Versatility is one of the most coveted attributes of outdoor gear and apparel. If your backpack can’t transition from the office to the mountains, and your running shirt is too sporty to blend in at the local bar, you’re screwed. That’s what all the marketing lingo would have you think, anyway.
The problem is, that same flexibility too often comes at a detriment to technical specialization. Those sidewalk-friendly hiking boots probably aren’t suited to an eight-day thru-hike. That sleek, pared-down backpack has a laptop sleeve, but do you really need a laptop when you’re out in the forests and mountains?
Luckily, most outdoor gear is already multifunctional. If an item is optimized to be rugged, deal with harsh weather conditions, or be lightweight and packable, it’ll probably make life around town easier in the same way it would improve backcountry living. Getting your fancy camping gear to transcend the boundary of urban and wilderness utility just takes a little thinking outside the box — or, in this case, the product description.
1. Helinox Chair Zero Camp Chair
A great, stowable extra seat for the living room, this chair doubles as a comfy perch when you’re waiting in line to score concert tickets. (Hey, those days could come back… maybe!)
2. NEMO Equipment Puffin Luxury Camp Blanket
Your standard blanket is susceptible to stains from dirt and grass while also being a sand sponge. The extra-large outdoor blanket is built for those things and it’s cozy enough for the sofa or bed.
3. MIZU V7 22oz Water Bottle
City exploration consumes more energy than one might think and public water fountains are few and far between — bring your own water, and always be hydrated.
4. Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit
A portable campfire that lets you grill sausages and roast marshmallows at the park, on the beach or in your backyard, if you’re lucky enough to have one.
5. Big Agnes Deep Creek Tarp
A lightweight, portable shelter from the sun — and the prying eyes of the hundreds of other people that have the same idea as you on a beautiful day.
6. Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini Lantern
It lasts up to 500 hours, dims for subtle mood lighting, and can charge any of your USB devices. Perfect for the next catastrophic city-wide blackout.
7. Kammock Roo Double Hammock
String it up in the park — or between two chimneys on your roof — for some gentle afternoon swaying.
8. BioLite SiteLight Mini Lights
Christmas lights are fine, but something more portable and versatile is ideal for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
9. YETI Hopper Flip 12 Cooler
Trips to the park or beach and weekends out of town are best complemented with a beverage, and those should always be cold.
10. Snow Peak Titanium Fork and Spoon Set
Stash these in your everday bag and you’ll never be without a utensil again — and you’ll cut down on single-use plastics too.