Aug 30, 2023
Best Camping Gear of 2023, Expert Tested and Reviewed
These are the best of the best that we've tested out in the woods
These are the best of the best that we've tested out in the woods
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Over the years, our experts at Field & Stream have tested hundreds of camping products in the field for every outdoor adventure, from backpacking to car camping. To help you put together the perfect camp setup, we’ve compiled our research into this convenient guide featuring 29 of the best camping gear selections we’ve covered. This list includes almost everything you might want (or need) to bring along on your next camping trip.
For more of the best camping gear we’ve tested, check out our camping gear page.
Best Tents and Shelters
Best Sleeping Gear
Best Coolers and Camp Cooking Gear
Best Lighting and Tools
The best camping gear is not an all-inclusive list of things you may want to bring along on your camping trip, and you’ll find items suitable for all types of camping. While we didn't have the space to include everything for backpacking, car camping, or RV life, we did our best to include a variety of items that you’d use for some or all of those activities. Most of the gear included is also featured in other gear roundups and is ranked as the "best overall" for that specific category.
Since this article includes a wide range of gear, we selected equipment based on previous product testing and gear picks made by Field and Stream writers and editors. When choosing the best camping gear, durability, functionality, and sustainability are considered. Products are subject to change as more product testing is conducted and additional products enter the market, so check back for our most up-to-date recommendations.
Finding the best tent or camping shelter depends on intended use, climate, and personal preference. A tight budget can interfere with investing in specific tents that may have the highest functionality and performance. In our many more in-depth tent reviews, we always include a budget pick among our other categories. Regardless of the intended use or frequency of use, a few things always remain: your tent needs to be suitable for the weather conditions, easy to set up, made from durable materials, and has enough room for gear along with a comfortable sleeping space.
Ranked in our best camping tents and best family camping tents articles, the Big Agnes Spicer Peak 6 is a spacious, durable tent with ample headroom and superior weather protection.
Full product review: Best camping tents and best family camping tents
The Nemo Dragonfly OSMO is featured as the best overall pick for ultralight and backpacking tents because of the poly-nylon ripstop fabric, level of water repellency, and stretch resistance when wet. Plus, the OSMO fabric is made from 100% recycled yarn and is PFAS-free while still meeting flame retardancy without using harmful chemicals.
Full product review: best ultralight tents and best 2-person backpacking tents
The White Duck Regatta Tent is one of their most popular designs that can fit up to four people, is easy to set up for the size, and is highly durable in a variety of weather conditions.
Full White Duck brand review: best tent brands
Featured in our best rooftop tents article, the Yakima SkyRise HD is an excellent softshell tent option with easy installation, combined with the lightweight design, making it a perfect tent for weekenders or those who will need to frequently take the tent on and off their vehicle.
Full product review: best rooftop tents
Featured in our best camping hammocks article, the Sea to Summit Pro Hammock Set has the right feel, durability, and price while providing a reliable hammock camping experience.
Full product review: best camping hammocks
Get the most comfortable night's sleep no matter where you camp with the best sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and other necessary sleep system gear items. While you likely don't need one of each featured below, a variety of options are included to ensure that no matter the type of camping you enjoy, we’ve found a recommendation that fits your needs. Across the board, we seek out highly durable and functional products designed by some of the most sustainable brands.
An upgrade to Nemo's classic Forte sleeping bag, they’ve introduced the Forte Endless Promise, made from 100% recycled materials and completely recyclable when you’re done using it.
More sleeping bag options: best sleeping bags
Featured in our best sleeping bag liner article, the Big Agnes Wool Sleeping Bag Liner is a durable wool liner suited for a variety of temperatures and conditions.
Full product review: best sleeping bag liners
Featured in our best outdoor blanket article, the All-Paca Blanket is lighter than most wool blankets and has a better feel and functionality than synthetic fabric blends.
Full product review best camping blankets
Featured in our best sleeping pad article, the Nemo Tensor Insulated is an ultralight and packable design ideal for trails of any length and difficulty level.
Full product review: best sleeping pads for camping
Featured in our best air mattress article, the Sierra Designs Two-Person Airbed is durable, comfortable, and budget-friendly.
Full product review: best air mattresses for camping
Featured in our best camping cot article, the ALPS Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot is lightweight, portable, and a great all-around cot for camping.
