14 Travel Accessories You Should Never Leave Home Without in 2022(2)

Travel Accessories

Flying can be stressful, especially nowadays. Many Americans didn’t fly during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and now that airports are busy again, flight delays and lost luggage abound. In order to get through the airport and onto your final destination as quickly and as stress-free as possible, a few upgrades to your travel routine may be in order.

The best travel accessories help eliminate the inevitable difficulties that come up between point A and point B. Whether you’re over-stuffing your suitcase (packing cubes!), kept awake on the plane by a crying baby (noise-canceling headphones!), or worst of all, lose your luggage (AirTags!), these travel products from Amazon, which we consider travel must-haves in 2022, might help.

Case in point: A waterproof bag can hold wet swimsuits so you can maximize pool time while waiting for your departing flight. Reusable toiletry bottles are both a sustainable and budget-friendly choice, as they cut down on spending and single-use plastics (and you get to take your favorite products with you). There are also travel accessories that you should never unpack. Leave a universal charging cable, international wall plug adapter, and travel-size lint roller in your suitcase between trips—you won’t get much use out of them around the house, and these items are easy to forget but so helpful once you hit the road.

How we chose

Take note that every product featured here has more than 1,000 reviews and an average rating of 4 stars or above, so you can trust you’re purchasing travel accessories that are actually helpful.

Ahead, shop these and more of our favorite travel products that you shouldn’t leave home without.




Leakproof Portable Travel Bottles, 4-pack




Waterproof Wet Bag




QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds




Collapsible Water Bottle




5-Slot Eyeglasses Organizer Case




Retractable Lint Roller



Simple Housewares

43-Inch Heavy Duty Garment Bag with Pocket


We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

14 Travel Accessories You Should Never Leave Home Without in 2022(1)

Travel Accessories

Flying can be stressful, especially nowadays. Many Americans didn’t fly during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and now that airports are busy again, flight delays and lost luggage abound. In order to get through the airport and onto your final destination as quickly and as stress-free as possible, a few upgrades to your travel routine may be in order.

The best travel accessories help eliminate the inevitable difficulties that come up between point A and point B. Whether you’re over-stuffing your suitcase (packing cubes!), kept awake on the plane by a crying baby (noise-canceling headphones!), or worst of all, lose your luggage (AirTags!), these travel products from Amazon, which we consider travel must-haves in 2022, might help.

Case in point: A waterproof bag can hold wet swimsuits so you can maximize pool time while waiting for your departing flight. Reusable toiletry bottles are both a sustainable and budget-friendly choice, as they cut down on spending and single-use plastics (and you get to take your favorite products with you). There are also travel accessories that you should never unpack. Leave a universal charging cable, international wall plug adapter, and travel-size lint roller in your suitcase between trips—you won’t get much use out of them around the house, and these items are easy to forget but so helpful once you hit the road.

How we chose

Take note that every product featured here has more than 1,000 reviews and an average rating of 4 stars or above, so you can trust you’re purchasing travel accessories that are actually helpful.

Ahead, shop these and more of our favorite travel products that you shouldn’t leave home without.




Universal International Wall Plug Power Adapter



Tripped Travel Gear

Compression Packing Cubes




Universal 3-in-1 Fast Charging Cable, 2-pack




Evolution S3 Travel Pillow




Travel Toiletry Bag with Hanging Hook







Twelve South

AirFly Pro Wireless Bluetooth Transmitter


We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.


How to Create the Perfect Camping List for Your Trip

How to Create the Perfect Camping List for Your Trip

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or planning your first trip in the great outdoors, creating the perfect camping list is essential for making the most of your experience.

At the top of your camping checklist should be all of the essentials you’ll need for your trip, including a tent, sleeping bags, travel blankets, and warm clothing to keep you comfy at night. So let’s start with these.

Camping Essentials: Must-Haves for any Camping List

Packing for a camping trip starts with the essentials. These items are necessary for any camping adventure and should be at the top of your list:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping mat (or air mattress w/pump)
  • Warm clothing
  • First-aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hiking boots
  • Camping stove
  • Cookware and food (more on this later)
  • Eating utensils
  • Firestarter (plus firewood and/or charcoal)
  • Axe (for cutting wood)
  • Lanterns or flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Trash bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels

We don’t want to freak you out, but you might also want to pack a bear horn if you’re camping in areas where these fuzzies are known to roam. Better safe than sorry!

Camping List Packing: Beyond the Essentials

In addition to the above camping essentials, there are a few other items you might want to consider packing to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. These items include:

  • Camp chairs
  • Cooler
  • Collapsible water container
  • Hammock
  • Games
  • Books or E-reader
  • Swim gear
  • Fishing gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Earplugs
  • Camera

Of course, your camping list will also need to include food and drink items. What you pack will depend on what you plan to cook on your camping stove and how many people you will be feeding.

Food for Camping List: What to Pack

Here are a few food items to consider packing for your camping trip:

  • Non-perishable snacks like energy bars, trail mix, and nuts
  • Breakfast items like oatmeal, granola, and instant coffee
  • Lunch items like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, and fruit
  • Dinner items like pasta, rice, canned soup, and pre-made sauces
  • S’more supplies like marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers, and campfire roasters
  • Water and other drinks like juice boxes or sports drinks
  • Cooking oil and spices

Don’t forget to pack a mess kit that includes plates, bowls, cups, mugs, and utensils for everyone in your group!

Extra Camping Gear: Anything Else?

Now that you have an idea of what to put on your camping list, here are some last-minute items that might come in handy:

  • Camp glow sticks
  • Safety whistle
  • Multi-purpose tool or Swiss army knife
  • Hiking poles
  • Duct tape
  • Tent lights
  • Headlamp
  • Portable phone charger
  • Solar charger
  • Utility gloves
  • Foam camping pads
  • Tongs (for charcoal)
  • Ziplock bags (for food storage)
  • Baby wipes (for spills and messes)
  • Camping rope (for several reasons)
  • Emergency flare
  • Bug netting
  • Tarp

What could possibly be next? Why, travel gear and toiletries, of course!

