13 Best Hiking Gadgets That Are Ridiculously Popular (2020)

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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 items 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 they make an essential part of their hiking gear.

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Our Top 3 Picks

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire - Slate Gray with Black Band
Garmin 010-01879-00 InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
CrazyCap 2.0 UV Water Purifier & Self Cleaning 17 oz Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle - Turns Any Water Source Into Clean Drinkable Water - Perfect for Hiking, Camping, Travel, And Survival
Garmin Fenix 5X Hiking GPS Watch
Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator
UV Water Purifier And Self-Cleaning Bottle
5,586 Reviews
850 Reviews
383 Reviews
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire - Slate Gray with Black Band
Garmin Fenix 5X Hiking GPS Watch
5,586 Reviews
Garmin 010-01879-00 InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator
850 Reviews
CrazyCap 2.0 UV Water Purifier & Self Cleaning 17 oz Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle - Turns Any Water Source Into Clean Drinkable Water - Perfect for Hiking, Camping, Travel, And Survival
UV Water Purifier And Self-Cleaning Bottle
383 Reviews

Last update on 2020-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#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.

  • 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
  • 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.

As a bonus, it comes with a carrying pouch and a carabiner clip so you can attach it to your 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.

  • 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
  • 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.

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.

It can also be totally recharged in about two hours and can be operated successfully even when it’s raining outside. This is definitely a convenient multitool that lets you look at hiking in a whole new light because it can truly be a lifesaver in many instances.

#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 device, 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.

  • Works with many types of cell phones and tablets  
  • Lightweight and easy to carry with you as you hike
  • Charges quickly
  • Can charge more than one device at a time thanks to the 2 USB ports
  • 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 includes fail-safe protection and premium components combined with intelligent high-speed charging technology. Who would’ve thought keeping cell phones and tablets charged could be so easy? This is a gadget 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. Last but not least, it has a 18-month warranty. And that makes it one of the most dependable hiking gadgets on our list.

#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 watch 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!

  • Convenient preloaded run profiles for all types of activities  
  • Full-color Topo U.S. mapping and routable cycling maps
  • Built-in premium navigation sensors including GPS and Glonass capability
  • Rugged, lightweight, and waterproof design
  • 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 it 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. In case if you're wondering whether it's a good idea to have a smart watch, here's an infographic that explains it all.

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.

It looks like a very fancy watch but is much easier to operate than you might think. The preloaded TOPO U.S. mapping is full color and the watch has a rear case. It's the most expensive piece of hiking gear on our list.

#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.

  • Has additional features such as a flashlight and motion sensor reading light  
  • Can be charged via solar power for convenience
  • Very affordable
  • Powerful 4000mAh battery and 4 charging modes
  • 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.

The motion sensor reading lamp is perfect when you feel like relaxing with a good book, and the price means it is affordable for everyone. Indeed, this is one emergency radio you’ll quickly find you can’t do without, especially because the longer you keep it, the more functions you’ll come to love and to rely on each and every time you go out hiking.

Plus, it makes a fantastic camping gift.

#6 Hands-Free Portable Neck Fan

portable neck fan

Ideal for hiking, 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.

  • 360-degree rotation
  • Offers three different speeds and long working time
  • Great for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Can even be charged via a car charger
  • 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.

sweating while hiking

Having a neck fan to cool you down on hot summer hikes could be rejuvenating.

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. 

The fan is also compatible with most devices that come with a USB port, including computers, cell phones, tablets, etc. 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.

#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. Perfect 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.

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

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.

It makes stopping in mid-hike and snapping a few photographs of the surrounding wildlife or birds a lot easier to do, and the picture quality is doesn’t disappoint.

The Gosko monocular has a large BAK-4 prism and adjustable eye cups for comfortable use and clear view.

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

emergency blanket for hiking

This is another one of those items 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. Complete with 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.

  • Ultralight and compact
  • Reflects up to 90 percent of your body heat to retain warmth
  • Built-in head protection thanks to the hood
  • Made out of tough mylar and therefore lasts for a very long time
  • The material 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 sleeping bag can be the perfect thing to have if you get stuck in a sudden rain shower or storm.

Weighing only 7 ounces, it folds easily into a carrying case when it isn’t being used, but when you do need it, it will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable for a long time.

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.

#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.

  • 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
  • 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?

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.

#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.

  • 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
  • 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.

Staying in touch with your hiking partner during a hike is fun and easy with these walkie talkies.

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!

Even when it isn’t an emergency, you’ll still appreciate these walkie talkies because of the convenience they provide. You can also enjoy up to 75 hours of use time and a standby time of 120 days, and you can even use the USB device to quickly charge the batteries at any time.

Besides, they provide you with an alarm whenever inclement weather is detected in your area, making them very valuable indeed.

#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.

  • 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
  • The sticker for surfaces is not that adhesive
  • The volume button is also the “next song” button

Super popular among hikers, the Kunodi speaker provides perks such as a subwoofer, enhanced bass, and a built-in microphone. On top of that, it can be used anywhere to provide you with access to your music, cell phone, and so on.

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.

The trendy Kunodi speaker has a powerful enough battery (800 MAH) to play for 4-6 hours and it’s compatible with every popular Bluetooth device including tablets, smartphones, and iPads.

#12 Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Radio Communicator

inreach gps communicator

This is a very 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!

  • A very powerful communicator with lots of convenient features
  • Compatible with other Garmin devices
  • Easy to use, lightweight, and rugged
  • Has the ability to use SOS functions when you need them
  • Small screen / should be connected to a smartphone as a workaround
  • Somewhat short battery life

This radio communicator is lightweight and compact, making it easy to bring with you wherever you need to go, and it is sturdy enough to take a lot of abuse and keep on working as expected.

You can contact the GEOS 24/7 emergency response team through an SOS alert if you need to, and it provides you with the tools you need to be in touch with someone any time, day or night, whenever it is needed.

The radio fits in the palm of your hands and is very simple to use, and you also get perks such as unlimited cloud storage and the ability to plan your trip from start to finish, including the possibility to store all of your location tracking data.

In addition, it has an inReach weather forecast service and you can send inReach messages via compatible Garmin devices.

#13 CrazyCap UV Self-Cleaning Bottle

This 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, it can prevent a disaster if you’re thirsty but only have access to unhealthy water

  • Uses UV-C light rays to sterilize the water and remove contaminants
  • Top-notch insulation
  • Self-cleaning and therefore requires no maintenance on your part
  • Removes up to 99.99% of mold, bacteria, and viruses from the water
  • Difficult to put ice inside as it is not a wide mouth cap

This 17-ounce bottle is super easy to use because all you do is fill it up with water, put the cap on, then pat the top of the cap to activate the UV-C light.

The special light sterilizes the water 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.

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 water 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.

And as we know, proper hydration when sweating on strenuous hikes is crucial.


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.

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.

  • Updated November 19, 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!

    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.

john nooh - October 30, 2020

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

    Asen - October 30, 2020

    Hi John,

    You’re most welcome!


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