Category: Gear

What you wear or use can make or break travel. So we offer you advice on all that travel gear – from choosing the best travel luggage or apparel, to the travel security gear and small items we won’t travel without. If we use it, we’ll recommend it and tell you why. Our most recent posts are below.

The best travel technology: Power banks to portable drives

Reading Time: 5 minutes With smartphones, cameras, computers, tablets and more, travel technology threatens to add weight and bulk to any travel bag. Our travel technology guide will show you what we use and why with buying recommendations for compact and light power banks, battery chargers, travel adapters and portable drives.

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Flying in comfort: What to pack and wear

Reading Time: 4 minutes Your ticket is booked, your seat is selected, and you’re packing your bags for upcoming travels. But will you be flying in comfort? That doesn’t mean a premium class. Here are a few things we do and pack to help make flying and arriving more comfortable.

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Gift guide for traveling kids (and their parents)

Reading Time: 5 minutes Kids are travelers – as are their parents – and sometimes a little safety, education, or entertainment for little ones on the road can be a great choice when you are looking for holiday gifts. Here are a few picks of gifts for traveling kids from HI Travel Tales and our traveling friends.

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Holiday Travel Gift Guide 2015: 10 perfect picks

Reading Time: 4 minutes From stocking stuffers to more elegant gift selections or even for those wacky athletic folks, you will be sure to find something in our holiday travel gift guide that will delight even the most selective and picky traveling friend or family member. Now, here are our winning suggestions for your Holiday Travel Gift Guide.

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Travel fitness advice: Packing, clothes and gear

Reading Time: 5 minutes What you pack along will have a huge impact on whether you workout or how comfortable you are when you do. A friend of mine used to always have a just-in-case workout bag in his trunk “just in case a workout broke out,” he’d say. And that’s our travel fitness advice too. If you aren’t prepared, you won’t get your healthy fix in.

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Perfect travel gifts for under 35 dollars

Reading Time: 5 minutes The experienced global travel team at HI Travel Tales knows what every business or holiday traveler wants and needs when it comes to receiving perfect travel gifts from family and friends. Little things — often items priced under $35 – can provide convenience and comfort. Or may even help save a little money. With that in mind, here are 10 perfect travel gifts (+ one for good measure), all under $35, that are sure to become a must-pack of your favorite traveler in the year ahead — the best gifts for people who love to travel.

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Travel Packs: A perfect choice for adventurous travel

Reading Time: 4 minutes If you are off to New Zealand, the Ardennes Mountains or South America and you’re going to be gone for a while hopping on and off planes, trains, automobiles, donkeys and boats, chances are you might want to look at buying into the category of travel packs, rather than schlepping wheeled luggage or a duffel with straps.

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 Below are a few of our recommended products for traveling. Each has been rigorously tested by our team. Clothing, footwear, outerwear, travel accessories, luggage, travel packs, wheeled duffels, computer bags, and carry-on luggage.

Eagle Creek Gear Warrior AWD luggage review

Reading Time: 4 minutes With the trend these days being toward four-wheeled luggage (Eagle Creek calls it “AWD” for “all-wheel drive,” tapping into that adventure je ne sais quoi), we decided to give one of the company’s four-wheel “spinner” bags, the Gear Warrior AWD, a whirl on several trips, both on domestic trips by car and train, and on international travel by plane, train and bus.

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Katadyn BeFree a compact travel water filter system

Reading Time: 2 minutes Unless you are planning to buy bottled water every time you travel (not always practical, cost-effective or environmentally sound) packing along a compact water filter may be an alternative. Enter the lightweight Katadyn BeFree water filter in a soft flask (approximately 2.4 ounces total) as the perfect solution to maintaining your gastrointestinal health.

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Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated Mat a comfy travel solution

Reading Time: 3 minutes Backpacking anywhere in the world is a great way to escape the everyday life on your travels. But these days there are parts of everyday life I don’t want to leave behind – like a little sleeping comfort with as little carrying weight as possible. The Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated Mat is a superior solution that manages that fine balance between ultralight and comfort when you are traveling.

