The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers
The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Backpacks That Go the Distance
When it comes to backpacks that go the distance, Osprey is a name you can trust. Their Farpoint and Fairview models are designed with long-term, long-haul travel in mind. These packs shine for their durability, versatile storage options, and comfortable fit.
The Farpoint 55, for instance, features a lightweight internal frame to evenly distribute weight. The mesh back panel and harness provide ventilation to avoid that dreaded sweaty back syndrome. Large zippered front and side pockets grant easy access to items you need on the go, like snacks, sunscreen, or a camera. Inside, you'll find a cavernous main compartment with a large zippered mesh pocket to help organize your gear. Cleverly designed straps allow you to carry the Farpoint 55 like a suitcase when you don't feel like lugging it on your back.
Frequent flyers praise the Farpoint's size - big enough to hold everything you need for weeks of travel, but carry-on compliant so you can skip the checked bag fees. The suspension system and padded hip belt take the strain off your shoulders, even during lengthy treks. And the durable nylon stands up to years of adventure.
For a sleeker silhouette, Osprey's Fairview models excel as women-specific travel packs. These thoughtfully designed bags feature shorter torso lengths, narrower shoulder straps, and a more curved hip belt. The lightweight frame transfers weight to the hips for a comfy carry. You'll find the same handy organizational pockets as the Farpoint.
Another favorite is the Gregory Jade 53, lauded for its comfort and customizable fit. The adjustable torso length ensures this pack fits torsos ranging from petite to tall. The supportive suspension system features a removable wishbone frame to let you pare down the pack weight as needed. Breathable foam contours to your back for ventilation on sweaty hikes.
Clever features like the U-shaped zippered front panel and multiple access points reveal how much thought Gregory put into the Jade's storage and accessibility. Removable daypack, rain cover, and divided compartments help you stay organized. And you can cinch down the pack when it's not fully loaded. Made from durable polyester, the Jade 53 has the chops to be your travel companion for years of memorable adventures.
What else is in this post?
- The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Backpacks That Go the Distance
- The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Luggage to Last a Lifetime
- The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Gadgets to Make Travel a Breeze
- The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Footwear for Globetrotters
- The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Accessories for Any Adventure
- The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Keep Calm and Carry On: Anxiety-Reducing Travel Essentials
- The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Making Memories: Cameras and Tech for Documenting Your Journey
The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Luggage to Last a Lifetime
When globetrotting, you need luggage built to withstand the rigors of travel. Flimsy bags simply won't make it through weeks on the road. Look for high-quality materials, durable zippers and wheels, and solid construction that can handle being tossed around by baggage handlers. The best travel luggage keeps your belongings safe and lasts for years of adventures.
For tough-as-nails checked bags, Briggs & Riley's Baseline collection hits a home run. These ultra durable suitcases ace even the most brutal baggage carousel tests. The patented CX expansion-compression system flexes to fit extra souvenirs from your trips. YKK Racquet Coil zippers promise smooth operation for the long haul. Hybrid fiberglass frame and ballistic nylon outer fabric encase contents in a virtual cocoon. Four double swivel wheels roll effortlessly in any direction. Lifetime warranty? Of course.
Equally impressive is the Rimowa Original Cabin. This icon of German engineering proves not all polycarbonate luggage feels flimsy. The grooved shell is feather light yet astoundingly durable. Multi-stage TSA locks and smooth rolling wheels ensure security and maneuverability. Sleek, understated styling oozes sophistication. Yes, it costs a pretty penny. But devoted fans say it's worth every cent. Even vintage Rimowa bags from the 1950s and 60s hold up remarkably well.
For maximum versatility, pack the Eagle Creek Transfer Duffel. Unruly wheels and scratched shells simply don't exist with this rugged bag. The Bi-Tech ArmorShield protective casing withstands abrasions and punctures. Burst strength ripstop fabrication prevents rips or tears. The wide mouth front panel opens suitcase-style for wrinkle-free packing. Haul it by the padded top handle or removable backpack straps. Internal compression straps cinch down contents. Eagle Creek stands behind the quality with a generous warranty.
