When you’re packing for a camping trip, bulky camping gear can take up a lot of space in your vehicle — leaving you feeling overpacked or often sacrificing comfort. The good news is that camping gear has come a long way over the past decade. Product engineers have created hundreds of innovative camping accessories that function well and save you space. Instead of trying to squeeze bulky camping gear into your vehicle, adding on a roof box or a trailer, you can take more compact camping items with you without compromising quality.
If you’re a gear junkie, you know that it can be difficult to choose the right camping accessory for you. And, you’ve probably had some compact camping gear fails in your quest to save space on camping adventures.
In addition to these eight innovative space-saving camping accessories, you could also consider investing in a smaller, more packable tent, especially if your tent is oversized and takes up a lot of space. (Here are some compact Sea to Summit tent options that you may love.) You could also downsize your sleep system and avoid taking bulky household blankets and pillows. Both Klymit and UST Gear sleep systems are innovative, compact and extremely comfortable — making them worth the splurge.
When trying to save space, a little means a lot, so here are eight great space-saving camping accessories:
1. Coleman Fold N-Go Propane Stove
If you’ll be cooking at camp, the Coleman Fold N-Go propane stove is a space saver that still gives you that “camp food” taste of a full grill. It folds down to 14×4.5×16 inches and has a built-in handle for easy transport and storage. With 105 square inches of grilling surface, you can easily cook full meals.
Not a fan of propane? Coleman also makes a Fold N-Go Charcoal stove that’s even smaller.
2. UST Flexware Collapsible Sink
Yes! You can take your kitchen sink with you while camping. The UST Flexware collapsible sink is durable and made of high-quality Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) construction that is BPA free and dishwasher safe. To me, this Flexware sink feels like a high-grade silicone; the material is thicker and more durable than you’d think. I really like this collapsible sink for doing dishes at camp, and the first time I used it camping I wish I’d had one sooner.
When the sink is filled up nearly all the way, the durable dual handles give you a sturdy grip and make it easy to transport and maneuver. The sink measures 5.59×11.42×14.96 inches (expanded) and weighs 19.65 ounces. Since it holds 288.5 fluid ounces (8.5L), you can easily get all your dishes washed with one fill for a small group. And, Ultimate Survival Technologies (UST) has been manufacturing camping, survival, personal safety and emergency preparedness equipment for more than 80 years. Other matching orange items in UST’s Flexware line are equally impressive, like the Flexware collapsible bowl, the Flexware collapsible mug and the Flexware collapsible bucket.
3. LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 collapsible camping lantern
This collapsible LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in1 lantern and phone charger gives off the perfect campfire glow when turned on. And, it’s both solar powered and USB rechargeable, so you can charge it by the sun if you’re multi-day backpack camping. With 150 Lumen, the lantern has a long battery life. It’ll provide you with approximately 50 hours of light on low mode when the battery is fully charged and has 5 brightness settings. You can also hang it in your tent since the handle is easy to snap together — making it also easy to carry around. Since this lantern is inflatable, you can deflate it to just charge your phone and inflate it again when you need some light.
One of the best features of the LuminAID Packlite Max 2-in-1 lantern is that it’ll strap on your backpack during the day and charge with the sun. You can read a full review of the LuminAID Packlite Max 2-in1 lantern and phone charger here.
4. Cliq Camping Chair
The Cliq camping chair is quickly becoming a compact camp chair favorite. Since it folds down to the size of a water bottle and weighs less than four pounds, you can conveniently take your camping chair with you everywhere — even on your hike outside of camp. This compact camp chair can support up to 300 pounds and sets up in seconds. Cliq also makes a durable two-chair carrying case and a six-chair carrying case so you can carry multiple Cliq chairs easily, and they’ll pack nicely together.
5. Bearz Outdoor Pocket Blanket
The Bearz Outdoor pocket blanket folds up and fits into the palm of your hand. It’s a great addition to your camp space as it’s 55×60 inches and can be used as a tarp, a blanket for outside of your tent, a camping tarp, hiking blanket, camp blanket and more. Since it’s waterproof, you don’t need to worry about rain or humidity. The compact Bearz blanket also has corner pockets to stow away other camping items.
6. iClimb Ultralight Compact Camping Folding Table
When you’re camping, it’s nice to have things off the ground, out of the dirt and grass. This iClimb camping table is ideal for storing items off the ground. This table not only packs down to 15.75×5.9×2.76 inches, it only weighs 2.2 pounds. The table is also made of aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, making it waterproof, sturdy and durable. And, it comes with a carrying case, so it’s easy to transport.
7. OlimpiaFit Microfiber Towels
Towels can quickly become a bulky item when you’re packing for a camping trip. The OlimpiaFit Microfiber Towels is an alternative option to those thick household towels you may be tempted to take. These towels are much thinner than a standard town and have a compact stowaway design — making them ideal for packing. They’re odor resistant, soft and gentle on your face and skin. You can also choose from eight colors and this three pack comes with towels in three sizes, 51×31 inches, 30×15 inches and 15×15 inches.
8. LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag
The LifeStraw Flex advanced water filter with gravity bag is a good alternative to packing gallons of water if you’ll be camping by a water source or at a camping resort with access to water. This compact LifeStraw water filtration system improves the taste of water and reduces lead and other heavy metals, chlorine and organic chemical matter. Since it exceeds U.S. EPA drinking water standards for bacteria and parasites, it’s a good choice as an alternative to packing several gallons of water for multi-day camping trips.
Suzanne Downing is an outdoor writer and photographer in Montana with an environmental science journalism background. Her work can be found in Outdoors Unlimited, Bugle Magazine, Missoulian, Byline Magazine, Communique, MTPR online, UM Native News, National Wildlife Federation campaigns and more.
Feature images by wavebreakmedia, Shutterstock
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