Summer is without question the best time of year for getting outside, whether you’re at the beach, a backyard BBQ or hitting the local trails. But let’s be real: just getting outside isn’t enough. To really make the most of it, you need a whole bunch of stuff.
Which is why we’ve rounded up 50 great products that will make damn sure you don’t waste a single day this summer. From bikes and boats to coolers and cameras, we’ve got you covered.
Enjoy. And don’t forget the sunscreen. (We’ve got a pick for that, too.)
For all the advancements in technology over the years, average driving distance among amateur golfers hasn’t changed very much at all, regardless of what the all the new marketing materials promise every year. What has improved, though? Distance on off-center hits, which is where the new M5 from Taylor Made excels. It’s also a variation on what a huge number of pros are currently bagging (yes, including Tiger), so if nothing else, you’ll at least look the part.
$300 is an admittedly wild amount of money to spend on a chair that doesn’t even get the privilege of making it into your living room, but think for a moment about all those $50 outdoor chairs you destroyed over the years. You’re not gonna destroy this one, we promise.
There are cheaper mirrorless cameras out there right now (as well as far more expensive ones), but with this one being full-frame and taking advantage of Sony’s exemplary E-mount lens system, it’s hard not to view this as a stellar option for a whole lot of people.
Aside from looking good and sounding even better, Fugoo’s reasonably priced bluetooth speakers are damn near indestructible, making them perfect for everything from cookouts to camping trips. They do just fine in a living room, too.
For quick trips out of town that require not just swim trunks and some T-shirts, but honest-to-goodness formalwear, we give you this Bennet Winch Weekender, which is essentially a garment bag wrapped around a leather-trimmed canvas duffel. And man is it good looking. (Dig the intertwined bird logo.)
A wood-fired powerhouse you can use for grilling, smoking, roasting, braising, and even baking — pricey, yes, but so sturdy and capable it’ll change your whole approach to outdoor cooking.
The Yamaha Grizzly ATV has been around for a while, but since 2019 it’s been a mud-splattering, smooth-riding leader of the pack. That year’s upgrades include a 700-class engine and 27-inch Maxxis ‘Zilla tires (they’ll tear through the muck, but won’t tear you up on level ground). As for the “EPS” qualifier, that stands for electric power steering, meaning you won’t have to muscle it around unknown trails. But why are we recommending the 2019 when the 2020 is already available? The newer models are prewired for the Yamaha Adventure Pro GPS tablet, which is potentially game-changing technology, but most casual rippers use ATVs to get away from screens.
This is the best mitt you can get for your money. Everyone likes to write about products that they can pass down to their kids or grandkids — a Rawlings full-grain kip leather glove isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time. It’ll come 30% broken-in by the factory, so make sure you sweat into it during some long tosses in July and August.
For years, every time someone told us we should get a drone, we rolled our eyes and told them it was a waste of money. We were wrong, they were right. Drones will take your travel photography and videography to a whole new level, and if you have a kid who plays soccer or baseball or some other outdoor sport? You can capture that shit like never before.
Now built with Nikon’s premium “extra-low dispersion glass” for a sharper, clearer field of view, the Monarch 5 is easy to carry and built for extreme use. These binoculars are waterproof, fog proof and made with a rubber armored body for maximum durability.
If you’ve ever been on a beach or at a graduation party, you’ve probably seen a group of people running around and smacking a ball against the net. It’s because this is the best outdoor game you can play (sorry, KanJam). Super portable and easy to set up, you can take Spikeball anywhere it can legally be played and as long as you play with semi-competitive people, you’re guaranteed a great time.
Don’t let the name, or the fact that you may have never even heard the name, fool you. Taxa’s Cricket was listed among Outside’s favorite trailers, RVs and vans alongside heavy hitters like Airstream and Winnebago. And while the company’s pedigree is enticing — founder Garrett Finney is a former senior architect for the Habitability Design Center at NASA — it’s the performance of the little-trailer-that-could that’s most impressive. It can be towed by as few as four cylinders, sleeps up to four (two adults, two children) and somehow, someway, has integrated plumbing.
People are always using the word overbuilt when describing Yeti products, but the truth is, they’re only overbuilt if you’re not particularly demanding of them. Looking to keep food and drink cold for days on end on a family car-camping trip? Or are you simply looking for a cooler so indestructible that you won’t have to replace it every year for the rest of your life? You can’t go wrong with a Yeti.
Electric skateboards are often pitched as commuting companions, but we prefer them for a little weekend fun. Boosted makes the best board on the market, and the hefty Plus has a top speed of 22-MPH, a range of 14 miles, can carve up a 25% hill grade, and cycles through four modes of difficulty, from Beginner to Expert. Go to your local park and let it rip. More restorative than meditation, we promise.
You need a boat, and not one on which you can carry around your friends and family. You need one you can take out on your own for a little solo fishing or just zipping around for a bit of fun. May as well go with the best.
