Best Gear For Summer Adventure And Travel: 2021

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Our most favorite time of year is practically here and we’re positively giddy.  That’s right, we’re talking about SUMMER! 

Long days, beautiful weather and a goal to pack in as much fun together as we possibly can.  To help you create your best summer yet, we’ve partnered with some pretty spectacular brands to bring your our 2021 Summer Gear Guide for Road Trips and Outdoor Adventure. 

Below you’ll find some of our all time favorite brands and a few new ones that are all working to make your families adventures even better.  

summer gear guide for adventure and travel

Fenix Lighting

We are huge believers that there are a few pieces of gear that can make ALL the difference in your summer adventures.  You know, the kind of gear that you’ll grab for everything from car camping, to remote wilderness expeditions, and even for the road trip out to visit grandma.  

Right here we’re talking about lighting, and we are thrilled to have Fenix sponsor this gear guide because their lights are simply outstanding.   Truly, some of the best, brightest and most durable lights on the market, if you’re ready to invest in a great light for your summer adventures, Fenix is the place to go.  

Fenix CL30R Rechargeable Camping Lantern

This camping lantern is absolutely fantastic, and you’ll love it for all your adventures.  Perfect for everything from hanging out in the backyard at home to late nights hanging out at camp.  Packed with functions like 5 different light settings (perfect for when you want to be awake, but not wake the kids up), and my favorite feature is the USB charging port so that you can easily charge your phone or camera while you sleep.  Our camping lantern goes with us on almost every trip, and is amazing for games, bathroom trips, putting kids to bed and even the dreaded late night dish washing at camp!

Fenix HL18R-T  Rechargeable Headlamp

Headlamps are a must have item in our home, and our kids are all absolutely obsessed with them.  They get used multiple times a week when the weather is good, between our outdoor adventures, and the kids night games with neighborhood friends.  This rechargale headlamp from Fenix is amazing because not only does it have a rechargeable battery pack, but you can also run it off of AAA batteries if you run out of power.  I also really love that the band quickly adjusts with a dial so I can switch it out between kids easily.  

Fenix E28R Rechargeable Flashlight

My love for flashlights started as a kid, and was passed onto me from my dad.  Every year he would give all of us a really cool flashlight for Christmas, and I know that if he saw this light, he would go WILD!  The E28R flashlight has a 1500 lumen brightness and can shine over 600 feet away!  This flashlight is packed full of features like a battery level indicator (brilliant) and it’s dustproof and waterproof, so it’s the perfect flashlight for whatever you have in store this summer.  Hint: This would also make a fantastic Fathers Day Gift if you know a dad that loves flashlights as much as mine does!

Iksplor Merino Wool Adventure Blanket

If you’ve been around Bring The Kids for a while, you know that our love of Iksplor Merino Wool runs deep.  Their merino wool is the only merino that my sensitive skin son will wear, and the quality and durability is fantastic.  Not only do they make great base layers, but Iksplor also has a pretty amazing Merino Wool adventure blanket that we love.  This blanket is about the same size as an oversized swaddle, and is the perfect size for not just babies, but all young kids to have on the go.  My 4 and 7 year old boys regularly pack it with us on chilly evenings, and it’s also a regular for trips to the beach and river (the merino does an incredible job of keeping kids warm even when it’s wet).  If you know a kid who loves a little extra comfort or warmth while out exploring, this is the perfect piece to grab them.  The Iksplor Adventure Blanket is also the perfect gift for new moms (oh how I wish these were around when my kids were babies!)

Save 20% on your order with code BringTheKids at checkout

Dude Ranchers Association

If you’re looking for an unforgettable family vacation experience this summer, consider visiting a Dude Ranch!  Dude ranches are amazing family vacation destinations where you can really find something fun for all ages.  A dude ranch vacation is really perfect for just about whatever you’re looking for this summer.  Since dude ranches are smaller and more intimate that a typical resort, they’re perfect for multigenerational travel, family reunions, groups of friends, couples weekends…a dude ranch is perfect for all of it.  My favorite thing about a trip like this is not only do you get away into nature, but it’s a great way for kids to experience something totally new and to learn some of the responsibilities required to run a large ranching operation (an experience that is hard to replicate in any other environment).  

Oboz Sypes Hiking Boots for Men and Women

Every parent out there needs a good, solid pair of hiking boots, and the Oboz Sypes are a fantastic option.

