Gear Review -- Luxury Camping Equipment, part I

Note: This is the first in a two-part series of columns on luxury-oriented camping gear. Click here for column No. 2.

The Gear Junkie: Luxury Camping Equipment, part I

Toting the luxuries of modern living to the wilderness is a rising trend for a new breed of car campers. That’s according to Hud Knight, a merchandise manager at in Park City, Utah.

“The theme has been to bring the creature comforts of home to the campground,” Knight said.

Indeed, people used to staying in motels can now put up a tent with lights, fans and power plugs. Or, want hot water on your picnic table? Coleman has a propane-powered device that spigots instant hot liquid at the touch of a button.

Take ‘em or leave them, the following five products, from the power tent to stakes topped with pink flamingos, were made to put some “pamper” into the car camper experience.


1. Power Tent
Plug in reading lights and recharge the iPod in the Eureka! 1310 N!ergy tent, a shelter equipped with three 12v DC outlets wired to a rechargeable battery pack. The home away from home has six windows and a 13 × 10-foot floor plan to sleep up to 10 people. $299.90,

Primus-Atle BBQ-W.jpg

2. Outback BBQ
Grill veggies or meat on a state park picnic table with this packable stove. Powered with propane cartridges, the Primus Atle BBQ ignites at the push of a sparker button and fires hot — up to 12,000 BTUs on the burner — for backcountry feasts. $90,

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3. Hot Pipe
Hot water for cooking or cleaning can be an ultimate luxury while camping. With the Coleman Hot Water On Demand device, piping-hot H20 is easy to obtain: Press the button on this propane-powered spigot and instant hot liquid will rush forth from its tank in five seconds. $258.49,


4. Port-o-Kitchen
Kelty calls this foldable cook table a “deluxe culinary setup.” Indeed, with aluminum prep surfaces, bins, shelves and wind screens, the Basecamp Kitchen can handle up to 100 pounds of food and cooking equipment on top. $160,


5. Pack Flamingos
Add some kitsch and flair to your camp setup with a flock of Pack Flamingos, inflatable nylon lawn ornaments that come topped on aluminum tent pegs. Campers pound in these birds for support, guy line visibility as well as a cheeky decoration. $22 for a four-pack,

Note: This is the first in a two-part series of columns on luxury-oriented camping gear. Click here for column No. 2.

Posted by Brock Foreman - 07/24/2008 02:18 PM

Essential. Flamingos are right up there with duct tape and a Swiss Army knife.

Posted by Darryn Kozak - 07/24/2008 02:23 PM

We looked seriously at the port-o-kitchen for car camping. We never seem to have enough picnic table space. Picnic tables are often difficult to level too.

Didn’t buy cause we wouldn’t get enough use out of it, but maybe in the future.

Posted by Joe Camper - 07/24/2008 02:27 PM

OK, the tent is a piece of junk – Eureka cut the quality to offset the cost of the wiring to keep the price under $300. The Prius stove is just another folding camp stove, nothing special there. Camp Chef stoves are much better for the same price range. The Coleman water heater is a cheap China knock-off of the higher-quality Zodi water heaters. The Kelty kitchen is a common item, and this one is too small to really be functional. For $100 I can easily find a larger and more functional camp kitchen. And the pink flamingos…..

C’mon! Surely you must realize that family/car-camping market is changing. This stuff may be fine for the Dingleberry family who is content to sit in Spot 26B of their campground/hotel-without-walls, but there is a large and getting larger market of adventerous family campers who are desperately seeking alternatives to the low-price, big-box, made in China crap that is so readily available.

Shall I suggest a list of high-quality luxury camping items?

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 07/24/2008 11:35 PM

Joe—Would love to see a list! Please post a few suggestions here.

Posted by jp - 07/25/2008 03:12 PM

and I thought hauling a bundle of wood into the woods on my shoulders for 3 miles was annoying…

Posted by Jake - 03/05/2010 07:11 PM

If you want to see luxury family camping then you should check out Snow Peak. They actually offer something completely different then these other knock off brands.

Posted by david - 11/20/2010 06:11 AM

Excellent piece, really enjoyed it. I am one of these people who doesnt want to compromise comfort with adventure :) Campchefstoves

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