The best outdoor products for this year had us adapting, overcoming, upgrading, and most importantly, surviving. But you don’t have to be on Bear Grylls’ level to use these incredible outdoor products because we’ve included the latest in everything from trail shoe technology to camping gear and everyday carry to keep you out of the elements and on your mission no matter what it is. Our top outdoor products of the year are sure to take your travels from great to grand. Let’s check it out.
Best Outdoor Products at a Glance
Highlights from our list include the following:
- Best overall product: AllTrails App
- For the adventurer: Garmin inReach Mini 2
- For camping: Anker EverFrost Portable Cooler 40
- For value for money: Leatherman Free T4
Now that we’ve looked at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.
Table of Contents
With more than 20,000 reviews and a score of 4.8/5 stars on the Apple App Store, it’s little wonder the addition was named in Apple’s top Apps for 2023. AllTrails has a cult following of like-minded adventurers who want to find trails near them. We’ve been using this app for years, but the consistent updates have got it to a point that we can now consider it a true companion with the ability to filter search results down to difficulty levels, elevation gain, dog-friendly locations, and even select trails that have landmarks such as waterfalls. Our expert tip is to connect your smartwatch to the app and let it record your walk, automatically setting it as a ‘completed’ trail once you’re done.
The North Face Wawona 6 Tent
Price: from USD$500
Known for making the best puffer jackets in the game, The North Face also dabbles in camping essentials. The updates they’ve made to the famous Wawona tent have elevated this six-person icon into a double-wall constructed easy-set-up beast of a tent. Even with these changes, there’s still umpteen space for your equipment with a floor area of 8m squared, convenient storage pockets throughout, air vents in the canopy, and it all packs down to a weight of 20 lbs 15 oz (9.5 kg).
Leatherman Free T4
Price: from AUD$176.95
With a list of tools longer than your arm, the Leatherman Free T4 is the best all-around multi-tool we’ve used this year. The brand took all its knowledge – more than 35 years of it – and squeezed it into a redesigned tool that harks back to the famous Leatherman Free. More compact at 9.3 cm closed, lighter-weight at 121.9 grams, and with a blade length of 5.6cm it’s as practical as ever. What you need to know about, however, is the tools so here’s a complete list of what you’re getting here:
- 420HC Knife
- Wood/Metal File
- Pry Tool
- Package Opener
- Medium Screwdriver
- Small Screwdriver
- Spring-action Scissors
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Bottle Opener
- Extra-small Screwdriver
Garmin inReach Mini 2
Price: from AUD$679
There’s nothing more important than fresh water when you’re out on the trails, but the Garmin inReach Mini 2 comes in at a close second. This is the best personal locator beacon we’ve tested this year but it goes further than that offering two-way messaging via satellite, interactive SOS alerts, location sharing, TracBack routing to help you find your way back to the car or camp if you get lost and up to 14 days of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode. Best of all, however, is the unlimited cloud storage, competitive and flexible satellite airtime plans ($25 per month) and the rugged design. If you hit the trails on your own often, it’s a must-have.
The James Brand The Mehlville
Price: from AUD$89
You don’t have to be a climber to take advantage of a great carabiner. We’ve been using this new ultra-sleek option from The James Brand to simply hold our keys on our belt since it was released and have been impressed with the build quality and functions. You wouldn’t think re-inventing the wheel (or carabiner in this case) could be so in-depth but they’ve added an integrated bottle opener and engineered a two-compartment design so that you don’t lose your keys when you take it on and off your belt loop.
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Anker EverFrost Powered Cooler 40
Price: from AUD$1,699
We were so excited by the release of the Anker EverFrost 40 that we had to get one in-house to put it through our rigorous testing regimes. This included 40-degree days in Sydney, house parties, and we even stuck it in the back of our ute while doing a bit of camping. The idea of a portable cooler (fridge/ freezer) is new to Aussies but it’s something we think all weekend warriors should consider as it negates the need for a complicated 12-volt fridge set-up entirely. As mentioned in our review, we’re talking about a portable camping fridge on wheels with a fold-out table, two-day battery life, and enough space to hold 54 cans. What more could you ask for?
Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX
Price: from AUD$319.99
We hear all about the Salomon XT-6 and XT-4 but less about the sports models in the line-up. Don’t get us wrong, those sneakers have become stylish staples, but if you’re looking for a great performance model it’s hard to look past the Salomon X Ultra in GORE-TEX. The brand updated the shoe with an ADV-C Chassis for this year with more consideration given to the way your foot articulates in trail-running situations and it paid off with a sturdy yet comfortable ride. We also found the outsole with Contagrip MA tech provides plenty of grip even on loose and wet surfaces. Finally, it’s GORE-TEX so your feet stay dry in wet weather.
Solo Stove Mesa
Price: from AUD$184.99
It might be summer when we announce this as one of our favourite outdoor products of the year, but when the temperatures cool off and the days get shorter you’ll wish you had this epic table-top fire pit from Solo Stove. First, there’s no smoke because this little guy is officially ‘smokeless’ thanks to the brand’s signature 360-degree airflow technology and it adds the capability for dual fuel capability for pellets or wood. We also highly rate it for quality with robust 304-grade stainless steel construction, and folding legs, and it’s even available in a mulberry colour which looks pretty snazzy.
BLUETTI AC2A Portable Power Station
Price: from USD$249
Portable power stations became all the rage this year and after testing a number of the market leaders we ended up choosing the BLUETTI AC2A as our favourite. It’s a great all-rounder with 300W AC Output/ 600W Lifting Power and a large 204.8Wh LiFePO₄ battery. Most importantly for us, it remains portable with a weight of just 3.6kg and the quiet operation stood out when we were stuck without grid power during a black-out earlier this summer. It’s a hard one to critique, however, there are larger more commercial-orientated options on the market should you be hitting the road for any extended period.
Price: from AUD$268,500
It might be the wackiest caravan you’ve ever seen in your life, but the New Zealand-made Romotow deserves a spot on our list because it’s pushing boundaries. The industry keeps looking for ways to maximise space in campervans and caravans, however, we haven’t found a brand that’s thought this far outside the box. They’ve created a patented design that allows for a compacted form when towing but then rotates at the push of a button to increase the area by 70 per cent. Yeah, it might be one of the most expensive caravans we’ve ever laid eyes on, priced from AUD$268,500, but it’s the most impressive. It’s custom-made to order so if your pockets are deep enough you can go to town on a full solar set-up and electric toilets.
Why You Should Trust Our List
To arrive at this list of products, the Man of Many team went through hours and rigorous testing, implementation and analysis before culling it down to the very best. Over the last 12 months, we’ve worked on curated products that push boundaries and pioneer new fronts, across the automotive, fashion, lifestyle and technology verticals. Sure, we love getting the latest piece of kit in our hands, but being able to point out the benefits and shortfalls objectively is at the heart of what we do.
As a result, our list of the best outdoor products for this year is primarily comprised of those that we tested in-house and use extensively first-hand. While there are a few exceptions to the rule (mostly due to scarcity and availability) we made note of the cultural significance of the product and its importance to the niche.
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