Posts Tagged Aventura
If you’re a tomboy like me, when you need to look dressed up, you still don’t want to feel dressed up. In other words, forget any clothes that feel uncomfortable within the first few minutes of putting them on. This is exactly why I love eco-friendly Aventura clothing. In fact, Aventura made it into my top gear of the year for 2012. And now my love affair can continue with the Aventura Scrolls dress. I have a feeling fellow tomboys design clothing for Aventura, because this dress doesn’t feel like a dress at all. It’s extremely soft (that’s the bamboo fabric…I can’t get enough of bamboo), non-restrictive while still having a shape, and doesn’t wrinkle. All that, and it looks nice enough to wear out at night or for a nice lunch, especially paired with the Aventura Julian Cardigan (but more on that in a minute).
The Scrolls dress is very flattering with an empire waist and sleeveless top, plus you get a finished look without the effort due to the faux under layer. The shoulder straps are wide enough to conceal a bra without any fuss, and the eco-friendly bamboo fabric has a nice stretch to it. Have I mentioned it’s flattering? And I’m not the only one to fall in love with it: my taller travel writing pal Kara Williams of The Vacation Gals found the Scrolls dress appealing as well.
I took the Scrolls on a trip to Disney World (the lucky thing!) where it did double-duty as a cool, comfortable theme park touring ensemble and a ‘work casual’ outfit appropriate for the work-related conference I was attending. This is a win-win, of course, because it meant I could conserve space in my luggage, saving me the dreaded checked bag fee.
You can get the Scrolls dress in three colors: red, black, and white (though I’d call white ‘blue’, as the scroll pattern is a nice china blue). I prefer the white because it promises to be the coolest in summer, but the red and black look classier for an evening out. I have a medium, which falls to 37″ (about the knee) and is roomy without being boxy. Pick one up at Aventura in XS-XXL for $79. You can also find it at Amazon for the same price.
I talked about pairing the Scrolls Dress with the Aventura Julian Cardigan: this light warm-weather piece is perfect for layering over dresses and sleeveless shirts when spending spring and summer evening outside or when you’re traveling and need to cover your shoulders (whether it be to protect again sun or otherwise). The Julian Cardigan is 100% cotton, made in the USA, and while simple, it has an understated tonal horizontal stripe that keeps it from being boring. I opted for the white, so I could pair it with the white Scrolls dress as well as numerous dresses I already own. I’ve worn it to conventions, dinner out, museums, and while city touring on cool mornings. The cardigan doesn’t zip or button up, but is rather open in front, and the sleeves are mid-lenth. It has a very finished look; wearing it, you’ll definitely appear put together (even if, like me, you rarely feel that way!).
Pick up the Julian Cardigan in black, latte, or white for $55 on Aventura, or like the Scrolls dress, you can find it at REI for the same cost.
What was the best travel gear of the year? Which were the most interesting travel clothing items, shoes, gadgets, and bags?
We review a useful piece of travel gear or outdoor clothing each weekday. Taking out a few holidays here and there, that’s close to 250 items in the course of a year. We keep on using a lot of them after we’ve posted the review, seeing how well they hold up and how useful they are in our frequent jaunts around the country and the globe. Here’s what stood out for us in 2012, in the writers’ own words.
Ramsey Qubein’s Business Travel Gear Favorites
I love my Able Planet Clear Harmony noise-reducing headphones. They are affordable, lightweight, and come in a great, sturdy carrying case with an airplane adapter. When used to plug into audio channels or for watching videos on an airplane or with my laptop, the sound quality is impeccable proving they were worth taking up the valuable space in my carry-on.
Dressing up and dressing down is often a challenge too, but my Bostonian travel shoes from Clarks make that task easy. The loafers are easy to slip on and off at security and on the plane, and pounding the big-city pavement in these shoes is very comfortable.
My Briggs & Riley carry-on bag expands when I overstuff it, but still fits easily into overhead bins of most planes (I still dread those regional jets as much as you). This Baseline suitcase is great for business travelers because it supports folded suits well while also providing easy-to-access pockets on the outside.
When I do get time off, the Sierra Designs Frequency jacket has surprisingly proven a sharp favorite because I can scrunch it up into a tight corner of my bag, wrap it around my waist, or wear it anytime I am in cool weather without it being too bulky. Plus, the stylish accent colors on the black, zip-up jacket are attractive in almost any setting.