The most played golf ball in the world. There are longer balls out there, but none that perform better around the greens. They spin like crazy on chips, and they feel like butter coming off the face of your putter. They’re also among the priciest balls out there, so we recommend picking up the previous year’s version at a slight discount. No one will know, we promise.
It’ll keep your beer cold for 24 hours, and the high-pressure seal will keep make sure it doesn’t spill al over your stuff. Made from stainless steel and naturally BPA free.
What everyone needs is an emergency hammock they can pull out from their back pocket. Which is presumably why Hummingbird Hammocks made the lightest and smallest packing hammock on the market. And while it may be tiny, it holds up to 300 pounds — she be but little but she is fierce.
We recently had the pleasure of testing out this hiking pack on Yosemite’s Misty Trail, and it delivered every step of the way. It’s legitimately difficult to finish the 2.5-liter hydration reservoir tucked into a compartment of the backpack (it was a hot day and we were sipping constantly, too), and the pocket situation for storing snacks, tools and various valuables is on point. Not to mention, the nylon exterior is pretty much indestructible.
The ultimate ultralight hiking polo weighs just 10 oz. — for the pair. If you’re going abroad for a trek or doing a through-hike that requires you to pack as lightly as possible this summer, it’s tough to beat these carbon-fiber poles; reviewers also love how comfortable the cork handles are.
A stainless steel, fully automated frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream maker that’ll make you two quarts of whatever frozen treat you’re craving.
A colorful and compact two-burner grill with fold-away legs, a locking lid and enough grilling area to cook up to 18 hamburgers at once.
If you want a capable, durable raft that can handle Class III rapids and won’t break the bank, look no further. Saturn isn’t flashy, but it’ll get the job done for you and 2-3 fellow river rats. It’s the ideal starter boat to help you learn the river before moving on to bigger, better (and more expensive) things.
The single best board you can buy if you want to learn how to use a longboard. It’s affordable, big (44 inches), easy to break in, and made of a Canadian maple-bamboo blend. The designs are also rad as hell; Retrospec and Ten Toes are revived California patents, and the colors play on those it’s-1969-in-Santa Barbara vibes.
Ok, so these don’t really have anything to do with the outdoors, but when you get home after doing all that other awesome shit? These are gonna feel great.
$149 – $229
Firewire is the biggest surfboard manufacturer in the game right now, and it’s making boards the right way, with sustainable, post-consumer foams. It recently made waves for releasing a board made of merino wool. It’s also part-owned by Kelly Slater, and makes boards just for him, like the high-performance No Brainer, which is ideal for shredding in waves five feet or smaller, and can be used by beginners and experts alike.
The best thing about this tennis racquet is its versatility to all levels of players: it comes in six different variations, from a 265g, beginner-friendly “Lite” edition to the stiffer, heavier “Tour” edition that French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem uses. The frame design allows the strings to move more freely, which offers additional power and less shock. The Pure Strike also uses FSI Power Technology for more power, spin and comfort, for whomever is striking the ball.
The Kingdom 6 offers a ton of livable space, and 75 inches of height throughout most of the tent. It’s also designed with lots of interior storage, a divider for separate rooms, and two large doors with four zipper sliders. Camp like a king.
There’s a lot to like about this hiking shoe. Even at first wear, it feels more broken-in than a running sneaker, which is rare for outdoor footwear. It’s grippy, and can save you from injury or something worse on a gravelly trail. And it’s completely waterproof. Plunge it into the first trail puddle you find to try it for yourself.
This one was meant for sharing. Available in chestnut or oak, the Tom Beckbe flask features a custom leather exterior over a stainless steel vessel, along with four tasting cups.
An official device of the MLB and NFL, this minimalist, waterproof wrist strap collects five metrics and coaches you on days to work harder, take off or alter your workout.
A tiny, lightweight (69g) rechargeable headlamp that’ll never slip but will wick away your sweat. Max output of 330 lumens, with red night vision available.
There are two kinds of tubers: 1. Those who see it as a serene activity where you’re casually towed around a calm lake and 2. those who see it as a test of mind, body and soul to hold on as long as possible while the driver whips you through chop like a rag doll. Be the second kind. And because it’s more fun when you’re up against friends, use the Big Bertha. It can fit up to four people in various configurations (sitting, laying, standing, though for liability reasons we don’t officially recommend the latter) and doesn’t have any of those boring side walls for stability.
A stainless steel, double-wall bear hug for your cans and longnecks, with a design that’ll keep your beverage locked in and cool while keeping the bottle sweat away. Available in 12 colors.
The best reusable water bottle is the one you already own. But if the one you do already own is broken or still smells weird after that one time you used it as a protein shaker, then you’ve gotta go Hydro Flask. Wirecutter chose it as their favorite, as did Esquire, REI and Travel + Leisure. The one thing they’re all missing, though, is that the best water bottles aren’t just for water, which is why the wide mouth version is king. Want to carry around a smoothie, Arnold Palmer or homemade kombucha from the farmer’s market? Hand over the wide mouth and fill ‘er up.
