This Gear Guide is sponsored by REI
So you’re planning your next road trip and are thinking about what to take with you (we’re jealous!). Welcome to our list of road trip essential gear to take with you in the car or van on your next long-distance adventure.
Benefits Of Being An REI Member
We have been REI members since moving to the USA, and love that REI is a co-op and invests in causes that we care about. If you’re not familiar with REI, signing up for membership (only $20 for a lifetime) provides you with a member dividend of 10% back on what you spend, in spring each year, as well as access to exclusive member-only events and sales. To learn more about REI’s values, what they do and what makes them different, click HERE.
Also, if you’re planning an adventure or want to learn a new outdoor skill, local REI stores host a diverse range of training events, local and international trips, which is an awesome way to meet like-minded people in your area and skill-up for future adventures!
Adventure Road Trip Essentials Gear Guide
1. Protection From The Elements
Rumpl Puffy Blanket
The Rumpl Puffy Blanket packs down, which makes it great for camping too. It’s also made with synthetic down which makes us happy. There are so many fun designs to choose from so make sure you check out the complete RUMPL range at REI, but our favorite design is the Bermuda pattern.
Maui Jim Baby Beach Polarized Sunglasses
The Maui Jim Baby Beach Polarized Sunglasses are really cute polarized sunnies designed for women. Driving with polarized sunglasses is a must! They’ll cut out any sharp glares and allow you to see clearly out of the windscreen without seeing any distracting internal reflections on the glass.
Maui Jim Wild Coast Polarized Sunglasses
I love the two-tone color accents on these Maui Jim Wild Coast Polarized Sunglasses…
You never know when you’re going to find that hidden lake, or end up by the ocean, so make sure you pack a swimsuit! REI has a huge range of fashionable swimwear for adventurous men and women.
Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket is an Insulated puffy jacket for mornings, peaks and cold weather, light, blocks wind, 75% recycled materials. The men’s version is just as nice, and yes of course, if you’re a couple you should definitely cute it up and get matching puffy jackets, especially when they are made from 75% recycled materials! 🙂
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
2. Footwear for Hikes or Trail Runs
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots
The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is a waterproof hiking boot will slay any terrain in all weather conditions. It has a high-traction tread, the support of a boot, and the comfort of a trail running shoe. It’s also available in a women’s version.
If on the other hand you want a lighter shoe for trail running, or even as an alternative to a hiking boot for hiking, then these are my top choices for you.
Salomon Speedcross 5
The Salomon Speedcross range has long been a popular shoe amongst runners who love to get dirty on the trails, but also for hikers who don’t want to wear heavy hiking boots. To any hikers looking for a lightweight shoe as an alternative to a boot, I always point them towards the Speedcross.
The Speedcross 5 is a new release and it promises all the same features as the beloved Speedcross that came before it, with even more grip, even more stability and even more dynamic uppers. They take rugged off-road performance to another level.
Salomon S/Lab XA Amphib 2
The Salomon S-Lab XA Amphib 2 is one shoe, in and out the water. It’s fast and super efficient both wet and dry which is why it’s the perfect shoe for adventurous runs or hikes through terrain that could have river crossings or very wet segments. They drain so well that your socks and feet will dry very quickly too, should you ever get soaked through. This is a unisex shoe so if you’re looking for the women’s version, it’s on the same link below.
Stance Hiking Socks
3. Adventure-ready gear to take with you
Kuat NV Base 2.0 2-Bike Hitch Rack
If you plan on taking your mountain bikes with you, then you’ll want a bike rack that’s sturdy, and easy to load and unload your bikes onto, with the benefit of being able to lock your bikes to the rack and lock the rack to the car. The Kuat NV Base 2.0 2-Bike Hitch Rack does all this extremely well. It’s also a modular rack, so if you decide you would like to be able to add a couple more bikes, then you can! Here’s REI’s full range of bike racks to suit your budget.
If you don’t have a bike yet or feel you’d like to upgrade, REI has a huge selection of bikes to choose from, what a great way to use that 20% discount for becoming a member!
Oru Kayak Bay ST Folding Kayak
The Oru Kayak Bay ST Folding Kayak is ingenious, lightweight and folding down into a large briefcase size!
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Advanced Elements Tandem Inflatable Kayak
YETI Panga 50 Dry Duffel
The YETI Panga 50 Dry Duffel is an awesome waterproof adventure-ready pack with versatile carrying options, if you’re planning on going somewhere involving watersports.
4. Hydration, Food & Safety
Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle – 32 fl. oz.
A large bottle for storing water is a must-have for any trip. It’s important to have water with you for the hours on the open road, including for emergencies. Also, I carry mine everywhere to cut down on my use of disposable plastic bottles when traveling.
We reviewed this excellent bottle here: Hydro Flask 32 oz Bottle Review
Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle
A method of storing and purifying water, the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifying Bottle is an accessory that’s so handy to have with you and is engineered to stand up to the harsh demands of international travel, outdoor adventure (backpacking, hiking, camping, fishing) and emergency situations. A tip: when you’re low on water and do find a questionable water source to fill up with, make sure you filter the water through this bottle and then fill up your larger storage bottle, like the Hydro Flask mentioned above.
Klean Kanteen TKPro Vacuum Bottle – 32 fl. oz.
We believe coffee is essential! The Klean Kanteen TKPro Vacuum Bottle has an accurate pour and cup system for pouring coffee while on the move. As accurate as the pour system is, please make sure you’re the passenger when serving up the coffee, and be careful not to spill the hot stuff.
Goal Zero Venture 70 Recharger
The Goal Zero Venture 70 weatherproof portable power bank can charge your smartphone up to 6 times on one charge. It has two USB ports too so your friend or partner can charge theirs at the same time. It can even charge small cameras (like a GoPro Action Camera) and tablets. It weighs in at 1lb which is very light for a device like this!
Humangear GoBites Uno Sporks – (2 Pack)
Make sure you have some multi-use sporks in the vehicle so you don’t have to resort to single use plastic at food places en route.
YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
A classic top-quality cooler – great for road trips where you’re planning to take a lot of your own food and/or drink. The Yeti Cooler is built from the same construction as whitewater kayaks and is designed to live a tough and adventurous outdoor life.
Hydro Flask Unbound Soft Cooler Pack
If you’re planning to take your cooler off on a hike, away from your car, then you’ll want something a bit smaller/lighter. The Hydro Flask Unbound Series, is a Soft Cooler that can be worn as a backpack and will keep your things cold for 48 hours.
Hydro Flask Cooler Cup – 12 fl. oz.
We love using these clever little cooler cups. Not only will they keep your canned drink cold (a metal koosie!), but they also double up as a dedicated insulated cup for coffee or cold drinks. Road tripper pro tip: take it to a coffee place en-route and have them put your coffee in here rather than a takeaway cup.
A medical kit like the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Day Tripper Lite is always good to keep in the car anyway.
Petzl Reactik + Headlamp
A reliable and high powered headlamp is so important if you plan on exploring into the night. The Petzl Reactik + headlamp is the one we recommend to everyone who needs one. It’s also excellent for trail running and may be handy if you’re unlucky and break down.
I reviewed it in full here: Petzl Reactik + Headlamp/Headtorch Review
5. And you’ll need something to put it all in:
REI Co-op Big Haul 60 Duffel
Having a storage bag to easily haul in and out of the car will is going to make your life so much easier. The REI Co-op Big Haul 60 Duffel is perfect for this purpose and we like that it packs down small when not in use.