- Buyer's Guide
The Best Gear for Travel
Travel has darn good PR. Just thinking about it conjures up notions of excitement, meeting new people, discovering new places and creating amazing memories. The reality? It can be a little grubby around the edges (okay, sometimes a lot). Things don't always go to plan. Journeys can be exhausting, both on you and your gear.
But having a well-thought-out packing list goes a long way to making your travels as stress-free as possible. Whether you're traveling for business, adventure, or relaxation, there are a few key considerations for creating a packing list that's right for you. Versatility for one; the more versatile an item is, the less you'll have to pack. Clothing should be comfortable and ideally should suit a variety of settings. Features such as stain and water resistance are also handy and mean you need to wash items less. And since travel conditions can be unforgiving, durability and light weight are also important aspects to consider in all your travel gear.
To help your packing journey get underway, we've assembled some of the best gear for travel below. Some items may work for you, some may not. It may sound obvious, but selecting gear is a personal process. It needs to suit your specific needs, so embrace changing things up now and again until you find something that's a great fit.
Aesthetics, access and organization. The Blade 28 ticks all the boxes, providing sleek looks, a clamshell opening for easy packing and gear access, plus pockets and compartments for keeping items tidy. This is a great pack for business travel, overnight stays and short trips.
The Farpoint 55 is a hard-working option for adventures when wheeled luggage would slow you down. Packed with travel-friendly features, the bag includes a panel opening for quick and convenient access to the main compartment, organization options and even a removable 13-liter daypack for day-to-day exploring at your destination.
Stylish looks and versatile carry options make this a suave carry-on companion for navigating the journey from the airport to your hotel. The AEL008 can be carried as a backpack, duffel or shoulder bag and offers a clamshell opening for hassle-free packing and unpacking.
Samsonite's Lite-Cube range ensures carry sophistication every step of the way from first class to the resort. Available in a choice of spinner and two-wheeled options, the range caters to carry-on and check-in needs and uses Curv material for its light weight and impact resistance.
The Taurus folds into an integrated pocket, making it easy to stash in a larger bag until needed. Weighing just 6.4 oz (181g), the pack accommodates a hydration bladder and handles day hikes and urban explorations alike.
When every gram counts, the Ultra-Sil Day Pack has you covered. Coming in at only 2.4 oz (68g), the bag packs down small enough to fit in a pocket, on a keyring or in a larger bag when not in use.
This t-shirt works hard to earn a place in your travel wardrobe. Made from 17.5 micron merino wool, the t-shirt is soft for comfort and drapes well, letting you dress it up or down as required. The moisture-wicking properties of the wool help keep you cool in hot weather and insulated in warm weather, while the antimicrobial properties help combat odors, allowing the t-shirt to be worn longer between washes.
The Vapor Tee features a blend of merino, cellulose and polyester in a well-tailored design. Offering a more wallet-friendly alternative to Outlier's Ultrafine Merino T-shirt, the Vapor Tee wicks moisture, can adapt to formal and casual settings, and resists odors.
Made from Outlier's Merino/Co Cloth (an unltrafine merino/organic cotton blend), this shirt offers the performance qualities of merino in a design that looks crisp and smart. Resistant to odors and wrinkles, with a pivot sleeve for freedom of movement, this shirt will help you stay sharp whenever you step out in it.
Featuring a cotton/hemp blend, this t-shirt assists you in staying cool and dry thanks to its hydroscopic properties. Its front pocket is also useful for storing small items.
Shirt...jacket...the packing weight can quickly start to add up. With Alchemy Equipment's AEM031 3XDRY Tech Cotton Shacket you get both, helping you pack less and get more versatility out of a single garment. The exterior of the fabric resists water and stains, while the interior absorbs moisture, helping you stay smart and comfortable on the go.
From a busy work day to taking a breath of fresh air outdoors, these trousers don't miss a beat. The stretch wool blend fabric features a Teflon water-repellent finish, letting these stylish trousers step between formal and informal environments with ease. There's also a choice of pockets to organize smaller items, including a zippered pocket with a YKK AquaGuard zip to protect valuable items against the elements.
Shorts that look good in more formal settings and can kick back in the outdoors? The New Way Longs from Outlier are ready for whatever the day brings. The tailored design is complemented by a quick-drying and water-ready construction. A meeting over coffee, a day hike or taking it easy in that tempting lake you've been thinking about all day? These shorts can do it all.
Lazy days on the beach, late nights sampling fine brews. These water-resistant shorts are equally at home in both environments, adapting to your changing needs and helping you keep those travel packing contents to a minimum.
