2015 Outdoor Gear Essentials Roundup

2015 Outdoor Gear Essentials

We’re just about to wrap up July, and in my humble opinion the local Colorado kids here are heading back to school waaaay too early.   This summer my family was more determined than ever to get out and camp, bike, and hike as much as possible.  Personally, I’ve got A LOT of warm weather play and quality mountain time left in me for this season!

One of the perks of being an outdoor blogger is getting to try all sorts of gadgets, technical clothing, and gear.  Sometimes it doesn’t live up to the hype, or the price tag.  But other times I find quality items that we end up using time and again, which to me truly seem worth the investment.

So without further ado… I present to you the Best-of-the-Best that I’ve found for outdoor adventuring this year:  My 2015 Outdoor Gear Essentials Roundup.

2015 Outdoor Gear Essentials Roundup

Pelican 20QT Elite Cooler

Outdoor Gear Roundup Pelican Elite Cooler

Pelican coolers have a reputation for being virtually indestructible.  Although we didn’t personally try loosely strapping ours to the back of an ATV, then having it tumble off at 60 mph… I have no doubts it would withstand this scenario.

With it’s freezer grade seal and thick molded polyurethane walls, you get extreme ice retention.  Helpful, when you’re out adventuring for a few days in the middle of nowhere.  And if camping in Grizzly infested woods is how you roll – you’ll be happy to hear the Pelican Elite has “bear resistant certification”.

We’ve used the “small” Pelican 20QT Elite Cooler this summer, and it’s the perfect capacity for our family of 4.  It’s hefty, so I don’t think we’d even want a bigger one.  Still easily carried with the solid handle that folds down flush with the lid.  This cooler gets a solid two-thumbs up from me for an outdoor gear essential.  We’ll be using it for years to come.

Hydro Flask

Outdoor Gear Essentials Hydro Flask 14 oz
Insulated stainless steel water bottles will have you hooked after the first time you use one, and Hydro Flask makes some of the best available.  These versatile bottles are vacuum sealed, and keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 6 hours.  They’re BPA free, backed by a lifetime warranty, and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and mouth openings.


Motorola Talkabout T400

Outdoor Gear Roundup Motorola Talkabout T400

“Walkie talkies are just for kids (or husbands who are just big kids)”, you say?  Think again.  We’ve used this Motorola Talkabout T400 set all summer long on hiking and camping adventures, and they’ve become indispensable.

Out of cell phone range, no problem.  The kids can head to the end of the campground (still within sight) to go play and explore, and stay in contact by taking a walkie talkie with them.  Dad can grab a walkie talkie when he heads out fishing, and mom can let him know when the natives are hungry and restless and he needs to head back.  The lazy half of your hiking party can contact, find, and be late joiners to the serious hiking half, enabling them to catch up and see the highlights.

Impressive range, awesome battery life, and easy to recharge.  The flexibility and uses for the Motorola Talkabout T400 are endless, and the safety factor of having your wandering family members be able to communicate tops it all off. These are on my “must have” outdoor gear essentials list for families.  MSRP:  $79.99.

Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR

Outdoor Gear Essentials Hoka One One Challenger ATR

Allow me to tell you a little story, about how the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR changed my running life!  While most companies were pursuing that… I’m just gonna say it… silly minimalist running shoe trend, Hoka One One was designing the shoe that is now taking the world by storm.  They are stable, they are cushy, they have amazing tread, they are mindbogglingly light, and they have greatly reduced my runner’s knee pain.  I didn’t think that last part was possible, but it’s true.

The Challenger ATRs are stable even on uneven terrain, making it an awesome choice for both trail running or indoor running.  And once you get past your initial hesitancy towards their… err… rather chunky soled appearance – you will fall madly in love.  Seriously.  Just go to REI and try a pair on.  You can thank me later.

Stio CFS Hooded Jacket

Outdoor Gear Essentials Stio Women's CFS Hooded Jacket

Where has Stio been all my outdoorsy life?  Any gear company based out of Jackson Hole, WY, knows what the heck they’re doing.  Just saying.

The Stio CFS Hooded Jacket is a lightweight, pullover anorak with a bit of stretch to it.  It’s breathable and UPF 50+, with an adjustable hood and a cool custom Stio® gripper hem so it doesn’t ride up.  Awesome layer that’s compact and perfect to take along in your pack for when a chill sets in.  My favorite feature? A unique vertical side/back zipper for easy on and off.  Or for when you ate a few too many s’mores… and you just want a slightly looser fit through the middle.  These things happen.

This brand was new to me, but I want more of it in my life.  Thoughtful design details, solid construction, stellar materials, and gorgeous colors. (Hey, there’s nothing wrong with liking to wear GORGEOUS COLORS when you’re playing outside!)

Stonewear Rockin’ Pant

Outdoor Gear Essentials Stonewear Rockin PantAfter three years of being a Stonewear Ambassador, alas this season we shall part ways.  However, they remain my all time favorite activewear brand, and I would be remiss in not including them here.  Because I never, EVER go camping without my Stonewear!

