New outdoor and camping gear for families

Camping season is almost here, and it’s time to gear up! I spent a week last winter at Outdoor Retailer, becoming acquainted with new camping and outdoor gear from backpacks to tents to camp kitchens. Here’s what’s new this year, plus a few favorites that have stood the test of time.

new camping gear

New camping gear for families:

New camping gear and outdoor gear divided into several categories below:

Day packs and bladders:

granite-lake-backpacking

Camelbak Crux bladder: I know everyone is already familiar with hydration packs and reservoirs, but the new Camelbak Crux lumbar bladder is different. It sits on your lower back, horizontally, instead of upright along your spine. The result is less sloshing around, a more comfortable fit for your pack, and easier water access (I found less folding over of the hose, for a better flow). Pick up the Crux lumbar bladder for $35…it will fit in any standard day pack!

Cotopaxi Luzon: Want the kids to carry their own snack and water bottle on your next camping day hike? Buy the Luzon, which is a lightweight 18 liter pack that’s made from bright pieces of fabric. Mine was taken from me by the kids within about 15 minutes of our first hike. Pick up the Luzon for $35. Need something bigger and sturdier? Opt for my absolute, hands-down, favorite day pack, the Cotopaxi Cusco.

Dueter Fox 30 pack: No matter how many new packs we try, we always return to Dueter’s Fox 30 for kids who backpack. It’s the perfect size for kids about 6-10 years old, with all the bells and whistles of mom and dad’s pack, for a solid price of $99.


Camp kitchen items:

family RV camping

GSI Outdoors Fairshare Mug II: You all know how I love multi-purpose items! The Fairshare mug is a measuring cup with a secure lid for camping meal prep and leftover storage, but also can be used as a personal mug or bowl. Did you know that when you ask for seconds with a bigger-than-average sized bowl, you get served a bigger portion? It’s true!

GSI Outdoors Macro Table: This table, along with its little sister, the Micro Table, is brand new this season and I love it! How many times while camping do I wish I had another clean surface on which to prep meals? The Macro Table is perfect for this, and stores small, too. The Micro Table is ideal for road trips, when you want to set up a snack or meal at a pit stop.

Primus camping fire pit and cook set: You know how sometimes, your campsite doesn’t have an established fire ring or cooking grill? Bring your own! Primus now makes a collapsible, portable campfire pit in two sizes. The Kamoto Fire Pit will be available this spring for $149, which is the one we recommend for families. Pair it with a Primus campfire cook set, designed specifically for the campfire. 

Kelty Lowdown chair: Want to pamper yourself with a camp chair that’s actually comfortable? Invest in the Lowdown chair, which, at least in our household, has done double-duty as a sports viewing chair on the sidelines of kids’ games, too. The Lowdown is around $50, but worth the investment if you camp regularly.


Tents, pads, and miscellaneous items:

florida-camping

Toad and Co de-bug ground cover: Do you camp in areas with mosquitos or other pesky insects? How about picnic? We love this new ground cover, which is treated with Toad & Co’s insect shield technology, guaranteed for 70 washes. This blanket goes in the back of our car for every camping trip!

Sea to Summit self inflating pads: This one is really cool. We checked out the Comfort Light SI Comfort Light SI (self inflating) pad, which packs down to less than a pound and a half of carry weight, but once inflated, rises two inches off the ground…downright indulgent for a backpacker! The pad self inflates, as the name suggests. The way the core is designed, you get extra warmth and depth without extra weight.

To accompany Sea to Summit pads, check out the new Air Stream pump sack. The Air Stream is essentially a dry sack with an added valve plug and foot loop. The 20 liter Air Stream can be inflated with a single breath, and two to three cycles from the Air Stream are enough to fill Sea to Summit sleeping mats. Use it as a pump, a stuff sack, or both!

Sierra Design Divine tent: Looking for the latest in lightweight backpacking tents? The Divine comes in a one-person or two-person option, and is trekking pole compatible (which means you don’t have to carry tent poles!). It comes with Sierra Design’s night glow feature, too. Pick one up for under $400, a solid price for a lightweight, quality backpacking tent.

Kelty Camp Cabin: Is it a tent or is it a cabin? It’s a tent with the headroom of a cabin! If you’re car camping and like to have plenty of room, this is the new tent for you! The Camp Cabin is under $250, making it a solid investment for family camping trips!

easy camp tornado

EasyCamp Tornado 400 inflatable tent: You read that right…this car camping tent has inflatable tubes rather than poles. We set it up in under five minutes on our first try, and got it down to about three minutes after that. At first, I was skeptical whether an inflatable tent solved any existing problem in tent set-up and function, but now I’m sold on this tent for families with young kids. Here’s why: not only is it easy to set up (tip: stake it first, then inflate the tubes), it sleeps four with two spaces separated by a removable tent divider, and twin mesh doors. There’s a generous organizer built in for smaller items, and best of all, the vestibule in front is very large. It even features a detachable toggle-up ‘bathtub’ groundsheet with a tall lip to keep water out of the tent. Comes with an air pump.

Now that you’re geared up, check out Pit Stops for Kids’ campground listings and camping tips, as well as this guide to family camping!

 

About the author

Amy Whitley

AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

Comments

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Comments

  1. Thank you for your outdoor travel gear post because your post resourceful and helpful for motivating travel. My family love hiking every vacation. You suggest excellent outdoor travel gear and its price list. i like it but not sufficient price for me. i want lower price rate adjust my budget and i want better quality. My friends was suggest outdoor gear land by outdoorgearland.com
    site good for me. Can you tell me what can i do?

  2. Joie Gahum says:

    Thank you for the post! I also bring a bladder pack with me whenever I go camping, I also bring my roadeavour water bottle specially on hot days. You can never have too much water. Might want to try that crux bladder.

  3. I’ve never seen anything like that inflatable tent. Very cool. Will be giving that one a solid look. Thanks for sharing!

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