We love that these leather hiking boots are made of durable materials so you can expect them to keep performing on the trail season after season.  I also love that these Sypes boots are also designed with style in mind, in addition to function, so they work well to wear around town in addition to on the trail.  Of course, all the Oboz Sypes boots are waterproof so you can wear them in all conditions, and the traction is rugged enough to really help you stand your ground when the weather gets bad.   These shoes are wonderfully green with an insole made from algae, and the webbing and laces are made from recycled plastic bottles.  

This season, reward yourself for all the miles you put in while hauling kids (and their gear) with a fantastic pair of leather hiking boots from Oboz!

Sabre PepperLight, 2-in-1 Pepper Spray and Flashlight

If you’re looking for the ultimate safety device for your summer adventures, you’ll want to grab the Sabre PepperLight.  This great little device is part light and part pepper spray all in one.  We love that Sabre put together it’s brightest flashlight combined with police strength pepper spray to help provide maximum safety and protection.  I love that it’s super compact so I can throw it in my pocket when I’m out on an adventure, and especially for my early morning runs and bike riding.  These are also great for keeping in the car to use when you might have car trouble and need some backup safety.  My favorite feature about the Sabre PepperLight?  It has 25 pepper blasts so it lasts A LONG TIME!  Whether you’re looking for protection from an attack, an animal, or just want a little peace of mind, the PepperLight is perfect for summer adventures.  

Glamping Hub Luxury Camping Accommodations

Are you looking for a unique way to enjoy a luxury vacation that still works out well for your kids?  Then glamping might just be perfect for you.  A combination of “glamour” and “camping”, glamping gives you all of the comforts of home (and then some), in an outdoor setting.  Glamping Hub was created to be your ultimate resource for booking Glamping trips all over the world.  The best part about glamping is that you don’t need to sacrifice your comforts in order to have an amazing outdoor experience together with your family.  For all of you parents who love the idea of camping, but hate sleeping on the ground, Glamping Hub may just be the perfect answer to your problem!  Just within a few hours of our home, I was able to find glamping accommodations in yurts, tiny homes, cabins, tents, conestoga wagons, and even a treehouse – the possibilities are amazing.  Give your family an experience they won’t forget this summer with Glamping Hub accommodations.  

Shred Dog Kids Fleece Jacket and Base Layers

Shred dog gear

Shred Dog has quickly become our kids go to brand for their winter outerwear, but the truth is, we’re wearing their gear YEAR ROUND.  You see, Shred Dog is designed to be a layering system with base layers, fleece, puffy jackets and waterproof hardshells.  As temperatures warm up, my kids are changing up their layering, and regularly grabbing just their fleece jacket or base layer from Shred Dog, depending on the weather.  Their fleeces are our favorite for kids because they are super soft on the inside, but the outside is smooth so it stays cleaner and nicer looking, much better than traditional fleece jackets.  Shred Dog base layers are some of our favorite synthetic base layers ever.  They’re soft on the inside, and just thick enough for cool evenings after the sun goes down.  The base layer tops are fantastic with their ¼ zip neck, but our favorite are the base layer bottoms, which my daughter wears to school as leggings (except much warmer and thicker than traditional leggings.  If you’re looking for kids layering pieces that can be worn all year, look to Shred Dog.

USE CODE BTK25 for 25% off any Shred Dog Order

Stanley Legendary Camp Mug

Are you looking for a great way to enjoy your favorite drink while on the go this summer?  Look no further than the Stanley Legendary Camp Mug.  This 12 oz mug is insulated and will keep drinks hot for 1.5 hours, cold for 3 hours, and can insulate an iced drink for an amazing 15 hours.  The secure lid helps to prevent spilling, and I absolutely love that it can just be thrown in the dishwasher (unlink many insulated mugs and bottles).  Of course, the Stanley Legendary Camp Mug comes in 5 different colors so it’s easy to get one for every member of the family and not get them mixed up!  This mug is perfect for around town, on the go, and especially around the campfire.  

Ravean Portable Hand Warmer/Power Bank

While it would be absolutely amazing if everything about summer were WARM, there are a lot of times that we’re dealing with unwanted cold during the summer.  Whether that’s from cool temperatures at high altitude or maybe paddling a mountain river, Ravean has come up with a great way to help warm your hands and feet up.  The Ravean electric hand charger can stay warm for up to 8 hours on one charge and the cork wrapping does a great job of helping it retain heat and transfer that right to your body.  I love how small and compact it is, so it’s easy to throw in your pack any time you think you’ll get cold (or if you’re a parent, when your kids will get cold and need some help to warm up).  As a great feature, this hand warmer can also double as a power bank and it can charge a small mobile device, like a phone 1.5 times from one charge, so it’s perfect to grab this summer when you’re always on the go and still need a charge.  This hand warmer is perfect for traveling, watching sports games, cold mornings around camp, and any other time you need to warm up.  

