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Best Camping Gear: See What Items Made Our ‘Gotta Have the Best’ List

Best camping gear
Bradley Page
Written by Bradley Page

Hikers, back packers, campers, and other outdoorsmen and women, have the coolest life on earth, (in my opinion anyway). These guys are exposed to everything you could think of, which would make the most civilized, home bred person go, “Ew!”

But what’s even more awesome, is the gear that these nature buffs have access to. There’s no doubt, that any outdoor buff would want the best camping gear possible. Stuff that will last for millennia to come.

Product NameWeightMaterialFunctionPrice
Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag2.8 poundsPolyesterSleepingCheck price on Amazon
Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System1.8 poundsAluminumCookingCheck price on Amazon
MalloMe 10 Piece Cookware Kit1.1 poundsAluminumCooking and servingCheck price on Amazon
BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove2 poundsAluminumCooking and poweringCheck price on Amazon
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater20 poundsMetal and plasticSpacial heatingCheck price on Amazon
Coleman 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent25 poundsPolyesterShelterCheck price on Amazon
BioLite Kettle Charge2 poundsStainless steelPowering electronics and cookingCheck price on Amazon
Seattle Sports Solar Camp Shower2 poundsPVCHygieneCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider

When shopping for a camp gear, you should definitely take into account the following factors:

Probability

Now, giving serious thought to where you’d be going, what exactly you’d be doing, and most importantly, the size of your backpack, you want to have the best camping equipment, but having stuff that’s difficult to move or walk around with will keep you looking back and wishing you’d just left them at home to begin with.

Camping gears

So, one of the smart things to check for, is the weight of the gear. Most often than not, the lightest gear is the smartest buy, along with some other factors of course…

Durability

Because of the nature of the trail, the conditions, the areas and the unexpected possibilities, having sturdy gear is not only important, it’s a staple.

You want to make sure that these babies will last, even though it may have you coughing up some extra dollars. It would be worth it, because the long term investment is that the gears’ lifespans outweighs the cost.

Versatility

Now we’re getting to the real fun part! These gears’ ability to be used for more than one purpose is not only attractive; it can be a deal breaker.

So this is where you’ll want the best camping accessories to go with your equipment. By the time you’re done, you’ll have the complete collection of gear that will meet your needs for years to come.

Affordability. A few people may disagree with me here, but the truth is, that there are many people who’d be willing to splurge, as long as their gear has all of the deciding factors previously mentioned.

But for those who are pocket-conscious, we have not left you out. No matter what, affordability is everyone’s best friend, especially when you’re on a smaller budget.

Our ‘Gotta Have the Best’ List

Shopping for the best camp gear can be downright daunting. To help you out, we have compiled some of the best products that will serve you best in the wild.

Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping BagThe Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag

Price: Approx. $140 – $175

Weight: 2.8 pounds

Dimensions: 8 x 13 x 8 inches

Specific features: 50D Down Proof Polyester, 50D Polyester Taffeta Liner, 600 Fill Power DriDown, Thermal-comfort hood and natural fit footbox, 60 in dual slider, locking zipper, zipper draft tube with anti-snag design, FatMan and Ribbon drawcord, Stuff sack included, Top Draft Collar

Temp rating: 20 degrees F

Best use: In areas where the temperature falls to about 25 degrees, and for occasional backpacking

In the past, reviews on the older version of the Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag were a little on the down side. Though it did rate as the “top choice for budget backpacking and camping”, when commenting on its ability to sustain warmth with only 550 fill power, it fell short. Also it was referred to as an “entry level sleeping bag”, disqualifying it for versatility. Another area of concern was its weight.

Kelty then restyled and updated its sleeping bag to make a better impact. They’ve got sizes to fit almost any member of the family; long, regular, right hand or short. The pull cords are easy to use and the water resistant dri-down definitely adds value to this sleeping bag.

Based on most customer reviews for this updated version, this sleeping bag kept them “cozy and warm” throughout the night. Other comments such as; “great sleeping bag”, “awesome down bag!”, “great bag that packs down really small” and “warm, light, small bundle”, attest to its redemption.

PROS:

  • Comfortable
  • Dual sliding zipper
  • 25F temperature rating
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Snug for tall people
  • No inside storage pocket

Related: Kelty also offers the Cosmic 0 Degree Sleeping Bag for approx. $210 for those who require even more protection from frigid temperatures.