A technical take on jeans, the Slim Dungarees swap out denim for Outlier's fast-drying Workcloth Doubleweave Canvas that provides durability, comfort and beathability. The NanoSphere® treatment provides resistance against water, coffee, wine and dirt, making these a smart and versatile choice for dining out or hitting the trails.
Made from Nature 2 Extreme (Nature2X™) fabric, the No Sweat Pant is designed to do as the name suggests, offering antibacterial and moisture-absorbing properties. Add in reinforced stitching and pockets, combined with an invisible seat gusset for increased maneuverability and you're ready to tackle a range of travel environments head-on.
Oh, and keep an eye out for their new travel pants!
Windproof, water resistant and lightweight, all in a highly compressible form. The Nano Puff works as a mid or outer layer for cooler weather, and stuffs into its own interior chest pocket to avoid taking up a lot of precious packing space.
Native's range of lightweight sneakers help you never put a foot wrong in the summer travel shoe department. They're easy to slip on and off for airport security, they look great with chinos or shorts, and they're ventilated so you can take hot weather in your stride.
Hoofing it across continents, up mountains, down valleys or simply to catch that soon-departing flight is hard work. These shoes make things a little easier, providing comfort, waterproof and lightweight construction, and versatile style when you're on the move.
This underwear has a solid reputation in the travel community, and with good reason. Comfortable, lightweight, quick-drying, breathable and resistant to odors - just what you need in demanding travel environments.
Made with a soft merino wool blend, the Vapor Brief is designed with comfort and performance in mind. Fast-wicking, cooling and antimicrobial, they resist odors, offer a natural stretch, and won't weigh you down.
Dirt, rain, snow...travel long enough and you'll get a first-hand taste of all of them. But that doesn't mean your EDC essentials have to. Bellroy's All-Conditions Essentials Pocket protects those small and important items you want to keep safe and sound. It's large enough for a phone, passport, cables, cash and more, all kept neat and tidy with interior organization and protected with a choice of water-resistant leather or woven fabric exteriors.
The ability to unscrew this reusable bottle offers a host of convenient features - it's highly packable as it can nest inside of itself, it's easily cleaned, and it's a breeze to alternate between storing liquids or food substances depending on your needs.
Tight for space? The Vapur Element takes space-saving measures to the next level. When not in use, it can be rolled, flattened or folded for easy storage. Plus the integrated clip makes it simple to attach to a bag or belt loop. A nifty option whether you're filling it up after going through airport security or setting out to see the sights.
Losing yourself in your favorite tunes is a fine way to while away the hours between and during flights, train trips, bus journeys, boat rides and however else you plan to get where you need to go. Not to mention the benefits of being able to shut out the world if your fellow travelers get a little too noisy for comfort. As an added packing bonus, these headphones also fold flat in a compact and protective carry case.
There's something to be said for the reassuring feel of a book in your hand. But you will feel it - in your hand and in your luggage. The Kindle is slim, long-lasting in the battery department, and offers a library of books at your fingertips, all without the hefty weight.
Packing cubes are a great way to maximize the use of your luggage space. Not only do they keep items organized and readily accessible, they also help to compress clothing and prevent the need to unpack most of your gear in the search for a single item. This set includes three sizes to suit different packing needs, with lids that allow for visibility of the contents.
Readily accessible on a countertop, or hanging up out of the way until you need them. However you like to travel with toiletries, the Heimplanet Dopp Kit accommodates both options, keeping toiletries organized whether your travels lead to cramped or more spacious settings.
Less clothing means less carry weight. But running on a limited supply can get tricky unless you have somewhere to wash garments. The Scrubba Wash Bag lets you wash clothes anywhere, serving as a portable and lightweight washing machine that helps you save on laundry fees and luggage weight.
Avoid the bulk of a traditional towel by using this lightweight travel towel. Weighing 6 oz (170g), the Scrubba Travel Towel is made from a quick-drying microfiber material and stores compactly when not in use.
Keeping your tech devices juiced during journeys can be a real hassle. The mophie powerstation 8X packs a 15,000mAh capacity into a slim and elegant design with dual USB ports, allowing it to charge two devices at the same time. Sleek and conveniently portable, this external battery works equally well for backpacking and business trips.
Traveling can take you all over the world, and with this international travel adapter set you can take your devices too. Pick and choose for specific destinations or pack the set for round-the-world adventures.
Traveling can be tiring, but with this travel pillow you'll have a comfy place to rest your head and catch a few winks. The self-inflating design features silicone striping on the back to reduce slippage during use, and the pillow compresses into a compact form for convenient storage in the included stuff sack.