Brazos Walking Sticks – This Hickory Walking Stick ROCKS!

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Brazos Walking Sticks – This Hickory Walking Stick ROCKS!

Over the years, I’ve hiked thousands of miles…in the military, as a Boy Scout Leader, just in my rural neighborhood.

For many of those miles, especially recently, I’ve used a sturdy walking-hiking stick.

My favorite is from Brazos Walking Sticks

The quality of the hiking/walking stick you carry makes all the difference.

The day I first tried Brazos Walking Sticks changed my hiking life forever.

In fact, their Brazos Hickory Hiking Stick has become my favorite companion on dozens of treks.

It’s so comfortable in my hand that I’ve started to feel a little out-of-step when I don’t have it with me even for a short stroll around the block.

I didn’t always feel that way.

Brazos Hiking Sticks

I used to meet people on the trail who were using walking sticks, and I couldn’t figure out why they’d want to burden themselves with that extra gear.

In my mind, walking sticks were designed for strenuous, multi-day treks through back-country terrain.

I just didn’t want to be weighed down with a stick.

My perspective began to evolve when I joined a group that included a number of avid hikers.

Many of them stared at me in disbelief when I expressed my preference for hiking without a walking stick.

They enlightened me as to why a stick might be a handy piece of equipment to have on a day hike, even one that covers well-known terrain.
Brazos Walking Sticks – Brazos Hickory Walking Stick

Benefits of a Brazos Walking Sticks

Carrying a walking stick truly does enhance your safety in the wild.

It also can make for a more comfortable trek.

This is especially important as you age and body parts like your knees start to protest on those longer hikes.

There’s nothing like a walking stick for shoring up your balance when you’re on a steep slope.

When you’re moving uphill, the stick helps to propel you along.

If you’re going downhill, it can help you to control your descent.

In addition, it will take some of the pressure off of your knees and lower back.

Plus, using a walking stick is a great way to incorporate more of an upper body workout into your trek.

Periodically switch hands on the stick throughout your hike to get the most benefit and to keep muscle development in balance.

Moving through tricky terrain is easier, too.

It’s helpful to have another supportive limb making contact with the ground when you’re moving over an especially rough or rocky area.

I’ve found that walking sticks are handy when fording streams.

Spring runoff can cause a small stream to become a rushing creek.

Just probe the depth of the water with your walking stick before you step in.

You just might save yourself from a sprained ankle.

Walking sticks can make for excellent self-defense on the trail as well.

I’ve used them to ward off dogs that approach aggressively without a human in sight.

I’ve clicked my stick against a rock to scare off sizable wildlife.

For areas with venomous snakes, a walking stick can be a lifesaver.

Really, there are so many uses for walking sticks, that I’m surprised now that I hiked for so long without one.

The Walking Stick You Choose Makes a Difference

I’ve known some hikers to just pick up an obliging tree limb lying alongside the trail.

Others have whittled their own walking sticks.

I acquired my first one at a sporting goods store with little more consideration put into the purchase than a glance at the price tag.

That walking stick was all right.

It got the job done until it didn’t.

That was the day that it broke.

Unfortunately, I was planning a big hike for the very next day.

I was unfamiliar with the trail, but I knew that the going was reported to be tough.

I really needed a walking stick for that adventure, and I didn’t want to put it off.

So I called a friend who wasn’t going on the next day’s trip.

He offered me the use of his Brazos Hickory Walking Stick.

Half-jokingly, he told me that he was afraid I wouldn’t want to give it back to him.

I laughed and told him, “It’s just a walking stick!”

“You won’t want to go back once you’ve tried it,” he answered. “Just make sure that you bring mine back to me. You’ll have to buy one for yourself.”

I reassured him that I understood that this was a loan, but I was shaking my head as I hung up the phone.

That day, I felt like my friend was more than a little obsessed with his walking stick, but by the end of the next day, I was beginning to understand his feelings.
Brazos Walking Stick

Brazos Walking Sticks is a Superior Hickory Walking Stick

The walking stick that I borrowed was a Brazos Hickory Walking Stick, and it really changed my perception of this particular piece of equipment.

After using it on one hike, I understood what a difference quality craftsmanship and using only the best materials and methods can make.

I contacted Brazos to see if they would send me one to review. (All of these opinions are my own)

I learned it’s available in four sizes: 41 inches, 48 inches, 55 inches and 58 inches.

The size you choose depends largely on your height.

I love that each and every walking stick that Brazos makes is a one-of-a-kind original.

They build each one by hand, one at a time and using only natural wood.

This makes for exceptional strength and durability, which are both critical when you’re completing a challenging trek.

More than that, these walking sticks look incredible.

It’s a combination of the wood and the finish, which gives the piece a beautiful patina.

Best of all?!

They are made in America!

Walking stick customization

Unlike mass-produced walking sticks, you can customize Brazos hiking sticks.

Some of the add-on features and accessories include:

  • Laser engraving like a monogram, name, initials, etc.
  • Compass on the top of the stick
  • Thermometer
  • Whistle “cut in” the top
  • Spike tip (choices)

Brazos Hickory Walking Stick

Free Form Hickory Hiking Stick

I can’t say enough about the sturdiness and quality of this stick.

To be sure you choose the correct height, you can look on their website which explains it easily.

There are also pictures to help you choose correctly.

It’s a good weight to carry on a longer hike, but still has enough heft to it to feel really solid in my hand.

Also, it’s just the right diameter to fit comfortably in my hand.

It feels natural to have it with me.

Hickory Walking Stick

Everyone loves the way it looks, and so do I.

The artisan who made it really paid attention to the tiny details and found ways to bring out the natural textures in the hickory.

Again, I also appreciate these walking sticks are made in USA.

It’s a family-owned company located in the Brazos River Valley.

Not everyone agrees that a walking stick is an essential accessory for the day hiker, but I have plenty of arguments to counter them.

I love my walking stick.

What is Eco Fashion?

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What is Eco Fashion – Every time we turn around it seems there is a new word popping into our collective vocabulary.

This is especially true when it comes to the green movement.

The term for environmentally-friendly clothing or fashion design, for instance, is eco-fashion.
What is Eco Fashion

What is Eco-Fashion? Defining Eco-Fashion

The “official” definition of eco-fashion is a focus on clothing that takes into account not only the environment, but the health of the consumers who will be wearing the clothes and the working conditions of the people involved with making the clothes.

More specifically, eco-fashion encompasses:

  • Clothes made using raw materials such as cotton grown without the use of pesticides or silk made from worms raised on organic vegetation.
  • Garments and clothing made from recycled textiles, including creative use of materials such as recycled plastic.
  • Articles designed to be more durable so they last longer.
  • Clothes made without the use of certain harmful chemicals, dyes or bleaches.
  • Accessories and clothing made under conditions where workers are treated fairly and paid a fair wadge for their efforts. Eco-fashion incorporates some human rights elements, specifically how workers who make the fashion items are treated.

Fabrics made from organic fibers are grown without toxic pesticides.

In addition, farmers may rotate crops, weed by hand, and plant different crops together.

Vegan clothing is also considered eco-fashion.

Eco-friendly vegan clothing means it’s free from any type of animal products.

It’s only made with plant and man-made fibers.

These are typically sustainable as well.

Embracing a Rising Trend of Eco-Fashion

Once upon a time, eco-fashion focused more on practical items.

It was characterized by solid, neutral designs.

There were organic tee shirts and skirts as well as linen pants and other everyday items.

Thanks to the creative vision of up-and-coming designers, eco-fashion is now perceived as a hot, rising trend.

Using safe dyes, there are brighter colors and unique patterns.

It took a long time to overcome the initial reaction to eco-friendly fashion as a novel concept.

Now, eco-fashion clothing and accessories are attracting a wider range of consumers.
eco fashion clothing

Eco-Friendly Designers

Some of the big names in the fashion industry began to realize the potential for going green when it comes to the clothes we wear.

Anne Salvatore Epstein was one of the first designers to embrace the idea of eco-friendly fashion when she was pregnant.

Epstein wanted to embrace a more organic lifestyle for the sake of her child.

Epstein collaborated with Marc Jacobs to figure out a way to make organic fashion trendy.

Organic cotton, bamboo and recycled leather trims were incorporated into existing fashion lines to ease into the trend.

Making Eco-Friendly Designs Fashionable

Birkenstocks and hemp bracelets have been replaced by attractive organic blends.

Sworn Virgins introduced a line that is 100% biodegradable, consisting mostly of dresses and knit tops.

Linda Loudermilk has expanded the line of eco-designs to include dresses, shirts, suits and even jeans.

Loudermilk has been credited with making eoc-fashion more sexy and cutting edge.

Stella McCartney has created a line of high-end eco-fashions including everything from laid-back tops to chunky sweaters.

Expanding the Definition of Eco-friendly Materials

The material used in a garment does not necessarily have to organic to be considered eco-fashion.

As long as the materials used are considered sustainable, a particular design fits the accepted definition of eco.

A sustainable material is material that comes from a crop that can be regrown or replanted once it is harvested for use in making garments. Bamboo is one example.

Cotton can also fit this definition, even if some chemicals are used during the processing stage.

Hippy Feet is a Minneapolis-based company who employs homeless youth for their embroidery, screen-printing and packaging.

They make socks, shirts and caps with eco-friendly materials, including recycled cotton.

In addition, some of their socks include recycled cotton and recycled polyester.

The company, Marc Skid, uses organic Pima cotton to make their eco-underwear. In addition, each pair uses one recyclable water bottle in the elastic.

They donate $4 from every undergarment they sell to one of nine non-profits (you can choose from three of them, depending on the product you purchase).

Animal-based materials such as wool and cashmere can also be considered eco-friendly, as long the animals were not harmed in the gathering process.

Use of Natural Dyes in Eco-Fashion

Clothing with color is one of the biggest changes.

Plant-based dyes are acceptable to provide coloration to eco-friendly materials.

An additional benefit for consumers is less irritation from natural plant-based dyes and a reduced exposure to certain toxins.
eco bags

Saving a Little Green

At a time when many people are cutting expense, many eco-friendly fashions are very affordable.

Best Travel Pants for Women

Sure, there are some high-end eco-fashion lines, but you’ll find that anywhere in the fashion industry.

Many manufactures are looking to cut costs and offer lower-priced alternatives to consumers focused on economizing.

Add to that the growing awareness of the importance of natural resources, and it’s easy to see why eco-fashion is so appealing.

Eco-fashion has evolved to the point where you really can’t tell the difference between ecologically-friendly fashions and traditional fashion pieces.

The big difference is knowing that what you’re wearing was manufactured by methods acceptable to Mother Nature.

Not only will you feel better about wearing such apparel, you’ll look good too!

Best Earth-Friendly Products and How They Make a Difference

earth-friendly products

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While green living has become second nature in many ways, sometimes we want convenience. Other times, we don’t know there are sustainable options or earth-friendly products available. And as much as we want to use what we have, we still shop. We are consumers.

The great news is we can shop and still be environmentally conscious. We can buy products which will minimize our impact. There are some purchases which eliminate the need to buy other products. Others extend the life of products.

The best eco-friendly products are made with low-impact materials, minimal packaging, and help communities or non-profit organizations as well. Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires

Best earth-friendly products

We will continue adding to this list as we find more innovative eco-friendly products. There are many things we can do to live green. Here are our favorite eco-friendly products for home. Some will be good for traveling as well.

Sustainable paper towels

Bambooee The unPaper Towel

Many of us use paper towels — a lot! While we love the idea of dish towels and cleaning rags, it is often more convenient to grab a paper towel. They are handy for spills, to clean counters and floors, to clean bathrooms and to dry hands.

We tuck them into our kids’ lunch boxes in place of napkins. Sometimes we use them at the dinner table. It’s sometimes more sanitary to use a paper towel than a regular towel.

They’re typically inexpensive so it’s easy to grab one, use it, and toss it… without giving much thought to what goes into making a roll of paper towels.

Unfortunately, we don’t love the waste and the materials and how most of us use them once and then throw them away.

Bambooee makes washable, rayon from bamboo, paper towels. Each roll comes with 20 sheets.
best eco-friendly products
Because you can wash and reuse them, a roll with the 20 unpaper towels is the equivalent of 286 paper towel ROLLS!

Wow! We were happy to find this product and anxious to try them. This is what we learned:

  • Each sheet is 11.5″ x 11″.
  • Bambooee makes them from a certified organic bamboo source.
  • They are soft, absorbent and durable.
  • With every roll you purchase, they plant a tree.
  • Bambooee was featured on Shark Tank.
Reusable paper towels

It’s remarkable you can wash each sheet up to 100 times. What does this equate to?

This small roll of unpaper towels is the equivalent of 2,000 paper towels.

What does that really mean? If you use up a typical paper towel roll each week, replacing them with Bambooee will equal almost 5.5 years.

We’ve used them to clean our kitchen counters, stove top, windows, and bathrooms.

In addition, we’ve found them to be ideal to bring on trips. They are easy to wash, hang to dry, and reuse. These reusable paper towels take very little space in the suitcase and are handy to have for whatever comes up. When you want to travel green, it helps to have some easy habits in place. Packing these is easy!

They are sturdy and strong, even after washing. The only downside to these is you have to remember to air dry. So if you put them in your washing machine, be sure to remember how many to find and air dry before putting the items in the clothes dryer.

The other negative is they are made in China. While it’s rare to find products made in the USA, it’s always our preference.

However, these paper towels are innovative and eco-friendly. In addition to being reusable, what makes Bambooee earth-friendly is the rayon from bamboo is grown without fertilizer and pesticides.

Eco-friendly floor cleaner

Bambooee Sweeps

Bambooee also makes sweeps with scrubbing dots. Put one on a floor sweeper and you have a reusable floor mop to use wet or dry.

Just like their Unpaper Towels, these sweeper pads are machine washable. In addition, the rayon is made from a certified organic bamboo source.
reusable floor sweeps
Each roll includes 15 Bambooee Sweeps. What’s great is these 15 sweeper pads can replace up to 1,500 of the disposable floor wipes and sheets. They are versatile as well. You can use them dry — they do an excellent job of picking up dust and hair — or wet (run one under the faucet and ring it out so it’s damp) — like you use other wet wipes for mopping.

