Accessories for the Outdoors: How to comfortably make the most of Summer

The sun has come out to play and that means one thing in Australia – it’s the season for spending time outdoors. Whether it’s camping, hiking or attending one on the many Summer music-festivals over the next few months, we have compiled a list of the coolest accessories and gadgets that will have you exploring and capturing your adventures in comfort.

A Green Tick

Not only are these companies creating impressive products for you, but they have a company mission to be echo-friendly.

Seljak

Started by sisters, Sam and Karina Seljak, the Australian company began in 2016 and they create closed loop blankets are made from recycled merino wool offcuts from the factory floor of a wool mill in Tasmania.

Soft yet durable, it is pretty easy to imagine either pulling one from your car or tent on your next camping night, using one as a picnic blanket or simply to have around the house as a centrepiece.

Their durability comes from the 70% recycled Australian merino wool and a 30% blend of polyester and recycled alpaca, mohair and cotton. In addition to having stopped 2000kg of textile waste ending up in landfill, the sisters also donate one blanket to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne for every ten purchased.

You can find our more about Seljak and their range by heading HERE.

Seed & Sprout

Based in Byron Bay and started by Sophie Kovic, Seed & Sprout’s core mission is to reduce reliance on single-use plastics. Their commitment to a sustainable future means they stock everything from reusable drink bottles to straws to cotton shopping and fruit bags to food containers and even silicone wrap that replaces single-use plastic wrap in the kitchen.

They’re easy to keep clean and strong which means they’d be a great addition to your work routine or kids schoolbag.

With each order, Seed & Sprout also includes a 100% compostable and plantable seed card that contains real seeds as well as planting a tree in an area of need.

You can find our more about Seed & Sprout and their range by heading HERE.

Allbirds

New Zealand born Tim Brown began Allbirds after long questioning why merino wool was absent in the footwear game. The brand now boasts runners to slip-ons, thongs and newly added high tops. With no large and flashy logos and a long list of colour options and combinations, their look is impressively clean. Even after a doing a nature trail, where the shoes were comfortable and light, dirt was easy to brush off.

By using wool in their shoes,their production the process uses 60% less energy than materials used in typical synthetic shoes.

Their shoe packaging uses 90% post-consumer recycled cardboard that serves as a shoebox, shopping bag, and mailer all in one. Lightly used Allbirds are relocated around the world, helping communities in need thrive in the process thanks to the Soles4Souls program. The organisation ZQ Merino ensures their wool is held to high standards of farming, land management and animal welfare.

Tech

Canon EOS M6

For compact travel purposes, this camera is king. A weight of 14 ounces and 4.4inches in width doesn’t hold back this mirrorless The M6 is also compatible with both EF-M lenses designed specifically for the EOS M series of digital cameras, as well as the full line of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses.

With full HD 60fps shooting and an 3″ LCD screen tilts and pivots out 180 degrees, it is also the perfect vloggers and selfie camera.

Where noted, the majority of the photos in this piece were captured using the EOS M6.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM

With ten hours of battery and rich sound somehow coming from its small frame, the Wonderboom proved to be the perfect travel buddy.

It has a maximum sound level of 86 dBC, a frequency range of 80 Hz – 20 kHz and two 40 mm active drivers and two 46.1 mm x 65.2 mm passive radiators. It also boasts a waterproof rating of IPX7 or 30 minutes at 1 meter.

Its hang loop also means it can easily be attached to a backpack for a hike full of tunes.

JBL Xtreme 2

If you’re after a speaker that’s a bit bigger and will easily pump tunes throughout your campsite then check out the 15-hour battery life on the JBL Xtreme 2. If four drivers and two JBL Bass Radiators aren’t enough reason to make it the hero of your campsite, the speaker also has a USB charge out port to keep your devices juiced up.

With JBL Connect+ it can also wirelessly link more than 100 JBL Connect+ enabled speakers. As well as Bluetooth capabilities, the Xtreme 2 also has a handy 3.5mm input jack to limit the battery drain of your phone and speaker.

Jaybird Run wireless headphone

With the Jaybird app, the sound experience is completely customisable as you can adjust EQ levels in depth and adopt sound profiles made by other users. The differences when altering the levels are truly noticeable.

The battery life lasts just under 4 hours with the case acting as a charger when the headphones are locked inside, providing an extra 8 hours of listening time.

We did experience some occasional connectivity issues (it’d take two or three times of resetting the headphones before the phone would find them), but all in all their 6mm driver size with 20Hz – 20kHz response bandwidth provided stunningly clear and surround sound.

DJI Osmo Mobile 2

From timelapses to subject tracking to creating ultra-smooth video, the Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal helps take your social-worthy adventures to the next level.

The Osmo Mobile 2 boasts a battery life of 15 hours and light 485g weight (don’t worry, it’s still super durable). A small joystick on the frame allowed us to smoothly flow between different subjects. The app allows for subject tracking and modes like hyperlapse and panorama where the app will operate the gimbal to stitch together multiple frames.

For more information on the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 you can head HERE.

Comfort, packing and accessories

Kohutt

Founded by Nick Jaffe in 2014, Kohutt is based in Tasmania operates with the goal of creating robust, minimalist and quality driven small packing designs.

Kohutt stocks wallets, small pouches and have just released a duffel bag. Each product is made by hand in Australia from high-tech bonded threads and modern fabrics as well as low-tech premium traditional leathers. Every product comes with a lifetime warranty.

To find out more about Nick and Kohutt you can head HERE.

Victorinox Rolltop Laptop Backpack

Don’t think having the term “laptop” in the title means you won’t have much space in this bag. The Rolltop is closed by buckles on either side which means it can expand and compress to your desired load and opens up into an 18L space.

Gear loops, daisy chains and even a bottle opener on the shoulder means Victorinox have thought about many possible situations you’ll be using the bag outside of the office.

But what else would you expect from the company behind the infamous Swiss Army knife?

If you really want to be prepared for most situations in the outdoors then we suggest the new EvoGrip 18. The Evolution Grip 18 has fifteen functions including serrated edge scissors, Phillips screwdriver, woodsaw and tweezers.

For mode information on Victorinox you can head HERE.

Merrell Moab FST 2 Waterproof

There is nothing worse than having sore feet at the end of the day at a festival. Especially if it’s day one of three. Add mud and rain to the mix and it can make for a pretty uncomfortable time. As we discovered, Merrell’s newest release is a bit of a godsend.

The shoes’ M Select DRY impermeable membrane seals out water and lets moisture escape for not only a quick dry but to help your feet breathe. In addition to this, Merrell’s Kinetic Fit BASE insole is contoured like your foot and provides flexible, comfortable support. We took them for an extensive hike through the Blue Mountains and loved their durability and light feel. It didn’t feel as if we were weighed down by typical hiking shoes.

An air cushion in the heel as well as Vibram MegaGrip on the soles of the shoes meant were had the best combination of comfort and traction on wet or dry surfaces. Between walking, hiking and standing up all day, the Moab FST 2 is a versatile addition to your outdoors kit.

For more information on the Moab FST 2 and Merrell you can head HERE.

All still photos captured with the Canon EOS M6. Videos captured with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro using the Osmo Mobile 2.

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Lachlan Mitchell

Since 2011, Lachlan has been a staff writer, photographer and videographer for the AU review. He contributes across every vertical of the site and creates pieces that incorporate a mix of writing, photography and video with portraits, drone sequences, time-lapses and video interviews.