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Cover Image - Lockrack, Moki Step, Stromberg Carlson Grill, Bike Rack

Our Favorite Camping Gear of the Year (Hand-Picked by a Bunch of Campers)

We're kinda big fans of camping around here (so much so that our team participates in a 3-day, 30-person-plus camping trip every summer, during which we get to test out gear and discover next year's essentials). And since we're writers by weekday and campers by weekend, this is the time of year when we get to run wild and gush on the internet about all the cool stuff we tried, from the bike racks that impressed us to the grills that cooked the tastiest campfire food. So check out the list of our writing team's favorites (along with a few extras the rest of our team couldn't resist adding in)! Do you have a favorite camping product that didn't make the list? Share it with your fellow campers in the comments!
etrailer Cargo Area Protector

etrailer Cargo Area Protector

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A cargo protector that will make the hairiest dog or the dirtiest off-roader breathe a sigh of relief.
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If you’re anything like me (and I know I am) you love the great outdoors. The sun over your head, the grass under your feet; there really isn’t anything like it. But part of what makes the great outdoors great is that they stay outdoors. No matter how dirty you get, nobody wants to bring their mess back to their car. So keep the outdoors out, and the pristine cleanliness of your vehicle in with the etrailer cargo area protector. Waterproof polyester allows protection from all the usual suspects like spilled drinks, pet hair, or grass, and it’s easy to remove when you have boring clean cargo to transport too.
jacob j
-Jacob J
Why I Love It"I have a large hairy dog that absolutely loves car rides. And because he doesn’t speak very fluent English, I have trouble explaining to him that he can’t go for a ride because his hair gets everywhere. With this cargo protector, that issue is one of the past. Theodore Bear and I can cruise the highway without worrying about the pesky shedding. Now if I can convince him that not every car ride has to end in a pup cup then it would be perfect."
SnapPad Jack Pads

SnapPad Jack Pads

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A shoe for your camper jack that keeps it from sinking into soft ground.
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Unlike traditional jack pads (or those chunks of wood you keep in the storage area), which you have to crawl halfway under your rig to place beneath your jacks each time you level, these rubber SnapPads actually fit onto your jack feet permanently. Just snap them into place, and the large footprint will help keep your jack from sinking into soft ground, burrowing into gravel, or cracking pavement.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love It"There are enough steps to complete when setting up your camper. SnapPad Jack Pads save me a step and make for one less thing to worry about."
Stromberg Carlson Campfire Grill

Stromberg Carlson Campfire Grill

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A portable, stake-mounted grill for cooking hotdogs and hamburgers to perfection over the campfire.
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The world is your kitchen with the Stromberg Carlson Stake & Grill. Burgers, hot dogs, potatoes, ribs — this 15x22" grill is plenty big enough for the whole family's dinner. The raised edges prevent those runaway hotdogs from tumbling into the flames, and 360-degree rotation of the grill allows for easy food removal without any singed fingers. It's even great for heating up your morning coffee!
Bobby B
-Bobby B
Why Bobby Loves It"I like this product because you can cook a nice camp meal from anywhere you have a fire. We most often use it down on a riverbank and we will cook burgers and hot dogs."
Ignik Refillable Butane Lighter

Ignik Refillable Butane Lighter

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
The refillable, windproof lighter that cavemen wish they had when they discovered fire
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Sure, you could spend an hour rubbing sticks together to spark a flame. Or, you could just grab this handy Ignik Refillable Lighter and make life easier on yourself. The windproof tip ensures you can conjure a flame even on blustery days, and the flexible neck makes it easy to light your Ignik Fire Can, BBQ grill, woodpile, and more–while keeping your hand safely away from the heat. Cavemen would be jealous.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love It"As someone who is perpetually cold, there’s nothing I love more while camping than a cozy fire. But I’m also not about to start one from scratch when I can grab a lighter and have a blazer in under a minute. A good lighter is one of those small items that make a big difference."
Kelty Camp Kitchen Organizer