You can wash each sheet up to 100 times in the washing machine. You have to pull them out so you don’t put them in the dryer. They measure 11.5″ x 10.1″ which fits well on regular floor sweepers that use disposable pads and wipes.

In addition, for every roll you purchase, they plant a tree.

We don’t like the disposable, one-time use floor pads because they aren’t sustainable. Plus, they are filled with chemicals. Instead, we were using microfiber cloths on our floor sweeper in an effort to be more environmentally-aware.

However, now that we have Bambooee Sweeps, we are only using these on our floors.

Soap holder extends life of bar soap

SoapStandle

We mostly use bar soap in our home because of the chemicals in liquid soaps. We have found bar soap with safer ingredients but we want it to last as long as possible.

We also like being able to use less soap. In the past, when we used liquid soap, we were using a lot more than necessary which was drying out our skin.

SoapStandle

In addition, liquid soap comes in plastic containers which we try to avoid. When we heard about SOAPSTANDLE, we were excited to try it out.

Other soap holders

In the past, we used a soap stand but it mostly served as a placeholder for the soap. It didn’t help circulate air around it.

Also, it was often a gooey mess to clean. It was rather unappealing to pick up the bar of soap from the holder.

After that, we found another soap holder and bought several for our showers. There was a suction cup which stuck to the wall. You put a magnetic disk into the soap and it would hang from the wall. They worked well except you had to really gauge the soap with the holder so it would stay in place.

It helped to dry out the soap which is what we wanted. However, the soap would often fall down if it wasn’t wedged in the soap enough. Other times, the suction would loosen from the wall and everything would fall into the tub. We did like the concept of them because it worked to air dry the soap.

Extending the life of your bar soap

We have bar soaps and shampoo bars in our showers. Before using SOAPSTANDLE, in addition to trying the above holders, we would do a lot of different things to dry them out.
eco-friendly way to save bar soap
We want our soap to last as long as possible and not waste away because it’s sitting in water. We would tip the soap on its side, prop the bar on a cup, or prop it on one side and leave it on a towel.

For our soap bars in the shower, this would mean we would need to take it out of the shower stall/tub and move it to the counter by the sink.

SOAPSTANDLE is a practical and eco-friendly solution. These soap holders help extend the life of your bar soap.

You won’t need to buy liquid soaps which come in plastic — even if you refill them, it still comes in plastic containers. Much of it is water which is heavy and takes up extra room during transport from the manufacturers to the stores.

Eliminates the soap mess

We use SOAPSTANDLE for each bar of soap and for our shampoo bar and conditioner bar. These soap holders prevent the soap scum and goo and extend the life of your soap.

You won’t need to clean the soap holder like you do with other soaps. When you finish the bar, you use SOAPSTANDLE again.

This soap stand makes it much more convenient to use bar soap and will hopefully encourage consumers to not buy liquid soaps which come in plastic containers.

SOAPSTANDLE is made in the USA.

We are very pleased with this simple solution for your soap.

Clothing to help homeless youth

Hippy Feet

This Minneapolis-based company supports homeless individuals in many ways. Hippy Feet helps homeless youth by using a portion from each sale to provide transitional employment through their Pop-Up Employment Program.

Hippy Feet’s program gives its participants the opportunity to do all the embroidery, screen printing, and packaging for their products. In so doing, they earn a wage as well as learn skills and basic job training. Hippy Feet has a goal to get homeless youth into stable housing and eventually into full-time employment at other companies.

In addition to all of what they do to help homeless youth, all of Hippy Feet’s products are made in the United States using environmentally friendly materials.

Hippy Feet long-sleeve tees for adults

  • Peace Out
  • Let Love Grow in green and blue

They sent us a large Let Love Grow long-sleeve tee shirt in the light blue. It’s made with 100% organic cotton.

HIppy Feet is an eco-friendly company

We machine washed and dried it in the dryer without it shrinking. The organic cotton is very comfortable. It’s fun and easy to wear and runs true to size. This shirt has three small flowers embroidered on the front and “let love grow” is screen printed on the back up near the collar.

Vintage Hippy Tee 

This short sleeve t-shirt is made with 100% organic cotton. Homeless youth do the screen printing for each shirt. Check it out on their website — it looks to have a flattering cut and the colors are neutral yet retro and bold at the same time.

Hippy Feet socks for adults and youth

  • Crew
  • Ankle
  • Knee high

Check their website for all of their fun patterns and solids. Hippy Feet makes their socks with eco-friendly materials. Their adult socks include recycled cotton. They make their youth socks with recycled cotton and recycled polyester.

Hippy Feet socks with signature from person who packaged them.

We asked to try their solid black and white socks. They sent an adult pair in S-M and a children’s pair in S-M. We’ve never tried eco-friendly socks before and have been using them for active pursuits. They wick away moisture well. We love them.

It was also interesting to see the company gives their employees additional opportunities to feel proud of their work. On each sock, there is a “Packaged by:” area, and the person who packaged it signs it.

Also, there is minimal packaging made with eco-friendly materials.

Hippy Feet hats

  • Denim cap
  • Green twill cap

They sent us the green twill cap which has a great fit and feel. It’s adjustable as well. It’s lightweight and also made with environmentally-friendly materials. The embroidery on it is through a nonprofit that provides job training to youth who are dealing with homelessness.

Homeless youth do the embroidery on Hippy Feet’s products.

This is really a perfect example of an eco-friendly company: Hippy Feet provides transitional employment to homeless youth; they use eco-friendly materials and packaging; and they make everything in the United States.

Sustainable option for beverages

SodaStream

Our family isn’t one for gadgets. We don’t want to have to store extra appliances nor do we have room on our counters to leave them out. That said, we do own a few so that we can make things from scratch, like our bread maker.

Until we learned about SodaStream, we didn’t know you could make soda and carbonated water at home. We don’t buy soda often. Much to our kids’ dismay, we only buy it — mostly in 2 liter bottles — when we have parties.

However, we do regularly purchase sparkling flavored water. We go through a case of 24 cans every three weeks.

After hearing about SodaStream and how it could be an environmentally-friendly option, we did the math. We buy and use approximately 417 aluminum cans a year just from flavored water.

That adds up to a lot of one-time use cans as well as the cost of buying the drinks and the hassle of carrying them home from the store.

SodaStream eliminates plastic bottles and aluminum cans

Sure, cans and bottles can be recycled; however, recycling is expensive and taxing on the environment.

It also takes costly steps and materials to make the cans and bottles. They use a lot of raw materials. It also is a burden on the environment to get the drinks from the manufacturing plants and distributors to the stores. It all adds up.

Also, once you finish the drink from a canned beverage and one-time use plastic bottles, there’s not much you can do with it to reuse or re-purpose them. So at best, you recycle it.

eco-friendly way to make carbonated drinks
The SodaStream machine lets you make drinks right at home — eliminating the demand for aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles. They sent us their SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Electric sparkling water maker. We are reviewing the Starter Pack.

SodaStream One Touch Electric

We were happily surprised with how narrow and streamlined the SodaStream is. We can store it easily in one of our taller cabinets.

Also interesting is there are three carbonation — aka fizz — levels. We didn’t realize that would be something that you could customize.

The Fizzi One Touch comes with a one liter plastic bottle which is customized to use with the machine. It also includes a 14.5 oz carbonating cylinder. There is enough CO2 to make 60 liters. For our purposes, this means we can use one CO2 cylinder to make and replace 169 cans of the sparkling water we were buying.

We learned we can bring our empty cylinder to a SodaStream retailer and get a full one for a discounted price. On their website, there is also an easy way to exchange them with a delivery person. You return the empty cylinder, and they trade you for a filled one for what-seems-to-be half the price of a filled one at a store.

The SodaStream is really easy to use. It’s fast too. You just fill the bottle with tap water, place it in the machine, and press the button.

Fun to make drinks at home

It’s also been something fun to do with our kids. We made carbonated water with the SodaStream and added lemons and raspberries to our glasses. Another time we used lime. And the third time we used lime and fresh mint.

We have only made carbonated water so far with it. The next time we go to Target or Bed Bath and Beyond, we will look for the Drink Mixes to make soda. Each small bottle of their soda mix makes up to nine liters. This small bottle will be a lot less wasted plastic than the 2-liter bottles we usually buy. We hope to find their root beer and ginger ale. (They also sell bottles of Fruit Drops in lemon, orange, cucumber, watermelon, etc., but we plan to use whatever fruits we have on hand.)

We are looking forward to our kids using it as something to do with their friends when they have play dates. We are also thinking it will be a hit when we have parties. Our friends and family will really enjoy making their own drinks.

Already we are planning to have it out for our Summer Solstice party with our neighbors and will include a lineup of fruits so they can customize their beverages. And we know our kids will be proud their friends will be able to make their own soda as well. (We will update in June!) We plan to have a “bar” set up with cucumbers, mint, rosemary, lemon, lime, pineapple, berries, oranges, etc. It will be perfect for the summer.

Instructions for SodaStream

Again, it’s really easy to set up and easy to use. It was interesting there wasn’t a written instruction manual but rather an easy-to-follow insert with illustrations.

Sparkling water maker choices

We have the “middle model” which is the One Touch Electric. It comes with a one liter plastic bottle.

There is also the Fizzi Classic which is more compact and also cordless. It comes with a one liter plastic bottle as well.

The Aqua Fizz comes with dishwasher-safe glass carafes. We really love they are glass instead of plastic. However, according to the website, these carafes are .62 liters (620 ml) instead of the liter the other two models come with.

Sustainable option for beverages

Think of the cans and bottles of specialty drinks you buy. For the most part, these 2 liters of soda, and 12 and 24 packs of soda are used once — you drink it — hopefully recycle the bottle or can — and that’s it.

The waste from these receptacles — even if you recycle — really adds up as far as the raw materials used to make them and the cost to transport them and then to deal with them in the landfills or the costs involved with recycling them.

We love our SodaStream and how it will eliminate us buying one-time use bottles and cans.

Sustainable undergarments from a company that gives back

Here’s a perfect example of eco-fashion — underwear!

Marc Skid

Did you know you can buy sustainable underwear using organic Pima cotton and water bottles? The elastic from every pair of Marc Skid underwear is made from one plastic, recyclable water bottle.

Also, each pair of Marc Skid underwear is made with organic Pima cotton. It’s grown on family farms and is non-GMO. According to their website, less than 2% of the world’s cotton is Pima cotton. And just .0005% is organic Pima cotton.

In addition to being made with environmentally-friendly materials, this eco-unders company supports non-profits.

Marc Skid donates $4 from each sale of underwear to a charity. Depending on which pair you purchase, there are three non-profits you can choose to support. These charities are in three groups: feeding, curing, or saving. They support nine non-profits in total. And just by going to their website and entering your email address, they will donate $1 to a medical clinic in Honduras.

Cure the World Joan Bikini

Marc Skid sent us their Cure the World Joan Bikini underwear. They are soft, comfortable and hip in a bright orange/red. They held their color and shape after washing them and putting them in the dryer. In addition, they are true to size. They seem like they will wear well and last a long time.

eco-friendly organic cotton underwear

Marc Skid supports charities

You will be able to choose to support the charity based on the color of underwear you purchase.

Feed the World

Choose green and will get to choose to Feed the World. You will be able to support one of these charities: Action Against Hunger; feedONE; or The Hunger Project.

Cure the World

Orange/red is Cure the World. You can choose to support one of these organizations: Catholic Medical Mission Board; Concern Foundation; or Project C.U.R.E.

Save the World

Blue is Save the World. By choosing blue, you will get to select to donate to: Amazon Conservation Association; Carbon Fund; or Water.org.

Open World

White is Open World. When you choose underwear in white, you get to select to donate $4 from the purchase price to any one of the nine charities.

Donating $4 from each pair

Something different about Marc Skid is that not only are they donating from every pair you buy, they tell you how much they are donating.

Many companies who donate often state they are donating “a percentage” from every sale. But what does that mean? How much is it? You won’t have any way of knowing how much that amounts to. Even if they state they are giving “1% of the profit” to a cause, how much is that?

In addition, the nine charities Marc Skid supports are fully vetted by Charity Navigator. In this way, you know they are responsible charities who are making a huge impact in the areas they serve.

They offer three styles — Joan Bikini, Laurinda Hipster, and Philip Boxer Brief — in green, orange/red, blue, and white. Their John Boxer pair is available only in white.

Organic, sustainable underwear

As you learn more about environmentally-friendly clothing, you may learn how manufacturing clothing uses many man-made resources which contribute to burdening our environment.

Choosing organic cotton underwear — even better: organic Pima cotton underwear — becomes an easy choice.

Best earth-friendly products

Be aware of companies who make green claims. Dig a little deeper to find out in what ways their products are sustainable, low impact, etc.

There are many ways to think about eco-friendly products.

Sometimes they are products you can use again and again. They use sustainable materials and often eliminate the need for consumers to buy replacements. Other times, environmental products may extend the life of a product you use and cut down on waste.

In addition, environmentally-friendly companies may make a difference in their communities and contribute to non-profits.

This is important to remember even when you travel. If you enjoy buying souvenirs, try to buy something that is made locally and supports the local economy. Also, depending on where you are, you will want to be sure whatever you buy is sustainable.

We have choices in how we want to shop. Likely, there is a company who is offering a better solution, making less of an impact, and making a difference in the world.

Overall, consumers have become really good at recycling and reusing. Now it’s time to think of other ways to lessen our impact and to do good. These product are among the best earth-friendly products available.

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

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Smell Proof Backpacks – When you’re enjoying the great outdoors with a young child, it’s all-but-inevitable that you’ll have to pack some stinky items.

After all, most babies and toddlers will need a diaper change if you’re spending more than an hour on the trail.

Additionally, you never know when some kind of diaper emergency may arise.

Since it’s vital that you pack out everything that you pack into the wilderness, you may be stuck with carrying a stinky diaper.

That’s why smell-proof backpacks are the ideal solution for adventurous parents and little ones who are on the go.

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids
Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids

These even come in handy when you’re in any public place and don’t have immediate access to a garbage can.

Many companies are manufacturing smell proof backpacks.

Used to transport sweaty gym clothes, recreational marijuana and anything else that might cause an annoying odor, these backpacks are the perfect accessory for the hiking parent who’s on the trail with young kids.

Not only will you not be troubled by an unpleasant smell but also you won’t be attracting wildlife that would be interested in the odor.

