What's the Best Winter Travel Gear?

Essentials that will get you to your destination feeling fresh, healthy, and ready to compete.

Dec 4, 2014
Outside Magazine
outside outside magazine outside online katie arnold gear girl winter travel gear travel gear carry-on essentials lululemon power date dress SON-R Flex slip-ons beijing kites

Invest in gear you trust to ford airports more easily, explore more comfortably, and have more fun.    Photo: itsskin/iStock

Just like pro athletes who dial in their race-day strategy, seasoned travelers are fanatical about their travel tools. In winter, it's even more important to fly healthy and arrive fresh and ready to roll. Stash these in your carry-on for maximum comfort in the air—and backup on the ground in case you make it to Chamonix but your checked luggage detours to China.

Klean Kanteen Insulated Thermos

  Photo: Patagonia

With the proliferation of nifty travel bottles, there's no excuse for single-use plastic anymore. Surfer, mother, and global nomad Belinda Baggs swears by Patagonia's 40th anniversary tribute bottle ($29), a 16-ounce do-it-all, stainless-steel, insulated Klean Kanteen, which doubles as a to-go coffee mug and a water bottle. Fill it at the water fountain inside the terminal or top up with hot tea (or BYO miso soup packets) on chilly flights: it keeps liquids warm for hours.

Goal Zero Switch 10 Multi Tool Kit

  Photo: Goal Zero

Big-mountain skier Kalen Thorien counts "a fully-loaded Spotify playlist" among her "clutch items for carrying on." Whether you listen to white noise or White Snake, keep your electronics alive with this versatile, portable adventure charger ($120). The Switch 10 boosts phones, tablets, GoPros, and digital cameras, and moonlights as both a flashlight and a miniature fan. The Switch kit comes with a Nomad seven-watt solar panel, which stows in your duffle and can be propped on top of your pack or tent to soak in the rays, recharging the multi tool in four to eight hours—a savior when you're really off the grid.

RunLove Compression Socks

  Photo: RunningSkirts

No more altitude-induced cankles when you slip on a pair of RunLove compression socks ($30) pre-flight. RunningSkirt's nylon knee-highs improve circulation at 30,000 feet without strangling your calves. Because compression can aid muscle recovery and help prevent deep-vein thrombosis, these socks are must-haves when traveling the day after a big race. And we heart the heart. 

Moleskine Volant Notebook

  Photo: Moleskine

Now that many planes offer WiFi, flying is no longer a safe haven from the onslaught of emails and 24/7 digital demands. Reclaim your sanity, power down your iPad, and break out the slim Volant (from $6 for two) for some old-school journal writing. Packaged in a soft, flexible cover, and available in a handful of cheery hues, it's lighter and brighter than the classic black Moleskine. And it slides easily into your day pack for speedy retrieval and covert note-taking. Ninety-six acid-free lined (or unlined) 5x8" pages make this the real deal for writers and artists on the go.

Lululemon Power Date Dress

  Photo: lululemon athletica

This mid-thigh, short-sleeve number is impervious to wrinkles, making the Power Date dress ($148) a perfect travel companion. Even if it weren't, we'd still love its warm, stretchy Spacer fabric (think super-light, flexy wetsuit material, only with zero bulk), deep front pockets for stashing essentials, and hip-hugging, beyond-flattering fit—a much-needed, sporty makeover for the timeless little black dress. Spiff it up with tights and flats (Sperry's mashable, colorful SON-R Flex slip-ons are high on traction and style and pack down small in any bag) or dress it down with a pair of bantam New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail sneakers. Because women these days gotta fly.

climbOn Créme

  Photo: climbOn

This all-natural, food-grade miracle balm (from $15) has been soothing the scraped and scabby paws of rock climbers for years, but it's not just for rock rats. The beeswax- and rosehip oil-based climbOn Crème has antibacterial properties, speed-healing cracked knuckles and heels, chapped lips, wind-scoured cheeks, and chafed runners' thighs. It'll soothe almost every minor cut, scrape, or blemish adventure throws your way. Keep a 2.5-ounce or less tube of the lube handy when you fly—it's a facial-quality moisturizer and travel med kit all in one. 2.3 ounces

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