Dubbed “the world’s first Android TV pocket camera,” the soda-can-sized sequel to Anker’s popular Nebula projector offers a brighter screen (up to 100”), Google Assistant and 60% louder audio, along with access to thousands of movies, shows and more from Google Play and YouTube … oh, and Android games, which you can play with the included gamepad.
Stand-up paddle boarding is one of those activities where, the first time you see it in real life, you think, I need to get me one of those. Then you look at the prices and decide against it since you don’t actually live on the water. But no one should be denied the ultimate tranquility of paddling (or fishing, meditating or downward dog-ing) on your local lake, which is why Body Glove’s Performer is the ultimate choice. It is 60% cheaper than an average board (when you buy through Costco), stores in a backpack, inflates easily and can still handle some wear and tear.
Boat sports are, by definition, exclusive. (You need a boat.) But once you’re on said boat, it doesn’t get easier. Waterskiing and wakeboarding can be difficult to learn (or to teach the freeloaders spending the day on your boat), so you’re going to need a wakesurf — specifically, Slingshot’s new Coaster. As the name suggests, it was designed to coast “anywhere, anytime, any boat,” which means you can be captaining a brand new Malibu Wakesetter or a hand-me-down Ski Nautique with everyone piled on one side and still catch the wave — er, wake.
A portable outdoor speaker with 13 hours of playback per charge — nothing new there. But having a rugged unit with a splash-proof top panel and integrated cup holders? That’s a party in a box.
There are few things that feel as natural as swinging a splitting axe with a wooden handle and a steel head. But when it comes to the hatchet, it’s best to go with a one-piece construction — a low maintenance tool for low maintenance jobs. Add the criteria of being made in America and there’s a clear winner: Estwing. Their Sportsman’s Axe features a leather grip and sheath, and will work just as well at the campsite as next to the wood pile at home. If you want it to last forever, reviewers have hacked the handle.
Not the most aesthetically pleasing cold brew maker out there, but it’s the taste that matters. Thanks to Filtron’s water bowl, this system evenly saturates the coffee grounds to draw out the flavors of the beans and, voila, makes beautiful coffee.
Colorful, water-resistant ‘buds that win out on power — you’ll get 10 hours per charge, and an additional 20 when placed in the accompanying slim case.
If you only want an electric scooter to monkey around on, you can probably rent one for 10 cents a minute on a sidewalk near you. If you want a reliable and stylish extra mode of transportation, you go for the dual-motor Unagi. CNET named it their “best all-around electric scooter.” After testing, Electrek said no other scooters “compared to the Unagi in terms of build quality or appearance.” Think of it like the grown-up version of the Razor, one that will get you compliments rather than side-eye in the office elevator.
Great for both UVA and UVB protection, this sunscreen boasts a smooth, velvety finish that seeps into the skin quickly and evenly. Water-resistant and suitable for all skin types.
You’re not buying an inflatable pool for the long haul. You’re buying it for a party, or a getaway to someone’s cabin, or to keep the kids occupied for the odd day this summer. This one is under $50, big enough for three adults to sit in and looks great on Instagram. What more do you want?
There are many collapsible polyurethane kayaks out there, but Oru remains the gold standard. They’re not just built for floats on the local duck pond: we once took their Beach LT on a multi-day trip down the Devils River in Texas with all our gear packed in the bulkhead. They’re latest release is the Haven, which is Oru’s first two-man kayak.
You probably think you’ve played every lazy lawn game out there: bocce, lawn darts, ladder-ball, cornhole. But chances are you’re not yet acquainted with the game the Finns call “viking chess.” Rules are simple: you throw a cylindrical pin (“the bozo”) at 12 other cylindrical pins (“skittles”) with numbered values. Knock over multiple skittles, you get a point for each. Knock over one skittle (which requires more skill), you get the value of that pin. First to 50 wins. It is outrageously fun, and unlike Spikeball or KanJam, very relaxed.
Tactic Games US
The outdoor gearhead community doesn’t often welcome newcomers with open arms. But that’s exactly what’s happened with James Brand, a company that started building minimal, purpose-driven knives in 2016. They’ve quickly developed a cult following, and it’s easy to see why: The Chapter has everything you want in a pocket knife and precisely nothing more. It’s a simple lockback knife that cuts zero corners in terms of technology and materials, from the titanium handle to a blade made from high-end Crucible S35vn stainless steel.
The James Brand
This is the canoe you take to the family’s lake house and then leave there for 50 years of regular use and very little maintenance. Merrimack still makes each wood-reinforced fiberglass boat one at a time, by hand, the same way they did when the company was established in 1954.
In this day and age, unless you’re a dedicated road cyclist, putting in heavy miles on long stretches of rolling asphalt, we recommend picking up a gravel bike. They can handle almost anything the roads can throw at them, but they also excel on backcountry roads and light trails. They’re a little easier to ride than a traditional road bike, and they’re a bit more stable as well, so if you’re new to cycling in general, we think this is a good place to start.
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.