Travel clothing needs to do a lot of things if it is going to make the cut into our suitcases for a trip. And the Dale of Norway Basic Sweater did all that and more. I tried the Dale of Norway sweater called “Basic Feminine,” but the same sweater is available as a...
Category: Product Recommendations
Tested and recommended travel gear. Many receive our HITT Seal of Approval for travel product excellence. Clothing, footwear, outerwear, travel accessories, luggage, travel packs, wheeled duffels, computer bags, carry-on luggage, and much more.
Travel accessories reviewed include: Flashlights, reading glasses, security devices, cameras, pouches, liquid storage, bottles, straps, smartphone and tablet cases, batteries, chargers, solar power, and powerbanks.
Underwear reviewed includes: Travel bras, boxers, briefs, long underwear and socks.
Clothing and apparel reviewed includes: Shirts, pants, skirts, blouses, sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, and pullovers.
Luggage reviewed includes: Wheeled luggage, wheeled duffels, four wheel luggage, all wheel luggage, carry-on luggage, day packs, computer bags, camera bags, shopping bags, and anti-theft bags.
Footwear reviewed includes: Travel shoes, sandals, trekking shoes and boots, insulated winter boots, and slip-ons.
Outerwear reviewed includes: Men's blazers, travel jackets, women's jackets, coats, fleece, pullovers, rain jackets, waterproof jackets, insulated jackets, and travel vests.
Daypacks are certainly comfortable and convenient to wear when traveling, but beware carrying anything valuable. You can’t see what’s going on behind you, and pickpockets know this. Which is why we typically opt for anti-theft packs like the Pacsafe Venturesafe X30...
Finding warm winter boots that are lightweight enough to pack along when you are traveling to cold climes isn’t easy – if you treasure the mantra of traveling light and multifunctional, as HI Travel Tales does. So I was pretty excited to find the Baffin Escalate warm...
Let’s face it, airlines continue to nibble away at personal space and comfort for airline passengers. But if you are window seat flyer, you can regain some of that coveted space with the spAIRtray travel shelf. The spAIRtray ($24.95) is a surprisingly simple and...
Being mobile as a traveler these days mostly demands you carry a little juice to keep your devices functioning – camera, smartphone, tablet, you name it. The Lander Cascade Powerbank charger line is sleek, durable and reliable for a traveler’s needs.
The OOFOS sandals are a different breed of sandal. Super lightweight, supportive comfort for travel whether you’re putting in some legwork or loitering at a café.
Hiking poles are a nice accessory on hikes or longer treks in the mountains. But your friendly TSA agents may not take kindly to long pointy sticks. Thus, the necessity for lightweight, foldable travel companions, which is exactly what the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z poles are.
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.
Every traveler needs a good, solid, versatile t-shirt. One you can hand wash or machine wash without too much worry and one that works just as well on a city street as it does on a mountain trail, day after day after day. The Rab MeCo 120 short sleeve tee is such a beast.
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.
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.
The GSI Javapress is a pretty nifty, lightweight (less than 10 ounces), multifunctional travel coffee mug … that also does tea or even serves as a multi-purpose beverage mug since you don’t have that nasty ol’ plunger to get in the way.
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.
As an increasing number of electronic devices, computers and cameras get toted along on our travels, the more we have come to see the value in packing along a little extra security for our valuables. Security that comes in the form of a Pacsafe Travelsafe X15 anti-theft portable safe.
For many women, choosing a travel bra can be a challenge. An excellent, versatile, easy-wash-n-dry travel bra that provides needed support and mandatory comfort isn’t easy to find. Then I discovered the Knixwear Evolution Bra. Go buy one now. You will not regret it.
I was sitting a chair at the dentist’s office, pretty comfy in my Arborwear Canopy pants, which have also become a go-to everyday wear. Then my dental hygienist walks in and immediately exclaims, “Those pants look amazing, I have to get a pair for my husband!” You know your pants are scoring when even your dental hygienist notices them.
A do-it-all mini travel flashlight is our kind of light! Especially a versatile travel flashlight that weighs only 2.7 ounces by Nite Ize called the 3-in-1 LED Mini Flashlight.
Admittedly, I am a lover of a good cuppa which is why I fell in love with the GSI Ultralight Java Drip and quite like its companion Infinity Backpacker Mug. Don’t be misled by the “backpacker” in the mug’s name. You can take it on any kind of travel where lightweight and versatile are king.
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.
Whether you are in transit on a plane or train, traveling with a tent as your abode, or just hate hotel pillows, the Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Ultralight will be your best friend on travel.
