Summer is finally here, and that means outdoor recreational activities. No matter if we’re talking about mountain biking, kayaking, surfing, or insert any other sport requiring big equipment here — the right vehicle will be needed to accommodate. Now this doesn’t mean only the largest plus-sized trucks need apply. Although certainly helpful, other segments such as compact crossovers or even hatchbacks can work. For example, the Honda Fit features a marvelous innovation called rear Magic Seats designed to fold and tuck in all sorts of ways to swallow up awkwardly shaped gear. What else? Read on to find out.

Subaru Forester

Subaru vehicles and adventuring go hand-in-hand, and if you visit a state blessed with mountains, trails, or any other of Mother Nature’s marvels, chances are you’ll see plenty of Subies roaming around. The Forester compact crossover especially is a great choice as a companion, since it has built-in side rails ready to accept an OEM crossbar kit creating an instant roof rack. Pick up the appropriate mounting accessories and everything from surfboards to canoes can be easily hauled around.

In addition, all Subarus boast the company’s proprietary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system providing reliable traction no what the road conditions may be. Drivers know they will be able to get to their destination even if the pavement turns into dirt, mud or some other slippery surface.

Honda Fit

When the new third-generation Fit originally launched in 2014 the hatchback was praised for many things including its handsome looks, extra interior space and great fuel economy (36 MPG for those equipped with the continuously variable transmission/CVT).

Also, Honda debuted the second row Magic Seat that goes above and beyond conventional one-way folding. A Tall Mode allows the bottom cushions to be flipped up and out of the way revealing four feet of space from floor to ceiling, where two bicycles, front wheels removed, can be placed next to each other. Or Long Mode, when the front passenger seat is tilted flat and the rear folded down, allowing items up to seven feet nine inches of space inside the cabin.

Honda Ridgeline

Another versatile product by Honda, the current Ridgeline is half SUV, half truck. Built on the same underpinnings as the third-gen Pilot crossover, the Japanese pickup has a lot of advantages over traditional competitors in the segment. This includes a lower ride height for a smoother ride, a trunk compartment hidden beneath the scratch-resistant bed, and a dual-action tailgate that can lay flat as per normal or swing open to make for easy loading and unloading of cargo. As a point of reference, a 4×8 sheet of drywall lays completely flat atop the bed.

Just because it’s practical, however, doesn’t mean the Ridgeline is any less capable. The 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine i-VTEC engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and has no problems towing a boat or trailer boasting a 1,500-pound payload and 5,000 pound towing capacity.

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