Want to interchange some tenting gear? Right here’s what’s new and notable.


Get the big job

The new Rapide SL Insulated Floor Pad from Big Agnes.handouts

A mattress for two campers

Big Agnes’ new Rapide SL Insulated Floor Pad is a good fit for couples looking to minimize their hiking gear, or for parents camping with a child (to prevent the child from slipping off the mattress at night). The inflatable mattress has a tapered design – 50 inches wide at the head and 40 inches wide at the feet – so it fits perfectly in most two-person tents. With a length of 78 inches, it is also suitable for large campers. The three-season mattress is 3.5 inches thick and has an R-value of 4.2 (a rating of how well it “resists”) heat flow. PrimaLoft Silver insulation lets heat and moisture escape, helping you stay dry, while heat-reflective technology directs heat back to your body, increasing warmth when temperatures drop. Big bonus: the mattress’s nylon ripstop fabric doesn’t create annoying crackles when you change positions, so you won’t disturb your tent neighbor. The included inflation bag makes inflating the mattress a breeze. $299. www.bigagnes.com.

Check out the RIO Gear Smart XXL camping bed, a spacious foldable children’s bed.handouts

Lie down on this camping bed

Perhaps you prefer a more luxurious sleeping option for your autocamping adventures. Check out the RIO Gear Smart XXL Camping Bed, a roomy foldable crib that offers everything from an insulated, adjustable drink holder integrated into a detachable “tray table” to a lockable, double-zipped compartment. The spacious cot is quick to set up – simply fold out the legs, open the cot and lock the legs. It holds up to 600 pounds and is 85.5 inches long, accommodating even the largest campers. Hook up the tray table and store a book, headlamp, car keys or snacks in the various compartments. It even has a padded laptop holder and a padded headrest. It weighs a whopping 17 pounds but comes with a cloth carrying case for portability. $99.99. https://rio.shelterlogic.com.

The new Distance Carbon Z trekking poles from Black Diamond.handouts

Lightweight, foldable hiking poles

Protect your knees and back with Black Diamond’s new Distance Carbon Z trekking poles, designed for ultra-light hiking and running adventures, yet tough enough to propel you on steep slopes, provide stability on rough or difficult terrain and to absorb impact on descents (your knees will thank you). The poles have a super slim carbon shaft to save weight – only 8.8 ounces per pair for the 100cm poles – and, for the women’s version, slim foam grips to accommodate smaller hands. Thanks to the Z design, you can quickly fold the poles and store them on the side of your backpack. Poles come with carbide tips, non-scratching rubber tech tips, and snow baskets for winter outings. $179.95. www.blackdiamondequipment.com.

The newly designed compressible pillow from Therm-a-Rest.handouts

A green pillow

Traveling light does not mean sacrificing comfort. Therm-a-Rest’s newly designed compressible pillow weighs only 10 ounces (medium size) and packs small so you can take it with you on your adventures. The pillow slips into the included pouch for packing. When you go to sleep, you can adjust the pillow’s firmness with the new cinch cord to loosen or tighten the cover. Therm-a-Rest uses leftover waste from foam mattress production inside the pillow and 60 percent recycled polyester for the super-soft cover. It also comes in small (7 ounces) and large (15 ounces). $34.95. www.thermarest.com.

Gregory’s newly updated Baltoro (men’s) and Deva (women’s) backpacks have a large front zip, allowing you to lay the backpack on its back, unzip and access its contents from top to bottom.handouts

Shoulder your load with these backpacks

Forget about emptying your backpack to fish a buried item. Gregory’s newly updated Baltoro (men’s) and Deva (women’s) backpacks have a large front zip, allowing you to lay the backpack on its back, unzip and access its contents from top to bottom. The backpacks still offer traditional access to the main compartment through the top closed opening and a bottom front zip. Both packs feature Gregory’s clever new FreeFloat A3 suspension system, which includes a hipbelt and auto-rotating shoulder strap that move independently of the frame to greatly increase comfort while hiking. The back is made of 3D mesh and a honeycomb structure that increases breathability to keep you cool. The backpacks have three pockets on the lid, including one for sunglasses or small items, two handy pockets on the hip belt and two long, narrow pockets on the front for sandals or rain gear. The Baltoro is available in 65 or 75 liters, while the Deva is available in 60 or 70 liters. $319.95 to $349.95. https://www.gregorypacks.com.

Ursack’s AllMitey Bear and Critter Sack.handouts

A sack to keep critters at bay

If you’ve ever backpacked in bear country, you know how difficult it is to cram all of your food and scented items into a rigid, bear-proof container – and then slip that into your backpack. Protect your supplies from opportunistic creatures large and small with Ursack’s AllMitey Bear and Critter Sack. Constructed from a ballistic woven (Kevlar) laminated fabric, this ultra-lightweight bag is durable enough to be certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. Ideally, pack your dried foods, snacks and other aromatic items in an odor-proof bag (see Opsak), then stuff it into the Ursack and hang it from a tree branch using the 6-foot high-strength twine. The AllMitey is available in three sizes: the 10.65-liter Original version ($154.95), the 20-liter Grizzly ($209.95), and the 30-liter Kodiak. https://www.ursack.com.

HOKA’s Anacapa Mid Gore-Tex hiking shoes.handouts

A supportive, waterproof hiking shoe

You may know HOKA as the brand that makes running shoes with top cushioning – so popular that they are worn (on their feet all day) by marathon runners and nurses. The California-based company has incorporated its successful technology into super light and comfortable, yet supportive hiking shoes. The new Anacapa Mid Gore-Tex Hiker for women and men offers waterproof protection, excellent ankle support for light to medium loads and a Vibram Megagrip sole for good traction on rugged and uneven terrain. The gusseted tongue keeps pebbles and other debris out, while the flexible, padded pull tab helps you slip into the boot and support your ankle without digging into your Achilles area. The boots have a wide toe box and a pronounced supportive heel that cushions every step from trail to rocky summit. $180. www.hoka.com.

Enjoy your summer camping and hiking adventures, whether you’re packing snazzy new gear or tried-and-true old spares.

Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at [email protected]