Summer Gear Guide: 25 Warm-Weather Essentials

The weather's heating up and summer's in full swing. Make the most of the outdoors with 25 warm-weather essentials designed to help fuel your adventure.

Summer should be spent outdoors. From hiking and camping to running and cycling, the season just begs you to ditch the brick-and-mortar gym and play in nature's fitness playground. But you can't camp without a tent, cycle without a protective layer, or take a dip in the water without the proper swimwear!

Prep for summer the right way with this gear guide. Then head out, catch some rays, and take part in all things sun, sand, and surf.

Catch Some Waves

Whether you're looking to swim laps, hang 10, or just take a dip in the waves, these items are sure to make a splash.

Sunglasses Dragon Alliance

You're looking to beat the heat with a quick dip in the ocean, but an unexpected splash means risking your shades sinking to the bottom of the sea—until now. Swim fearless with Dragon Alliance's H2O Floatable Collection. It rises atop the waves and prevents water, oil, and dust buildup for a smudge-free view.

Board Shorts Forged Tier One

Clean out some closet space and increase functionality with these WOD-to-water shorts. With mesh-lined pockets and a 4-way stretch body promise, these two-in-one trunks can take you from the gym to the great outdoors without a wardrobe change.

Phone/Camera/iPod Waterproof Protector

Take a dip in the ocean without getting your valuables wet. Keep your camera, phone, or iPod safe in this 8x12" case which "waterproofs" your electronics for up to 30 minutes when submerged in one meter of water.


Forget about roughing it in the woods. Bring creature comforts to your camping trip with these items that will guarantee you still get an up-close view of nature without having to build your own fire or wipe with aspen leaves.

Tent MSR Hubba Hubba

Here's proof that big things come in small packages. With durable, thin fabric and large, zipper doors, this lightweight, two-person tent weighs in at 3.4 pounds. Worried about lugging it around? Don't be. An ultra-compact compression sack makes it easy to slip into your hiking pack.

Sleeping Bag Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800

Move over, Transformers. This sleeping bag can be worn like a jacket and even has a full-length, two-direction center zipper and arm ports so that you can toss and turn in comfort.

Cycling and Strolling

Summer temperatures can make long rides and even leisurely strolls feel exhausting. Stay cool while working up a sweat.

Warm-Weather Layers Cycling Jersey

Sometimes, you need a layer more protective than sunscreen. Reach for this lightweight shirt that acts as a second skin. The long sleeves will keep the sun off your back while ensuring you stay cool and dry.

Summer Sun Gear "I Will Reflect" Bracelet

Kiss sunburns goodbye ... or at least lessen your chances of turning blister red. The "I Will Reflect" bracelet turns dark purple to alert you when it's time to sidestep the sun's harmful UV rays. Bonus: Proceeds go to melanoma research and awareness.

Cool Towel Chill Tube Cooling Towels

Beat the heat with a cooling tech towel. This temperature-regulating fabric is earth friendly, chemical free, and hypoallergenic. Wet it, wring it, snap it, and wear it around your neck to keep cool while training hard.

Athlete Picks

These recommendations were made by athletes who know a thing or two about keeping to the gym grind year round, then making the outdoors their fitness center come summer.

Lawrence Ballenger

Shaker Cup HydraCup Shaker

Finally, the HydraCup offers a place for your protein and aminos to exist side-by-side. "It holds two drinks in one container," says athlete Lawrence Ballenger. "I can load up one side with ice water and the other with BCAAs and it keeps both drinks cold without diluting my aminos."

Sneakers Reebok All-Terrain Shoes

"They're light weight and comfortable, but what makes these shoes unique are the holes on the sole of the shoe," says Lawrence. "They keep your feet dry while the teeth along the bottom add extra traction."

Kathleen Tesori

Lip Balm X-Balm

When you're slathering sunscreen on your back, legs, and shoulders, make sure not to forget your lips. "X-Balm provides protection from UVA and UVB rays and retains SPF after 40 minutes of activity in water," says athlete Kathleen Tesori. "I like it because it doesn't melt in hot conditions and feels great on my lips."

Water Bottle Contigo

In the summer, cold water is a must. "I am not a fan of hydration packs," says Kathleen. "The water tastes like plastic, and they can be hard to clean. The Contigo bottle stood out to me for three reasons: the number of hours liquids stay cool, the no-leak protections, and the one-handed bottle operation for on-the-go drinking."