Travel Gear and Toiletries: Comforts for the Road

To up your camping list packing game, we at Gravel recommend adding the following travel gear and toiletries to your list:

  • Travel backpack system (including daypack)
  • Packing cubes (for clothes and food items)
  • Toiletry bag (click here for the ultimate travel toiletries list!)
  • Insulated packable blanket
  • Travel accessories (like a bamboo toothbrush, carabiners, and travel laundry bag)
  • Travel journal and pens/pencils
  • Binoculars

If you’re going to a campsite at a dark sky park, you might also want to add a star chart and red light flashlight to your camping list as well.

Or better yet, download the Star Walk app for an awesome interactive experience!

Final Thoughts

Phew! That’s a lot of stuff to pack for a camping trip. But don’t worry, you don’t have to pack everything on this list. Consider what items will be most useful for the type of camping you plan to do and make your camping checklist accordingly.

In addition to carefully selecting what you pack, make sure that everything is organized and labeled so it’s easy to find once you’re out in nature.

Be sure to take into account the weather conditions at your destination, too. If it’s likely to get cold or rainy, you’ll want to pack extra blankets, warmer clothing, and possibly a small heater for your tent. On the other hand, if the weather’s warm, pack plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, and swim gear for the lake or river nearby.

Oh, and don’t forget the marshmallows. You can never have too many of those!

Whatever your outdoor needs and goals, with careful planning and the right packing list for a camping trip, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time.

Happy camping!



9 Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping

We walk among you—those of us who love the outdoors but hate camping. You can sing the praises of a night sky full of stars, but the whole time we’re glazed over, thinking about sleeping on the cold, hard ground. You want to know how to convince us that camping is fun? Make it comfortable. We’re not talking over-the-top glamping here, but a few well-chosen items can ease the discomfort of camping and pave the way for all of us—Team Rugged and Team Hotel—to gather happily around the campfire.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch Cabin

Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch Cabin

A pile of clothes stuffed into the corner of a tent you have to crawl into? No thanks. When you’re trying to make camping a comfortable affair, you want to have enough space to stand—and store your stuff. The Coleman Tenaya Lake 6P Fast Pitch Cabin with Cabinets delivers plenty of headroom and an additional just-like-home bonus: two “cabinets,” additional closet-like spaces where you can stash your gear—or make into a cozy nook for a pet. There’s also an optional room divider that creates two spaces, each big enough for a queen-size air mattress.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - NeoAir Dream Mattress

NeoAir Dream Mattress

You know what’s not comfortable? The ground. If a thin camping mat isn’t doing enough to convince you there’s anything great about sleeping in the Great Outdoors, it’s time to do something about it. The NeoAir Dream packs small but delivers big comfort. The camping mattress doubles down with an inflatable Thermarest core and a foam pillowtop for four inches of padded bliss. The extra height keeps you off the forest floor and gives you a fighting chance at a good night’s sleep outdoors.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Besito Sleeping Bag

Besito Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags may keep you warm, but they’re a far cry from the comforts of home. Clingy fabric and constricting design dooms sensitive campers to long nights of poor sleep. Which is why the Ticla Besito 30/45 is such a find. The sleeping bag has a roomy semi-rectangular shape, and the interior fabric feels like soft sheets. The bag is light, packs up small, and has variable insulation that helps you adjust to different night temperatures. It also has a two-way zipper so you can put your feet out, if you’re that sort of sleeper.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Flannel Camp Pillow

Flannel Camp Pillow

You’ve got the comfortable camping mattress and the soft sleeping bag, but a great night’s sleep also requires a comfortable place to lay your head. And balling up a sweater is no substitute for a proper pillow. There are plenty of camping pillows out there, but we’re partial to the flannel goodness and just-right softness of the LL Bean Flannel Camp Pillow. It delivers more pillow support per square inch than any inflatable camping pillow we’ve tried, and it can be compressed into a stuff sack for portability.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Lowboy Lantern

Lowboy Lantern

Light. It’s one of those things you take for granted until it’s gone. Most camp-friendly solutions to the lighting problem come with their own challenges. Traditional lanterns require special gear, flashlights aren’t great for creating ambient light, and headlamps have the unfortunate side effect of temporarily blinding anyone you’re looking at. That’s why we like the evrgrn lowboy lantern. The LED lamp creates a lovely soft (and dimmable) light that effectively illuminates a space, yet it’s small enough to fit into the drink holder of a camping chair. It can be hung, which is perfect for nighttime in-tent use. And the cover is made of silicone, so it’s durable.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Slacker Hammock

Slacker Hammock

Camping is supposed to be about relaxing into nature’s embrace. But if you find that embrace to be more than a little dusty, you’re going to have to get creative. That’s where a hammock comes in handy. Coleman’s Slacker Hammock packs small and weighs nearly nothing; with a couple of straps and two sturdy trees, you can essentially create an easy chair out of thin air. Best of all, the double size fits two, so you can share your al fresco comfort with a friend.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Campfire Rocker

Campfire Rocker

Even when you’re miles from the nearest porch, you can still rock away the hours gazing out on the peaceful scenery. The evrgrn Campfire Rocker is lightweight, stable, and far more comfortable than the average camping chair. But like a camping chair, it folds up and has its own carrying bag. It’s also low, which makes it ideal for anyone who wants to relax around the campfire but doesn’t want to sit on the ground (you know who you are).

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Center Stage Rug

Center Stage Rug

The Big Lebowski was right when he said a rug really brings the room together. An outdoor rug such as the Center Stage Rug from evrgrn turns a campsite into a home, with plenty of space for a group to gather in style. Add a low table and some chairs and you’ve got a living room with the best view imaginable.