Kelty Camp Kitchen Organizer

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A zippered, hanging kitchen organizer made from water-resistant polyester that lets you take your kitchen cupboard on the go!
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With the Kelty Camp Kitchen organizer, you’ll never have to worry about lugging along big disorganized bags of utensils, spatulas, cutting boards, and spice shakers, all mixed together into a jumbled mess. This convenient bag unzips to reveal 3 zippered pockets up top and one down low (for spices, utensils, condiments, and cooking tools), 2 zippered sleeves with integrated straps (for cutting boards, dishes, and small pans), and a cord at the bottom (to hold rolls of paper towels or hang dishcloths to dry). The Kelty Camp Kitchen Organizer also has sturdy attachment straps for easy hanging.
Izzy B
-Izzy B
Why I Love It"As someone who loves group camping trips, whose love language is food, and who needs a little help with organization, I REALLY like this product. When you’re cooking for more than just yourself - especially outside of your usual kitchen - things can get a little hairy. Tools get jumbled, condiments get misplaced, and the process can take way longer than usual. All these problems can be avoided when you introduce some intuitive, hardcore organization."
etrailer Ratchet Straps

etrailer Ratchet Straps

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
The set of ratchet straps everyone needs in their vehicle.
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Chances are at some point you’ll want to get stuff from point A to point B, and that’s where ratchet straps come in handy. etrailer straps are sturdy, with capacities ranging up to 10k lbs. They’re versatile, with multiple hook options available (sometimes you need a simple S-hook for the back of your truck, other times you need e-track for an enclosed trailer). Plus, if you buy a whole set, they even come with a handy storage bag, and as someone whose ratchet straps always seem to end up in a tangled knot on the truck floor, this is nothing to overlook.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love It"I’ve hauled a lot of furniture in my day, and if there’s one thing that taught me, it’s that a hardy set of ratchet straps are invaluable. If you’re even thinking about hauling stuff around in a truck bed or on a cargo basket, do yourself a favor and make sure your gear gets to your destination."
etrailer Floor Mats

etrailer Floor Mats

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
Killer floor mats to protect your ride from your the bottoms of your feet (and the mess contained on them).
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The struggle is real. I love my car and want to keep it in as good of condition as I can, but I also love my hobbies, many of which leave me covered in scrapes, bruises, dirt, and grass stains. How can I still do the things I like to do, and not bring that mess into the car? The etrailer floor mats, that’s how. And with options for your front or back seat, it’s easy to protect your car from those nasty passengers too. And for extra-super-bonus points, add the etrailer cargo area protector (as seen elsewhere in this very article!) and your vehicle will basically be mess-proof. (disclaimer: I’m sure you could probably still make a mess somehow, but you’d have to get pretty creative).
jacob j
-Jacob J
Why I Love It"I recently got a new car, and keeping it clean has been a huge concern of mine. But I am regularly outdoors, I have dogs, and let’s be honest, dirt exists. These floor mats have allowed me to drive my car, no matter what state my shoes are in, without fear of making a mess. If my socks get wet though…there’s no saving that."
GSI Outdoors Collapsible Bowl

GSI Outdoors Collapsible Bowl

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A compact, portable, multi-use silicone bowl that collapses down to 1” tall so you can hit the trail with snacks in hand.
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This collapsible silicone bowl from GSI Outdoors gives you the freedom to eat and drink at the campsite, or out on the trail. BPA- and BPS-free silicone is durable, easy to clean, and protects your hands from excessive heat without leeching chemicals into your food. It's collapsible, so it leaves you with room to spare for packing extra snacks *wink wink*. If you want to avoid packing entirely, you can also clip this bowl to the outside of a backpack by its handle. And thanks to the handy graduation markings on the inside, it doubles as a measuring cup for campsite cooking.
Izzy B
-Izzy B
Why I Love It"As someone that goes on bushcrafting trips where every square inch of my backpack has to be maximized for efficiency, I love the idea of saving space in my pack whenever possible. Being able to flat-pack a bowl frees up room for gear I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to bring along. In addition to that, I enjoy taking my dog for hikes, and it’s nice to have the option of a water bowl I can squish flat and clip on the outside of my backpack when it’s all slobbery."
Swagman Bike Racks

Swagman Bike Racks

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A super affordable way to get bikes to the trail.
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It’s not news that bike racks can be pretty pricey, and this can mean a ton of enthusiastic cyclers aren’t getting to ride their favorite trails. But this Memorial Day, you can save 40% on Swagman’s diverse line of bike racks, including those for riders with e-bikes, fat bikes, and multiple riders. That means whatever you ride and whoever you ride with, this is your chance to grab a bike rack and ride that trail you’ve always wanted to try.

