Updated: 5 days ago
2020 wasn't quite what anyone expected, but while we were locked-down at LandyCampers HQ, we were beavering away sourcing new and exciting equipment to make our 2021 LandyCampers the best possible equipped adventure-mobiles!
Our LandyCampers have all the gear you need for an easy getaway. We've taken our personal experiences and talked to manufacturers, scoured the internet, trade shows and stores to find the most appropriate gear for our fleet. Why? Because we've spent months living and working from tents on campsites, and know that good gear can make a huge difference to quality of life. A dodgy burner makes every meal time a chore, cheap chairs mean sore backs (and bums!), and a good tent means everything!
When choosing equipment, our three most important criteria are:
Re-usable: Absolutely no one-time use or disposable products (unless compostable)
Longevity, sturdiness and usability: using gear that doesn’t hold up to the abuse you’ll give it or material that gives in on the second use would just not be fair - to the environment and to our clients.
Light-weighting and space-saving: Yes, there is quite a bit of space in the Defender – but poorly designed bulky gear will easily fill up even the most cavernous vehicle. With our gear, we are trying to keep weight low to keep fuel efficiency when driving up.
Check out our current gear list below, we hope it might give you some inspiration on what to pack on your next adventure.
I think we can all agree, roof-tents are awesome! The high vantage point gives you a different perspective on camping than a ground tent (but no peeking into neighbouring pitches!). Being off the ground comes with a whole bunch of advantages. Even high-end ground tents can become mud-baths when it rains, as the ground around you becomes a swamp. No such problems with a roof-tent, it’d take a serious flood to reach you up there (and by that point you’d have bigger worries than a wet tent, and might consider building an ark!).
Our new and improved tents for 2021 are CampWerk's Adventure Roof Top Tents. These German-designed soft-shell rooftents are a cut above the rest! With a a larger-than-double-bed comfortable foam mattress, they offer a considerably larger sleeping space than hard-shell tents, and the overhanging section means the ladder is always undercover (who wants to get out of their tent straight into the rain?) The extra thick mattress ensures you’ll sleep soundly - no blowing up of an airbed needed! Conveniently sleeping bags and pillows can remain inside the tent during the journey, freeing up vital storage space in the vehicle and allowing the tent to be quickly packed away, and making sure it’s ready for bed time in seconds.
The 2021 models come with windows on all 4 sides, offering amazing near-panoramic views, and the roof panels unzip to reveal two huge rooflight windows, perfect for stargazing at night!
They offer incredible water-resistance (600 den, or a 9,000mm water column for numbers nerds) thanks to their military grade PU-coated Ripstop canvas bodies, great strength thanks to new thickened aluminium poles, stainless-steel fixings, and an aluminium layered-board floor. These things are built to last!
Included as well in our kit is the optional annexe room, offering an entirely enclosed area that can be zipped onto the base for privacy or protection from the elements; and a cotton inner-tent, which creates a double-layered interior for insulation and reduced condensation. The smartly designed tent comes with insect screened windows and doors as well as elevated shoe pockets for footwear storage within reach. Bear in mind, with a Defender you'll want the additional Ladder Extension!
The heavy-duty self-standing retractable awning is conveniently attached to the side of the vehicle for immediate use and shelter wherever you set up camp – braving hot summer days or rainy hours. As you can see below, it's a breeze to set up - unzip the bag, and pull! The 'wings' are secured in place when stored by some seriously strong magnets, so there's no worry about them rattling around on a bumpy trail. The Batwing is made from a heavy-duty, water and mould resistant material that has been tested and rated to UPF 50 +, offering maximum sun protection.
Not only does it provide a convenient instant shelter when you arrive at your destination to unpack under, it looks amazing, what’s not to like?
Roof bars: Nakatanenga Cargo Bears
For roof bars we went for another bit of German engineering in the Nakatanenga Cargo Bear system. These are a novel (though now copied) low profile roof bar/roof rack system designed specifically for Defenders (new Jimnys and G-Wagons also have kits available).
These bars are beautifully machined, and have an outstandingly high load rating compared to almost anything else on the market (300kg off-road with evenly distributed load, which can easily be doubled on the road.) They are a fully modular system that can go from 2 cross bars to a full chequer plated roof rack.
