Car-camping season is upon us, which means it’s time to dust off your stove, shake the smoke smell out of your sleeping bag, and get your kit ready for summer. Here are some of our favorite items at REI’s biggest sale of the year.
Sea to Summit Alpha Pot Set ($56; 25 percent off)
Whether it’s morning coffee and oatmeal or dinner burritos, you can cook almost any camping meal with just two pots. This anodized-aluminum set weighs in at a little over a pound and includes 1.2-liter and 2.7-liter pots, which nest together for compact packing. Strainer lids mean you won’t lose your noodles draining water.
Eureka Ignite 2 Burner Camp Stove ($75; 25 percent off)
Perhaps the best thing about car camping is that you have room for items that would otherwise never fit in a backpack, which means you don’t have to cook meals on a stove the size of your wallet. Eureka’s Ignite boasts 10,000 BTUs on each burner, with enough fuel control to hold a pot at a simmer or bring it to a full boil. If you’re cooking for a group, you can connect multiple stoves to run off the same gas canister.
Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler ($150; 25 percent off)
Of all the coolers in Yeti’s line, the Roadie 20 is the smallest and most packed-car friendly. The 19-liter interior is just the right size to fit food and a few beers for two people for the weekend. And its compact rectangular shape—about the equivalent of a small guitar amp—slides behind the front seat of most vehicles. (Plus you get the ice retention and durability that Yeti is famous for.)
Nemo Astro Air Pad ($60–$75; 25 percent off)
Camping doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a good night’s sleep. This air pad offers a whopping 3.5 inches of inflatable cushioning, with a microadjustable valve that lets out air in small increments to fine-tune the firmness. (Pop out the adjustment mechanism to deflate all the air at once when you’re packing up camp.)
The North Face One Bag ($216–$224; 25 percent off)
When it comes to camping, few packing mistakes are worse than miscalculating the weather and bringing a sleeping bag that’s too warm or not warm enough. Thankfully, the North Face designed a modular sleeping bag that takes decision-making out of the equation, with two zip-off top pieces that yield a 40-, 30-, or 5-degree bag depending on whether you use the lighter or heavier top (or both together).
Big Agnes Big House 4 Deluxe Tent ($262–$277; 25 percent off)
Your family palace on the road, the Big House 4 Deluxe tent has a long list of creature comforts that make camping with kids a little bit easier: two side doors with mesh vents, 60 inches of head room, ten mesh drop pockets and two fold-out tray pockets, and a rollaway doormat. At 11.4 pounds, it’s not what you’d want for backpacking, but when you and your little ones settle in with enough room to spread out and stand up inside, you won’t care.
Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern and USB Power Hub ($52; 25 percent off)
The Lighthouse 400’s calling card is its versatility. The 400-lumen light is rechargeable via USB (it also has a hand crank for emergencies), and it has a dimmer feature, which allows you to control brightness or turn on just one half of the bulb to save on battery. While you’re sitting around the fire, plug your phone into the lantern’s base, which stores enough charge for several small electronics.
REI Co-op Flexlite Low Chair ($49; 30 percent off)
When it comes to camp chairs, you don’t need something fancy to be comfortable. For the Flexlite Low, REI used a tried-and-true design: a snap-together metal frame with a nylon and mesh fabric cover that slips over the top. It sets up in seconds and has a phone pocket built into the side.
REI Co-op Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle, 32 Fluid Ounces ($8; 31 percent off)
There are more water bottles on the market than we can keep track of these days, but the simple, plastic Nalgene is still one of our favorites. It’s lightweight, durable, and clear, so you can see exactly how much liquid you have left, with measurement lines on the side for mixing the perfect posthike recovery drink. And somehow they only look better the more you scuff them up.
Rumpl Puffy Throw Blanket ($139; 30 percent off)
Sure, you don’t need a puffy blanket for your next camping trip. But we guarantee it’ll make your experience better, as a snuggly layer for sipping coffee before the sun has warmed up your campsite or even as insurance against unexpectedly cold nights in your tent. Plus, it packs down to bread-loaf size, so you’ll never have an excuse to leave it behind.
ENO SingleNest Hamock ($37; 25 percent off)
Classic campground fare, this nylon, single-person hammock is your couch, your bed, and your front-porch swing on the go. Chill in it, nap in it, spend warm nights in it, and then scrunch it into the included stuffsack (it packs down to softball size) when you’re ready to move to the next spot.