The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Gadgets to Make Travel a Breeze
From must-have headphones to keep you entertained to handy chargers that juice up your devices, innovative gadgets make travel easier and more enjoyable. Let’s explore some of the top gizmos that globetrotters rave about.
Noise-canceling headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5 allow you to immerse yourself in music, podcasts and movies without the drone of jet engines. Many road warriors say they’re an essential sanity-saver for long haul flights, train rides or bus trips. The soft, plush ear pads are blissfully comfortable on ears during lengthy listening sessions too. With intuitive touch controls, superb sound quality and top-notch noise cancellation, these are a worthy splurge. Frequent flyer James S. says the Sonys make 12-hour flights feel “like a breeze.” Plus, they work with a handy Calm app to promote relaxation.
For keeping devices powered up on the go, external battery packs like the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD are a backpack essential. Running out of juice when you need Google Maps abroad or to contact your Airbnb host can be a nightmare. This slim battery boasts enough capacity to provide a full charge for most phones, with high-speed Power Delivery USB-C charging. Road warrior Amanda R. loves that it slips easily into any bag and provides peace of mind. “Having backup power makes travel so much less stressful,” she says.
Waterproof pouches like the Joto Phone Pouch prove useful when hiking, at the beach or in the rain. Simply seal your phone inside the PVC pouch, clip it onto your bag and never worry again about weather wrecking your device. Travel blogger Ryan D. takes his Joto pouch kayaking, swimming and even winter mountain trekking. “I never head out without it,” he says. “My phone stays bone dry!”
Portable Wi-Fi hotspots like SkyRoam provide connectivity anywhere in the world by aggregating multiple networks. Travelers praise SkyRoam for offering secure, fast internet without SIM cards or contracts. “Having reliable Wi-Fi literally anywhere is a game changer,” says frequent traveler Marta W. She uses her SkyRoam hotspot to route her phone, tablet and laptop online. “It makes navigating, ridesharing and trip planning so seamless.”
The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Footwear for Globetrotters
When you’re trotting the globe, your footwear faces the ultimate endurance test. Forget blisters - we’re talking marathon walking tours, scaling mountain passes or fording streams. The last thing you want is inappropriate shoes cramping your adventure style. Savvy travelers select footwear to match the demands of their destinations.
If Europe is on your agenda, do as the Romans do and invest in a pair of sleek leather walking shoes like the Ecco Exostrike. The supple nubuck leather upper molds comfortably to your feet without a break-in period, while the rugged rubber sole grips reliably on cobblestone streets. Anatomically shaped Lasts promote natural foot alignment and reduce fatigue so you can sight-see for hours. Frequent traveler Amanda S. has logged over 50 miles wandering European cities in her Eccos. “They’re cute enough for dressing up at dinner but supportive enough for all-day museums and shows,” she says.
Leave the flip flops stateside and opt for water sandals like Chaco Z2 Classics when tropical or aquatic adventures beckon. The zigzag strap design distributes pressure evenly so even epic hikes along volcanic coastlines stay comfy. Hardy construction withstands wet conditions and active wear. Podiatrist-certified LUVSEAT footbeds pamper your soles. Randi K. has traipsed through Costa Rican rainforests and snorkeled Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in her Chacos, which easily transition from trails to water. “They’re versatile and basically indestructible,” she raves.
When facing uncertain terrain abroad, the grip and stability of hiking boots reigns supreme. La Sportiva Nucleos High GTX earn rave reviews for their beefy ruggedness minus the bulk. Weighing under two pounds, their nimble design suits fast-paced hikers. The proprietary Nano-Cell midsole compound provides responsive cushioning and stability when loaded down. The stiff composite shank delivers torsional support on uneven ground, while the Vibram outsole bites into slippery surfaces. Emily F. has tested her Nucleos on alpine ridges in New Zealand and mountain passes in the Swiss Alps. “They’re the Goldilocks of hiking boots — not too clunky but still super protective,” she says.