Most of these backpacks are equipped with a carbon filtering element.

The carbon filtering uses chemical adsorption to get rid of impurities and contaminants.

Effectively, this element locks smells into your backpack and doesn’t allow it to reach any other compartments or the world outside.

Like other backpacks, these packs are available in a wide range of sizes and colors.

Many of them have the same features that you would find in top-of-the-line backpacks that have no odor control abilities.

However, they tend to have tighter zippers to help ensure that odors stay locked where they’re supposed to be.

Hiking or Camping with Kids

Even if you’re not hiking or camping with kids, you may find that smell proof backpacks can revolutionize your outdoor experience.

They are perfect for transporting food in the wilderness, and if you’ve got stinky laundry that you have to pack with you, there’s no better bag.

Some of the best of these backpacks are made by companies such as Skunk, Dime Bag and Funk Fighter.

Price ranges vary considerably, so even if you’re on a budget, you’ll find a model that works for you.

Many of them are waterproof and feature heavy-duty construction to serve you over the long haul.

One of these backpacks just might encourage you to get back to the outdoors with your little ones.

Best Travel Hair Dryers You Can Use Everyday

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How has modern science and technology influenced travel hair dryers?

What’s great is they are now small enough for you to justify taking one with you.

Especially if you have long hair, as you pack for your vacation, you decide you want to bring a travel hair dryer.

It is as important as the other things you are organizing for your trip and for your daily hair styling routine.

If possible, you want to bring your favorite hairbrush, shampoo, and conditioner.

Luckily, unless you are backpacking or going somewhere remote, you can most likely tuck one in your bag.

There are dozens of travel blow dryers available.

Most of them promise something unique: “40% faster drying time,” “Ionic Technology,” or “Best for Extra-Fine Hair!” The advertising and marketing is endless.

Well, in reality, there is such a great variety of hair dryers today that it may be hard to know which one to choose.

We wanted to make it easy to choose a travel hair dryer for your longed-for dream vacation so it’s one thing you can easily cross off your to-do list.

Best Travel Hair Dryers You Can Use Everyday
Best Travel Hair Dryers You Can Use Everyday

Best travel hair dryer

Let’s take a look at some of the dryer tech that is currently impacting the style market.

Afterward, we will take a time-saving trip through the top five best travel models so that you can spend more time planning your vacation activities and less time planning how you’re going to get ready to do them!

Materials and Technology in Travel Hair Dryers

The most common technologies and materials used in the manufacture of blow dryers are metal, clay, gemstones, and Chemistry 101.

That seems a bit alarming on the surface, however, what this translates to is: titanium, ceramics, tourmaline, nano technology and ions.

It all seems a bit gimmicky, however, there is something to it.

Titanium: Friend of Doctors and Hair Stylists.

Titanium is an amazing metal. It resists oxidization and corrosion and is incredibly lightweight for its strength.

Titanium has been used in the manufacture of fighter jets, bone screws, and hip replacements since the 1950’s.

It is unique in the biomedical field because the human body rarely rejects it, allowing the metal to be used to replace bones, including in the skull.

Now you’re surely wondering what this has to do with drying and styling hair?

Titanium is used in the manufacture of the internal parts of blow dryers to give them some useful characteristics.

First, titanium warms quickly and cools down slowly.

This means that you should always be careful not to aim it at one spot in your hair too long to prevent burning.

On the other hand, it also means that your hair will dry very quickly and ultimately have less damage from blow drying it.

Titanium dryers also help prevent bacterial growth due to their high heat production, thereby helping maintain a healthy scalp.

Titanium blow dryers tend to run on the expensive side, but they are especially prevalent at professional styling salons.

Ceramic, Isn’t that what dishes are made of?

Yes, it is!

Ceramic, also referred to as “porcelain” in some circles, is a material that started out its life as clay and may have ended up on your shelf in the guise of a vase or even in your kitchen cabinet as your favorite serving bowl.

However, in a blow dryer, ceramic may be used in the heating element, as a coating on the inside parts of the machine, or in the body of the dryer.

Ceramic is favored by professional stylists because it heats quickly and evenly.

It produces infrared heat that penetrates hair shafts, helping maintain natural shine.

As a bonus, infrared heat does not remove all the moisture from hair at the same time it dries, preventing it from becoming over-dry and brittle.

It is very difficult to burn hair with a ceramic dryer.

If you are interested in some other types of dryers, here is a discussion of different heating tools for drying and styling your hair from the blog Natural Essence.

What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology, according the National Nanotechnology Institute, is the scientific control of some very small parts of matter.

To help bring the idea into perspective, the average human hair is generally between 80,000 and 100,000 nano meters wide.

What this means for blow dryers is a decrease in drying time and an increase in smoothness of the final style.

It is usually used when referring to titanium dryers, possibly as a note of the reduction of weight of the titanium metal.

Dryers with nanotechnology seem to be some of the most expensive on the market.

What do ions have to do with drying hair?

If you’ll remember back to Chemistry 101, ions are atoms or molecules that have an electrical charge.

Water is a molecule with a positive charge, so when it encounters negative ions from a motorized dryer it breaks up more quickly than being left to the air alone.

This ionic reaction helps reduce the surface tension of your hair, allowing it to dry that much more quickly.

Surface tension reduction is also thought to help repair damaged hair and smooth split ends.

Ionic blow dryers produce less static electricity when in use than older blow dryers, a benefit that helps reduce overall frizz and makes hair more manageable and easier to style in the long run.

Tourmaline, a gem used for more than just jewelry

Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious gemstone. It is a group of related minerals that are similar in form to emeralds.

It is also commonly known as Tiger’s Eye, or Schorl.

Tourmaline may be seen in a rainbow of colors, from blacks to blues to greens.

There is even one called “watermelon tourmaline” for its pink and green colors scheme.

Tourmaline can be found in many colors throughout the world, but notable tourmaline comes from Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, Afghanistan, the US, and Brazil.

Instead of being polished down into gemstones for jewelry, tourmaline can be ground into a fine powder.

That powder is then used in the manufacture of blow dryers.

The way it is used can affect the overall cost of the machine.

Tourmaline may be used in varying degrees on or in the internal parts of a hair dryer, or as a coating on the inside.

Interestingly, tourmaline produces those sought-after negative ions when heated.

This means that if you use this type of blow dryer, your hair will be smooth and less prone to static electricity.

Some manufacturers claim that tourmaline dryers help your hair dry up to 40% faster.

More information about dryer technology can be found in this article from Huff Post, if you would like to read further about this topic.

Best Travel Hair Dryers
Best Travel Hair Dryers

What Makes a Travel Hair Dryer Different?

The most obvious thing that sets a travel-sized dryer apart is its size.

Most are between 6 and 8 inches in length and only weigh a few ounces.

Compare this to some larger dryers that can be 12 inches in length and weigh up to 2 pounds.

You will see why some people choose travel dryers as part of their daily beauty routine.

Secondly, travel versions of most hair dryers are usually less expensive than their larger cousins.

This is true even when they contain the same technology and components.

At first glance, travel dryers may not seem to have as many accessories as larger models.

However, diffuses and concentrates can still be used with them to meet your styling needs at home or on holiday.

Third, you should consider the size of the dryer’s motor carefully.

A dryer with higher wattage produces more “wind power.”

It uses less energy to dry your hair.

Higher wattage machines are also less prone to early burn out with daily use.

Last, there are more uses for a travel-sized dryer than just fixing your hair!

It can help you quickly take wrinkles from your clothes, dry spots from rain, and even help stretch the leather of your brand-new shoes.

Now that you are armed with information about blow dryers, let’s take a look at the some of the best made for travelling.

Best Travel Hair Dryers You Can Use Everyday

BaByliss PRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer

Titanium heats up quickly and cools down slowly.

Titanium dryers should always be used with care to prevent hair damage.

The BaByliss Pro hair dryer is a great option for those with thick hair…check here.

This dryer is about 8 inches long and weighs about 10 ounces.

It has a folding handle and a 5-foot-long cord and is red.

There are two fan speeds and two air temperatures: high speed for hot air, and low speed for warm air.

You can use it in America and in most places in Europe thanks to its dual voltage.

With an adapter, you can easily convert it from 110 volts to 220 volts.

You can check out this video for more facts about the usefulness of BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer.

Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer

Like other miniature dryers, this machine has a folding handle.

Champagne and black in color, it also comes with a smoothing concentrate attachment.

It is ceramic coated and uses ionic technology to help reduce frizz whether you are in a humid or a dry climate.

With an adapter it switches easily from 100 volts to 220 volts, making it useful for travelling almost anywhere on the globe.

The Revlon 1875W has two heating and two fan speed settings, high for hot air and low for warm air.

It also includes a “cool shot” button that is useful for maintaining a salon shine even when you are on vacation hundreds of miles from the nearest salon…Check here.

BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Travel Dryer

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium dryer is one of the lightest titanium dryers on the market: it weighs in at a mere 8 ounces…Check prices here.

This light blue colored blow dryer has a 1000-watt motor and is dual voltage via adapter.

It comes with a stand and a removable filter for easy cleaning.

Its concentrator nozzle helps dry hair fast.

Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler

Red Conair MiniPRO (check prices here) is powered by a 1200-watt motor, making it a powerhouse of a travel-sized blow dryer.

With a cord that measures about 2 feet long, it can be used even in the smallest cruise ship bathrooms without getting tangled or in the way.

This little styler is dual voltage and includes a non-slip hand grip.

It comes with a concentrator that will help you fight frizz and bring out your hair’s natural shine.

Ptatoms Compact Folding Handle Ionic Blow Dryer Styler With 3 Heat Settings

The Ptatoms compact ionic blow dryer is a great choice for a travel dryer, offering many of the same features as the others on this list, plus a little extra.

It’s only drawback is that it is not dual voltage.

Like the Revlon 1875W, this little machine is powered by a 1875-watt motor.

The Ptatoms dryer is black in color, weighs less than 12.5 ounces, and is less than 7 inches in overall length…Check Prices here.

Its cord is 5 feet long.

The Ptatoms uses ionic technology and has three fan speeds.

There are three air temperature settings.

The slowest fan speed produces cold air.

The medium fan speed produces warm air.

And the fastest fan speed produces hot air.

Travel-Sized Blow Dryers For a Great Trip!

You can check out this video by Ezvid Wiki for more facts about the usefulness of travel hair dryers.

Now that you are armed with information about blow dryers, let’s take a look at the some of the best made for travelling.

Looking great wherever your travels take you will now be as easy as plugging in your travel-sized blow dryer.

You’ll not only have great hair, but your clothes will be wrinkle-free.

Your new walking shoes will fit as comfortably as your old pair of sneakers.

With a little knowledge and a little research, you’ve chosen your dryer travelling dryer companion.

Now you have more time to check out the local flavor of your destination.

Conair ExtremeSteam Hand-Held Steamer Review

In addition to Travel Hair Dryers, I also try and bring along a Hand held steamer when possible.

I am so very adverse to ironing that I have not owned an ironing board in four years.

In a moment of desperation, I once ironed a shirt on an old laminate desk.

I have made the mistake of ironing on top of a towel on my floor.

I go to great lengths to never buy anything that might ever need ironing.

As you can imagine, I was very excited to check out an iron alternative: the Conair ExtremeSteam hand-held steamer.

So far, I have been impressed.

The steamer is fast.

It works even on heavy duty fabrics like curtains.

It is easy to use to use and heats up quickly.

Plus, it is green and great for certain types of travel.

Here’s what I like about it.

Top Steamer Features

Some of my favorite features of the Conair ExtremeSteam hand-held steamer are that it:

  • Is intuitive and easy to use
  • Includes 3 attachments: brush, creases, and soft cushion brush
  • Kills dust mites and bedbugs
  • Has an energy-saving steam pause
  • De-wrinkles fabric 5x faster than similar products

How the ExtremeSteam Steamer is Green

The steamer is a great alternative to using the chemical spray starch that you might use when ironing.

It also means you do not have to take clothes to the dry cleaners, which can have a huge environmental impact.

Plus, it heats up much faster than any of my irons ever did — in just 60 seconds — which saves energy.

Is the ExtremeSteam Good for Travel?

Since most hotels have irons, the steamer is more practical for trips where you will be staying in a B&B, tent, cabin, or hostel.

I will definitely consider bringing this the next time I go on a cruise as I am often bringing dress clothing.

If you are going on a more casual trip, but have a nice dinner planned, this steamer would be great to bring with you to un-wrinkle your dress clothes.

The steamer also takes up a bit of suitcase space, so I would recommend it mostly for car trips where packing light matters less.

The Bottom Line

For people who hate ironing as much as I do, the Conair ExtremeSteam hand-held steamer is a great option.

Its environmental impact is light. and it is great for road trips and vacations where you are not staying in a hotel.

I plan on bringing it to an out-of-state wedding that I am driving to in several months, just to “freshen up” my clothing.

Who Would Like this Product

I would buy this for someone who is just starting out on their own, in their own apartment, condo, or first home.

I would buy it for anyone who doesn’t already have an iron.

I believe the best candidate for this product is for someone who just graduated from college and now has nice clothing they have to wear every day for their employment.

It will make it easy for them to have a fresh appearance for work.

I also have a difficult time buying something for some close relatives (mother, sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law) who have everything and want nothing.

This Conair ExtremeSteam Hand Held Steamer could be the perfect gift for someone who has everything.

Conair was kind enough to send me a steamer to review, but the opinions expressed are all mine.

Travel Jackets Rain Jackets, Fleece Jackets, Lightweight Jackets

Travel Jackets

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Continuing on with our travel clothing week series, today’s post is all about the best travel jackets and what type of coat you should bring with you when you travel.

One note about travel jackets that doesn’t necessarily apply to all of our clothing posts.

If you’re investing in a coat that will survive your trip and longer – don’t skimp out.

You’ll be happier in the long run if you get a good jacket that will last for decades and not a cheap off brand jacket that will fall apart after a few trips.

Take it from someone who has been there, Best Travel Pants for Women that are Stylish and Comfortable and my best travel jackets for women articles.

Here are some questions to consider before taking a look at our travel jacket recommendations below:

Before Buying a Travel Jackets Ask Yourself

What Type of Climate Are You Traveling To?

Before you find the best travel jackets you should first consider the type of climate you’re visiting – is it warm or cold, wet or dry?

