The Best Camping Gadgets of 2024

These pieces of gear make camping all the more enjoyable

Best Light

best camping gadget for lighting

Big Agnes mtnGLO

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Best Multi Tool

Gerber Stake Out

Best Sleeping Pad Pump

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Micro Pump 

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Who doesn’t love walking the aisles of your local outdoor store or surfing the web for sweet camping gadgets we don’t need but want? I am admittedly a collector of gear—many pieces my wife says I don’t need. My argument: camping gadgets make the trip more fun and luxurious. I love prepping and packing for my trips into the wild. I venture into my gear shed and search the shelves for gear that will enhance my car camping or backpacking trip. Over my lifetime, I’ve backpacked over 6,000 miles and slept outside over 1,000 times, so I have some strong opinions. Here are some of the best camping gadgets and some newer ones that I can’t wait to introduce into my regular camping routine. 

How I Chose the Best Camping Gadgets

I looked through my gear shed and thought about what products I’ve used over and over again. I also considered a few newer products I’ve recently come across that seem like they’ll stay front and center in my gear collection. 

Best Camping Gadgets: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Light: Big Agnes mtnGLO Tent and Camp Lights

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Key Features

  • 100 inches of lights
  • Option to make them a lantern
  • Clips attach the lights to anything


  • Lightweight
  • Two lighting options


  • Not USB rechargeable
Light up your tent and create ambience. Justin La Vigne

From the day these came out, I have used them on almost every camping and backpacking trip. At 2 ounces, I can even justify packing these for the backcountry. 

They do not replace a headlamp but do add ambiance and even enough light on high to read in my backpacking tent. I even have a set of these above the headboard at my yurt. I have the older version that has two settings (low and high), while the newer version flickers. When you stuff the lights in their translucent bag, it becomes a lantern. 

They do need three AAA batteries, but can be powered (not charged) by a USB port. Several clips allow you to hang them in your tent or from an awning at your campsite. There are three options: regular white, red, or blue/green.  

Best Towel: PackTowl UltraLite Hand Towel

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Key Features

  • Weight: 1.5 ounces
  • Microfiber
  • Machine washable
  • Snap button hang loop


  • Anti-pill
  • Fast-drying
  • Made in USA


  • Only Personal and Luxe towels feature odor control
Use a PackTowl to wipe condensation.
Use a PackTowl to wipe off tent condensation. Ashley Thess

This ultralight hand towel is soft, absorbent, and quick drying. While backpacking, a towel seems like an unnecessary luxury, but when it takes up minimal space and weighs less than 2 ounces, it becomes a staple. The hand towel is ideal for a quick-dry after taking a dip in an alpine lake, wiping the condensation off your tent, or drying a pot. It doesn’t feel abrasive like some microfiber towels and its 70 percent polyester and 20 percent nylon construction is anti-pill for durability and comfort. 

The hang loop allows you to dry your PackTowl while you hike.
The hang loop allows you to dry your PackTowl while you hike. Ashley Thess

The end of the towel has a snap button hang loop so you can attach it to the outside of your pack while you hike. This way it can air dry and you don’t have to stuff a still-wet item back in your bag. It doesn’t take long to dry, and is ready to use again by lunch. The compact size and fast drying makes it great for car camping and travel, too.

Best Sleeping Pad Pump: Thermarest NeoAir Micro Pump

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Key Features

  • Inflate and deflates your pad in minutes
  • Simple one button use


  • Saves time 
  • Saves energy
  • No moisture gets in the pad
  • Lightweight


  • Expensive
  • Only works with Therm-a-rest winglock valves

This is the one gadget my wife claims we actually need. I owned the original pump for the twist-lock valve, but when Therm-a-rest upgraded their pads, I forked over the $40 to buy the pump that works with the new winglock valve. With a weight of just 2.3 ounces, this is a luxury worth carrying. No more huffing and puffing to blow up mattresses at camp after a long day of huffing and puffing on the trail. 

The tiny pump saves time and your lungs by inflating the best sleeping pads in less than 3 minutes. This is especially important when you’re camping at higher altitudes and already out of breath from the hike. The other benefit to not blowing up a pad is that no moisture from your breath inside can add weight and create mold.

Deflation is equally easy with the pump. No more folding, squeezing, sitting, and laying on your pad to get all the air out. Just attach the deflate side of the pump and turn it on. All the air gets sucked out, making it super easy to roll it up. 

Best Campfire Accessory: Solo Stove Campfire Gear Kit

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Key Features

  • Stainless steel
  • Natural wood-burning fuel
  • Campfire or cooking options


  • Lightweight
  • Fun
  • Nests together


  • Can get dirty/sooty
The Solo Stove Mesa is a petite but powerful smokeless tabletop fire pit. Justin La Vigne

It seems every household has a Solo Stove, or some version of it these days. This is the mini and more portable version. It weighs just over 2 pounds, so an easy accessory to transport from the car to any campsite. 

I like that I just need some smaller twigs and sticks to get a small fire going. We use this on our outdoor eating table to keep the bugs away and add a little ambiance. 

The two pots (3L and 1.5L) are perfect for cooking meals, and the sturdy tripod allows you to hang and cook over it easily.  

Best Tote Bag: Yeti Camino 35 Carryall

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Key Features

  • Stands up on its own
  • Weatherproof construction
  • Can carry a lot


  • Yeti Quality
  • Durable


  • Expensive

When I first got this 35-liter bag, I balked at the stiff price. However, I quickly realized the price equaled the Yeti quality and reputation. I have years of using and abusing this bag—adding up to hundreds of times—to verify its durability.

