Summertime ain’t over yet. If you have a late-season vacation still on the books, check out some of our favorite travel-minded pieces of gear and apparel, so you can focus less on packing and more on adventure.
The Pros: Redesigned just last year, this new take on an old classic is a refreshing, albeit surprising, development in the world of lightweight backpacking. Weighing in at 2lbs 13oz, the latest version of the Copper Spur UL2 is only one ounce heavier than previous models and comes with the added luxuries of groovy mtnGLO technology and steeper walls (tall people rejoice, read “more head space”). There are two vestibules and side-access doors, well-placed interior pockets for odds and ends, and the easy setup and durability Big Agnes has always been known for.
The Cons: Because the mtnGLO lights are embedded into the tent seams, if you’re not a fan of them, you’ll have to suck it up or buy an older model.
The Pros: We. Love. Wool. And you should, too. Odor-resistant, quick-drying, cool when you need it, warm when you don’t, wool is the greatest thing that ever happened for outdoor enthusiasts. This jersey is 46% Merino wool, cut with just the right amount of nylon and spandex to make this riding shirt feel and fit beautifully. The three-quarter length sleeve adds extra coverage from the sun and looks great on or off the bike. Convenient stash pockets on the back are roomy without the bulk.
The Cons: Sorry guys, this one’s for the ladies. However, Kitsbow makes an entire lineup of top-of-the-line Merino men’s cyclewear, too. You just have to be willing to cough up the cash for it.
FOR FREQUENT FLYERS
The Pros: Travel fearlessly with this compact backpack. Ideal for short traveling stints when you don’t want to check any baggage, this backpack has plenty of storage space for clothes and other everyday necessities plus a padded laptop sleeve in case you have to stay connected. There are more anti-theft features on this backpack than you could ever dream of—puncture-resistant zips, slash-proof straps, PopNLock security clips, zipper locking mechanisms. Read up on all of the features before you travel—there’s nothing more embarrassing than being locked out of your own pack.
The Cons: The shoulder straps on this pack are not adjustable enough, limiting the pack fit to those with longer torsos and broader shoulders. Short people beware.
FOR EVERYDAY ADVENTURERS
The Pros: Summer tans are cool, but avoiding skin cancer is way cooler. This long-sleeve shirt provides UPF 50+ protection without looking like a dorky khaki scout expedition shirt. Soft to the touch and breathable on the back, this button-up looks more like a casual Oxford than a technical piece of apparel. Wear it on your hike, on the job, or out to dinner. It’s wrinkle resistant, so even if it’s been crammed in your pack for a week, you can still shake it out and hit the town without anyone ever knowing it hasn’t been washed in days.
The Cons: It only comes in three colors, so people might start to catch on if you’re wearing them every week.
The Pros: Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, it can be inconvenient to stop and take a picture in the outdoors. The CapturePRO aims to fix that. Quickly access your camera on a hip belt or pack strap with this multi-functioning camera attachment point. Beefy enough to handle the big boy DSLRs, this little clip will totally change the quality, and quantity, of shots you take on your next adventure.
The Cons: There’s nothing comfy about swingin’ a DSLR and zoom lens on one shoulder strap. The best cameras for this clip are DSLRs with small, compact lenses, or mirrorless cameras.
FOR PLAN AHEADERS
The Pros: Small and light as a feather, as far as most power for your buck, this one’s a no-brainer. A fully juiced Flip 20 can easily charge two iPhones so you can peace of mind in the backcountry, on the road, or anywhere in between. Pair it with a solar panel for totally off-the-grid power or plug it into your computer or wall outlet for a quick fill-up.
The Cons: If it was drop proof up to Jess Daddio standards, this little guy would get a full blown A+. As it stands, you can break, drown, and fry these things. Maybe the next version will be totally idiot proof.
The Pros: If you like the solid sole of other outdoorsy sandals but not the heavy weight, let me introduce you to your next favorite sandal: the Cairn. The latest version of Bedrock’s Classic sandal, the Cairn has a simple strap system that is super customizable, versatile, and secure. Unlike most flip flops and other water shoes, the Cairn has an extremely tough Vibram sole. It’s grippy on the most slippery of rocks, and you’ll hardly feel the roots on the trail. This sandal has quickly become my go-to for everyday wear, day hikes, and camp shoe (bye bye Crocs!). The cherry on the sundae is that this little do-it-all-sandal is hand-sewn right here in the USA and packaged in an equally rad box (seriously, you might consider saving it and turning it into some wall art…we wouldn’t blame you).
The Cons: The company used to be based right down the street from us here in Charlottesville, Va. Now they’re soakin’ up that golden California lighting. We miss them.