As the country begins to reopen, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
Going light is rule number one when it comes to packing, and that means taking only the essentials. Whether it’s strong but easy-to-carry luggage that’ll protect your valuables from the toils of travel or a camera that can put your shots over the top, the best travel gear can seriously upgrade your next vacation. Check out our 2015 Best of Travel gear picks the next time you’re making a packing list. Everything here is lightweight, state-of-the-art, and made to withstand the toughest obstacles that might come your way on the road.
Pelican ProGear Elite (From $475)
If you’ve ever watched suitcases get flung into a plane, you’ll understand the appeal of Pelican’s Elite luggage line. Each piece is fully waterproof and can support the better part of a ton without crumpling. Baggage handlers, do your worst.
Best Camera for Sticky Situations
GoPro Hero4 Black ($500)
When you don’t want to risk wrecking your phone or DSLR, whip out this GoPro Hero4 to shoot top-shelf stills and video.
Best Portable Party Starter
Fugoo Sport ($200)
Sand and mud don’t play nice with electronics. Enter the Fugoo Sport Bluetooth speaker. It’s water- and drop-proof, and the battery lasts up to 40 hours on a charge.
Patagonia Alpine Houdini ($199)
This do-it-all layer keeps you dry in the nastiest squalls and squishes down to the size of a deck of cards. Bonus: The two-tone styling won’t be out of place wherever you take shelter.
Best Camera for Making Your Photo a Work of Art
Sony Alpha 7 II ($1,700)
DSLRs are bulky, and cellphone images don’t always print well. The Sony Alpha 7 II photos print great, and the full-frame, 24-megapixel shooter is only about half as heavy as a DSLR.