Ask avid backpackers or mountain climbers for gear recommendations, and they’re bound to proffer a lengthy dissertation of which the thesis states: carry the smallest, lightest equipment available. Outdoor companies tend to agree; generally speaking, innovating often means cutting ounces and size without sacrificing elements like warmth and weather protection. Case in point: our first-hand look at an upcoming Big Agnes tent that weighs less than a pound.
There’s something to be said for camping that emphasizes comfort, though. We commonly pitch our tents feet away from our cars, not miles up a trail — so why not sleep in a shelter as big as a shed? If this type of outdoor living is more your speed, a handful of 4th of July sales are delivering discounts up to 40 percent off on everything you need to set up a proper base camp. Below, you’ll find our favorites.
REI Co-op Grand Hut 6
REI calls this tent the Grand Hut for a reason: it’s large enough to stand up in and sleeps six comfortably (but using it for two plus a dog is nice too).
Nemo Equipment Roamer Self-Inflating Pad
The Roamer doesn’t roll up to the size of a water bottle to fit into your backpack; it’s big, thick and comfortable enough to sleep on at home.
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Deluxe Pillow
Sure, you could always snag a pillow from your bed at home for a quick car camping weekend. We prefer to keep those nice and clean and use Sea To Summit’s deluxe, insulated camp pillow instead.
Helinox Camp Chair
Helinox’s lightweight Chair One is our current favorite camp chair, but when we have a little extra space for carrying gear (or want more back support), we opt for the brand’s full-back option.
The North Face Campforter Down Sleeping Bag
The North Face built the Campforter to mimic the duvet on your bed at home. It’s plush and roomy, and with a 35-degree rating, ideal for sleeping in a range of temperatures during prime camping season.
Not all campsites come with stone ring fire pits. Don’t leave your sausage grilling or s’mores making to fate — bring your own. BioLite’s FirePit has an integrated fan that lets you control the strength of your flame while minimizing smoke at the same time.
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