Just because the weather is getting chillier doesn’t mean you have to put your outdoors gear away! We think this is the best hiking and camping season of the year. From local trails to national parks, the crowds thin out and in much of the United States, the weather stops threatening to boil you simply by walking 10 paces away from your car. And of course, snow-sports season is right around the bend. Even if you just want to hang at home in your backyard, we’ve got deals for you.
Don’t see anything you like here? Check out our guides to How to Winterproof Your Home, Best Base Layer Clothing, and Best Travel Mugs if you’re thinking of ways to stay warm.
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Camping and Hiking Deals
The “SL” stands for superlight, and at a mere 40 ounces this two-person, two-door tent will be a big weight off your shoulders—literally. While I wouldn’t recommend a three-season tent for sub-freezing temperatures, you can sleep comfortably down to the mid-30s (Fahrenheit) in one as long as you have a warm sleeping bag and sleep clothes.
While the Never Summer is made of lightweight materials to keep weight down to a scant 51 ounces, Marmot uses quality stitching and zippers that will hold up to years of use. Its goose down insulation and mummy hood (which can be cinched down tight around the head) traps plenty of heat for snowy adventures down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (for men; women tend to sleep colder). I enjoy the internal stash pocket for keeping my cell phone and headlamp warm and within reach at night.
Showers Pass, based in Portland, Oregon, is renowned for their rain gear, and right now they’re having a warehouse sale on everything in stock. We haven’t tested the Timberline jacket, but their gear perennially makes our Best Rain Jackets roundup. It’s a three-layer breathable jacket that comes in bright colors with cycling-friendly hi-viz accents and a hood that can fit a helmet. The women’s version ($180) is on sale too.
Nothing screams “come hang out” like a roaring fire. We’re fans of the wood-burning, smokeless Yukon, and now there’s an updated model out. The 2.0 has a removable ash pan, so you can dump the whole thing into a trash can rather than scoop out ashes. And it looks snappy in its shimmering stainless steel. There’s also the Bonfire for $240 ($60 off), if you want something smaller.
Don’t park your caboose in a frigid camp chair when you want to enjoy watching the leaves drop in your yard. The Onesource’s heated seat pad runs for between 90 and 180 minutes on a charge, depending on which of four heat settings you choose. There’s space to mount a second battery if you’d like, which doubles the runtime, and there’s a USB port so you can charge a device from it. Have no fear: The Onesource is water-resistant, so drizzly weather won’t fry it.
Can’t make up your mind between propane or charcoal? Then don’t. We christened the Gas2Coal “the best of both worlds” in our guide to the Best Outdoor Grills thanks to its ability to switch easily between gas and briquettes. There’s even a side burner for heating up side dishes. There isn’t room for enough coal to use it as a smoker, but it’s perfectly fine for grilling your burgers, corn, or watermelon. Yep, you read that right.
Our review of the Hero 11 is forthcoming, but the GoPro Hero line is usually the best overall pick in our guide to the Best Action Cameras. It can record up to 5.3K at 60 frames per second or up to 4K at up to 120 frames per second. Weighing in at 1 pound, it mounts easily to a helmet or handlebars (with the right adapter).
I use these goggles for mountain climbing for the same reason that skiers, snowboarders, and snowshoers use them widely—the lenses are crystal clear, and they have minimal issues fogging up, even when I’m moving at a breakneck pace. You can swap out darker- or lighter-tinted lenses super easily because they’re held in by magnets.
Getting into snowshoeing can be as simple as going for a walk (with the right safety precautions), and MSR makes some of the best snowshoes in the biz, with sturdy bindings that withstand tough slogs to quality traction rails that grip securely onto trail obstacles without getting too chewed up. At 3 pounds and 7 ounces per pair, they’re not too heavy either.
Act quickly and you can score a premium helmet for an upper-entry-level price. The Blaster II is fairly lightweight at about 15 ounces (depending on size), and it comes with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System), which reduces the risk of rotational brain injuries. The ear pads and vented lining are removable so that you can periodically wash them. There are more sizes in different colors on sale at REI, too.