The Best Car Camping Gear of 2018
Creature comforts for the car-camping set.
Lodge Camp Dutch Oven ($80)
Forget the grill and bring a Dutch oven instead. Cast-iron construction means it will last a lifetime, and the seasoning gets better the more you use it. Four sturdy feet allow you to set the oven right in the fire, and the lid doubles as a griddle.
GCI Master Cook Station ($120)
Go ahead, bring the kitchen sink. GCI’s cook station is a badass collapsible camp table with an aluminum countertop, a storage rack, four plastic side tables, and, yes, a soft-shell sink for washing up.
Kicker Bullfrog BF400 Bluetooth Speaker ($400)
Taking delicate electronics to a campsite can be risky. But dainty the Bullfrog ain’t. It’s waterproof and dustproof, and it pumps out music in 360 degrees, so nobody misses a beat.
Kuat Pivot ($295)
Hitch-mounted racks can make getting stuff out of the back of your vehicle a pain. Enter the Kuat Pivot carrier. Pair it with Kuat’s 250-pound-rated +NV 2.0 four-bike rack ($629) and swing all those horses to the side of your tailgate or hatchback for easy access.
Thule Motion XT Alpine Cargo Box ($780)
An action-packed, multisport weekend means bringing all the toys. Thule’s latest rooftop box has 16 cubic feet of interior space, holds 165 pounds, and doubles your convenience by opening on both sides.
Yakima Slim Shady Awning ($279)
Turn your rig into a full-on adventure mobile with the Slim Shady. It attaches to any roof rack and spans 42 square feet—plenty of shelter whether you’re escaping brutal sun or waiting out a downpour.
Road Shower 4L ($499)
The roof-rack-mounted, sun-heated Road Shower holds ten gallons of glorious water and comes with a showerhead. You’ll be the envy of the dirtbag one site over.
Hydrapak Expedition Reservoir ($60)
Satisfy everyone’s hydration needs with this eight-liter reservoir. Burly nylon thermoplastic makes it much lighter than a traditional jerrican.
Rumpl Down Puffy Blanket ($150)
This quilted throw is damn near perfect: duck-down fill makes it supremely warm, and the DWR-treated nylon shell shrugs off stains and pet hair. The new four-by-six-foot size means you have no excuse for not tossing it in the car.
Thermacell Radius Insect Repeller ($50)
The Radius creates a 110-square-foot mosquito-free zone around your campsite, using low-level heat to vaporize a natural chrysanthemum-based repellent. It runs on electricity and lasts six hours per charge.
Fiskars X7 Hatchet ($35)
A hatchet is the ultimate camp tool, and the X7 may just be the ultimate hatchet. It’s lightweight and perfectly balanced, and the molded head won’t separate from the handle if you overstrike.
Captive Spirits Bourbon Barreled Big Gin ($35)
If there’s a better summer cocktail than a crisp, refreshing gin and tonic, please enlighten us. The subtle bourbon notes in this gin come from recycled whiskey barrels and will help elevate your G&T game.
Teva Ember Moc Slippers ($75)
The Ember Mocs are like sleeping bags for your feet. These slip-ons have quilted ripstop uppers and rubber soles for just enough grip around camp.
Anker PowerHouse Generator ($499)
Even off-grid, you don’t have to unplug. Charge up the PowerHouse lithium-ion generator and you’ll have enough juice to replenish your phone a whopping 24 times.
Luminoodle Basecamp Light ($89)
There’s no reason to blind everyone around the campfire with that headlamp. The Basecamp is a 20-foot, 1,000-lumen LED rope light that can be strung up to provide unobtrusive illumination.
Front Runner Camp Kitchen Utensil Set ($60)
Unleash your inner trail chef. Front Runner’s set comes with everything a group of four needs to eat well—steel utensils with plastic handles, a cutting board, a bread knife, and a spatula.