Favorite Group Camping Products

January 18, 2017

  • by
  • Peter Reese

Call it “going big.” We’re out to get friends and family away from their screens and living more amazing days with us. All at the same time in the same place, while making certain to keep our impact low by staying at an established campsite. Join us – and bring along several of these products for good measure.

Slumberjack Overland 8 Tent

Slumberjack overland 8 tent main Slumberjack Overland 8 Tent $248.96 - $296.96

There’s so much usable room in this Slumberjack tent, you’ll be tempted to stay out longer. Exactly the point as this model puts enough space between you and the ground (as in, interior height) and the campers using it to warrant the packed weight of 19lbs. Even off the back of a pack horse, four-wheeler or boat, it’s within the weight range to tote in a mile or two. Far enough to let the rugged wall and floor material land in a favorite spot, and include the under-$50 footprint if more abrasion and moisture resistance is needed. Couples, kids, friends and even in-laws find their happy place in the tunnel tent design, one Active Junky rated as a Best Value. While only single wall, five windows and a mid-tent zipped door divider let you customize the interior layout without getting claustrophobic or building up body-generated moisture. The tester’s favorite feature? The under-ten-minutes setup that only requires one competent person. Along with someone to hold their favorite beverage.

Best For: Expedition-style encampments and recreational outings in moderate condition

Camp Chef Yukon Stove

Camp chef yukon stove main Camp Chef Yukon Stove $115.43 - $197.00

Are you ready to bring it? As in fry, boil, sauté and stew it? If not, walk away as Yukon’s dual cast aluminum burners are not simply water boiling machines. No indeed, as the control testers got from the 30,000 BTU/hr burners enabled real cooking. Important stuff, not only because everyone’s hungry, but recognizing you’ve graduated to more finely-tuned preparations. Make your own marinara on site, turn today’s trout into an almandine and bust out some biscuits with the optional grill box accessory. At a rugged 38lbs, high winds and large, impatient diners won’t throw Camp Chef Yukon off the trail as removable, adjustable legs stand tall at your preferred cooking height. Active Junky recommends supplemental griddles as well as the grill box to get the most out of the nearly 450 square-inch cooking grate. Tested both by aspiring and accomplished chefs, this group camp stove opens up territory as big as its namesake. Even when the altitude takes you higher.

Best For: Groups of four or more, weekend and extended road trips or basecamps when using the Yukon two-burner as part of an integrated system to increase your efficiency, options and cooking enjoyment

Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad

Klymit double v sleeping pad main Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad $123.46 - $126.06

When everyone heads for their tent, camper or RV, you’re stretching out in a world of your own doing. Actually, the innovators at Klymit did the heavy lifting to get a lightweight sleeping pad under you and another – at the same time when needed. Testers split the difference between solo and dual sleeping, relishing the 47” platform that inflated with under a dozen pumps. Clever, too, is the stuff stack that morphs into air pump that surprised with V-worthy pressure to create a patterned surface that never slipped, pinched or shifted. Note that the 40.5oz weight is more relevant to a sheep-counting duo for hike-in and trekking scenarios than light and fast packing trips. Rated for use directly on the ground, Active Junky’s predisposition to sharp rock settings kept us on pins and needles (and mostly using a ground cloth). With the tech, construction and plump profile of Double V, the under-$130 pricing is more than competitive with others. 

Best For: Three-season shared endeavors, from campsite to RV to paddle-in trips

GSI Outdoors Infinity 4 Person Deluxe Tableset

Gsi outdoors infinity deluxe tableset main GSI Outdoors Infinity 4 Person Deluxe Tableset $48.49 - $64.36

Four people are totally equipped for feasting thanks to this bounteous GSI Outdoors camp kitchen set. If you’re willing to trade forks for spoons, and some of your beverages don’t need mugs, you can stretch to eight or more campers. BPA-free and stackable, Active Junky took this one on an extended filmmaking road trip where easy clean-up was mandatory. GSI Outdoors didn’t disappoint as color-coding avoided cross-contamination while lids meant preserving our slow-cooked meals a little longer. Anyone whose been around persistent flies, mission-minded wasps or omnipresent sand will applaud the camping system that weighs under 3.5lbs when returned to the mesh stuff sack (a useful tool on its own). While 100% recyclable, it’s hard to imagine GSI Outdoor Infinity not going strong until the next generate of campers is ready to chow down.

Best For: Vehicle-assisted outings or breaking the set apart for pack-in scenarios using GSI’s Stacking Cutlery Set to add participants 

OXX Coffeeboxx

Oxx coffeeboxx main OXX Coffeeboxx Starting at: $409.05

Life better when coffee (tea, even) arrives in perfect order no matter the weather and when there’s an alternative to having a novice try to make campfire coffee. Truly 12lb OXX is a beast of a machine along with being a hulk of a hauler with output to match its heft. Deployed with any K-Cup compatibles, this one turns every hatchback, tailgate or picnic table into Brew Central without a steep learning curve. And infusing tea and making soup is achieved with a separate hot-water feed. Active Junky found the 3-foot cord was the right length, knowing OXX feeds on AC power from a heavy-duty onboard inverter or normal service. The 2.5L water reservoir is ideal, with easy refilling even while OXX is harnessed in place with the six, stainless steel tie-down connections. Crushing, breaking or failing under extreme use are of little concern. Time to assess your options, then brew for the crew.

Best For: Outdoor gatherings, reunions, road trips and utility- or generated-serviced base camps

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