This may seem obvious but visiting the hot and humid rain forests of Belize will require a different type of rain jacket (i.e. lightweight and breathable) than the kind you’ll want on a chilly, rainy, early spring day in the Pacific Northwest.

The best travel jackets will be adaptable for many types of weather, but before you make a purchase think about where you’ll wear the jacket the most.

How Long Will You Be Gone?

If you’re going to be going on an extended multi-month trip you’ll want a lightweight jacket that you can layer with a fleece that you can layer with a raincoat as it will presumably change seasons while you’re gone.

If you’ll just be gone a week you only need to find something that will meet your needs for one season and one climate.

What Type of Traveler Are You?

If you’re an adventurous traveler on study abroad.

You’ll want something that’s more informal and all-weather, if you’re a person traveling with your spouse and will mainly stay in hotels and not venture out of museums on rainy days.

You’ll want a jacket that is nicer looking.

So think about what kind of traveler you are.

Will Travel Jackets You Already Own Suffice?

Before you go buy a new jacket just for an upcoming trip, first make sure you don’t have a travel jackets tucked away in the back of a closet that will work just as well as a new jack.

If you do, save your money and take an awesome excursion or have a fabulous meal on your vacation.

Is this a Jacket You Will Continue to Wear?

Make sure that you buy a travel jacket that you will continue to wear around after you’ve returned.

Maybe you’ll only need it when you go on hikes or walking the dog or in a crisp fall day, but buy a quality jacket that will last and be practical for other occasions.

Best Travel Jackets by Category

Rain Jackets

If you’re on your way to a destination notorious for rain, I highly recommend investing in a good rain jacket – with a hood.

Find a lightweight rain jacket that you can wear on a daily basis (black coats always blend in well) will be critical to your happiness and comfort.

Places like Ireland, anywhere with a rain forest, the Pacific Northwest all come to mind as places I would want to bring a good rain jacket.

Remember, you can always buy a cheap rain poncho if you’re somewhere and it rains unexpectedly, but for places where it usually rains for a least part of the day you’ll want a raincoat.

Here are the best six rain jackets I’ve come across for men and women travelers:

Best Women’s Rain Jackets

Best Men’s Rain Jackets

Fleece Jackets

I cannot remember a trip I’ve taken where I haven’t brought along my Columbia zip up fleece jacket.

Even in most incredibly warm climates I’ll find myself in a hostel that’s over air conditioned or an evening with a strong wind.

Even if I didn’t bring pants on my trip I can always throw on my fleece with shorts and stay toasty.

Generally there are two types of fleeces – full zip up and partial zip up.

You’ll have to decide which you prefer.

You may also want to consider whether you want a thicker polar fleece jacket or a thin one.

My preference is for a thin, but warm jacket.

Best Women’s Fleece Travel Jackets

Best Men’s Fleece Travel Jackets

Travel Jackets

Winter Coats

This is an easy one.

If you’re going someplace cold, bring your regular winter coat from home.

You’re probably wonder which winter jacket – my nice wool coat or more casual skiing jacket.

Unless you’re planning on skiing or participating in some other adventurous outdoor sport – bring your wool coat.

You’ll feel more comfortable walking into museums, restaurants, and bars.

Plus you’ll look less like a tourist.

Even if you do plan on trekking on some glaciers or skiing for a day, you’ll be able to either get a travel jackets with your equipment or rent a jacket from the ski shop.

Plan to Hike to Everest Base Camp

Lightweight Travel Jackets

Lightweight jackets for travel fall into several categories.

Formal and informal and rain proof or water resistant.

Which category you need goes back to the questions I posed for consideration in the beginning.

If you a twenty something traveler backpacking around Eastern Europe you’re probably going to go for a less formal jacket than you would if you’re a middle aged retired couple taking a river cruise down the Danube and stopping off at fancy restaurants in cities in Europe.

Here are the best lightweight jackets I’ve found based on reviews and personal experience.

Best Women’s Lightweight Travel Jackets

Best Men’s Lightweight Travel Jackets

*I would highly recommend the IceBreaker Nomad.

We received this jacket to try out courtesy of Icebreaker and I can honestly say it’s awesome.

It’s lightweight, but thin, made of wool and extremely warm.

It’s marketed at adventurous types – it even has a hood and thumb holes for runners.

But because it’s wool I would argue that it’s cute enough to wear at many nice functions.

With it you may still want a rain or wind jacket over it, however.

Best Travel Backpack ~ 9 Tips to Choose the Best Travel Backpack

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Looking for the best travel backpack?

Walk into any REI and you’re bound to be overwhelmed by the number of travel backpack options.

Should I choose medium or large?

Unisex or women’s? Blue or black?

With so many choices, it’s no wonder travelers struggle to find the best backpack.

The most important piece of travel gear.

But it’s not impossible.

Here’s how to find the best backpack for you.

Best Travel Backpack

The Gender Question

“Backpacks have a gender?” you might ask.

That answer is, sort of.

Most major backpack brands have a least a few offerings designed for women’s frames.

Your options in the world of backpacks are men’s, women’s, or unisex.

The first step in choosing the best backpack is to decide whether the backpack “gender” is a factor you want to consider.

For many shorter or more petite women, the design of women’s backpacks is more comfortable.

Try a few on and see what makes sense for you.

Besides going to a store you can also consider buying several backpacks and returning the ones that don’t fit since they have free shipping.

Smell Proof Backpacks When Hiking With Kids.
Best Travel Backpack

Backpack Size: Go Small or Go Home

For an extended trip, you’re going to be hauling your travel backpack around for months.

Do you really want that extra space, just in case?

Be realistic about how much stuff you plan to bring, but know you’ll rarely regret packing light and a small backpack will help you achieve that.

Hint: If you can’t get your gear-filled backpack on by yourself, you need a smaller backpack.

For tips on lightening your load, read our Ultimate Guide to Packing Light.

Backpack Weight: Don’t Let Your Pack Hold You Back

Along those same lines, consider the weight of your backpack.

Backpacks have come a long way in the past few decades and most are fairly lightweight.

That said, even one or two pounds will make a huge difference when you’re carrying your backpack for months on end.

If you’re torn between two choices and one is a bit lighter, go with the lighter one as this will help you find the best backpack.

Backpack Design Is More Than Pretty Colors

Look at how the backpack is laid out. Is there only one opening at the top?

Is that going to work for you, or would a front zipper be easier?

Are there pockets that will make your water bottle and other frequently-used gear easily accessible?

My favorite backpack has a number of very convenient pockets that make it perfect for extended travel.

Destination and Climate Matter

Sometimes the best backpack for the job depends on the destination.

If you’re going to explore the plains of Kenya, you’ll probably choose a different backpack that if you were traveling around Northern Russia or Plan to Hike to Everest Base Camp.

Think about where you’re going, what the climate will be like at that time of year, and how that will affect how you use your backpack.

To Daypack or Not to Daypack

Daypacks — smaller, detachable backpacks or bags — can be great for people who pack light.

You just zip off the top or front part of your backpack, and you’re off.

But you definitely won’t blend into a metropolitan area carrying one of these.

Determine whether you’d use a daypack and factor that into your search.

Eco-Friendly Materials

If you’re an environmentally friendly traveler, check out recycled travel backpacks.

Mountainsmith has a good collection of quality backpacks made of recycled materials.

With so many options available, there’s no excuse for buying a non-recycled backpack.

How You Will Use Your Backpack

Is your backpack’s sole purpose to get your gear from one hostel to the next?

Or will you take it hiking and on overnight camping trips?

Think about all of the ways you plan to use your backpack and make sure the model you choose is suitable for each use.

The Comfort Factor with the Best Travel Backpack

Perhaps the most important factor of all — is your backpack comfortable?

This means the shoulder, chest, and waist straps fit perfectly.

It rests just right against your lower back.

You don’t feel like you’re going to fall over when it’s full of gear and you put it on.

A full backpack will never feel weightless, but it shouldn’t feel like torture, either.

If roller bags are your choice, check out the suitcases from checkout the suitcases from Amazon.

Looking for a kids’ travel backpack?

Check out our kids’ carry-on luggage post.

Choosing the Right Travel Backpack for You

It’s great that you’re going to travel, and if you want your belongings with you all the time then you’ll need a travel backpack instead of the usual luggage bags.

Travel backpacks may enable you to go on short hikes and camping trips, and you can decide to go to another city or country on a whim without too much preparation.

So the question is, how do you choose the right backpack for you?

Here are some backpack guidelines you need to consider:

Travel Backpack Reviews

Before you buy any type of backpack, check out the travel backpack reviews from verified customers.

This is especially crucial when you’re buying it online and you can’t personally check it out yourself.

Of course, you’re going to read the specs of the backpack you’re going to get.

You’ll need to look for features such as made from waterproof material, so that your belongings don’t get wet when there’s a drizzle.

You also should get an internal-frame backpack, meaning that the frame and the support rods are already built in and hidden, instead of having separate rods that stick out.

Internal-frame backpacks are slimmer so you can move around more easily, and usually the rods are made from tough plastic or carbon fiber that’s lighter and more durable.

You may also want to get lockable zippers so that you can have some piece of mind regarding the security of your belongings or of your bag itself.

While there’s not much of a risk that people on the road will pickpocket your dirty clothes, there’s always a chance that some baggage handler at the airport may take a liking for some of your things.

A bigger risk is if you’re in a country where there’s a chance a police official can plant some drugs in your bag so that you’re going to have to pay up big time to avoid prison.

Backpack Compartments

You also need to see that there are enough compartments for your things.

A separate compartment for your shoes is always a good idea, and if you’re bringing your laptop with you then that also needs a compartment of its own.

You’ll also need to check that there’s padding on the shoulder straps so there’s less pressure on your shoulders and on the adjustable hip belt so that it’s more comfortable for you to support the weight.

Most of the weight you’ll carry will be supported by your hips.

Reputable Brand of Backpack

One of the things you need to check out is the brand, of course.

This isn’t about brand snobbery, but about going for the brands with the best reputation for producing durable backpacks that don’t break down soon after you buy them.

This is where the travel backpack reviews come in.

You can check out the long-term reviews and see that the straps are durable, the buckles aren’t flimsy, and the metal zippers are not prone to locking up.

Some backpacks also have ventilation systems that keep the load off your lower back so your clothes don’t sweat through.

However, you may have to sacrifice some durability in the material in exchange, because backpacks with ventilation may be more likely to get torn.

Backpack Size

Then finally there’s the size of the backpack.

Some manufacturers have sizes such as small, medium, and large, but what’s large for one manufacturer may be considered medium by another.

So first you need to measure your torso length (not your height) from the prominent bone at the base of your neck to the top of your hip bone.

Then you can check the backpack specs that correspond to your measurements.

The overall size of your backpack may also correspond to the length of your trip.

The longer your trip is, the more things you’ll likely bring with you.

Smaller is always better if you have a choice, so for a weekend trip a light backpack with a 35 to 50 liter capacity will be fine.

For 3 to 5 day trips you may want a capacity ranging from 50 to 80 liters, and for extended periods you’ll need a minimum of 70 liters.

Choosing the Right Travel Backpack for Women

There are some special considerations to factor in when buying a travel backpack for women, aside from the usual considerations.

One crucial factor is of course style.

It has to look good, and appearance is not something that most women will consider inconsequential.

Men are also concerned about how “cool” a backpack is of course (most men don’t choose canary yellow backpacks, for example) but the standards of what’s cool may be different for women.

Now one of the most important considerations is size, because women are on average smaller than men.

It’s for that reason why most women choose backpacks in a size “medium” while most men go for the “large size” instead.

Many manufacturers simply make a smaller size of backpack and call it a women’s version, but your best bet is to choose a backpack tailored specifically for women.

They have to be designed specifically for the frame of a woman, which is different from a man’s frame in more than just size.

The torso dimensions are on average shorter and also narrower.

But the hip belts and the shoulder straps should be contoured with the woman’s form in mind.

But the size must also be enough not just for the woman’s belongings, but also enough for her future belongings.

In other words, it must anticipate the likelihood of shopping adventures, and these purchases must be accommodated.

Of course, if a woman wants to avoid the temptation of shopping then a smaller backpack may be the best option.

It’s much easier to decide not to shop when there’s not much space begging to be filled with various new items.

Compartments are crucial too.

A separate compartment for the shoes is important, and also a special compartment for umbrellas.

Many guys are too cool to bring umbrellas, but most women have more sense than that.

And also, a special compartment for makeup would be nice.

Backpack traps

Now let’s consider the straps.

It must be adjustable, and not just padded for your comfort.

When the straps are adjustable, the bag won’t sag down low like you’re some kind of teenager.

Instead, you can tighten the shoulder straps so the bag can ride higher on your back.

This prevents the backpack from pulling on your shoulders and causing you lots of discomfort and pain.

A padded hip belt is also essential.

Again, a lot of guys don’t go for this because they want the coolness factor of easily removing the backpack whenever they want.

And again, women usually have more sense than that.

The hip belt is crucial in making sure that the weight is properly distributed.

The weight of the backpack is loaded more on your hips, as it was properly meant to do.

When the hips are carrying the load, you have your most stable and strongest part carrying the biggest burden.

This will greatly reduce the pain you’ll experience on your neck, shoulders, and back.

Backpack Carry strap

Some people may also want an additional carry strap so that they can carry the backpack like a shoulder bag.

You may also want a strap that connects across your chest between the 2 shoulder straps.

This also helps in a more even distribution of the weight, and the strap doesn’t have to be padded because it’s not resting on you.

You may also want to consider a front-loading backpack, especially when you think you may have to dig through your bag often to get what you need.

A front-loading backpack can open as if it is a suitcase, so you can easily get the things that have fallen to the bottom of the backpack.

The great thing about a backpack specifically designed for women is that they are also great for older children.

Boys and girls can use them comfortably, although boys may not feel all that comfortable when it comes in lurid pink.

Choosing the Right Travel Backpack with Wheels

There are many reasons why some people are adamantly opposed to the use of backpacks when going on a trip.

Perhaps the main reason is that they can be very heavy, and they don’t do much for your posture. Travel Backpacks with Wheels

People especially curse them when they’re in a line in an airport.

They either have to carry the backpack on their back, and this can take hours.

Or they can lay the backpack unceremoniously on the floor and kick it every time the line moves.

