shelter

1. BIG AGNES Chimney Creek 4 mtnGLO

This tent is perfect for the modern duo. The Big Agnes mtnGLO™ series features LED lights integrated into the tent body, so you can experience ambient light at night throughout the whole tent. It's not blindingly bright, just enough to set a calming glow throughout the tent so you can easily change, look through your stuff, or even play an in-tent board game. You can even set it to 50% brightness in case it is too bright for you.  Of course, you can easily turn these lights on and off with an easy click of a button. There's two doors, one on each side, both with their own stormflaps and vestibule zippers on the rainfly.

There are media pockets and mesh pockets inside the tent to store any small belongings for easy access. Snag a gear loft for even more organizing space.

Although this tent says it sleeps 4, there's enough room for 2 with space for your gear. 

Remember to grab extra anchor/stakes, mallettarpfootprint! (see #1 on our Luxury Guide on why these accessories are important for your tent)

(photos from rei.com)

 

comfort

2. REI CAMP BED 2.5 SElF-INFLATING SLEEPING PAD

One of the best sleeping pads we've ever tried. It doesn't deflate like a regular air mattress, plus theres a foam layer of insulation and padding, it'd be comfortable even without blowing it up! It packs up pretty large which is why it's in this guide and not the Rugged Twosome Gear Guide. but it comes in a handy stuff sack that it fits in once you deflate and roll it up. 

(photos from rei.com)


3. SIERRA DESIGNS BACKCOUNTRY BED DUO

Miss snuggling at night? This sleeping bag fits two people and mimics a bed! From photos, it looks quite tight, but trust me, it's cozy and warm. The sleeping bag comes with a comforter that's attached near the foot area so you don't have to worry about comforter hogs! If your feet get too warm, there's a self-sealing foot vent at the bottom of the bag where you can pop out your feet without zippers. Behind this bag, there are sleeves where your sleeping pads will fit and stay put! Sierra Designs definitely thought of everything. In case you each need your own little backcountry bed, there are also single bed versions.

These sleeping bags are on the pricey side - go half a season less (but also thinner and less goose feathers) for almost half the price: Bed Duo | Single Bed

Learn more about the design of the new Bed-style sleeping bag at SierraDesigns.com

(photos from rei.com)


4. THERM-A-REST COMPRESSIBLE pillows

This compressible pillow is made up of some memory foam cubes that will compress when you roll it smaller, and expand once you unroll the pillow. It compresses to about a fifth of it's final size (depending on what size you get). It takes a few minutes for the filling to expand, so don't freak out if the pillow isn't fluffy yet at the first unrolling. It's so amazingly comfortable, you'll want one for your bed at home. This item is also in the Luxury Couple Gear Guide.

(photos from amazon.com & www.globetrotter.de)


5. Kijaro Dual Lock Folding Chair

This chair is a bit more pricey than usual camping chairs from WalMart, but it will last longer and definitely worth the price. The dual lock system makes sure that you won't sink into the seat and make the chair fold up again. There's a cupholder on each armrest, a mesh pocket on the site to store any small items, and a mesh backing which feels super nice if you're sweaty from hiking and there's a breeze coming through. It's comfy, comes with it's own carrying sack, and comes in 12 awesome colors.

(photos from amazon.com)

 

gear

6. TOPO DESIGNS KLETTERsACK

This backpack is the bigger brother of the Topo Designs Rover Pack in our Luxury Couple Gear Guide. This pack is so light, you can't even feel anything on your back with it on empty. That's because of the heavy duty lightweight Cordura fabric, and plastic closures. Some people think the plastic is a bit "cheap," but it's definitely lighter than heavy metal closures and zippers. Also a plus - they won't rust and are easy to clean and/or even replace in case something breaks. The amazing pocket on the top will change your life - you can grab essentials without even having to take your backpack off. We also love the thoughtful high bottle pockets on the sides that keep your taller water bottles from wobbling out. The front readjustable straps also allow you to strap on larger items, such as the GOAL ZERO SOLAR PANEL listed below, or a blanket for your day hike picnic destination.

