14 Summer Gear Must-haves

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The Best Summer Gear for Long, Hot Days

With 100-degree temps still cooking the country, it’s tough to imagine summer could be anywhere near ending. If you’re tired of sunburning, sweating, being eaten alive by mosquitos, or otherwise toughing it out with sub-par summer gear, now’s the time to upgrade.

These 14 finds are guaranteed to make the remaining days of summer exploration feel a lot cooler. Bonus: Some of these items are now on clearance.

Unde-rArmour-Cool-Switch

Under Armour CoolSwitch

Technically designed for fishing, these UPF 30 shirts are ideal for any sunshiney adventure. Why? The magical inner coating sucks summer heat and perspiration away from your skin, making you feel cooler, drier, and up for staying outside longer. Anti-odor control means you can skip pit sniffing and deodorant reapplications all day long. $65

 

Wallaroo-Capetown

Wallaroo Women’s Capetown & Men’s Explorer Hats

Say buh-bye to your baseball hat and get a trusty, packable bucket hat instead. Judge the style if you like, but these wide-brimmed beauts protect your neck, ears, and face from sunburn, thanks to their full-coverage style and UPF 50 protection. Trust me, if you don’t board the bucket hat train now, your sunburned skin will make you wish you had later. $40

trillipiderm

Trilipiderm® Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a summer gear essential, but finding a good one is tough. So we were stoked to try this broad-spectrum formula that blocks 97% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB radiation. But what really sealed the deal is that it doesn’t dry out your skin. It’s actually a full-body moisturizing creme paired with sunscreen for all-in-one protection and pampering. Paraben and mineral oil free. $18

thermarest hammockTherm-A-Rest Slacker Hammock & Compressible Pillow

After a day of hiking, biking, or backpacking, straight chillaxing is just what the doctor ordered. This single hammock sets up fast and packs down small; pairing it with a supportive camping pillow makes it nearly as comfy as your bed at home. After testing lots of inflatable pillows, this stood out for sleeping the most like a real pillow. The difference? Instead of being filled solely with air, it’s made from the scraps of Therm-A-Rest’s foam mattresses, so it puffs up big when unpacked for full neck and head support. Hammock $70, Pillow $28

miir camp cupMiir Camp Cup

A mug that actually keeps hot coffee hot and iced coffee cold? True to their word, this cup kept our coffee hot longer than it took to drink it, and the insulation kept our hands from burning. Sure, you likely already have a double-wall insulated thermos, but enjoying a from-the-mug coffee experience at just the right temperature makes this a worthwhile investment. Lid prevents spilling when swaying in your hammock. $20

ginger-lemon-go-macroThrive Bars by GoMacro

Bars. They can be necessary when outdoorsing, but most are packed with sugar and mystery ingredients. That’s where GoMacro comes in. Their new line of tasty ancient seed superfood nut bars are low-glycemic so they won’t spike your blood sugar and contain only soy-free, plant-based protein (cashews, hemp, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, flax). Thrive bars come in six flavors, but we’re biased—Ginger Lemon’s our fave. $2.19 each

dandies marshmallows

Dandies All Natural Marshmallows

What’s summer without marshmallows toasted over a fire? While marshmallows will never be considered health food, Dandie’s marshmallows are better for you and the planet. They’re gelatin-free (read: vegan), gluten-free, and fat-free, and taste better than Kraft. Sold in biggie size for s’mores or mini for mixing into rice crispy treats. Available at Whole Foods.

craghoppers bailey

Craghoppers Insect Shield Bailey Dress

Challenging the notion that technical gear lacks style, Craghoppers invented this summer dress, which offers 90% protection from biting, disease-ridden insects like mosquitos and ticks. After being bitten by a tick this summer, insect protection has become an obsession, and the sewn-in nature of this insect repellant means it lasts forever—without endangering humans. Newsflash: If Zika isn’t where you are yet, it’s going to be. Even if you’re not expecting, rolling the dice on a mysterious illness is bad. Protect yourself instead. $65

craghoppers-tristan

Craghoppers Nosilife Insect Shield Tristan Shirt

The plaid shirt may be the ubiquitous uniform of the outdoors, but this version beats the rest since it’s sun and bug protective and light enough for summer wear. Add a beanie and puffy on cool nights and you’ll blend in with all the outdoorsman out there—with fewer bug bites of course. $85

stinger-zapperStinger Cordless Insect Zapper

In the quest against insect bites, zappers are not usually a stage we reach. But this summer’s been brutal with bites numbering in the double digits some nights. For the sake of preventing Zika while enjoying campfires up the canyons or car camping, we said yes to this cordless insect zapper. Attracts 40% more insects than the competition with black UV light and moonlights as a rechargeable lantern. $25

merrell-around-townMerrell Around Town Backstrap

Netting points for style and comfort, this strappy sandal doesn’t cause blisters and is wearable on long walks straight outta the box. Pairs well with everything from dresses to jeans and could be worn when tooling around on any type of trip. Currently on sale for $20 off. $75

superfeet-bison-sandals
Superfeet Men’s Bison Sandals

We’d all but given up on flip-flops, favoring more supportive strap-and-buckle sandal options instead. But this year makers of the supportive insoles, Superfeet, came out with their own line of sandals that we can’t stop wearing. The synthetic leather strap dries fast so you don’t need to worry if they get dunked, and the heel cup holds your foot in place and prevents achy arches. Even after miles—yes miles—of walking in them. Took them on vacation with three other pairs of shoes—wore only these instead. They’re that good. $60

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About Author

Jenny Willden is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She's a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. A lover of adventure and travel, she's happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or Instagram @jlwillden.

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