There’s nothing quite like a summer adventure. Some people like to make the most of hotter weather by getting out onto the water, others hike deep into the mountains to pitch a tent in solitude. Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with doing the same reading, lounging, eating, and drinking that passed the indoor hours through winter, but doing them outside. Even just being in a backyard is better in summer. And it all comes together with the right gear.
From casual beach days and cookouts to outdoor parties where you need to look the part, this guide covers the essential summer gear and clothing that you need to take advantage of all the season has to offer.
The comfy addition of raglan sleeves to an already summery terry cloth polo shirt is brilliant, and when you make it in a soft cream hue, it’s just about perfect. The fabric itself is made using two different yarns that imbue it with both softness and shape-holding. Toss it on after a dip in the pool or don it at the next backyard cookout. Just watch out for the barbecue sauce. — Amos Kwon$90
If ever there was a pair of shoes that embodied summer, these Blue Palm Seekers are it. Not only do they show off the official tree of summer, but they’re also made for endless comfort with cork, recycled foam, and cotton canvas. The natural rubber outsole provides excellent traction, and the braided hemp detail adds the right dash of casual flair. If you’re considering wearing socks with these, just don’t. — Amos Kwon$115
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Croquet may get most of the attention when it comes to classy lawn games, but it takes a lot of space–not to mention the time commitment in setting up. But pretty much everyone knows how to bowl. This lawn bowling set (bowling as in with pins, not the type of lawn bowling that uses oblong balls and a jack) is perfect for the outdoors, lawn or not, as long as there’s relatively flat and rollable ground. It’s travel-ready with a carrying bag so you can take it with you to the next cookout, camping trip, or escape to the beach. Both the balls and the pins are made of 100 percent Hevea wood, which is a dense and durable hardwood that can stand up to years of use. Sure, there’s no computer counting up your score for you or a machine resetting the pins. But in terms of being a game everyone will enjoy playing outdoors? It’s perfect. — Nickolaus Hines$120
Lose the usual ball caps this summer and go full-on beach mode with this super-laid-back bucket hat that combines surfing and brews in perfect style. The hat is made with rich blue-dyed cotton and recycled materials, topped off with a classic brand patch and a drawstring cord. In case the hat comes off your head in the surf or the pool, it’s made to float back to the surface for easy retrieval. It’s also perfect for naps in the sun. — Amos Kwon$40
Every man should have a pair of sophisticated white sneakers in his style repertoire for summer. They’re great with shorts and even with slacks for casual Fridays at the office. Beckett Simonon’s Riviera Trainers combine high-quality leather with nicely contrasting and durable gum soles. The high-grade Vachetta leather lining keeps feet cool, reduces odors, and absorbs sweat. They even finish off the shoes with carnauba wax and shea butter for softness, durability, and resilience. — Amos Kwon$169
Summer cigar sessions call for a bright and colorful cigar receptacle that’s not too big to comfortably carry. This green leather two-finger case carries small robusto-sized sticks for quick and tasty deployment. The Italian leather is beautifully grained and properly thick. Each cigar gets its own cylindrical housing that prevents motion and contact, and the inner case is nicely debossed with the Al Pascià logo. — Amos Kwon$110
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These should be the official shorts of summer due to the comfort and the huge array of colorways that will make you want every day to be beach day. The Cruise is made with 45 percent recycled polyester, 45 percent polyester, and 10 percent Elastane for great active stretch. They’re also quick-drying and odor-resistant. The drawstring cinch keeps the shorts where they belong, and the button pocket and hidden zip front pocket keep your gear in check. The shorts are so versatile that they’re just as ready for dry land relaxation as they are for the waves. — Amos Kwon$70
The Tsuyosa line is one of the best watch releases of 2023, and not just because of the brightly hued sunray dials. It also boasts a right-sized 40mm case, a matching integrated bracelet, and a cyclops date window on the tough sapphire glass. The automatic movement provides 40 hours of power reserve, and the watch can take up to 50 meters of the wet stuff. The yellow, green, or light blue are especially attractive when it comes to bringing out the summer in your watch collection. — Amos Kwon$450
Flip flops are an absolute requirement for summer, but you should avoid looking like you bought yours from the spinning rack at your local pharmacy. Draftsman adds sophistication without sacrificing comfort by using full grain leather and a stitchless liner. The leather is environmentally conscious, and there’s a grippy rubber sole to keep you properly vertical. As with all Reef sandals, there’s a bottle opener located in the arch for convenient brew dispensing. — Amos Kwon$70