Best Camping Products for People Who Hate Camping - Pack-N-Prep Tote/Table

Pack-N-Prep Tote/Table

Camp cooking is a crapshoot. Often, surfaces aren’t clean, there’s never quite enough room to set up properly, and there’s always one ingredient that goes missing at a vital moment. Not to mention that cleanup often leaves dishes dirtier than when they started. REI’s tidy solution to this is the Camp Pack-N-Prep Tote/Table. The tote has compartments to keep food and supplies organized in a single place. The pop-up table provides a clean prep or cooking surface. And at the end of the trip, tuck everything back into the tote and you’re ready to go.


We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.


10 Things You Should Bring On Every Day Hike

Whether you’re casually hiking to a favorite waterfall or bagging a difficult summit, carrying the proper equipment is absolutely critical. When things go wrong, as they often do, this can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a dire result. For first-timers and sage backcountry traveler alike, dialing in essential day hiking gear is an important part of any pre-trip preparations.

In the article below we discuss our opinions and preferences for some of the most critical day hiking equipment.

Ten Day Hiking Gear Essentials

1. NAVIGATION  A topo map and trusty compass are two navigation components that should accompany you on any trip into the backcountry. They’re reliable, lightweight, durable, and guaranteed to never run out of batteries. They can keep you from getting lost or help you find your way again.

Though not technically a component of the 10 Essentials List, GPS devices and phone apps (GAIA, TopoMaps, etc) are excellent tools for supplementing a map and compass. If you plan on using GPS regularly, you may want to carry a power bank in case your device runs out of juice. While GPS tools can be very convenient and useful on the trail, they should never fully replace your map and compass.


2. SUN PROTECTION Sun protection is an incredibly important part of any backcountry trip, even when the weather looks cloudy. Sunscreen, spf lip balm, sunglasses (preferably polarized), a brimmed hat, and protective clothing should be considered essential on every hiking trip. Bad sunburns, bleeding cracked lips, and conditions like snow blindness can be debilitating if proper respect isn’t paid to the sun’s power.


3. INSULATION Weather can change quickly on any wilderness trip, so we always recommend bringing an extra insulation clothing layer – even on warm weather trips. A simple layerable, quick dry clothing system will ensure you’re safe and warm when temps drop. For example, we pack a down hooded jacket and rain protection on almost every hiking trip, regardless of the forecast.

For your clothing system, you’ll want to avoid cotton products, which take a long time to dry and pull heat from your body. Instead, wear quick dry, synthetic layers and manage perspiration to keep your clothing from soaking with sweat. Wet clothing will quickly chill you to the bone as soon as you stop hiking.

4. ILLUMINATION We bring a reliable headlamp on every hiking trip, even if we’re not planning on being out past dark. Sometimes a hike will take longer than expected, and getting lost in the dark can quickly compound a bad situation. If you ever do find yourself unexpectedly in the backcountry as daylight is fading, you’ll be happy to have a headlamp to help you find the way home. We usually hike with our phones as well, and their built-in flashlights serve as a good backup light source. Make sure to test your headlamp batteries prior to your hike as well.


5. FIRST AID SUPPLIES When traveling into the backcountry, you’ll always want to carry a comprehensive first aid kit. Most backpackers buy a pre-packaged first aid kit, which will provide a lightweight and reliable setup for minor ailments. As you gain more trail experience you’ll be able to add or subtract from your first aid kit depending on your individual needs. And always make sure to replace anything you use as soon as you return home from your trek.

6. FIRE Knowing how to build a fire in nasty weather can be a life saving backcountry skill.  To make a fire as easy as possible, we always bring two small Bic lighters (one is kept in a dry place as a backup), a few stormproof matches, and a few small firestarter cubes. We only use the fire starters when we really need them, but they make fire building much easier, especially in wet conditions.

7. REPAIR KIT & TOOLS We bring a lightweight multitool and basic repair equipment on every backcountry trip we take. A simple multi-tool knife, like the Swiss Army Classic, will come in handy in a variety of situations and we use ours all the time on the trail. Duct tape and Tenacious Tape are also excellent tools for repairing gear in the field, so we always hike with a small amount of both in our packs.

Tenacious Tape is great for fixing sleeping pad punctures, tent fabric tears, sleeping bag rips, puffy coat holes, and stuff like that. Duct tape is a great all-around repair tool that can be used for things like splinting a broken tent pole or repairing sunglasses, and it’s even good for preventing blisters when you feel a hot spot on your foot.


8. NUTRITION  When preparing for a hike, you’ll want to make sure to bring along enough calories to sustain your energy for a long day of activity. We commonly snack on energy bars (Larabar, Clif Bar, ProBar, Luna, and Kind bars tend to be our favorites), dried fruits, nuts, and jerky while we hike. For a more substantial lunch, we like to pack tortillas or bagels and make sandwiches with hard meats (like salami) and cheeses (like parmesan).

If you’re headed out on a long hike, we recommend bringing some extra calorically-dense food, just in case your trip takes longer than expected. 

9. HYDRATION It’s absolutely essential to stay well hydrated on the trail to keep your body’s critical systems running properly. Water helps cool you down when you’re hot, warm you up when you’re cold, and will keep your muscles and joints working properly to avoid injury while you hike.

Make sure to bring enough water for the duration of your hike, or bring a lightweight water filter and know where water sources will be located along your route. For a 24-hour water supply, one gallon (or 4 liters) is recommended per person. Make sure your water is easily accessible via water bottles or a hydration pack so you can drink freely while you hike.

Also, it’s important to remember that while water is critically important, it’s also one of the heaviest things you’ll carry on the trail. So carrying a bunch of extra water should be avoided as well.


10. EMERGENCY SHELTER – If you’re on a multi-day backpacking trip, you’ll already have a shelter in your pack. But for day hiking trips, we recommended bringing a small, lightweight emergency shelter, just in case you unexpectedly have to spend a night outside.

