Apogee Gear Recommendations

Apogee Adventures

Gear Recommendations

Welcome to our gear recommendations guide – a compilation of advice, generated through years of testing and experience, from our full-time team. It’s important to note that families are by no means obligated to purchase the specific gear listed here when outfitting your student, nor does Apogee benefit in any way if you purchase using these links. Our aim is to provide good examples of many of the items listed on your packing list so that your student is ready to go this summer!

Most items below are divided into three tiers: basic, mid-tier, and premium options. If you find that a linked product has become unavailable, please let us know and we will update this post accordingly. We do not provide a recommendation for every item on the packing list, so if you still have questions after reading through the recommendations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

As a reminder, you can always check out our gear store to purchase Apogee-branded shirts, sweatshirts, bike jerseys, and more!

Jump 1 to: Cycling Recommendations, Hiking Recommendations, Outdoor Essentials Recommendations


Cycling Recommendations:

Touring Bicycles: 

Cape Cod & the Islands, Vermont to Montreal, and Pacific Coast:

  • Unless you already own a bicycle that meets the requirements listed on your packing list, renting will be the most cost-effective option, as any bicycle that will be suitable for one of these trips will cost more than the rental package, especially when purchased with the necessary add-ons (or when considering shipping costs to get the bicycle to and from the trip start/end locations for any students flying to their trips).
  • If you are interested in purchasing a bicycle that your child can use for multiple years of bike trips, please refer to the suggestions for Europe Coast to Coast (below), as these options will work for all four of our bicycling programs. Keep in mind that bicycles are sized to the rider, so if your child is still growing it may not make sense to buy them their long-term bike just yet!

Europe Coast to Coast:

  • This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you are thinking about using a touring or adventure bicycle other than one listed here, please email info@apogeeadventures.com to make sure it is appropriate for your trip.

Bike Shorts:

If your child chooses to bike in padded biking shorts, please note that wearing underwear beneath biking shorts can cause painful chafing. 

  • Women’s: 
  • Men’s: 

Handlebar Bag:

Reflective Triangles:

Tail Light:

Cycling Gloves:

Hydration Pack:

Hiking Recommendations:

Hiking Boots: 

Hiking shoes are listed in the next section. If you are unsure whether hiking boots or hiking shoes will be more appropriate for your child, please check out this blog post! And remember – if you’re buying new hiking boots or shoes, you’ll want to break them in before your trip! See your recommended training schedule for suggestions on how to do so.

  • Women’s

Hiking Shoes:

  • Women’s
  • Men’s

Backpacking Packs:

This list does not include “Day Packs.” Be sure to confirm the sizing and necessary volume of the backpack on your packing list. Also, if your Apogee student is likely to want to do other backpacking trips, it never hurts to have a pack on the larger side for future use, even if you only need a 40-liter pack for your trip.

Duffel Bag: 

Hiking Poles (Trekking Poles): 

Camping Chair:

Outdoor Essentials Recommendations:

Sleeping Bag: 

Be sure to confirm the temperature rating on your child’s packing list, as well as any other specifications.

  • 20° temperature rating (AKMC, NWX, DEX, AX, CRM*, GSA*)
    • *Bags for the starred, italicized trips do not need to be compressible.
  • 30° temperature rating (ECC, PC, VM, CI, PMC, IMC, NEMC*, MCJ*, MCCE*)
    • *Bags for the starred, italicized trips do not need to be compressible.

Sleeping Bag Liner: 

Some trips require only a sleeping bag liner (CSPR, CSVI, and CRMC). Some folks may elect to use a sleeping bag liner in addition to their sleeping bag on other trips. 

Waterproof Compression Sack (for sleeping bag): 

Some sleeping bags are pre-packed in a compression sack, so you may not need to purchase one separately.

Sleeping Pad: 

ECC sleeping pads must be inflatable.

Medium-Weight Down or Synthetic Jackets (i.e. Puffy Jacket): 

Waterproof Shell (Rain Jacket): 

Lightweight Sport Sandals: 



Camp Towel: 

Hydration Reservoir to be inserted into a Pack (Water Bladder): 

Bowl with Lid (Mess Kit): 

Sunglasses Leash: