Best New Travel Gear to Gift or Keep


Give or take, these active-travel must-haves will warm your winter.: Photo credit: AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images Plus collection/Getty Images

Whether you’re writing your own wish list or gifting a fellow active traveler, these 11 new or under-the-radar products are poised to make your winter trips better than ever.

Dress to Impress

Moisture-wicking and impossibly comfortable, Public Rec’s Go-To Tee ($54) is the ideal base layer for winter wardrobes. Top it off with the butter-soft QORtec Stretch shirt ($128). The breathable, odor-resistant fabric allows you to go from bike commute to boardroom without your travel companions holding their noses and sprinting for the door.

Royal Robbins has somehow created the perfect blend of style, comfort and performance in the Townsend Pant ($85). The wrinkle-, water- and stain-resistant pants have the appearance of wool, but are more lightweight and offer a greater range of motion. The company’s Tencel Terry Dress ($72) is similarly versatile, resisting wrinkles and drying lightning fast. The knee-length, mid-weight garment has subtle zippered hip pockets to stash ID and cash if you’re traveling sans purse.

Get Packing

Osprey has packed a massive amount of features into this 22-inch, 60-liter rolling duffel bag. The Meridian ($350) fits perfectly into most airlines’ carry-on bins. Looking to travel light when you reach your destination? Unhook the attached day-pack, and head into the world.

Prefer to travel a bit more spartan? The Rolo Travel Bag ($50) is a compact roll-up that holds up to four days of clothing in four nylon mesh pouches suspended from a metal hook. Hang the bag in a closet, on a shower rod or off the top of a door and never unpack.

Mini Mega Camera

The iPhone 7’s new camera might be the device’s best yet, but it’s still not at the level of the 20-megapixel DxO One ($500). First introduced a year ago, the pocket-sized camera had to be physically attached to the iPhone, but a recent firmware update has freed it from its lightning-port prison, making it even more versatile. Sheathed in an optional waterproof case, the DxO One attaches to standard GoPro mounts and shoots both high-quality stills and 1080p video.

Now Hear This

You may want to enhance your winter runs or nature hikes with Jabra’s Elite Sport headphones ($250). The earbuds have a similar battery life and functionality, but add in-ear heart-rate monitoring, real-time fitness analysis and a bit more style. Each pair comes with a three-year limited warranty against failure from sweat, so there’s no excuse for slacking during your workout. (The Elite Sport headphones just became available exclusively in Best Buy stores.)

Get Juiced

If you’re camping or going on a remote day hike, you may not see an outlet during your travels. Aukey’s 20,000mAh Portable Charger will fully charge most smartphones at least a half-dozen times or a tablet twice. With dual USB ports and self-adjusting power output, you can safely charge two devices at the same time in the shortest time possible.

If you happen to be outside civilization a bit longer, the EnerPlex Kickr FL ($100) could be a real lifesaver. The ultra-lightweight plastic solar panel can charge your USB-compatible devices at roughly the same rate as a wall outlet while in direct sunlight.

Protect Yourself

As more people travel, identity and electronic credit-card theft are becoming increasing concerns. Hidden scanners can pluck your sensitive data from credit cards, passports and other RFID-enabled documents. About the size of a standard credit card, VaultSkin’s VaultCard ($35) promises to protect the other cards in your wallet, using electromagnetic jamming technology to foil potential hackers. It’s a small piece of gear for serious peace of mind.

About the Author

robert_annis_100x100Indianapolis, Ind.-based Robert Annis is a freelance writer specializing in cycling and the outdoors who has contributed to Outside, Bicycling and Men’s Journal.