(photos from topodesigns.com)


7. GOAL ZERO NOMAD 7 SOLAR PANEL & SWITCH 8 RECHARGER

Sometimes you wanna feel "off-grid" when you're camping... but sometimes your batteries run dead right when you're about to snap the perfect panorama. Fear not - Goal Zero has amazing solar products that keep your electronics energized even through the roughest hike. All you need is the sun. To start out, grab this Goal Zero Switch 8 portable USB charger (and make sure to bring your own USB charging cable!) and snag a Nomad 7 Solar Panel to power it up when you're in the wilderness. Strap it on your Topo Designs Klettersack and it'll be charging all day long so your electronics can be freshly charged by the next morning. Don't worry, you can still use the Switch 8 without the Solar Panel by charging it with a USB to microUSB cable through your computer. 

(photos from goalzero.com)


8. GRAYL WATER FILTRATION BOTTLE

There are numerous self-filtering water bottles on the market right now, such as CamelBak All Clear Water Purifier Bottle, Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle (Twin Pack),  or Clearly Filtered Stainless Steel Bottles. A newcomer to the scene is the Grayl Water Filtration Bottle, and it's our favorite so far. Choose from three different colors, including a stainless steel version. Very sleek design and functionality. Simply fill the outer bottle with water (from tap to river water, depending on the filter you choose), take the inner filter and push it into the bottle filled with bottle, and it's filtered just like a french press. You can choose from three different filters; Tap, Trail, and Travel. From Tap being the lightest of the filters - good for overseas tap water where it kills bacteria - to Travel being a heavy duty filter that lets you safely filter water from most outdoor water sources in the world. This is a must-have on your next backpacking adventure where drinking water may be scarce.

(photos from thegrayl.com)


9. FUJIFILM x100T

Beauty. Every modern explorer needs a great camera. If you don't want to lug around a DSLR and its billion lenses, this advanced point & shoot is the way to go. Amazing photo quality with the portability. This Fujifilm x100T is our pick, but it's a little on the pricey side. Our runners-up are the Canon G16, and the Nikon S9900 (comes with a swivel LCD screen for seamless selfies!) These cameras are also WiFi-enabled so you can transfer them to your phone right away when you get a glimpse of your service bar so you can Instagram your awesome view from the campsite.

(photos from amazon.com)


10. TOPO DESIGNS CAMERA STRAP

This colorful camera strap will be a great companion to your new camera (#9!) We're lovin' this heavy duty, lightweight and chafe-free strap made of actual climbing robe & nylon webbing. It also comes in 4 unique color combinations.

(photos from topodesigns.com)


11. ORU KAYAK BAY FOLDING KAYAK

Definitely for the major car campers out there - if you're planning to camp near the lake or the beach, Oru Kayak has created a foldable kayak that can fit into the trunk of your car with all your gear. Bring it to the shore, unfold, and explore the sights that you can't access on foot. Make sure to bring a dry sack with you, like this Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Dry Sack, so you can bring essentials and possibly some lunch - on the go. 

(photos from rei.com & @orukayak on instagram)

 

CAMP KITCHEN

Sherpa_02.jpg

12. CAMP CHEF SHERPA TABLE

Stay organized with this all-in-one camp table & shelving system. Each zip pouch can hold tons of utensils, dry foods, tools, supplies, ANYTHING! The blue module also doubles as a cooler with insulated, waterproof walls. There is even a useful transparent compartment in the front of each module so you can label each one to further your organizing prowess. There's a large zippered door that covers all of the modules to keep the the contents insulated. You can even choose to use only two of the modules, and zip down the divider on the bottom half to store your stove and other longer tools. We love how flexible the organization options are, and everything is in it's place. The top aluminum table cover also snaps off and can be folded into it's own zipped pouch on the other side of the table. The legs are extendable as well, so you can make sure it can fit in your trunk - safe and sound. These module packs fit GSI Outdoors Products perfectly.

(photos from campchef.com)


13. COLEMAN TRITON 2-BURNER STOVE & CAMP GRIDDLE

As one of the most popular and highest rated portable stoves found on Amazon, this Coleman Triton Series burner lives up to its ratings. This stove includes side panels that block any flame-threatening winds so you can cook those scrambled eggs with no interruptions. Coleman also makes a griddle insert so you can cook an endless amount of bacon! It also fits inside the stove when it's closed, for easy portability. Don't forget to get GSI Outdoors Pots and Utensils, and a handy carrying case that also has pockets for extra propane

(photos from amazon.com)


WANT TO SUGGEST AN AWESOME PRODUCT TO THIS GUIDE?
We're always open to finding new products and gear that makes your adventures that much better. If you find something that you think is an essential item and is not already on this list (or is way better than something that is already listed above), please let us know! You'll get credit and we'll even send you a little thank you gift. Click the button below to suggest a product!