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Contemporary Camping Gear to Take Into the Wild

From solar panels to a smart home on wheels – these if awarded products make your next outdoor adventure as comfortable as possible.

Going camping? Depending on who you ask, reactions range from an absolute love of the outdoors and waking up with the birds to suppressed memories of mosquito bites and backaches in the morning. Either way, camping has undergone a major transformation over the last decade – from a budget-friendly tourism niche to mainstream. Times like these when you desire to go into social isolation whenever necessary and surround yourself with nature have caused a further upswing in camping gear. Add to this the increasing variety of such experiences – bivvying, tent or rooftop camping, campervanning and glamping to name just a few – and the many product innovations in this field, you make yourself accessible to a number of possibilities all gathered under the term "outdoor hospitality".

The award-winning products in the category of "Sports / Outdoor / Bicycles" of this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD demonstrate exactly how this contemporary outdoor gear looks like. At the same time, they reflect the motivation you have when you engage in such experiences. It’s a tale of searching for moments in which you can reward yourself with a sense of mastering survival skills. With the pocket knife "Otter 153-2 Sheepfoot", for instance, you’re all set for an unforgettable camping experience. In addition to that, motives for camping are the same as for travelling: There is a need to escape, to feel free and to find relaxation. In that sense, forests, mountains and beaches are places where everything feels lighter, the air is fresher and the possibilities of life seem endless. Nature recharges your energy and camping puts you right in the middle of it.

iF award-winning designs 2021

Nestbox Tramp is a plywood module that can turn your car into a camper in a matter of minutes. It is the newest and smallest addition to the Nestbox product family. The camping kit fits comfortably into the average family car and is therefore accessible to a wide range of users. This product is perfect for nomadic holidays and weekends offering a sense of freedom and adventure.
Egoé Nestbox Tramp + accessories | Manufacturer: Egoé nest, Bílovice, Czechia

Nestbox Tramp is a plywood module that can turn your car into a camper in a matter of minutes. It is the newest and smallest addition to the Nestbox product family. The camping kit fits comfortably into the average family car and is therefore accessible to a wide range of users. This product is perfect for nomadic holidays and weekends offering a sense of freedom and adventure.

This portable and foldable monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic panel is an ideal energy solution for complex, remote, and harsh environments. The aluminum frame and solar cells are built using integrated molding technology, which increases the firmness of the product and is lighter and more portable. Furthermore, the trapezoidal anti-collision angle enhances protection and is more durable.
Portable Solar Panel | Manufacturer: Shenzhen Hello Tech Energy Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China

This portable and foldable monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic panel is an ideal energy solution for complex, remote, and harsh environments. The aluminum frame and solar cells are built using integrated molding technology, which increases the firmness of the product and is lighter and more portable. Furthermore, the trapezoidal anti-collision angle enhances protection and is more durable.

Easy to set up and barely noticeable in your pack, the reclining Moonlite™ is your go-to chair for every adventure, from a picnic in the park to an extended backcountry trip. The extremely durable frame ensures stability, comfort, and support, and is easy to get in and out. The ingenious new design allows you to adjust seating position on the fly, from upright to fully reclined—a radical new feature for the ultralight category.
Moonlite | Manufacturer: NEMO Equipment, Inc., Dover, United States

Easy to set up and barely noticeable in your pack, the reclining Moonlite™ is your go-to chair for every adventure, from a picnic in the park to an extended backcountry trip. The extremely durable frame ensures stability, comfort, and support, and is easy to get in and out. The ingenious new design allows you to adjust seating position on the fly, from upright to fully reclined—a radical new feature for the ultralight category.

The design of this multifunctional product is simple yet elegant and effective - whether you use it as photography light, outdoor work light or mobile battery. Since the hook is retractable, the body is completely smooth, making it easy to put into or remove from a bag.
Flat type mobile battery with LED light | Manufacturer: ELECOM Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan

The design of this multifunctional product is simple yet elegant and effective - whether you use it as photography light, outdoor work light or mobile battery. Since the hook is retractable, the body is completely smooth, making it easy to put into or remove from a bag.

