Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, ZDNet may earn a commission.

Best camping gear and travel tech in 2021

If you're taking a break from work to relax in the outback this summer, be sure to pick up top-notch camping gear first.

Are you headed to the woods this summer -- to avoid the crowds but still get in some R&R? Well, there are tech gadgets that can make your trip to the outdoors more comfortable. There are even items you may not be able to manage without. For instance, here are useful gadgets that not only make your life easier while traveling but can make your camping trip fabulous. 

Coffee maker

Wacaco Pipamoka portable coffee maker

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

The Pipamoka coffee maker works a little like a french press -- only in reverse. Fill the reusable micro-filter capsule with good ground coffee, fill the cup with boiling water, and drop the capsule into the cup. Screw the lid on and wait a couple of minutes. 

Then, slowly screw the bezel away from the cup. The screw thread lifts up the capsule through the coffee, forcing water through the grounds. When you get to the top of the thread, lift the screw thread off the coffee, and enjoy. 

The cup has a sealable lid and double insulated walls to keep your coffee hot. It will only make about half a pint of coffee, however, so if you want a second cup in the campsite, you'll need to keep that kettle hot.

$50 at Amazon

Solar generator

Jackery Solar Generator Explorer

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

To power all of your gadgets, you need a power charger that will cope with anything and last for a long time. The Jackery Solar Generator Explorer portable power station will power anything rated under 500W. It will charge your phone over 20 times, or your laptop three times.

It will even power a 60W TV for 3 hours. Plugged into a power source, the Jackery will take about 8 hours to fully charge. Keep it topped up just in case you have a power outage and need to keep on working for the rest of the day

$499 at Amazon

Solar panel charger

Chakor 120W portable foldable panel

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

The Chakor portable folding solar panel charger provides a 120W output from its solar array that can charge up to 3 amps in direct sunlight.

Unfolded, its 56-in x 16-in panels can be adjusted to catch the sun's rays and charge your devices. It comes with two USB ports and a variety of connectors

$210 at Amazon

Flashlight gloves

Mylivell fingerless gloves with LED torches

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet
My Livelli

If head torches aren't your thing, then try these Mylivell fingerless gloves with LED torches attached to the index finger and thumb. Now you will be able to see exactly what you are doing with your hands in low-light conditions. If you have trouble reading in bed, these gloves will let you under the covers in the dark.

$14 at Amazon

Portable fridge

Alpicool CF55 refrigerator

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

Forget the ice box when you go on trips and serve your drinks nicely cold from a proper refrigerator like the Alpicool. It plugs into your car and will carry up to 60 cans of drink or 18 bottles of wine.

You can also use it as a freezer instead of a fridge. If your campervan only has a tiny fridge, this also works well as a fridge extender for your salad vegetables, freeing up your main fridge for the important stuff.

$359 at Amazon


lcfun rechargeable and waterproof lighter

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

Wild camping often means wild weather, so it is useful to be able to light a fire -- whatever the wind is doing. The lcfun is a rechargeable lighter that uses plasma arcs to light a fire and is waterproof and windproof. It holds a charge for a while and takes less than 30 minutes to fully charge.

$16 at Amazon

Water filter

Katadyn Vario

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

The Katadyn water filter has three filters that can filter up to two quarts per minute of continuous water flow with its handheld pump. It uses activated carbon granules, ceramic, and glass fibre filters depending on the water flow required and the cloudiness of the supply water.

$95 at Amazon

Paracord bracelet

Atomic Bear

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet
Atomic Bear

You never know when you are going to need one of the useful tools provided in the Atomic Bear paracord bracelet.

The bracelet includes a compass, whistle, knife, flint steel fire starter, and 12 feet of paracord that is adjustable for whatever wrist size. Even if you do not go trekking, this bracelet will make you look like you do.

$13 at Amazon

Air pump

Pumteck rechargeable electric air pump

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

Pump up your airbed with this Pumteck rechargeable electric air pump. It will inflate and deflate quickly and will inflate up to 0.65 PSI. Inside the box, there is a variety of nozzles and a USB charger.

Its 4,000mAh battery means that it can be recharged from your portable phone charger or portable battery charger. You do not need to connect it to the car to inflate your items -- which is really useful if you are camping some distance from your vehicle.

$26 at Amazon

Camping pillow

CompuClever memory foam pillow

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

If the rigours of camping leaves you with sleepless nights, invest in this memory phone camping pillow from CompuClever. It is only 17 x 5 inches yet it will easily roll up for storage.

It is a really useful pillow to support your neck while you sleep. You can also use this as a lower back pillow when sitting during long journeys.

$21 at Amazon

Bug zapper

Runacc camping LED light bug zapper


Attract annoying mosquitoes, bugs, and other flying pests to this flashlight bug zapper. Hang it in your tent to provide light for the critters so that they focus on the light instead of biting you.

$26 at Amazon


Pena multi-tool bracelet

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

The Pena multi-tool bracelet combines 29 different tools such as ring spanners, screwdrivers, hex wrenches, and bottle openers. A really useful gadget for people who put tools down and then forget where they left them.

$39 at Amazon

Survival kit

Assaber 13-in-1

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

To make absolutely certain that you will have everything you will need for survival, the Assaber survival kit combines emergency equipment such as a compass, with useful tools such as a rule measure, carabiner, and even a pen and survival blanket for those "just in case" moments.

$28 at Amazon

Extra tent

Abco Sport pop up privacy tent

Best tech for your outback trip zdnet

The Abco Sport pop up privacy tent is a quick portable privacy tent for getting changed, using your composting camping toilet or using your camping shower. It's so simple to put up but a little more complex trying to get it back in its impossibly small bag.

$64 at Amazon