September 25, 2022

Merriam Webster defines luxury as “1: a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort: sumptuous environment and 2: something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary”, but in my book, it’s pretty subjective. If you’re used to roughing it, luxury is going to feel like a hot cup of coffee and maybe a sleeping pad that’s thicker than three inches. In comparison, if you’re used to booking rooms at the Ritz and want to try your hand at glamping, the bar is going to be set much (much) higher.

I wrote this guide with the intention of providing a selection of goods that could elevate any camping trip — from a sheepskin pelt all the way to a portable fridge that makes its own ice. Luxury can be achieved through items both big and small; in essence, luxury is a feeling with variable manifestations. It’s my hope that on this list, you find your little slice of paradise.

Shelter

The Stones said it best: Gimme, gimme shelter. When it comes to luxury digs in the wild, these items make the top of our list.

Hayley Helms

The Get Out says this glamping getup is made to fit one queen or two twin beds, but when you’re inside, it’s easy to imagine squeezing in six of your best friends for a camping version of a sleepover.

I set this tent up by myself, and it took around half an hour — but with a little more urgency and a few practice rounds, I can see two people getting this thing up and ready in less than 10 minutes, easy. The tent upper is 210D polyester oxford, and the floor is 540 gsm ripstop PVC. The tent has taped seams for water protection, YKK zippers on doors and windows and has been treated to be fire, mold and water resistant. The Lite Bell does a good job at keeping the heat in — you’ll want to open the four small windows that run the perimeter of the tent for airflow, or things can get a little stuff in the summer months.

The Lite Bell is massive: set up, it’s 13 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall, and it weighs in at 70 pounds, so when you’re prepping for your next trip, make sure you leave enough space in your vehicle to accommodate the bag. Once it’s up, though, you’ll forget all about the work it took to get it going and enjoy the space.

helinox cot one

Hayley Helms

Unless you’re packing a queen-size bed on your next trip (which sounds incredible but a tad unrealistic) you’re going to need something to elevate your sleep experience… literally.

The Cot One gets you just high enough off the ground to feel like you’re sleeping in a real bed without the extra weight and hassle. Plus, this camp cot comes with an insulated pad so you can stay warm as the temperatures drop. I did have a hard time setting mine up — the instructions were pretty vague, and I think it’ll take a few more tries to get it just right. But, tricky setup notwithstanding, I did appreciate the tie-dye colorway, which adds a bit of pizzazz to my sleep setup.

A sheepskin rug while camping? If your priority is luxury, why the hell not? Overland’s single pelt option is probably the coziest thing I’ve brought camping — I set it up next to my cot for a cushiony start to each morning and also used it as a meditation cushion. The pelt comes in thirteen colorways, so even the pickiest among us will have an option to appreciate.

The case can’t be made that this rug is a necessity, but if you appreciate the finer things in life, it will absolutely take your camping game to the next level.

snow peak red folding chair

Hayley Helms

Jared Spool said it best: “Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.” This principle guides many of Snow Peak’s items, but none so much as this simple red camping chair.

The Red Folding Chair is a prime example of price equating quality — at over 100 bucks, it’s not the cheapest chair on the market, and that’s the point. Packable, lightweight at seven pounds, easy to clean and aesthetically pleasing, these are just a few of the attributes of the Red Folding Chair. Campers as young as six can set it up with ease, and the aluminum alloy frame and sturdy canvas seat stand up to wear and tear without fading. I’ve used this chair four years in a row, in the desert, at the beach and in the mountains, and it looks just as good as it did when I got it.

Camp Prep

When it comes to preparing your campsite, a few key items go a long way. Get settled in with these picks.

This thing just doesn’t quit. Goal Zero’s Yeti 1500X Power Station has been a mainstay in my camp kit for years — it may have even been my first introduction to outdoor luxury. Goal Zero has earned its reputation for bombproof, reliable off-grid power sources, and the 1500X is a shining example of such. Able to power my portable fridge for days at a time, this thing is also powerful enough to back up home circuits should the need arise. When I’m on the road or camping, I charge my laptop, fridge, phone, headlamps, lanterns… you name it, this thing has charged it. By connecting it to a solar panel on the roof of our vehicle, this thing powers on, and on, and on…

snow peak torch

You can light a fire the hard way, or the fun way. Guess which we picked.

Hayley Helms

If I were to write my own camping dictionary, under “luxury,” there would be a picture of the Snow Peak Folding Torch. Sure, there’s street cred in lighting your fire with a box of matches and a lot of willpower, but when the winds pick up, or you just want to have a little fun, break out this mini flame thrower and get that fire going.

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The Snow Peak Folding Torch is compact at 10.1 ounces and features an aesthetically pleasing mix of stainless steel and wood. Simply screw on a can of iso-butane fuel, pull the trigger and get cooking.

filson axe

Hayley Helms

If you want to have a campfire or pound tent stakes in efficiently, you’re not going to get far without an axe or hatchet. Not just any will do though — the right axe will be sharp, sleek and capable. Enter: the Filson x Brant & Cochran Dirigo Belt Axe.

