The 15 Most Notable Camping Products of 2021

When the great outdoors calls, answer with these top-of-the-line picks.

this year in gear camping
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This story is part of our end-of-year series This Year in Gear, rounding up the most notable releases of 2021.

Ah, camping — the charm inherent in leaving the civilized world behind, and heading out into the great outdoors with nothing but what’s on your back (or in your car) is hard to put into words. For many, camping is the ideal respite from the 24/7 news cycle, the deluge of blue light disrupting our circadian rhythms and the seemingly inescapable world of social media.

In the last year and a half, camping has taken on even greater importance in our lives; it’s one of the few activities many have had access to amidst the global turmoil and unrest. What would camping be, though, without the products that make it possible?

The following 15 items are the highlights from 2021, the all-stars that kept us comfortable, protected and capable in the great outdoors. We were impressed with outdoor shelters, innovative hiking boots, clever pocket knives and more. Check them out for yourself, and add a few to your wishlist before the year is out.

Heat Holders

heat holders sock
Heat Holders
heat holders sock
Heat Holders

Presented by Heat Holders

There's no topping a great winter coat, but staying warm in the colder months often comes down to protecting the parts furthest away from your core — especially your hands and feet. Heat Holders knows how to keep every part of your body warm regardless of how low the mercury drops, and its Twist & striped socks pack style into its trusted ORIGINAL Crew Sock. Independently tested and proven to be warmer than the average cotton sock, Heat Holders offers three levels of warmth — ranging from the thinner, everyday Ultra Lite (which is three times warmer than a cotton sock) to ORIGINAL (which is seven times warmer) — so you can find the right fit for your feet. The Heat Holders ORIGINAL Striped Sock turns up the heat with specially-developed bulk yarn that boasts extreme thermal qualities. With long pile cushioning and a brushed interior, the final product is soft and supremely insulating. Whether you're in the market to protect your feet, or just looking for a way to keep your whole self warm this winter — with everything from socks and gloves to hats and blankets — Heat Holders knows how to keep things cozy.

Price: $10+

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Snow Peak Takibi Tarp Hexa Set M

best new outdoor gear january 2021
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Snow Peak's newest camping tarp is completely waterproof but also has an included liner that makes it safe to light up a campfire beneath it. It does not, however, come with excuses not to hang out outside this winter.

Price: $500

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VSSL Java

vssl java
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VSSL brought its handheld coffee grinder to Kickstarter, and it emerged with nearly $300,000. Coffee aficionados will approve of its burr blades, 50 grind settings and ball bearings, while backcountry brewers will appreciate its aluminum body and built-in carabiner. It's finally available for immediate purchase, and nothing's preventing you from using it at home as well as at camp.

Price: $145

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Thule Tepui Foothill Tent

thule tepui foothill tent
REI

A major drawback to rooftop tents is that they take up prime gear storage real estate on top of your vehicle. Not Thule's new Tepui Foothill, though, which folds out to create a shelter big enough for two while leaving room for a kayak or bike next door.

Price: $1,700

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OnX Backcountry

onx backcountry
OnX Backcountry

OnX rejiggered its GPS app for hunting and off-roading so that hikers, skiers, trail runners and more can navigate the backcountry safely and with ease.

Price: $30/year

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HydroFlask Outdoor Kitchen Collection

hydroflask outdoor kitchen collection
Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask recently brought its stainless steel and vacuum insulation knowhow to a new line of kitchenware for outdoor eating. The collection includes bowls, plates, flatware, serving bowls, serving utensils and a tumbler. The brand also got busy updating its soft-sided coolers, and the results are fantastic.

Price: $20+

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Evergoods Mountain Hip Pack

a black hip pack
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Evergoods doesn't release new bag designs often, but it's always worth taking a look when that happens. The new one is its smallest yet — a 3.5-liter hip pack that pulls double duty as a sling. Its versatile feature set includes a main compartment filled with low-profile organizing slots and a hidden sleeve for stuffing extra layers on the fly.