Full product review: best camping cots
The camp kitchen you choose depends on the type of camping you enjoy, but many items are versatile enough to work well for car camping, backpacking, or your next hunting trip. Some items featured are likely best suited for car camping. Still, regardless of the application, the items chosen for the best camp kitchen accessories are all selected based on previous gear articles and product testing.
Featured in our best cooler article, OtterBox's Venture 25 is a well-constructed, versatile accessory designed to make your trip more enjoyable by keeping food fresh.
Full product review: best coolers for camping
Featured in our best backpacking water filter review, the Versa Flow is a functional and versatile standalone filter that can be used as a gravity filter or squeeze filter. When used as a gravity filter, we recommend pairing it with the CNOC Outdoor Vecto bags.
Full product review: best backpacking water filters
The Klean Kanteen Food Box Set is a durable and plastic-free way to store food for a picnic, camping trip, or daily lunch.
Featured in our best camp stove article, the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe is a dependable and compact stove with quick boil time and simmering capabilities.
Full product review: best backpacking stoves
Featured in our best camping griddles article, the Camp Chef Professional Fry Griddle has a large cooking surface to accommodate gourmet camp cooking.
Full product review: best camping griddles
Featured in our best camp grill article, the Primus Profile Dual is a super convenient grill and burner system in a small package.
Full product review: best camping grills
Only featuring a camp chair and table, the best camp furniture section may take some time to build up as more product testing and new articles are published. These particular products were chosen based on their functionality and durability. They aren't necessarily the best budget options but are highly recommended after using the products for several months.
Utilizing many classic Helinox chair designs, their Ultralight High-Back chair is convenient, compact, and an incredibly comfortable camp chair that suits most body types.
The KingCamp Bamboo Folding Table is a compact, easy-to-assemble camp table perfect for 1-2 people.
More camp table options: best camping tables
While we could have left the list with the products above, we felt several camp accessories were worth mentioning. From camp storage to lighting, we did our best to include various products that have enhanced our outdoor experiences.
The Yeti LoadOut GoBox 60 is available in three sizes and is optimized for outdoor gear storage. Although you can use any plastic bin for storage, the Yeti GoBox is one of the few storage containers that ensure that your equipment is dry and secure in all conditions.
Featured in our best camping gadgets article, the Decathlon Pressure Solar Camp Shower works for personal hygiene but is also great for spraying down muddy gear, washing pets, and cleaning boats
Full product review: best camping gadgets.
Featured in our best flashlight article, the Goal Zero Torch is a versatile light that works well for outdoor activities as well as projects at home.
Full product review: best flashlight
Featured in our best camping lantern article, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 is a versatile lighting option that works well for camping, home projects, work, or emergencies.
Full product review: best camping lanterns
Featured in our best headlamp article, the Biolite 330 has a sleek low design, doesn't bounce, and has ideal features for hiking.
Full product review: best headlamps
Featured in our best multitool for backpacking article, The Leatherman Wave Plus contains 18 tools that are compact and versatile, and it remains one of Leatherman's most popular products.
Full product review: best multitools for backpacking
Featured in our best camp shovel article, the OKOOLCAMP Survival Camping Shovel is a versatile multifunctional shovel excellent for camping and travel.
Full product review: best camping shovels
Featured in our best first aid article, the Adventure Medical Kit Mountain Series Hiking is simple yet effective and provides all of the essentials.
Full product review: best first aid kits
Featured in our best solar generator article, the Goal Zero Yeti 1500x prepares you for home blackouts and off-grid travel with the ability to run tools, refrigerators, and keep all your devices charged.
Full product review: best solar generators
While it isn't necessary, the White Duck Wood Carrier is an affordable and convenient camp accessory that makes campfire wood collection a breeze.
Having the right camping equipment is a big part of the camping experience. It can seem overwhelming to build a camp gear setup from zero. The good news is that you don't need to buy everything at once, and you don't need to buy everything new. Several used gear retailers offer better prices on gently used gear. Renting is also an option if you don't want to invest in equipment just yet.
The type of camping gear you need depends on the camping you enjoy. If you’re searching for tips and gear lists online, you may notice that some lists seem to include everything and the kitchen sink to get outside. The truth is, you don't need that much gear to enjoy camping, and once you have the essentials, you can start to add a few more things to make the experience more comfortable and personable.
