When we think of summer, we think of road trips, beach days and BBQs. Most of the time, all you need to enjoy your summer is some time away from work and your friends. But sometimes having the right gear can help make things better.
So, on the eve of Summer Solstice, we present you with this list of over 80 researched items that we think can enhance–or even allow you to have–an adventure. Although some of these are The Wirecutter or The Sweethome picks researched thoroughly, most of them are casual favorites we found after at least 20 minutes of researching or a few months or years of personal use. We tried to stay away from anything too frivolous, but let us know if we got anything wrong, or if we have missed anything you recommend. We’ll update this guide through the summer.
P.S. Please remember, just because this list is filled with high quality goods does not mean you need all or even most of them. You are capable of having a wonderful, memorable, amazing summer of fun and adventure without too many props. Just grab your friends and say yes to more things than you say no to, and don’t be afraid to scare yourself a little bit in the process. Things will work out just fine. (…)
Backpack (Haul your rations further and more surely)
If you plan on spending much of your summer on the trail, it’s time to upgrade to a dedicated hiking daypack. REI recommends choosing a well-ventilated, comfortable pack with side pockets and compartments with around 30 liters of storage space, enough to hold all of your food, clothing and gear. The Outdoor Gear Lab’s Editors’ Choice is the Osprey Talon 22, which costs $100. At 20-22 liters, depending on size, it’s a little smaller than REI recommends, but Outdoor Gear Lab says its design makes it possible to stuff in as much (or as little) as you need for your hiking. Its helmet attachment and tow loop make it a good selection for bikers as well. Raymond Estrella at Backpack Gear Test likes its ventilated back and comfortable hip strap, vital for long trips in the heat.