Hoisting the backpack from the back is also quite uncomfortable for many, especially for women.

It’s feels and looks awkward, and there’s really no graceful way to pull it off.

The backpack straps are also a hassle when you’re worried about airport conveyor belts.

There’s always a chance that the backpack would get ruined, and that will include the contents as well.

Finally, having a backpack on your back can seem a bit unprofessional.

For those who want to look a bit more dignified, there has to be a better way.

And that better way is to get a travel backpack with wheels.

The wheels make all the difference in the world, and your back and shoulders will thank you for if they can speak.

Or perhaps they can—the lack of pain is their way of saying “thank you”.

With the right kind of wheel, you can just lug your “backpack” everywhere: airports, malls, and on the streets.

You may even be able to roll the backpack on nice footpaths in the park.

And if the terrain isn’t conducive to your wheels, you can then just put on the straps and wear the backpack like a regular backpack.

If you’re buying one, make sure you first make your decision with the factors important to any travel backpack.

That means you need durability and waterproofing, enough compartments, and padding for the shoulder straps and hip belt.

Now for the additional considerations.

First you’ll want to get the best wheels available.

They should be sturdy enough even for non-paved roads, and they should be securely attached.

What you don’t want is to have to chase your runaway wheels, and dragging this backpack when the wheels are gone is going to be a drag.

Then you also need to see that the additional parts such as the handles and the wheels are not putting some weird pressure on you when you carry it like a typical backpack.

So the wheels shouldn’t be pressing on your back or hips, for example.

The handle should be adjustable as well.

The material of the handles and wheels should also be light as well as strong.

There are times when you need to carry this bag, and you’ll want it to be as light as it can be.

So if you’re trips don’t really involve a lot of hiking in the mountains, you really need to consider having this type of backpack instead.

Choosing the Right Travel Backpack Carry on

By now, you should know that there’s a big difference between a travel backpack and a backpack for trekking.

This is especially true for carry on travel backpacks, which are compact enough for you to carry on board a plane.

The advantages of such a bag can be very gratifying:

The bag stays with you all the time, so you won’t have to worry that it will end up being pawed through by unscrupulous baggage handlers.

There are some airports in corrupt countries where this is actually a common occurrence.

You’re also not worried about going to Europe while your backpack goes to Brazil.

Stories of lost luggage are commonplace, but you don’t want to add anything to that discussion.

Of course, there’s also the potential of having your luggage destroyed.

You may be worried about the conveyor belts, but baggage handlers may be tossing your bags around.

If you’ve got your good shoes inside, it may not be all that good afterwards.

These bags are also very small, and that means your back and shoulders won’t feel too much strain during your vacation.

You just need to make sure that it will fit in the overhead compartment.

Most US airports require a bag that’s no bigger than 22″ x 14″ x 9.

Some require that the overall dimensions should not add up to more than 45 inches.

International airports may have different size and weight requirements too, so you better check that out.

Have fun on your vacation, and hopefully you get the right travel backpack for your trip!

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How to Choose the Right Travel Backpack

There are numerous luggage options you can choose from when embarking on a trip or journey.

For frequent travelers, choosing a decent piece of luggage is important.

They can use it over a longer time period and not have to think about the luggage they would have to take each time.

From suitcases to duffels, the options are varied.

One of the best choices you can make is buying a travel backpack.

Backpacks have for long been associated with hitchhiking and adventurous trips, yet they can prove to be just as effective on a business trip or for children flying alone.

After all, it is about keeping your things safe, accessible, and being easy to carry.

Best Travel Backpack Benefits and Options

Backpacks have come a long way over the years.

You will find considerable variety in the market, so much that it could become difficult for you to make a decision.

Needless to say, you have to make sure you select the best travel backpack for you so that it lasts long and can fulfill your needs.

You might still not be convinced about the option of taking a backpack with you while travelling as tote bags and miniature suitcases are options.

That being said, there are several reasons why you should opt for a travel backpack over the others.

Let’s look at some of them.

Benefits of Travel Backpacks

To truly enjoy the convenience and benefits a backpack offers when you are travelling, it is imperative that you opt for the best travel backpack available to you.

Before you select one, here are some benefits the right one will offer:

Travel Backpacks Store Easily

First and foremost, it is extremely simple for you to store a travel backpack as compared to other luggage options.

You can easily put your travel backpack in the overhead compartment on a plane or a train.

It can go under your seat on the bus and won’t take much space in the trunk if you are travelling by car.

The sides of travel backpacks generally are soft and can be cinched to fit into tight spaces.

That being said, if your backpack is packed to the brim, it would be difficult for you to cinch it.

Aside from that, there is no other piece of luggage you can store as conveniently.

Carry Easily

You wouldn’t find it difficult to carry your travel backpack for hours and hours.

This is because the weight of the backpack and the stuff within is divided across your shoulders, back and hips.

This way, the strain of carrying the backpack is evenly spread out, ensuring you don’t feel fatigued after carrying the backpack for a while.

The best travel backpack brands focus on making their luggage ergonomically-friendly.

This is why their backpacks are easy to carry.

Moreover, backpacks have thick straps which have added padding on them to ensure they don’t ‘cut into’ your shoulders and back when you put the backpack on.

Travel Backpacks Pack Easily

Perhaps the most important advantage of buying a good travel backpack is that it would help you keep your stuff organized.

If you are going on a long trip, it is possible you want to take a lot of items with you.

Keeping them organized could be a hassle if you cannot store them properly.

Backpacks have compartments for the smaller items and sections for the larger ones.

Regardless of whether it is a plane ticket or a pair of shoes, your things remain organized and in one place.

You don’t have to fret over getting all your stuff packed before leaving for your next destination or going home.

Move Around Easily

Another great benefit of opting for a travel backpack is the portability it offers.

There are few (if any) pieces of luggage you can move as easily as you can a backpack.

Since you can wear it on your shoulders, you can easily carry it with you.

This makes it simpler for you to get your luggage through crowded areas.

All around, travel backpacks are easier to move around than rolling suitcases or totes.

Protect Easily

Lastly, the best travel backpack will surely be made of materials that are durable and weatherproof.

This includes waterproofing as well.

The things you keep inside the backpack remain safe.

This is a great advantage if you are going to be staying outdoors most of the time.

Backpacks have been considered ideal for campers.

These are some of the reasons why opting for a travel backpack over any other luggage option is a great idea for you.

As mentioned above, to make the most of your backpack, it is important that you know how to select the best travel backpack.

In the next section, you will find some tips regarding selecting a travel backpack that suits your needs and preferences.

How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack

What makes a travel backpack the best? There are a number of factors that you have to keep in mind.

You can buy the most expensive backpack available on the market and yet it may not serve your purpose.

It may be considered the best by experts but if it doesn’t fulfill your needs, you wouldn’t think of it as the best travel backpack, would you?

To help you make the right choice, here are a few pointers you can use:

First off, you need to ensure the backpack you select is made of weather-resistant materials yet is lightweight.

You don’t want to be dragging around a heavy backpack just because it is 100% waterproof.

Any bag that prevents the items inside from getting wet while being easy to carry around is good enough.

The best option is to get a backpack that comes with additional tarps you can use in case of rain or snow.

Next, you need to make sure that each compartment of the backpack has two zippers and more importantly, the zippers can be locked together.

Security might not be a major concern when you are travelling outdoors but you don’t want insects and animals of the wild getting into your travel backpack while you are not paying attention.

Any travel backpack that has a number of compartments is a good choice for you.

As mentioned above, buying the best travel backpack helps you keep your stuff organized.

For that, you have to buy one that has multiple compartments.

The best backpacks on the market have several compartments, both big and small.

Therefore, you can neatly arrange the belongings you want to pack in your backpack and keep them safe.

This way, you won’t have to search your backpack every time you want to take something out.

One of the most important factors you should consider is the location of the frame of the backpack.

Gone are the days when travel backpacks with huge external metal frames were ‘in’.

Now, the better backpacks are constructed with an internal frame.

This way, the frame is hidden from view and tucked away inside the backpack.

An optional feature that makes carrying the backpack easier is a hip belt.

You can attach it around your hip to put more weight on your hips and reduce the burden on your shoulders.

Generally, travel backpacks have adjustable hip belts which you can tighten or loosen as per your needs.

Make sure the belt (if available) is padded so that it doesn’t dig into your skin.

Talking about padding, you should reject any travel backpacks you see that don’t have padded shoulder straps.

You have to keep in mind that the backpack is going to be on your shoulders for the most part.

If the straps aren’t padded, it would be uncomfortable for you to carry the backpack around, especially if it is heavy.

The thicker the padding, the better it is for you.

The same goes for the back as well.

The back of the backpack should be padded as well.

After all, you cannot consider a backpack the best travel backpack unless it is comfortable for you to carry around.

Having padding all around wouldn’t make it lighter but certainly easier to carry.

Apart from these factors mentioned above, you also need to consider the size of the backpack.

For instance, a backpack that is generally considered big may not be as big for you.

The ideal size will depend on your height and body type.

You may feel comfortable carrying around an 80-liter travel backpack, while some people struggle to put on a 40-liter one.

The best way to decide is to actually put on the backpack.

Only then can you judge whether or not it is the right size for you.

If you are buying it online, it might be tricky for you to do so.

In that case, you will have to see pictures and calculate dimensions before making a decision.

Most importantly, you have to figure out the amount of money you want to spend on a backpack.

It wouldn’t be the best travel backpack if you can’t afford to buy it.

Therefore, have a budget in mind before you start looking for one.

The general price range is $99 to $300 for the best travel backpack brands.

You shouldn’t expect to spend more than $200 on a topnotch travel backpack.

With extended warranties on them, they should last a long time.

To make finding one even easier, let’s look at some of the best travel backpacks already available in the market.

Travel Backpacks to Check Out

The Minaal Carry-on Backpack is quite the rage these days.

The size of the backpack may be small, topping out at 35 liters, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t fulfill your needs.

If you check out the online demo, you will see you can pack all the stuff you need while travelling in this backpack easily.

Moreover, it comes with a rain cover.

That being said, the Minaal Carry-on aims to be a one-size-fits-all backpack.

There are no options in terms of size and since it is fairly new on the market, its durability is under a cloud.

The Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack, Charcoal, Medium/Large is a great choice for people conscious about the size of their travel backpack.

It is available in two different sizes, ideal for people of any height and size. In fact, if you are shorter than 5’3”, this is by far the best travel backpack on the market for you.

The Goruck GR2 is as durable as durable can be.

The price tag is heavy at $395, but this is one travel backpack that will last you a lifetime.

It was originally designed to be used by the military and therefore has a rugged texture and appearance.

This might make it uncomfortable to carry around over long distances but if you want to keep your belongings safe, this is the best travel backpack.

The Timbuk2 Aviator Wheeled Backpack, Carbon/Carbon Ripstop, Largeis the perfect travel backpack for air travel.

It can be taken on the flight as a carry-on.

Moreover, it has the most padding of any other backpack you find on this list, making it the most comfortable of the lot.

There is plenty of space available to keep your belongings as well.

Oh, you also have the option of a Wheeled version or no wheeled.

Rounding off this list, (AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE) is the Condor 3 Day Assault Pack (Black, 3038-Cubic Inch) is the perfect size of the five backpacks on this list.

This is a fantastic backpack for traveling that could be used for bush craft, hiking, or camping.

This is a budget piece of gear, however, is one high quality and a well designed piece of gear.

GREAT VALUE!!

It is extremely light and has plenty of padding, making it easy to carry regardless of your strength and size.

The main drawback is the lack of a compartment for your laptop but if you don’t usually take your laptop with you, this is the backpack you should go for.

These are five travel backpacks on the market you can check out and choose from.

Each one may have certain advantages but they are the closest in terms of meeting the criteria for the best travel backpack as outlined above.

Ivy by Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack

I love bags. They are perhaps one of my favorite (non-edible) things.

So, when Kimberly told me Ivy Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack would be sending us travel backpacks for our 4 month South and Central America trip I was super excited.

I chose the Mountainsmith Ivy Recycled pack in the green mist color.

Overall, the Ivy by Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack is great.

A sleek design and awesome color make it look amazing.

But the folks at Mountainsmith clearly care about more than just looks.

They’ve got the littlest details nailed.

Size Ivy by Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack

Carry-on size — need I say more?

Technically it’s a little tall for a carry-on but that is only if you stuff it to the very top, so just don’t tell the folks at TSA.

The Ivy pack at 32L has enough space for an extended trip (such as ours) but is small enough to use as a day pack.

We’ve used it for several day trips where we’ve needed extra water, jackets, or extra room to store some Mendoza wine.

Because you can only access this bag from the top it’s very secure.

A thief would have to unstrap the top cover and undo two drawstring closures to get into this bag.

That said, because it’s a top load only, it makes it a little difficult if you’re looking for a pair of clean underwear at the very bottom of the bag.
Ivy by Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack

Backpack Straps

What amazes me most about this backpack is the straps.

The shoulder and waist straps are super padded.

And, if you’ve ever had a large pack you know that when you tighten these straps the excess tightening strap hangs down.

With the Ivy they’ve included small elastic loops to tuck the excess strap into; this keeps it looking clean and prevents tangling.

Fabric Flexibility Ivy by Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack

Another difference between the Mountainsmith Ivy and other backpacks I’ve used is the fabric — it’s flexible.

So, when I stuff my fleece and rain jacket into the bottom the fabric gives.

Overall, the Mountainsmith Ivy is a really great pack.

It would be perfect for a weekend trip or anyone with lots of stuff to strap to the bag (such as skis or ice picks).

It is also great for longer haul backpackers who don’t need a lot of outside pockets.

If you’re looking for a backpack with a lot of pockets check out the Lily Mountainsmith backpack review.

The one thing that’s missing for me is somewhere to put my water bottle (besides on a carabiner) so it’s easily accessible, but its other features make up for that.

Oh, and did I mention Ivy by Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack made out of recycled materials? Amazing.

Lily Recycled Backpack by Mountainsmith Eco-Friendly

When we decided to backpack through South America, I knew I didn’t want to haul around the ginormous pack I used to travel Europe.

I wanted something more compact.

It was time to find a new pack…the Lily recycled backpack by Mountainsmith!

I did some research into greener options and was surprised by the lack of backpacks made of eco-friendly materials.