If you’re not sure where to start, I suggest taking a look at the XTC2 TILT (you can read my review of the TILT here). That said, Swagman’s got a bike rack for just about everyone. Plus, where else can you find a 4-bike rack for under $250?
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love ItI love my e-bike. I also love saving money. Swagman racks let me enjoy both.
Flint Hill Goods Hitch Cargo Carrier

Flint Hill Goods Hitch Cargo Carrier

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
The “extra credit” storage to make sure you are as prepared as humanly possible on your next trip.
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Camping is about roughing it, doing without the creature comforts of home, becoming one with nature, and really departing from the soft and comfortable lives we are used to. But that isn’t to say that it doesn’t require an ample amount of supplies. Who thought food for a weekend took up SO much room? Where your trunk space fails, your hitch will pick up the slack. Introducing the Flint Hill Goods line of hitch cargo carriers. No matter what you’re hauling, these guys will give you that extra something to prepare for those unnecessary (but entirely necessary) supplies. I wanted a weekend without air conditioning and wifi, I never said I wanted to starve!
Jacob J
-Jacob J
Why I Love It"I have too much junk in my trunk as is (cool it). So when I have to pack up for a trip, I find that storage space is the hardest thing to come by. With an extra shelf to strap some of my gear to I am always able to arrive prepared for just about anything. Without having to disturb the gear in my trunk that I DEFINITELY NEED BACK THERE DON’T TOUCH IT."
Lockrack Adjustable XL Watersport Carrier

Lockrack Adjustable XL Watersport Carrier

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A watersport carrier where you can load up and say, "look, Ma, no straps!"
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Having fun can be a lot of work, especially when it means struggling to get your kayak on your roof, untangling your tie-down straps, and trying to mummify your watercraft to keep it in place. That's why we love the Lockrack—it takes the hassle out of the whole process. The ratcheting arms move to grip your canoe, kayak, or boards and carry them safely down the highway. A set of bow and stern straps are still recommended, but with no side-to-side snugging down needed, you can get to the good part faster.
Lori B
-Lori B
Why Lori Loves It"This adjustable kayak carrier makes it so easy to load, unload, and haul on the rooftop or on a kayak trailer. Easy to install as well. I LOVE that no straps or tie-downs are necessary. More time to enjoy the journey."
Curt Trailer Hitches

Curt Trailer Hitches

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
The gateway to bigger, better adventures.
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For an outdoor enthusiast, a hitch is pretty much the best adventure wingman you could ask for. Whether you want to tow a camper, bring your bikes to the trail, or haul along some extra gear, your hitch makes that possible.

I’m especially a fan of CURT trailer hitches–not only has CURT been around longer than anyone, but they have the honor of being the official hitch of the PBR bull-riding tour in 2024. I hear bull riders are a tough crowd, so that’s pretty impressive. You can drop your vehicle year, make, and model into our fitguide and find a hitch custom-designed for your vehicle.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love ItA hitch opens up a whole new world! One with bike racks and campers and cargo carriers—oh my.
Viair EVC Battery Powered Tire Inflator

Viair EVC Battery Powered Tire Inflator

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
An absolutely clutch tool to add to your car care arsenal.
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Part of owning a vehicle is taking care of it, and part of taking care of your vehicle is taking care of the tires. The Viair EVC is a lithium-battery-powered pump that can completely inflate a flat tire in as little as three minutes. While this guy won’t fix a hole in your tires, if you’re running low on air and your car needs a pick-me-up to keep moving, there is quite literally nothing like this–a must-own tool for anyone that drives their car in the winter when the tire pressure drops as fast as the temperature. And it comes with a nifty bag to store it all in your trunk, glove compartment, or console, so you don’t have any excuse not to protect your tires from the elements!
Jacob J
-Jacob J
Why I Love It"Nobody wants to run errands when it’s freezing out. Heck, nobody wants to do anything when it’s that cold. Much less crouch by your car filling up your tires at the gas station (and don’t get me started on how little air a quarter will apparently “buy”). With this tool in my car, I know that if temperatures plummet and my tire pressure dips, I have everything I need to bring it back to road-readiness."
etrailer Trailer Coupler Lock

etrailer Trailer Coupler Lock

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
Tamper-resistant and rustproof security for your trailer.
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The best way to keep someone from towing away your trailer is to make sure they can’t hook it up in the first place. That’s why I’m a fan of coupler locks–especially bright yellow ones that scream “find an easier target.” These locks engage your coupler just like a trailer ball and block the opening. They’re aluminum, so you won’t have to worry about corrosion causing weak spots. They can also be keyed alike if you have other locks you want to match.