There’s no getting around the fact that wheeled coolers are not all-terrain equipped. No matter how good those wheels are, there’s going to be something in the way that’ll take some lifting–no small task with how much a traditional cooler can weigh. But you don’t have to leave the beers behind with the IceMule Cooler Backpack. The soft-sided pack has a 30-liter storage space (enough for 24 cans plus enough ice to keep it cool), and the pack itself only weighs five pounds. It’s made with insulation that can keep ice from turning into water for days, with an air valve that can be inflated for extra insulation. It’s perfect for those long camping trips where you want to venture out for a couple hours. That said, 24 full cans can get a little heavy (it can hold up to 60 pounds). Ventilated air-mesh pads and straps make it all a little easier, while three oversized pockets ensure you can keep some nuts or other goods dry for a full aperitif hour out in nature. — Nickolaus Hines$375
Be judicious with your bracelet wear by not overdoing it. Simpler is almost always better, and this simple ivory and black rope number is so summer-ready. The double loop bracelet uses marine grade rope that holds up well in the wet, and the PVD black D-shackle even has a stamped Pig & Hen logo. You can even select your size for optimal fit. Wear it all summer long as a reminder not to take yourself so seriously. — Amos Kwon$100
Tortoiseshell frames with green lenses scream summer. Not only do they look chill, they also provide just the right amount of Hollywood style for your face. The zyl acetate frames are robust and warmly hued, and the triple rivets and five-barrel hinges provide excellent construction. Count on the Zeiss Green Polarized CR-39 lenses to keep out damaging rays, as well as annoying glare. — Amos Kwon$185
This is one piece of summer gear that should always go with you. The Nomadix Festival blanket is perfect for impromptu picnics, beach days, and warm-night stargazing. Made with certified post-consumer recycled materials, the Festival Blanket is quick-drying and packs down to an easily manageable size. The top is plush for comfort, and the water-resistant backing keeps moisture at bay. It also fends off sand and pet hair thanks to the microfiber material. The Festival Blanket measures 60×72”, so it’s perfect for the family. — Amos Kwon$70
No one does leisurewear quite like Dandy Del Mar. With an emphasis on updating summertime classics, their line of terrycloth Cabana sets are the perfect wardrobe staples poolside or to pack for a resort weekend. The large geometric patterns against a green background give this a retro feel while the comfortable cut makes it easy to lounge all day long. The terry construction is extra absorbent, so you can easily throw this on after a swim to dry off and head out for happy hour. — Brett Braley$79+
Drinking a beer on a raft or small boat is one of the great relaxing joys in life. Maybe you’re fishing, maybe you’re just floating. Trying to keep your standard cooler upright in the water so your beers are always cold, however, can be a little cumbersome. Not with the Cuddy. This floating cooler (which is designed to work just as well on land) can be tied up and towed behind your raft or boat, so a cold one is always within reach without taking up a bunch of space onboard. Or if movement isn’t in the cards for the day, anchor the Cuddy and utilize the four built-in cup holders in the pool or lake. — Nickolaus Hines$250
Did you hear the news? Mall brands are back–and with a vengeance. With new styles and a pulse on current trends, brands like Hollister are leading the way for affordable and attainable fashion. This embroidered floral shirt is a great staple to keep in your wardrobe. With a slightly boxy fit, it won’t suffocate you on the hottest days of summer while the embroidered detailing adds a little fun to an otherwise standard cotton short-sleeve shirt. I dare you to get away with one of these shirts at a summer wedding with a pair of linen pants and some loafers. It’s just dressy enough to be stylish, while subtle enough to bend the rules on what “semi-formal” means during the hotter months. — Brett Braley$27
You never know where a summer day can take you. In the morning, you’re in the pool and by the afternoon you’re walking the dogs or going on a hike. You need a pair of shorts that can keep up. Stahl’s lightweight short is the perfect balance of a handsomely constructed short that doesn’t veer too far into gorpcore. The 10-inch inseam gives added protection against the elements and sun while the fabric remains breathable so you’re comfortable all day long. The small details like a knife pocket, side zip pocket, and water repellent finish all make this short one that will easily be incorporated in your daily wardrobe, no matter what you have planned for the day. — Brett Braley$175
A linen shirt is all you need during the summer. Whether you’re dressing it up or down, linen has the ability to really be the summertime staple that doesn’t require a lot of thinking or maintenance. Alex Crane makes some of the best linen shirts on the market today, letting you embrace the wrinkles and get on with your day. Nothing encompasses the pastiche that comes with a good linen shirt more than Alex Crane’s short-sleeve option, the Ola. With a focus on sustainability, you’re looking at a shirt that not only is good for the planet, it’ll make you look good, too. — Brett Braley$135
Music sets the tone of any get-together. The SoundLink Flex is waterproof and dustproof with a 12-hour battery, meaning it’s ready for an adventure just about anywhere, from the boat to the desert to the beach and everything in between. A steel grill and silicone exterior means it can handle some bumps and small drops, too. Which is all to protect that high-quality sound Bose is known for. Plus, if your crew is dispersed and well equipped, it can pair with other Bose Bluetooth speakers in party mode.