Beyond the Essentials

DAYPACK A well-fitting and comfortable daypack is essential for carrying the gear you’ll need in the backcountry. Choose a pack large enough to carry essential gear with convenient storage compartments and easy access to water bottles or a hydration bladder.

FOOTWEAR – We wear trail running shoes on almost every spring, summer, and fall hiking trip we take. Trail runners are comfortable and lightweight, they dry quickly, help us avoid blisters, and provide excellent traction. “But don’t I need hiking boots for water protection, ankle support, and durability?” Not necessarily. If you’re in good shape, have strong ankles, and don’t have a history of nagging injuries, trail running shoes might be the best fit for you too.

HAND SANITIZER Dirty hands are the biggest contributor to illness in the backcountry. This happens because many hikers leave proper hygiene habits behind when they hit the trail. But this is an easy issue to avoid, so bring a small container of hand sanitizer and use it after bathroom breaks and before preparing meals.

More Information

We hope this guide helps keep you safe and comfortable on your next wilderness hiking trip. If you found this guide useful, please feel free to share it with friends

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.



Best Hiking Gear 2022

In This Guide
  • Hiking Footwear & Clothing
  • GPS & InReach
  • Must Have Gear
  • Camping Gear

Don’t waste your money on hiking gear that’s no good; I’ve already done that for you! Here’s my trail-tested best hiking gear list. I only recommend hiking gear that I’ve used over hundreds of miles. I don’t do any paid or sponsored reviews, and I don’t waste your time with gear that doesn’t make the cut. This is only the good stuff.

An easy way to say thank you for my free guides to make sure you use the links on this page to buy your gear. I get a small commission that helps me buy gear to test and keep the website ad and paid promotion free. I depend on these commissions to keep the site running, so a big thank you!

Primary Late Summer 2022 Hiking Gear

In the late summer I’m generally in the mountains and traveling as light (and safe) as possible. Here I am with my inReach Mini 2 (orange), Epix smartwatch, and Osprey Hikelite 18 pack.

There’s more detail below, but for a quick glance at what I’m using all the time now and why, here it is.

  1. Altra Lone Peak 6 Shoes  – These are the most comfortable trail shoes that I keep coming back to after trying out many other options.
  2. Garmin Mini 2 Satellite Communicator  – The Mini 2 lets me share my location and status with family using a text message. If I get into trouble, I can text back and forth with SOS/911.
  3. Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles – Trekking poles are a godsend on slippery and steep slopes, and stream crossings. The Trail Ergo are light, and the cork works well with sweaty hands,
  4. Garmin Epix Gen 2  – These watches are pricey but something to use 24/7. I use this for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and for tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate my hike.
  5. Osprey Hikelite 18 – I don’t need a ton of layers in the warmer weather, so I prefer to use a lighter pack that vents well on the back. This pack is light, cool, and takes a beating.

Use your gear at home first on a simple walk and get used to it before you take it out on the trail. Unboxing and setting up at the trailhead is usually a recipe for bad times.

Garmin Epix
Another option for a dedicated GPS is to have a mapping smartwatch. They’re not cheap, but they include topographic maps, an accurate GPS, altimeter, and compass. The watch is also a fitness tracker, sleep tracker, can load other apps, etc. It’s like an Apple Watch but built for outdoors enthusiasts and athletes (and has buttons instead of a touchscreen – much better for the outdoors). The new Garmin Fenix 7 came out, but I prefer the better screen on the new Epix (Gen2), and the multi-band GPS can’t be beat.

Epix Prices: Amazon
Garmin Instinct 2 Prices: Amazon
Epix & Fenix 7 Review

Garmin InReach Mini 2
I’m a firm believer in carrying a satellite communications device which works where cell phones don’t. I use a Garmin InReach Mini 2 which lets me send text messages back and forth to my family to let them know that I’m okay or if my plans change when I’m out in the backcountry. It also has an SOS subscription built-in so that you can reach first-responders in an emergency. The devices also offer weather reports, GPS, and navigation functionality (what’s the difference between a GPS and satellite communicator?). For a few hundred bucks they could save your life, so for me it’s a no brainer to have something like a Garmin InReach.

Latest Prices: Amazon
My Mini 2 Review Here


Garmin GPSMAP 66
Why get a dedicated GPS unit? The interface might not be as slick as a new smartphone, but a GPS like this is built for the outdoors, works in heavy rain, and with gloves on. You can also get more granular control over your track recording and navigation. The GPSMAP 66i includes inReach satellite communications. If you don’t need inReach and just want a solid purpose-built GPS, I’d go for the highly-accurate GPSMAP 66sr.

GPSMAP 66i Prices:  Amazon
GPSMAP 66i Review
GPSMAP 66sr Prices:  Amazon
GPSMAP 66sr Review
How to Use Your Garmin

Paper Maps
As good as electronic navigation is these days, it’s all dependent on having power and your device not breaking. As a backup, you should always carry a paper map. Paper is also handy when you want to make some decisions in a larger format—spreading out a paper map and understanding the landscape as a whole blows away scrolling a screen any day. Put it in a ZipLoc bag to keep it safe. These are the maps that I like.

National Geographic Trail Maps: Amazon
Tom Harrison Cartography: Amazon
Calico Maps:San B | Sierra Central | Sierra South | San Diego
Suunto M-3 D Leader Compass:  Amazon

Hiking Backpacks

Gregory Zulu 30 & Jade 28
After testing quite a few backpacks, the Gregory Zulu 30 (and Jade 28 for women) is, for most hikers, the best all-season day pack. First off, it’s very comfortable, and the mesh “trampoline” back keeps your back dry. Its 30L capacity is enough for all the essentials and plenty of layers for winter hiking. External pockets make it easy to grab gear. It’s hard to find something wrong with the pack; if anything, it could be a bit lighter, but overall, it’s not heavy. And its price-point makes it not only affordable but generally a great value.

