13 Best Hiking Gadgets That Are Ridiculously Popular (2021)

Hiking is an inexpensive hobby to start because you don’t need a heck of a lot of equipment to enjoy a good hike. And yet, finding the best hiking gadgets certainly makes the experience a lot more fun.

We compiled this list of interesting and useful hiking gadgets by:

  • performing 20 hours of intensive research both online and offline
  • Reading reviews from real-life customers who purchased the product
  • Doing comparisons of distinct features and benefits

If you’re curious about some truly cool hiking gadgets, keep reading because it is easy to determine why the following 13 products are so popular among hiking enthusiasts this year. Often these cool hiking gadgets make an essential part of their hiking gear.

So lace up your hiking boots and let's begin.

Our Top 10 Picks For The Best Hiking Gadgets

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
guh-table__imageGarmin Fenix 5X Hiking GPS Watch
  • Convenient preloaded run profiles for all types of activities
  • Full-color Topo U.S. mapping and routable cycling maps
  • Built-in premium navigation sensors
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guh-table__imageGarmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator
  • Compatible with other Garmin devices
  • Easy to use, lightweight, and rugged
  • Has the ability to use SOS functions
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guh-table__imageUV Water Purifier And Self-Cleaning Bottle
  • Uses UV-C light rays
  • Top-notch insulation
  • Self-cleaning
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guh-table__imageCooling Towel For Neck And Face
  • Chills quickly and stays that way for up to three hours
  • Super soft and foldable
  • Reduces your body temperature up to 30 degrees
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guh-table__imageWaterproof Lighter And Flashlight In One
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Uses an arc ignition method for easy lighting
  • Comes with a USB device to recharge the lighters
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guh-table__imageSolar Panel Charger With Foldable Panels
  • Works with many types of cell phones and tablets
  • Lightweight and easy to carry with you as you hike
  • Charges quickly
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guh-table__imageEmergency Crank Radio With Flashlight And Reading Lamp
  • Can be charged via solar power for convenience
  • Very affordable
  • 4000mAh battery
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guh-table__imageHands-Free Portable Neck Fan
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Offers three different speeds and long working time
  • Great for both indoor and outdoor use
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guh-table__imageHD Monocular Telescope And Smartphone Holder
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • Rubber armored body for extra durability and longevity
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guh-table__imageDon’t Die In The Woods Emergency Sleeping Bag
  • Ultralight and compact
  • Reflects up to 90 percent of your body heat
  • Built-in head protection thanks to the hood
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#1 Cooling Towel For Neck And Face

cooling towel for neck and face

When you hike, you’re going to work up a sweat, but even if that sweat doesn’t bother you, it will still feel much better to have a cooling towel to place on your face and neck as you hike. In that way, staying cooler and more comfortable is a lot easier. It is larger than other sport towels and it is super quick to cool, allowing you to stay dry throughout the entire trip.

Pros
  • Chills quickly and stays that way for up to three hours  
  • Perfect for hiking, working out, relieving hot flashes and for other strenuous activities during hot days
  • Super soft and foldable
  • Reduces your body temperature up to 30 degrees
Cons
  • The material is too thin so the towel may dry too fast in hot weather
  • Too wet

The way this towel works is very simple. You simply soak it in water that is warmed up to 132 degrees Fahrenheit, wring out the excess water, and snap it with both hands three times to activate it.

You place it over your face, then tie it on the back of your neck to secure it. It is made to stay cool for up to three hours, and it even comes in roughly two dozen colors so it can match your hiking attire. It sounds like a strange piece of hiking gear, but it works like a charm which is the reason why the towel made it to this list of cool hiking gadgets.

As a bonus, it comes with a carrying pouch and a carabiner clip, so you can attach it to your good backpack or fanny pack. It's one of the weirdest but handiest hiking gadgets that you could find.

#2 Waterproof Lighter And Flashlight In One

waterproof lighter and flashlight

When you stop to take a break in the middle of a hike or stop for an evening before getting a fresh start the next morning, you might need a simple way to start a fire and find your way around. This handheld flashlight has several lighters inside that make starting a good fire insanely easy. The device is both waterproof and windproof and therefore makes it one of the most interesting hiking gadgets.

Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to carry  
  • Uses an arc ignition method for easy lighting
  • Comes with a USB device to recharge the lighters
  • Consists of a lighter on one side and a flashlight on the other
Cons
  • The flame is somewhat small
  • It doesn’t last for too long / need a recharge after just several uses

This is the perfect item for lighting campfires, for cooking meals, candles, and even BBQ grills. Plus, the LED flashlight works great every time. And a flashlight is an important part of your hiking gear.

Available in both matte black and camouflage, the lighter is easy to use and reliable regardless of how long you own it. Its construction of ABS plastic and high-grade aluminum alloy means it can take a lot of abuse and keep on going.

#3 Solar Panel Charger With Foldable Panels

solar panel with foldable panels

If you need a way to charge up your cell phones or tablets while you’re out and about, this solar-powered charger is just what you need. It looks like a simple solar power bank, yet its power is astonishing. It is exactly what you need when you take a break for the evening and you have to re-power your electronic devices so they’re available to you the following morning.

Pros
  • The solar power bank works with many types of cell phones and tablets  
  • Lightweight and easy to carry with you as you hike
  • Charges quickly and you can use it to charge a solar power charger bank.
  • Can charge more than one device at a time thanks to the 2 USB ports
Cons
  • The Velcro where you tuck your phone is somewhat flimsy
  • Not waterproof

This is a foldable panel that never takes up too much room in your hiking backpack or dry bag.

Priced reasonably and made by a company that specializes in electronic products, this handy tool has thousands of 5-star reviews. It is also easy to power up thanks to eye holes on each corner that allow it to be attached easily to your hiking backpack so the sun’s rays can hit it as you’re walking. It works great if you need to charge your solar charger power bank.

Who would’ve thought keeping cell phones and tablets charged could be so easy? This is one of those hiking gadgets you’ll soon discover you can’t live without, and you’ll be able to use it for many years to come to make your life a lot easier.

It’d make a perfect addition to your lightweight gear list. And that makes it one of the most dependable hiking gadgets on our list. I have some friends who use it mainly for a solar charger power bank.

#4 Garmin Fenix 5X Hiking Watch

garmin fenix 5x hiking watch

Hiking through long trails means you need to know where you are at all times, and this feature-rich Garmin-based GPS watch and fitness tracker will do that and much more. It has a rugged but lightweight design and tons of powerful functions that allow you to travel more safely because you’ll know where you are every step of the way. It is the easiest way to keep important stats at your fingertips. Check it out!

Pros
  • Convenient preloaded run profiles for all types of activities. It's a real fitness tracker and an electronic compass.
  • Full-color Topo U.S. mapping and routable cycling maps
  • Built-in premium navigation sensors including GPS and Glonass capability. You can even send text messages when connected to your smartphone. 
  • Rugged, lightweight, and waterproof design
Cons
  • Sometimes it’s possible that it provides erratic pace calculations
  • A little bulky

Made for all types of sports, including running, hiking, and even golfing, you’ll actually be surprised at some of the statistics this GPS watch provides to you. These include pace, altimeter, gyroscope, barometric pressure, and even a reliable compass to help ensure you’re going in the right direction using your trekking poles. The Garmin Fenix even has a barometric altimeter at no additional cost. 

Why should you buy a smart watch

 

From Visually.

Its rugged design means it can take a lot of abuse and keep on going, and you can also download the app to make it even more functional. This is a fun but very useful device you’ll want to keep on you all the time so that hiking can prove to be as relaxing and stress-free as it needs to be. You can use it in hiking areas where the weather is rainy. It's waterproof.

It's among the most expensive hiking gadgets on our list. It's as useful as a first aid kit. No go for your day hike with it!

