The Escape Artist

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. (Inga Hendrickson)

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.

(Inga Hendrickson)


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.

(Michael Karsh)


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.

(Michael Karsh)


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.

(Courtesy of Nautica)


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.

(Inga Hendrickson)


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.

(Inga Hendrickson)

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