GCI Outdoor FirePit Rocker

If you’re looking to really set up your outdoor comfort, think about investing in a great outdoor chair this year.  GCI Outdoor has long been the experts when it comes to portable outdoor chairs, so it should come as no surprise that we absolutely love their folding rocking chairs.  The FirePit Rocker is a great place to relax at the end of a long day with a mesh backrest and drink holder to help you be comfortable and the GCI Patented rocking technology for a smooth rocking glide on nearly any flat surface.  We love that it quickly folds flat and that it has a built in carry handle so you never have to worry about stuffing it into a bag.  The lower seat height gives you a more relaxed feel than traditional camping chairs and also makes it great for camping with kids since the lower center of gravity makes this chair even more stable.  Perfect for everything from backyard bbq’s to the campfire, and even to the lake or a baseball game!

Asorbits Moisture Removal Bags for Electronics

“Hey kids, you should sneak up behind Dad and push him into the pool” I told my kids while we were traveling in Indonesia.  It sounded like a great idea until my husband jumped out of the pool, furious.  His phone was in his pocket, and he absolutely had to have it to do work.  

Had we known about Asorbits moisture removal pouches, we might have been able to save the phone.  Instead, we spent a very frustrated month trying to sort out the phone situation, since the nearest Apple store was in another country!  Asorbits pouches are designed for situations, just like mine, to allow you to recover your electronics after they get wet.  Their patented technology can remove moisture from your mobile device within just a few hours, which is an absolute game changer.  If you plan on spending time near water this summer, buy an Asorbit pouch to have on hand for emergency water damage problems (they’re a wonderful deal and so much cheaper than a new phone).

Kid-O-Bunk Portable Bunk Beds and Duvalay Duvet Cover

This is quite possibly one of the most amazing travel bed solutions that I’ve ever seen.  The Kid-O-Bunk is a convertible cot that can be a bench, a bunk bed cot, or two single cots, depending on how you set it up.  This is perfect for tight spaces, or for a sleeping solution for multiple kids.  The entire bed folds up into two easy to carry bags, so it’s simple to take with you on the go.  This would be the perfect kids travel bed for camping, trips to grandmas, or for sleepovers!

Duvalay Duvet Cover

Pair the Kid-O-Bunk beds with the Duvalay luxury duvet and pad for the perfect sleeping combination.  The Duvalay sleep system is essentially a luxury sleeping bag that’s perfectly designed to work with the Kid-O-Bunk so that your kids sleep their best no matter where they are.  The Duvalay is designed to work perfectly with the Kid-O Bunk to help your kids sleep comfortably and stay warm wherever they are this summer!

Tactica Gear Hex Drive Tool Set

Tactica Gear does a fantastic job at taking everyday tools and making them small and compact so they’re easy to take on your adventures with you.  The tool set is only 3 inches long, but with 12 different bit options, it’s like you have every screwdriver you could ever imagine at the tip of your fingertips.  This the the perfect tool if you’ve got a road trip this summer and want to be prepared for an emergency, without carrying a giant tool box.  We’re headed out in our RV for a major road trip this summer and I know this will be perfect for our RV travels, since we have so many different screw heads we are constantly adjusting.  The Tactica Gear Hex Drive Tool Set is incredibly useful, and still only weighs 6 oz and can fit into the palm of your hand.  

Reima Kids Swim Wear

Reima makes fantastic outdoor clothing for kids and their swimwear is no different.  All of their swimwear designs use bold and bright colors so it’s easy to keep an eye on your kids.  All of these pieces, the bikini, shorts, and swim shirt are made using recycled plastic bottles to help the environment and to pave the way for a better future for our children.  I also absolutely love that the entire Reima swim collection is UPF 50 sun protection, so my kids can stay on longer with less chemicals from sunscreen. 

Girls Sun Proof Bikini

This super cute girls bikini is fantastic because it’s lightweight and dries quickly. I also love that it has a wide elastic band so that girls can spend their time playing instead of tugging at their swim suit. This is a great suit for girls who want a two piece suit, and parents who want just a bit more coverage.