#5 Emergency Crank Radio With Flashlight And Reading Lamp

emergency crank radio

An emergency radio is always a great item to have on you when you’re deep in nature. Since this little buddy can be operated via the handy hand-cranking device, you’ll have a simple way to charge your cell phone and listen to weather reports when you’re stuck in an emergency situation. Priced very reasonably, this portable radio is powerful and can make a huge difference if you’re ever stuck without power for a while.

Pros
  • Has additional features such as a flashlight and motion sensor reading light. Excellent for use in bad weather conditions. 
  • Can be charged via solar charger for convenience
  • Very affordable
  • Powerful 4000mAh battery and 4 charging modes. Suitable for remote areas.
Cons
  • The AM radio has a lot of static
  • Some users reported that sometimes it didn’t pick up weather band stations

With this thing you get features such as a micro USB charger, access to seven NOAA weather stations, external antenna for reliable power, and a replaceable lithium-ion battery that is easy to find when you need it. It's great for your next long hike in remote areas.

Plus, it makes a fantastic camping gift. This crank radio is an important part of our list of the most popular hiking gadgets.

#6 Hands-Free Portable Neck Fan

portable neck fan

Ideal for your day hike, fishing, and even cooking out in the backyard, this hands-free neck fan is comfortable and easy to wear, and most importantly, it works like a charm! Thanks to the mini USB device, it is super easy to charge, and it is surprisingly quiet as well, which means you can even use it while you’re working at your desk at the office. It is indeed an efficient fan you’ll fall in love with quickly.

Pros
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Offers great value and three different speeds and long working time. Great for a sweaty activity such as hiking.
  • Great for both indoor and outdoor use. Perfect for day hike activities.
  • Can even be charged via a car charger
Cons
  • Could be a bit noisy when working at full speed

This hands-free portable neck fan comes with a built-in 1000mAh battery and once it’s charged, you can use it for roughly three to five hours at a time. We all want hiking gadgets that don't require frequent charging, right?

sweating while hiking

Using this fan, you can stay cool while hiking, gardening, exercising or camping. You can feel cooler instantly any time, night or day, thanks to how easy the fan is to use and how reliable it is. 

It can keep you cool and comfortable on most hikes, making it one item that is sure not to disappoint, and since it is so reasonably priced, you can get this handy device without breaking the bank. Definitely one of the most used trekking gadgets on this list. I just wish it had a waterproof case. 

#7 HD Monocular Telescope And Smartphone Holder

hd monocular

This waterproof gadget is quite practical. It consists of a telescope and a holder for your phone, making it a very useful device when you’re out hiking and want to stop to watch birds or snap a quick photograph. Specifically designed for watching wildlife, birds, or even just taking in the view of the mountains, it allows you to take pictures and view items up close so that you can have a few mementoes to better remember the moment.

Pros
  • Long eye-relief and twist-up eye cup offers 12x55 magnification and crystal-clear view
  • Lightweight one and easy to use
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • Rubber armored body for extra durability and longevity
Cons
  • Shallow depth of field
  • The sharpness of the image is a bit weak

Among the best gadgets on this list. Not a necessity but certainly something that will make each hiking trip a lot more fun, this telescope and cell phone holder is easy to use and very well-made. Not only water resistant but fully waterproof.

#8 Don’t Die In The Woods Emergency Sleeping Bag 

emergency blanket for hiking

This is another one of those best gadgets that you’ll be glad you have if you’re ever stuck in some type of emergency and find you need to bunk down for a little while. It looks like a thin layer or lining of some sort, but it is amazingly comfortable should you ever have to use it. Featuring a built-in hood, you can carry it in your backpack and only take it out when you need it, making this an item that provides great peace of mind every time you're on a multi day hike.

Pros
  • Ultralight and compact addition to your first aid kit.
  • Reflects up to 90 percent of your body heat to retain warmth. Perfect for cold weather and bad weather conditions.
  • Built-in head protection thanks to the water resistant hood. Acts as an emergency blanket.
  • Made out of tough mylar and therefore lasts for a very long time. Great for your multi day hike.
Cons
  • The material is not eco friendly and is too thin
  • It’s somewhat difficult to store away after the first use

Since you never know when the elements might try to wreak havoc on your life, this bag can be the perfect thing to have if you get stuck in a sudden rain shower or storm.