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Mammut Comfort Low GTX Surround multifunctional travel shoe

Reading Time: 3 minutes With so many multifunctional travel shoes on the market, it is sometimes difficult to determine what may make one better than another. Heck, what does “better” mean? In the case of the Mammut Comfort Low GTX Surround ($169, men’s and women’s), we enlisted an experienced hiker and traveler as our wear-tester to give it a real-world beating.

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Houdini Motion Light Houdi travel jacket

Reading Time: 2 minutes Breathable, ultralight, weather resistant, stretchy, soft, stuffable, recycled, recyclable – what else can you ask for in a great lightweight softshell jacket to take on your travels, stuff in your pack, or wrap around your waist? Sweden’s Houdini Sportswear Motion Light Houdi is in its line of Motion Light products, and I love it as a superb travel jacket.

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Stonewear Designs Rockin Pants review

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Rockin Pant isn’t new, but for those in the know, it’s a true classic and ideal do-it-all travel pant. Stonewear Designs has had it in the line since 2007. Bet there’d be a riot if it were taken out. And at HI Travel Tales, we’ve long believed in recognizing what is good, not just what is new. With that in mind, we felt a review that recognized this pant’s long-lasting excellence for travel was due.

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L.L. Bean DuraReader glasses a lifesaver

Reading Time: 2 minutes L.L. Bean DuraReader glasses are a lifesaver. When you don’t wear glasses all of the time, it’s all too easy to forget to pack along a pair when out traveling. So what happens when you suddenly come across a sign or need to recheck your location on a map, be it paper or electronic? Yup, guesswork and frustration. HI Travel Tales has reviewed take-along travel readers before (see our review of the Thin Optics), but L.L. Bean has a new entry to the no-break, pack-along travel readers: DuraReaders.

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Simple but brilliant Exotac FREEKey a travel essential

Reading Time: 2 minutes Keys are a fact of life, even when you travel. Keys to rental cars, hotels, friend’s houses and other places – often on clunky, hard-to-manage key rings. Say no to bricks some inn wants you to schlepp around or a myriad of loose keys you need for the VRBO … one for the gate, one for the front door, one for the laundry. The solution is packing along a simple, lightweight, key ring that isn’t a battle to get keys on and off, like the Exotac FREEKey.

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Powermonkey Extreme Review: power-to-go with solar recharge

Reading Time: 2 minutes Traveling with an array of mobile devices these days is the norm, and all are hungry little buggers, incessantly begging for energy feedings. And that requires ready access to plugs or, if on the go, external batteries. There are many choices out there, but if your needs take you far away from electrical outlets – meaning you’ll need solar power to recharge a battery pack — the Powermonkey Extreme is one option to consider.

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ExOfficio Sport Mesh travel underwear

Reading Time: 2 minutes If there is one thing you are going to wear nearly everyday when on the road (well, most of us), it’s your undies. Thus, travel underwear is vital. Wait, rewind: The RIGHT travel underwear is what’s vital. That means undies that are so comfortable you could live in them 24-hours a day, every day. Undies that dry so fast you only need one (maybe two for that veritable just-in-case).

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Beeline case with tether prevents phone fumbles

Reading Time: 2 minutes Hands cold, wind whipping and the ship rolling in heavy seas during a gorgeous sunrise. To get the photos I wanted, I had to hold my mobile out over the railing – nothing preventing my phone from dropping into the ocean below other than my tenuous grip. I might have relaxed a bit and been able to get better photos had I been using the Beeline Case then.

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Outdoor Research HighCamp Mitts ensure toasty digits

Reading Time: 2 minutes Loving the Outdoor Research HighCamp Mitts! Being a stereotypical woman, my hands are frequently cold. It could be 55 degrees and I’m wearing gloves. Some women have shoe collections? I have a glove collection! Which means when preparing to travel to colder climes I find myself staring at piles of fleece gloves, soft shell gloves, windproof or insulated mitts and wondering which one will work.

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Prana Stretch Zion pants functional style perfect for travel

Reading Time: 3 minutes A perfect travel pant sounds easy, but it’s not. Too many are durable and functional enough for outdoor adventure yet they also leave me looking like should be heading out on safari rather than a night out in Paris. And those that offer urban style are rarely stain-resistant, water-resistant and abrasion resistant enough to handle anything but the mildest of outdoor activity. The Prana Stretch Zion pants ($80), however, comes as close to travel pant perfection as any.

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Travel Tips Gear