And look, I always get pushback when I recommend locking your trailer, and there’s no way to sugarcoat it: locks can be cut, and if someone really wants your trailer, they’ll find a way to get it, just like they’ll find a way into your car or house if they try hard enough. These locks won’t spring into action and ninja-kick the person trying to steal from you. But they will make it that much harder, and that’s far better than leaving your trailer out there as an easy target.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love ItI lock my house. I lock my car. Why wouldn't I lock my trailer?
Tred GT Wheel Chock

Tred GT Wheel Chock

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A rugged, high quality set of wheel chocks to keep your vehicle, rv, or camper parked safely in place.
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Safety should be a top priority on any camping or RV-ing journey, especially when friends and family are involved, and the TRED GT Wheel Chocks certainly take that into account. Made from a sturdy automotive-grade polypropylene, boasting an ultra-robust grip profile, and available in either a sleek black or a vibrant electric green hue, these chocks definitely aren’t going anywhere. This 2 chock set also features the TRED-LINK interlocking system for easy storage, a handy rope fixing point for quick chock retrieval, and 4 securing-points per chock to mount the whole system in place.
Izzy B
-Izzy B
Why I Love It"As someone who, as a rule, never skimps on safety precautions, I think a good set of wheel chocks is a necessity for anyone planning to spend time around their parked camper, rv, or vehicle. Whether you’re setting up a campsite with friends and family, or you’re just planning to do some vehicle maintenance, chocking your wheels is a necessary step to keep them from accidentally rolling and causing serious damage. I’m also a fan of how they come in both black and green, giving me the opportunity to make my whole setup feel a little more custom."
Longview Towing Mirrors

Longview Towing Mirrors

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
Towing mirrors that can be easily attached and detached to your OEM mirrors for extra vision when you need it
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Picture yourself in your driveway, hands on hips, checking off the last box in your mind and getting ready to leave for your family’s big RV vacation. You have the entertainment, you have the drinks, you have an honestly concerning amount of hot dogs, and you’re confident this will be the weekend of a lifetime. And as you start to back out of your driveway, tragedy strikes. Suddenly your peripherals are feeling a little less vision-y. But never fear, the Longview towing mirrors have your back (or at least give you the necessary vision so you can watch your own back). And they’re easy to remove as well! So you don’t have to contend with massive reflective wings when you’re trying to pull into that tight spot in your garage. With sizes to fit all kinds of vehicles, there is a set of towing mirrors with your name on it, as long as your name is Longview that is.
Jacob J
-Jacob J
Why I Love It"Backing up a trailer is hard. No matter how many times you do it. And the thought of backing up a trailer without proper vision of the trailer itself is honestly horrifying. These things sit in the trunk of my SUV and any time I put something into the hitch, I grab these bad boys. OEM Towing mirrors, OEM Shmowing mirrors, I’ve got my own thank you very much."
GasStop Emergency Propane Shut-Off Gauge

GasStop Emergency Propane Shut-Off Gauge

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A safety feature for one of the most potentially dangerous parts of an RV—the gas supply—that really should be standard on all RVs, but somehow isn't.
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If you have an RV or camper and use propane accessories, chances are you've worried at least once or twice about potential gas leaks or propane pyrotechnics. Gas is nothing to mess around with, which is why GasStop created their series of shut-off valves and sensors. These gauges immediately shut off your propane if they detect a leak or regulator failure, so you can rest assured you and your family are safe and sound.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love It"I've seen this gauge shut down a propane line in response to the tiniest, pen-sized hole. That was enough to convince me to use one of these any time I'm handling propane whether it's for camping or for the barbecue pit in my own backyard."
Kelty Loveseat Camp Chair