Price: $119

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Nocs Zoom Tube

nocs zoom tube
Nocs Provisions

You might not think of binoculars as cool until you see the ones Nocs Provisions is making. Its latest is a monocular called the Zoom Tube that magnifies what you're viewing by a power of eight. It's compact enough to stash in a hiking pack and is both rugged and waterproof, so you don't have to fuss over it.

Price: $75

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Sitka Kelvin Aerolite 30

kelvin aerolite 30 sleeping bag
Sitka

Remember the Snuggie? Or Poler's Napsack? Think of Sitka's Aerolite 30 like their technical, high-performance cousin. Sitka gave the bag zippered armholes and a bottom that you can stick your feet out of so that you can operate in the cold without ever climbing out.

Price: $399

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Helinox Tactical Field Office

helinox tactical field office
Helinox

A big highlight of Helinox's Tactical Collection is this handy portable (15-liter) cargo bag and miniature (16-inch) folding table combo. Made of 600D poly-fabric and aluminum and weighing less than five pounds, it's easy to tote around and set up at a moment's notice.

Price: $199.95

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Hoka Anacapa Mid Gore-Tex

hoka anacapa mid gore tex shoe
Hoka

Remember that weird Hoka hiking boot with the huge protruding heel we reviewed in fall of 2020? The Anacapa is the logical successor — it features a less extreme heel, plus lightweight leather, Gore-Tex weatherproofing and a late-stage Meta-Rocker profile to keep you rolling over the trails.

Price: $170

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Luno Front Cab Air Mattress

luno front cab air mattress
Luno

Vanlifers, rejoice. The latest development from the car camping experts at Luno is meant to increase comfort and maximize the sleeping areas in the most popular van models, including Mercedes Sprinters and Dodge ProMasters. Built with tough 300-denier fabric and able to inflate in minutes (and pack down to a manageable size), the Front Cab Air Mattress turns previously-unused real estate into your very own guest bedroom. Night light not included.

Price: $399.99

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Arc’teryx Agrium Hoody

arc’teryx agrium hoody
Arc’teryx

The latest hoodie from Arc'teryx boasts all the technical details of its predecessors (think lightweight, packable) and enhances the appeal by using sustainable materials including Dope Dye and Fair-Trade Certified down. Like all things Arc'teryx, the Agrium is high quality and built for a variety of weather conditions and environments.

Price: $400

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Snow Peak x Mountain of Moods Fleece Middle Jacket

mountain of moods fleece middle jacket
Snow Peak

In the newest iteration of their collaboration, Snow Peak and Mountain of Moods have released their FW21 collection. The Fleece Middle Jacket is the standout piece from the lineup, and celebrates the brands' shared ties to Mt. Tanigawa and other alpine regions of Japan. Mixing form and function, the jacket features Polartec and polyester fleece, as well as a high neck with zipper closure, a left bust pocket, and two side pockets at the waist.

Snow Peak recommends sizing up one size from your normal choice for a standard fit.

Price: $269.95

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Erem Xerocole Hiking Boot

xerocole men's desert hiking boot
Erem

Say hello to Erem, the brand-new boot brand from the environmental footwear innovators from the Timberland family. We've got an eye on the Xerocole desert hiking boot — it's biocircular, meaning three things: its materials have 100 percent proven paths back to nature, it is repairable through the Erem Reboot program, and it can be re-streamed into new boots once it has reached the end of its life. The woven canvas and leather upper is stitched rather than laminated (allowing for breathability) and is lined with temp-regulating Tencel Lyocell, which has anti-odor properties as well. Additional specs include 6.0 mm tread lugs to ensure traction, an integrated toe bumper and wood-fiber shank board that provides support on uneven terrain.

Price: $169.99

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Silky Pocketboy Outback Edition

silky pocketboy outback edition
Sherilltree

Silky updated its practically sized Pocketboy hand saw with a new handle made of extra-grippy arbor composite. With a 6.69-inch blade and a weight just over half a pound, it's the perfect tool for any camping or hunting trip that calls for a saw (and will beat a tiny multi-tool variant any day).

Price: $45

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