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Sustainable Gear: New for Summer 2021

Summertime is for smiling and sweating and sunset chasing—the making of memories outside. The right gear helps us get where we want to go to make these memories during this season of abundance: backpacking, beach walking, river fishing, mountain biking, picnics, and everything in between. So if you’re looking to upgrade your gear to match some new ideas or ambitions this summer, we’ve got some eco-friendly options to help you to level-up.

While we always want to source gear secondhand (it’s more affordable and the best you can do in terms of minimizing environmental impacts), the reality is we can’t always find what we need from a previous owner. If you’re in a position to buy new gear, we’ve rounded up some sustainability-focused stand-outs hitting the market this summer.

Image courtesy of Kane Footwear

Recovery Shoes: Revive Slip-On

Think Crocs with a makeover. Kane Footwear recently launched this slip-on, “active recovery” shoe designed with sustainable materials: over 70% of the shoe is made from BounceBack foam, a sugarcane-based alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based foam. The shoe’s waterproof materials make the pair an excellent choice for summer trips to the beach, river, or lake. A supportive, cushioned sole means you can wear the shoe all day without your feet getting tired.

Image courtesy of Phunkshun

Sun Protection: Phunkshun Ultralite Tube

New from Colorado-based Phunkshun Wear is the Ultralite tube, an incredibly lightweight neck gaiter that doesn’t get in the way of breathing (thanks to its mock-mesh construction). It’s UPF 50+ rating delivers sun protection to your neck and head; the wicking properties transport sweat away from the body and help regulate your temperature when hiking, cycling, running, skiing, or playing hide and go seek. Not only is the brand based in Colorado, all of their product is sustainably made in Colorado as well. An average of six recycled bottles is used in each product!

Image courtesy of Maloja

Active Hemp Tee: Maloja HELMKRAUTM. and WIESENKNOPFM.

These active tee (HELMKRAUTM. for women, WIESENKNOPFM. for men) are from the German company Maloja is 15% hemp and 85% recycled polyester. The hemp content gives the material a light, natural feel and the polyester ensures high functionality, wicking sweat and keeping the body cool. We found this shirt highly breathable and fast drying; it’s naturally antibacterial too!

Image courtesy of Maloja

Active Shorts: Maloja ANEMONAM. and FOURNM.

These versatile shorts (ANEMONAM. for women, FUORNM. for men) are made with a multi-stretch fabric, a light material made from a recycled polyester/spandex blend. You can move all over with these shorts; we used them hiking, climbing, and mountain biking. They dry quickly and are triple-stitched along the high-use seams.

Image courtesy of Patagonia

Campfire Clothing: Patagonia Uprisal Sweatpants

Get campsite-cozy with these 100% recycled polyester/cotton sweatpants, made with 26 plastic bottles and 0.8 pounds of cotton scrap, using 95% less water and producing 53% less CO2 compared to conventional cotton sweatpants. They’re also Fair Trade Certified-sewn.

image courtesy of LifeProof

Phone case: LifeProof WĀKE

We all need a new phone case sometimes. This eco-friendly phone case is made from ocean-based recycled plastic—and can survive a two-meter drop! Crafted from salvaged fishing gear, it's made up of over 85% ocean-based recycled plastic. It’s got a sleek fit that doesn’t add bulk or heft. Bonus: every purchase includes a dollar donation to LifeProof’s water-conscious nonprofit partners.

Image courtesy of Miir

Camp Coffee Upgrade: Miir Pourigami

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good pour-over coffee. Some say the Pourigami is the world’s smallest, most durable and portable travel coffee dripper. It’s so small, it fits in your back pocket when not in use. Three stainless steel panels orient and interlock for easy assembly, with machined grooves to ensure perfect placement for a secure pour over. Also, the included case allows for easy storage with room to stash filters for the road.


Image courtesy of Miir

Camp Cup Upgrade: MiiR Highball and Lowball Tumblers

If you’re looking to bring the nostalgia of a traditional whiskey glass to the campfire, search no more. These double-walled tumblers have a weighted base (made from reclaimed materials) which is domed to prevent ice from sticking. This durable vessel should last you for years—keep all the old fashioneds, negronis, single-ounce pours and icy cocktails and mocktails comin’.

Image courtesy of Patagonia

Camp Meal Upgrade: Patagonia Provisions Camp Meal Kit

When you’re out on the trail for more than a day, you need nutritious, easy-to-fix meals and snacks. The Camp Meal Kit will feed two people for two days. It’s full of responsibly sourced, delicious Provisions (favorites like wild sockeye salmon and organic breakfast grains). Just add water, a pot or two, fuel and a few basics from the grocery store, and you’re good to go.

Emma Athena is an award-winning journalist and fresh-air lover. She writes about adventure and the environment, where humans and nature intersect at their most impactful moments. When she’s not glued to her keyboard or curled up with a book, she’s running in the mountains with her dog or camping with people she loves. To read more of her work and get in contact, visit


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Do you have Summer Hike & Camp gear? Tents, sleeping bags, bikes, and bike gear is in top demand right now. If you have perfectly usable gear gathering dust, list it and sell it. And, whenever you’re in the market for gear that’s in great shape and costs a fraction of new, we’ve got it. May the circle of gear life continue.