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The 12 Best Outdoors Products of Summer 2022

When it comes to high-performance outdoor gear, this is the pick of the litter.

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This story is part of the 2022 Summer Gear Awards. To see the full list of winners, click here.

Do you smell that? The subtle perfume of sunscreen, the sweet aroma of freshly cut watermelon, the earthy and reassuring scent of freshly chopped wood: these are the scents of a summer spent outside.

Summer in the outdoors means camping, backpacking, hiking and cycling; this season of sun ushers in beach days, bucket hats and bonfires, and with it, we’re ushering in our Summer Gear Awards. Here you’ll find the best and brightest gear the outdoors has to offer, made specifically for your upcoming adventures.

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Best Hiking Sandal
Chaco Z/1 Classic

The Z/1 Classic boasts both the ability to walk in water as well as look good on city streets thanks to monochromatic colorways and a supportive, grippy footbed.

RELATED: The 10 Best Hiking Sandals of 2022

    Best Rain Jacket
    Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2 Gore-Tex Paclite Plus Jacket

    With its two-layer, stretchy yet durable Gore-Tex material, this jacket is perfect for fending off surprise summer showers on the trail. At just 9.6 ounces, it’s also eminently packable.

    RELATED: The 13 Best Rain Jackets of 2022

    Best Upgrade Pocket Knife
    The James Brand The Carter

    High-end EDC knives can get expensive. But even with a smooth slide-lock mechanism, a corrosion-resistant VG-10 stainless steel blade and stunning good looks, the Carter comes in at a price lower than many rivals.

    RELATED: 12 Types of Knife Blades and What They're For

    Best Headlamp
    Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp

    Notable features like dimming, red light for night vision, 350 lumens of bright-ness and waterproofing good for up to one meter, along with an affordable price point, make this headlamp an easy sell.

    RELATED: The 7 Best Headlamps for Any Adventure

    Best Hiking Short
    Prana Stretch Zion Short II

    Reinvented to include thoroughly modern updates like added recycled, sustainable materials, this do-it-all hiking short still manages to maintain a classic feel.

    RELATED: The Best Hiking Shorts of 2022

    Best Affordable Binoculars
    Nocs Standard Issue Waterproof Binoculars

    These waterproof, fog-proof, smartphone-compatible dynamos feature a Swiss-designed phase coated Bak4 Prism lens, delivering optics that are on par with binocs that cost two to three times the price.

    RELATED: We're Kind of Obsessed with the Nocs Zoom Tube

    Best Button-Down Sun Shirt
    Arc'teryx Skyline LS Shirt

    This class act marries refined style and technical details, bringing together the best of both worlds. It’s light, breathable, UPF-rated 50+ and looks super cool, which can’t be said for many sun shirts.

    RELATED: The Best Sun Shirts of 2022

    Best Pocket Sunscreen
    Manda Organic Sun Paste

    Proving that sunscreens don’t need nasty chemicals to work, this organic, reef-safe paste uses thanaka, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter to moisturize and protect skin from the sun and elements.

    RELATED: The Best Sunscreens for Your Face

    Best Upgrade Trail Shoe
    The North Face Vectiv Exploris Futurelight

    Incorporating technical attributes — like a rocker midsole and carbon plate — from high-octane road models, these kicks up the ante when it comes to performance off the beaten path.

    RELATED: The 12 Best Hiking Shoes of 2022

    Best Field Watch
    Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch

    Drawing on Hamilton’s history making watches for American soldiers, the Khaki Field’s utilitarian design includes luminescent numerals and a sturdy NATO strap. It’s an incredible value for a Swiss mechanical watch.

    RELATED: If You Can Only Buy One Field Watch, Buy This One

    Best Tent
    Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Solution Dye

    This tent is easily the best option for most people. Made from a planet-friendly fabric, it sets up quickly with a single pole, weighs less than three pounds and accommodates up to three sleepers.

    RELATED: The 11 Best Camping Tents of 2022

    Best Upgrade Cooler
    Yeti Tundra Haul Hard Cooler

    Yeti is the biggest name in coolers for a reason. The Haul holds its temperature longer than competitors and is built to last basically forever. It’s a considerable investment — but worth every penny.

    RELATED: The 13 Best Coolers Money Can Buy

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