New Travel Pillows For Outdoors And Travel Days

Ready for the tale of two travel pillows? Everyone has their favorite styles for airplane overnights, car rides, camping trips, and backpacking adventures, and it’s time to introduce two new players to the scene. Personally, I like my travel pillows firm, so the inflatable type win out over the soft cushiony type. If you’re with me, here are two great options: Eagle Creek Fast Inflate Pillow: The new Eagle Creek Fast Inflate pillow comes in medium or large. Both roll up small and fit into their own tiny stuff sack for portability. I opted for the large, because it can...

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Eagle Creek Load Warrior 22

Our family loves Eagle Creek luggage. We all carry Eagle Creek roller bags when we fly, because the kids are hard on gear, and Eagle Creek is one of those rare brands that are both well made and affordable. Plus, I always know Eagle Creek bags will have smart designs that make sense for travel days. The Eagle Creek Load Warrior comes in 26″, 22″ (carry on) and 20″ (international carry on) sizes. We almost always carry on our luggage, so we tried out the 22″. The capacity is 42 liters, but the bag can unzipped to expand to...

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Granite Gear Lutsen 45 L Backpack

My teenaged son hikes and backpacks every chance he gets. His trusty companion has always been his Granite Gear Leopard, but for his most recent hike–a 450 mile stint of the Pacific Crest Trail–he wanted to downsize. Knowing he wanted to stick with Granite Gear, he opted for the Lutsen in the 45 liter capacity. In addition to the 45L, the Lutsen comes in 35L and 55L, so options are available. What he loves about the Lutsen: This pack is highly flexible, with many ways to attach gear to the outside. It has fewer pockets and sleeves than most...

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Coleman Mountain View Screen Dome shelter

Hopefully you and your family are enjoying plenty of state and national parks this summer, as in the US, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our parks. Coleman is getting in on the action, with some made-in-the-USA gear designed specifically for the #FindYourPark anniversary. You can read about them here. The Mountain View Screen Dome Shelter is not a limited edition product, but one you should definitely add to your outdoor travel arsenal, whether you plan to use it camping or for day trips to the lake, an outdoor concert, a family reunion, or a sporting event. The 100 square...

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GoTenna off-grid communication

I’m always interested in new options in off-grid communication, so GoTenna immediately caught my eye. This two-way cell phone antenna device allows two cell phone users to text and share location with each other (or other GoTenna users in the area) whenever and wherever they may find themselves without cellular service: in both wilderness or urban settings. The device appealed to me for the latter, when I’m traveling internationally and have my phone in airplane mode, but want to communicate with another member of my travel party. In wilderness settings, I often don’t need or want service, with the exception of...

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REI Flash 65L Backpack

I always feel very well-taken care of by REI; I trust in their store brand products. That said, I’ve been testing a lot of overnight backpacking packs the past few years, and the REI Flash is the first REI-branded pack I’ve tried. Bottom line: I shouldn’t have waited so long. The REI Flash backpack line offers packs of multiple sizes, from daypack sizing to women and men’s overnight packs. We were on the lookout for a solid pack for our teen son, so we tried out the Flash 65L for men. At $199, it’s the lowest price for any...

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Anchorpak Travel and Day Bag

The search for the perfect tote bag is almost as elusive as the search for the perfect travel backpack. I have several top contenders in my arsenal of travel totes, but without a doubt, my new Anchorpak is the most innovative. Designed by a R.I.S.D. trained artist and designer, Anchorpak bags differentiate themselves by their structure and the way you carry them on your body. Essentially, Anchorpak bags are cut to fit differently, designed in tune with the geometry of the human body. In plain speak: whether you carry it over your shoulder or cross-body, it sits against your side...

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Altec Mini H20 Speaker

Altec Lansing IMW257-AB Mini H2O IP67-rated water, sand, shock, and snow-proof construction.Allows simple wireless pairing with compatible Bluetooth-enabled devices from up to 30′ away.Lets you accept hands-free calls through the speaker.Provides up to 6 hours of battery life per full charge.Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices. Buy on Amazon Last Updated - 2016-08-28 It’s the heart of summer road trip season, and every time we travel as a family in the car for long distances, we make sure we have a bluetooth speaker along for the ride. We connect our tablet or phone to the speaker to stream movies in...

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Dryfins Swimwear for Guys

Let me start by saying I’m not a guy, and Dryfins swimwear makes products for guys. That said, I’m the mom of three boys, and as such, I’m acquainted with the problem Dryfins has set out to solve: chafing and rash below the belt caused by those netted liners in men and boys’ swimsuits. So sure, this is a problem that happens to guys, but let’s be real: as a mom, if my son has chafing from his swimsuit, it becomes my problem as well. My kids love the water, and we spend a lot of time in pools, at...

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Backpacking duo: Cotopaxi Taboche and Good to Go

I think I enjoy backpacking season just as much as I love ski season. I’ve been a fan of Cotopaxi since I had the pleasure of testing their Nepal pack. The Nepal taught me that Cotopaxi is smart about design, which features such as extra storage that converts to  a day pack, and I found that one of their new packs, the Cotopaxi Taboche 55L, lives up to this standard. The Taboche 55L appealed to me because it features a lot of the same design elements of the Nepal, in a smaller package. I never need to carry a 65L pack,...

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