Looking for some adventure? You’d better be well-equipped. Whether you’re backpacking through the Sierras or taking a hike in your local park, tackling whitewater on the Colorado River or canoeing a placid lake, having the right equipment can be the difference between a blister-filled sunburned sufferfest and a comfortable adventure that the whole family will remember forever.
With this in mind, we sought out the most comfort-inducing and functional gear we could find, then took it to the test, camping in Shenandoah National Park, glamping at California’s iconic Patrick’s Point, paddling in deep Maryland creeks, traversing the Poconos, and, well, you get the picture. We took the gear that stood the test, the best of the best, and separated it here into categories for you to pick the right equipment for whatever adventures stoke your interest. From watersports to cycling to camping to gear built for kids, there’s something here that will elevate your whole family’s adventure game. With that, get out and go wild!
Camping and Backpacking
Spending time in the outdoors doesn’t require being uncomfortable in the wild, especially when you’ve got your kids with you. The right camping can turn the outdoors into a playground for you and the little ones. Here, we’ve got cushy sleeping pads, palatial tens, and plenty of convenient gadgets that will take the “rough” out of roughing it.
Your clothes are your first line of defense against the elements. The right clothes will not only keep you comfortable, but they’ll also be tough enough to survive season after season of wear and tear (and look good doing it. Here are some of the best options for outdoor apparel, including boots that double as sneakers, pants that’ll do everything, and the comfiest hoodie you’ll ever wear.
For the Kids
The elements can be harsh for little ones. Here, we’ve got stuff that’ll keep your kids comfortable in the outdoors and teach them some fun skills. We’ve also thrown in a few packs that’ll help you haul little ones around.
On the Water
Safety comes first when it comes to water sports. Below you’ll find some great personal flotation devices, some excellent watercraft, and a bombproof way to keep your gear dry.
Looking to cover more ground? We’ve got a great first bike for little ones, a do-everything bike for people who don’t know what bike they want, and a bomber helmet. Check out these great options for cyclists of all stripes.