The everyday carry knife combines a striking design with perfect ergonomics. It's completely hand-made with handles made of regional plum wood. The design was influenced by three main themes: traditional craftsmanship, high-tech materials, and perfect ergonomics. The handles are angled to three degrees on both sides with clearly defined grip areas.
Otter 153-2 Sheepfoot | Manufacturer: OTTER-Messer GmbH, Solingen, Germany

The everyday carry knife combines a striking design with perfect ergonomics. It's completely hand-made with handles made of regional plum wood. The design was influenced by three main themes: traditional craftsmanship, high-tech materials, and perfect ergonomics. The handles are angled to three degrees on both sides with clearly defined grip areas.

The Closca Bottle is the first wearable bottle on the market that eliminates the use of single-use plastics and allows you to combine it with your outfit. It lets the user transport their bottle in a comfortable way, refilling it from the nearest water source at any time. Closca Bottle stands out for its unique design, its associated technology, its usability, and its commitment to the environment.
CLOSCA BOTTLE | Manufacturer: CLOSCA DESIGN, Valencia, Spain

The Closca Bottle is the first wearable bottle on the market that eliminates the use of single-use plastics and allows you to combine it with your outfit. It lets the user transport their bottle in a comfortable way, refilling it from the nearest water source at any time. Closca Bottle stands out for its unique design, its associated technology, its usability, and its commitment to the environment.

The Sesn packaging design creates the most significant value by making the product more user-friendly for outdoor scenarios. The design means that users can quickly unbox the product to offer them a new shower experience after outdoor activities, such as diving, surfing, and camping. The packaging material is made of stone, which can be reused many times, recycled, and then remade at the factory. The stone material prevents the inner product from coming into contact with water, preventing the Sesn Shower Marble to dissolve before use.
Sesn, Eco-Friendly Outdoor Shower Marble Packaging | Manufacturer: CKOY, Taipei, Taiwan

The Sesn packaging design creates the most significant value by making the product more user-friendly for outdoor scenarios. The design means that users can quickly unbox the product to offer them a new shower experience after outdoor activities, such as diving, surfing, and camping. The packaging material is made of stone, which can be reused many times, recycled, and then remade at the factory. The stone material prevents the inner product from coming into contact with water, preventing the Sesn Shower Marble to dissolve before use.

OZTENT makes the only touring tent in the world that can be set up in 30 seconds. The concept of a trapezoidal footprint for the tent, its awning, and all attachments allows for these goals to be achieved. This meant a complete redesign of the tent’s frame and two new patents. It was important to increase the area under the tent awning by at least 35% and enable additional covered space to be easily attached.
OZTENT SV-5 Max Tent | Manufacturer: Oztent Australia Pty Ltd., Sydney, Australia

OZTENT makes the only touring tent in the world that can be set up in 30 seconds. The concept of a trapezoidal footprint for the tent, its awning, and all attachments allows for these goals to be achieved. This meant a complete redesign of the tent’s frame and two new patents. It was important to increase the area under the tent awning by at least 35% and enable additional covered space to be easily attached.

The Pipamoka is designed to provide an all-in-one coffee travel experience. It uses a first-of-its-kind twisting mechanism to create vacuum pressure that enables users to make a full cup of balanced coffee in two minutes. The innovative design of this portable coffee maker cleverly packs all the brewing gear inside the isothermal stainless steel cup, helping travelers save space and pack minimally.
Pipamoka | Manufacturer: Wacaco Company Limited, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR China

The Pipamoka is designed to provide an all-in-one coffee travel experience. It uses a first-of-its-kind twisting mechanism to create vacuum pressure that enables users to make a full cup of balanced coffee in two minutes. The innovative design of this portable coffee maker cleverly packs all the brewing gear inside the isothermal stainless steel cup, helping travelers save space and pack minimally.

A progressive interior design language of this camper van features rounded edges, thin and single-cast surfaces, flush-mounted design and natural haptics. Lightweight materials make for an unprecedented overall vehicle weight – fully loaded – of under 3.5 tons at 7.36m length. This guarantees fuel efficiency, unrestricted driving, and, ultimately, greater freedom.
ALPHAVAN | Manufacturer: Alphavan GmbH, Wangen im Allgäu, Germany

A progressive interior design language of this camper van features rounded edges, thin and single-cast surfaces, flush-mounted design and natural haptics. Lightweight materials make for an unprecedented overall vehicle weight – fully loaded – of under 3.5 tons at 7.36m length. This guarantees fuel efficiency, unrestricted driving, and, ultimately, greater freedom.