Women’s Latest Prices:  Amazon 
Men’s Latest Prices:  Amazon
My Review Here

Osprey Hikelite 18
On shorter hikes and ones in the summer, I opt for a smaller and lighter pack. With a smaller load, I don’t need hip belts to distribute the weight, and I can take them off this pack. It carries a bladder inside and can also have bottles on the side pockets. The 18 version is big enough for my essentials and some layers without extra space flopping around. I love the trampoline back, which lifts the pack off my back and keeps it dry. At 1.5 lbs, it’s the lightest small day pack I’ve found with a trampoline back.

My Review Here

Hiking Footwear

Altra Lone Peak 6
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like a hiking shoe. I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great.

Women’s Latest Prices:  Amazon 
Men’s Latest Prices:  Amazon 

Topo Athletic Terraventure 3
If you want all the features of a shoe like the Altra Lone Peak, but with some more durability (at the expense of a little comfort), the Terraventure is perfect. To understand how these perform and what the differences are, watch my video on them here.

Latest Price on Women’s Shoe
Latest Price on Men’s Shoe

HOKA Stinson ATR 6
When you need something really cushy and forgiving, these HOKAs are a great option. They’re also good if you need to hike long distances and your feet are not used to putting in that kind of distance.  They do have some drawbacks I’ve found these HOKAs are the best of all the HOKA options for hiking.

Latest Price on Women’s Shoe
Latest Price on Men’s Shoe

General Hiking Gear

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
I’ve gone back and forth on trekking poles, but I think for most people they are a good investment. They help you dig in on the uphills, provide stability on loose downhills, act as a brace when crossing streams, and can probably poke away aggressive wildlife in a pinch. The Trail Ergo Cork poles are a good balance of light weight, durability, affordability, and ease of use. If you want something ultralight and a little more pricey, I’ve had great luck with the Black Diamond Z Poles too.

Trail Ergo Poles

  • Petzl Actik Core Headlamp
    The Actik Core a very bright, yet lightweight, headlamp that is rechargeable but also can take AAA batteries. I always carry a headlamp (and some extra AAAs) in case I get stuck out after dark.
  • Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System
    Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle
    Even if I carry clean water with me in my backpack, I’ll have some kind of filtration system as well in case that I need more water. If I have clear streams available, I’ll use the Katadyn BeFree. If the water is more sketchy or variable, I’ll take the Sawyer Squeeze, which attaches nicely to a SmartWater bottle that you can get in any convenience store. They’re both light and effective, and just work.
  • Gregory 3D Hydro 3L Reservoir 
    When I don’t have to filter water I use clean water in a hydration bladder. I like the Gregory because it’s easy to fill, close, and has a quick release so you can take it out of the pack and refill without having to snake the hose out. Just don’t bite too hard or chew on the valve, which can break it (it’s a cheap replacement if you do). I’ve got some tips for your hydration bladder in this video.
  • Ultralight Trowel
    I carry this lightweight and effective trowel in case of “an emergency.” It stays in a Zip-Loc bag along with a small roll of single-ply toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It’s light and makes life easier when you need it. Some people also carry a bidet that fits on your water bottle.
  • Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray
    Most of the time you don’t need bear spray, but in some places it’s prudent or necessary. It’s also good on mountain lions and people. If you have anxiety about creatures in the wild, I’d suggest reading my guide to bears and my guide to mountain lions. The more you understand, the better off you’ll be.
  • Mini USB Battery Charger
    The nice thing about carrying USB devices like my phone, GPS, camera, and headlamp, is that I just need one battery pack to charge them. New technology has made these smaller and lighter than ever. I use this model as a backup for day hikes and on overnight backpacking trips. Grab a short cable to charge what you need.
  • Insect Head Net
    These head nets look really silly, but they are a lifesaver and have saved me from insanity many times. There’s nothing as maddening as climbing a mountain, sweating, and swatting gnats out of your face. I carry this with me all the time just in case.
  • Individual Packs of Picaridin Insect Repellent
    I carry a few of these little lotion packets with me in my backpack and use them if I encounter insects. It’s easier than putting on repellent before every hike. I just use it when I need it. I also have had great luck with Ben’s insect repellants.
  • Osprey Pack Liners
    I never had great luck with pack covers, but pack liners work great at keeping everything dry when it gets wet outside. And having your gear inside the liner makes it easy to switch packs if you change it up once and while. If you don’t want to invest in a liner, use a trash or contractor bag.

Want to camp here too?

I don’t do very long thru-hiking; my longest trips are usually 4-5 days. Generally I like to keep things light without buying specialized (and expensive) ultralight gear. Here’s what works well for me.

  • Osprey Levity 60 / Lumina 60
    This is a popular backpack with thru-hikers for a good reason: it’s light, durable, and roomy. This pack only weighs a fraction more than my daypack (under 2lbs) and carries 60 liters, enough for a long trip. I appreciate the fact that it’s a little roomier for my 3-5 day backpacking trips and easily fits a bear canister. I don’t have to jam everything in there like a puzzle. And the back is well-ventilated so it doesn’t become a soaked mess.
    Osprey Levity 60:  Amazon
    Osprey Lumina 60:  Amazon 
  • Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent Amazon
    This is another top pick of PCT hikers, which is where I learned about it. And now I just love it. It’s easy to set up, roomy, light, and durable. If you take the tent components out of the bag and put them in my backpack individually, and it packs down to nothing.


    • Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Sleeping Pad  Amazon
      This inflatable pad is slightly more expensive than most but it’s worth it. It’s very comfortable and about as light as you can get.
    • Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow Amazon
      I used to be a tough guy and just put clothes in a stuff sack for a pillow, but I’ve mellowed out in my old age. This pillow is worth the few extra ounces. My quality of sleep is much better.
    • Sea To Summit Thermolite Reactor Extreme Bag Liner Amazon
      A liner is another piece of gear that I have adopted lately. It means I don’t have to wash my quilt and adds extra warmth. In the summer I just use this without anything else and it’s great.
    • Jetboil Flash Cooking System  Amazon
      I’ve been using a Jetboil since 2006, and it’s great. It’s simple, heats water quickly, and just works. I tried a MiniMo version for a while, but went back to the full-size Flash model because it’s easy to store the fuel canister and parts inside the cup without any tricky moves.
    • Sea to Summit Alpha Light Spork – Long Amazon
      I keep it simple. I boil water then dump it in the freeze-dried food bag, let soak, and then eat out of there with this long spork.
    • Bear Vault BV425 Amazon
    • Cheap-o Lightweight Flip Flops
      Don’t forget to pack comfy sandals for when your hike is over. Beats walking on sticks and rocks barefoot in the middle of the night when you have to pee. I just get cheap ones with the foam bottoms, which pack flat and weigh next to nothing. You can usually find them in a drugstore or dollar store.

    Post Hike Recovery

    • Trigger Point Performance GRID X Foam Roller  Amazon
      It looks hokey but rolling your back and legs on this thing does wonders.
    • Pro-Tec Athletics Spiky Ball Massage Ball Amazon
      It’s basically a dog toy but just spending a minute or two rolling your feet on this little ball makes them feel great.
    • NUUN Active Tabs Hydration Tablets  Amazon
      Pop one in a big water bottle to make sure all your electrolytes and minerals are topped up. There’s no sugar or crap, just the stuff you need.


Looking for the best travel that money can buy?

If you’ve got a trip coming up, then it pays dividends to invest in a hat that will protect you from the sun.

Quick Answer: Best Travel Hat


What, though, matters when buying such a hat? What should you be keeping a close eye out for?


When it comes to looking after yourself when traveling, a hat can be a surprisingly useful addition.

However, what matters when buying a hat for traveling in?

    • Can it be folded? Many times, you might wish to store your hat in a bag or something similar as you travel around the place. Does the hat manage to stay in a good condition if you choose to do this? Or do you run the risk of the hat being crushed or trampled?


  • How wide is the brim? Traveling hats are supposed to offer function as much as they offer fashionable appeal. With that in mind, you want something with a wide-enough brim that it can give you total and complete protection whilst ensuring you have enough sun protection. 


  • Is it weather-proof? This also includes protection from the sun. If you looking for a sun hat make sure that if you do look at a travel hat that you take a look at the weatherproofing quality of the hat. It should offer some kind of protection from the rain and the shine, so keep that in mind.

By using the above, you should have a good idea about what the best travel hat for you would be.

Make sure you focus on the above, though, as many other distracting factors can lead to you buying a hat that might simply not be a suitable choice for you.



Of course, now that you know what to look out for, you might be ready to start making an investment.

Before you go ahead and start looking around, though, we have done much of the heavy lifting for you, as it were.

Take a look at these travel hats below for a splendid deal!


best lightweight sweater for travel


  • Comfortable yet stylish design
  • Available in numerous shades
  • Wide-brim for protection



Stay safe in the sun with this awesome sunhat. It is designed to give you that wide-brim protection that stops the sun from becoming a problem, ensuring that you don’t get to wake up to a red raw neck. A useful addition for sure.


best travel hat mens


  • Cotton mesh material used
  • Easy to clean (dry cleaning)
  • Simple for packing away.

Price via Amazon


Stick this in your suitcase and you will thank yourself for the vision later on down the line. A good quality cotton meshing will help to make sure that your head is thoroughly protected, whilst the various design styles should make it easy to find a style you like.


best travel sun hat


  • Offers a wide brim
  • UPF50+ sun protection
  • Waterproof material

Whether you are going hiking, fishing, or simply for a walk during uncertain weather, this helps you out in many ways. It is waterproof so it can take the rain, while the fact it is so wide-brimmed means that it can easily keep the sun off your neck when walking around.



  • Provides ample UV protection
  • Great for outdoor activities
  • Ideal for long trips

Offering enough protection to the head and neck to be useful for any trip, this is a must-pack companion. We recommend you throw it into your next luggage collection as it should just ensure that you get to spend a fait amount of time avoiding sunstroke!



  • Baseball-style hat
  • Looks and feels great
  • Comfortable around the head

Change how you look and feel with a simple and effective classic hat. This should look good on most approaches, and the fact that it offers ample protection from the sun in front of you means you should no longer find yourself squinting to see what is up ahead.


There is much to consider when it comes to buying the best travel hat, as we have covered above.

However, we hope that the simple but effective list of useful ideas in terms of hats to buy should give you ample choice to learn just what you are looking for.

Take the time to have a quick look and you can see why so many people today buy travel hats.

As ever, though, quality counts – so buy from the list above to make sure you get a good deal!

Did this help your search for a travel hat for the road?

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Packable Sun Hats That Are Stylish and Loved by Dermatologists

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Whether it’s finally warming up where you live or you’re heading out to a beach vacation, you need protection if you’re spending time in the sun. A good sun hat is “absolutely critical” according to Dr. Melanie D. Palm, a board-certified dermatologist based in San Diego. “Even on cloudy days, we still are exposed to 80 percent of the UV of a sunny day.”

Ideally, your hat will have a UPF factor of 50+ and at least a 4-inch brim to guarantee you’re getting enough coverage from damaging UV rays. We also looked for hats specifically designated as packable or travel-friendly to make sure they’re easy to toss into a suitcase or beach bag and then pop on at your destination with no structural damage.

“Sun-protective clothing is one of the easiest and most important tools we can use to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun and allow us to enjoy the outdoors safely,” says Pasadena-based, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ivy Lee. A crucial factor, though? Making sure you like it enough to actually wear it. “I’ve seen many expensive UPF 50+ hats that sit lonely on a closet shelf,” says Lee.

Luckily, with these options, that shouldn’t be a problem.

These are the best packable sun hats to shop:

T+L’s Top Picks

Why We Love It: Good sun protection, style, and a customizable fit make this the most appealing packable sun hat for most people.

