, and just about everywhere in between. Nite Ize makes some of the coolest little gadgets around, and they took the concept of a (non-climbing) carabiner to a whole new level. The S-Biner comes in just about every size and color you could want; locking, non-locking, double-sided, plastic, metal, and several other variations. For something so seemingly basic, it could end up being the most used piece of gear that one owns. They also makes those cool clip on lights that hikers use, and the light up dog collars so that you can spot Spot at night running around your campsite.
Pro Tip: Check out some of their other gadgets, they’re almost all affordable, well made, and functional.
This is one of those gadgets that can have a direct impact on the answer to the
Pro Tip: Though they don’t need a lot, they do require lighter fluid which can be bought together, or easily at your local grocery or drug store.
Another crowd favorite, whether hiking, camping, or just keeping it as a backup light source, these
Pro Tip: That small fabric loop on the inside roof of your tent has waited its whole life for one of these lights.
This is one of those things in one’s camping gear kit that everyone makes fun of them for having, then they quickly become jealous of once they see it in use! Camp showers are not new, but the trusted brand Sea to Summit has created the most portable, rugged, and easy to use version. When camping, just fill this up and hang it in a tree that gets direct sunlight. Within an hour or so you will have a nice warm shower. It does not just drip water on your head, it actually sprays like your home shower. Fill it with 10 liters and it will give you a full 8 minute shower (seriously). It packs down to the size of your hand in its included case for easy transport. If you’ve ever experienced a shower on a camping trip before making dinner or going to bed, it’s quite the magical feeling! Fair Warning – Your friends will want to use it after they see how good you look when clean.
Pro Tip: Pair this up with a Nite Ize S-Biner above for really easy tree hanging, and a nifty carrying combo.
No matter what active pursuit you are in when you set out onto a trail, there may not be a more timeless and basic tool than the pocket knife. It could prove lifesaving in an unlimited number of ways, for its owner or for other humans or animals. Leatherman has mastered the art of the multi-tool. Yet, most adventurers don’t use 90% of the tools that they’re paying for on multi-tools. Thus, the beauty and simplicity of the Skeletool KBX. With its serrated 420HC steel blade and its bottle opener, this super lightweight knife looks gorgeous in every color whether opened or closed.
Pro Tip: We keep these in our glovebox, hiking day packs, and even on our PFD’s for paddle-boarding and kayaking.
Okay, so this one is just a cool, nifty little “tool”, created by one of the most well know brands to members of our Armed Forces. Ka-Bar has been making knives for the Navy, Army, and Marine Corps since the
One of those few pieces of essential hiking gear that cross over into your day-to-day life, it is also well-known to be one of the most quintessential travel necessities. Whether you roam by foot, train, or plane; we all feel the need to have a fully charged phone, headphones, etc. If you have ever been hiking or traveling when you phone, camera, or GPS unit is dying on you than you know the stressful and unsafe feeling. There are lots of chargers out there, but Anker is dominating market due to their quality, reliability, and price point. Just check out the ratings that they get. Their different colors options on this little guy don’t hurt either!
Pro Tip: Don’t forget the appropriate cables to charge your devices. Anker already will give you the cord to charge the charger itself.
Don’t laugh at this one; fanny packs are back, and with a vengeance! And for good reason too. As nearly every piece of hiking gear has gotten the “lightweight treatment” recently, some gear has reverted back to its simpler ancestors. This is perfect for when you want to travel light but still need those 3 vital necessities (re: Adam Sandler’s new song “Phone Wallet Keys”). Cotopaxi makes the hippest pack on the market (pun intended).
Pro Tip: If you want to feel unique than they’ve got you covered, as no two Cotopaxi packs look the same, do to their creative assembly process.