Check the price on Amazon

Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking SystemJetboil Flash Personal Cooking System

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 5 inches

Specific features: 0 liter FluxRing cooking cup with insulating cozy, Cozy feature color changing temperature indicator, adjustable burner with efficient igniter design, stabilizer tripod included, insulating drink through lid and bottom cover, pot support is not included

Best use: Lightweight backpacking, hiking and camping

Since its big splash on the backpacking stove market in 2015, a few changes have been made. The newly designed burner secures the igniter, protecting it from bumps along the road.

This Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System is really smooth on the eyes and weighing in at 1.8 pounds, it already checks in for portability. It lights with the click of a button, and in a mere 2 – 3 minutes, provides two cups of boiling water for your chow down pleasure, whether it be for coffee, cocoa or instant soup.

Other cool features include; a drink through lid, an insulating bottom cover, which doubles as a measuring cup. Its clever design also contains a built in windscreen that protects the flame during the windy and wet days. But take my advice; it’s best to use this personal cooking system in a sheltered area, as various testers have commented on its inability to withstand high winds and cold temperatures.

The cooking cup clips onto the burner, preventing accidental spills. The insulating cozy has a color changing heat indicator that signals when your liquids or chow is done. The Jetboil Flash PCS comes in real stylish colors; carbon, green, gold, violet and sapphire. For 2017, the new additions are; Forest, Blue Dessert and Real Tree.

PROS:

  • Well insulated
  • Lightweight
  • Stabilizing tripod included

CONS:

  • Pot support not included
  • Can leak in cold temperatures

Related: The Flash Lite Cooking System is available in carbon and orange for approx. $83. It is a similar stove system but even smaller and more portable.

Check the price on Amazon

MalloMe 10 Piece Cookware KitMalloMe 10 Piece Camping Cookware Mess Kit

Price: $20 – $70

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Dimensions: 3.8 x 6.3 x 6.6 inches

Specific features: An FDA approved, non toxic anodized aluminum non stick pot, non-stick pan, pot cover, 2 bpa free bowls, 1 folding stainless steel spork, 1 BPA free soup spoon, 1 wooden spoon spatula, 1 cleaning loofah, 1 nylon bag travel bag drawstring pouch, 1 perfect marshmallow roasting and s’mores guide with 10 recipes eBook

Best use: Hiking, backpacking and camping on the outdoors for just about anyone who can cook

This MalloMe 10 Piece Cookware Kit is no toy, though its neon green handles may look that way. Built to last, this cooking set is a perfect addition to your backpack, whether you’re a Boy Scout, Girl Scout or an adult who’s a kid at heart.

This cookware set is so cool, that it’s being imitated all over the place. This is evident from reviews such as; “would not recommend this product”, and “fell apart after one use”, so beware of cheap knockoffs okay! And here’s something to secure your confidence…the makers of this cookware set are so confident that you’ll love it, that they backed it with a 100% money back guarantee! Enough said right?

PROS:

  • Non toxic anodized aluminum
  • Several useful utensils

CONS:

  • Small portions

Related: With any camping trip, you should always stock up on fuel for your meals. The Jetboil Fuel pairs perfectly with this mess set and with the jetboil stove we listed above.

Check the price on Amazon

BioLite Wood Burning Camp StoveThe BioLite Wood Burning Campstove

Price: Approx. $110

Weight: 2.06 pounds

Dimensions: 8.27 x 5 x 5 inches

Specific features: Thermoelectric generator, 2 W USB port, internal fan and gas jets, scalloped pot stand, honeycomb heat mesh, lightweight aluminum legs, bonus item: free USB flex light now included

Best use: Camping, hiking, living off the grid while still wanting to be connected with the civilized world. Ideal for areas where twigs and sticks are in abundance which is needed to feed the flame

This device converts heat from the fire into usable electricity, which powers a fan to make the fire ultra efficient. This powers most USB chargeable devices including smartphones, giving you 60 minutes of talk time, for 20 minutes of charging with a strong fire.

During a full burn, the camp stove can boil 1 L of water in as little as 4 minutes, 30 seconds. An internal starter battery helps to kick start the fire before the stove begins to generate its own power. If you’re into renewable resources, you’ll appreciate this stove all the more. Receiving more than 280 great reviews vs. 54 not so great reviews, the BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove still lives up to its promises.