Soto has come up with a true winner of a stove in the WindMaster, a cooking powerhouse ideal for adventure travelers needing a compact, efficient and easy-to-operate stove for backpacking, remote travel, and backcountry use.
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.
When adventures call you far afield when you’re on the road, your streetwear travel jacket may not be up to snuff. In those cases, a versatile travel jacket for active adventures is a must – a great travel jacket like the Gore-Tex Running Wear Essential that protects in all kinds of weather.
After playing with the Kodak Pixpro SP360 for six months, I can state it is a very cool, compact tool for the travel photographer. Not perfect but quite good.
Discovering the RAD Helix roller was a beautiful moment. Packing along workout or therapy gear when you are on the road isn’t the easiest. In fact, it is often impossible with size, bulk or weight. But because it is so compact, the RAD Helix has become my own portable physical therapy kit whenever traveling.
Dressing classy yet staying functional while traveling is easier with the ExOfficio Ometto Blazer. Since there is no doubt that presenting a clean and stylish image commands respect, the Ometto Blazer could even up your chances of that unexpected upgrade (we can be hopeful, can’t we?).
The Lowa Bandon GTX for men is a casual, classy and highly versatile travel shoe, making it an ideal choice for any situation.
With a nod to versatility and illuminating durability, HI Travel Tales finds the Hybridlight Journey 160 deserves the HITT Seal of Approval for travel product excellence.
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.
The Patagonia Nine Trails Pack 15L is multifunctional, durable, great fitting, and lightweight. We all know that hitting the road for travel often holds the promise of adventures, along urban streets, on mountain hikes or during trail outings.
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.
Your feet are your best friends on the road. And you better treat them right and make sure they are comfortable. What you need is one great travel shoe that goes from all-day city touring to back-road sauntering to a casual dinner with a skirt. Like the Ahnu Noe Leather does.
Hi-Tec Sports, which began life as a squash shoe company in The Netherlands four decades ago, is now turning out superior, lightweight, outdoor sandals — the Laguna for men and the Galicia for women. And after our initial test of these HI-Tec outdoor sandals, we’re quite impressed.
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.
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).
Finding a travel shirt that will work for workouts and still look dressy enough for a restaurant has been somewhat elusive. That changed with Patagonia’s Bandito.
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.
Of course, there is no such thing as perfect travel shoes that will be all things and all will love. Nonetheless, the Ahnu Cruz Vegan slip-on is now my fave travel shoe when I want to give my other one or two pairs a rest – the ones I wear running, scrambling, trekking, urban wandering, or for a casual evening out.
If you plan on being active when you are traveling, then a sports bra is a must. But, ladies, what a pain to have to pack a couple of sports bras AND a couple of additional everyday bras. Or more. Is my dream of a perfect all-around bras possible? With the Brooks JustRight Racer sports bra, the dream is inching closer.
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.
Kahtoola has long been known for traction devices, that is, crampons and spikes that add grip for staying upright when traversing snow or ice. We love the less, well, spikey traction devices geared for runners (and walkers too who desire something with fewer sharp points) – the Kahtoola Nanospikes.
Sometimes the need to stay warm outweighs the desire to pack less or be too minimalistic. But that doesn’t mean your coat needs to be bulky and heavy – especially if you think layers, layers, layers. Think the Bergans Svolvaer Down Long jacket.
If you are a flip-flop sandal lover, then get ready for the launch of the Bogs Hudson leather flip, a new footwear direction from a company known better for winter boots, and waterproof or protective work, farm and garden footwear.
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.
Sometimes the simplest things can bring such pleasure. A fleece. A warm, cuddly fleece. Every company has a fleece sweater of some sort, right? So what’s the big deal? The Calluna fleece line, featuring the ExOfficio Calluna Fleece Hoody has such snuggly goodness.
There is good reason why the Eagle Creek Activate Wheeled Duffel 30 made us smile. We’re always looking to save ounces and pack less. There are times, though, when the demands of a trip require larger luggage – for gear for planned adventures or on-site winter weather, for example.
When the HI Travel Tales team discovered the Yaktrax Run winter traction device prior to a trip to snowy and cold Norway in November, we rounded up a couple of pairs to try out.
How I fell in love with the Icebug Juniper boots. An early winter trip to Norway meant I needed to find some footwear that would be multifunctional.
The Pacsafe Camsafe Z16 anti-theft camera laptop backpack is a part of the Z series of small to huge tech gear packs and bags. We jumped at the chance to really put this bag through the international travel wringer.
It did not take long for me to fall in love with the Ahnu Sugar Bowl winter boots. Insulated boots are a tough item to pack along when traveling as light as possible is the goal.
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