The best road trip equipment for your summer vacation


Colorado’s Summer Guide 2021

Backpack, fly rod, cooler and more, all from Colorado companies, to take with you on your summer vacation.

Whether you’re heading out for the weekend an hour or two away, or taking the highway for a full-blown summer adventure, the right essentials will make all the difference. Pack these 10 items, all from businesses in Colorado, and you’ll be ready for a roadside picnic, a dip in an alpine lake, or a hike with your dog.

The blanket

If you’re sleeping in your van or having a picnic in a park, a durable outdoor blanket comes in handy. The new-for-this-year Down galactic ($ 100) from Kelty, based in Broomfield, is large enough for two people to gaze at the stars from neighboring camp chairs. Padded with 550 duck down insulation, this blanket packs in plenty of warmth considering it weighs just 1.79 pounds and 7 inches by 12 inches.

The duffel bag

Designed and tested in Cortez, Colorado, the new version of Osprey Duffel 65 transporter ($ 140) is rugged enough for international expeditions but versatile enough for a road trip through national parks. A tough nylon fabric on the outside deflects rain and sharp objects, while interior dividers help separate dirty laundry from what’s still clean. Wear it like a backpack or throw it over your arm like a gym bag.

The face mask

Knotty Tie Colorado Face Mask. Courtesy of Knotty Tie

Knotty Tie is known for its unique bow ties and ties, but during the pandemic, the Denver-based company also entered the face mask market. Their reusable, machine washable Colorado face masks (starting at $ 15) are made in Denver and feature Colorado-centric graphics (think the Flatirons, the Denver skyline, or the Colorado flag). The masks are available in three sizes with adjustable elastic earrings and two layers of breathable, lightweight fabric.

The fly rod

Pack a fly rod and you’ll have a much better chance of catching a fish than if you didn’t carry any at all. The latest release from Yampa Rod Company, the Mustang fly rod ($ 455), is built fast, light and streamlined to catch trout from further afield. Handcrafted in a garage in Denver by Paul W. Boals and DJ Loerzel, a pair of guys between fishing trips, the Mustang is sleek and compact, and won’t take up much room in the car.

The dog’s bowl

Rocky Mountain Underground Grrowler Dog Bowl. Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Underground

Your puppy will appreciate the prowler ($ 19) as much as you want. This Breckenridge Rocky Mountain Underground Convertible Dog Collar and Emergency Leash has a built-in water bowl that closes whenever your furry friend needs a sip on the road or trail. Two sizes are suitable for almost all dogs. You can pick up this handy item at RMU’s Breckenridge Shop, which also sells skis, backpacks, and craft beer on tap at the store’s bar. (The Grrowler is also available on the RMU website.)


Zeal Optics Cam Sunglasses. Courtesy of Zeal Optics

Boulder’s Zeal Optics launched the Cam sunglasses ($ 149) this year. They’re sporty enough for a bike ride or a run, but relaxed enough to be worn in the driver’s seat while cruising I-70 out of town. Designed to be extremely light, with tiny air bubbles injected into a herbal frame, the Cam weighs less than an ounce, so they feel almost unnoticeable on your face. The polarized lenses make them ideal for aquatic feats, whether it’s fishing or flotation on the river.

The cooler

The good thing about the Roll 45 ($ 400) from Boulder-headquartered Rovr cooler company is that it’s small enough to fit in the back of your trunk but roomy enough to keep all your perishables cool for days on end. on the road. Plus, it has sturdy wheels so you can roll it to camp or lake without throwing your back while carrying an overloaded cooler. Small storage bins inside this bear-safe cooler separate your drinks from your veggies, and it comes in new colors this summer.

The quick-drying towel

Classic travel towel from Lava Linen. Courtesy of Lava Linen

You probably didn’t know your old travel towel was causing environmental damage, but some polyester towels release microplastics into the watershed when washed. Not the Classic travel towel ($ 98) from Lava Linens from Boulder. It’s made with responsibly sourced natural fibers from the flax plant that absorb 50% more water than its microfiber counterparts, making this compressible towel perfect for life on the road. Use it to dry off after a swim in a lake or to wash your feet in a stream.

The camp chair

Big Six Arm Chair by Big Agnes. Courtesy of Big Agnès

New for 2021, the Large six-arm chair ($ 200) from Big Agnes, based in Steamboat Springs, is the perfect lounge chair for any roadside stop. It comes with two cup holders, a high back, and fun terrain-inspired prints along the Continental Divide. Better yet, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this chair goes to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and the Yampa River Fund. The chair is incredibly small (22 x 5 x 6 inches) considering its comfort.

The backpack

When you go for the day, you need a sturdy bag to carry your essentials, whether you are going for a hike or walking around town. New Heritage canvas backpack ($ 229) from Topo Designs, located in Denver, gets the job done in style. Made from a water resistant cotton canvas, it has a laptop sleeve for remote working days and an exterior pocket for your water bottle.


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