Amy Whitley’s Best Outdoor and Family Gear Bests
The Osprey Aura-50 literally saved my neck on a four-day backpacking trek last July, earning it a place on my list of top travel gear for 2012. What sets the Aura-50 apart from other backpacks is its customization: with plenty of ways to adjust the pack and harness, it will fit you correctly, reducing neck and back pain as you hike with heavy loads.
I reach for the Aventura 2-in-1 dress more often than any other item of travel clothing. It’s a halter dress and a skirt, and can be dressed up or down. Put it over a swimsuit or take it out on the town.
I use my Haiki Hobo 2 bag every single day, and it shows literally no wear. Plus, it’s made of recycled materials, so I can feel good as well as look good.
Our whole family now wears Polarmax technical base layers. What I love: they’re high quality without the high price. These base layers are no-frills goodness.
Tim Leffel’s Globetrotting Traveler Gear Picks
It’s getting harder each year to find something truly unique and groundbreaking, so this Camelback All Clear stood out for solving a huge plastic bottle garbage problem in a unique way. Using a similar technology to the SteriPen (a perennial favorite), this water bottle purifies any tap water you put inside it. I’ve used it in five countries where you can’t drink the water normally, and everything was “all clear” in the health of me and my family.
The item I probably used the most this year was a simple one: the Eagle Creek packable daypack. The company gave these away at the Adventure Travel Summit last year and every well-traveled delegate I’ve met since is still using it and raving about it. It packs down tiny in any bag, but is strong enough to be a functional daypack for sightseeing.
I was thrilled to see more companies putting out lightweight, easy-to-pack travel shoes this year. I liked all of them and have used the Teva Mush Frio ones the most, but these Timberland Camp Shoes that zip in half win the innovation prize. The only ones all year that made my 12-year-old say “That’s so cool!” Honorable mention to Wolverine for their adjustable disk to customize rugged hiking shoes for different feet and situations.
It’s been hard to avoid hearing about P^Cubed Pants if you’re someone who reads travel blogs or magazines, or checks out the SkyMall catalog even. The Pick Pocket Proof Pants scream “backpacker” in the original style (fine for real adventures), but the business pants are nice enough to wear to meetings, while still making sure you won’t get pickpocketed walking from one place to the next in Rome.
The gadget I loved at first use has been with me on every long trip since: the Innergie 3-in-1 PocketCell Travel Charger pictured at the top of this post. I know I can get on a flight across an ocean and still have power when I arrive for my Android cell phone or fast-draining iPod Touch. And the same cord works for both.
Last, a shout-out to Microsoft for finally creating a mobile interface that doesn’t make people want to throw their devices across the room. Their tile system on Windows phones and the new Windows 8/RT operating system for tablets is terrific, making the home screen interactive and informative at a glance. And hey, you can surf Flash sites and use Windows Office programs to get real work done, meaning you don’t have to carry a tablet and a laptop on business.
Jill Robinson’s Outdoor and Active Gear Favorites
A lot of my travel this year has focused on outdoor adventures, and it’s not always easy for me to find clothing that I’d be happy to use on nearly every trip. But once I do, I’m a loyal girl. The ExOfficio Nomad Skirt is not only comfortable and stylish, it dries super quick—which is optimal when you pack so light that you rely on evening hotel room sink laundry sessions. Also, for those of us who abhor having to use an iron on a regular basis, it’s wrinkle resistant.
Similarly, the Isis Rim Rock Short is something that gets tossed in my bag almost every time. The shorts are lightweight, durable, wrinkle resistant, and rugged yet cute enough to wear on city streets without getting weird looks.
The Eddie Bauer BC-200 Hard Shell Jacket is my go-to storm jacket for my travels. It protects me from the wind and rain, but it doesn’t take up much of my valuable suitcase space.
I test wheeled, carry-on suitcases out all the time, and while I like many of them, I’ve used the Gregory Cache 22 Suitcase for most of my trips this year. The wide handle allows me to pack my clothing flat, and the oversize wheels help me manage a variety of terrain without the bag spinning out.
The item that’s made the cut into my everyday life is the LifeProof iPhone Case. Not just for travel, it keeps my phone dry and protected from falls without adding bulk. It’s great when I’m on the water, in the snow, in dusty places, and even when I’m around kids or other folks who spill a lot.
How about you? What did you pick up in the past year that you couldn’t bear to part with now?
