Winters in the Midwest are a great motivator for travel. It seems that people generally start looking for warm places to go once the glow of the holidays have passed and the snow takes on the dingy look of January.
Every day at Great Outdoor Store we help people prepare for their next great adventure. Some are gearing up for a ski trip out West while others are traveling to tropical locations. We often get asked what our “must have” travel items are, so here it goes:
Ben: This January my wife and I had the pleasure of escaping the bitter cold of South Dakota for the warm, sunny beaches of Mazatlan, Mexico for our honeymoon. The travel gear that helped make the transition from colder to warmer climes smoothly was the Patagonia nano-puff vest (in French Red!). It was lightweight and provided the extra warmth that I needed while in Sioux Falls and Minneapolis, and it was easy to shed when we made it to Mexico. The cherry on the top was that when we boarded our tour bus to go to the resort in Mexico, I was able to stuff the vest into its own chest pocket and use it as a pillow. The Patagonia nano-puff vest is an all-star travel companion!
Kelsey: I take my Osprey Talon 22 everywhere. Designed to be a day hiking pack, it is comfortable and spacious enough for any hike you might go on. I use it for nearly all of my hiking adventures as well as traveling in general. It has accompanied me in exploring the cities of Cuba, Germany and England as well as hiking through the forests and mountains of Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Alaska. It has enough space to pack for overnight trips, but it isn’t too bulky that I can’t have it with me in the restaurants and museums of urban environments. Packed full, it easily fits in the overhead compartments on airplanes, but it doesn’t weigh you down during those long layovers. This is my perfect crossover pack from the outdoor world to urban settings.
Grace: One of my favorite pieces of travel gear is probably my Patagonia Atom sling bag. This bag is great because it is the perfect size (8L), has a ton of pockets, and is lightweight but still durable. It made for an awesome daypack while traveling in Thailand. I was able to fit my wallet, sunglasses, sunscreen, a book, a journal, and a handful of other things – so much room!
Nancy: I’ve been traveling with the Patagonia MLC for years. It’s the perfect carry-on; I can pack for a two-week trip to a mild climate with just this one bag. It has backpack straps so it is easy to carry around and the straps easily tuck away when I don’t need them. This bag paired with the Eagle Creek Pack-it system keeps me organized and stops me from over-packing.
Kurt: I like things simple and thoughtful. This is why I chose the Eagle Creek “Load Hauler Expandable” allowing for my packable yoga, bodywork, and outdoor gear to come with! As this bag can hold enough with the 49 liters, it expands to 57 liters as well, giving plenty of extra space. It does fit into the overhead in an airplane just perfectly, even at the 57L expanded option. Life for me is all about being able to go light or expand big at times, and spread more peace by traveling through life more simply; this bag gives me peace in traveling. Eagle Creek pack-it system organizers help in this as well.
Meghan: A staple in my suitcase when I travel is my Patagonia Centered Tights in black. Leggings are a great option for travel days because they are so comfortable. Pair them with a tunic and you are set. It is also really easy to dress them up if need be. They take up little to no room in my luggage and I can wear them with a number of different looks. The Patagonia tights are made of a great fabric that never bags out, and never fades. So I can always count on them to look and feel great no matter the adventure.
Neil: My go to bags when I am traveling are my transporter series duffle bags from Osprey. I have 2 sizes, the 46L and the 90L. For quick overnight trips or when I don’t have too much bulky stuff I am packing, I use my 46L. It also is my go to when I am carrying on and not checking anything in when I fly. When I am doing more extended travels, I use my 90L when I need the room. The backpack straps make hauling my load easy and the nice thing about both of them is when I am not using them, they store within themselves so they don’t take up a lot of room in my gear closet.
DeAnn: I can’t seem to pack with anything but my Osprey Porter 46. I’ve thought about getting a bag with wheels, but I just can’t seem to find one that I like better than my 46. It’s a carry on size backpack that has nice suspension for comfortable carrying. I am always amazed at how much I can get in this bag, and I have been know to stuff this bag full! I have packed for a few days to three weeks in it with no problem, and I can always get it into the overhead, even on the small jets that we fly so often. I also love to use the Eagle Creek medium size folder, it holds all my dresses and skirts in place so they get to my destination perfect! The Eagle Creek cubes are great too for keeping clothes tidy and contained. For on the plane a light wool sweater is always great to have!