“a great many people, and more all the time, live their entire lives without once sleeping out under the stars.”

-Alen S. Kesselheim

 

Well folks, it’s finally warming up. The leaves and flowers are beginning to bloom, and for many of us, a wilderness retreat is only a short jaunt from home. After all, you can only enjoy the sunshine pouring through your office window for so long before you insist on basking in its stress-relieving rays.

One of the best ways to decompress after a hard week on your feet or being stuck behind a desk is camping. And leave it to a group of designers to recognize that even the most primal of human activities can be enhanced by well-crafted and carefully researched products, intended to make the most of your natural surroundings. Here is a list of our Top 5 Camping Products with Innovative Designs.*

 

#5 – GoSun Solar Cooker

Last month, we outlined several examples of sustainability in the design industry, and the GoSun Solar Cooker is another exceptional example. Using the sun’s rays, it uses mirrors arranged in a parabolic design to effectively retain heat from 80 to 90 percent of the sunlight, cooking the food in the central cylinder. It doesn’t even need to use expensive solar panels! However, it can only be used in sunny weather.

#4 – Therm-A-Rest Camper SV Mattress

Product designs that successfully incorporate science in unexpected ways are always exciting, especially when applied to camping! Therm-A-Rest managed to use Bernoulli’s principle, a law of fluid dynamics, to create a compact camping mattress that can be inflated in only 2-3 breaths.

#3 – Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock

It’s important to remember that great design isn’t always visual. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of solving a problem using a different approach. In this case, Sea to Summit managed to create a hammock that is only 4.9oz (that’s less than a quarter pound!) but can support up to 300lbs. Its impressive, specially-designed Nylon 66 monofilament fabric allows it to be extremely small in a pack, while providing support and breathability.

#2 – The YETI Hopper Portable Cooler Bag

Yup, the talented folks at YETI are at it again. The company responsible for some of the highest quality travel cooler boxes on the market now offers a smaller, portable and elegant cooler bag that boasts “superior ice retention” while keeping a staggering 5.2 gallons of content cold for several days.

#1 – Heimplanet Maverick Inflatable Tent

But…What if you’re not camping? What if you’re in a legitimate survival situation in a hostile environment? Well, the designers and engineers at Heimplanet have you covered! Their incredible Maverick Inflatable Tent not only looks intense, but it can also shelter up to 10 people in a waterproof cocoon that can withstand winds of 112mph. Yes, you heard right: 112 mph! That’s design saving lives.

*NOTE: Some of these products are currently in development and are not yet available.