If you’ll be kicking back post-adventure at the hotel bar, pack swanky loafers like the Everlane Day Glove. Their sleek, minimalist silhouette complements both casual and dressy outfits. The knit upper from recycled plastic feels like a glove (hence the name). The elastic gore lets you slip them on sans struggle. Lightweight composite soles absorb shock. Justin T. always brings his Day Gloves abroad for looking sharp after sightseeing. “I can walk all day in these, then throw them on for dinner without battered feet,” he remarks.
The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Accessories for Any Adventure
When adventure calls, the right accessories can make all the difference between an epic trip and an epic fail. Savvy travelers know which gadgets and gear will have their back in any situation. Let’s spotlight some versatile accessories that ensure you’re ready for wherever the road leads.
A sturdy packable daypack like the Matador Foldable 16L Daypack expands your on-the-go storage while scarcely occupying luggage real estate. Simply fold, roll and stow this lightweight nylon backpack until sightseeing excursions arise. Unfurl it for hikes, market runs and day trips. Breathable air mesh shoulder straps keep you cool and comfy. Dedicated sleeves protect sunglasses, water bottles and other essentials. Erika M. never departs home without her Matador daypack. “It’s been a lifesaver for carrying extras on tours, at outdoor concerts, and wandering new cities,” she says.
When outdoor adventures ramp up, reliable trekking poles like the LEKI Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC SH provide stability and take pressure off knees during descents. This adjustable pair extends from 24 to 53 inches to accommodate hikers of all heights. The speed lock 2 system enables quick length changes even mid-trek. Breathable Thermo Grip Evo Cork handles stay comfy mile after mile. An anti-shock system absorbs vibrations to prevent arm and elbow strain. Distance hiker Will P. credits his LEKIs for pain-free treks across the Italian Dolomites and Patagonian Andes. “These versatile poles have improved my stability and endurance,” he remarks.
Stay charged and connected globally with all-in-one adapters like the Mu One International Travel Adapter. With folding prongs for over 150 countries, one compact unit eliminates the need for a suitcase full of individual plugs. Dual USB ports juice up phones and tablets sans outlet hogging. The sleek design slides effortlessly into any bag. Digital nomad Amanda Y. packs her Mu One for long-term trips to Europe and Asia. “It’s a perfect travel buddy that eliminates the stress of finding compatible outlets,” she says.
Of course, no globetrotting accessory collection is complete without trusty earbuds to soundtrack adventures. For wireless listening freedom on the move, Apple AirPods Pro keep you immersed in playlists, podcasts and hands-free calls with active noise cancellation. The customizable, contoured fit stays comfy even during lengthy wear. Sweat and water resistance suits active lifestyles. Frequent flyer Jeff B. keeps his AirPods at the ready every time he sets off exploring, whether strolling Old San Juan’s blue cobblestone streets or hiking Machu Picchu’s steep stone stairways. “They make every place feel like home by letting me listen to my favorite tunes,” he says.
The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Keep Calm and Carry On: Anxiety-Reducing Travel Essentials
Let’s face it – for even the most seasoned travelers, globetrotting can be stressful at times. Between navigating unfamiliar destinations, dealing with language barriers, managing convoluted transit, and contending with inevitable snafus, having the proper gear to stay cool, calm and collected is crucial. Arm yourself against anxiety with these soothing travel must-haves.
Noise-canceling headphones top the list for their ability to mute the din of chaotic airports and create serene soundscapes. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds excel at blocking external noise so you can find your zen zone, with transparency mode letting sound in when needed.
Yogi Sabrina P. swears by her Bose buds for maintaining sanity amid the madness. “They help me get into my own little world. I arrive at destinations feeling refreshed instead of frazzled,” she says.
