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Summer Gear Guide: Essential Items For Festivals, Camping, and Getting Out There

From festivals To camping (or glamping), jet-setting to staycations, these items will make life better when you are on the go.

Just like that, its here. Summer creeps in before spring even knows you are cheating on her with warmer temps, half-day Fridays, and of course all the festival goodness. Then bam, it's as over as fast as the new Kanye record.

So yeah, it's not "officially" here but 80 degrees sure feels like summer to us, so here are some of our gear picks for the season of leisure. 

Note: we have received, opened, romped in the mud, hiked up 14'ers (lie), and otherwise rigorously tested these products for roughly 3 weeks. So yes, this is better than your average Amazon rating. Let's start out with travel bags and luggage and then work our way down to clothing, and then gadgets. Things that we didn't like were omitted. 


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G-RO - Carry-On Classic MSRP $449.00

This is the bag that started it all for G-RO. A carry-on bag for the true road warrior who is looking for the perfect travel companion for every trip. I actually purchased one of these bags on the initial offering on Indieagogo and was quite pleased with it. The updated version you see here is essentially the same with some subtle changes and additional colors to choose from. This carryon can roll over just about anything and has ample room to pack 5-8 days worth of stuff or more if you know how to travel light and fits perfectly in most large domestic aircraft overhead bins. The standout features aside from the large wheels are the long and sturdy telescopic handle and the easy to access external USB charging ports on the top of the bag. Check the new G-RO bags on the way - HERE

Who is this for? - DJs, creative professionals, leisure travelers 

Pacsafe Angrylane

Pacsafe - Angry Lane x Pacsafe: The Rider Daypack MSRP $229.95

This is a badass backpack if there were ever such a thing, designed by motorcycle enthusiasts for moving around precious cargo. This is also one of the best Anti-theft riding bags we've ever seen. No, you don't have to be a motorcycle enthusiast to use this, you can be a hipster commuter, cyclist, boosted board rider, or just a normal pedestrian - it's great for everyone looking to port their gear. This all-weather backpack is perfect for your laptop, headphones, iPads, Kindles, hard drives, etc. and has some rugged styling and built-in lock as well. 

The Original Pacsafe Anti-Thef Technology - The original patented anti-theft Pacsafe Technology™ is a 360 eXomesh locking system embedded between the outside layer and the inside layer of the bag. This 360 eXomesh system completely envelops the bags main compartment. Slash proof and tuff: camera, laptop passport and other valuables are protected.

Who is this for? - DJs, fixie riders, motorcyclists, festival goers traveling with expensive gear


Solo New York- All-Star Backpack Duffel: MSRP $160.00

If you are looking for a versatile bag that can play several roles in your life, the Solo All Star Backpack Duffel is hard to beat. It is perfect for hitting the gym, the daily commute and short weekend trips. The bag can be used as a backpack, messenger style bag, and a duffel, depending on what activity you are doing. Some of the bags features: large capacity (enough for a weekender or a little longer), separate shoe/laundry compartment,

Internal organizer section, removable/adjustable shoulder strap, hideaway padded backpack straps. 

Who is this for ? - Weekend warriors, festival goers, urban dwellers, workout fiends and daily commuters. 


Mission Workshop - The Axis - Modular Waist Pack: MSRP $120

Yeah, it's a fanny pack but it's a cool one and hey, they have made a comeback with the bearded single gear bike crowd so it's all good. This waist pack is great for just about anyone needing to carry some extra stuff but not wanting to commit to a full backpack. Mission Workshops makes tough as nails bags for adventure enthusiasts and this one is compatible with their Arkiv modular system - which you will definitely want once you see it. If you need to carry your phone, camera, suntan lotion, and other essentials this waist pack is the perfect solution without bulking up with more cumbersome bags. Be warned though, the prices are on the higher side but you are getting extremely high quality for your hard earned duckets, so it's worth making the commitment. 

Who is this for? - Festival goers, hikers, bikers, downtown hipsters without pockets, cyclists, etc.  



Kora - Azog Hooded Jacket: MSRP $270.00

This is a high-performance hoodie designed for serious outdoor types that might find themselves at the top of a mountain or out in more extreme conditions. It's made from yak wool and is a technical mid-layer jacket that can be worn on brisk days on its own or layered with a shell in harsher weather. This is the perfect jacket for festivals/hikes/camping trips in climates that might drop in temperature as the sun goes down. It is also great for air travel as we all know some planes can become ice buckets right after take off. 