The two drawbacks that can be noted with this tool, is that it takes a while before enough electricity is generated to charge your smartphone, and the other is that you have to keep feeding the fire to keep the charger going.

PROS:

  • Several useful utensils
  • USB port
  • Clean
  • Stylish

CONS:

  • Charging takes a while

Related: The BioLite Camp Stove Bundle includes everything you need and more for cooking outdoors. This unit which features a grill as well is available for approx. $200.

Check the price on Amazon

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy HeaterMr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater

Price: Approx. $70

Weight: 10.60 pounds

Dimensions: 9 x 14.2 x 14.4 inches

Specific features: 4000 or 9000 BTU per hour, For use with propane gas, heats up to 225 sq. ft., single control start knob, hi-low heat settings, swivel regulator, fold down handle, accidental tip over safety shut off, includes piezo igniter, runs off 1 lb cylinder, connects directly to a 20 lb. cylinder with optional hose and filter

Best use: Emergency heat, garages, tents, workshops, job sites, storage buildings, Picnics, tailgate parties, construction trailers, sporting events, barns, sheds, hunting blinds, ice fishing shanties, shelter, cabins, porches, etc. Not ideal for lightweight backpacking or lightweight backpacking

Say hello to the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater. It offers the latest evolution in portable heating to anyone looking to keep warm in those chilly or winter months.

With a patented radiant 4000 to 9000 BTU liquid propane heater that connects directly to a 1lb cylinder, this unit is the perfect solution for heating enclosed spaces.

This heater can be quite efficient since it generates 3hrs and 6hs of BTU at minimum and maximum capacity. It also has a 7000 ft. elevation limit as it has an ODS (oxygen depletion sensor).

Backed by a 1 year warranty, you can be sure to invest in this piece of gear. With reviews such as; “exceeds all expectations”, “great product”, “awesome”, “great heater works well”, it would be a great buy.

Though a few reviews have been disappointed in the fact that the maximum BTU is 6 hours, it still does offer quite a bit of heat. One other user reported that his burst into flames, but that was after 6 years of use.

PROS:

  • Multiple heat settings
  • Safety shut off
  • Optional hose and filter
  • Wonderful heating properties

CONS:

  • Doesn’t work as well in large spaces

Related: The Mr. Heater Portable Carrier is available for approx. $20. This helps with transporting the portable heater and keeps it protected from the elements.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman 6 Person Instant Cabin TentColeman 6-Person Instant Cabin

Price: $127 – $180

Weight: 24.9 pounds

Dimensions: 72.01 x 107.99 x 120 inches

Specific features: Brown/black, 6 person instant tent, spacious interior with room for 2 queen airbeds, pre-assembled poles, built in vented rainfly, illumiline reflective guy lines, WeatherTec system’s patented welded floors and inverted seams, 1 year limited warranty

Best use: Camping outdoor in rain or shine and even in windy situations up to about 35 mph. For large groups, hunting and long trips

The Coleman 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent comfortably sleeps 6 people, so an entire family can take it along for an outdoor pleasure trip. It takes only 1 minute to assemble this tent in the spot that you choose, set up the sleeping bags and take a snooze.

When it’s time to pack up and move to another site, or go home, you can take this tent apart in as little time as it took to set it up, by two people preferably. With its rugged polyguard 2x fabric and WeatherTec system, this tent has the capacity to hold up to rainy and windy conditions. It’s also lightweight so carrying it along like a regular backpack is the way to go.

To set up, simply unfold, extend and secure. It’s that easy, didn’t I tell you? This tent also received some positive reviews such as; “couldn’t be easier”, “very sturdy and comfortable”, “happy with my purchase”, and over 1000 others, this tent should be a must by.

There were some 162 negative reviews most of them claiming that the tent “leaks badly”, “fast yes dry no”, “soaking wet do not buy” and “not very weatherproof”.

Though these reviews did claim leakage, the other reviews clearly outweigh those negatives, especially when comparing this tent to other competitors and considering the price tag, it’s the best choice out there.

PROS:

  • Pre attached poles
  • Large enough for a whole family
  • Quick setup

CONS:

  • Not totally weatherproof

Related: The Coleman 6-Person Rain Flap will keep the rain and weather from entering your tent. It is available for approx. $28.

