Gear Kits

2017 Summer Outdoor Gear Buyer's Guide

Make sure you've got the right gear to make the most of your summer adventures.

Curated by The Outbound Collective

We asked our Explorers for their go-to summer gear, and they shared their favorites.

Rachel Davidson says: This pack is the perfect size for anything from a short day hike to a 24-hour summit push. It expands to 18 liters and compresses easily to fit in a larger pack to bring along as a day bag for a multi-day backpacking trip. Its supportive waistband makes it super comfortable to wear (and even RUN in), and an adjustable chest strap fits any body type, from skinny dudes to curvy ladies. Plus, it packs in 3 liters of water so you'll be ready for anything.

Johnathan Valdez says: I always throw a pack of these chews in my pack when I know I'm going to be doing a big hike. They are just enough to give you a boost of energy to reach that final pitch or when you're on the tail end of a long slog. I don't go hiking without them.

Michael Martineau says: At 300 lumens it illuminates everything around you. Almost feels like daylight out. The rechargeable battery option is a very nice touch also.

Johnathan Valdez says: If you do a lot of car camping then this stove is great to have in camp. It uses the standard green propane bottles and is big enough to fit two pans on it (or a griddle). If you're in a rush to whip up breakfast, then this stove is a perfect addition to your car camping set up.

Rachel Davidson says: These poles compress three-way into super short, super packable, INCREDIBLY lightweight poles that fit easily on the outside of a pack or tucked in. I've hauled them along on long-distance adventure runs without noticing any extra weight or bulk, and I've climbed glaciated peaks with them, feeling good enough to support myself and a full backpack for days on end. Overall: durable, minimalistic, and effective.

Michelle Olmstead says: Large capacity, powerful, easy to use, and boils water fast! Our favorite piece of gear for car camping or extended backpacking trips.

John Sunich says: Lightweight, comfortable, insulated, integrated foot pump is awesome for quick inflation when you are exhausted from a long day on the trail.

Jason Hatfield says: This Colorado made down quilt is the best on the market hands down. What I love about this quilt is not only its flexibility for sleeping comfortably in different temperates, but its versatility to be used as a down blanket for extra warmth when photographing sunrise high in the mountains.

John Maurizi says: This is an awesome piece of backpacking equipment for those who hike with a DSLR camera and want immediate access. The adapter fits securely to any shoulder strap and the unique design keeps the large camera in place. A must-have for camera enthusiast!

Michael Wigle says: When it's hot and humid on the trail with no breeze, this keeps me sane. There is a reason Clint Eastwood wore a wet bandana around his neck in all those films. You soak this towel in water, snap it, and wear it around your neck or head for instant evaporative cooling. It makes a big difference.

Chris Mongeau says: Really lightweight 3-season tent that is durable and holds up well even in torrential rain. I've slept through some bad storms and stayed entirely dry, and the doors on both sides are a huge perk for two people.

Michael Gabbert says: This quilt is the perfect option for warm summer nights. I choose this quilt over any sleeping bags for summer camping because it provides all of the warmth you'll need for the trails with a 45 degree rating, but packs down extremely small and weighs a measly 22 oz. Plus, it can double as a solid campfire blanket during the spring and fall months as well.

Jonathon Reed says: Okay, it's not technically outdoor gear but I just got this and I'm excited to take it out into the woods. Great way to find inspiration to get out there.

Kevin Abernethy says: It's lightweight, easy to pack and set up and it's the perfect size for solo trips. Nothing special about the tent, just the perfect size and great durability for extended backpacking trips.

Red Mountain Salsa

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Kevin Abernethy says: This salsa is legit, I buy some just to keep it around the house. It's all natural, goes with just about anything, and you can toss the container in the fire when you are done with it.

Shalee Blackmer says: Solar panel charges battery that allows for anything with a USB to charge. Also has a laptop pocket .

Elyse Clark says: Great for backpacking with your significant other. Warm, lightweight, easy to assemble, compressible.

Jess Fischer says: You know those times when you're camping and it's a gorgeous night and you wish you could go sans rain fly but don't want to chance it in case it starts dumping rain? This tent has a great stargazing rain fly that rolls back for unobstructed nighttime views or just for amazing air flow. If the weather takes a turn for the worse during the night you can easily deploy the rainfly without even having to exit the tent. Additionally, there is a ton of room inside the tent, plenty of space for three people or two people with gear (or a furry friend!) and two vestibules off either door for added storage space.

Michael Martineau says: You need a reservoir for long adventures. Its a must. CamelBak just keeps nailing it time and time again. For me, the 2L is the perfect size. Fits great in my pack, stays cool on hot days, and provides a great flow.

Sara Sheehy says: The Osprey Syncro 10 is just the right size for a day hike or mountain bike. The venting frame helps it keep it's shape no matter what you cram inside. The pack is comfortable, lightweight, and the first one I grab for a short adventure.

Danielle Tourigny says: Perfect for the varying temps and dries quickly if it does get wet. Plus it packs down small.

John Sunich says: Most comfortable backpack I have ever worn and has tons of great features that allow it to be used for everything from day trips and overnighters to long multi-day backpacking and packrafting trips. The hip belt and shoulder straps are by far the most comfortable of all packs I have owned or tried on.

Michael Gabbert says: Simply a game changer when it comes to taking photos while hiking. As the snow melts and wildlife becomes more active, its the perfect accessory on any bag I pack to ensure my camera is always at the ready.

Rebecca Nichols says: Size is perfect for a day hike or weekend in the backcountry. Nice weight and easily adjustable. Distributes weight well.

Eric Schuette says: I've had the Kestrel for 9 years and it has gone on hundreds of hikes as well as dozens of international trips. The Kestrel is great for hikes were you need room for multiple extra layers (and a fair amount of camera gear) and with a sleeping bag compartment and sleeping pad straps it also works well for an overnight stay in the mountains. Even after 9 years it doesn't show much sign of wear as it is built very durable. It's hard to imagine a trip without it....

Rebecca Nichols says: Light, price is good and it does the job!

Rebecca Nichols says: Year-round product! As a woman who enjoys a solo hike, this allows my family to track my moves and though I NEVER rely on any form of electronic, the little piece of mind is nice.