Car Camping Gift Guide

Outdoor folk love two things most: trips and gear. In case you don’t already have the trip planned — or even if you do — we’ve created a serious guide to help you out with the gear. The holidays are fast approaching, too. We know, we know — there’s basically too much gear to make fully informed decisions, so we created a curated guide of some of our favorite camping products.

We’ve split the products into High-End Gifts, Mid-Range Gifts, and Budget Gifts, because we know you have a budget in mind for that lucky Camper. These gifts are specifically tailored to the Car Camper — those relaxed nature-lovers who pull out the chairs, s’mores, and cast iron. It’s easy to find something to give them, but hard to find the right thing. Enjoy the highly curated list of gifts your Car Camper buddy, relative, or significant other will love.

High-End Gifts

REI Kingdom 4 — $389

rei kingdom 4 Car Camping Gift Guide

Never crawl through your tent again. The REI Kingdom 4 camping tent has an impressive six-foot ceiling that gives you plenty of head room, and a massive footprint that will absolutely fit four adults or a small family. This palatial shelter will keep you warm and dry through spring rain and fall frost. Supersize mesh doors and a full-length mesh ceiling lets in cooling breezes while keeping bugs and critters out. Add-ons like the Garage make it easy to customize this tent for longer trips or a larger group. This tent won our Premium Pick award for the Car Camper.

An excellent gift for anyone that wants a palace at the campsite. Also great for tall campers, older campers, or a family that wants true space.

Check out the REI Co-Op Kingdom 4 Tent. Also, if you want a bigger version (that also has an awesome two-room design), consider the REI Kingdom 6. It’s a beast.

Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover — $119

patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t fleece Car Camping Gift Guide

Patagonia’s Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover is the most comfortable thing you’ll ever wear, and it’s made from more than 80% recycled materials. With 27 color combinations, you can pick something simple, classic, hipster or hippie for the Camper on your list. A small chest pocket keeps the essentials close at hand as you snuggle up under this fleece around the campfire.

An excellent gift for your friend, relative or significant other who always wears their sleeping bag around camp as a sweater every night. Also great for the Camper who’s been wearing the same sweater/sweatshirt/fleece for so long it’s got holes.

Check out the women’s Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover and the men’s Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover.

Camp Chef Everest Stove — $124.99

camp chef everest stove Car Camping Gift Guide

Those who cook at camp love the Camp Chef Everest Stove. Impressive dual burners produce 20,000 BTUs of power each, and matchless ignition gets you cooking fast. Powerful, portable, and large enough for two full-sized pans all make this stove a no-brainer for cooking at camp. It simmers on a dime, too, so you can let that rice dish stew on low while tending the fire. This stove won our Premium Pick award for the Car Camper, and for good reason.

An excellent gift for chefs, gourmet or not, looking to whip up large and small meals in front of the fire.

Check out the Camp Chef Everest Stove.

NEMO Stargazer Chairs — $169.95-$219.95

nemo stargazer chairs Car Camping Gift GuideNEMO’s new Stargazer Chairs wowed us at Outdoor Retailer this summer, and they’re on the Backpackers.com team wishlist. They are brand new, and promise peak comfort at the campsite. The suspended design allows the Stargazer to rock gently for those fidgety campers you know, or lean completely back and enjoy the sky in a reclined position. Just be careful you don’t share — you’ll have a hard time kicking your friends out of this chair. The Stargazers come in Luxury, Regular, and Low models. The Luxury is obviously the best (it’s the one pictured), but the others recline really well, too.

An excellent gift for the sky-obsessed, comfort seekers, and Campers who want the dopest, newest gear.

Check out the NEMO Stargazer chair’s three versions: Luxury, Regular and Low.

REI Camp Bed 3.5 — $119-$129

rei camp bed 3.5 Car Camping Gift Guide

The REI Camp Bed 3.5 Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is deluxe in a way you probably didn’t know was possible. The self-inflating pad has a thick foam core that’s a full 3.5 inches when inflated, which means some of the best tent sleeping you’ll ever get. It’s made with durable fabric, is leak free, easy to inflate, and cushy. This sleeping pad won our Classic Pick award for the Car Camper due to the comfort and price, which is not that high when all things are considered.

An excellent gift for your camping companions who complain they’re never comfortable, as well as anyone who likes a thick, firm bed.

Check out the REI Co-op Camp Bed 3.5 Sleeping Pad.