Portable aromatherapy like the Asutra Aromatherapy Necklace Diffuser turns any space into an instant oasis with soothing scents. Add a few drops of calming essential oils like lavender, bergamot or sandalwood and wear the handcrafted diffuser as a necklace. The lava stone beads gradually release aromas only you can smell for up to a week.
Frequent flyer Gary T. gifts these necklaces to friends and credits his for relieving stress during lengthy flights. “It helps me stay balanced and grounded when I most need it,” he says.
To promote relaxation between destinations, adult coloring books like the Johanna Basford Enchanted Forest whisk you away to fanciful realms and keep restless hands occupied. Intricate illustrations on premium paper stock cry out for creative colorization. Coloring’s repetitive motion induces a meditative state to purge worries.
Yoga instructor Amanda D. fills her idle time on long-haul trains and bus rides with coloring books and pencils. “It calms me and takes my mind off any travel mishaps,” she says. Her finished pieces become cherished travel memories.
For an immersive escape, ambient nature sleep masks like the Joseche Sleep Mask saturate overworked senses with tranquil sounds and scenes. Built-in Bluetooth speakers play white noise, ASMR or meditation tracks to lull you to sleep amid chaos. Interior LEDs project sunset forests, starry skies and more for next-level relaxation.
Digital nomad Carson L. relies on his Joseche mask for much-needed sleep on red-eyes and overnight buses. “It’s first-class relaxation – even when I’m in economy class,” he quips. “I arrive feeling refreshed and renewed.”
Of course, keeping your sense of humor intact also helps defuse stressful situations. The Humor Help Desk Travel Game pokes fun at the pitfalls and pleasures of globetrotting in this set of 50 tip cards for gaining perspective. Got an uncooperative customs officer? Missing luggage? Lengthy delays? Let humor smooth out the wrinkles when travel gets trying. As the motto says: "Learn to laugh it off!”
The 10 Best Pieces of Travel Gear for 2023, Voted by Our Readers - Making Memories: Cameras and Tech for Documenting Your Journey
After the whirlwind of globe-trotting, your most treasured souvenirs won’t be objects – they’ll be moments immortalized on camera. When adventure calls, be sure to pack tech that captures your expeditions in stunning detail. These photography tools ensure your travels live on long after you’ve returned home.
Mirrorless cameras like the Sony Alpha a7 IV make photographic magic accessible for everyone. Don’t let the compact size fool you – this powerhouse offers 33MP resolution for incredible image quality. Even low light scenes come out crisp thanks to the enhanced ISO range. The autofocus locks on subjects in an instant to help novices nail the shot.
“As an amateur photographer, this camera is a dream,” says adventurer Lee Y. He especially loves the flip-out touchscreen for framing selfies in exotic locales. Vloggers will also appreciate the 4K video capabilities.
Another favorite for hybrid photo-video use is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. This Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera delivers 20MP resolution in a portable form factor that’s easy to pack. The built-in image stabilization produces tack-sharp images and smooth video even when you’re on the move.
Frequent traveler Amanda G. has captured stunning vistas everywhere from the French Riviera to the Great Wall of China with her E-M5. “It’s so lightweight yet takes absolutely gorgeous high res photos,” she raves. “Now I have a permanent album of my trips I’ll treasure forever.”
Don’t forget the accessories and extras that protect your gear and produce pro-quality shots. USB battery packs like the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 give cameras extra juice on long photo excursions. Neutral density filters like the K&F Concept ND8-32 bring landscape and waterfall shots into crisp focus. A flexible tripod like the UBeesize Phone Tripod proves steady and packable for selfies in exotic locales.
And if smartphone shooting suits your style, mobile lenses can elevate your Instagram travel gallery. The Xenvo Pro Lens Kit for iPhone clips on lenses for wide angles, macro and fish-eye effects. For Android users, the Aspiri Lens Kit adds similar expanded shooting modes. Nyree D., an avid smartphone shooter, swears by her set: “These portable lenses make my mobile photos look magazine-worthy!”