As mentioned above, the type of camping you’re doing can influence the gear needed. For instance, many developed campgrounds have water fill-up stations and bathrooms available. For backpacking or boondocking, you may need to pack water or bring a filtration system to collect water as you go.
To some campers, these items might be essential. In any case, consider bringing these for a higher level of comfort while camping. Other equipment like sleeping bag liners are seasonally dependent, and navigation tools may be necessary for backpacking but not camping in a campground.
Optional Camping Items
If you’re camping with dogs, don't forget to bring equipment for them. For example, dogs benefit from sleeping on a pad; some breeds may need a sleeping bag or blanket to stay warm. Many campgrounds also require that dogs be on leashes, so setting up a runner in camp or having a long line to allow the dog to roam within camp may be necessary.
Although many of us may be camping on a lake to go fishing or in an area to hike, we may have downtime in camp. Depending on the activities you enjoy outdoors, consider what necessary gear-wise to do those things is.
Playing music while in camp should only be considered if you’re relatively isolated from other campers; otherwise, you may disturb their experience.
The big three for camping include your backpack, sleep system, and shelter. They’re called this because they are often the biggest and heaviest items necessary.
The golden rule of camping, or any outdoor recreation, is to leave the area better than you found it. That generally means packing out everything you bring and picking up any trash you find along the way. Always follow leave no trace principles during camping ventures.
Having storage containers, bins, and bags to keep camping gear all in one place and make packing/unpacking a breeze is ideal. Our recommended storage container is the Yeti LoadOut GoBox, especially since it is waterproof and can be bear-proofed with locks. Still, other clear plastic containers work just as well for organizational purposes and come at a lower cost.
Yes, you can fly with most camping gear. Any gear that could be considered a weapon needs to be in checked luggage. Camp stoves can also be packed into checked bags as long as they do not contain any fuel or fuel vapors. Always consult your airline's restrictions and TSA packing guidelines to ensure you pack appropriately.
Most camping gear items have specific cleaning needs, and consulting manufacturer guidelines for cleaning, care, and general maintenance is advised. Get more detailed information in our detailed guides on how to clean tents, wash backpacks, and flush water filters.
The best camping gear is the gear that keeps you safe, dry and warm, and helps you enjoy y camping experience. Backpacking, car camping, RVing, spike camps, and overlanding all require some diversity in equipment, but several mainstays apply to all categories. If you’re just starting, it helps to get to know the type of camping you enjoy most so you can find the best camping gear for your specific needs. Having a friend or mentor that already has gear is a good way to see what may work for you. Renting camping equipment is also a great way to test out products if that's available in the area you’re camping. Lastly, consider buying used gear. Many large retailers like REI, North Face, and Patagonia offer used gear at a discounted price
For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it's a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.
Author of the Outdoor Minimalist and host of the Outdoor Minimalist podcast, Meg Carney, has been an outdoor and environmental writer for over six years. After studying communication arts and literature in Duluth, Minnesota, she pursued various outdoor-industry jobs that eventually led her to her current career in freelance writing.