If I had to pick just one favorite, camping-and-hiking go to piece to tell you about in this Outdoor Gear Essentials Roundup… it would have to be the Stonewear Rockin’ Pant.  Soft, durable, tough, and incredibly comfortable.  You can hike in these, climb in them, or even sleep in them.  This is my Outdoor Essentials pick for you ladies on trail!

Bonus:  They come in three lengths, petite, regular, and long.  So much awesome.

Pelican 1920 LED Flashlight

Outdoor Gear Essentials Pelican 1920 LED flashlightWho likes flashlights?  Who likes powerful yet small flashlights that are lightweight, pack a serious light punch, and take up almost no room in your backpack so they are super easy to always take along just-in-case?  Oh, pick me!  Pick me!!  (You, too?)

The Pelican 1920 LED Flashlight fits this bill nicely, and uses easy to find AAA batteries (I hate when they use ‘weird’ batteries I never have on hand).  It has a sleek aluminum body, and hi-lumen output.  I like it.  I like it alot.

Spoiler alert:  Want one?  I’m giving one away, at the end of this post!

Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream

Outdoor Gear Essentials Earths Care Anti Itch Cream

My entire family loves the soothing, all natural ingredients found in Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream.  It’s been so effective in relieving itchy and swollen bug bites around our house, that now I frequently hear from my children, “Mom, can I try some of that itch cream on this?” for any and all random skin problems that summer brings our way.   It contains Camphor and Menthol, and is good for skin irritations such as poison ivy/oak/sumac, sunburn, insect bites, and minor cuts and scrapes.   Highly recommend this in your camping or even just at-home arsenal.

trilipiderm® Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Outdoor Gear Essentials trilipiderm SPF creme

Trilipiderm are the makers of specialized all-body moisture retention cremes, and have now also added sun protection to the mix.  My family has been using trilipiderm® Broad Spectrum SPF 30 this summer as our sunscreen, and it feels luxurious to the skin.

I’ve had skin cancer on my face in the past, so I learned my lesson the hard way how important it is to use sunscreen.  Trilipiderm offers a great way to nourish your skin with moisture at the same time as protecting it while outdoors.


The Giveaway ~ from Pelican Products

pelican logo (1)

Pelican Products has ponied up an awesome Pelican 1920 LED Flashlight to giveaway to one of my readers!  Open to US Residents, 18+.  Enter using the form below.   Void where prohibited.

*o*     *o*     *o*

I received samples of some of the products mentioned in this article at no cost, for the purposes of review.  All opinions are my own.

Outdoor Gear Essentials Roundup by Colorado Mountain Mom

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.


  1. ron schnell says:

    Very nice indeed!

  2. The LED Pelican Flashlight!!

  3. Kim McConahay says:

    Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR

  4. kelly tupick says:

    I like to try the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR the most.

  5. Erin Hussman says:

    The Pelican 20QT Elite Cooler

  6. Dan Human says:

    My family and I would love to try out the Pelican 20 qt elite cooler – it looks like it would be a perfect fit for car and canoe camping.

  7. I would love to check out the pelican cooler as well as the hydroflask bottle!

  8. Ann Fantom says:

    I would like to try the Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream the most

  9. I would like to try the Pelican 2qt cooler. They make great camera cases and luggage as well.

  10. I’d like to try the Motorola Talkabout T400.

  11. angela cunningham says:

    the Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream

  12. Cynthia C says:

    I would like to try the anti-itch cream for poison ivy and mosquito bites.

  13. Ashley C says:

    I really want those Stonewear Rockin’ Pants! They look so comfy yet durable! I need them in my life!

  14. The Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream is what I would like to try. These summer months bring all kinds of itchies, from mosquitoes to poison ivy. I much prefer a cream with all natural ingredients.

  15. eguiver Yol says:

    I would want to try the pelican cooler.

  16. Tari Lawson says:

    I would most like to try the Stonewear Rockin’ Pant.

  17. Definitely the flashlight

  18. Denise S says:

    I could use the Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream right now.

  19. Missy Marie says:

    I am most excited about the Pelican cooler! I’m in desperate need of a new cooler:)

  20. I would love to try the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket. I love the fit and cut of this jacket.

  21. Diane W says:

    I would like to try the Pelican 1920 LED Flashlight. I have been though so many flashlights and they end up in the garbage. I like that it is small and easy to pack. I found your blog by doing a google search on flashlights.

  22. Sarah Hayes says:

    the flashlight or the hooded jacket would be great! I think they both look like nice products and I know i would get a lot of use from either of them

  23. Dorrie Turner says:

    I would like to try the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket. It looks like the perfect jacket for the job of hiking, camping, or any outdoorsy stuff.

  24. I think the Stonewear Rockin’ pants would be just my style!

  25. The Motorola Walkie Talkies

  26. The walkie talkies

  27. Diana Stanhope says:

    Actually the flashlight! I need a good one for all the late nights in the rain at the storm shelter.

  28. timothy luscko says:

    Pelican cooler would to try and own

  29. Cheryl B. says:

    trilipiderm® Broad Spectrum SPF 30 would be perfect for hiking outside.