The North Face Cat’s Meow — $179

The North Face Cat's Meow 22 Sleeping Bag stock 2017 Car Camping Gift GuideThe North Face Cat’s Meow 22 Sleeping Bag is a premium synthetic mummy sleeping bag that will warm the coldest hearts in camp. This roomy version of a mummy bag gives you plenty of space to wiggle while still maintaining even heat all around. This sleeping bag won our Premium Pick award for the Car Camper because of how easy it to use, and because it works equally well as a backpacking sleeping bag. Nothing like versatility, especially if it fits two activities extremely well.

An excellent gift for Campers looking for gear that lasts — some Cat’s Meow fans have been camping with theirs for decades. Also great for Campers that say, “Well, I mostly car camp, but I want a bag that will work for a few backpacking trips, too!”.

Check out The North Face Cat’s Meow 22 for men, and The North Face Cat’s Meow 22 for women.

Mid-Range Gifts

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp — $49.95

black diamond storm headlamp Car Camping Gift Guide

Black Diamond’s Storm Headlamp is adventure-ready. With 350 lumens of light and a waterproof casing, the Storm will quickly become your go-to headlamp. White, red and green lights give you the flexibility to hike, read, or venture out of your tent in the dark with confidence. It will remember your light settings, has a lock mode, and is fully dimmable on any color.

An excellent gift for Campers who always say their headlamp isn’t bright enough. Also works for for those who want one headlamp for every activity — this bad boy is a dream in the backcountry or frontcountry.

Check out the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp.

YETI Loadout Bucket — $39.99

yeti loadout bucket Car Camping Gift Guide

YETI’s Loadout Bucket takes a simple product and gives it the YETI makeover. This means an insaley durable, functional, and thoughtfully designed bucket. It’s food safe, has easy-carry points, tie-out points, and won’t slip around. Loadout fans are obsessed with it’s sleek design, calling it the “gretaest bucket of all time.”

An excellent gift for the Camper who catches fish, keeps a bucket of water on hand for emergencies, or takes their current house bucket (that $4 one from Home Depot) to the campsite. Upgrade their bucket life.

Check out the YETI Loadout Bucket.

Lodge Pro-Grid Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle — $80

Lodge Pro-Grid Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle Car Camping Gift GuideThe Pro-Grid Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle from Lodge is the definition of heavy duty cooking. A cast-iron build, the Pro-Grid Grill/Griddle comes pre-seasoned, has handles for easy transport, and generous drip trays. But the real feature is that it’s reversible — flat on one side, ridged on the other. Pancakes in the morning, steak at night. Yum. You can set it over a campfire, on a camp stove, or on your grill at home.

An excellent gift for the Camper who wants a do-it-all cooking surface that will last forever.

Check out the Lodge Pro-Grid Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle.

Therm-a-Rest Slacker Single Hammock — $69.95

therm-a-rest slacker single hammock Car Camping Gift GuideThe Therm-a-Rest Slacker Single Hammock is well named, and meant for the Camper that wants to chill. Not meant as an overnight shelter, the Slacker is for reading lazily next to the river or mid-day naps while the kids draw circles in the dirt. It packs down small and is soft to the touch. Note that it doesn’t come with straps, so you’ll need to grab those separately.

An excellent gift for the Camper that wants way more relaxation than a chair. Or for the individual who’ll hang a hammock at home, take it into the woods, and generally live out of it whenever they can.

Check out the Therm-a-Rest Slacker Single Hammock. The Slacker Double is recommended for larger groups or families with multiple kids.

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket — $99

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket stock 2017 Car Camping Gift Guide

Rumpl’s Original Puffy Blanket is a cozy, comfy throw. Made of synthetic material, it’s meant to be unrolled, spread wide, and laid across a Camper lounging in a hammock, chair, or tent. An extra layer of warmth that’s soft to the touch and easy to pack up on the fly. There’s really no reason to camp without one, so it’s worth grabbing one.

An excellent gift for the Camper who always complains of the cold. Also meant for the blanket-hogging people in your life. Toss ’em this, and you’ll be asking for a bit of theirs next time around.

Check out the Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket.

National Parks Pass — $79.99

national parks annual pass Car Camping Gift GuideWe love our National Parks, and if you have a difficult Camper who needs a gift, an Annual National Parks Pass is the way to go. This pass gets you entry to over 2,000 national recreation areas for a full year. We’ve written about buying a National Parks Pass for yourself before, because this land is our land and it’s meant to be explored. Think of it as the gift that keeps on giving.

