Camping is something you can do no matter what sport you’re pursuing. Of course you can camp when you’re mountain biking or surfing or even snowboarding (that would be cold). You can camp when you’re climbing or backpacking or fishing. Or, you can just camp for camping’s sake. For getting out there. So in that vein, here are three pieces of camping gear we’ve tested lately that you should put on your list. This isn’t everything but it covers shelter, sleeping comfort and warmth. Look for more gear essentials from The Inertia and go get out there.
Regardless of whether you’re camping with friends, your family or just want extra space for all your gear, the Flying Diamond 8 is particularly well engineered to give you plenty of room to stretch out on any car camping adventure. And the thing is as sturdy as any tent out there. Five poles gets you a huge living space that can actually be separated into two rooms with an interior flap. The hardy rain fly is meant to be staked down and forms a nifty vestibule shelter over the tent’s two entrances to keep shoes, bags and even dogs outside the tent but still sheltered from the elements.
Zen Bivy ($279)
You’ve got your shelter. Now sleep comfortably. The Zen Bivy (in our humble opinion) is the most comfortable (and packable) sleep unit on the market today. The ZB system packs down small enough to be used on any multi-day excursion from winter hut trips to backpacking to beach camping. Paired with one of ZB’s air mattresses, the sleeping bag actually attaches to the inflatable pad to keep you from slipping all over the place during the night. The zip system also allows you to go full cocoon sleeping bag or use the bag as a throw blanket, depending on temperature. And the inflatable pillow just tops it all off. Avialable in standard and ultru-light weights.
Sometimes, technical outdoor gear is just that: too technical for the every woman or man to enjoy in normal settings. But Ortovox (known more for avalanche safety gear) has come up with a bomber piece of outerwear that can be used in a variety of situations whether your climbing peaks or roasting marsh mellows. The Grid Zip Neck Hoody is available in both women’s and men’s styles (the one above is for women) and the merino fleece offers breathability and moisture wicking while sealing in the warmth. This rugged piece is perfect for getting hardcore, but easily crosses over for après.