The sleek silouhette has got enough stretch to be comfortable and enough slack to look normal, aka not like a triathlete or ski racer. The Azog offers key essentials: breathability, added warmth, durability, and protection.

Made from Kora's Stratam 350 dual-layer fabric, the jacket features superfine yak wool in a terry loop construction on the inside to insulate in cold conditions and wick moisture during intense workouts.

Other great features: thumb-loops, stash pockets and a stowaway fitted helmet compatible hood. 

Who is this for? - Outdoor festival goers, campers, hikers, endurance athletes, skiers/snowboarders, mountain bikers, etc. 

Sneakers pictured By Nicce (below)

Sneakers pictured By Nicce (below)

Goldwin - Short Sleeve Pocket Tee: MSRP $90 | Easy Shorts: $270

This Pocket Tee brings together comfort and technology with a sophisticated look that works for any occasion. Goldwin uses Dacron®QD, a high-tech quick-dry material developed by DuPont. Its cotton-like texture is created by the spun yarn from quick-dry polyester short fiber and looks a bit like your classic pique polo shirt material. The shirt has some weight to it, not like a regular cotton tee and has a great modern look (pairs perfect with your adidas ultra boosts). This incredible fabric is able to release more than five times more moisture than cotton, making ideal for sizzling hot festivals where you might be sweating it out a bit.

The Goldwin Easy Shorts are spendy and might be compared to a Y-3 or similar designer but with a bit more tech onboard. Made with a double-woven polyester fabric with a smooth surface and textured back, these shorts merge combine the best of both worlds, tech and fashion forward craftmanship.

The seamless design (without sewing) enable its comfortable and minimal fitting and its sophisticated look. These are designer shorts that blend the both of style and function and will go with that slick athleisure look that just about every DJ on the planet is rocking right now. 

Who is this for? - Stylish hipsters, fans of Y-3, fashion conscious festival goers and luxury summer vacationers.



Mens/Womens Socks: MSRP $15-$40

Mens Merina 150 Boxer Brief: MSRP $45.00

Women's Merino 150 Pattern Tank: MSRP $70.00

Women's Merino 150 Micro Stripe Bikini: MSRP $30.00

Women's PhD® Seamless Strappy Bra: MSRP $50.00

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Mens/Womens Socks

The first thing you will notice on Smartwool's site is a huge selection of socks. We tested out some of their more casual non-cushioned socks on some evening hikes, and they were fantastic. If you are headed out for long weekends in the woods, festivals, etc. having some great socks along for the ride can make things a lot more pleasant. For starters the wool keeps your feet comfortable with moisture and temperature control, so you can wear them longer without discomfort. They also repel foot odor, so if you have to you can wear them multiple times if you properly air them out, which is one of the great properties of merino wool. They make a sock for every occasion, well worth the price for those on the go. 


Mens Merino 150 boxer Briefs

We have written a lot about merino underwear and garments in our Travel Light series of editorials, and Smartwool does underwear right. Merino boxer briefs next to skin helps regulate body temperature, keeps moisture at bay and fights stink whether you're at Coachella or in Ibiza. This underwear is on the expensive side but well worth it if you are traveling in more extreme conditions. The smooth seams and perfect elastic waistband with Merino lining make life more comfortable on hikes, planes, trains and automobiles. Made from Smartwool's super-soft and tough Merino 150 fabric. Breathable, soft, lightweight fabric for incredible performance. Helps regulate body temperature, move moisture and resist stink. And yes, this might seem gross but you can also wear these multiple times if you air them out. So hang them on a tree branch and take a naked night time stroll (not recommended for festivals) and your drawers will be downy fresh in the morning. 

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Women's Merino 150 Micro Stripe Bikini

Much like the mens boxer briefs, the women's version performs in much the same way. Whether you're lounging at your crib or trekking to festivals around the globe, the luxury high performance Merino helps regulate body temperature, manages moisture and resists odors for all day comfort. Features smooth stitching to prevent chafing, which we all know is a big bummer when you are trying to watch a show.

