I’ve had a couple requests for a follow up article on the best travel gear, so I figured I’d write it now. I have a couple of things that stayed the same, but also a couple new entrants.
(of note, some of these are affiliate links. You don’t have to use them, but I appreciate it if you do).
Best carry-on bag:
Briggs & Riley BRX Luggage Exchange Rolling Backpack – $280
Unfortunately I don’t think Briggs & Riley sells this anymore, but I purchased this early last year off Amazon, and immediately fell in love with it. I’d had the Ebags TLS Motherlode Weekender Convertible, but I didn’t love it – it didn’t have a waist strap, and had no ability to roll it, which left me with a strained back on more than one occasion. Also, the stitching on the backpack strap started to fray, prompting me to send it back in for a refund. The B&R makes up for it on all counts: It’s got a very good rolling system, it has a waist strap when you convert it to a backpack (chest strap too), and it has a lifetime warranty and is one of the highest quality brands in the business. I have nothing bad to say about it thus far. Bonus: it was Outside magazine’s best luggage of the year 2013. Due to it no longer being produced, Ebay might be the only place to purchase it now.
Best Checked Travel Bag:
REI Wheely Beast Wheeled Duffel – $100 – $180
I don’t like checking bags when I travel – hanging out at the baggage claim is one of my least favorite things in the world. That being said, when you go on a long trip, for instance our 12 day trip to Argentina experiencing both beaches and mountains, you sometimes need to check a bag. This thing is, like it’s name, a beast, can carry a TON, and is front-loading. Best part, it’s way cheaper than most comparable bags.
Best Travel outerwear:
Chrome Industries Merino Cobra Hoodie – $160
This again takes the cake for most comfortable, best-looking, and just best all-around thing to wear for flying or travelling. It’s warm when it’s cold out, not oppressively hot when the climate is hotter, is naturally odor-resistant, and looks great! When the weather is below 60 degrees, I wear this on almost a daily basis.
Best travel pants:
Nike KO Fleece Training Pants – $49.99
These warmup pants are SUPER comfortable, fit really well, and are really warm when it’s cold outside. They look great too – you can’t really tell right away that they’re warmup pants. I’ve never worn them in hot environments, so can’t comment on that, but they’re great on whatever temperature they usually keep planes at.
AG Adriano Goldschmied Men’s Protege Jeans – $120
These jeans are stylish, fit great, are made of super soft denim, and best of all, stretchy! I never thought I’d be recommending stretchy jeans, but now that I’ve tried them, I’m never going back! The only reason this is a runner up and not first is that you probably have to wear a belt, which you have to take off in the security line (unless you’re TSA precheck…).
Best travel shoes:
I don’t have one yet
The two main pairs of shoes I wear when travelling depend on the weather: I wear the Salomon Men’s XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX Trail Running Shoe ($90-120) when it’s cold or rainy, and I wear the Patagonia Men’s Maui Air Shoe ($60-90) when it’s warm and not raining. I can’t recommend either for all travel, because the Salomon is a pain to take off during security, and the Patagonia is not good in wet and/or cold weather. They’re both super comfortable, and both are great for walking around cities. So still haven’t found the perfect travel shoe. If you have, please let me know in the comments section.
Best travel accessory for children:
Ride-on Carry-on – 45.95
This clever thing is a folding seat for children that fits directly onto your roller luggage, and acts like a stroller going through airports. It has saved my back more times than I can remember!
Best travel surge protector:
Belkin 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger Surge Protector with Dual USB Ports – $11.88
This thing is clutch when there is only one outlet available – you will quickly make many friends when you hook this bad-boy up at the airport!
Best travel headphones:
Sennheiser PMX In-Ear Neckband Headphones – $41.65
So these aren’t noise-cancelling, and they’re in-ear, so they’re not for everyone – but for me personally, one of the best ways to experience a city in which you’re staying is running through it. For instance, the amazing mountain paths in Hong Kong are best experienced on foot or bike. These are by far the best running headphones, and they’re great for flights too, as they don’t take up nearly the amount of space that some of the noise-cancelling over-ear headphones do.
Best travel sunglasses:
Suncloud Sentry Polarized Sunglass – $50
I have super sensitive eyes to sunlight, and almost always need sunglasses. With this, I’ve had a pair since 2008, they’re within military regs, they’re light, comfortable, look great, are tough, are good for running, polarized w/ 100% UV protection, and if you lose a pair, aren’t super expensive to get new ones. 4.5/5 on Amazon, and easily better than sunglasses twice it’s price.
Best book for a short flight:
Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernest Cline -$8.68
A boy from a dystopian future has to solve an online puzzle, against all of humanity, using 80’s cultural references, to win a billionaire’s fortune. Tense, creative and hilarious, you won’t be able to put it down.
Best book for a long flight:
Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts – $9.03
An Australian outlaw heads to India to escape the law, and gets involved in the underworld of Mumbai. A true modern day epic, another which you won’t be able to put down. Exotic locales, shady characters…isn’t that the reason we all love to travel?
Alright, there is my list. If you’ve got any better options to add, please let us know in the comments section. I love hearing about new travel accessories!