Insulated bottles are an essential part of outdoor adventure, but fall short when it comes to crafting beverages on the road. This product is designed to hold beverages from coffee to cocktails, yet is also simple enough to be used as an everyday water bottle. Stainless steel construction with an unbreakable glass finish prevents flavors and aromas from sticking. The silicone sleeve prevents denting and can double as a cup. The lid can be flipped upside down to brew pourover coffee.
Hibear All-Day Adventure Flask | Manufacturer: Hibear, Reno, United States

Insulated bottles are an essential part of outdoor adventure, but fall short when it comes to crafting beverages on the road. This product is designed to hold beverages from coffee to cocktails, yet is also simple enough to be used as an everyday water bottle. Stainless steel construction with an unbreakable glass finish prevents flavors and aromas from sticking. The silicone sleeve prevents denting and can double as a cup. The lid can be flipped upside down to brew pourover coffee.

These binoculars provide bright, high-contrasting vision, enabling users to enjoy the beauty of natural sights such as wildlife, the sea, mountains, and stars. The design is intended for habitual long-term use and conveys reliability through the sturdy, comfortable torque of the moving parts, the precision feel of the dials, and the texture of the elastomer.
FUJINON HYPER-CLARITY HC8x42/HC10x42 | Manufacturer: FUJIFILM Corporation, Minato-ku,Tokyo, Japan

These binoculars provide bright, high-contrasting vision, enabling users to enjoy the beauty of natural sights such as wildlife, the sea, mountains, and stars. The design is intended for habitual long-term use and conveys reliability through the sturdy, comfortable torque of the moving parts, the precision feel of the dials, and the texture of the elastomer.

This is an incredibly portable set that includes a palm-sized coffee grinder, a card-sized coffee dripper, and a silicone pouring spout. The entire set weighs under 200g. This is the perfect travel companion to ensure you can enjoy freshly ground coffee wherever it is you start your day. The unique combination of compact and comprehensive gives this product its charm.
Fresh Drip On-the-Go Combo | Manufacturer: Artisana Ltd., Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR China

This is an incredibly portable set that includes a palm-sized coffee grinder, a card-sized coffee dripper, and a silicone pouring spout. The entire set weighs under 200g. This is the perfect travel companion to ensure you can enjoy freshly ground coffee wherever it is you start your day. The unique combination of compact and comprehensive gives this product its charm.

To maximize efficiency, this mosquito killer lamp uses both bluish 365nm and violet 395nm ultraviolet light to attract mosquitos. The range of the 360-degree light is up to 10 meters. Mosquito repellant mats can also be inserted into the device, which does not produce any annoying sounds. A built-in battery and hook make OO2D portable and easy to use in any scenario, even outdoors.
002D mosquito killer lamp | Manufacturer: Shenzhen MECOM Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China

To maximize efficiency, this mosquito killer lamp uses both bluish 365nm and violet 395nm ultraviolet light to attract mosquitos. The range of the 360-degree light is up to 10 meters. Mosquito repellant mats can also be inserted into the device, which does not produce any annoying sounds. A built-in battery and hook make OO2D portable and easy to use in any scenario, even outdoors.

BPFS2, a compact binocular laser rangefinder. The digitization of outdoor scenes is good for accurate judgment of distance. Thanks to its compact size and light weight, it is easy to carry. The operation is simple and intuitive. Features include a range of up to 2000m; 6 x magnification, 95% light transmittance, stable and HD image, 7.5 degrees of field of view, wider visual range, light-alloy material, and an environmentally friendly lithium battery.
BPFS2 | Manufacturer: Shenzhen MileSeey Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China

BPFS2, a compact binocular laser rangefinder. The digitization of outdoor scenes is good for accurate judgment of distance. Thanks to its compact size and light weight, it is easy to carry. The operation is simple and intuitive. Features include a range of up to 2000m; 6 x magnification, 95% light transmittance, stable and HD image, 7.5 degrees of field of view, wider visual range, light-alloy material, and an environmentally friendly lithium battery.

Calzone is a reusable folding plate made of silicone. When going on picnics or hiking, it can be used as a plate or to store snacks instead of zipper bags. Also, it can be folded to store leftover food. As Calzone is made of medical-grade silicone, it is safe to microwave, heat in the oven, and put in the freezer. The product is a sustainable and long-lasting product, even if used frequently; it is non-toxic, convenient, sturdy, and durable.
Calzone | Manufacturer: BDCI Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea

Calzone is a reusable folding plate made of silicone. When going on picnics or hiking, it can be used as a plate or to store snacks instead of zipper bags. Also, it can be folded to store leftover food. As Calzone is made of medical-grade silicone, it is safe to microwave, heat in the oven, and put in the freezer. The product is a sustainable and long-lasting product, even if used frequently; it is non-toxic, convenient, sturdy, and durable.