One caveat: Don’t be that person who drowns out the sounds of nature that people go out to the wilds to hear. Your soundtrack can’t match up to nature and it’s not what people want to hear blasting into their campground, no matter how good you think it is. — Nickolaus Hines$150
If you want a boot that will last through the years and pair well with jeans as much as a suit, then the desert boots by Rakoh need to be added to your cart immediately. The classic chukka design has been updated with Tuscan leather and a lower profile for a more casual look. The supple leather will continue to mold to your individual fit, patina beautifully, and leave you with a shoe that tells the story of all of your summer adventures year after year. — Brett Braley$435
With their vintage design and attention to detail, Duvin’s sunglasses effortlessly elevate any summer look. Utilizing high-quality acetate, these sunglasses are durable without weighing you down, while still offering total UVA/UVB sun protection. With a wire core temple and five-barrel hinge, these frames set it apart from its competitors to ensure a great fit that won’t go wonky after a few wears. Best of all, Duvin’s champagne and black tortoise colorways are totally unique, giving you a leg-up on the standard wraparound-loving bros at the beach this season. — Brett Braley$90
Summer backyard cookouts are wonderful. Your fancy grill setup can’t be taken with you on the vast majority of adventures, though. The CasusGrill can. It pulls inspiration from the Scandinavians, who know a thing or two about both good design and making the most of sunlight when it’s there (the other side of long days that far north, after all, is long and cold winters). This portable single-use grill only weighs two pounds and is made with natural and sustainable materials that easily burn up in a fire when all is grilled and done–so no metal left behind like other single-use grills. The bamboo charcoal briquets quickly get up to grilling temps and lasts for an hour thanks to lava stone insulation. Making burgers and dogs in the most picturesque settings has never been easier. — Nickolaus Hines$15
Let’s face it: swim shorts can get a little boring. Thankfully, Duvin must have gotten this memo, too, because their trunks are the upgrade you need and are some of the best men’s bathing suits around. With broad, eye-catch stripes, you’re already setting yourself up for a more stylish summer. But what’s going inside the trunks is just as interesting. With an updated boxer-style mesh lining, you’re looking at a comfortable, roomier fit that will keep everything in place without the risk of discomfort. Made from a quick-drying blend of polyester and Spandex, it’ll provide all day comfort so you can focus on other things, like when happy hour starts at your favorite beachside bar. — Brett Braley$69
If you’re looking for a summer shoe that stands out, look to Save the Ducks to save the day. Their Hoof Shoes effortlessly blend fashion and functionality, making them the perfect choice for the warm and vibrant season. The option for pastel colors add a refreshing and playful touch to any summer outfit, reflecting the bright and cheerful vibes of the season. Crafted with sustainable materials, these shoes align with eco-conscious values, making them a responsible choice for those who prioritize the environment. With their lightweight construction and comfortable fit, these shoes provide all-day comfort, allowing you to explore and enjoy the summer days to the fullest. — Brett Braley$158
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already know the many advantages to carrying around a solid pocket knife. For those who don’t, simply carry one around for a couple of weeks and note how many uses you find. Few brands make knives as aesthetic, durable, and portable as The James Brand. The Redstone is compact and lightweight with a bent-wire clip, making it the perfect summer EDC knife for everywhere life takes you (well, at least everywhere that the TSA or security won’t confiscate your tool). The stainless steel blade is corrosion resistant and holds its edge for whittling down wood, opening packages, and cooking. — Nickolaus Hines$89
It’s hard to underestimate how a pair of Sabahs can pair with just about anything. I own about five pairs and haven’t run out of options yet. The Brown Cow pattern is a fun alternative to the classic colorways, mixing a bit of country into your wardrobe. Embracing the kitsch factor will only enhance the fun that comes with wearing a pair of these Turkish-inspired loafers, which mold beautifully to your foot after a few wears. Pair it with a light pair of jeans or, hell, break out a cowboy hat to get the full effect. Embrace the yee-haw and grab a pair before they’re gone. — Brett Braley$225
The Sierra Designs Tabernash is an easy set-up tent, so you can spend more time enjoying yourself and less time fumbling with poles. And don’t take “easy” lightly: it’s a two-pole set-up. It’s an easy pick for the weekend warrior who wants to pull their car up to a spot and relax for a weekend (or weekday, no judgment here). The full-mesh body allows for Milky Way views minus the mosquitos, though if the weather turns against you, the tent is water resistant with a waterproof fly and can stand up to high winds. With a 63-square-feet footprint, it can hold four people. Keep it in your car this summer for those impromptu moments that memories are made from. — Nickolaus Hines$150
Direct-fire cooking can be done just about anywhere you can build a fire with Breeo’s Outpost Grill Grate. This durable and portable grate adjusts to how high you want to put your food over the flame, and the stake can be pounded into the ground without a hammer or mallet. If you have a Breeo portable fire pit, the Outpost attaches to X and Y Series pits, though it’s just as handy on its own. Plus, the small bag is easy to carry around or keep in your car for when the moment strikes. — Nickolaus Hines$150
Towels can be simple or they can be a statement. As long as it works, both are functional. But the latter is more fun. This towel from Business & Pleasure falls into that category. It’s all that you need to splay out at the beach, the lake, the grass, or wherever there’s sun. It’s made with 600 gsm cotton–just weighty and soft enough to feel luxurious, yet not so nice that you have to be so careful that you limit your uses. It’s also large at about three feet by five-and-a-half feet. — Nickolaus Hines$79