Headphones Jaybird BlueBuds X

The sound of wind blowing and birds chirping can be lovely, but it isn't exactly motivational . Tune in to music for that extra push. "Jaybird BlueBuds X stand out to me because they're wireless, sweat proof, have eight hours of battery life, and a great wireless range," says Kathleen.

Sunscreen Neutrogena with Helioplex

Sunscreen is important all year long, but it's a must during the summer months. "Not all sunscreens are created equal, and it's important to protect yourself from both UVA and UVB rays," says Kathleen. "I've had skin cancer removed before, and my dermatologist recommended this product."

Rachelle DeJean

Cell Phone/Car Key Case Stretch Hip Pack by VSX

Ride the line between form and functionality with this sleek take on the fanny pack. "You can go hands-free and still carry your cell and car key, whether you're training outdoors or at the gym," says athlete Rachelle DeJean. "The VS Sport Stretch Hip Pack is small, convenient, and comes in cute colors! No more phones soaked from resting them in your sports bra."

Sara Solomon

Jump Rope Dr. Sara Solomon Cross Speed Jump Rope

This summer, jump around—outside. "I love this rope because it's portable, inexpensive, and fun," says BSN athlete Dr. Sara Solomon. "It's portable, allows me to burn tons of calories in a short time period, and has enhanced my dynamic balance, speed, endurance, agility, coordination, and concentration."

Electronic Tracker Nike+ Fuel Band

Training outdoors can make it hard to track your workouts. Take the guess work out of the process and track the intensity of your training the simple way. "I'm not a fan of heart rate monitors," says Sara. "I'm not going to wear one around my chest all day and keep getting the electrodes wet. I like that I can track my non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) with my fuel band. It's easy to wear on my wrist all the time."

Jessie Hilgenberg

Minimalist Shoes Vibram Five-Fingers Shoes

Take minimalism to the max with these slip-on toe shoes. "Vibram Five-Fingers are great for hiking outdoors, and they really work your legs," says athlete Jessie Hilgenberg.

Travel Water Bottle Camelbak Arc 1 Running Belt With BPA-Free Water Bottle

Who has a water bottle and runs hands-free? You do, with the Camelbak Ark1 Running Belt. "When you're hiking outdoors, it's so important to have water on hand," says Jessie. "With this, you don't have to fuss while carrying it."

Face Sunscreen Kiss My Face SPF 30 or 50

Protect your money maker from the sun's harmful rays. "Kiss My Face is cruelty free and contains linoleic acid, peptides, and antioxidants," says Jessie. "What's not to love?"

Socks SmartWool PhD Ultra Light Micro Socks

This summer, don't fall victim to anklets that get lost in shoes or that wicked tube sock tan. Choose a pair of socks with staying power. "I love SmartWool PhD Ultra Light Micro Socks," says Jessie. "They won't give you a tan line halfway up your leg, they're breathable, and they come in hot pink."

Music Player iPod Nano 6

If you're looking for music to fuel your drive, it helps to have a handy device to play it from while on the run. Sometimes, kicking it old school's the way to go. "I love the iPod Nano 6," says Jessie. "I know they're outdated, but you can still find them on eBay. They should never have discontinued it! The design's tiny, clips to your shirt or waistband, and has a screen so you know what playlists you're navigating through."

Unable to find the discontinued model? Check out the newest Nano, Apple's thinnest at just 5.4 mm.

Lauren Abraham

Surf Board Firewire

Catch waves with a board that's wipeout worthy. "I ride Firewire surf boards and love their designs and how they offer short boards for beginners," says athlete Lauren Abraham. "This allows those new to surfing to excel on short boards before transitioning to long boards."

Does stand up paddling (SUP) sound more your speed? Check out Poseidon's line. "Poseidon has everything you could need for SUP. Their boards are quality for both the beginner and advanced paddlers," says Lauren.

Beach Blanket The Piece Collection, Mexican Beach Blanket

There's no need to catch a tan while lying on hard grains of sand. Bake on a blanket, instead. Give this cozy, heavy-weight one a try. "I love this big, thick blanket," says Lauren. "I got mine from Mexico, but you can get them online too."

Wetsuit Billabong

Keep in body heat while looking cool. "Billabong has the most amazing prints and colors and the sexiest and most feminine cuts," says Lauren. Not sure which suit to buy? It's all about water temperature. "Full suits are for 65 degrees and colder, and springsuits are for warmer water," says Lauren. "Go with a thicker 4.3m suit for the coldest of waters and a 2m suit for warmer temps."

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