Kids Quick Dry Swim Shorts

The kids quick dry shorts work well as swim bottoms for both boys and girls and are perfect for adventures where a dip in the water is inevitable! We like this both as a swim trunk as well as for all around adventures so that kids can have the freedom to take a swim whenever their adventurous spirit kicks in.

Boys Short Sleeve Swim Shirt

If your child will be spending a lot of time in the water this summer, make sure to grab a swim shirt from Reima. These swim shirts are outstanding quality and their fun bold prints make them suitable for both girls and boys. Top it all off with a UPF 50 sun protection rating and you’re all ready for a summer of fun in the water.

Reima Kids Sneakers

Kids Mukaven Pull On Sneakers

The Mukaven Pull On Sneakers from Reima are an absolute dream.  They’re easy to pull on and off, are incredibly lightweight and breathable, and are also incredibly comfortable.  As a mom, I also love that these sneakers for kids can also be put in the washing machine.  These shoes are simple enough that even my 4-year-old could get them on and off alone, but they’re also stylish enough that my tween still wants to wear them.  These are the perfect simple summer sneakers for kids.  

Kids Rantaan Sandals

The Kids Rantann Sandals are an excellent shoe choice for kids this summer. The simple hook and loop closure makes them easy to get on and off and the flexible outsole makes them great for adventures at the river or the lake. Our favorite feature of the Reima Rantaan Sandals is that they can be washed in the washing machine so they always look great, no matter what your kids stomp them through!

Jelt Belt

Jelt Belts are completely changing the way that we use belts.  Their belts are made with a gripping inner liner and an elasticized waistband to help keep your pants up and in the right place.  These features make this one of the best fitting belts you’ll ever wear.  The Buckle features a now show design and a magnetic clasp making it easy to put on and take off.  The Jelt Belt is designed to move with you, so it’s perfect for everything from climbing a mountain to a night out on the town.  Jelt belts are all made from recycled plastic bottles and come in sizes to fit men, women and even kids.  

Wolf’Em Sticks

If you love cooking over a campfire, you’re going to fall in love with Wolf’em sticks.  These are the perfect design for you to create fun and delicious camping meals and deserts over the campfire.  Simple wrap a piece of biscuit dough around the wooden cooking end and bake until golden brown.  Fill the biscuit cup with your favorite foods for a sweet or a savory campfire treat.  For a savory Wolf’em, try filling yours with mashed potatoes, BBQ chicken, taco seasoning or even chicken salad.  For a sweet dessert Wolf’em, the sky is the limit and you can fill your biscuit cup with chocolate pudding, cherry pie filling, candy bars (make sure to put them in when it biscuit is still warm!), or even ice cream.  If you want an easy and fun way to take your camping meals to the next level, Wolf’em Sticks are the way to go!

Mountain Warehouse Kids Wetsuit

We’ve shared this before, but one of the quickest ways for an adventure to turn from fun to miserable is with cold kids.  In the summer, cold water always sounds enticing, but the reality is that most kids really can’t stay warm for long in cold water, so a Mountain Warehouse kids wetsuit will be a lifesaver. 

Mountain Warehouse kids wetsuits are fantastic because their long sleeves and legs really work to keep kiddos warm in cold water.  The body and shoulders have thicker insulation to help insulate the core, while the extremities have thinner insulation to help promote movement.  We also love that the neck has an adjustable closure, so every kid can get a more custom fit to their wetsuit, eliminating the common problems of neck gaping or a collar that’s too tight like many other wetsuits create.   If you’re planning any time this water in rivers, mountain lakes, northern beaches, or other cooler climates, grab your kids a wetsuit so they can enjoy the water (and so you don’t have to hear them be miserable when they get cold).  

Road Trip Survival Guide

The Road Trip Survival Guide was written by my blogging colleague Rob Taylor and is packed full of great tips to help you have an unforgettable road trip.  This book covers all you need to plan and navigate a fantastic road trip this summer.  Inside you’ll find tips for safety, road trip ideas, ideas for meals on the go, and even some incredible North American road trips you’ll be dying to take once you read about them.   Rob is one of the most trusted family travel bloggers in the United States and writes extensive articles about his travels with his 2 boys.  Hop over to his site 2traveldads.com to read more of his work.   

