GEARGear for the Road

Gear for the Road

The best part of a big getaway is when you settle down into camp. Here, we give you the ultimate rundown of the best stuff to make that road trip campsite more comfortable.

Yeti Tundra 65

The classic is still classic. Yeti jump-started the camp-in-comfort revolution and this spacious 65-liter cooler that can keep everything chilled for that long weekend escape is why. It’s an essential for any big trip where you have a lot of cold beverages.

$375, yeti.com

Nemo Jazz Synthetic Sleeping Bag

Why mummy yourself up in a sleeping bag intended for backpacking when you can haul something more comfy in your vehicle. Consider the Jazz, which feels more like a bed than a bag, complete with a removable sheet and a heavenly quilted layer on top. It’s easy to regulate for the temperature outside and to snuggle in with someone special via mating zipper attachments or a full double model.

$300 single, $3435 double; nemoequipment.com

Dometic GO Compact Camp Table

It’s wonderful to find that dispersed camp spot off the grid—except for the lack of that campground picnic table. Dometic’s answer is not just functional–it’s even better than the picnic table since it adjusts to three different heights—but also good looking. Plus, it folds down flat and small enough to stash in most cars.

$200; dometic.com

Big Agnes Hinman 50”x79”x2.5” 

The biggest version of Big Agnes’ cushy car camping pad makes for a fine mattress for two in your tent (or one who rolls around a lot in their sleep)—but we love it as a crash-out-in-the-open option. Pull over, inflate, and splay out under the stars.

$200; bigagnes.com

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven

More compact than other portable pizza ovens, this baby runs on both propane and wood for those pie connoisseurs who love the taste of smoke. The oven comes complete with a wood burning assembly and a stone, but the best thing about it for the car-camping foodies among us is that the circular design allows for perfect cooking—keep a careful eye on your pizza and rotate it via a built-in turning device.

$625; solostove.com

Bliss Hammocks Fabric Double Hammock & Stand

Not all campgrounds allow you to string that faithful hammock up between their oft-abused trees. The nine-foot stand in this double hammock means you can laze away the day anywhere you want without harming the forest. Bonus: It works just as well on your deck at home.

$200; snowjoe.com

Wagan Tech Lithium Cube 1200

Sure, you want to get away from work and all those devices, but often it’s not possible to go on a road trip without powering up, checking in, and perhaps slipping in a Zoom meeting in the wild. Or perhaps those power-needy devices are essential parts of your camp setup. Either way, this sturdy, powerful charging unit with a 1000W inverter and 1166Wh lithium-ion battery can run your laptop or a small fridge, and you can charge it via a solar panel.

$1,099, $1,349 with 100W solar panel; wagan.com

Glade Townie

Never hit the road without a trusty pair of shades. These sleek, simple performers offer polarized lenses and nice grip and they look sharp whether you are heading into town or kicking it back in camp.

$99; shopglade.com

JBL Boombox 2

Waterproof and able to pump up the party no matter where you set up camp, this portable Bluetooth speaker includes a power station so you can charge your phone as you spin that Spotify playlist. But the sound is the big selling point: The treble rings clear and the bass resonates in your booty. Just be respectful of any neighbors camping nearby.

$450; jbl.com

Luno Car Window Screens

You love camping in the back of your vehicle. You love that fresh, cool night air. You hate the bugs. Here’s your simple, effective solution. This set of two screens fits on your back window and gives you peace.

$50, set of two; lunolife.com

Rossmönster Lagom Series

Ready to make a serious commitment to your camping lifestyle without buying a full rig? This beautifully designed truck topper not only provides sleeping space with 360-degree views, it also allows for access to your truck bed. That’s a huge advantage for those of us who like to haul a lot of gear on road trips and don’t appreciate the limited storage space of the usual camper top. Inside, it’s a dream, with the option to add dimmable LED lighting and Goal Zero power.

$14,000 base package; rossmonsteroverland.com

Ötzi Gear Flame

With increased fire danger across the nation, a portable camp grill is the best way to keep everyone safe and set up that primal camp centerpiece when you are on the road (it’s also a great Leave No Trace option since it doesn’t scar the surroundings like a campfire). Ötzi’s biggest hybrid alloy grill gives the space to cook for four to six people, packs down flat and sleek, and offers several adjustable levels to cook your grub at the perfect temperature.

$350; otzigear.com

Zempire Pronto 10 V2

Big enough to hold the whole clan (it sleeps 10) but packable enough that you don’t need an entire truck bed to haul it, this inflatable (AKA easy-to-set-up) tent is the perfect shelter for a life on the road. There’s plenty of airflow via two big screened windows and a spacious open vestibule allows space to keep gear out of the rain and set up a chair to escape the midday sun.

$1,199; zempirecamping.com

Oru Kayak Bay ST

A boat is a great toy to bring on a big road trip, but it’s a pain in the butt to pack and haul along. This closed cockpit “origami” kayak folds up into a suitcase but don’t think it’s a slouch on the water. The versatile boat can navigate rapids or slice through flat water and even has the space to haul essential gear in the hull. $1,499; orukayak.com 

Campground Views

Making campground reservations and curious about what the site is going to look like when you pull up? Hop on to this membership site and get 360-degree views of over 16,000 public and private campgrounds.

$99 per year, $4 per week; campgroundviews.com

Places to Go, Things to See: