Most Recent Best Travel Gear Reviews
I’ve always loved fleece and faux fur. Cozy, soft and cuddly is irresistible, and that’s what the Eddie Bauer Haven Vest is in a nutshell. It’s a furry fleece and it’s crazy soft. And I love the heathered gray color. Inside is charcoal fleece.
It makes a wonderful layer over a tee and under a shell. Like a black raincoat. You get added warmth but the vest keeps it from getting too hot. It gives you that layer of comfort and some cute fashion too. It looks great with black pants and boots. It’s so comfy I don’t want to take it off. Perfect for the season. As for fit, I’m 5’5 and about a 10, and like my clothes to fit loose. The large fit me great, and falls at the hip. Find the Eddie Bauer Haven Vest HERE.
Do you have a hard time sleeping when you travel? I’m a serious insomniac whether I’m in a hotel or at home, and a huge fan of white noise. At home, I sleep with a fan. When I’m staying at a hotel, my trick is to turn on the air-conditioning fan to high and hope it generates enough sound to lull me to sleep. It usually works, but not always. Enter the Sound+Sleep MINI sound machine.
Now, when your neighbor fills an ice bucket at 2:00 in the morning, you can drown that noise out with sounds of the ocean, a babbling brook, a crackling fireplace, or rain. It comes in black or white. The white is sleek and pretty and shaped a little like a teardrop. It’s compatible with smart phones, (thought not bluetooth) and comes with the plug for the wall and for the phone.
Now, for a minimalist like me, is it worth it to pack it? I normally carry on, so I would probably have to be going somewhere I know will be challenging sleep-wise to pack it. However, if I’m checking a bag, and sometimes I do, then it’s worth it. Note that I’m a little extreme when packing and take the bare minimum. Note also that sleep is more important to me than food, so for me it is a more than worthy item.
If you have kids, I think it could be worth its weight in gold. My son is 10 and is usually so worn out by our adventures when we’re traveling that sleep is not an issue. But the second this arrived at our house, he snagged it and took it to his room. He loves it and it really works to get him to sleep earlier. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get it back, nor that I want to since it is so effective for him. Find it HERE.
Just because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean you can’t still travel with Sanuks. I love them for their ultra light weight packability and easy comfort. As minimalist as I am, I can’t wear the same shoes all day every day, I need to change it up to be comfortable. So I always have an extra pair. Light weight shoes like Sanuks make that easy and this time of year, the brand offers even better shoe options–I love the furry inside of the Sanuk Siena. They’re soft as butter and cozy. The perfect thing to pull out of your carryon after a day of wearing boots.
The Navajo pattern adds some interest and looks cute with jeans. They’re great for the airport, aprés ski, or simply to function as that extra pair of shoes. In late fall and winter, when you are no doubt traveling with some bulk, these are awesome for giving you that cozy comfort without adding to your load. Find the Sanuk Siena HERE.
You know I love color. I may wear a lot of black, gray and white on my body, but I love to be surrounded by bold colors. And I appreciate it when color has a practical application in travel, like brightly colored luggage. Look at this fabulous Traveler’s Choice Captain Thunderbolt Spinner Suitcase. Wow!
A lightening bolt (chevron-ish) pattern in red, blue, purple and yellow. It’s an energizing design, you can’t look at this and not feel excited. It’s fun and looks great, but it has some great practical features too. It’s expandable to accommodate anything you might pick up on your trip. The pretty bright orange interior has handy zippered compartments for organization as well as compression straps.
The expandable zipper pull is different from the zipper pulls that open the main compartment–this little thing is super helpful. I can’t count how many times I’ve grabbed the wrong zipper on expandable suitcases. And last, it’s a spinner with four wheels and I have learned this makes all the difference in the world on your back when you’re schlepping your luggage through the airport. Wheels glide easily and the handle feels sturdy.
Brightly colored stuff gets stolen a lot less, no one is going to try to walk away with this bad boy. Also, you’ll see it the second it hits the conveyor belt at baggage claim. If you need a new suitcase for upcoming holiday travel, have a look at Captain Thunderbolt. Find it HERE.
Going out of country? Then you probably need an adapter to charge your devices. I like the adapters that feature a main piece with interchangeable attachments for the plugs that go into the wall. That way, you have options and you can take only what you need, which is handy when you are visiting more than one country, each with it’s own outlet shape. The Belkin Global Travel Kit is one such charger.
See how it works? Individual plugs for each country snap onto the back of the main piece. I’ve tried several of these and I like the way the Belkin works easily. There’s no struggle whatsoever when you go to take off one plug and exchange for another.
The Belkin Global Travel Kit offers 6 plug formats for connectivity from Malaysia, to North America, UK, Australia, China, India, continental Europe and the Middle East. Find it HERE.
Did you know there was such a thing as free range shoes? Oliberté has got to be the most eco friendly shoe brand on earth. It’s the only shoe that comes from the world’s first Fair Trade Certified factory and they use premium cow and goat leather from free range hormone free animals. I love this. Everything is sourced locally in Africa and as naturally as possible.
The rubber, for instance, is natural rubber. Oliberté creates a win-win situation for everyone. The consumer gets quality shoes that are gorgeous and extremely well made, and employees and the environment benefit from responsible production supporting workers rights in sub Saharan Africa. It’s a model company that I hope is inspiring more–imagine if all our goods were created with this level of responsibility?
Meanwhile, the shoes themselves (I’m trying out the Oliberté Shasa Shoe) are beautiful. These are great for travel because they are easy on-easy off and can be dressed up or down. I think they run a little short, so I haven’t minded too much that my ten year old has absconded with them. They’re cool looking, I don’t blame him. “These are nice and flat on the bottom,” he said, ”they’re perfect for skateboarding.” I’m hoping he breaks them in for me and by the time he grows out of them, I can have them back. They’re that well made that I’m thinking they can handle being worn by both of us. Find these wonderful shoes HERE.
The new Ibex Pez Cardigan has some great lines that create a sophisticated fashion statement while still doing the job of keeping you warm and travel ready. That bold collar and off-center opening with three big buttons looks sharp. It’s dressy.
But the cardigan, being Ibex, is tough. You can look nice in the city and then go hiking. When you’re done, the sweater still looks new. Ibex stuff is quality, you can rely on it. I have Ibex sweaters that are several years old that still look new, they are an investment. I’m happy to see this stylish piece that sets itself apart from “outdoor” clothing, while still being outdoor clothing. The Pez Cardigan looks great with jeans and boots, or over yoga pants. It will instantly dress up your outfit. Wool is perfect for travel since it regulates body temperature and doesn’t retain odor. Find the Ibex Pez Cardigan HERE.