What to Consider: It’s not water resistant, so make sure you’re not taking a swim in it.

Dr. Lee keeps at least three go-to hats in her arsenal, including a floppy sun hat with an extra-broad 5- to 7-inch brim for days with extended outdoor exposure. She recommends the Coolibar Aubrey, which is described as having “soft, crushable construction” so you can toss it in your beach bag or checked suitcase without any concerns about losing its shape. The neutral tone and classic stripe, meanwhile, mean you won’t have to worry about any mismatching, and UPF 50+ means you won’t have to worry as much about the sun either. Its 5-inch brim circles a cotton-lined crown that should minimize any sweatiness concerns, and an internal elastic drawstring ensures that you’ll be able to find the perfect fit.

Brim size: 3.5 inches | Circumference: 21 inches (S/M) or 22.5 inches (M/L) | Material: Paper straw | UPF: Not listed.


Why We Love It: This hat has a wider brim than most men’s hats and high UPF protection.

What to Consider: There have been some incidents of the band coming disconnected, and it isn’t water resistant.

Men need cool hats too, and dermatologist-favorite Coolibar has a wide range. We’re particular fans of the Galileo for staying a bit more fashionable. The hat comes in two shades, a neutral Khaki or blue-grey Fog, complemented by a stylish grosgrain ribbon band. There’s also a 3.5-inch brim for keeping away the sun and an adjustable faux-leather chin cord, paired with a wooden bead, for keeping it on your head. But don’t worry, it’s still extremely foldable and offers a UPF of 50, combining fashion and function. You can spot-clean it, but don’t take it in the water — it’s unfortunately not water resistant.

Brim size: 3.5 inches | Circumference: 22.5 inches (M), 23 inches (L), 24 inches (XL), 25 inches (XXL) | Material: Polyester | UPF: 50+


Why We Love It: It will stay on your head during your exercise without blocking your views..

What to Consider: The brim might flop up if there’s a stiff breeze.

Lee’s final hat choice for her set is a broad-brim hat with a chin strap for active or on-the-water days. The lightweight Active Sun Brim Hat from San Diego Hat Company, one of Lee’s preferred brands, fits the bill with an adjustable under-chin cord to prevent any wind- or wave-induced escape attempts. There’s also a moisture-wicking sweatband around the 4.5-inch brim to keep you cool while out hiking or exploring, while the brim’s easily adjustable wired edges will keep your views unimpeded. It comes in five colors, including black, white, and a camo print, so you can make sure you coordinate your accessories appropriately.

Brim size: 4.5 inches | Circumference: 22.4 inches | Fabric: Polyester | UPF: 50+


Why We Love It: Lounge poolside by day without worrying about wind, then roll it up into a cone when you’re ready to go.

What to Consider: The hat needs to fold into a specific shape to snap properly, though there’s a helpful video on the Coolibar site.

If you’re concerned about your large hat flying away, Coolibar’s Shelby Shapeable Poolside Hat is here to help: An added chin strap makes sure the hat won’t be taking flight no matter how rough the poolside conditions get. The wired 7-inch brim can be easily manipulated for sun angle or to show off your best angles, and the sleek bow on the back adds a feminine touch. Even better, the “Compact in a Snap” feature means that it easily rolls up and secures into a flat cone shape with the help of a snap hidden under its bow. Choose black or white depending on how you want to top off your tan.

Brim size: 7 inches | Circumference: 22.5 inches | Material: Polyester | UPF: 50+


Why We Love It: If its ability to stand up to any kind of luggage squashing weren’t enough, it also comes in a slew of colors.

What to Consider: Because it’s on the lighter side, you may find it overly floppy.

Go ahead and squish up the Wallaroo Scrunchie; it won’t be left any worse for wear. As the name implies, this hat can be rolled up into your luggage, then easily uncurled and reshaped no matter how determined you were to fit it in with that extra pair of shoes. The wire-edged 4.5-inch brim gives you an endless option of angles to choose from, no matter what silhouette strikes your mood. The polka dot pattern adds a touch of whimsy to eight different color options, or go with a classic black or white. On the practical side, an internal drawstring helps you find your ideal fit, and UPF of 50+ helps keep out harmful rays.

Tips for Buying Packable Sun Hats

Look for UPF

The first qualification to look for in a good sun hat is its UPF, or UV protection factor, grading. As the name implies, this system indicates the item’s level of protection against ultraviolet energy, taking into account color, weave density, and fabric. Lee cites a UPF factor of 50 as the general dermatologist recommendation, which means it will protect your skin from 98 percent of UV radiation.

Think about brim size and material

The next thing you want to look for is the structure of the hat itself. Ideally you want a brim of at least 4 inches and not too many openings in the structure for sun to sneak through. “Because a broad-brim hat also provides you with your own shade structure, the hat may protect your eyes from UV rays,” says Lee. “A broad-brim hat is an easy, effective, and fashionable way to keep our skin safe and healthy.”

Materials themselves can vary, as long as they have sufficient UPF. “Tighter weaves, darker colors, and believe it or not, washed fabrics (which shrink the weave) are more advantageous,” says Palm. If a hat doesn’t have a UPF rating, you can try holding it up to the light and seeing how much light gets through.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Rena Behar has more than eight years of professionally assessing and reviewing products, as well as travels to more than 30 different countries, under her belt. She interviewed multiple board-certified professional dermatologists, including Dr. Melanie D. Palm,Medical Director at Art of Skin MD and assistant volunteer clinical professor at UCSD, and Dr. Ivy Lee, a board-certified dermatologist in practice in Los Angeles and member of the American Academy of Dermatology’s Expert Media Team.





Summer is the perfect season for hats, and these are the best packable sun hats for travel.

I recently started becoming more of a hat person, and I almost feel naked without them. It certainly doesn’t feel like my outfit is complete without one now.

Sunscreen isn’t enough to protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Since staying indoors isn’t really an option for us (we love the outdoors), the next best thing is to wear a hat. They keep you cool in the sun and they’re one of the easiest accessories.