Check the price on Amazon

BioLite Kettle Charge

Price: $75 – $130BioLite Kettle Charge 10 Watt Personal Scale Generator

Weight: 2 pounds

Dimensions: 7.3 x 7.3 x 2.9 inches

Specific features: 10 Watt on demand power, smart led dashboard, battery boost, folding power handle, 750 ml stainless steel kettle, multi-stove integration, flexible USB extender, 1 lithium ion battery required

Best use: Camping or power outages

The BioLite Kettle Charge was inspired by the outdoors while keeping you prepared at home. It has a personal scale generator for everyday devices. What’s even more interesting is that it uses just water and heat. Just fill, heat and charge!

Using BioLite’s core thermoelectric technology is what makes this camping gear so unique. It works on a wide range of stoves, gas ranges, backpacking stoves and BioLite CampStove.

If the unit gets too hot while on the fire, you will be alerted by an audible alert sound. It produces 10 watts of power that charges phones, tablets, or any other device that you may need to bring along on your outdoor trip. For a 15 minute charge, you get 5 hours of talk time, 5 hours of video, 20 hours of audio (output varies by type of heat source used).

A few persons reported this device had a leakage issue and it handled like something that was cheaply built. Other than that, and the charge not going all the way, the rest of the reviews were positive ones.

PROS:

  • Powerful charging
  • Kettle for water boiling
  • Versatile

CONS:

  • Prone to leaking
  • Small water spout

Related: The Flex Light, which is included with other BioLite products, is a perfect addition to Kettle Charge. You can see what you’re charging as well as boiling.

Check the price on Amazon

Seattle Sports Solar Camp ShowerSeattle Sports Solar Camp Shower

Price: Approx. $17

Weight: 2 pounds

Dimensions: 2.8 x 3.2 x 18.9 inches

Specific features: Durable PVC body, screw cap opening and filling, on/off valve spray nozzle, rigid hanging bar and carry handle, provides warm water, 5 gallons, shower time 11 minutes and 45 seconds, 1 lithium ion battery required

Best use: Camping, hiking, kayaking

Collapsible and easy to use, the Seattle Sports Solar Camp Shower will help to keep not just you, but also your gear fresh and clean in the great outdoors. With a great design and manufactured with high quality, this solar camp shower lives up to Seattle Sports’ mission.

It is a must have on your next camping trip. It’s simple to carry with the built in handle, so portability is definitely not an issue. Receiving really positive reviews like; “great option for shower when camping”, “gets the job done”.

There were a few drawbacks however to this handy gear. One, which is having to wait at least 3 hours for the water in the bag to get warm before taking your shower, another which is that once full, the bag weighs about 20 lbs. which is very heavy to say the least.

PROS:

  • Great for emergencies
  • Convenient for showering outdoors

CONS:

  • Some units leak
  • May be difficult to find a place to hang this

Related: The Versatank 3L Shower/H2O Carrier is another great choice if you want something that can work as a simple, quick shower or a carrier for water to drink and stay hydrated.

Check the price on Amazon

Let’s Recap

We’ve just taken a look at the gear, equipment and accessories that made our ‘Gotta Have the Best’ List, by using the four deciding factors and taking into consideration the pros and cons reviews of actual buyers.

Best camping gears

Now here’s the dilemma…which one to get first! We would recommend getting all of them, but hey, if affordability is what’s preventing you from getting stocked up, then start from the cheapest item on our list from Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bradley Page
Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!

  • Christian Miller

    Hi there! I earned some money and want to spend it on a camping gear. I haven’t been on a hike in a few years, so I do not have anything necessary. I am going to travel by my car. How much should I expect to spend on everything I need?

  • Bradley Page

    Hi Christian! I think it would depend on where you want to go and for how long? Have you decided on a destination, yet? What gears and equipment do you still have to buy? It’s good to know you’re going camping again, though.

  • Karen Wood

    I love to go camping with with my friends. However, very often I had a problem with my phone battery. I am very glad that I bought the Biolite Kettle Charge 10 Watt Personal Scale Generator because I no longer have this problem. I am always in touch, even if I’m on a hike.

  • Bradley Page

    This is a neat charger – one that works with just heat and water. It is also very affordable and offers valuable hours of talk time for your phone or any gadget. Good choice on this one!

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