How to Survive the Heat in Your Van
And Other Tips for Your Summer Road Trips
Summer is here.
Summer... the ideal season to travel in a van. The days are longer - full of promises - and warmer, liberating your wildest dreams of escapes. It's the season that's favorable to the most fun activities... mountain biking, hiking, surfing, yoga on the beach, lounging around the campfire, you name it! But all these hobbies require their own gear, and more than ever, the eternal challenge emerges: how will it fit in the van? Life on the road requires high quality and space-optimized gear. It's got to be purposeful, practical, sturdy — and most importantly, easy to store.
Since that's what we do, we put together a list of products that we believe will contribute to smoother travels on the road this summer. Enjoy!
Staying cool in the van
We've all experienced coming back to a car that has been toasting on a parking lot for too long. Now, imagine it's your home sitting there, miserable. You step into a metal box so hot you start sweating instantly.
Heat is an important issue enough that most Vanlifers drive up north to reach tolerable temperatures. For those staying in hotter parts of the country, there are some easy tricks to maintain a bearable temperature in your van. Chase trees and lakes like maniacs, keeping a 12V fan on, and covering your windows with sun-blockers —like these DIY insulating curtains you can find a tutorial for in our DIY section here.
Photo courtesy Evapolar
Tested & approved BY OUR TEAM
Personal Portable air coolerS
Lightweight & energy efficient: perfect for your summer road trips
The EvaCHILL is the most portable of the three and will keep you cool for up to 9 hours. The EvaLIGHTpl has a removable water tank and allows you to make precise adjustments. The EvaSmart is the most powerful version, and can be controlled using an app or voice assistant!
Beach campingFor those who don’t have a 4x4 and can’t drive directly into the beach, we have the solution to avoid the many back and forth between your car and your spot on the beach: store it all in one box! The Rux 70L is the perfect storage that can be carried like a bag, is waterproof and will collapse when you are done using it to help with space optimization.
Photo courtesy Clean Ocean Designs
Lounging at camp
Summer evening rhymes with longer and warmer days, campfire hangs and game nights. Please, though... don’t forget to check fire restrictions in your area and refer to Principle #5 of our partner Leave No Trace's 7 principles for better outdoor ethics.
In our opinion, the best camp lights for reliability, ambiance and usability are the Mpowrd's Luci Solar String Lights. They're sun powered and pack 100 lumens across an 18ft cord! From the same brand, the Luci Original inflatable lantern is an other solar solution, with up to 24 hours on a single charge!
Another favorite product of ours is Trippy Outdoor's Tripster chairs. They come in a variety of unique colors and versions, like with a longer top or even a kid's version! Itcan handle up to 1000lbs, and it's easy to carry around. But most importantly, it's (admittedly surprisingly) very comfortable! Give it a shot, you won't regret it. Finally an alternative to the canvas chairs.
For the families, to entertain your evening Hasbro has come up with a National Parks Family Games series (with big names like Jenga, Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit) and they're a must have for an evening of fun!
For your morning stretch, Yoga session or simply to lounge around the fire, we've also found a gem: the KĀMA Surface origami adventure mat will turn into your playground! It is super comfortable, comes in fun colors, and is respectful of the environment. For more yoga products, check out our on Yoga on the road section!
Now for that nice refreshing cocktail after a long day in the sun... our friends who create such beautiful products over at W&P came up with a wide variety of fun crafted cocktail kits made with premium, small-batch ingredients. It is tasty, easy to use, and you’ll just need to add the adequate liquor for some fun cocktail party. Needless to say (but we'll say it)... drink responsibly!
Photo courtesy Barebones
We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer, and all the fun it comes with!
Happy travels, and see you on the road!