I LOVE big sun hats. I used to think I was too petite to wear them, but I just don’t care anymore. They keep my face out of the sun and keep me looking more stylish than usual. My only hangup is that they’re so wide and can get in the way when I’m the one behind the camera. But they’re perfect for relaxing at the beach or pool or just anytime you don’t have to take a gazillion photos.

It easily made our cruise packing list. Did you know that many of them roll up nicely for packing? Get those kinds, because there’s nothing more annoying than having to carry a hat separately. I got this one for myself, and another one for mom so she can wear it while gardening.

  • UPF 50
  • Packable construction


I love traveling with boater hats. This is the one I got recently (it was on sale) since it was even more packable than the straw boater hat I used to wear.

  • Packable construction


Plenty of travel bloggers travel with these classic panama hats. Did you know that there’s a difference between panama hats and fedoras? At first glance they look the same in shape, but fedoras are typically made out of felt or wool. People still refer to them as straw fedoras though.


I never imagined I’d wear one of these, but after Jacob wore it hiking the Inca Trail, I actually got jealous of his hat. I love that it’s convertible and tuck away 

  • UPF 50+
  • Ultralight
  • Moisture-wicking technology
  • Packable construction


I’ll admit this isn’t the sexiest hat, but this one is for pure practicality. Since we do a fair amount of hiking, a sun hat is a must. It’s built to give you circulation while giving you plenty of protection from the sun (UPF 50). It’s also the most lightweight out of all the options and packable.

  • Packable construction
  • Sweat-wicking
  • UPF 50
  • Vent for breathability


These reversible hats give you a two in one. There are so many patterns and colors available. When it’s flipped it’s plain black, so you can have a more fun side and a toned down side depending on your outfit.

  • Packable construction


Though this isn’t a typical summer hat, it can be worn year-round since it’s breathable and lightweight. I love how versatile it is for trips and how it has the perfect amount of pop for photos without being obnoxiously bright.


  • Sun Protection – if you want the extra sun protection, make sure you look at the UPF ratings.
  • Brim Size – If you’re going to be outside in the sun, it’s better to go with a wide brim hat that ensures your whole face is covered.
  • Activity – If you’re going on a hike, you might want to consider something lightweight and something that doesn’t get in the way. If you’re going boating or it’s a windy day, you might consider a hat with a chin strap.
  • Color – We love having a variety of hats, but most recently we started buying more lighter colored hats so that it doesn’t blend into the background when we’re taking travel photos.

What types of hats do you like wearing?
What do you have in your summer essentials?





Travel Gadgets to Help You Sleep Away From Home

It doesn’t matter if the bed is a luxury pillow-top in a five-star hotel or a lumpy mattress in a shared hostel room—what traveler hasn’t lain awake, staring at a new ceiling and wishing for sleep? Between jet lag, unfamiliar surroundings that are scientifically proven to keep half your brain half awake the first night, and inconvenient sleep environments, travel can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. These gadgets can help.

Sound + Sleep Mini

Thin walls, a busy street, and even the hotel ice machine are no match for the Sound + Sleep Mini sound machine. Its small size makes it portable, and it can even run on battery power so you don’t have to worry about finding a power source. Unlike traditional sound machines, the Sound+ Sleep Mini doesn’t use looped track which can wake you up or distract you. You can pick from soothing noises such as rain, ocean, or a fan; or choose a white, pink, or brown noise program. The mini also allows you to set a timer for auto-shut off after 30 to 60 minutes.

Travel Halo

Humans aren’t designed to sleep sitting up. Unfortunately, that’s often our only choice on long plane/train/car rides. The Travel Halo disrupts the traditional neck pillow concept – it has a flat back that doesn’t push the head forward, side stabilizers to keep the head from flopping around, and a built-in eyeshade to block out light.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro2 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Even if you’re on the world’s longest flight, Plantronics BackBeat Pro2 Noise Cancelling Headphones have you covered. The battery lasts for up to 24-hours of listening, so you won’t have to worry about a mid-flight recharge. The active noise cancellation will drown out service carts, screaming kids, and the drone of flight engines, so that you can sleep – and the cushioned ear cups are comfortable even if you’re sleeping against the window.

Grand Trunk Hooded Travel Pillow

A hooded sweatshirt is great for sleeping on a plane or train, as the hood covers your eyes and blocks out light, plus protects your head from gross seatbacks. Now combine a micro fleece hood with a memory foam neck pillow, and you’ve got the perfect travel pillow – Grand Trunk’s Hooded Travel Pillow.

Instavit Sweet Dreams Spray

About 30 minutes before you want to sleep, spray Instavit Sweet Dreams into your mouth. This calorie and sugar-free spray delivers melatonin and chamomile to help you sleep better.

ReTimer Light Therapy Glasses

Wish you could power yourself up the same way you do your phone? That’s the premise behind ReTimer, which is a pair of glasses designed to reduce jet lag, help you sleep better, and improve energy. Wear ReTimer for 60 minutes per day, and a green-blue light will shine under your eyes as a form of light therapy.

Sleep Innovations Travel Contour Pillow

Bring a Sleep Innovations Travel Contour Pillow with you on your next road trip and never get stuck with a lumpy, musty vacation rental pillow again. Sleep Innovations’ mission is to help you sleep better, by offering travel-size pillows with a cotton blend cover.

Sleep Induction Mat

The Nayoya Acupressure Mat is portable—it’s about the size of a pillowcase and can roll up for travel. Lay down on the mat before heading to bed and it will utilize acupressure points on your back to help encourage relaxation and deep sleep.

Trtl Pillow

Regular neck pillows never work for me, since my head always flops forward. The Trtl Pillow is the solution – it’s designed to wear more like a scarf than a pillow, wrapping completely around your neck. Built-in flexible internal supports hold your head upright, so you won’t get constantly woken up every time your head bobs down.


Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.