  30. allyson tice says:

    Stonewear Rockin’ Pant!! they would be comfy and dry while camping!

  31. Oh I would also love to try the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR! I love that they are light and helped with your knee pain!

  32. Nicole Sender says:

    I’d most like to try the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR shoe!

  33. Missy Marie says:

    I would love the Pelican cooler. Desperately need a new cooler.

  34. wen budro says:

    I would most like to try the Hoka One One shoes because I currently have knee issues.

  35. I like the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR shoes.

  36. Shareen Mioskowski says:

    I would love to get better walkies so I say the most wanted would have to be The Motorola Talkabout T400 walkie talkies!!! It helps to have them especially with children!

  37. I love the walkie talkies you talked about! Those would be fun to try.

  38. Shaylin S says:

    I like the Stonewear Rockin Pant.

  39. Madeline says:

    I’d love to try the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR shoes!

  40. Grace Mitchell says:

    I’d love to try the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket. It looks perfect for our cool, rainy fall time in Alaska!

  41. def the anti itch cream

  42. I’d like the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket.
    Thanks for the contest.

  43. i like the cute outdoor clothes!

  44. Brittney House says:

    I would get the most out of the cooler.

  45. tina reynolds says:

    I am torn between the pelican cooler and the Motorola Talkabout T400 would love to try both

  46. Danielle D says:

    LED pelican flashlight

  47. odessa frey says:

    The Pelican Cooler looks pretty amazing!

  48. Erica B. says:

    The anti-itch cream would be ideal.

  49. I would like to try the cooler.

  50. Michelle says:

    I would like to try everything so hard to choose.

  51. Dawn Monroe says:

    I’d like to try the anti itch cream and I like the design and color of the hooded jacket.

  52. The Pelican Progear luggage would be perfect for our large, active family!

  53. The Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream is most exciting to me. My teen has always been allergic to mosquito bites and could really use this!

  54. Corey Olomon says:

    I would love the Pelican 20QT Elite Cooler.

  55. Austin Baroudi says:

    The Motorola Talkabout T400’s would be nice.

  56. Jessica Peeling says:

    The Anti-itch cream for bug bites – we get a lot of them in Maine!

  57. JenniferB says:

    The hooded jacket would be cool to own

  58. I would like to try the anti itch cream on my mosquito bites!!

  59. Mary Cloud says:

    I’d love the Pelican Elite Cooler

  60. I would most like to try those awesome stonewear pants.

  61. Laura Royal says:

    I really love the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket!

  62. Nikki Burken says:

    The Pelican flashlight. My hubby looses his all the time and I should have my own 🙂

  63. love to try the anti-itch cream

  64. Christine Treece says:

    The Stio CFS Hooded Jacket! I’ve been looking for a light, comfortable outdoor jacket for ages! Thank you!

  65. I would love to try the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket.

  66. The Challenger ATR’s look awesome!

  67. melissa Resnick says:

    Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR

  68. Samantha D says:

    I’d love to try those comfy looking stonrewear pants or the walkie talkies. I’ve been saying for years we need walkie talkies for camping.

  69. Daniel M says:

    anti itch cream for the mosquitos

  70. Stephanie Galbraith says:

    I would most like to try the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket.

  71. Paula Michele Hafner says:

    I would love to try the Pelican Elite Cooler. It looks really nice!

  72. Lee McKeon says:

    The anti- itch cream for sure!

  73. Jim Lipscomb says:

    I must admit I have been eyeing the Pelican line of coolers. Their rockstar durability and performance could justify the price.

  74. I like the Stio hooded jacket.

  75. kim keithline says:

    I would most like to try the Stio CFS Hooded Jacket

  76. Hesper Fry says:

    I would like to try out the Motorola Talkabout T400.

  77. Oh it would have to be the anti itch cream…skeeters love me.

  78. I would love to try the Stonewear Rockin’ Pant

  79. I’d like the Hydroflask.

  80. Candie L says:

    With my luck, I would need the anti-itch cream. Thank you

  81. matt lehman says:

    i need the flashlight for sure, im always wandering out in the wilderness during these summer months, and a good flashlight is always needed.

  82. LynneMarie says:

    I would most like to try the Stonewear Rockin’ Pants

  83. The stonewear rockin pants look super cool. And very comfy.

  84. Trisha McKee says:

    I love the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR and would love to try this the most, although I’d be thrilled with any of these great products.

  85. Lisa Coomer Queen says:

    I would like to try the stonewear walking pants. Thanks!

  86. Jen bielecki says:

    The walkie talkies would be great to have

  87. I would like to try the Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR Shoes, they look so comfortable!

  88. I would like to try the Stonewear Rockin’ Pant. They look very comfortable.

  89. Bryan E. says:

    Thank You for the giveaway… would like to try the Earth’s Care Anti-itch Cream; always get skin irritation(s) after a day of hiking, especially my ankles / legs !

  90. Hoka One One Trail Challenger ATR

  91. Victor Montoya says:

    Try the KoolerKap. I saw it at a home garden show and it looked really cool!


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