Minimalists, rejoice: the Lite Seat is as pared down as a camp chair can get, a mini version of Therm-a-Rest’s ProLite sleeping pad. It’s a self-inflating, 1.5-inch-thick foam cushion that’s just big enough for your bum (11 by 15 inches) and rolls up small enough to fit in your pocket. And it only weighs three ounces.
Your Gear Guide for On-the-Road Power
The River Bank bridges the gap between a small power bank designed to charge your phone and a large portable generator made to power just about everything. It features two USB-C ports and two USB ports as well as a Qi wireless charging pad, so you can charge a laptop, phone, drone, or even jump-start your car. It holds its charge for up to six months and only weighs two pounds.
All you need to charge your phone are some sticks—that’s the beauty of BioLite’s Campstove 2. It features a powerful burner (10,000 BTUs) that runs thermal energy generated by a small fire. The heat produced also feeds the on-board 2,600 mAh battery, which can store a full phone charge. We dig the LED dashboard that offers real-time info on fire strength and battery level.
This battery is just four inches long and weighs less than three ounces. It only has one USB port but carries 3,350 mAh of power that will charge your phone once on the fly.
This isn’t much bigger than the palm of your hand, but it puts out 350 lumens of light for up to 250 hours. It also serves as a power bank that can charge your smartphone up to four times. There’s an Android and iOS app that enables you to control the light from your phone.
This has a battery capacity of 1,425 watt-hours and the ability to power everything from your mini fridge to your laptop to your camera. It’s incredibly easy to use (there’s an app to control it with your phone and a screen that will give you the estimated run time) and has outputs for every form of power you could think of. At 45 pounds, it isn’t light, but true off-the-grid power has its price.
The Charge 4 is a speaker-and-battery combination, delivering high-quality audio in a portable, waterproof package with 20 hours of playback time. It weighs more than three pounds, so it’s not the lightest speaker on the market, but it also has a 7,500 mAh battery that can charge your phone twice and still leave you with several hours of play time.
The Campo puts you on the ground, but we don’t mind. It has enough padding in its 350-denier Cordura package to shield your rear from small, poking rocks and roots, while adjustable side straps let you fine-tune how deeply you want to recline. We dig how the Campo rolls up easily for storage at the end of the day, not to mention that it can double as a stadium seat or festival chair.
Helinox nails the backpacking camp seat with its Chair Zero, which is light (one pound) and compact enough (collapsing to the size of a Nalgene bottle) to justify taking on multi-day trips but comfortable enough to use while car camping. The shock-cord aluminum poles require minimal setup, and the chair keeps you 11 inches off the ground, not too low to sit down and stand up out of easily.
There’s nothing too fancy about the Stowaway—it’s a comfortable, low-profile camp chair that hits the budget price point and rocks a few smart details. The foam-padded armrests and the mesh backing won’t absorb sweat or rain if you leave the chair out in a storm. Also, it’s low enough that you can bring it to a music festival or concert and not piss off the people sitting behind you.
Yeah, it’s expensive. But the Stargaze gives you La-Z-Boy comfort at any car-camping site. It swings and has a high headrest, so you can tilt back and take in the night sky or simply indulge in a quick nap. The armrests are padded, too. The aircraft-grade aluminum frame is light and easy to set up, and a cupholder and stash pocket for your phone or beef jerky round out the luxury features.
Just because you’re car camping doesn’t mean you can’t snuggle. Kelty’s popular love seat is like a camp couch, made from quilted 600-denier polyester and reclined for added comfort. The adjustable armrests have cupholders (a must, really). Be warned: the Discovery ain’t light at 15 pounds, but the added coziness is worth the weight.
Editor Emily Reed praised the Flash Air, describing it as “more like a hanging tent than a traditional hammock.” One of the coolest features is the zippered bug net, which lines the entire hammock body, so you’ll never worry about being bitten at night.
Featured in our roundup of the best bike commuting gear from our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide, the Quito is “made from a water-repellent Cordura fabric, with a cinch-top hood flap and water-resistant media pocket.” Simple, sleek, and lightweight, this pack is ideal for commutes or easy days on the trail.
Outside contributor Graham Averill tested the Squamish XL when it debuted and was "impressed by how many features LifeProof was able to squeeze into this slick daypack.” The pack has two weather-resistant tech pockets and a slot for a 15-inch laptop and tablet.
Professional climber Kai Lightner recommends this shoe for beginner climbers “because they’re comfortable (as far as climbing shoes go), have an easy hook-and-loop strap system, and sport a vegan-friendly synthetic upper.” This all-arounder also features an odor-resistant lining to keep the funk at bay.
Our tester Graham Averill highlighted these pants in his review of stylish hiking pants to take from city to trail. The pants have “stretchy spandex where you want it, tougher nylon panels in the high wear areas, and smartly placed mesh vents to keep you from overheating,” he writes.
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