Pep Boys Roadside Emergency Kit

As much as we’d love to think that car trouble will never happen to us, reality doesn’t always work out that way.  Pep Boys auto is always there with friendly staff to help repair and maintain your car this summer so that it’s in great working order before your summer travels and adventures.  To make sure that you’re extra prepared for an emergency, pick up a roadside emergency kit.  This kit has jumper cables, flashlights, pliers, screwdriver, duct tape, safety blanket, poncho, tie downs, a first aid kit and more.  This kit is the perfect set to put into the back of your car (it’s all together in one enclosed bag) and always leave there in case of an emergency.  No matter what sort of car emergency you need to prepare for, PepBoys is full of great products to keep you safely on the road this summer.  

Saris Swing Arm

Does your family like to travel with bikes?  We certainly do, since exploring new places by bike is one of the best ways to really get to know a new area.  Saris is here to make your bike travel even easier this summer with their Swing Away Arm.  This cool accessory takes your hitch mounted rack and lets it swing away so that you can have free and clear access to the back hatch of your car without having to remove your bikes.  This is seriously a game changer, and makes traveling with bikes SO MUCH EASIER!  The Saris Swing Arm can easily attach to most Saris hitch racks.  We love that this bike rack accessories give families more freedom to easily travel with their bikes, without making them feel like they need to get a new bike rack that’s specifically designed for travel.  It’s fantastic!

Stonz Gear for Kids and Babies

Stonz is one of our personal favorite brands for kids and babies, and we are really loving their designs to help make your summer adventures easier with your kids.  

Sun Suits for Baby and Toddlers

Stonz Sun Suits are the perfect solution for getting your little ones outside without having to worry about the harmful effects of the sun.  These suits offer a 50 UPF UV protection, WITHOUT CHEMICALS (many brands use a chemical based UPF which could be dangerous).  Their suits are designed to be out in the sun and won’t fade even after lots of time outside.  These suits pair well with their sun hats that also offer a 50 UPF chemical protection.  

Kids Unbreakable Sunglasses

These kids sunglasses are made for babies up to age 6 and are fantastic quality.  Not only are the lenses polarized, but they offer 100% UV protection for those little eyes.  These can be bent and twisted and still not break, which is AMAZING!

Diaper Backpack

This diaper backpack from Stonz is a super functional bag, that still looks great for taking it around town or on your travels this summer.  It’s packed full of features including a wet pocket, a change pad, insulated pockets, as well as adjustable and removable stroller straps so it’s easy and simple to take along wherever your travels lead you.  

Use Code IN-BRINGTHEKIDS15 for 15% off your Stonz order

Wanderwild Kids Backpacks

I have a soft spot in my heart for parents who innovate and work hard to make fantastic gear for kids, which is one reason why I love Wanderwild backpacks so much.  Two Colorado moms who believe experiences are everything set out to design a backpack that kids could use all day to explore, learn and make memories.  The fit of Wanderwild backpacks is designed specifically for kids, and all of the details of the pack are focused on making gear that’s easy for kids to use.  You’ll find pockets in all the right places, extra straps and attachments for days that you just need more storage and of course, beautiful prints that kids will love.  These are fantastic backpacks that are great for adventure, travel, school and everything in between!

Folding Boat Company Folding Kayak

Our family loves spending time on the water paddling in the summer, but the hardest part about getting on the water is all the gear.  With a large family like ours, getting enough boats to the lake or river is always a struggle, so when I heard about the Folding Boat Company, I was instantly intrigued.   The Folding Boat Company makes kayaks that fold down and can be stored and transported in its own carrying backpack.  The entire boat only weighs 21 lbs (less than a toddler asking for a piggy back ride), so it’s super easy to take with you on your adventures.  This would be the perfect piece of gear to get you paddling a remote lake or river this summer!  The K-Pak Folding Kayak is large enough to carry one adult and one child.

Bind Buddy Hands Free Gear Holding Loop

Whenever we’re out and about as a family, either traveling, hiking, or just for a walk around the neighborhood, my kids are always asking me “Hey Mom, can you hold this?”  Before I know it, I’m carrying jackets, water bottles, sticks, stuffed animals, YOU NAME IT!  Well, the Bind Buddy is here to help out with that problem.  It’s a simple little attachment that allows you to carry all the things hands free.  It can simply attach to a purse of a backpack and clip your jacket on (or some of the gear your kids hand you), so that you can enjoy your day again without your hands full.  I love the idea behind the Bind Buddy and think that it’s the perfect accessory to add to your hiking trip or sumer travels (it would be AMAZING to help get everyone’s gear through the airport!).

We hope that you enjoyed our summer gear guide, and especially that you found some products that will make your summer adventures not only better, but also easier.

This guide was sponsored by all participating brands.

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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