Home > Camping

Van Life: Gear For The Road

Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

I once traveled the country for a year in an old VW van named Goliath. With my dog as my sidekick, we meandered down dusty farm roads, pulled over for odd roadside attractions and discovered the magic of living in a tiny space that also happens to be your vehicle. Here’s some of my favorite gear to make life on the road more enjoyable.

The Poler Napsack ($130) — Just a quick cinch and two zips turns your sleeping bag into a puffy coat. Transition from the campfire to bed all without ever leaving the comfort of your bag. The Napsack also has a chest pocket that fits a phone, a pass-through for headphones, and pockets like a regular jacket. More Info/Buy Now


jumper cables a van life must-have

Oxgord 4 Gauge Jumper Cables ($18.95) — If you’ve ever driven across country in a vintage VW, you know how important a good set of jumper cables are. These 25 foot cables give you plenty of room to maneuver, work like a charm  and will get you back on the open road in no time. More Info/Buy Now

Night Ize Gear Ties ($24.49 for assortment pack) — From attaching gear to the van to fixing a broken latch, you’ll find endless uses for the pliable Gear Ties. With a sturdy rubber exterior and flexible wire core Night Ize’s ties will become your favorite new accessory. More Info/Buy Now

Yeti Hopper Cooler ($299.99) — I like to keep things simple — no fridge, just a cooler. The Yeti Hopper keeps ice for days and has a leak-proof zipper, and its soft-sided design means you can easily take it out in the field when exploring (or mash it under a seat when you need more space in your “living room”). More Info/Buy Now

Pack It Specter Compression Cube Set ($38) — Saving space and staying organized are the main tenants of van dwelling happiness. Featuring a compression zipper, strong sil-nylon fabric that keeps contents visible, and a large variety of colors and sizes, these cubes keep the van tidy. More Info/Buy Now

32 oz Nalgene Bottle ($6.99) — #VanLife Fact: vans don’t have bathrooms, but you will still need to pee. Enter the “pee bottle.” Known and loved by alpinists for years, it’s the simple and cheap solution to a toilet. Just make sure everyone knows not to drink from it. More Info/Buy Now

Helle Algonquin Knife ($169) — Whether parked at the beach preparing dinner or deep in the woods whittling a stick, a good knife is mandatory. Helle’s triple laminate stainless steel means this blade stays strong, sharp and corrosion-resistant through heavy use, and the thoughtful shaping of the handle gives superior dexterity. Plus it’s a beautiful work of art that you can pass on for generations. More Info/Buy Now

Spotify ($9.99 a month) — After a day of driving you’ll have heard every song on the radio. And after a week gone through all of the music on your iPod. That’s where Spotify Premium enters the picture. It’s worth it just to have endless hours of commercial free music at your fingertips, but my favorite feature is the ability to make epic playlists that are available offline. More Info/Buy Now

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive GearJunkie content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive GearJunkie content direct to your inbox.