Our main decision to go with these was their low profile design. Unladen, they barely increase the height of a Defender at all, as they are 'form-fitting'. This, paired with the Cargo Bear Quick Release Mount, enables us to keep the rooftent close to the roof, and thus the centre of gravity as low as possible, to reduce the impact on handling. They also have specially designed brackets for a multitude of awning systems, which made fitting the Batwing a breeze!
Storage solution: LandyCampers Custom Storage Unit
Sure, you could throw everything in the back of the car in boxes. It works, but it's not ideal. That's why we spent many an hour designing our Rear Storage Unit to accommodate our equipment while doubling up as an 'indoor' dining table, AND leaving room to still use the rear of the Defenders as a 'lounge' for when the weather gets grim!
With drawers for equipment that needs to be accessed often, a rear hinged tub for less commonly used items, and even a pull out ledge for brewing a quick cuppa without needing to set up the table, it's a unique aspect of every LandyCamper, and proven very popular!
Battery pack & solar cells: EcoFlow RIVER & 60W solar panel kit
A battery pack is always useful on any trip (phone batteries don’t last forever!), but when camping it’s even more important to have a reliable source of power with you. We chose the EcoFlow R600, “The World's Fastest Charging Power Station”, for exactly that reason. Its 288Wh capacity and 600W output (with up to 1200W surge capacity) in a compact body make it perfect for your camping trip. It will happily power your cool box, charge your phone and laptop, and even has enough oomph to jump-start your car when you leave the lights on over night (we’ve all done it!).
We paired the R600 with EcoFlow’s own 60W solar panel. As we strive to be as green as possible, this was a no-brainer. Solar cells have come a long way in the last few years, and this set up, in decent sun, is enough to significantly charge up the battery pack in a few hours. Left out all day, you’ll not need to pay for an electrical hook-up at a campsite again!
For longer journeys, the R600 Max or Delta make perfect off-grid batteries, paired with larger 110W or 160W solar panel kits.
Fridge: Dometic Tropicool TCX
We found the Dometic Tropicool thermo-electric cool box to be the best balance between price and performance, after a lot (I mean, a LOT) of comparisons. While not technically a fridge, it can cool to 26 degrees below ambient temperatures, which is more than enough to store food and drinks, because let's be honest, how often is it even 26 degrees above freezing in the UK? It's packed with smart but probably dull features, like intelligent power-save circuitry, wear resistant fans, and highly efficient electronics which all add up to a more than capable package for most people's camping needs. We found the 21 litre model to be the sweet spot for two people, and the 35 litre plenty for four. The box is very well insulated, meaning once you've bought your food, or beers, down to temperature, you can safely store them for hours without keeping the box plugged in, perfect for changing campsite, or a lovely picnic!
Cooker: Vango Combi IR Grill Cooker
Two burners and a grill. What more do you need? The Combi IR Grill comes folded into a neat package, with it’s own carry handle, and unfolds into a spacious multipurpose stove. It’s sturdy, lightweight, doesn’t need matches or a lighter, is easy to clean, and the Infrared Grill saves 10% on fuel and 90% reduction on emissions for a cleaner cooking experience. A burner unit like the Combi Grill has plenty of advantages over a gas bottle-top burner. All too often we’ve had them blown out by the wind, or knocked over our pot of pasta. Trying to balance a pan on a gas canister is just a pain. You know what we mean!
BBQ: Volcann Portable Fire Pit
Another new bit of kit for 2021, the Volcann BBQ. This flat-pack fire pit takes up very little space, but is an absolute hit! A few quick seconds 'building', and it's ready to go, with a flat cooking surface and BBQ grille, it's versatile and effective, and doubles as a simple fire pit if you don't attach the top section. With supplied eco-friendly Beech Briquettes it couldn't be easier to grille on the go!
Be aware, the smell of a good BBQ might bring envious visitors!
Chairs: Vango Titan
For our chairs we had one main criteria. Comfort. We've all sat in rubbish camping chairs (and plenty of us have fallen straight through our fair share!). The Vango Titan hit the spot. With it's soft cushions and deep base it certainly fits the bill. it also boasts a far greater load capacity than most alternatives, making it safe for slumping into, beer in hand, after setting up your tent! While it's not the most space-efficient chair when folded up, we think the comfort is worth it!