Luxury can be defined through quality materials, but it can also be defined by quality performance — and this axe has both in spades. It sliced through wood not like butter because that would be obvious hyperbole, but more like butter fresh out of the fridge – there was a little resistance, but with the right technique, it carved just what we needed.

Hand-crafted in Maine, the 25-degree, 1050 carbon steel head and 17-inch hickory handle are crafted using traditional forging and tempering techniques — for history buffs, the steelhead is the same efficient wedge shape unique to Maine axes in the early 1900s. The size is somewhere between a hatchet and a Hudson Bay — big enough for most jobs but not unwieldy for smaller axe handlers like myself.

Camp Kitchen

Cooking outdoors requires a little extra consideration, but don’t let that be an excuse to crack open a cold can of beans and call it a night. Make your camp kitchen comfortable with these picks.

pendleton enamelware

Easy to clean, lightweight and affordable: enamelware is where it’s at.

Scott Seiver

Who doesn’t love enamelware? The campy vibes, easy cleaning and light weight make it the ultimate material for camp dishwater, and I bump things up a notch by getting Pendleton’s set. Known as one of the premier brands in camp and home, Pendleton has been setting the bar pretty darn high for the last 100 years, and the enamelware set continues that tradition. The deep navy and bright gold colorway make any campsite feel rich and vibrant, and with two plates, cups and bowls, are the perfect addition to a romantic getaway with your partner.

dometic portable fridge

Hayley Helms

The most notable feature of this portable fridge is the fact that it makes ice — the epitome of fridge-related luxury, in my opinion. The Rapid Freeze Plate and included silicone trays make ice in a matter of hours, whether you’re in the backyard or off-grid.

I’ve used portable fridges before, and none come close to the CFX3 55IM. It’s deceivingly small and features plenty of room inside for 2-3 days worth of food. Some will mourn the lack of a dedicated freezer compartment, but the single zone cooler can get down to -7 degrees Fahrenheit, so if necessary, frozen stuff will stay that way.

At 47 pounds, the fridge is light enough for me to carry by myself when empty, and the durable, well-made handles make it easy to transport solo or when loaded with a partner. To power the fridge, I used Dometic’s PLB40 portable lithium battery, which is designed to power portable coolers and 12v appliances off-grid. At full charge, the battery bank kept my fridge running for two days without me worrying about power.

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I would argue that good coffee is a necessity (if you’re going to indulge, it may as well taste good), but I know many people who are fine with the instant variety. To those folks, I say it’s time to upgrade. Good coffee requires freshly ground beans, and VSSL’s manual option makes the process intuitive enough to do just about anywhere.

Loading your beans is as simple as popping off the top of the grinder, and once they’re inside, stainless steel bearings on both the top and bottom ensure a smooth and consistent grind. Just 60 seconds of grinding produces 20 grams of ground coffee — perfect for your camp cup of joe.

Accessories

snow peak home and camp lantern

Hayley Helms

The existence of lanterns has been traced back to 1500 B.C., and while today’s versions look and operate in a manner totally foreign to their forbearers, the concept is the same: portable, powerful light to illuminate the night’s darkness.

For those interested in adding a little class to their campsite, Snow Peak’s Home & Camp Lantern is a rechargeable and portable lamp that comes with a USB charging stand, adjustable handle, and dimmable light. Available in black, white or tan, the little lantern weighs less than two pounds, throws off 400 lumens and can run at full power for four hours and 23 on low power.

There’s something undeniably luxurious about wool — it feels both heritage and modern at the same time and is infused with a nostalgia that is hard to deny. I’ve had Filson’s weighty, warm camp blanket for two years now, and it looks just as new as the day I got it.

The wool is scratchy, thick and warm in the impossibly appealing way that only wool can pull off. Made to be used indoors or outdoors, this blanket immediately elevates the vibes of any campsite it’s invited to. With the Mackinaw Wool blanket, it’s the details that set it above the rest: the serged edges prevent fraying, and the 100-percent U.S. virgin wool is naturally water repellent and warm, so inclement weather won’t stand a chance. This is a blanket you’ll be handing down to the kids someday.

Little touches go a long way to create a feeling of luxury and opulence at the campsite (and beyond). What better way to enjoy that than a pair of waterproof binos?

The good folks over a Nocs created a pair of binoculars that are a blast to use, thanks to their unique colorways and simple execution. The Pro Issue comes in 8 x 42 or 10 x 42 sizes and features a 429-foot field of view that enhances peripheral vision and lacks distortion. The contrast and sharpness are noticeable from the jump, and the binos are both waterproof and fog proof. Whether it’s rain or shine, having a pair of these at the campsite instantly elevates your experience.