After all, backpackers and hikers are very much outdoorsy types who care about the environment.
lily recycled backpack by mountainsmith
So I was psyched when I found Mountainsmith’s line of recycled packs.

The folks at Mountainsmith were kind enough to send me a Lily backpack made of recycled PET.

I love it.

It’s the perfect size for extended travel if you pack light, though it’s designed for shorter trips.

And it’s carry-on size, which was a huge selling point for me.

Its 31.5 liters hold more than you’d think and at just 2 lbs 8 oz, carrying it is a breeze.

It works well as a day pack, too.

My favorite part is the pockets.

The pockets on either side are big, and the front compartment has lots of smaller pockets to help you stay organized.

There are even two water bottle pockets large enough to hold my 24 ounce water bottles.

The shoulder and abdomen straps are extra padded for added comfort.

The Lily recycled backpack by Mountainsmith pack is designed for women and it fits me better than most unisex pack do.

It even has a safety whistle, which I’ve fortunately never had to use, and can hold trekking poles, a sleeping bag, and an ice axe.

All in all, the recycled Lily recycled backpack by Mountainsmith is a great pack for anyone who’s looking for a small pack for extended travel, or a large daypack, and I applaud Mountainsmith for leading the way with eco-friendly backpacks.

I would definitely recommend the Lily to any green traveler.

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Backpacking Hacks for your Backpacking Adventure

Essential Backpacking Hacks and Packs will help with the decision to take the wilderness trip of a lifetime comes paired with a timeless practical equation:

How to make sure you’ll be safe and comfortable while minimizing the ‘faff’ factor.

Essential Backpacking Tips and Items to Pack for your Backpacking Adventure.

That backpack, the home-in-a-bag, is a complex organism, deeply personal yet highly practical.

Yet it needn’t be an unwieldy burden, and indeed you will greatly benefit from ensuring that it is as efficiently and comfortably packed as possible.

This is not inherent knowledge.

This is something that needs to be researched.

For starters, you need the right backpack.

Think 30-50 liters backpacks for a weekend trip.

50-80 liter backpacks if you’re going for four or five days.

If it’s an extended trip you should consider at least 70 liter backpacks – all depending on your own size and strength.

Make sure you try it out a couple of days before your trip, because you may need to rethink the contents – or the bag.

To make it as comfortable as possible and to ensure that the weight is distributed in a manner that your back will thank you for.

Put your sleeping back in first, followed by your provisions and cooking gear.

Your clothes can pad around this at the top and sides, with your maps and snacks in easy reaching distance at the top.

Remember to keep anything else that you might need urgently – your papers, medication, phone – in an easy-to access place, too.

You don’t want to find yourself completely unpacking and repacking your things in the desert because you can’t find your inhaler.

In among that comforting food and bedding, of course, you will need to pack some necessities more specific to the backpacking experience.

First Aid Kit Hacks for your Pack and Backpacking Adventure

Backpacking can be dangerous, and ensuring that you, your comrades and nature itself survive the experience intact requires awareness both of predictable dangers, and the unexpected.

A first aid kit is a must.

No matter how careful you are, your hike is likely to take you far from organized medical aid.

You need to be responsible for your own falls, sprains, burns and bites as well as on standby for your fellow trekkers.

Likewise, you might not yet foresee how you could possibly use a Swiss army knife, despite its apparent utility.

But you’ll be grateful for it when you least expect it.

And while the army knife may cut, lever or screw things apart, you’ll value a trusty roll of duct tape for sticking everything together from torn clothing and tents to impromptu plastic bag boots.

GPS for Hiking and Backpacking

Now, a word about finding your way. GPS or SPOT Satellite Messanger is a godsend.

Prep your phone or other device and estimate your battery expectations.

Pack a portable charger if you can.

But don’t rely purely on GPS as there are a number of things that could go wrong – especially in the poorly mapped wilderness.

Instead, take back-up in the form of an old-school map and compass, things that don’t rely on power or connectivity.

And never assume that you know the terrain.

Make sure to time your trip, so you know when to turn around and head back.

Tell someone else where you’re going before you leave so they’ll know to raise the alarm should you be late.

Take a whistle with you so you can signal for help should the need arise.

If you do get lost, stay calm.

Make your way to higher ground if possible, which will hopefully offer you a fresh perspective on what’s around you.

Maybe revealing a familiar landmark that you previously passed, and to which you can retrace your steps.

But if this doesn’t work, and there’s no immediate danger, it’s best to stay put.

Wandering further on can just make you even more lost, guide you towards potential dangers, and make the trail harder for rescuers to trace.

Tips if You Get Lost While Hiking or Backpacking

Make yourself a shelter, be it against the sun or the rain, and build a fire to maintain your energy and as a signal to rescuers.

When you do hear a helicopter tracing the area, lay down flat on the floor (outside of the shelter!) so that you are easier to spot.

Wear your brightest clothes, and if possible make a flag out of your most colorful item.

All that said, with the right preparation and a responsible attitude, disaster is highly unlikely.

Most of your energies should be focused on looking after yourself, and nature around you.

Be sure to eat regularly – a carb-packed oatmeal breakfast, a high-calorie lunch, and plenty of snacks in between – and drink plenty of water.

You’ll want to take a water filter or purification tablets to ensure that even when your own supply runs out, you can make a healthy resource of any spring you should find.

Remember to wrap up your trash and take it with you, and leave your souvenirs behind.

Nature belongs where you found it!

Fine wilderness will remain an enticing challenge for generations to come.

These tips and more have been gathered into a great new infographic, an easy reference check-list for the aspiring backpacker.

Be sure to study it closely and run through it ahead of your next big trip, like Best UK Walking Cycling Holiday, take care out there, and have fun.

Best Duffel Bags with Wheels is the Rolling Duffel Bags

Whether you are packing your kids off to summer camp, getting ready to pack them off to college, or packing yourself off to a much deserved vacation, the rolling duffel bag is your new best friend.

The perfect pairing between the flexibility of a duffel bag and the ease of movement of roller bags can be found with just the click of a mouse.

These bags are big enough to act as a footlocker but their collapsible nature makes them easier to store than traditional suitcases and their flexible exterior can be squished or squashed down if space is at a premium.

To help you get packing, here are the best rolling duffel bags according to Amazon’s reviews and ratings.

Briggs & Riley Transcend 26″ Wheeled Duffle

Leading the pack is this super-sleek duffle that looks like the kind of luggage James Bond would use.

With side panels that collapse for easy storage and a super strong exterior made from TuffLite™ fabric, you truly get the best of both worlds.

Inside you will find more than 5,000 cubic inches of capacity, zippered dividers, pockets, and zippered pouches, providing all the space and organizational assistance you need to pack for a 10-12 day trip.

In addition to wheels specifically designed to roll smooth and quiet, this bag features tilt-resistant front feet which means no more awkward balancing act at the airport counter while you try to keep your suitcase from toppling over onto your feet during check-in.

This bag is available in sunset (dark red) and rain forest (deep green), and is on Best of the Best List.

Nautica Luggage Seaside 26″ Pop Up Wheeled Duffel Bag

It doesn’t matter if you are headed for the sea, the shore, or the slopes, this bag will have you covered.

Constructed from a durable polyester blend, it has a pop-up feature that keeps the body of the bag upright while you are packing which saves time and maximizes how much the bag can hold.

This duffel comes in three sporty color combinations, black/red, black/orange, and black/yellow, and collapses for easy storage under a bed or on a closet shelf.

Tommy Bahama Luggage Nassau 26″ Wheeled Duffel Bag

The most traditional of the three bags, the Tommy Bahama Nassau duffel (see it here) is a high quality piece made from durable two tone bird’s eye material.

It provides numerous inside storage pockets and pouches and smooth running wheels for ease in moving around the airport or hotel.

Designed to give you an island feel and get you in the mood for rest and relaxation, this is the perfect duffel for a lengthy cruise or trip to the Caribbean.

Available in black and deceptively roomy, this bag can find a place in any vacation destination.

Donna Sharp Rolling Duffel Bag

Although smaller than the other featured duffel bags, this bag has a personality all its own.

Made from cotton featuring the Lighthouse design, this duffel would be as easy to carry as it is to pull.

Donna Sharp Duffle

The vintage fabric, designer hardware, and intricate quilting all combine to create a truly unique piece of luggage.

Accented with interior and exterior pockets, there is plenty of room for a week’s worth of necessities and any new treasures you find on your trip.

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Backpacking with a Toddler or Baby Hacks Every Parents Needs to Know

Backpacking with a toddler or baby – Backpacking with a toddler or baby?

Yes, we have done it.

Before and during our first few family backpacking trips with our very young children, we received our share of criticism, as well as downright bafflement.

Who would do that?

Not masochists, we assured them.

Outdoor-loving parents!

Does backpacking with a toddler or baby come with its share of challenges?

Definitely. Is it easier when kids are older?

Certainly.

But exposing children to camping trips early makes for tougher, stronger, and happier outdoors men and women as they reach school-age.

Read on for our tips and experience with backpacking with a toddler or baby.

It will make camping with your youngster not only possible, but enjoyable. Kids carry-on luggage

Tips for Backpacking with a Toddler or Baby

Plan a 2-night trip for your first backpack with baby experience

It may seem that a single night out would be the safest bet with a baby in tow, but consider the amount of energy, equipment, and preparation a backpack trip will take.

Once you’ve packed and prepped for one night, you might as well stay two as all you’ll need is slightly more food and clothing.

Plus, the first night of any type of travel with a baby is the toughest.

Camping with a toddler or baby is no exception.

Why pack up and leave just as baby has adjusted?

Preparing for, executing, then returning from a single night family backpack trip will feel exhausting.

Returning from a two night stay will feel… well, still exhausting, but at least satisfying as well!

Choose a route 3-4 miles or less

It’s possible you’re used to hiking much farther than 3-4 miles on a backpacking trip, but while backpacking with a baby or toddler, don’t tackle too much.

This is not just because of baby’s short attention span.

You must consider the extra weight the adults in your party will be carrying.

You’ve certainly already taken the weight of the actual baby into consideration.

Someone will be carrying him or her, but because of this task, someone else will be carrying more supplies than they’re probably used to.

You’ll need to divide all the equipment, food, and other supplies among one less pack than your party is used to.

If you backpack with two adults, one will be carrying the bulk of the equipment while the other carries the child.

Plan accordingly!

Remember, you’ll also be packing out more trash and/or laundry in the form of dirty diapers.

Buy the right backpack

Trust me, never has choosing the proper backpack been more important!

You will need at least two: one for your things and one in which to carry your child.

To have an enjoyable time backpacking with a baby, you must have a child carrier backpack that meets your needs.

We love the Kelty Journey because it has just the amount of bells and whistles we need, and no more.

Try out packs in a retail store before you buy, making sure the pack has the following attributes:

  1. Is adjustable, so you and your spouse or backpacking partner can take turns
  2. Includes space for some supplies (most have an small pack that attaches)
  3. Stands on its own, to make loading and unloading easier and safer)
  4. Includes a sun and rain shade for baby — this is so important!
  5. Will grow with your child

If you have a toddler who would rather walk, decide ahead of time how much of the trail you’ll let him or her navigate.

Let him or her know well in advance when it will be time to be carried again.

We bartered deals of about quarter mile walking, one mile riding.

It’s slow-going, but as you hike, you realize you’re instilling a love for the outdoors in your child, making it worth it.

Having the right child-carrier backpack is essential for backpacking with a toddler or baby.

Pick your campsite wisely

Camping near a water source is more important now than ever.

Spare yourself the extra weight of carrying in fresh water, and use a filtration system or water purifier in tandem with a stream or lake.

It’s also nice to have a ready water source for bathing your child, or playing in if the weather warrants a swim.

Make sure your camp is free from irritants like poison oak if you have a walking child, and is as level as possible.

We loved feeding our baby in his propped up backpack as an impromptu high chair, but this only worked on level ground.

A good campsite is essential when you’re camping with a toddler or baby.

Think safety

If you have a toddler, consider putting a small bell on his or her shoelace.

Yes, it’s a bit irritating, but we only used this technique around the camp site, where it would be easy for our children to wander.

Show older children your site’s boundary (set by you!) and teach toddlers to stay away from cook stoves and fire pits (this is easier said than done, but we enforced it early and often).

With active toddlers, it can be a good idea to set up your camping kitchen well away from the “living” areas of camp, despite the inconvenience.

Create and carry a comprehensive wilderness first aid kit, and be sure it contains stand-bys such as baby aspirin, Benedryl, and baby-friendly insect repellent.

Make sure the kit is small enough to easily carry with you, and bring into your tent at night.

During one memorable backpacking trip, our 18-month-old developed an ear infection.

No fun for anyone, but having Tylenol helped until we were able to pack up and return home.

Plan to sleep with your child in a tent large enough to accommodate your family and give your child the appropriate amount of space for safe infant sleeping.

We began packing in two tents when we started backpacking with our kids (one of which was a larger 3-person).

The extra weight was worth the extra space at night.

Make sure your baby or toddler has their own space in whatever tent you choose, well away from loose sleeping bags and pads.

Putting our baby to bed in a baby sleep sack worked well for us.

Have you gone camping with a toddler or baby?

What backpacking tips do you have to share?

Read about our experience backpacking South America for more tips.

Best Backpack ~ 9 Tips to Choose the Best Travel Backpack
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Choosing the Right Travel Backpack for You

Photo credit: Sean Dreilinger and Tubby.

Samsonite Winfield vs Samsonite Omni Carry On Luggage

Samsonite Winfield vs Samsonite Omni Carry On Luggage

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Samsonite Winfield vs Samsonite Omni – The right carry-on bag can make all the difference when you’re traveling.

If you have one that’s heavy, isn’t on wheels, or is a bit over-sized, getting from one end of the airport to the other is nothing but a hassle.

In addition, there’s the difficulty of lugging that bag up the narrow aisle of the airplane or trying to hoist it into the overhead bin.

However, traveling is a different experience when you’ve got the perfect carry-on bag.

More people are flying than ever before, and that means that flights are overcrowded.

As a result, overhead storage is at a premium.

Paying for baggage on flights

On most airlines, you have to pay for all bags now.

You can only bring your small personal item for free.

Paying for baggage — even carry-on luggage that you used to be able to store overhead for free — now makes choosing the right luggage even more essential.