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These are some of the best prices we've...Best Tents and Shelters Best Camping Tent: Big Agnes Peak 6 Best Backpacking Tent: Nemo Dragonfly OSMO Best Canvas Tent: White Duck Regatta Bell Tent Best Rooftop Tent: Yakima SkyRise HD Best Camping Hammock: Sea to Summit Pro Hammock Set Best Sleeping Gear Best Sleeping Bag: Nemo Forte Endless Promise Best Sleeping Bag Liner: Big Agnes Wool Sleeping Bag Liner Best Camp Blanket: Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Blanket Best Sleeping Pad: Nemo Tensor Insulated Best Air Mattress: Sierra Designs Two-Person Airbed Best Camping Cot: Alps Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot Best Coolers and Camp Cooking Gear Best Cooler: OtterBox Venture 25 Best Water Filter: CNOC Outdoors Vecto and Versa Flow Best Food Storage: Klean Kanteen Food Box Set Best Camp Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Best Camp Griddle: Camp Chef Professional Fry Griddle Best Camp Grill: Primus Profile Dual Best Camp Chair: Helinox Ultralight Chair Best Camp Table: KingCamp Bamboo Folding Table Best Lighting and Tools Best Camp Storage: Yeti LoadOut GoBox 60 Best Camp Gadget: Decathlon Pressure Solar Camping Shower and Shower Tent Best Flashlight: Goal Zero Torch 500 Multi-Use Light Best Lantern: Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Best Headlamp: Biolite 330 Rechargeable Headlamp Best Multitool: Leatherman Wave Plus Best Camp Shovel: OKOOLCAMP Survival Camping Shovel Best First Aid Kit: Adventure Medical Kit Mountain Series Hiking Solar Generator: Goal Zero Yeti 1500x Best Camp Accessory: White Duck Wood Carrier How We Picked the Best Camping Gear Best Camping Gear: Reviews and Recommendations The Best Tents and Shelters of 2023 Full product review: Best camping tents and best family camping tents Specs Pros Cons 3-Season Materials: Floor Area: Best Use: Full product review: best ultralight tents and best 2-person backpacking tents Specs Pros Cons Materials: Floor Area: Peak Height: Packed Size: Weight: Full White Duck brand review: best tent brands Specs Pros Cons Canvas: Floor: Frame: Door Height: Center Height Floor Space: Total Weight: Full product review: best rooftop tents Specs Pros Cons Type: Tent Weight: Capacity: Materials: Full product review: best camping hammocks Specs Pros Cons Hammock Package Weight: Weight Capacity: Materials: Best Sleeping Gear of 2023 More sleeping bag options: best sleeping bags Specs Pros Cons Shell Fabric: Lining Fabric: Insulation: Temp Rating: ISO Comfort: Weight: Full product review: best sleeping bag liners Specs Pros Cons Weight: Materials: Increases Warmth Up To: Full product review best camping blankets Specs Pros Cons Weight: Materials: Open Dimensions: Overall Area: Machine Washable: Full product review: best sleeping pads for camping Specs Pros Cons Type of Pad: Materials: Thickness: Weight: R-Value: Full product review best air mattresses for camping Specs Pros Cons Dimensions: Weight: Materials: Full product review: best camping cots Specs Pros Cons Weight: Dimensions: Weight Capacity: Best Coolers and Camp Cooking Gear of 2023 Full product review: best coolers for camping Specs Pros Cons Weight: Dimensions: Volume: Full product review: best backpacking water filters Specs Pros Cons Type of Filter: Liters Per Lifetime: Weight: Effective Against: Specs Pros Cons Materials: Capacity: Full product review: best backpacking stoves Specs Pros Cons Weight: Fuel Type: Average Boil Time: Full product review best camping griddles Specs Pros Cons Materials: Dimensions: Cook Surface: Full product review: best camping grills Specs Pros Cons Weight: Stored Product Dimensions: Cooking Surface Area: Fuel: Best Camp Furniture of 2023 Specs Pros Cons Materials: Weight: Chair Dimensions: Packed Dimensions: Seat Height More camp table options: best camping tables Specs Pros Cons Materials: Weight: Weight Capacity: Desktop Size: Packed Size: Adjustable Height: Best Camp Lighting and Tools of 2023 Specs Pros Cons External Dimensions: Internal Dimensions: Weight: Full product review: best camping gadgets. Specs Pros Cons Purpose: Weight: Size: Materials: Full product review: best flashlight Specs Pros Cons Lumens: Power Source: Weight: Run Time: Waterproof: Full product review: best camping lanterns Specs Pros Cons Lumens: Weight: Battery Type: Run Time: Full product review: best headlamps Specs Pros Cons Weight: Max Lumens: Beam Distance: Runtime: Full product review: best multitools for backpacking Specs Pros Cons Weight: Closed Length: Open Length: Materials: Number of Tools: Full product review: best camping shovels Specs Pros Cons Weight: Length: Foldable: Best Use: Full product review: best first aid kits Specs Pros Cons Weight: Dimensions: Best Use: First Aid Book Included: Full product review: best solar generators Specs Pros Cons Battery Capacity: Continuous Power Output: Surge Power: Best Use: Specs Pros Cons Material: Dimensions: Weight: Best Use: What to Consider When Buying Camping Gear Camping Essentials FAQ Best Camping Gear: Final Thoughts Why Trust Us