Best Hiking Gadgets [Updated in 2021]

Man hiking in the mountains

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What are the best hiking gadgets?

Do you even need any gadgets when going on a hike?

Or it’s enough to bring water, some snacks and just go? While the latter is completely up to your preference, if and what kind of gadgets do you want to bring with you on a hike, I’m gonna quickly guide you through the options. Because, you know, there are some really cool hiking gadgets available nowadays. Like a water bottle with built-in water filter, so you can always get safe drinking water.

And that’s just one thing.

Best Hiking Gadgets

Here they are, some of the best hiking gadgets.

Some pretty cool stuff that can improve your outdoor experience.

All of them also work as great gifts for hikers. Just in case that’s what you’re looking for right now — if you want to buy a present for your hiker friend, these are also the things you may surprise him or her with.

Best Water Filter for Backpacking

1. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle (click for more details)

A BPA-free water bottle with built-in water filter.

As promised by the manufacturer, the filter removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites without chemicals, iodine or batteries. It’s durable and weighs only 7.8 oz / 221 g.

Not only it’s a great filter, but it’s also one of the best water bottles for hiking.

Since you can use it both as a water filter and simply as a water bottle. If you are like me, and you love these kind of things, something you can use for multiple purposes, something that makes things easier, then this is your water filter for hiking.

LifeStraw offers a whole range of filters and purifiers.

A cheaper alternative – Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System.

Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker for Hiking

2. JBL FLIP 4 (click for more details)

For whom will it be the best speaker for hiking?

For those who love good sound, and are ready to pay a bit extra. And also to carry a bit extra. Since it’s not the lightest, nor the cheapest waterproof bluetooth speaker out there. But if you really want to have decent sound, then it’s definitely worth it. Don’t go on saving twenty bucks by getting yourself a crappy no-name portable speaker, and regretting the decision soon afterwards. Don’t do it.

If you want something even more powerful, get yourself the JBL Charge 3.

I have the Charge 3 myself, and I love it.

Even though it’s even heavier than the FLIP 4.

Best Camping Coffee Maker

3. AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press (click for more details)

Can’t live without a cup of coffee in the morning?

Get yourself a portable, travel coffee press, and you’ll be able to brew a cup of good coffee wherever you go. The AeroPress Go is compact, easy to use and it features a mug that doubles as a case when you’re traveling. With it you can make 1-3 cups per press.

Thanks to it’s simple design cleaning takes seconds.

Use it at home or when you travel.

Best Hiking Watch

4. Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire (click for more details)

The successor of highly-popular Garmin Fenix 5 (more about it here).

Unlike the older generations, what we have here is more of a smartwatch that simply a hiking watch. The Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire is made of fiber-reinforced polymer with stainless steel rear cover, while its lens is made of Sapphire glass. Yes, it’s a watch that’s built for harsh outdoor conditions. Unlike the regular model, the PRO and Sapphire models support Wi-Fi, music and topographic maps.

It’s not cheap, but you know what you are paying for.

If you want something simple, mostly to track steps, think of getting yourself the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 fitness tracker.

It’s a dirt cheap, fully waterproof fitness tracker I’ve been using myself for around a year already.

Here are some more great hiking watches.

See also: Best Hiking Watch Under 100 USD; Best Hiking Watch Under 200 USD.

Best Camera for Hiking

5. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII (click for more details)

It’s compact. It’s lightweight. And it offers top-quality photos.

It’s the hiking camera that makes photos you will be proud of.

What else could you be asking for?

There are cameras that are specifically built with hikers and outdoors in mind, cameras that are waterproof and can be thrown on the ground without breaking it. The Sony RX100 VII is not one of these cameras. It’s just a regular, top-class compact camera. But despite that it’s the camera that we would recommend to hikers, backpackers and mountaineers.

It’s a rather expensive camera, but it’s worth it.

A great value for your money.

More backpacking cameras.

Best Action Camera for Hiking

6. GoPro Hero 8 Black (click for more details)

The good old GoPro Hero keeps getting better and better.