You want to be able to maximize your space so you only have to bring one bag with you, no matter where you are traveling.

Even if you do pay to check additional luggage, you want to be confident you are using the most streamlined luggage.

Accordingly, having an ideal carry-on bag has become a necessity.

Samsonite luggage

The market is crowded with small luggage.

Some boast recognizable labels while others are more obscure.

While there may be lesser-known brands that offer a quality carry-on bag, most people prefer to go with a recognizable name like Samsonite.

This famous luggage maker has been in operation since 1910.

Samsonite has constantly worked toward new innovations that are beneficial to every traveler, whether they are on the road virtually every week or just once a year.

Samsonite Winfield vs Omni

This reputation leads consumers to trust Samsonite to produce a quality bag, and that is certainly the case with the Samsonite Winfield and the Samsonite Omni.

Samsonite Winfield vs Samsonite Omni Carry On Luggage
Samsonite Winfield vs Samsonite Omni Carry On Luggage

Comparing Samsonite Winfield vs Samsonite Omni may help you to decide which of these bags is right for you.

However, know that with Samsonite’s reputation for quality and innovation, both are a great choice.

Furthermore, you can rely on the Samsonite warranty if anything goes wrong.

Comparing Carry-on Bag Size and Weight

Both of these Samsonite bags are described as 20-inch spinners.

However, their dimensions are slightly different.

The Winfield measures 20 inches by 13.5 inches by 9.5 inches while the Omni measures 19 inches by 14.5 inches by 9.5 inches.

These dimensions mean that both of these bags are small enough to meet the carry-on bag guidelines mposed by most of the world’s major air carriers.

However, the Omni bag is expandable, so if you collect souvenirs on your trip or want to have extra room on trips via car, rail, bus, and ship, this bag may be the ultimate choice for you.

Keep in mind that when it is in its expanded state, the Omni may be too big to fit your air carrier’s guidelines for a carry-on bag.

If you don’t over-stuff it, you will still be able to use it as a carry on.

Lightest Suitcase

Both bags are lightweight, with the Winfield coming in at 6.7 pounds and the Omni clocking in at 6.8.

That’s not enough of a weight difference for the average traveler to notice.

With a bag this light, it’s possible to load it up without exceeding weight limits for airlines.

Durability of Samsonite Carry-On Bags

These hard-sided bags are constructed from a tough, but lightweight, poly-carbonate material.

Accordingly, neither of these bags will be acquiring numerous dents or dings unless airport personnel mishandles them.

Of course, the problem with any hard-sided bag that is used as a carry on is that it can’t be squished or molded to fit the available space in the overhead compartment.

The good news is that the poly-carbonate shell does a great job of protecting whatever you have put in the suitcase.

These bags also continue to look great even with years of repeated use thanks to this shell. Both are attractive bags.

The Winfield has a modern, brushed finish while the Omni features a rugged, micro-diamond texture.

Both finishes resist scratches.

Maneuverability Makes These Carry-On Bags a Great Choice

We’ve all had the experience of lugging carry-on bags through parking lots, airports and hotels.

Even the lightest of these bags begins to feel heavy after a full day.

However, both of these models feature four, 360 degree spinner wheels.

This means that traveling anywhere is a breeze, and no more sore arms and shoulders after a day of hefting your bag everywhere you go.

https://youtu.be/sxKq_AEbcxU 

Why the TSA-Approved Lock Matters

The rules and restrictions associated with air travel have become far more stringent in recent years.

With security tight, it’s more important than ever to make certain that we’re all safe at the airport and on the plane.

Most people prefer to lock their luggage, particularly if you are going to check it.

Both of these Samsonite models are equipped with a TSA-approved lock on the side.

But you can always buy your own TSA-approved lock here

If you’re like us, you probably don’t lock your carry-on bag.

However, if you’re unlucky enough to be on an overcrowded flight and are forced to check your carry-on luggage, then you’ll be extremely grateful that you have this lock.

The lock has a combination that you choose, so it’s easier to remember.

At the airport, TSA officials may use a special key to unlock the bag so they can check it for prohibited items.

If you don’t have a TSA-approved lock, then the officials can just cut it off if they want to search your bag.

Fortunately, both of these Samsonite bags save you from that possibility.

Even if you think you’ll never use it, it’s a really good idea to choose a combination for the lock.

That way, if you have to lock and check your bag, you’ll always be ready.

It’s really stressful to have a TSA inspector lock your bag when you haven’t set a combination.

Samsonite Winfield vs Samsonite Omni – Which Should You Choose?

Both of these hard-side suitcases are attractive, durable and incredibly functional.

You will be able to roll them with ease and find their handles to be easy to raise and lower.

If you want to make certain that you stick to carry-on bag guidelines, go with the Winfield.

This is the best pick if you want the luggage for airplane trips instead of local travels.

Alternatively, if you know that collecting souvenirs is a must or want that option for a bit more room, choose the expandable Omni.

This would be the best choice if you take local trips and road trips when you aren’t worried as much about the size.

With the Omni, you will have the option to expand the case if you ever need to.

Either way, you’ll be gaining a trustworthy traveling companion with a wealth of useful features.

Best Travel Accessories for Women

Travel Accessories for Women

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Traveling as a woman can have its ups and downs.

Depending on what part of the world you will be visiting, it’s important to be prepared for everything you will experience on your travels.

These travel accessories for women will make your journey a little easier and a lot more fun.

Best Travel Skirts for Women
Best Travel Pants for Women

FitnessWalker Walking Stick by Brazos Walking Sticks

If you haven’t discovered the joys of walking for fitness yet, then it’s time that you do.

After years of leading a sedentary lifestyle, I’d had enough.

My doctor wanted me to drop some weight, and I wanted to feel better and have more energy so that I could keep up with my kids.

Does that sound familiar to you?

You’re not alone if it does.

Most of us could stand to get some more exercise, but we don’t always know where to start.

Too often, we think that getting in shape means joining an expensive gym, signing up for complicated classes or enduring sessions with a too-enthusiastic trainer.

Your fitness journey might include some or all of those things at some point, but I’m here to tell you that all you really need is the ability to put one foot in front of the other.

Walking is fantastic exercise, and if you’ve spent a long time being sedentary, then it’s the single best way to start getting active again.

No memberships are required.

Neither is any expensive equipment.

All you really need is a good pair of shoes.

Actually, I’ve come to feel like there is one other piece of equipment that is essential to any fitness walking regimen.

Brazos Hiking Stick – This Hickory Walking Stick ROCKS!

FitnessWalker Walking Stick

It’s the FitnessWalker Walking Stick by Brazos Walking Sticks.

Maybe you’re like I was and think that walking sticks are only for people who truly need them.

However, I’ve discovered that that is simply not the truth.

I love my FitnessWalker Walking Stick!

It has helped me to cover more miles in less time than I ever thought possible.

When I first began walking to get into shape a few months ago, it was tough.

Just getting around the neighborhood was pretty challenging.

I stuck to it because my doctor had made it clear to me how essential it was that I start getting active.

Even more importantly, I recognized my own need to feel better, have more energy and to really participate in my kids’ lives.

I also made my efforts a family affair.

When I went for a walk, the kids went with me.

That really did away with the whole “I don’t have time to exercise” or “my kids keep me too busy to exercise” excuses.

Before long, the kids expected to go for a daily walk.

They loved it, and they helped to hold me accountable to my goal.

Still, even with the encouragement of my kids, the going could get pretty rough.

If it wasn’t for a new friend that I made at the park, I might have been tempted to give up.

My new friend is about the same age as me, and we kept meeting up at the neighborhood park.

I noticed that she always had a stick for walking with her.

Additionally, she had a smile on her face, like there was nothing she’d rather be doing.

I finally asked her about her stick one day.

She told me that it was the FitnessWalker Walking Stick and that it had helped her to get into the best shape of her life.

Mentioning things like stability and going up and down hills, she shared why she believed that her walking stick was an essential part of her healthy lifestyle.

Perhaps most importantly, she let me take her walking stick for a spin around the park.

That was all it took to convert me.

I went home that day and ordered one for myself.

My FitnessWalker is absolutely beautiful, and it’s sized exactly to fit me.

I chose to personalize my FitnessWalker with my initial, but the only accessory I ordered was a nylon case that I can store it in.

The whole thing was crafted by Brazos Walking Sticks in Brazos, Texas.

I couldn’t believe that this was an actual made-in-the-USA product.

What’s more, my walking stick is a one-of-a-kind work of art.

I get tons of compliments whenever I’m out and about with it.

When I tell people what I paid, they’re always surprised by how affordable my purchase was.

This single purchase has genuinely changed my life.

Once restricted to level streets, sidewalks and parks, I now have the confidence that I needed to tackle hills.

It’s still challenging, but my stick really takes the pressure off of my knees.

I’m even planning to go on a hiking adventure pretty soon.

My stick will definitely come in handy on that trip, just like it will for all of my future wanderings.

Travel Accessories for Women
Young beautiful female traveler – Travel Accessories for Women

Here are the Most Useful Travel Accessories for Women

A Comfortable Sweater

Every woman should pack a sweater for their travels.

The climate varies depending on where you will be going, but it is always better to pack layers.

Even warm regions can get cool at night, and you want to be prepared.

Plus, a sweater can serve as something to rest your head on during a long flight, bus trip, or train ride.

A sweater can also be useful if you need to cover up in more conservative regions of the world.

First Aid Kit

Pack a first aid kit with the necessary medicines and bandages in case of emergency.

It is not easy to get medical aid in some parts of the world, and even minor ailments need caring for.

A first aid kit is a convenient way to ensure that any minor injuries can be taken care of quickly, so you aren’t held back during your travels.

You should make sure that your kit contains pain relievers, antacids, anti-bacterial ointments, and bandages.

Travel Adapters

Adapters are essential travel accessories for women if they want to stay connected.

Coming prepared with a travel adapter is the best way to ensure that all your electronics will be charged and ready for use.

Each region has different plug point configurations, so it is better to purchase an all-in-one adapter if you can.

If you have to purchase a separate adapter for the region you will be traveling to, make sure it is made to handle the amount of voltage you will be utilizing.

Some electronics or appliances require a high voltage adapter, and they may not work if you do not take this into consideration.

Carrying Case

A sturdy, versatile carrying case is essential for any traveling woman.

The best carrying cases will have multiple pockets that can be zipped closed.

You can even purchase locks for more security.

Designed to fit in a suitcase, your carrying case can be used for important documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, or permits.

You can also use it to hold electronics or cash.

High-Quality Camera

It is essential that you document your travel experiences with high-quality photos.

Many people just opt to take photos with their phones, but a lot of phones have mediocre cameras.

Unless your phone camera is especially sophisticated, you should consider investing in a camera that takes more professional looking photos.

After all, you don’t want the best moments of your life to be blurry.

Travel Mug

Bring a travel mug that is suitable for both hot and cold drinks.

These mugs or insulated water bottles (for hot and cold) can be especially useful if you will be undertaking any outdoor excursions.

It is always important to stay hydrated while you are traveling.

Packing your own travel mug can also be a great way to save money and keep your trip under budget.

If you are in an area with safe drinking water, check out public spaces with water fountains and get hydrated for free.

Go-to Outfit

If you are going on a long trip, it will be difficult for you to pack a lot of clothes.

Because of this, you want to be prepared with an outfit you look good in, feel good in, and can wear for a variety of different social settings.

Along with active wear and casual wear, try to pack a dress that is as appropriate for a classy dinner as it is for a night out on the town.

Being prepared with the right outfit ensures that you’ll be able to look your best without having to pack a variety of different types of clothing.

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Smart Watch

Smart watches are a must-have for travelers, especially those who travel frequently.

A smart watch allows you to track weather reports, make purchases, get emergency information, and better plan your travel schedule.

A smart watch can also be a safer, more discreet alternative than using a cell phone, especially in crowded urban areas or when taking public transit.

E-Reader

Having a good book to accompany your travels is a fantastic idea.

You may face long periods of transit where you don’t have access to any charging outlets or the internet.

However, traveling with bulky books is definitely not recommended.

And if you are an avid reader, you will likely get through a single book quickly.

E-readers solve this problem in a sleek, stylish way.

Depending on which model you purchase, your e-reader may be able to hold hundreds of books.

Most of them also come with backlights for nighttime reading.

Packing an e-reader is a great way to ensure that you can entertain yourself in between adventures during your trip.

The Right Shoes

Taking the right pair of shoes with you while traveling is absolutely necessary to ensure that you have a good trip.

Good shoes are perhaps the most important travel accessory for women, but choosing the right ones comes down to where you will be traveling.

If you are going to be relaxing on the beach, make sure you pack a pair of sandals for maximum comfort in the hot weather.

If you will be taking a trek through the mountains, it’s imperative that you pack a sturdy pair of boots.

Above all, you should wear shoes that are comfortable and conducive to long walks.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t look good!

Best travel accessories for women

Whether you are visiting an exotic city or hiking through nature, traveling can be extremely exciting.

But you want to make sure that you are prepared for any surprises.

These travel accessories for women will ensure that you stay safe and healthy during the course of your travels.

Best Travel Bags for Women Work Travel

There is never the time like the present for weekend getaways or a fun-filled vacations with family and friends.

As you make your plans, check out these best travel bags for women sure to make your travel tension-free.

Whether your job has you traveling to different cities or just down the street, bring along the things that you need in comfort and style with the Rolling Laptop Portfolio Case from SOLO’s Classic Collection.

The traditional black styling says you mean business and the inline skate wheels make it easy to pull behind you on the streets of the city or the terminal at the airport.

An accordion file in one pocket provides a great way to organize files and paperwork and an accessory organizer with special pockets for pens, business cards, and keys will help keep you on top of everything no matter where you are.

The main compartment will hold most laptops up to 17” and provides a padded pocket for safekeeping.

This bag received top rankings and is reasonably priced, Weighing in at barely a pound, this bag is the perfect companion for any type of business travel.

Travel Bags for a Weekend Away

If taking a long weekend requires you to also take some work along with you, the Contour Balance Notebook Roller Bag from Kensington provides a sporty and stylish alternative to the more traditional laptop roller bags.

It’s super cute and it has a unique cushioning system that uses a quilted pocket specifically designed to protect laptops up to 15.4 inches.

This bag, made from water-resistant material, is designed for comfort, portability, and ease of use.

