Top 10 Best Travel Gear 2016
It has been a great year for gear. Things just keep getting better and better, it’s so wonderful how technology can make travel easier. Not just tech-technology but advancement in things like clothing and upgrades on equipment. It was hard to pick only ten things I loved the most because there were so many, but I’ve narrowed it down, and in no particular order, here is my top 10 best travel gear 2016. 1. Thule T2 Bike Rack
This bike rack is the best I’ve ever used. It makes it so easy to transport our bikes, that we do it much more often. And this rack, even though it’s winter, is still on my car, unlike my last rack that I took off during winter season because we didn’t use it enough to justify having it on there. Honestly, it was difficult. The Thule is easy to maneuver year round. We love it! Having used so many different racks in the past, I would never want to go back to any of them after this. The Thule T2 is my Gold Standard, it’s beautifully designed. I can’t imagine an easier to use bike rack and I don’t think there’s one out there that matches up to this.
If you camp and you have a hard time sleeping, you need the Exped Mega Mat. Even if you don’t have raging insomnia like I do, you still need it if sleep is important to you. And we are talking luxurious, deep sleep. The Mega Mat is my favorite piece of gear and has been for years. Now Exped has come out with a double bed version, so my son and I no longer have to fight over it. This is going to be a wonderful summer! You will not find a more comfortable camping pad.
The Marmot Southridge has been my go-to jacket since the beginning of fall and I know I will continue to wear it until summer. I sized up so that I could wear a ton of bulk underneath, and I’ve been layering with down jackets and extra furry fleece. The down keeps me warm and the Southridge keeps me dry. The pockets are all in the right place, the fit is awesome–I like it loose, and somehow I was able to size way up without looking like a linebacker. The fabric is not too thick, not too thin–it’s perfect. I love everything about it.4. jamstik+
I put the jamstik+ on my holiday gift guide because it seemed like such a cool thing to give a travel-loving musician or someone learning to play guitar, but I am so impressed with this that I have to include it here too. The jamstik+ is nothing short of amazing and it’s small enough to fit in your daypack. I have been watching my son learn to play guitar with this and I’m thrilled. He is having so much fun with it and loves it. If you have any desire to learn guitar (or have a child that does), you should check it out.
The creators were geniuses to use the intuitive smart phone/tablet interface that really draws you in–it’s like playing a game only way more rewarding. It’s also meant for advanced guitar players and functions as a midi controller. No need to upgrade once you learn to play it. See what I mean? Genius.
This was a total surprise to me. I love everything Ibex, so I knew I’d like it, but I didn’t realize I would like it as much as I do. The Reece is a way to instantly look and feel pulled together–kind of handy when you’re traveling. Both casual and dressy at the same time, this is that one versatile piece in your suitcase (and at home) that looks great with everything6. Booda Butter
Not exactly “gear,” but it was one of my favorite discoveries this year and boy is it nice when you travel to dry climates. Booda butter is a treat that smells like yummy chocolate and softens skin with truly natural and certified organic ingredients like shea and cocoa butter. It’s TSA friendly, but lives on my nightstand when I’m not traveling. I’ll never be without it.
You won’t believe it until you see it for yourself. We’re all so used to terrible quality lightning cables that the Fuse Chicken Titan is amazing. AND it’s totally affordable at $35. It adds more bulk than a regular cord, but you can’t break it. It’s amazing, just go get one and marvel at the ingenuity.
One of our travel traditions is to ride bikes in the different cities we visit. It’s a wonderful way to get a different perspective of the town. But rental bikes often don’t have baskets, and there’s nowhere to put your stuff. This handle bar duffel by Detours solves that problem and provides you with a little purse for when you are off the bike. I use this thing all the time and I love it. You can’t believe how much stuff fits in this little bag.
Finally, a power bank that I can use for all my stuff. This bad boy is going with me on all my trips from now on. It’s my fastest and most versatile charger, even charging the finicky new MacBook.
Last but definitely not least, the MAXIMUS is a wonderful way to beef up your home security and it’s so fun to use, you fellow tech geeks will love it. You can have it installed and running in 15 minutes. Once it’s up and running, you can see everyone that comes in and out of your home from your smart phone. This is great for when packages get dropped off or to appear home when you are traveling. If you have kids, it’s even more awesome. I love this thing!