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The 17 Best Pieces of Affordable Camping Gear in 2023

Best Cheap Camping Gear 0 Hero

As our society becomes more plugged in, our innate desire to live simply just might be stronger than ever. No matter if it’s your first time camping or your one hundredth, being prepared can never be overstated, and saving money where you can is smart, especially considering all the amazing — and often pricey — essentials that are available and required to make your outing run as smoothly as possible.

It’s understandable that you’d want to shell out some dough for great camping gear, but when you account for everything you’ll need or might need, on your next trip, the budget can grow and grow. Quality outdoor supplies don’t always come cheap, which is why our guide to the best affordable camping gear under $100 won’t just save your money but will help you know where to start, serving as an outline of most of the essentials you should bring with you on your next affordable adventure. Whether it’s tents, shoes, lanterns, or knives, there are solid options out there if you know where to look.

Best Cheap Camping Gear Breakdown

How We Chose Our Picks

Almost all of our buyer’s guides feature a pick that’s budget-friendly or cheap compared to the rest, simply because many of you like to have an option that gives you the best bang for your buck. Based on our years of camping expertise, the following picks have been deemed the best budget-friendly options in their respective categories. For first-time campers especially, accumulating the proper gear can get expensive, so it’s important to find options that are both necessary and of value. Not every product listed will be the best in its space but is the best for our purposes of finding the most affordable option without losing much quality in the process. We’ve also made a hard cut-off of $100 for any piece of gear on this guide to keep things affordable without compromising quality.

SOTO Refillable Pocket Torch

Why It Made the Cut
  • Convert your standard disposable lighter into a wind-resistant torch up to 2,300ºF with this durable housing.

Best Lighter/Torch: Although fire can often be a luxury these days, campfires still make the camping experience so much more enjoyable, and we don’t always want to take the time to build one the old-fashioned way like a caveman. SOTO’s Pocket Torch can be used with your run-of-the-mill lighter, enhancing the flame for a bigger, stronger burn. This wind-resistant torch can reach temperatures up to 2,300ºF and increases the lifespan of your disposable lighter by 60%.

Fuel Type: Lighter Fluid
Resistances: Windproof, Impact-Resistant
Reusability: Uses Disposable Lighters

MyMedic Hiker Medic Med Pack

MyMedic Med Pack
Why It Made the Cut
  • This lightweight kit has the best selection available at an affordable price tag, with 39 unique items.

Best First Aid Kit: Safety is most important when hiking the trails and traveling off the grid. That’s why MyMedic’s super compact first-aid kit is an absolute essential. HSA- and FSA-approved and put together by experts to have what you’ll need to stay ready for emergencies, the Med Pack shouldn’t be your only resource, but oftentimes it may be. This 9.6-ounce bag comes with small packets of sunscreen, lip balm, sting relief, vitamin mixes, a space blanket, burn gel, bandages, ibuprofen, ointment, antibiotic pads, and even a paracord.

Weight: 0.6lbs
# of Pieces: 39

Magpul DAKA Pouch

Why It Made the Cut
  • This super durable zippered pouch protects your phone and camera from harsh elements and is equipped with four carabiner attachment points.

Best Tech Storage: As simple as it sounds, this 13-by-9-inch pouch might be the only thing protecting your phone and camera from the harsh elements of the outdoors. Magpul’s DAKA Pouch is made from reinforced polymer fabric with an anti-slip texture. Four carabiner attachment points let you hook this onto your backpack or belt for easy access. The YKK AquaGuard water-repellent zipper has a 550 paracord attached with a heat shrink tubing for a reliable grip for opening and closing, whether or not you’re wearing gloves.

Dimensions: 13″ x 9″
Material: Reinforced polymer fabric with anti-slip texture

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Why It Made the Cut
  • This lightweight press coffee maker features a unique brewing process that takes just 1 minute and produces great-tasting coffee.

Best Coffee Maker: Already on its way to becoming a proprietary eponym, AeroPress is an entirely new way to brew coffee altogether. Evolving classic French press technology but removing bitterness that comes with over-brewing, AeroPress coffee takes mere seconds to make and retains only a fraction of the acidity that comes when using a traditional drip machine. Inherently lightweight and travel-perfect, this coffee maker requires no electricity at all. Just screw on the filter, add your coffee grounds and hot water, stir, and then plunge the mixture into your cup down below.

Style: Press
Weight: 10.6oz

YETI Rambler 36oz

Why It Made the Cut
  • YETI’s flagship tumbler features double-wall vaccum insulation with kitchen-grade stainless steel.

Best Water Flask: Hydration is key when camping, especially during the hot summer months. With an array of tumbler options out there, it’s smart to go with a brand that’s as ubiquitous and reliable as YETI. The Rambler is one of the brand’s flagship flasks and comes in a plethora of colorways and add-ons to make this the ultimate hydration buddy when out and about. The double-wall vacuum insulation is perfect for both hot and cold drinks, and the kitchen-grade stainless steel is both puncture- and rust-resistant to last you a lifetime.

Size: 36oz
Material: 18/8 stainless steel

Nemo Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad

Why It Made the Cut
  • Bolster your nighttime comfort with this packable foam pad that prevents abrasions and helps keep you warm.

