This fall we teamed up with Cabana Vans and the Seattle Insiders to put MiiR products to the test and figure out what gear was truly essential for a road trip. Cabana, the hotel that travels with you, is a luxury van rental service that allows you to take the comforts and amenities of a boutique hotel on the road with you. All of their vans come standard with a pair of MiiR Camp Cups for your trip, and their guests seem to love them. So we decided to test a few more MiiR products for "life on the road" by enlisting the help of Emily and Sadie a.k.a the Seattle Insiders for a trip down the west coast.
For this outing, we set up Emily and Sadie with our Coffee Gift Set (featuring 2 Camp Cups, 1 Howler, and 1 Pourigami), our Adventure Gift Set (featuring 2 Camp Cups, 1 Pourigami, and 1 Food Can), and a few favorites from our wine collection (2 Wine Tumblers and 1 Wine Bottle). With the help of a free van from Cabana, they were geared up and ready to hit the road! Check out their experience and their list of the "top ten essential road trip items" below.
Last month we took a trip down the coast in a Cabana Van. We crossed through 5 national parks, 4 states and woke up with a different view out our back door each day. Starting in Seattle, our first stop was Crater Lake National Park with an overnight in Southern Oregon. Both of us hadn’t seen Crater Lake in the fall months and were amazed by how blue the water was. We took off the next day for California—passing through Redwood National Forest to reach San Francisco. We wanted to spend the bulk of our trip exploring fall colors in Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe, so we found a safe place to set up camp just outside of the park. Along the way we made new (socially distanced) friends, checked out local breweries, and enjoyed the beauty that California had to offer. Traveling in a converted van truly is the best way to travel if you are a person who loves to wake up somewhere new each day. We saw more new things on this trip in a single week than some people see in an entire year.
While the van was essentially a hotel on wheels with a shower, toilet, tv and full kitchen—there were still products we are happy we brought while on the road. Here are the top ten items we recommend for life on the road!
The 12oz Camp Cup is perfect for taking in the views of Half Dome from the back of the van. We used these cups every day on the road because of the double wall vacuum insulation which kept our coffee hot for a long drive (and also protected our hands when the coffee was brewed too hot.) Because there is a lid on top of each cup, it was an easy product to travel with to prevent spills. Coffee and adventure go hand in hand—so we are happy we had this product on the road.
2) Solo Stove
A lot of states on the West Coast have fire bans in place—meaning you can’t light a fire anywhere you want (even if it is contained in a firepit in some places). The Solo Stove was the perfect solution. We could enjoy a fire each day without worrying about going against the fire ban. It was fun to sit around the fire each night and take in the views. And—for those of you who aren’t as good at starting a fire (like us) the SoloStove actually makes it much easier to start a contained fire.
Similar to the Camp Cup—this product was used each day of our trip because…wine. While red wine is served at room temperature, we used this wine cup for white wine, mixed cocktails, whiskey etc. It was easy to pack and bring out to scenic views like this one of El Capitan. The perfect product for the adventurous but classy wine lover.
We pulled out these chairs at every campsite we stopped at after a long day on the road. One of the best things about traveling in a van is being able to park close to nature and not worry about driving home in the dark because your bed is already with you. In a lot of places we visited (especially the national parks) there was no cell phone service—so kicking our feet back in these chairs and talking about what we saw that day while sipping a glass of wine was something we looked forward to. Also—who wants to stand around a fire when you can sit?
The best thing about this product on the road is it’s ability to seal in carbonation—aka the perfect transport for craft beer from small breweries along the way. We picked up some craft beer in the morning in Oregon and popped the howler open in the evening and the beer was still cold and bubbly after 9 hours sitting in the van. Even if you aren’t putting beer in here—it will keep your beverages warm or cold for hours which is great when you only have access to a small fridge. The latch on the lid locks tightly so you don’t have to worry about this banging around in the back seat. The perfect container for traveling with liquids.
Enjoy good coffee anywhere—literally. If you are someone who needs a good cup of coffee to start the day, then the Pourigami is the perfect product for you. It folds up small to fit in a backpack, pocket or small van drawer which is great if you are on the road. It is sturdy and has grooves on the bottom to make sure that you get the perfect pour each time. Because we were waking up each day with amazing views, this product is the perfect companion. We were able to brew fresh coffee while taking in views of Lake Tahoe—It really doesn’t get much better than that.
7) Twinkle Lights
No long description here—just because they add vibes ;)
A lot of people ask us how we get these cool aerial shots of the vans parked in scenic spots—and the answer is a from a drone! (If you do decide to use a drone, please follow local laws and FAA regulations.) The drone we use to capture these shots is a DJI Phantom 4 Pro (which can be a little pricey if photography is not something to do for a living) but DJI makes a lot of entry level drones for ~$300 that still take amazing shots. Highly recommend if you want to show your friends the amazing places you slept.
Any true vanlifer knows that Birks are essential shoes for on the road. When you can pretty much park anywhere and go for a swim (like we did at Lake Tahoe) you need an easy pair of sandals that are comfortable and slip on easy. Besides—who wants to wear uncomfortable shoes when driving all day? It also makes it easy to get in and out of the van without tracking in a bunch of dirt.
10) Basic Tees
We love all of our short and long sleeve shirts from Lumber Union (another local Seattle company!) all of their clothes are made in the U.S. and their cotton comes from local farmers. Their shirts are high quality and soft and their simple design makes it easy to wear them day after day (because you won’t be doing any laundry on this type of trip.) Our faves: their long sleeve Henley shirts.
There’s so many products we could include—but these were a staple on our trip. Some of them were not essential (i.e. drone and twinkle lights) but if you’re going to stop in so many amazing places—its worth it to bring something to capture the views and feel vibey while doing it. We look forward to our next Cabana trip! It’s truly one of our favorite ways to explore.