by Brian Koons

When Men’s Health editors tested dozens of pieces of outdoor gear over the course of a month for the 2019 Outdoor Awards, one overarching principle quickly became apparent: The important innovations aren’t in new types of gear (Turns out a sleeping bag with arms and legs isn’t a slumber revelation—it’s just a puffy jumpsuit for not having sex in) but in new ways of making fundamental gear more lightweight and easier to transport and set up (Are tents almost too easy to set up now?). There’s so much at stake when you’re outside that everything has to perform, and, more importantly, everything has to have a clear purpose. 

Bottom line: The best outdoor gear is essential outdoor gear. Stuff like tents and binoculars and a flannel shirt and an axe and a portable food prep space (we’re surprised it made the list, too!). And, of course, the best frisbee. 

And hammock. 

This list of 40-plus products makes the outdoors safer, more fun, and more comfortable, which all adds up to more accessible. So grab your super-bright tactical flashlight*, and let’s see what’s out there. 

*Don’t have one? We got you covered.

For Relaxing 

We tend to think about things we to bring with us when we head outside. The things we to bring get less consideration. Sure, you don’t need to bring along a pillow. Or a bottle of whiskey. Or a great speaker. Or a pricey-but-durable Yeti cooler. Or a frisbee.* (You don’t really to be outside at all for that matter.) But even one of these things will make your experience more fun and comfortable, and, ultimately, more memorable.



*Always bring a frisbee.

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