- Buyer's Guide
The Most Popular Travel Gear of 2018
Business trips. Holidays. Weekend getaways. As diverse as the reasons and destinations are amongst travelers, a common element that winds its way throughout is the desire for functional gear to help nail the journey. And 2018 hasn’t disappointed in the range and quality of gear helping travelers get from A to B and all the detours in between. But when you dig down, what pieces have soared above the rest as favorites amongst our travel community?
Discover the most popular travel gear of 2018…
Peak Design’s Travel Backpack does a great job of combining thoughtful travel features into a highly versatile bag that suits a range of trips. The carry-on pack expands to 45L or compresses to 30L, allowing you to pack more when needed and cinch it down to a daypack at your destination. The clamshell opening and dual side access lets you easily pack and retrieve gear. And clever features including a stowable front organization panel and considered pocket layouts keep your gear neat on the go.
Pouches are great for storing smaller items within easy reach. But many lack organization to keep the contents tidy. The Peak Design Tech Pouch is different. Inspired by origami, it provides a variety of pockets to store items separately and ensure quick and easy access on the go. Exterior handles and a wide opening also make it convenient to hold and get to gear quickly.
Low-key aesthetics and a clean exterior let you fly under the radar with the Minaal Carry-on 2.0. But don’t let its minimalist looks fool you. There’s no shortage of useful features in this pack to help you make the most of your travels. The clamshell opening and selection of pockets let you get to gear in a jiffy, with dedicated storage for a 15″ laptop. The weather-resistant build gets a boost with an included rain cover. And the tough build is backed by a lifetime warranty for dependable roaming year after year.
Travel wardrobe staples let you pack less while adapting to a variety of environments. And Outlier’s Slim Dungarees are a prime staple pick. They scooped our Best Travel Clothing award, thanks to convenient features such as their durable yet comfortable Workcloth Doubleweave Canvas. A breathable, water-resistant and stain-resistant material that dries quickly, cutting down on your laundry time. Their tailored fit is easily dressed up or down for formal or informal settings, while five pockets keep those important smaller essentials close at hand.
The Outlier Slim Dungarees are a solid pick for colder climates, but if you’re after a pant better suited to warmer climates then consider the Outlier Futureworks. A versatile choice if you want one-bag travel pants for work and play, the Futureworks are lightweight and breathable yet durable enough for travel use. Stylish for business trips but allowing freedom of movement for active use, they’re a smart all-rounder staple.
The Matador NanoDry Shower Towel wrapped up our Sixth Annual Carry Awards as winner of our Best Accessory award. And for good reason. Towels are notorious space hoggers, taking up a good portion of your bag and a considerable time to dry. But this towel packs down into a small silicone travel case that includes its own carabiner. Simple to store compactly in a bag or secure externally. It also weighs just 5 oz (142 g), is quick drying, and features an antimicrobial coating. Great for hitting the gym, trips to the beach, a weekend getaway or one-bag travel.
Packing cubes make your travels a whole lot easier, letting you organize items tidily and separately for quick access on the go. And Arc’teryx offers a fine selection with their lightweight and durable Index packing cubes. Available in a range of sizes, the cubes include handles for convenient portability, with removable shoulder straps on the larger sizes to serve as standalone bags if required. And to keep your toiletries in check Arc’teryx also has the Index Dopp Kit at the ready. The Dopp Kit has three separate pockets for storage including a transparent main compartment to display toiletries for airport security, as well as a mesh pocket to allow razors and toothbrushes to dry. The handle also includes a buckle to enable hanging on hooks, rails or other locations.
Another savvy pick for a travel wardrobe staple, the Western Rise Evolution Pant has a plethora of travel-friendly features. It’s sustainably constructed in the USA from stretch nylon Supplex® fabric that is breathable, comfortable, water and stain resistant, quick drying, and wrinkle resistant. The pant also enables freedom of movement and is durable yet lightweight at just 0.8 lbs (around 363 g). Backed by a lifetime warranty, this versatile piece can be dressed up or down and includes six pockets for storing smaller items.
A day bag for essentials is always handy on your travels. And the Stowaway Day Pack from L.L. Bean is a worthy pick. It stuffs into its own interior pocket for compact storage and weighs just 14 oz. (around 397 g). Unpack it to enjoy a 22L pack with the benefits of a padded back panel and shoulder straps, as well as a waist belt and sternum strap for comfy carry. The pack is made from water-resistant and durable ripstop nylon and provides front, top and side pockets plus a bike light loop.
When your plane, bus or train is waiting, the last thing you want to be doing is rummaging for a missing ticket or passport. Bellroy’s Travel Wallet keeps your important travel documents and essentials together and easily accessible on the go. All in a suave design made with quality environmentally certified leather. The RFID-blocking wallet provides space for tickets and a passport, as well as concealed storage for bills. Also on hand are four quick-access card slots plus additional slots for extra cards. And for convenience filling in customs forms or jotting down notes, the wallet includes a micro pen too.
A maximum-sized carry-on bag packed with features, the Tortuga Setout is an excellent travel companion for a variety of trips. The winner of our Best Carry-On Bag award offers easy access through a clamshell main compartment, with interior organization and quick-access pockets to keep gear tidy on the move. There’s also dedicated storage for a 17″ laptop and 9.7″ tablet. The weather-resistant, durable build looks suitably understated, helping the pack blend into diverse settings. And with its removable padded hip belt and stowable shoulder straps you can stay comfy while getting where you need to go.
With three cube sizes to choose from, the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tech™ Cube Set makes organizing gear simple. The translucent fabric helps you discern the contents and is both water and stain repellent to protect items. And for an added bonus, the lightweight cubes are backed by Eagle Creek’s lifetime warranty.
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