Best Sleeping Pad: One of the main reasons we hear people are hesitant to spend their camping trips inside a tent is their aversion to sleeping on the ground. Nemo’s Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad is an affordable solution that can help you get through the night comfortably. Taller and wider than most sleeping pads on the market, the Switchback is made from the brand’s proprietary dual-density foam that prevents abrasion and compresses down significantly better than the competition for easier, hassle-free travel. What’s more, the thermal reflective film provides you with all the warmth you’ll need if it gets chilly.

Type: Closed Cell Foam Pad
Dimensions: 72″ x 20″ x 0.9″
Weight: 14.5oz

LifeStraw Peak Series Gravity Filter System 3L

Why It Made the Cut
  • Bolster your nighttime comfort with this packable foam pad that prevents abrasions and helps keep you warm.

Best Water Source: As we learn more and more about how to improve our drinking water, LifeStraw is changing the game with its groundbreaking technology for obtaining potable H2O wherever you are. Recently, the company has expanded on its handy namesake straw with the Peak Series, which includes a set of Gravity Filter Systems, such as this 3L pack that’s perfect for group outings. Protecting you from 99.999999% of all bacteria and 99.999% of parasites, microplastics, silt, and sand, the collapsible container allows you to use the water from lakes and streams to stay hydrated.

Capacity: 3L
Weight: 8.1oz

Jetboil 1.5L Ceramic FluxRing Cooking Pot

Why It Made the Cut
  • This compact, lightweight cooking pot needs a propane tank but maximizes fuel efficiency and cooks evenly.

Best Camping Stove: Don’t get stuck eating canned tuna and freeze-dried broccoli when you’d really rather dig into a hot bowl of beef chili or mac n’ cheese. Jetboil’s Ceramic FluxRing Cooking Pot is the ultimate option for people who want to plus-up their meals when spending time off the grid. The ceramic coating is PFOA-free and non-stick for easy food release and cleanup. The FluxRing tech ensures your food cooks evenly and maximizes fuel efficiency for a quick boil. And at only 10oz, this pot is virtually unnoticeable if you’re trekking far and away and pairs with your favorite portable cooking stove.

Type: Propane
Weight: 10.8oz
Capacity: 1.5L

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker
Why It Made the Cut
  • Offering airflow and ventilation, this sturdy and compact camp chair brings a rocking chair comfort to the wilderness.

Best Cheap Camping Chair: If you’re planning on spending any significant time around a campsite, you’ll need some sort of chair. And if you’re planning on purchasing a few for you and your family, the overall price will start to add up. GCI’s Freestyle Rocker is one of the best options around for its unique comfort and function. The spring-loaded pistons at the back of the frame let you rock back and forth as though you were in a rocking chair and the equipped cupholder adds an element of frivolity that’s welcomed in the outdoors. At 12.1lbs, the unit isn’t the lightest option but comes with a carrying handle.

Weight: 12.1lbs
Weight Capacity: 250lbs
Packed Dimensions: 34.8” x 25” x 4.9”

patagonia Men’s Quandary Shorts

Why It Made the Cut
  • The durable shorts feature a nice stretch, 50+ UPF, and a water-repellant finish.

Best Camping Shorts: A great pair of shorts can’t go overlooked when you’re spending all your time outside. patagonia knows this better than anyone, which is why the outdoor clothing brand has perfected the craft with its Quandary shorts. Lightweight and comfortable, these shorts are stretch-woven, made from 94% nylon (62% of which is recycled) and 6% spandex, and built with a gusseted crotch for a full range of motion when you’re hiking the trails. The fabric gives you 50+ UPF sun protection and has a durable water-repellent finish for total versatility.

Materials: 94% nylon, 6% spandex
Inseam: 10

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern

Why It Made the Cut
  • This 600-lumen lantern sports an intuitive design, user-friendly function, and a solar charging option.

Best Lantern: When it comes to solar-powered solutions, few brands have a better product line than Goal Zero. The brand’s flagship Lighthouse 600 Lantern is arguably the best around, with an adjustable and multi-directional LED bulb so you can save battery life and don’t have to settle for some pre-fixed manufacturer setting. The light can be recharged via USB, hand-crank, or solar panel (sold separately), with a battery duration of up to 2 hours. The Lighthouse also serves as a phone charger when in a pinch.

Lumens: 600
Battery Life: 2 hours + solar

MPOWERD Luci Explore

Why It Made the Cut
  • Easy to travel with, this mood light doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, alarm, and portable charger.

Best Tech Gadget: Functional, fun, and attractive, MPOWERD’s Luci Explore portable speaker doubles as a solar-powered lantern with 18 light options. Super lightweight and splash protected, this multi-colored device stays lit for up to 24 hours and serves as a portable charger as well. With an array of smart features, including phone app integration that allows you to use it as a programmable alarm clock or music player, the Luci Explore can be easily stowed in your travel bag for your next camping trip.

Weight: 9oz
Solar?: Yes
Device Charging?: Yes

Proof 72-Hour Merino Tee

Proof 72 Hour Merino Tee
Why It Made the Cut
  • This t-shirt can last you at least 3 days without washing it. Plus it comes in nearly 20 different colors.

