We’re deep in the throes of summer, so we figured it’s high time we let you know what we’re geeking out over this season, the coolest stuff we’ve tested and tried, and what we’ve decided we can’t live without during these long summer days and nights. So if you’re looking for some cool new gear to make the last month or two of the best season ever the best it can be, check out our favorite new outdoor gear for summer, some cool sustainable stuff that gets two big thumbs up from us.
Our Favorite New Outdoor Gear for Summer
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
If you aren’t utilizing duffles for all your road trip packing, you should be. They are the ultimate packing device for backseats and hatchbacks. They conform to the space you stuff them, have large openings on top to make digging through to find your fave camp shirt easy, and don’t contain lids or flaps that make them unwieldy in tight spaces. We love this one from Patagonia, which is available in plenty of sizes, is super spacious, offers just the right amount of organization, and even turns into a backpack for easy carrying to your campsite, hotel room or airport gate. And did we mention its made of recycled materials? Find all the sizes and colors here.
Lava Linens Towels
No list of outdoor gear for summer would be complete without mention of towels. We were dubious when Lava Linens suggested their towels made of flax fibers were quick-drying, but lo and behold, they did actually dry faster than our regular bath towels after a recent test. Their not super light or pack up super small, but on the upside, there are no synthetic materials involved! That means no petroleum products, but also no micro plastics to shed in the wash. Huzzah! Find them here.
Natrapel Insect Repellent Wipes
Insect repellent is an essential piece of outdoor gear for summer. And we’ve tried a lot of DEET-free insect repellents, but we love how well Natrapel works. And why we prefer their larger mist bottle for road trips and backyard hangs, for backpacking, when space and weight are at a premium, you can’t beat these individually-packaged wipes. They repel all the nasties you want to stay away, last for 12 hours a piece (meaning you need to use fewer of them) AND don’t contain DEET. Order a box here.
Igloo Repreve Cooler Backpack
While hard-seeded coolers are a must for road trips and large gatherings, for outdoorsy picnics or riverfront hangouts, you can’t beat a backpack-style cooler. And this one from Igloo is made of Repreve material (i.e. it’s made out of recycled plastics), making it a more sustainable option than a lot of the other options out there. Bonus: it’s totally budget-friendly! Find it here.
We’re all about that hammock life. And we dig Coalatree for being a brand that puts sustainability at the forefront of everything they do. Also, we like their hammocks. Especially that they come in fun patterns and colors. So if you’re in the market for a new one, find it here.
I know, we did a whole review of the Nanopresso portable espresso maker, but in case you missed it, yeah, we dig this little handheld device. It makes stellar espresso, no power source required, and is fantastically portable for road trips, offices, camping, you name it. And did we mention it makes awesome espresso? Order one here.
Astral Hemp Loyak Shoes
For a barefoot-feeling shoe that performs well on rugged terrain and looks good on tame city streets, plus are made of super sustainable hemp, look no further than the Astral hemp. We totally dig how sleek they look and, true to Astral style, they’re super grippy on slick surfaces and rocky terrain. And while they’re not technically zero-drop (there’s a 1mm difference between the heel and toes), these shoes are so close you’ll hardly notice. Find them here.
AllTrue Summer Box
We’ve always wanted to be able to sign up for a subscription box. And now that Alltrue (formerly Causebox) is all vegan all the time AND is offering boxes (like the summer box) with dope outdoorsy gear, we finally can! Supplies for seasonal boxes are limited, so sign up before they run out. There are quarterly and annual membership options available AND you can customize between three to all of the items in the box depending on your membership choice. Sign up here and get $10 off you first subscription box!
Phunkshun Ultralight Tube
Listen, neck tubes/gaiters are a dime a dozen these days. But not all of them are created equal. Phunkshun may not be a household name like that other brand (yet), but you know what their products do have going for them? They’re made of recycled plastic, making them more sustainable than gaiters that use virgin materials. And they even fit my tiny face and head! Win. And because they’re ultralight, you can take them on summer hiking and backpacking trips to keep the sun off your neck and the sweat out of your eyes. Find them all here.
GSI Pinnacle Dualist II
Lightweight AND space-saving? Don’t mind if we do. This cookset and mess kit for two weighs only 1 lb 4.8 oz, includes a pot with lid, two bowls, two oversized mugs with lids, two sporks, and one storage bag that doubles as a kitchen sink. What’s more, it all nestles together AND there’s room to store your backpacking stove and a fuel canister. Yes, please! Find it here.
There’s so much cool gear and innovative sustainable products out there, but this stuff may be our favorite new gear for summer. Hopefully we helped introduce you to a new sustainable brand, helped you stock your gear closet responsibly, or at the very least, offered a few ideas for your wishlist. Let us know about any cool items you’ve discovered this summer or if we’ve listed your fave piece of gear here! Now get out there and wander on!
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Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. alishamcdarris.com