This solar charger has three key components: a large flexible solar battery pack for energy collection, a large energy-storage battery pack and efficient electronics. All functions are integrated into a compact cylinder through an ingenious reel design. Whether you're hiking or fishing in the wild, xSolar can use the sun's energy to continuously charge your smartphone and other devices. In addition, it has integrated LED lights to provide illumination at night.
xSolar | Manufacturer: Shenzhen N Plus Product Planning Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China

This solar charger has three key components: a large flexible solar battery pack for energy collection, a large energy-storage battery pack and efficient electronics. All functions are integrated into a compact cylinder through an ingenious reel design. Whether you're hiking or fishing in the wild, xSolar can use the sun's energy to continuously charge your smartphone and other devices. In addition, it has integrated LED lights to provide illumination at night.

This fork-mounted roof bike rack ensures fast and easy mounting for both Thru-axle and standard Quick-release bikes. With an increased number of fits and an adapter for 9–15 mm Thru-axle bikes, it is possible to load almost any road bike, gravel bike, or cross country bike. Thanks to the included adapter, all 9 mm standard Quick-release bikes fit Thule TopRide.
Thule TopRide | Manufacturer: Thule Group, Malmö, Sweden

This fork-mounted roof bike rack ensures fast and easy mounting for both Thru-axle and standard Quick-release bikes. With an increased number of fits and an adapter for 9–15 mm Thru-axle bikes, it is possible to load almost any road bike, gravel bike, or cross country bike. Thanks to the included adapter, all 9 mm standard Quick-release bikes fit Thule TopRide.

The advanced AeroZ cooling system of this portable power station helps provide safe and continuous AC and 100W PD outputs, while the wide range of connector types brings a comprehensive fast-charging experience. The Double Helix technology means the battery can be fully recharged in just 2.5 hours. In areas prone to natural disasters, PowerStudio 300 makes for an outstanding backup power supply, and connected to solar panels allows for the ultimate off-grid experience.
AUKEY PowerStudio 300 | Manufacturer: Aukey Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China

The advanced AeroZ cooling system of this portable power station helps provide safe and continuous AC and 100W PD outputs, while the wide range of connector types brings a comprehensive fast-charging experience. The Double Helix technology means the battery can be fully recharged in just 2.5 hours. In areas prone to natural disasters, PowerStudio 300 makes for an outstanding backup power supply, and connected to solar panels allows for the ultimate off-grid experience.

  • 01/19

One of the biggest trends lately is car camping. It's a fun and easy way to get outside – whether it’s for a day trip, a long weekend or a prolonged time. You don’t have to worry about setting up a tent and you can move smoothly from one place to another. The hashtag #vanlife has yet grown to represent an entire lifestyle. For example, the car camping kit "Egoé Nestbox Tramp + accessories" gets you closer to this specific way of living. It’s a plywood module that can turn your car into a camper in a matter of minutes. Or do you prefer a more glamorous way of travelling with an already installed kitchen area? The camper van "ALPHAVAN" might be your choice. The full use of digitization means you can turn this vehicle into a smart home on wheels.

Forget plastic chairs and mosquito nets: Contemporary camping gear has nothing to do with the struggles of the past. There’s a new, modern way to camp. Designers have come up with clever ways to make the most of it. The recipe for success is to improve already existing products and services while minimizing discomfort associated with outdoor experience. For those sunny mornings with birds chirping, the portable coffee maker "Pipamoka" is just what everyone needs. Thanks to a special vacuum pressure system, you can brew your own coffee inside the cup. Looking for a comfortable chair? "Moonlite" is a well-designed mesh sear and allows you to adjust seating position on the fly, from upright to fully reclined. If you are a fan of multifunctional products since space saving, the "Flat type mobile battery with LED light" is just fine for you. It can be used as outdoor work light, photography light and mobile battery. With gadgets like the "Portable Solar Panel" and the solar charger "xSolar" you can make use of a self-sufficient energy supply boosting your travel comfort. The search for comfort is not new, but designers are finding more and more ways to surprise you.

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(published in June 2021)

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