Lorpen Trail and Hiking Socks for Women

Lorpen Trail and Hiking Socks for Women Practical Travel Gear 2

No matter how much I hike--and I hike a lot--I am plagued with blisters on my heels, in part because I'm often trying out new hiking boots for review. I've learned to do two things: 1. always have a blister kit with moleskin at the ready, and 2. invest in very good hiking socks.For the latter, I've been turning lately to Lorpen. These technical socks are well-known in Europe, and thankfully, are now available in the US. Lorpen makes multi-sport socks for winter sports, hiking, biking, … [Read more...]

Ecōths Garrick Polo

Ecōths Garrick Polo Practical Travel Gear

Not many men are familiar with Ecōths, and I'd love to change that. This brand, pronounced 'ecos', is dedicated to blending natural fibers for a stylish, classic look to all their pieces. It's hard to make men's clothing in a way that stands out as unique, without going over-the-top, but Ecōths manages it, thanks to its understated approach to design. Everything in the mens' line walks the line of classic and outdoorsy. My husband, a pretty typical American male, wouldn't wear something overtly … [Read more...]

Brunton Revolt 9000

Brunton Revolt 9000 Practical Travel Gear

It's hard to beat Brunton when it comes to rechargeable power. We've reviewed their headlamps and portable solar energy packs, both of which are incredibly useful for traveling. In addition to the new  Revolt 4000, the folks at Brunton have come out with the Revolt 9000. The name makes it sound like something Harry Potter would use to play Quidditch, but the Revolt 9000 is in fact a reusable, portable power cube, packing enough juice to recharge a phone six times before needing … [Read more...]

Life Factory Food Storage and Bottles

Life Factory Food Storage and Bottles Practical Travel Gear 1

I'm a bit of a water bottle enthusiast. Ask anyone in my family, and they'll tell you we have way too many BPA-free plastic and stainless steel bottles crammed into our cupboards. Not to mention all the flip caps, twist tops, straw lids...you get the idea. Frankly, I love my stainless steel, so I was a bit skeptical trying out Life Factory's glass line.Life Factory food storage:The food storage line is what intrigued me right of the bat about Life Factory. We road trip frequently, and … [Read more...]

UCO Tetra Compact Lantern & Flashlight That’s Rechargeable

UCO Tetra Compact Lantern & Flashlight That's Rechargeable Practical Travel Gear 1

It's kind of fitting that the week I was putting up my review of this 170-lumen Tetra lantern from UCO, a windstorm in my neighborhood knocked a tree onto a power line and we were without electricity for 11 hours. My daughter ate breakfast and brushed her teeth by the light of this handy item, then after the sun came up I used some of the remaining power to charge my phone.The beauty of a cool double-duty lantern like this is you may not anticipate when you're going to need it, but you're … [Read more...]

Steripen Classic 3 AA-powered Water Purifier

Steripen Classic 3 AA-powered Water Purifier Practical Travel Gear 2

We've reviewed several versions of the SteriPEN over the years and I'm a huge fan. It's the one thing I absolutely always pack when I'm going to a country where you can't drink the tap water. In a nutshell, you wave this thing around in tap water anywhere in the world---as long as it's clear---and it'll zap anything in there that could possibly make you sick. I'm losing track of how many places I've used one of these in, but I do know my daughter has drunk water purified with one of these in six … [Read more...]

Kigo Pai Minimalist Footwear

Kigo Pai Minimalist Footwear Practical Travel Gear 1

What makes a shoe minimalist? For me, it's not just a light weight or zero depth. A truly useful and practical minimalist shoe will also be (dare I say it?) comfortable, and good for your foot.Kigo footwear is something special. This company is designing stylish, trendy shoes that meet all the requirements of a good minimalist shoe, and then some. Kigos are extremely lightweight, but they're also anatomical, with a wide toe box and contoured shape. They're eco-friendly (more on that below), … [Read more...]

Migration Hemp Shirt From Patagonia

Migration Hemp Shirt From Patagonia Practical Travel Gear 2

Many people buy Patagonia outdoor and travel clothing just because they like it, but this is also the most responsible big brand around when it comes to how they source and manufacture their apparel. Nearly everything they're putting out now is made from fabrics with a recycled component or that are renewable. So it's no surprise that they're using more hemp in their clothing.I've been wearing this Migration shirt around the past couple months Nd while it's not as wrinkle-resistant as a … [Read more...]

Grand Trunk Double Hammock

Grand Trunk Double Hammock Practical Travel Gear 1

I love Grand Trunk Goods products, and I love hammocks, so reviewing the Grand Trunk Double Hammock was meant to be. We took this hammock on a short national park tour, and successfully slept under the stars. Like most travel hammocks, the Grand Trunk double hammock is made of parachute nylon, but unlike others, it's mildew-resistant with triple-stitched seams (nothing worse than landing on your ass when you get into a fraying hammock).Here's a photo of my husband enjoying the double … [Read more...]

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle Practical Travel Gear

LifeStraw Go is one of the best new products I've reviewed this year. To understand the Go, however, it's important to be familiar with the original LifeStraw product. Named the Best Invention of 20o5, LifeStraw is a personal water filtration system that's as simple as it is effective: it's essentially a straw that one can dip into any water source and drink from safely. The original LifeStraw can be used with various water bottles (or used solo), and of course, the implications of this … [Read more...]