Outside’s long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors.
Some gear begs for a logo or a splashy design (witness the amply-stickered water bottle). So why not use that canvas to pay tribute to the national parks we love? These products celebrate our most beloved parks and in some cases helps to support them—because your purchase results in a donation to the National Park Foundation. Here are seven outdoor essentials that let you fly your parks flag.
Swiftwick Vision Six Impression National Parks ($20)
These calf-height, medium-cushion socks are generalists, not specialists, so you can wear them running, hiking, cycling, and road-tripping. The cuffs feature a wraparound, 360-degree graphic representing one of 18 different parks. Illustrations, created by Swiftwick’s Tennessee neighbor design firm Anderson Design Group (which developed a series of posters and patches commemorating the parks), are applied using a low-temperature printing method that doesn’t damage the high-performance synthetic fibers (75 percent nylon, 21 percent polyester, and 4 percent Spandex). The seamless toe reduces friction points that can cause blisters, and the ventilated instep releases sweat. Plus, Swiftwick converts a portion of sales from all products into an annual donation to the National Park Foundation. Sizes: S-XL
Rumpl National Parks Collection ($139)
First blanket maker Rumpl blogged about National Parks, then it started representing them on its Original Puffy Blanket. Spanning ten different parks that are illustrated by Anderson Design Group, the one-person blankets use 100 percent post-consumer polyester for the fabric and the synthetic fill, and each includes a clip that lets you wear it like a cape. This summer, Everywhere Towels ($49) joined the Rumpl collection with five park designs. And every purchase of these themed products results in a donation to the National Park Foundation.
Arcade National Parks Belts ($35)
Last summer, belt retailer Arcade rolled out a collection of four belts honoring Yosemite, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, and Zion, and this October, the line will grow by two more parks. Each belt features a unique place-themed patch created by Arcade’s designers (the Zion patch, for example, depicts the Narrows, the famed narrowest section of the canyon) and the interior side spells out the park name. A portion of the proceeds from each purchase go to the National Park Foundation. Comfortable and sustainably-made, these stretchy belts use 85 percent post-consumer polyester that’s also machine washable. One size
Igloo Parks Project Playmate Cooler ($60)
Here’s the tried-and-true cooler that your parents used for lunches and road trips—only now it’s made with recycled, post-consumer resin and proprietary foam insulation that produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions during production (equivalent to removing more than 86,000 cars annually). Buying it also supports Parks Project, which in 2022 alone will donate $100,000 to theNational Parks Conservation Association. The 16-quart interior holds up to 30 chilled cans (or fewer, if you surround your drinks with ice).
Hydroflask National Park Foundation Water Bottle ($38-50)
To commemorate the 150th birthday of Yellowstone National Park, Hydroflask released a limited run of 21- and 32-ounce water bottles featuring designs representing four parks: Yellowstone, Hawai’i Volcanoes, Olympic and Yosemite. These double-walled, insulated bottles proved so popular that Hydroflask plans to re-release the Yellowstone and Yosemite graphics in September 2022. The 21-ounce size ($38) features a monochrome print of Half Dome, while the 32-ounce wide-mouth version ($50) is emblazoned with a Yellowstone bison.
Melin Adventure Club Parks Collection ($79)
This summer, premium hat-maker Melin rolled out a line of eight ball caps honoring four of California’s national parks: Redwoods, Joshua Tree, Big Sur, and Yosemite. The park name appears on the cap’s understated label, and the interior features a colorful graphic representing an iconic park scene—like Joshua Tree’s namesake yuccas and Redwoods’ towering trunks. The materials and construction also outperform your basic trucker: the visor’s perforated foam trims weight, ultralight fabrics (using recycled polyester and nylon) dry super fast, and an antimicrobial finish on the sweatband foils stink over weeks between washings.
NoSo Patches ($13-14)
Kids know that it’s fun to cover cuts and scrapes with colorful, graphic-heavy bandages, and NoSo’s waterproof polyester patches let you fix torn jackets with similar flair. The National Parks collection of adhesive fabric repair patches spans 14 parks, as represented by the illustrators at Anderson Design Group. And NoSo is about to release five of its own designs that pay tribute to the parks. 2.24”x2.5” and 3.14”x3.5”