Kelty Loveseat Camp Chair

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
The ideal camping chair for couples, families, or anyone who wants extra room to stretch out.
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If you like the idea of cozying up around the campfire with your significant other, or you have little ones that like to stay close, you'll love Kelty's Loveseat Camp Chairs. Each side has its own cup holder, because of course it does. For 50% more coziness, you can also snag a throw blanket for those cool nights.
Kristin D
-Kristin D
Why Kristin Loves It"In regular camping chairs you just sit by yourself. And you can't share a blanket with anyone else. In the camping loveseat you get to sit next to someone. You can also share a blanket around the campfire. Extra bonus - if you have more than one kid who wants to sit with you, this is the THE CHAIR. Me and my two kids fit perfectly. Everyone fits, everyone's cozy and everyone's happy! Extra Extra bonus - it's not just for camping! Think soccer games, picnics and yard parties. You can't go wrong with this chair!"
Au-Tomotive Gold Hitch Covers

Au-Tomotive Gold Hitch Covers

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A chance to add a little personality to your vehicle and hitch.
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On the functional side, these covers help prevent corrosion in your hitch receiver when it’s not in use. But the real draw of the Automotive Gold Hitch Covers is, well, they just look cool. You can show off your truck brand loyalty, honor the US military branches and police, or go with a bad*** skull and crossbones. With nearly 200 options available, you’re sure to find something to make your vehicle feel like you.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love ItThe truck-brand covers have made great gifts for my family of die-hard Ford fans. Who doesn't love adding a little personality to their vehicle?
Rightline Gear Moki Door Step

Rightline Gear Moki Door Step

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A portable step that hooks on your car door's latch and provides easy access to your roof.
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Vehicles are getting taller, and humans...well, a lot of us are still vertically challenged. If you carry bikes or other cargo on your vehicle's roof and struggle to reach, the Moki Door Step will be your best friend. It's a popular choice down in our shop, where our teammates are always loading gear on and off tall trucks and SUVs.
Rachael H
-Rachael H
Why Rachael Loves It"Affordable, convenient as an add on to all your roof top adventure toys. Has a large weight capacity that would fit a variety of neighbors. It is smaller to store away when not in use than many of the other tire steps, or similar items."
CargoSmart Car Top Carrier

CargoSmart Car Top Carrier

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A water-resistant cargo bag perfect for camping trips and family vacations.
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One of my favorite parts about driving on long road trips (rather than flying) is that I get to bring that much more stuff along. If you’ve got a family, this is even more important. The CargoSmart Soft-Sided Car Top Carrier is a great road trip companion designed to give you extra storage space on your roof and keep your stuff out of the elements. This bag can hold 10 cubic feet of gear, which is around the equivalent of 3 average mini-fridges.
Jacob J.
-Jacob J
Why I Love It"Road trips are awesome. Leaving your gear behind is not. What if I want to bring my camp stove AND my cornhole set AND my good camp chairs? Well, now I can."
Camco Mini Dehumidifier

Camco Mini Dehumidifier

WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
A dehumidifier to reduce moisture and keep your RV or boat from smelling like a middle school locker room
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Wherever moisture lives, mold, mildew, and musty odors will follow. This wallet-friendly, electricity-free dehumidifier reduces moisture in enclosed spaces such as RVs, boats, or trailers. Since it’s not always feasible to plug in a dehumidifier when your rig’s awaiting its next adventure, this is a great alternative to keeping things fresh and dry for 3 to 6 weeks at a time.
Amber S
-Amber S
Why I Love It"Mold wreaks havoc on my allergies. Tossing one of these into an enclosed space is pretty much the easiest way to ensure it stays mold-free. And I can't overstate how much I love NOT breathing in mold."
Got a favorite camping product that didn't make the list? Let us know in the comments!
About the Authors: The etrailer writing team (otherwise known as the Scribe Tribe) values collaboration and teamwork in all aspects of our job. We meet weekly to discuss writing fundamentals and principles to support one another and sharpen our skills both as writers and etrailer content creators. While most of the articles on our site have a primary author, they are all edited and approved by every member of the writing team before being submitted to our formal review team. We believe that this helps us continue to provide the highest quality content for all our readers. This article that you have just read is something special. This was a collaborative effort from the entire team from the very beginning, working in tandem to amass all our opinions, knowledge, and thoughts into a comprehensive article. We consider these articles unique opportunities to show you a team dynamic we are legitimately proud of, as well as our own individual styles, all of which offer different, but complementary views to provide you with the best and most complete information we possibly can. We hope you enjoy our effort.
Updated: 4/4/24Written by: Jacob J., Izzy B., and Amber S.

Brendan O.

5/13/2024

I'll take 5 of those American flag hitch covers please :)



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