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Women's Merino 150 Pattern Tank

Perfect for festivals where you want to keep some style going but still be functional. This light weight tank can go from the yoga mat to the main stage with ease. It easily rocks on its own in the higher temps, helping you to stay cool and odor free in the hot Coachella sun. It also layers up nicely for the colder summer nights. Ou

It's light as air, comfortable and functional, keeps your body temperature regulated, and keeps sweat at bay. This might be the perfect music festival garment ever made. 

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Women's PhD® Seamless Strappy Bra

From the gym to the trail to the festival, this bra features all the great functionality of the tank in a more functional garment.  Ideal for medium impact, this bra provides all the no-stink, temperature regulating and moisture managing benefits of Merino. This bra is pure comfort for your most active days out.

Hiking Boots | Sneakers


Vasque - Mens Clarion '88 MSRP $149.99 

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If you are a mountain nerd, or even a weekend warrior hiker then you recognize this design right away. This is a classic look remixed for 2018. The new Clarion ‘88 features a tough suede and breathable mesh upper along with a flexible EVA midsole and legendary  Vibram rubber outsole. If you are looking fore a pair of all around boots that can feel at home on the trail or on the playa, these are a great bet. They are comfortable, stylish (in a mountain way) and give you the support you need for long treks. The Clarion is a great bet for entry or intermediate level adventurer looking to step up their footwear game. 

Saga GTX Mens

Saga GTX Mens

Vasque - Mens Saga GTX: MSRP $229.99 

The Vasque Saga GTX boots are a serious step up and built for the trail blazer and backpacker that are tackling more technical terrain and going further into uncharted territory. This boot is light, breathes well and provides incredible stability on treacherous trails. The Sagas are better for more remote festivals like Burning Man, Lightning In A Bottle, etc. and of course for long haul backpacking adventures and more burly hikes. We put them to the test here in Colorado on several trails and loved the stability and overall comfort of the Vasques. These are not for weekend warriors that just want to kick rocks down trails, you are dropping almost $250 so that's something to consider if you are not going to go hard and long with these. The Saga's can handle just about everything you throw at them, from gnarly rocks, to muddy ravines to shallow creeks – you got this.

Saga GTX Womens

Saga GTX Womens

Vasque - Women's Saga GTX: MSRP $229.99 


Forsake Mens Range Low: MSRP $139.95

Forsake Womens Range Low: MSRP $139.95 

The guys at Forsake have created the ultimate hybrid sneakerboot for those who seek adventure but are not ready to go all in on a hiking boot. We got a pair fo the Range Lows to test drive and these might be our new favorite shoes for light off roading and light hikes. They go from the trail to the concrete with ease and provide quite a bit more support and traction than your standard running sneaker. They are waterproof and breath well, so these are pretty much perfect for those of you seeking something more sturdy than a sneaker for your outdoor adventures. The grip from the Vibram Megagrip outsole, with it's extra wide footprint, and composite shank give you superior support when things get a bit more rocky or technical. Sneakers are great but sometimes just can't handle tougher terrain which puts you at risk of twisting up your ankle or worse. These are perfect for festivals in just about every way and when paired with a nice set of Smartwool socks they will keep your feet feeling great on the longest of days.


Nicce Langham Trainer: MSRP $80.00 

You've probably noticed the explosion of designer sneakers featuring clean designs but unfortunately paired with insane price tags, $300 and up is not a choice for many of us, especially for shoes that might get trashed. The Nicce crew out of the UK has created the perfect solution, meet the Langham trainer. Featuring casual/smart design, tonal silhouette with a comfortable vulcanised sole, tonal laces and embossed branding at a price point that is manageable. These trainers are also incredibly comfortable and perfect for summer festivals in less hostile terrain like parks, etc. (Above/Below)

Other Essentials 


RUMPL Blanket Original Puffy - El Puffy Print: MSRP $129

For those of you that have adventured in Baja Mexico the El Puffy will feel a bit familiar, that's because the RUMPL crew took the pattern from a blanket they found while surfing down there. If you haven't seen RUMPL by now, it's time you got acquainted with this miracle blanket. The Rumpl Puffy Blanket uses the same technical materials found in premium sleeping bags and insulated puffy jackets. It's great for the indoors or the outdoors, uses a weather-resistant 20D ripstop nylon shell with a DWR treatment that keeps dirt, stink, pet hair and other randomness at bay. Is this the perfect festival blanket? Yes, it might very well be, it's also great for picnics, snuggling on the beach, laying down in the park, and other such activities. It's just awesome across the board. 

