We’ve made our way across the country and landed in sunny, dry, elevated Colorado. As we get used to the altitude and work on our t-shirt/shorts tans, we’ve been using the stretched out days to plan our #vanlife summer. We know there will be plenty of solar showers, freeze-dried dinners, afternoon storms, and summit hikes in our future. Check out some gear that makes living on the road more about adventure, and less about logistics.
This Sea to Summit self-inflating mat is hands down the most comfortable sleeping mat we have ever used. We love ultralight air mats for backpacking, but when the campsite is a stone’s throw away from the van, we prefer comfort and warmth. With an R-value (warmth rating) of 5.2 (that’s super warm!), this mat literally makes you forget you’re sleeping on the ground. Sea To Summit utilizes their Delta Core Technology and four inches of foam to make sure you get the best night’s sleep possible. Their multi-function valve ensures that air won’t seep back into the mat when you’re packing it back up. One of our favorite things about this mat is the material it’s made out of. When we use them in the van there is no need to cover them with a blanket or sheet. It’s plenty soft to lay right on top of. They are also available in three sizes: regular (Roxy size), large (Ben size), and they even make it in a double sized mattress (Roxy+Ben size). Car camping isn’t the only application for a mat this comfortable. We can also see it being utilized as a super comfy base camp option on your next expedition.
There are plenty of companies making high-end coolers. The fact of the matter is – most high-end coolers are designed for hunting and fishing. They are rectangle coolers, without wheels, that are made to put on a boat. What happens when your ice starts to melt? Your food sinks into the water, gets soggy, and then destroyed.
Finally, someone has decided to do something different. RovR Products has built the RollR 80. This 80 quart beast of a cooler has so many practical features it’s hard to know where to start. One of our favorites is the separate food compartment. The coldest part of the cooler is at the bottom, away from a constantly opening lid, and that’s also where food is usually swimming in cooler water. Not the RollR! The compartment allows you to keep raw meat cold for days in the coldest part of the cooler, without worry of spoiling from water or warmth.
This cooler has eight-inch, all terrain, puncture resistant tires. We’ve attached this cooler to our mountain bikes and taken it down a single track. Just imagine how happy we were when we got to the top of the climb and had ice cold fizzy waters to celebrate with.
Ice can get expensive, and when you’re living on the road with a cooler as your refrigerator, you don’t want to pay the electric bill every other day. Luckily the Rollr 80 only gets refilled when we shop for groceries, at minimum every seven days. The ice retention is phenomenal and keeps our need to visit civilization as infrequent as possible.
This cooler is made to party. You can stand a full bottle of whiskey, or uncorked wine, up in the dry bin. There is a separated section made to keep clean cocktail ice for your (my) margaritas. Even as the ice melts, your brewskies stay cold and refreshing. You can pull it around with a double sided aluminum handle, and put all your blankets and chairs in the top fold out wagon. Once you get to your destination, pull the drink holders, stereo, and cutting board out and attach them to the sides. No need to move drinks to open the cooler, these add-ons sit conveniently around the sides to enjoy beverages, cut your limes, and still have access to all your goodies. Make this cooler your wing(wo)man and you will be the life of the party.
This piece of gear is invaluable to our van living. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to pack up as quickly or find our gear in the back with ease.
Crazy Creek is celebrating it’s 30th birthday this summer. You can’t make it thirty years in the outdoor industry without making bomber products. The Crazy Creek Drop Sac is no exception. Have wet or unruly gear? The Drop Sac is here for you. Simply lay it flat on the ground, add your gear, and pull the drawstring to contain it all. It’s perfect to keep our climbing gear together in the van and keep our rope and gear out of the dirt on the crag.
The Drop Sac is made from 420D Coated Ripstop Nylon fabric so you know it will last. It also packs into itself which helps keep the tarp manageable when we’re not using it. Not a climber? No problem. The Drop Sac is perfect for storing wet fishing or paddling gear, kid toys and camping gear, or whatever you want to have organized and safe in one spot.