I’ve already reviewed Aventura (eco-clothing for women’s) awesome 2-in-1 dress and bra top, and am now happy to be back with their Arden Organic Cotton Capris. There’s something about organic cotton that’s just so soft and comfortable. The organic cotton Aventura uses for the Arden is made with brushed cotton grown without pesticides or genetic engineering, and it’s supple and breathable, making the capris a great choice for active spring and summer travel.
The first question I always ask abour organic clothing is something along the lines of, ‘they feel good, but do they look good?’ The answer is a resounding yes. All of Aventura’s offerings are stylish, and the Arden’s no exception. The fit is ’relaxed’, but still cut just enough to look tailored to your shape without being restrictive (you won’t have to suck anything in). They look great on. You get decorative stitching for a finished look, and plenty of pockets with some embroidered details. The two front pockets are nice and deep, and the two back pockets are button-closed with cute flaps. The waist is not elastic, and you get belt loops for if you need them.
One of the best features of the Arden is the roll-up button-tabs that allow you to adjust the length. The pant can be pedal-pusher length or capri length. The difference in length is between mid-calf and just below the knee (a matter of inches), so it doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of seasonal adjustments. However, it’s quite nifty to be able to roll up the hems and secure them for wading in water (crossing streams, looking at tide pools) and riding a bike (the hems won’t get caught in the gears).
The nuts and bolts: the Arden inseam is 24″, and it fits true to size. The relaxed fit is defined as relaxed through the hip and thigh with straight legs. You can machine wash it of course (I don’t have much use for dry-clean only while traveling) and it doesn’t wrinkle. The Arden comes in six really gorgeous colors. Shown here is Laurel, but I tried Wren, which is a versatile chococlate brown. If you’re looking for lighter brown, go with Taupe. (For a very spring-like color, try Eggshell Blue.) Pick up the Arden for $72 on the Aventura site or find then at Amazon for $68.
It’s official: I have a new favorite dress. Actually, I have two: the Aventura 2-in-1 organic cotton dress converts to a skirt and back again in the blink of an eye. I love cotton dresses for travel because your entire outfit takes up half the space of a pant-shirt ensemble, and doesn’t wrinkle to boot. This dress, however, does one better: it can be worn as a dress or a skirt, potentially saving double the outfit space. Made of incredibly soft organic cotton, its rich color (Aventura calls this one ‘dragonfly’ but I reviewed ‘tabasco’) is simple yet striking, and matches many simple tops (and most Aventura swim suits).
So how exactly does this convertible dress convert? It’s easy enough that even a fashion-challenged girl like myself could figure it out. The dress can be worn as a halter top dress (halter strings tie at the neck) or as a strapless dress (with the halter strings tucked in). If you’re wanting a skirt, simply fold over the pleated waist (which is the chest-portion of the dress), tie the halter strings in a bow at one side, and wah-la! You have yourself a casual, swishy skirt.
I took the convertible 2-in-1 dress with me on a recent cruise, where I wore it as a halter dress over my swimsuit, and as a skirt to dinner. In either style, the dress is super comfortable, though I’ve developed preference for the skirt style. The waist is soft and stretchy (which anyone who’s been on a cruise knows is a plus) and it’s easy to slip it on over a swim suit.
I’ve paired the 2-in-1 more than once with Aventura’s Dharma Tank, which is also made of organic material (super soft bamboo), and is fitted while remaining slightly stretchy.The top is sleeveless, has an elegant surplice neckline, and a pretty back graphic, all of which adds a little flair to the ensemble.
The dress style is classy enough to wear away from the beach or pool as well, and could even pull an evening shift for a casual dinner. The skirt is an ideal travel day piece, and could also be worn around town or during any sort of touring. When worn as a dress, the hem falls to just above the knee (though I’m short, so apply that information accordingly) and when worn as a skirt, it falls to mid-calf/below knee. It’s machine washable, and features a classic cut (not too fitted, but certainly not boxy).
The 2-in-1 is also available in dragonfly (shown), tabasco (a rich coral), black, or white, and will set you back $67 at the Aventura website…a very good value for what you’re getting. The Dharma top is also available at the Aventura site, lists for $49, and comes in four colors, including a white which looks great with everything.
These don’t seem to be showing up yet outside of Aventura’s own site, but check Sierra Trading Post later as they usually have at least five pages of Aventura clothing deals.