An excellent gift for someone looking to get outside and explore new places, for friends hoping to check all 59 National Parks off their list, or for families living near any of the 2,000 national recreation areas included in the Pass.

Check out the Annual National Parks Pass.

Budget Gifts

Estwing Sportsman’s Leather Axe — $39.99

Estwing Sportsman's Leather Axe stock image 2017 Car Camping Gift Guide

The Estwing Sportsman’s Leather Axe has any number of useful applications around camp, beyond looking cool when lodged in a tree trunk. Splitting your firewood into kindling-sized chunks is the main goal, but it’s handy for emergencies, axe-throwing contests, and hammering in difficult tent stakes. It sports a real leather grip, is made in the USA, and works as an axe should.

An excellent gift for the Camper who likes to take time with their campfire construction. Also works for anyone who has always wanted an axe — but who hasn’t, really?

Check out the Estwing Sportsman’s Leather Axe.

LuminAID PackLite Spectra USB — $24.99

luminaid packlite spectra usb stock image 2017 Car Camping Gift Guide

LuminAID’s PackLite Sepctra USB solar lantern is an amazing little product. Originally designed for developing countries and communities without reliable electricity, this lantern is solar powered, can float, has a strap for easy attachment, collapses to almost nothing when the air is pressed out, and weighs very little. The Spectra version has 9 color modes, 12 hours of light, and is waterproof. You won’t get a blinding amount of life, but it certainly enhances camp life. Oh, and it charges via micro-USB if you don’t have enough sun.

An excellent gift for the Camper who likes to have fun with multi-colored lights, decks of cards, and create an ambience in camp. Also serves as an extremely useful emergency light, which is what it was originally designed for.

Check out the LuminAID PackLite Spectra USB. And if you don’t want a color-changing one, get the PackLite Max USB.

PackTowl Personal Towel — $9.95 – $39.95

packtowl personal towel Car Camping Gift Guide

PackTowl’s Personal Towel comes in four handy sizes and a bunch of colors. Our favorite is the Hand Towel size, but if the Camper on your list is looking for a larger quick-dry microfiber towel, consider a the Body or Beach sizes. These towels are soft, oh-so-packable, and surprisingly light. You could even get a couple sizes if you know they want to swim and cook (who doesn’t?).

An excellent gift for any Camper that loves dedicated camping gear and those obsessed with microfiber (we know you’re out there).

Check out the PackTowl Personal Towel.

Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle 1.1QT — $24.90

Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle 1.1QT stock image 2017 Car Camping Gift GuideStanley’s Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle is quite literally a classic. You probably used one in a campsite as a child, and the tried-and-true insulated bottle is still worth its weight in piping hot liquid. The handle makes it easy to carry and the 32-ounce capacity means you’ll have a warm drink or meal to pass around the campsite all night (and even the next morning). The lid turns into a cup, and the bottle is built like a tank. As we said, classic for a reason. We prefer the 1.1 QT version, which is 32 ounces, but Stanley offers them in a variety of sizes.

An excellent gift for the Camper who loves hot liquid. Coffee, tea, soup — even hot sake — work excellently in this bottle.

Check out the Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle 1.1QT.

GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug — $9.95

gsi outdoors infinity backpacker bug stock image 2017 Car Camping Gift GuideThe GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug is a straightforward camp staple. It’s lightweight, made of durable plastic, has a cozy to keep your drink warm, and a loose handle for easy gripping. You can seal it shut so it won’t spill, and use the plastic mug as a measuring cup. Pretty impressive for its price.

An excellent gift for the Camper who wants an outdoor specific mug, or a cook who likes to measure out liquids and drink a lot of coffee. Also great for Backpackers, so this works well as a versatile piece of kit.

Check out the GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug.


Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This guide contains affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content. This guide also includes products recommended to us by brands, but we don’t include anything we don’t love ourselves.

Daniel Zweier

Daniel Zweier is Editor-in-Chief of Backpackers.com. Beyond orchestrating the daily flow of Backpackers.com, Daniel writes surrealistic short fiction and novels, adventures into the backcountry and abroad, surfs, reads, drinks tea, and obsesses over gear. A lot of gear. Visit his website if you want to learn more about his authorial pursuits.

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