This emergency sleeping bag can also be used as a cover (bivy) if you aren’t interested in sleeping but just want the extra protection when the weather suddenly turns bad.

Since it is ultralight and doesn’t take up much room, you can easily keep it in your backpack without adding much extra weight. Yet if you ever do need it, it will instantly become a very valuable part of your hiking or camping existence. One of the most popular hiking gadgets on our list and certainly a great add-on to your first aid kit, offering great value. Just don't forget your travel insurance.

#9 Survival Kit Paracord Grenade

paracord grenade survival kit

Available in black and a blue-and-black design, this kit becomes invaluable in an emergency because it contains a total of 48 tools that will come in handy when you need them most. It looks like a small grenade but unfolds when you need it to and gives you access to items that include matches, razor blade, LED flashlight, needle and thread, compass, and so much more. It is truly amazing how many items fit into this small grenade-shaped kit.

Pros
  • Provides you with tons of useful emergency tools that can help save and ease your life
  • Reflects up to 90 percent of your body heat to retain warmth
  • Compact and small enough to fit in your backpack
  • Made out of military-grade materials for extra durability
Cons
  • Bulkier than advertised

When you need it, simply disassemble it and find the tool you need, whether this includes a compass, pocket knife, or something else. It also makes a great gift for any man in your life because let’s face it, what man doesn’t want more than tools? And this one is useful even in cold weather. It even acts as a first aid kit. 

With nearly 50 different tools to choose from, this kit can literally be a lifesaver in certain situations, so it will be there should you unexpectedly need a tool such as aluminum foil, safety pins, electrical tape, butterfly sutures, and can opener.

It also contains a 45-feet military grade paracord which is quite useful in many situations. One of the most awesome gadgets for hiking that hikers just love. With this, you won't be intimidated by the weather conditions.

#10 Led Light Walkie Talkies With Weather Scan

Reasonably priced and built to last, these two-way radio walkie talkies can be true miracle-workers when you need them. The 16-mile talk range makes them a truly invaluable tool when you need to stay in constant touch with a partner while hiking or enjoying the great outdoors in any other way. They even come with more than 2,600 different channels and a LED flashlight for maximum safety.

Pros
  • A total of 2,662 different channels to work with
  • LED display that is easy to read regardless of the time of day
  • Long range of communication, depending on the environment
  • Waterproof and very sturdy
Cons
  • Somewhat short battery life
  • Batteries are not included

The less obstruction you experience, the longer distance is covered with these walkie talkies, and even if you’re in the middle of the city, they offer a range of up to three miles, which is quite a lot. It's one of the most practical hiking gadgets on our list.

You can enjoy hands-free operation with these walkie talkies and their many perks include NOAA weather scan, built-in earpiece with microphone, and voice activation transmission (VOX) with three different sensitivity levels. Nice, huh!

Besides, they provide you with an alarm whenever inclement weather is detected in your area, making them very valuable indeed. This one of the handiest gadgets for hiking out there. I have friends who bring those with them every time when they go in national parks.

#11 Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

wireless bluetooth speaker

Anytime you need a portable speaker that is wireless and can be used successfully even when it’s raining outside, this is the one. Available in black, red, and blue, the speaker is easy to use and provides an amazing sound considering how small it is. It offers a really powerful HD sound and allows you to take your music with you wherever you go.

Pros
  • Long battery life and built-in mic
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof for your convenience
  • Comes with a carabiner to attach it to just about anything
Cons
  • The sticker for surfaces is not that adhesive
  • The volume button is also the “next song” button

Going camping or hiking no longer has to be a quiet or boring experience because with this speaker, you can enjoy a little music the entire time you’re gone.

If the only thing that seems to be missing from your hiking experience is a little pleasant music, don’t worry much because the Kunodi portable Bluetooth speaker just solved this problem with a bang. Put on your most comfortable hiking boots for dance! Just imagine listening to your favorite tracks when walking downhill hanging your trekking poles. And the water resistance is impressive.

