The best solar eclipse gear

From glasses to vaporizers, here's all the gear you'll want during the eclipse

It’s not every day you get a chance to sit back and watch as our sun is momentarily blotted out of the sky. In fact, there hasn’t been a viewable total eclipse from the United States mainland in 38 years. However, on August 21, many people across North America will an opportunity to see one. This is especially true for folks living along the 70-mile-wide stretch of land — known as “path of totality” — where a total solar eclipse will be visible for nearly three minutes.

While witnessing a 875,000 mile across ball of plasma fleetingly eclipsed by a drifting space rock is in and of itself an amazing experience, there are ways to enhance the event. To help you make the most of your eclipse viewing adventure, we’ve put together a quick list of the best solar eclipse gear you probably didn’t think to bring.

Stock Eclipse Glasses

solar eclipse glasses

As reflected by the recent Amazon solar eclipse glasses recall, there are many models on the market that do not meet the necessary optical safety requirements designated for viewing a solar eclipse. That said, American Paper Products, has been approved by NASA’s partner, the American Astronomical Society, to meet the international standard. The company’s Stock Eclipse Glasses are also one of the few models you can actually still purchase. Unfortunately, due to high demand the company recently reduced its minimum order to 25 glasses. We also have an article solely dedicated to solar eclipse glasses we will be updating leading up to the event.

Buy one now from:

American Paper Optics

Sport-Brella X-Large Umbrella

uv umbrella

As one could imagine, millions of Americans will be migrating to the path of totality for the best views of the total solar eclipse. At many public parks — especially within city limits — space will be at a premium, and some individuals may consider setting up camp a little earlier to ensure their spot in the sun (and momentary lack thereof). However, camping out for hours on end before the event can become quite uncomfortable and hot (especially in mid-August). With this in mind, the Sport-Brella is a solid open-air option that offers UV protection to make the hours before and after the eclipse more enjoyable. Amazon also has a slew of other portable UV umbrellas for those looking to stay cool and mobile on Monday.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger

solar charger

When preparing for a solar eclipse weekend outing, bringing along a portable solar panel to charge your devices just makes sense. The Anker 21W features the PowerIQ function that adjusts the amperage of the power supplied to connected device. This allows the solar charger to replenish your devices while minimizing the risk of internal circuitry damage associated with overcharging, etc. As far as portability is concerned, this panel is as sleek and compact as they come. When folded, the entire unit is just 11 inches in length, six inches in width, and one inch thick, enabling easy stowing before and after the show. This Anker model is on sale for just 60 bones leading up to the big show.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Helinox Chair Zero

camping chair

Standing is hard — conversely, sitting isn’t. While we patiently wait on our personal exoskeletons to prop us up, there are a slew of camping chairs to keep us properly ensconced for the time being. While some more industrious individuals may prefer to stand for the entirety of the nearly three-minute solar event, many others may favor a chair-like device. With the ability to pack down to roughly the size of a water bottle and weighing just 17 ounces, the Helinox Chair Zero is our choice. Individuals who prefer larger or more padded camping chairs may want to peruse our list of other versatile camping chairs.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic 20oz

insulated water bottle

We reviewed a series of insulated water bottles earlier this year and the Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic is still one of our favorites. This heavy-duty model is a combination of the original Klean Kanteen with a double-wall, vacuum-insulated design. This allows the Insulated Classic to keep your drinks hot for up to 20 hours and iced drinks cold for nearly 50 hours. This should be more than enough insulation for a stellar day trip and even individuals camping overnight for the event.

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Klean Kanteen

Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler

igloo cooler

Unlike some of these other solar eclipse gadgets, you should see plenty of year-round return on investment with the Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler. While a smaller cooler or insulated soft pack may suffice for individuals or smaller groups, larger gaggles of thirsty humans will require significantly more storage space. The Trailmate Journey Cooler has 10-inches of ground clearance and a pair of oversized, furrowed wheels, making this cooler much more agile and mobile than most stationary base camp options. For other slick offerings, read our full review of the best coolers on the market.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Anker SoundCore Boost

bluetooth speaker

A Bluetooth speaker is virtually an essential for any casual modern day outing, and the Anker SoundCore Boost is one of the best offerings on the market. At just eight inches in length and weight just one pound, this unit should fit into even the most cramped backpack or duffel with ease. The Anker SoundCore is more than capable of playing strictly the hits for up to 12 hours and a series of USB ports allow you to simultaneously juice up your other devices.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Nikon COOLPIX P900

Nikon COOLPIX P900

The Nikon COOLPIX P900 83x telephoto lens is a killer option for stargazing photographers, as the lens allows you to shoot from an incredible distance, giving you a closer image of the sun than a standard lens ever could. Also, here’s a truly hot tip straight from our DT photo team: Photographers will need to use a Neutral Density filter when taking photos of the sun while it is NOT in eclipse. During the eclipse, if the photographer is in the totality stripe, they can shoot the sun without a filter, but once the sun comes back out (or before the eclipse), they need to use an ND filter or they risk ruining (melting/frying) the camera sensor.

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Amazon

Eclipse Albert Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

tripod

When attempting to snap that perfect photo of the suns mesmerizing corona, timing and stabilization are key. That said, we highly recommend a top-of-the-line tripod situationally, and the Eclipse Albert Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod should be more than adequate. The legs can extend to a maximum height of 74 inches or as low as just under nine inches. The legs each individually fold 180-degrees for more convenient stowing during transport and storage. We’ve also curated a full article on tips and tricks for photographing a total eclipse.

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B&H

Pax 3

Pax 3
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Want to get a little baked before you watch the moon blot out the sun for a couple minutes? We highly recommend bringing along the latest Pax vaporizer. It’s far more discreet than a bong or a blunt, but will get you blitzed just the same. We’ve tested a boatload of different vapes over the years, and the Pax 3 is still our top pick when it comes to loose leaf vaporizers. Unlike most others, the Pax 3 boasts a slim build that fits easily in the palm of your hand. Check our hands-on review for details.

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Pax