Adventure to Go

Like travel itself, the latest gear for the road is full of wild surprises

LET'S SAY YOU'RE PLOTTING a first descent in Mozambique or a ramble in the Australian outback. You can expect a few unknown variables—like serious weather or aggressive, bird-size insects—which means you'll be in the market for equipment that can adapt on the fly. Thankfully, a host of manufacturers have whipped up clothing, luggage, and toys that will do just that. Dead ahead: river shoes that will handle Class IV froth and still look smart at dinner, an inflatable surfboard that packs down to fit into a neat little carry-on, and a waterproof notepad for recording your thoughts—even in the rain. How will you haul these fine new travel necessities? Stuff 'em into a mega-duffel or backpack like the ones found on the following pages and rest assured that the whole works can endure countless hours of ping-ponging inside a Soviet-era jetliner. But don't forget the cuts-and-scrapes med kit we've thrown into the mix—you need to survive, too.

1 The 19-pound RITCHEY BREAKAWAY TRAVEL BIKE is the first packable full-size high-performance road rig. An ingenious coupling system unites the two-piece frame, and it breaks back down and fits inside its own light, airline-friendly case. ,500; 800-748-2439, www.ritcheylogic.com

The 19-pound RITCHEY BREAKAWAY TRAVEL BIKE is the first packable full-size high-performance road rig. An ingenious coupling system unites the two-piece frame, and it breaks back down and fits inside its own light, airline-friendly case. ($2,500; 800-748-2439, www.ritcheylogic.com)

LET'S SAY YOU'RE PLOTTING a first descent in Mozambique or a ramble in the Australian outback. You can expect a few unknown variables—like serious weather or aggressive, bird-size insects—which means you'll be in the market for equipment that can adapt on the fly. Thankfully, a host of manufacturers have whipped up clothing, luggage, and toys that will do just that. Dead ahead: river shoes that will handle Class IV froth and still look smart at dinner, an inflatable surfboard that packs down to fit into a neat little carry-on, and a waterproof notepad for recording your thoughts—even in the rain. How will you haul these fine new travel necessities? Stuff 'em into a mega-duffel or backpack like the ones found on the following pages and rest assured that the whole works can endure countless hours of ping-ponging inside a Soviet-era jetliner. But don't forget the cuts-and-scrapes med kit we've thrown into the mix—you need to survive, too.

(2) Both flashlight and timepiece, the SWISS ARMY NIGHT VISION WATCH features an LED bulb that illuminates in five modes, including a blipping locator beacon that'll help you find the thing in the dark. ($275; 800-442-2706, www.swissarmy.com)

(3) BUSHNELL's 8x32mm INSTANT REPLAY DIGITAL BINOCULARS let you record 30-second digital video clips or JPEG stills of whatever you're scoping. ($600; 888-838-1449, www.bushnell.com)

(4) Pack the WHITE SIERRA H2O SHORTS for land, sea, or beach bar. Surprise! Once the fabric hits water, it displays a hidden floral motif. ($30; 800-980-8688, www.whitesierra.com)



(5) SALOMON's TECHAMPHIBIAN is a multisport hiker, water walker, and lightweight travel shoe all in one. Five drainage ports usher out the muck. ($85; 877-272-5666, www.salomon-sports.com)

(6) EX OFFICIO's SUNBLOCK PLAID SHIRT looks good and has a 30-plus UPF rating. The poly-rayon weave is wrinkle-resistant and breathable, and it wicks like a champ. ($49; 800-644-7303, www.exofficio.com)

(7) Part digital entertainment center and part portable hard drive, the PDA-size ARCHOS AV320 will hold a staggering 200,000 photos or 40 hours of MP4 video. Watch movies on the color LCD screen, edit your photos, or surf your MP3s. ($600; 949-609-1483, www.archos.com)

(8) It looks like a pool toy, but our tests confirm that the six-foot ULI FISH INFLATABLE SURFBOARD is a solid perform-er in head-high waves. The 7.5-pound twin-fin board and hand pump pack into an optional boom-box-size bag. ($289; 858-270-1342, www.uliboards.com)

(Clay Ellis)

(9) The two-ounce SOG ACCESS CARD KNIFE doubles as a money clip or tucks into your wallet. Should the need arise, deploy the 2.7-inch locking blade—or the tweezers, screwdriver, and pick tucked inside the handle. ($40; 888-405-6433, www.sogknives.com)

(10) Waterproof-breathable ripstop nylon and taped seams keep rain out of the ROYAL ROBBINS TRAVELITE JACKET, and the whole package morphs into a nifty travel pillow. ($100; 800-344-7277, www.royalrobbins.com)

(11) The SWABPLUS 3-STEP FIRST AID KIT is smaller than a tin of breath mints. Snap the cotton swabs open to release medicine sealed inside. Half contain an antiseptic/anesthetic, the rest an iodine solution. ($5; 909-987-7898, www.swabplus.com)

(12) With a roll-top closure, the EUREKA CILAOS BACKPACK almost doubles as a drybag. Fearlessly shoulder this 3,920-cubic-incher in a downpour. ($270; 800-572-8822, www.eurekatent.com)

(13) The crank-powered GRUNDIG FR200 EMERGENCY AM/FM/SHORTWAVE RADIO lets you stay in touch without worrying about dead D cells. Apply one minute of elbow grease for an hour's worth of BBC Worldwide. ($40; 800-872-2228, www.grundigradio.com)

(14) Protect your field notes by writing them on the NALGENE PLOYPAPER POCKET PAD. The polyethylene "paper" is nearly indestructible and also waterproof. ($12; 800-625-4327, www.nalgene-outdoor.com)

(Clay Ellis)

(15) More urban-hip than Croc Hunter casual, COLUMBIA's nylon HIGH POINTER STRETCH PANTS are still lightweight and quick-drying. ($50; 800-622-6953, www.columbia.com)

(16) Like a muscle car with the top down, KEEN's NEWPORT combines hiking-boot ruggedness with open-tootsie freedom. This hybrid can handle steep terrain—then head straight for the beach. ($95; 401-423-2199, www.keenfootwear.com)

(17) The silky merino in SMARTWOOL's BOXER BRIEF naturally keeps everything cool, and the antimicrobial fabric will serve you well on multi-day outings. ($35; 800-550-9665, www.smartwool.com)

(18) The hinged two-LED housing on the PRINCETON TEC SCOUT HEADLAMP directs warm light where needed. Head strap too geeky for you? Detach the Scout and clip it to a cap, belt, or backpack. ($22; 609-298-9331, www.princetontec.com)

(19) With a removable daypack and more than 4,500 cubic inches of capacity, EAGLE CREEK's TRANSCONTINENTAL JOURNEY is a vagabond's dream. It rides like a first-rate backpack, and you can zip in the straps for curbside check-in. ($200; 800-874-9925, www.eaglecreek.com)

(20) The ultra-packable DESIGN SALT TROPICTRAVELER sidesteps the issue of questionable bedsheets. The luxurious silk-and-Egyptian-cotton lining, Polarguard insulation, and weatherproof Pertex shell all breathe easily, handling tropical moisture with aplomb. ($160; 800-254-7258, www.designsalt.com)

More Gear

Holiday Subscription Sale! Save 79% and Get a Free Gift!

Subscribe
Pinterest Icon