#12 Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Radio Communicator

inreach gps communicator

The inreach mini is a small but very powerful communicator with features that include downloadable maps, NOAA charts (U.S.), two-way text messaging, and even color aerial imagery. Giving you the peace of mind you deserve should an emergency occur, this radio communicator provides invaluable services. The display resolution of 128 x 128 pixels means it is always an easy-to-read device. Check it out!

Pros
  • A very powerful communicator with lots of convenient features for your next longer hike.
  • Compatible with other Garmin devices. Acts as a personal locator beacon.
  • Easy to use, lightweight, and rugged
  • Has the ability to use SOS functions when you need them
Cons
  • Small screen / should be connected to a smartphone as a workaround
  • Somewhat short battery life

A hit in the outdoor industry, this radio communicator is lightweight and compact, making it easy to bring with you wherever you need to go. Besides, it is sturdy enough to take a lot of abuse and keep on working as expected.

In addition, it has an inReach weather forecast service and you can send inReach messages via compatible Garmin devices. It doesn't feature topographic maps, though.

#13 CrazyCap UV Self-Cleaning Bottle

crazy cap water purifier

This water bottle can be truly invaluable when you’re hiking out in the middle of nowhere and you get thirsty. It instantly takes any type of water and purifies it so that it is healthy and drinkable, allowing you to get the water you need to keep yourself hydrated. It has a water-purifier cap and is fully insulated. Plus, the water bottle can prevent a disaster if you’re thirsty but only have access to unhealthy water.

Pros
  • The water bottle uses UV-C light rays to sterilize the water and remove contaminants. Has a sophisticated water filter.
  • Top-notch insulation, better than any hydration bladder.
  • Not like regular water bottles. It's a self-cleaning water bottle and therefore requires no maintenance on your part
  • The water bottle removes up to 99.99% of mold, bacteria, and viruses from the water thanks to its innovative water filter.
Cons
  • Difficult to put ice inside as it is not a wide mouth cap

I wish all outdoor water bottles were like this one.

The special light sterilizes the water (that water filter is top notch) instantly to remove tons of contaminants, and because the cap is what makes the process work, you never have to worry about replacing filters just to get clean drinking water. No water bladder can give you that.

Hiker woman taking water in river in Yosemite

Imagine being able to drink water from any outdoor source!

You can turn any water into clear, germ-free liquid that is healthy to drink in no time. That’s especially true when you’re hiking in an area that is unfamiliar to you and you’re not sure what type of water you have access to. In such cases, a dependable water filter can do wonders.

And as we know, proper hydration when sweating on strenuous hikes is crucial. With this water bottle that's easy peasy. 

Conclusion

As you can see, this list of the very best hiking gadgets consists of everything from items that make it more fun to hike to items that will come in handy if you’re hiking and run into some type of emergency.


best winter hiking hats

Asen Stoyanchev

Founder of this website, Asen is a passionate hiker and writer who is also a gear nerd. He’s been featured on many established hiking websites where he gives hiking advice & tips. When he is not trekking with his family or friends, he is writing articles and product reviews. Asen spends most of his time in Bulgaria but he constantly travels the world in seek of more unforgettable experiences. Read more about Asen here.

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  • October 1, 2020
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Ivan - October 1, 2020

Wow! I could even imagine that these gadgets really exist! The list is awesome. I’m fascinated with Solar Panel Charger With Foldable Panels and sleeping bag. However, all these hiking gadgets sound extremely useful. I’m definitely going to follow your site for more these cool recommendations Thanks a lot for sharing this post!

Reply
    Asen - October 2, 2020

    Hi Ivan,

    Yes, I also like the solar panel with foldable panels. It gives you the freedom to charge your electronic devices when you’re into the wilderness.

    Reply
john nooh - October 30, 2020

wow, these gadgets really exist. I never expected but you did beyond my expectations. thank you so much!

Reply
    Asen - October 30, 2020

    Hi John,

    You’re most welcome!

    Reply

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