The Escape Artist
Triumph Tiger Explorer XC motorcycle
The latest touring bikes leap out of the driveway, gobble up rough roads and rugged doubletrack, and do so reliably enough for a rip down Baja or across the Trans-Siberia Highway. The Tiger Explorer XC (USD $17,199) stands out for its three-cylinder engine. Motorheads praise it for having "a twin's torque and a four-cylinder's revs," which means you can zip from 25 to 60 miles per hour in third gear and hear not a bwap, whine, or sputter from the exhaust—only an eager, distinctively British whistle. Of course, the Explorer XC shares many features common to other dual-sport motorcycles, including durable spoked wheels, a virtually maintenance-free shaft drive, and a generator that can power a heated vest, a GPS, and probably a small city. But it's the peppy cruising, and the impressive 10,000-mile service intervals, that has us seeing British racing green.
Eagle Creek's Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes
Hard travel is easier when you stay organized. This Compression Cube ($38) set keeps everything in its place in the cavernous interior of a large bag. Smart: translucent nylon allows let you see what's inside at a glance.
L.L. Bean Road Essentials Kit
Keep your loved ones safe. The Road Essentials Kit ($30) comes stocked with everything you need in an emergency: headlamp, signal mirror, fire starter, emergency blanket, tea candle, rain poncho, whistle, and, most important, survival guide. A practical gift, yes, but one they'll be thankful for.
Tern Eclipse X20 folding bike
Lots of folding bikes are sluggish and clunky. Not the X20 ($2,200). Thanks to larger-than-most 24-inch wheels and an impressive array of high-end components, the X20 is downright zippy. It also weighs less than 24 pounds and folds down to half its size, making it easy to throw in a trunk or carry up stairs.
Nautica Solid Tech shirt
A zigzag stitch pattern and contrasting orange and gray collar lend this shirt ($90) the right amount of flair. But the reason it's a great travel shirt is in the fabric: the cotton-nylon blend wicks moisture and dries quickly, making it ideal for warm-weather escapes.
Merrell Tabor hoodie
A packable and reliable layer for winter trips, Merrell's wool and nylon Tabor hooded sweater ($119) is lightly insulated and dries quickly.
Oliberté Krabu pack
Luggage takes a beating, so get something that ages well. Oliberté's waxed-leather Krabu bag ($240) looks better as it gets roughed up.