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Even among these uncertain times the one thing that is for certain is the fight to combat climate change shouldn’t stop during a pandemic—even if the EPA feels differently. Fortunately, many outdoor companies haven’t forgotten this, and are still working towards standardizing more environmentally friendly materials and mentalities. Helping guide this conversation are a series of certifications that signal which brands are making the biggest strides towards more conscious and livable production practices—beyond upcycling, repairing and reselling vintage product.
Among the newest, and perhaps most significant, is Climate Neutral. In short, the earned certification tells you, the buyer, that a particular brand “measures, reduces, and offsets all of the carbon generated by making and delivering their products.” It’s significant in that it offers a trackable and feasible way to deal with the carbon emissions that come with the production of reputable outdoor gear.
With over 150 companies having already either earned the certification or committed to offsetting their 2019 emissions in 2020, opportunities to vote with your dollar are aplenty. With camp season approaching (fingers crossed) we sifted through the lot to pull our nine top picks for design-driven outdoor gear that isn’t just functional for you, but functional for the planet too.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one approach to your camp cookery, this is it. This four-piece set from the Brooklyn-based hardware innovator includes the awesome CampStove 2, KettlePot, FlexLight and a portable grill attachment. Fit up to four burgers or ton of veggies while feeling better about your purchase. Plus BioLite is donating 10% of every sale back to Climate Neutral.
Price: $230 SHOP NOW
Looking forward to those easy summer days ahead (fingers double crossed), a portable hammock and stand could be a solid investment now. The Swiftlet clocks in at just 15 lbs. and is an ideal companion to throw in the car on the way to the river or the park. It’s easy to set up and easy to drop down for multi-day trips and is built from a dual polyester and nylon base that should hold up to plenty of use.
Price: $199 SHOP NOW
Sunski offers exceptional value in terms of design and performance in a pair of shades. The unisex Makani skews a little bit tropical while remaining rooted in city style, and features polarized lenses and a frame made of recycled plastic. On top of that, they’re covered by a solid lifetime warranty.
Price: $58 SHOP NOW
If you’re into photography at all, you know the value of a top-notch carry-all for your gear. Peak Design has established themselves as a category leader and the updated Everyday Line includes this “Tote Pack,” which converts from a tote to pack with stow-able shoulder straps—perfect for those looking for something a little less utilitarian than the average carryall bag. Plus, the entire line is constructed with a durable, 100% recycled nylon and polyester shell.
MiiR’s well-defined design aesthetic makes for some seriously gorgeous gear for home and camp. This 12oz copper mug puts a welcomed new twist on the ol’ reliable camping cup that’s as fit for a cup of joe as a Moscow Mule. Beyond the style is the company’s impressive and comprehensive give-back strategy which ranges from their commitment to reduce carbon emissions this year to trackable impact initiatives on every product they sell. (Also check out this sweet artist collab cup supporting Coronavirus relief.)
Price: $28 SHOP NOW
Hibear has put their own spin on the water bottle game by concepting a 32 oz. all-day container that’s essentially four different items in one. Coffee pour over? Yep. Tea strainer? You got it. Extra sleeve for your four-legged friend? Done. Plus, 32 oz. of your beverage of choice in a sleek black container.
Price: $85 (Kickstarter set to launch early summer) SHOP NOW
For all of the “urban adventure” shoes out there, Forsake has done a great job of just making something solid that works on mellow day hikes and looks good back in town, too. The quick dry upper is a big plus, and word is it stands up surprisingly well in wet conditions for a low-cut hiking sneaker.
Women's Option: YES
Price: $110 SHOP NOW
Few things ruin a hike—or even a day around town or at home—like foot pain, and there are few things more annoying than having your dogs keep you sidelined. Enter insoles. The meat of the technology here works through special cork cushioning and tiny silver ions that eliminate bacteria and odors. Tread & Butter is almost done with the Climate Neutral certification process and last week launched a Nurse Referral Program, in which they’ll donate a pair of insoles to any nurse in need during these tough times for our medical professionals.
Price: $60 SHOP NOW
Because we can’t get enough of multi-purpose usage, this bento box-inspired food storage do-it-all really caught our eye. Think of this as a tank for your day hike provisions (or just lunch at the office). Four different individually enclosed containers are set within a larger stainless steel container perfect for any small portion of food. Plus, a silicone seal layer keeps everything in the box (and not on your gear), and the bamboo top is both handsome and functions as a cutting board. Versatility to the max.
Price: $125 SHOP NOW