Best Camping Shirt: Let’s face it, we’re probably not washing a whole lot of clothes when we’re camping, and sometimes we need to pack light on longer trips. Proof’s 72-Hour Merino Tee is perfect for the excursions that require the bare minimum. Odor-resistant for up to three days of non-stop wear, this shirt is tested each year by members of the company who spend an entire weekend wearing nothing else (on top at least). Engineered with a combination of 16.5-micron merino wool and nylon, the 72-Hour Merino regulates temperature, wicks moisture, and looks fantastic, if we do say so ourselves.

Material: 16.5-micron merino wool and nylon blend
Color Options: 18

Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent

Why It Made the Cut
  • With 4 size options, Coleman’s spacious and durable tent is fantastic whether you’re on a budget or not.

Best Camping Tent: A great tent rarely comes cheap. However, it’s one of the most essential pieces of gear that we need on a camping trip. It’s a good thing that Coleman’s Sundome is a great tent whether you’re on a budget or not. Boasting a 10-minute setup time, this sleeper has options for 2 people all the way up to 6, with a generous center height in any of its configurations that you won’t feel packed in like sardines. Made from polyester, the tent’s WeatherTec system and patented welded floors help you keep dry throughout the night, while the large windows and ground vent offer amazing ventilation.

Size: 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-person
Weight: 7.5lbs to 8.5lbs
Floor Space: 35sq.ft to 100sq.ft

Kammok Roo Double Camping Hammock

Kammok Roo Double Hammock
Why It Made the Cut
  • Kammok’s fan-favorite hammock is super comfortable, durable, and has a 500-pound weight limit.

Best Hammock: Although it’s not technically essential if you already have a sleeping bag, a hammock is an underrated alternative to sleeping on the cold, hard (and frequently wet) ground. Kammok was launched back in 2010 when its founder fell through a ripped hammock. Now, the company offers sleepers with industry-leading strength and durability, such as the Roo Double, which sleeps two and has a remarkable 500-pound weight capacity. Made from a super-soft, water-resistant ripstop GravitasX fabric, the Roo line is now made from 100% recycled materials without missing a beat.

Material: GravitasX 40D diamond ripstop nylon
Max Weight: 500lbs
Max Occupants: 2

adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoes

adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoes
Why It Made the Cut
  • One of the few good hiking shoes under $100, adidas’ AX4 is abrasion resistant, lightweight, and great for traction.

Best Cheap Hiking Shoes: There aren’t very many budget-friendly hiking shoes at or under $100 (good ones, at least), but adidas’ Terrex AX4 is one of the best regardless of the price range. An upgrade on the AX3, the AX4 combines the comfort of a trail runner with the durability of a hiking boot. Whether traversing through low streams or up a steep incline, you’ll have amazing traction thanks to the Continental rubber outsoles. These explorers are sustainable as well, made with abrasion-resistant mesh uppers that are constructed using 50% recycled materials. If you want to spend a little bit more, there’s a version of this very shoe with a waterproof GORE-TEX membrane.

Uppers: Abrasion-resistant mesh upper with synthetic overlays
Outsoles: Continental rubber

TETON Sports Celsius XXL Sleeping Bag

Why It Made the Cut
  • Incredibly warm with poly flannel lining, this budget sleeping bag is rated to 0ºF and even has an interior phone pocket.

Best Cheap Sleeping Bag: Ever since we were kids, there’s been something exciting about spending the night in a sleeping bag. One of the barest essentials when camping, a good sack is hard to find when trying to save money. However, TETON’s Sports Celsius XXL is the perfect budget sleeping bag for adults, with a 90-inch length and 39-inch width. Built with a mummy hood to keep your head off the ground, the Celsius is lined with brushed poly flannel to mimic the feeling of your very own bedding at home and comes equipped with an interior pocket to keep your phone and keys with you at all times.

Shell: Polyester taffeta
Insulation: SuperLoft Elite fiber
Temperature Rating: 0ºF
Weight: 7lbs

The James Brand The Redstone Knife

The James Brand The Redstone Knife
Why It Made the Cut
  • Easy to stow, this folding knife from TJB punches way above its price point and sports an attractive variety of colorways.

Best Camping Knife: The James Brand’s Redstone knife is the best wallet-friendly outdoor pocket blade you can get, but it’s also great regardless of usage and budget. It’s easy to go overboard when choosing the right pocket knife for a camping trip, but The Redstone is just the right size and caliber whether you’re whittling or preparing food. TJB’s proprietary Slide-Lock design is perfect for security and easy one-hand use, and the Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade ensures it’s protected from rust and corrosion. This super durable folding knife is also incredibly lightweight and features a comfortable grip with a unique “island” design that’s made for easy handling.

Blade Steel: Sandvik 12C27
Blade Length: 2.5″
Overall Length: 6.2″
Lock: TJB Slide-Lock

The Best Car Camping Gear Essentials

Best Car Camping Gear 01 Hero

If your budget’s not as strict and you’re looking to drive into the campsite, then check out the gear from our guide to the best car camping essentials.