NanoLoft Pyro Travel Blanket, $99 at Bloomingdale’s
Rumpl’s puffy, water-resistant camping blankets top a lot of “best of” camping-gear lists. They feature a down alternative made from recycled materials, and the easy-to-pack blanket—shown in the “Tri-Fade” pattern—weighs less than a pound.
Glamp It Up
REI Co-op Kingdom 6 Tent, $499 at REI
You won’t be backpacking with this 21-pound, two-room cabin of a tent, but it’s a luxe option for car camping with a crew. The vertical walls aren’t ideal for extra-windy weather, but they offer standing room up to 75 inches, and there’s plenty of floor space for an air mattress (or two).
Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller Lantern, $22 at Amazon
Another camper favorite, this lantern promises to repel mosquitoes for 12 hours and in a 15-foot-wide zone without DEET or spray. It has a 4.5-star rating at Amazon, with 2,500 reviewers and a brand-backed guarantee.
Going on the Go
Go Anywhere Portable Camping Toilet, $80 at Amazon
Ready to try camping in less charted territory but hesitant to leave campground facilities behind? This little folding seat includes a “poo powder” gelling-and-deodorizing agent to make packing out a little less awkward.
Light the Way
Luminoodle Light Rope, $20 at Power Practical
This USB-powered, waterproof string light can be hung around your campsite or tossed into a translucent pouch to double as a lantern. The camping-inspired Power Practical company launched on Kickstarter, then made a deal with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.
Take a Hike
Poco Plus Child Carrier, $330 at Osprey
Osprey’s child carrier is touted on many parenting blogs as best in its class. It’s reportedly comfortable for tiny hikers and wearers alike and includes a storage pouch, a sunshade, stirrups, and ventilation panels. It’s ideal for kids weighing 24 to 48 pounds.
Bake in the Sun
Sport Solar Oven, $219 at GoSun
This “sport” version of GoSun’s solar-powered ovens is its best-selling and uses direct sunlight to bake, steam, or roast a meal for two in 20 minutes. It reaches a temperature of up to 550 degrees but stays cool to the touch and weighs just seven pounds.
One Way to Recharge
BigBlue 28W Solar Charger, $70 at Amazon
Even in the wilderness, we want to keep our phones juiced up. This compact solar charger—which folds to about the size of a magazine—has three USB ports to charge most models of phones as well as other electronic devices.
The Throwback Staple
Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle, $29 at Amazon
This thermos has been around for decades and is still one of the highest-rated travel mugs we could find—it has more than 28,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The 1.1-quart wide-mouth version shown is made of rust-proof stainless steel and keeps drinks hot or cold for 24 hours.
Have a Seat
Portable Camping Chair, $100 at Cliq Chair
Okay, perhaps it’s a little gimmicky, but we think these chairs—which fold down to the size of a water bottle—are super-cool. Available in five colors, they sit 12 inches off the ground and hold up to 300 pounds.
Photographs courtesy of companies.
This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Washingtonian.