It's light and packs down small in its compression sack, so it will easily fit into your bag and not take up precious cargo space. 

We tested the Throw - 50 x 70” (127 x 178cm), 2.1lbs / Compresses to 6.5”x14”

Coal - The Provo Cap (pictured above): MSRP $32.00 

Channel your inner 80s/early 90s with this bad boy. The Provo is a microfiber 5 panel cap with mesh side panels and a moisture-wicking sweatband to cool you off in the summer heat. Great for the beach, the pool, at the fest or on the trail, to keep the sun off your face. The Provo was built for summer and pairs well with DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's "Summertime" perfectly. 


Bonx Headsets - (single) MSRP $139.95

Finally. Bonx has created the most essential item we've seen in a long time, something that is actually useful and functional, unlike so much tech that's been hitting the market lately. The Bonx Grip earpiece essentially functions like a walkie talkie via your cell phone and their proprietary app. The earpiece is sold as a single and can be paired with up to ten friends for group communication. 

Imagine you are riding your bike with a couple friends, to communicate you had to scream at each other, slow down, look back, etc. With the Bonx Grip you can simply talk into the mic, which also cuts wind noise, and have a conversation with your friends. The unit is shock and water resistant, can function as long as their is a cell phone signal, and uses voice activated technology so all you need to do is simply talk to activate, just like a phone

This is a game changer that makes group activities a lot more fun and even safer. Keep track of your friends on the slopes, the festival, the hike, etc. With these little gadgets you are always in contact with your crew as long as there is a cell phone signal. 

The Bonx is comfortable, stays on well and comes with a two eartip sizes, extra ear hooks and a nice little carrying case. Stay tuned for a more in depth review coming soon. 

BioLite - Lighting Systems 

BioLite - Lighting Systems 

The BioLite company is amazing, if you've been to REI recently you've probably seen their displays and amazing off the solutions for cooking, lighting and power. We got our hands on some of the lighting products for a test run which are perfect for every type of adventure that might lead you into the darkness, especially camping trips. 

BioLite SunLight Portable Solar Light: MSRP $24.95 (Far Left)

Don't be fooled by the size of this little guy, you can leave the batteries behind with this guy as the back panel doubles as a solar panel. No more worrying about your charge, just plop this down in the sun or hook it to the back of your pack to charge it up.  


- 100 lumen dimmable white lantern

- Light with color thru RGB LEDs or cycle w/ Party Mode

- Solar charge in 7 hours or micro USB charge in 2 hours

- Up to 50 hours run time

- Ultra packable, the size of an ice cream sandwich

- Available in Teal, Grey, & 4-Pack


BioLite - BaseLantern XL Bluetooth Lantern & XL Power Hub (Center)

The BaseLantern XL is kind of like the queen bee of your mobile lighting solution. Not only does it pack flat and provide your basecamp with ample light, it also doubles as a power supply for your phones, other BioLites, speakers, etc. 


- Rechargeable lithium ion battery allows the BaseLantern XL to last for up to 50 hours so you can have light and power for a full weekend.

- 2 USB ports allow you to power your BioLite SiteLights for extended lighting or charge your smartphone up to 4 times to light large spaces or multiple sites

- LEDs put out up to 500 lumens of light with full color spectrum control so you can engage red night vision, soothing blues, or use Party Mode to cycle through all the colors

- Bluetooth enabled so you can control the amount of light or use it as a timer or alarm remotely from your phone - the app is low energy so it won’t drain your device.

- Fully controllable from your device via our App.


Biolite - SiteLight Mini - String Lighting To Go (Right)

These are great for creating that bistro light vibe at your camp site. You can simply hook them up to the BaseLantern XL and daisy chain them across your campsite. Each unit has four lights per string, the SiteLight Mini can light pathways, campsites, and tents with 150 lumens of dimmable ambient light. Set on 10 feet of cord, this is the perfect lighting solution for a bigger site with multiple people, plus it brings a nice vibe. Craft beer not included. 


- 4x 150 lumen LED string lights

- Daisy chain output - connect additional string lights

- Cord stabilizers for accurate overhead focused light

- Weight: 2.5oz.

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