Kitchen Storage: Navigator Kitchen Buddy
A clever bit of kit, all the way from Australia no less! This rugged folding kitchen storage bag holds a remarkable amount of cutlery, cooking equipment, condiments, and an all-important bottle-opener, and slots right into the rails of most rooftents.
A truly practical set of kit that makes camping cookery so much easier, when table space is at a premium, having all your equipment hanging just at arms reach is incredibly handy!
With an entire range of innovative camping-focused gear, we're big fans of these guys!
Crockery: Vango Bamboo Tableware
We looked at all sorts of options when looking for sustainable crockery. The options are seemingly endless, recycled plastics, ceramics, materials we’d never heard of and struggled to pronounce, and even edible tableware (great, if you only want one meal…). We settled on Vango’s Bamboo tableware sets. They’re sturdy, highly-sustainable, dishwasher safe, a decent size, and well priced. Not all the patterns on offer were quite to our taste, but there’s enough options, and the set has a really nice texture (squeaky knives on dishes can be like nails on a chalkboard).
Cookware: Outwell Feast Set
Good cookware can make or break a meal. Make your camping life easier with some decently sized non-stick pots and pans, great to cook in, and infinitely easier to wash up! The Feast sets come in small medium and large kits, and stack together into a convenient carry bag to store. Simple quality.
Water container: Colapz Collapsible 2-in-1 Water Carrier & Bucket
Water containers can be a pain. Too big to store. Taste like a chemical factory. Leaky. Colapz solves these, and does exactly what it says on the tin (or, well, bucket!). It folds completely flat when not in use, and expands up to an 8 litre container with tap. It’s BPA free and made from food grade recyclable plastic, so there’s no disgusting taste, and no unhealthy chemicals leaching into your water. The container can also be converted into a shower with optional extras, and even into a watering can… for some reason!
Shower: Colapz Shower
Perfectly suited for the Colapz water carrier, their 12v Portable Rechargeable Travel Shower is ideal for showering on the go, or rinsing down a particularly mud-loving doggo! It's battery will last about and hour from a 4-5 hour charge, and uses the now-ubiquitous USB to power up, meaning no hassle of remembering yet another cable!
In Car Display: Sony XAV-AX8050D
Ok, so it's not technically camping equipment, but we've kitted our vehicles out with them, and find them a great addition to any journey. The awkwardly named (in classic Sony style) XAV-AX8050D is a single-din 8.95in touchscreen display, with Android Auto and Apple Carplay when a compatible phone is plugged in by USB. This display becomes your sat-nav, your radio, your virtual assistant (it's included microphone allows Google Assistant/Siri to hear you even over the loudest engines). Voice control adds a level of safety, not requiring the driver to physically interact with the display at all, and the massive screen means your directions are just a quick glance away - no more squinting at your phone sitting in a wobbly dashboard mount. The single-din design means its easy to install in most older vehicles, which don't have double height radios out of the factory, in fact our Landys were upgraded easily from cassette decks (if you can remember those). The display has a bunch of different mounting positions, thanks to a bit of smart engineering from Sony, making it suitable for a wide range of vehicles. You can even watch a movie on it, as long as you're parked!
Clothing: LandyCampers Merch, of course!
Ok, you've got the camping gear. You've gone on the adventure. But you want people to know. And you want to look awesome. "How", you ask?
Quality clothing with our logo on, naturally!
We have a range of men's and women's t-shirts, and woolly beanie hats with high quality machine stitched LandyCampers logos. Comfy, and built to last. Just like all our gear.
We are convinced: one of the best ways to ensure a good time on your camping trip is to choose the right equipment. But, as you can see, never have there been more options and choice of necessary (and absolutely unnecessary or badly copied) gear out there. Also, it’s not always easy to keep up: innovation moves fast and long gone are the days when setting up a tent was as complicated as building an IKEA Pax wardrobe and unfolding a chair without pinching your fingers required an Engineering degree. Let us know in the comments how you choose your gear and what your camping essentials are!
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