Friday, July 03, 2009

Practical Travel Gear Has Moved

I've been cross-posting my reviews for two months now, but it's time for a clean break. The new and improved Practical Travel Gear blog moved to its own domain in early May '09, with a more professional and clean design. I also have other contributors checking out gear first-hand, so now a new review is going up every weekday, even when I'm out of the country on assignment.

See it all at!

Subscribe to the new RSS feed.

See popular posts there such as the Best Travel Gear of the Year and reviews of luggage, travel clothing, travel shoes, camping gear, and travel hats.

This old version of the blog will stay up so you can still see the archived reviews, but no new postings here from now on. Happy trails!

- Tim Leffel, editor

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Power to Go from Chargepod Fueltank

I’ve long been a fan of the Callpod Chargepod, a device that allows me to leave a whole collection of chargers and cords at home. (God forbid the electronics companies can manufacture standardized connectors for the simple task of delivering A/C power to a battery.) You just pack the mini hockey puck, one cord, and the little adapters for each device. Then you can recharge everything simultaneously with just one plug.

This new Fueltank item from Callpod is similarly cool, but it solves a different problem: not having the time or the ability to recharge your devices while you’re on the go. For business travelers moving from place to place, it provides a round of charges when and where they need them: on a plane, in a foreign country, in the back seat of a car—whatever.

It’s essentially a battery pack that you charge up from your wall socket, then you take it along with you, armed only with the connector tips for your particular devices. You you can get charged back up several times over without ever plugging in or crawling around an airport floor searching for an outlet. For a trip that’s only going to last a few days to a week, this is all you need to take and you can even charge two devices at once.

...continue to the full Callpod Fueltank review

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good Hats with Even Better Names from Nobis

My travel wardrobe changes a lot depending on the kind of trip it is, but I always carry a couple hats along, including some kind of baseball hat or cap. The people at Nobis let me try out something from their spring line though and I’m waltzing around a city in Mexico with Oliver Closeoff.

Yes, all their hats have names, and great ones too. Oliver is pictured above. After the jump you can see pics of two for women: Colette Iday and Iriel Hassle. A few gems from the men’s line are Mack Aroni and Watson Yurface. I love a company that doesn’t take its “designer wear” too seriously.

Fortunately, the gimmick is backed up by quality workmanship. Many of these hats look like nothing you’ve seen in the stores (in a good way) and they’re built to last.

See the full Nobis Hats review on the new

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ExOfficio Pants Keep the Bugs Away

It’s always great when summer arrives, but not so great when the mosquitoes arrive. If you travel to a tropical country, it’s always mosquito season, plus the bugs carry nasty diseases, so three months of annoyance turns into year-round danger.

Thankfully it’s easier to keep the bugs away than it used to be if you pack the right clothing. This pair of ExOfficio Altyn Insect Shield Pants is going with me to the coast of Mexico and the jungle of Belize this summer. They’re great travel pants on their own, but the kicker is built-in Insect Shield repellent that stays active for 70—yes 70—washings.

Continued after the jump - ExOfficio Altyn InsectShield pants

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Traveling with Timberlands

Timberland has a special place in my heart. I took a pair of their hiking boots around the world with me on my first round-the-world journey. Ply me with a few drinks in a bar and I’ll tell you the tale of chasing an Indian teenager down the fort ramparts of Jodhpur after he snagged them outside of a temple at the top. But that’s for another time…

On two recent trips I’ve been trying out two pairs of shoes that are good for travel. Both are from their Earthkeepers line. Shoes can only get so Earth-friendly, but in this case they’re at least giving it a good college try...

...continued after the jump

REMINDER - This blog has moved! Partial posts will continue here for a couple weeks, then it's adios altogether. Visit the new Practical Travel Gear Blog and see not just my reviews, but those from two other contributors as well. Subscribe to the RSS stream.