Even though the bag weighs 3.1 pounds, it can carry an insane amount of weight (1,500 pounds), and the handles are easy to manage and grip. The bag has one huge top opening with a smaller zippered pocket inside that can be closed with a simple latch. (Do note this not a cooler).  

The sides are stiff and stand up straight, so protect whatever food you pack in. The welded construction combined with thick, durable waterproof material makes this bomb-proof. It is also super easy to clean and can be wiped down both inside and outside. 

Best Multi Tool: Gerber Stake Out

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Key Features

  • 11 tools
  • Built-in carabiner
  • 3 ounces


  • Lightweight
  • Useful tools
  • Bonus tool unique to the stake out
  • Durable
  • Carabiner clip


  • No pocket clip
  • No serrated blade

This is one of the newest tools from Gerber, and I really dig some of the unique features and all the tools packed into this 3.3-ounce package. The whole package has a gate clip carabiner that can clip to your bag, belt, or anything you want it to.  

This multi tool has a stake puller that makes removing stakes much easier. Justin La Vigne

The 2.2-inch plain edge blade with a liner lock fits perfectly in my hand and can handle any campground chore. The knife is very easy to open one-handed. The scissors are strong and can through hard plastic like a zip tie. Other tools are the awl, ruler, ferro rod, sharp saw, and file. 

Every single tweezer the best multi tools is dark in color and easily gets lost on the ground. However, this one has a bright orange handle that is easy to spot if you place it down. The tweezers stick in the carabiner on the tool to stay stored until needed, but the orange handle makes them easy to find quickly. The tweezers are also very strong and easily pulled out several rose bush thorns while bush-whacking in Alaska.

Another feature that stuck out to me compared with other multitools is the “tent stake puller.” I never thought I would need a tool to pull out stakes, but as soon as I used it, I couldn’t go back to my old methods of kicking the stake to loosen and using my hand. The J-hook tool folds out directly from the handle in the middle of the tool, 

Best Lantern: Biolite AlpenGlow 500

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Key Features

  • White variable light options
  • Multiple color options
  • Multiple mode options
  • USB Rechargeable
  • Power port


  • Several light options (flickering, constant, multiple colors)
  • Controlled by shaking the lantern


  • Sometimes difficult to find the light you want
  • Expensive

This rechargeable LED lantern features nine different modes, switched with a quick shake (I do admit this feature is sometimes finicky). The regular white 500-lumen setting can illuminate an entire camp. Or just spice up camp with a romantic glow using the softer colors. The multiple color options can be solid, flicker, fireworks, or cycle through the colors, which reminds me of the dancing northern lights I see in the winter. The bottom has a simple on/off button that also allows you to shift through the many color options. 

The 13-ounce package has a metal hanger on top so you can hang it from your tent, deck, or camper. It is rechargeable and can last up to 200 hours (on low). There is also a USB port if you need to use it to charge another device. There is a mini 250-lumen version of this for sale too. 

Best Seat: Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat

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Key Features

  • Closed foam construction 
  • Provides comfort and warmth
  • Simple construction


  • Insulation
  • Comfortable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight


  • None
A light and packable seat. Justin La Vigne

This is a game-changer for every trip I am on. The 2-ounce weight is negligible, so there is actually no excuse not to carry this. It provides a barrier between your butt and the ground—key for me when taking a break during a XC ski or snowshoe trip. It not only provides comfort, but some warmth. 

When you can’t carry one the best camping chairs, this portable option is convenient to bring anywhere. It folds like an accordion and opens up to a 13 x 16-inch seat. I use this when sitting on snow, wet ground, hard ground, alpine tundra cover with berries, at a picnic table, at a concert or sporting event, kneeling on the ground doing gardening work, and so much more. It can also be a great addition to your first add kit as a splint or a bit more cushion under your sleeping pad. When I am guiding clients on a hiking adventure, I bring one for them. 

There is an option to buy it with ThermaCapture, which has some heating properties by reflecting your body heat back up to you, which I use for winter activities. 

Have I convinced you yet?

Best Fire Pit Tool: Pit Command Ranger

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Key Features

  • 3 in 1 tool for fit pits
  • Made of carbon steel
  • Molded safe grip


  • Three tools 
  • Durable construction that will last a lifetime


  • Expensive for a fire poker

No more scrounging around looking for a stick to poke your fire and watching it break or burn. This carbon steel tool has a small ax at the end, serrated hook for gripping and rolling logs and a poker so you can prod your fire all night long. 

It is beefy, but lightweight at 1 pound 9 ounces. The oversized molded rubber gripped handle does not get hot. At 26 inches long, it is perfect for medium size fires. 

I have been using this the last couple of months with my Solo Stove and around the campfire and I am hooked, literally. 

READ NEXT: Camping Hacks

Things to Consider When Choosing Camping Gadgets

Make sure you understand what you are getting and that you really think you will use it. I look in my gear shed and sometimes shake my head at what I have bought on a whim. A lot of my cool gadgets come from reading publications like this, as I am admittedly a gear junkie. Whenever I hang around camping buddies, I always find something new I want but probably don’t need. 

Why Trust Outdoor Life?

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Advertising does not influence our gear reviews and it never will. While we always focus our coverage on standout products—because we want our readers to be aware of the latest and greatest gear—we also cover the flaws and quirks of any given product.

Final Thoughts

Once you have all the bigger gear that makes you comfortable and ready for backpacking or camping, it is time to think about some luxury items. There is no reason you can’t bring fun gear to spice up your trip, but it’s all about personal preference. 


Justin La Vigne

Freelance Writer