This portable fire pit is one of our favorites because its simple design cuts down on smoke. “Holes at the bottom and top of the stainless-steel stove provide oxygen to the flames, and because it’s a skinny, long tube, the logs burn hot and fall into themselves, constantly feeding the fire without having to poke it,” wrote tester Graham Averill.
The Summer Gear We're Eyeing at Backcountry's Sale
Versatility is this headlamp’s calling card. A solid companion for your next camping trip, the Cosmo 225 has a beam distance up to 72 meters and is waterproof, too. Plus, it has five different modes including red night vision and strobe.
This jacket earned a Gear of the Year award in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide for its perfect balance between breathability and waterproofing. “Two hours of riding in pouring rain and lots of mud, and it never sprung a leak,” said one tester. We credit the stretchy Pertex Shield fabric which is lightweight and surprisingly durable.
The full-zip version of this windbreaker was one of our favorite pieces of peak bagging gear for its compact size and light protection. This half-zip is ideal for day hikes or getting around town, and it won’t blend into the landscape—that’s just fine with us.
In 2018, we recommended this sweatshirt as a gift for Mother’s Day because it’s “perfect for chilly nights around the campfire.” The Mountain Sweatshirt has three layers of synthetic insulation that make it comfortable and warm. Plus, the top layer has a durable water-repellent finish to keep the jacket dry and stain-free.
The Flip 20 was one of our favorite tech tools of 2016. This portable charger will recharge your phone or headlamp twice. “At a barely-there 4.6 ounces and no bigger than a jumbo pack of Doublemint gum, it’ll slip into your jacket so you can charge on the go,” we wrote.
We gave this lightweight rain jacket a Gear of the Year award in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide. The Bantamweight strikes a perfect balance between being waterproof and breathable, so you stay dry in summer showers and comfortable on strenuous hikes. “The Bantamweight feels like a windbreaker but performs like a hard shell,” one tester wrote.
“Years ago, I threw out all of my cotton socks and replaced them with three pairs of these lightweight merino items,” wrote columnist Wes Siler. “Aside from skiing (when I wear something taller), and very cold weather activities (where more insulation is needed), that remains my setup today.”
The Boulder Chukka is a versatile everyday shoe. “They fit in at work, on a train through Europe, and pretty much anywhere else,” our columnist wrote. “Like all Lems, they fold in half so you can pack them easier, and they come with a wide toe box for extra comfort.”
One of our favorite shackets, the United by Blue Snap is stuffed with a blend of bison fiber and recycled polyester, making it warm for its weight and exceptional at quashing odors. Pro tip: The jacket runs small, so we suggest sizing up.
This stackable pint won our Gear Guy’s test of the best insulated cups. “It had the best insulation of the bunch, and the base fits nicely in a cupholder,” he wrote. “I’ll never complain about a beer mug that can pull double duty for coffee in the mornings.”
Our Gear Guy called the Lowball the only Yeti product you actually need. “I’ve been using this tumbler almost every day since August 2015, and after four and a half years of heavy use, it still works just as well as the day I got it,” he wrote.
We included this rain jacket in our 2017 Summer Buyer’s Guide. “The exterior nylon is tough, wind-resistant, and stretchy, while the interior is lined with a buttery knit that adds warmth for alpine starts and windy ridge walks,” our tester wrote. The lining does make the jacket less breathable, so it’s best for slower-paced activities.
Coffee is significantly better when it’s hot, which is why the Rambler mug is an absolute must-have for camping, travel, or around the house. The double-wall vacuum-insulated mug keeps a 24-ounce cup of joe warm for hours. And it’s dishwasher safe.
The Daylite doesn’t come with a bladder, but there’s storage aplenty: 20 liters in the main compartment plus an exterior pocket. The sleeve in the main compartment can house a reservoir you buy separately, or it’ll accommodate a tablet or small laptop if you’re just using it for commuting. If you’re extra thirsty, two side bottle pockets boost the Daylites water-carrying capacity.