Lightweight and easy to maneuver into small spaces on planes, trains and automobiles, it is equipped with an external pocket to store accessories and paperwork.

The hidden wheels and contour grip handles make this bag the perfect partner for a weekend away.

Plus, it’s less with free shipping.

Travel Bags for Everyday and Everything

Looking for a great bag that is spacious enough to stow all your carry-on items in but still stylish enough to make a statement?

The Saltbox GEO Getaway Bag – Tote from SaltboxGEO Getaway Bag from Saltbox is the perfect mix of form and function.

Designed to look like a slouch bag, the roomy interior converts to a flat tote and has more than a foot square of interior storage space.

Voted Best of the Best on eBags.com, this bag comes in three colors pool (blue), lychee (pink), and kiwi (green) and can be found on the site.

To maximize functionality, the GEO has straps that can be reconfigured based on how you are using it.

It is constructed of heavy weight canvas that is both water and stain resistant, making it perfect for a trip to the beach or to Bali.

Travel Bags for Long Stays

For longer trips and for those times when packing light is not an option, the Athalon 15-Pocket 34″ Wheeling Duffel from Athalon offers a roomy interior, rugged construction, and three in-line skate wheels to help with even the heaviest loads.

Nearly 3’ long, this bag is built for durability from water-resistant polyester and includes several features to reinforce the structure of the bag and protect your belongings.

Another Best of the Best bag, the Athalon duffel got high marks from customers in every category.

This carry-all is accessibly and the distinctive rust color makes a statement without needing any words.

Money Belt Reviews for Every Traveler

Top Travel Wallet for Women and Men

A travel wallet, for women and men, needs to provide a few important features.

It needs to be lightweight, so that you can take it with you just about anywhere you go.

It needs to provide you with some way to carry the things you need – such as a zipper case or just a secure closure.

It also needs to provide you with enough room to carry the identification and payment types you plan to use.

You can find a travel wallet that can do this for you.

The key is to know what your options are including a great money belt.

When buying a travel wallet, realize most are going to be unisex, meaning that either men or women can use it with ease.

There are a few important features to look for, based on what your needs are. Here are some to seek out.

Travel Wallet Size

Do you plan to tuck it into a pants pocket so you can free up your hands?

A lightweight, small wallet is all you need, in most cases.

Travel Wallet Use

Some people want to wear a wallet around their waist.

If you are looking for a style that allows you to store all of your important documents, but also has a band to wrap around your waist or your arm, you do have several options.

Travel Wallet Display

What type of identification do you need to have on you?

If you are traveling internationally, it is a good idea to choose a wallet that offers the right options to display your passport.

Top Travel Wallet

There are a number of great options on the market, but with so many different options in travel wallets, you will need to compare several types to find the right one for your needs.

Here are some of the most recommended travel wallets for men and women.

Civilian Lab CLIP Tri Fold Security Wallet

Here you have a Kevlar wallet that folds up. It will help to provide the most overall protection.

After all, Kevlar is what body armor is made of. Use this for the storage of credit cards and cash, as well as card identifications.

Swiss Army Wenger

This leather travel wallet is great for holding all of your identification and other travel needs in one place.

It is stylish and durable, but it is not the smallest of wallets.

Customers like the numerous items they can store in it for easy access.

Secure Shoulder Travel Wallet

The Travel Accessories product called Secure Shoulder Travel Wallet fits under or on top of your clothing.

It gives you easy access to all of your valuables and has is comfortable to wear under your clothing against your skin.

This creates the ideal way to protect your belongings when traveling.

As you consider your options in travel wallets, remember that security and organizations are the two most important things to look for.

These options are the perfect fit for just about any activity you plan to take on.

Travel Jewelry Case: Jewelry Cases for Travel

Whether you are heading to a five-star resort or to hike the Himalayas, investing in a good travel jewelry case to hold your jewelry while you travel is a wise decision.

This type of case is designed to protect watches, rings, necklaces, pendants, and other adornments from loss or damage while you are in transit.

It provides a single place for storage which also makes it easy to protect your valuables once you arrive at your destination.

Just slip the case into the hotel safe and you will never have to worry about this bracelet or that watch being left on the bathroom sink and disappearing into someone’s pocket.

Best Travel Jewelry Case

A good jewelry case for traveling will provide different types of storage for the variety of items you decide to bring.

For ease of use once you arrive at your destination, look for a case that provides see-through pockets and pouches so you can see all of your items without having to dig through each pocket to find what you want.

Travel Jewelry Portable Roll Case from Household Essentials

The Travel Jewelry Portable Roll Case from Household Essentials, the best selling travel jewelry case on Amazon.com, is a great example of this type of case.

ATJ’s Anti-Tarnish Jewelry Roll

You also want to look for a case that is built from a durable material and offers custom storage for the jewelry you travel with the most often.

ATJ’s Anti-Tarnish Jewelry Roll offers a soft padded home for your precious jewelry including a secure strip for earrings, pouches for housing necklaces and a ring roll that detaches at one end.

Silk Brocade Jewelry Roll from Red Blossom

If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, the Silk Brocade Jewelry Roll from Red Blossom is made from soft silk and rayon brocade fabric and provides several pouches for storage and a roll carrier for rings.

You might also like the Silk Brocade Coin Pouch Set from Dahlia which features a set of 10 small oriental fan shaped pouches perfect for storing jewelry at home or while traveling.

Because they are separate pouches, they make packing a breeze, just select the items you want and they are pre-packed in their own pouch.

Red Travel Jewelry Box

If space is not an issue and you want something more solid, there are several jewelry cases that might suit your needs.

The Red Travel Jewelry Box from Richards Homewares features a red faux leather exterior filled with a soft cream bed for all your valuables.

A make-up mirror in the lid provides the perfect place for putting in earrings or applying lipstick.

Jewelry Portfolio

Another great option for long vacations, business trips, honeymoons, and those embarking on a cruise is theJewelry Portfolio from PreZerve.

With capacity to hold hundreds of items and the ability to add additional inserts, this case provides optimum protection and storage your all valuable pieces.

Zippered pouches keep jewelry in place during travel and see through pockets and pouches make it easy to locate what you need.

Jewelry Travel Case by Travel Case

If you are looking for a little extra added security, the Jewelry Travel Case by Travel Case may be just what you are looking for.

It provides multiple snap fixtures for securing chains and necklaces, space for 24 rings, and a built-in combination lock allowing you to lock the case and keep your valuables secure while your luggage is out of your control.

With a faux leather exterior, this case is durable enough to weather your most extreme adventures.

Never spend another minute of vacation trying to untangle the jumble of necklaces or searching for the other earring that matches your dress.

By investing in the right jewelry travel case, you can protect, store, and secure your bracelets, earrings, and rings no matter where your travels take you.

Note: This post on travel jewelry case contains affiliate links.

When you click on the links in this post and make a purchase, Go Green Travel Green receives a portion of the proceeds, which allows us to continue producing high-quality, free content.

Weekender Bags: Best for a Weekend Getaway

When it comes to a weekend away, packing should be the least of your concerns.

Take a few tips from the pros and start your getaway stress-free.

First, don’t bring too much.

Over-packing is very common and only leads to more stress and more stuff.

Think about what you need to take with you, add a few things you want to bring, and then try and cut the end result by one third.

Second, don’t over-schedule.

Make sure that your getaway is actually a time that you can get away from the demands, pressure, and stress of your normal life.

Put the blackberry away and make your laptop part of the third you decide not to bring.

Lastly, take a great bag.

Only shoes have a more immediate and positive effect on how carefree and fantastic we feel.

To help you find just the right one, here is a breakdown of the highest rated weekender bags.
Vera Bradley Weekender Bags

Vera Bradley Weekender Bags

Part of the infinitely popular line of Vera Bradley bags, this weekender comes in a gorgeous colors and patterns.

With a large interior space that opens wide for easy packing, this bag can easily hold everything you need for a weekend away from home.

A variety of interior pockets provide places to stash the little bits and bobs you don’t want to lose and the removal strap makes it easy to carry, no matter how much you pack.

Voted a Best of the Best selection, this weekender has just enough space and just enough flair to get your getaway off to a great start.

The North Face Isla Weekender Bag

Available in black/white plaid, fuchsia, and straight black, this bag provides more than 2000 cubic inches in available packing space, which should be sufficient for any weekend away.

Another of the Best of the Best recipients, the North Face weekender is made in part from recycled poly and offers zippered pockets inside and out to keep you organized throughout your trip.

The bag has standard carry-handles and a detachable strap making it easy to grab and go when it’s time to get out of town.

As part of eBags.com “Pick Pink” campaign, when you purchase this bag a 10% donation is made to the Susan G. Komen for a Cure Foundation.

The Sak Artist Circle Convertible Weekender Bag

Trendier in appearance than the other bags, this weekender looks like it belongs on the streets of New York City, perched on the shoulder of someone beautiful who is heading off to the Hamptons.

Constructed of nylon and available in four color/pattern combinations, it has about the same capacity as the North Face bag with the personality and flair of the Vera Bradley.

Loaded with pockets and zippered pouches, you won’t have a problem finding a place for everything in this Best of the Best bag as you head out of town, Sak Artist Circle Convertible Weekender Bag.
Sak Artist Circle Convertible Weekender Bag

Alla Leather Art Tarantella Weekender Shoulder Bag

This gorgeous leather shoulder bag looks more like a fashionista’s purse than everything she might need for a weekend away.

Available in a variety of colors, it won’t fit quite as much as the other bags, but who needs more clothes when you have such a great bag.

Nooks and crannies for storing your odds and ends are featured throughout the bag and it’s Best of the Best list.

As if style and leather weren’t enough, there is also a special pocket just for sunglasses ensuring you won’t get away without them.
Alla Leather Art Tarantella Weekender Shoulder BagMoney Belt Reviews for Every Traveler

Essential Travel Accessories for Men

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Essential Travel Accessories for Men – When men talk about their life goals, traveling and seeing the world always comes up.

Not only do vacations reduce stress and boost creativity, but planning a trip makes people happier!

Before you hop on an airplane and explore new lands, there are items that you need to make your life easier.

To help make the most of the experience, here are nine travel accessories for men that you should take with you!

Travel Accessories for Men
Top view of modern collection for travel on wooden background. Autumn mood concept

Travel Accessories for Men

Nice Rolling Luggage

You will need something that will protect your belongings and be easy to handle.

The first thing to look for in luggage is a combination lock to secure important items.

You don’t want a curious maid or a street thief to have easy access to your documents.

Polycarbonate is recommended because of its ability to handle impacts.

If you are traveling, your luggage will get banged up, but this material will maintain its original shape and help hide scratches.

Ice Mate Cool Towel

If you are planning a summer expedition, this item will be a life saver.

These towels are easy to use; just put them in water, and then drape them around your neck to stay cool in the sun!

You can also place them in the fridge for a moment after you wet them.

The fabric is designed to maintain softness after it dries, even if it’s chilled.

This towel is one of the most underrated travel accessories for men.

Travel Pillows

Whether you travel by plane, train, or automobile, a good pillow will make your trip easier.

Many foreign countries have cramped transportation methods, so you might have to sit in awkward positions.

Using a pillow as a barrier between your head and a bus window will make the ride bearable.

If you are shopping for travel accessories for men, this is a great gift idea.

Portable Charger

Having a backup power supply for your phone isn’t just a matter of convenience.

Your phone is a lifeline if you find yourself in a precarious situation, whether you’re in another country or a different state.

If you are out exploring at night and get lost, it will be impossible to call for help without your phone.

This problem will be made worse by language barriers.

Look for a rapid charger with around 6000 MaH to ensure that you have plenty of battery life.

Portable Water Purifier

If you are traveling from North America or Europe to another continent, you will need to adjust to the drinking water.

Different filtration processes and bacterial levels in water can have unpleasant side effects.

Instead of spending your trip sick in a hotel room, take a water purifier with you.

It’s better than drinking out of a disposable plastic bottle and will save money as well.

This is one of the travel accessories for men that is both practical and healthy.

When camping, this is one of the best travel accessories for men.

There is no guarantee that you will be able to find a campsite with a water source.

Good Shower Kit

No matter where you are in the world, most hotels offer cheap bathing essentials.

If you have sensitive skin or just want to enjoy your shower after a long day of exploring, you will need to provide for yourself with a good shower kit.

Take some quality soap or shower gel.

If you go the gel route, carry it in containers that are travel-friendly, and make sure you check airport regulations.

If you show up with a bottle of gel that doesn’t meet their standards, they will make you throw the bottle away.

Don’t forget the face wash and shampoo!

Some hotels don’t provide these two things.

You will be outdoors a lot, and your face will bear the brunt of the elements.

It’s important to protect your skin on vacation.

Grooming Travel Accessories for Men

One of the main reasons to travel is to meet new people.

Keeping up with your hygiene is important if you plan to make some new friends.

A good shaving kit might be hard to find depending on where you are going.

Plan ahead, especially on razors.

Traveling to an island doesn’t mean you have to look like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

You should consider taking your own toothpaste as well.

Different countries have different types, and some of them are less than ideal.

Having some cologne and anti-deodorant is also essential.

Nothing is worse than wondering what a smell is and realizing it’s your shirt!

Power Converters

If you are going from North America to Europe or vice versa, many of your electronics won’t plug into the wall without an adapter – Power Converters.

These adapters can be hard to find in certain parts of both continents, so make sure you take them with you.

Action Camera

Traveling is all about memories.

Taking a good action camera will help capture and share your experiences.

The Veho VCC-003 Muvi Micro DV Camcorder is an excellent option.

It’s small enough to carry anywhere and has an acceptable picture quality for the price you will pay.

Unless you are a professional and are hoping to sell your footage to the Travel Channel, this camera will work fine.

Make sure you take backup memory with you.

Almost everyone that is traveling for the first time ends up taking more footage than they thought.

You don’t want to miss out on anything because you have to find an electronics store somewhere.

Get Out There and Travel!

We know what it’s like when the urge to travel hits.

It’s an all consuming force that takes over, and before you know it you’re sitting in an airport in Istanbul wondering how you got there.

Okay, maybe that’s just us.

We are pretty passionate about travel, and we are just getting started!

Whether you are looking for information about where to go next or shopping for travel accessories for men, we have the information you need.

Check out our reviews for the best travel gear, and start planning your journey today!