Even smoother videos. Even higher impact resistance. Even better video and photo quality. And what isn’t less important, the audio quality has also gotten even better. Which might be an important factor, if you are looking for a camera for vlogging.

Capture every moment without worrying about your camera.

Now even smoother, thanks to the Hypersmooth 2.0.

Full GoPro Hero 8 Black review.

Latest model – GoPro Hero 9 Black.

See our guide to find the best action camera under 100$, and the best action camera under 200$.

Best Headlamp for Hiking

7. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp (click for more details)

If you like being outdoors, a head lamp is a must.

It’s one of the best gadgets for hiking, and a great gift for your hiker friend.

You don’t even have to go hiking in the mountains or on overnight hikes to end up in the nature at night. All it takes is for the hike to take longer than planned. And then, without a decent headlamp, you might be in a big trouble. The Black Diamond Spot is compact, cheap and it offers great battery life.

Even at the maximum brightness you can use it for up to 30 hours.

What’s even better – this headlamp is waterproof.

No more worrying about the rain.

Best Solar Power Bank

8. NEXGADGET Solar Charger (click for more details)

The best solar power bank for camping? We may have found the one.

It isn’t a fully waterproof power bank, but you can use it during the rain. 

Its case is made of durable ABC + polycarbonate. Thanks to that the power bank is not just water resistant, but also shockproof and dustproof. Ready to withstand most of the weather conditions. It features an LED flashlight, which can be used both as a torch and as a SOS light. This solar charger has 2 USB ports and 1 Type-C port.

For me, personally, a power bank is one of the must have hiking gadgets.

20 000 mAh is enough to charge your iPhone 12 at least 4 times.

The power bank is  IP54 certified, and comes with a carabiner.

Dimensions of the power bank:  8.27” x 6.6” x 3.4” (21 x 16.8 x 8.6 cm).

Weight: 14.88 oz / 420 g.

Capacity: 20 000 mAh.

Here are some more great solar power banks.

And if you’re thinking of a more serious solution, look at solar chargers.

Best E-Book Reader for Hiking

9. Kindle Paperwhite (click for more details)

It’s cheap.

You can read it at night.

And now it’s also waterproof.

If you enjoy reading just as much as I do, add an e-book reader to your backpacking gadgets list. Or, if you don’t want to carry an extra piece of travel gear, download Kindle app on your phone. Get yourself Kindle Unlimited plan if you would like to have an access to thousands upon thousands of books. It works also on a phone.

Try Kindle Ulimited for free.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 fitness tracker on my hand

Choosing Gadgets for Hiking

What to take and what not?

What are the questions you should be asking yourself?

How to choose the right gadgets for your needs?

1. Understand Your Needs

First of all, you should understand your needs.

What kind of a hiker are you, and what kind of hikes are you usually taking.

Are these just short day hikes? Like I the ones like to find wherever I travel to, like the Penang Hill Hike in Penang and the Dragon’s Back Trail in Hong Kong. Or it’s something longer, more like the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

The quality of your travel gear matters.

2. Prioritize Your Needs

Let’s say that you are looking for a hiking watch and a camera.

Unless you have an unlimited budget, most likely you will have to decide what are you going to spend more money on. Or what will you be getting first. There are a lot of cool backpacking gadgets and trekking gadgets, but you can’t buy them all (and don’t you need to, trust me, haha).

Decide about the priorities, an act accordingly.

The quality of your travel gear matters.

Laptop and phone on the table - Travel Resources

3. Do a Short Research

Because the features vary.

Even at the same price level and for very similar products.

Some of the things I pay attention to:

  • user reviews online;
  • durability;
  • weight;
  • is it waterproof / weather proof / shock proof;
  • does it have Wi-Fi connectivity (when it matters);
  • do I really need it? Can it be used for something else?

4. Decide Upon the Budget

And always take the best you can afford.

What walking gadgets do you use? What other gadgets would you add to this list of the best hiking gadgets? What are your favorites?

Featured photo: Photo by DreamLens Production from Pexels

1. Book Your Flight. Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation. Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance. World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.



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