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Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30 rolling luggage.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Osprey Shuttle 32 rolling luggage.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Victorinox WT Hardside Trolley 20 rolling luggage.

My demands at home don't allow me to travel much, so I've got to do it vicariously. What, in your opinion, are the best adventure travel movies ever made?

I'm leaving in a couple days for Haiti with Medical Student Missions to help teach a Wilderness First Responder course and work in a cholera clinic. Along with a small wad of clothes, running shoes, and Blundstones, here's the essentials crammed in a Patagonia MLC wheeled backpack. …

Some high school friends and I are planning a reunion. They're beach people, and I'm a hike-in-the-mountains person. Plus, they're teachers and I'm just finishing medical school--which means we are all poor. Any suggestions for a warm, sunny location that fit this description?

July 15-17, Alta, Wyoming.

We have two weeks to spend in South Africa and an appetite for whitewater adventure. What trips would you recommend and what's the best time of year to go? --Katherine Saint Paul, MN

Do you have any recommendations for a one- to two-week honeymoon adventure outside of the United States this summer? We would like the trip to involve outdoor activities mixed with relaxation. My fiancée and I are all over the board right now: Bora Bora, New Zealand, African safari, Mont Blanc circuit… --Andrew Evergreen, CO

I need to organize a spring bachelor party weekend in the outdoors. Help! While the groom is a huge adventurer, some in our diverse group of friends aren’t so active. You have any trips in the West that meet our needs? OliverSeattle, WA

Photo by overdrive_cz on Flickr Brazilian airports currently being upgraded for the 2014 World Cup likely will not be ready in time, according to Reuters. The incomplete projects are expected to…

I'm not ready for the winter to end. What are the best spring backcountry ski spots? Kevin Burlington, VT

My 14-year-old daughter wants to go on an organized bike trip. Which groups are the best? I went with American Youth Hostels when I was young, are they still good? Any other ones you can recommend? -Janice Hastings on Hudson, NY

Is there some way to go island hopping in the South Pacific on a boat to go snorkeling? No huge cruise ships. I want a small boat with an emphasis on the water, with a taste of local culture. -Mike Hailey, ID

I love foreign locales and culture, but don't like the occasional side factors: street crime, food-borne illness, bartering for souvenirs, etc. You have any ideas for great places and adventures that take my preferences into account? Andrew Menlo Park, CA

If you could put together a list of five must-do national park experiences in the United States, what would they be? ScottGambier, OH

I'm looking for a beach vacation this March with my husband and college-aged daughter either in Mexico or somewhere within decent flight time of Dallas. What can you do for me?JoniDallas, TX

Last year, four friends of mine and I biked the Allegheny Passage to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC. This late winter or early spring, we want to top that by heading out west and backpacking for four to five days in a national park. What is a good location that will have favorable conditions? -Andrew Pittsburgh, PA

My 12-year-old son and I want to start taking exciting and safe adventure trips together. What are some good ideas and places in the United States that are reasonable for older kids and young teens? -Clint Tokyo, Japan

A leather briefcase that’s charmingly old-school while loaded with smart concessions to the modern world.

I've never had an interest in learning to ski, but I loved sledding as a kid. Are there any ski resorts with lift-assisted sledding? Having to walk back up the hill was always the worst part. I heard that some resort in Switzerland has a five-mile-long sledding run. Willy Santa Rosa, CA

I'm short on time and cash, and stuck out here on the East Coast, but am looking for a climbing destination on this side of the Mississippi that's equivalent to Liberty Bell. In other words, a fun, multi-pitch rock with a bit of a sense of accomplishment at the summit. What can you do for me? Richard Fairfax, VA

  Copyright Darren Kirby (Darren Kirby) Courtesy of Flickr Dark sky tourism is on the rise, reports the BBC. Light pollution causes astronomical bodies, such as stars, planets and the moon, to be less visible in urban areas.

Cruise ships are for tourists. Real travel is for wanderers who don’t want to just see, but experience something different. Packing and planning take a back seat to learning how to simply be in this game. So leave your guidebook at home, snip the Canadian…

I have a very adventurous ten-year-old daughter and we've been talking about going to Nepal. Any good itineraries? And would the Everest Base Camp trek be appropriate, or would she get more from the Annapurna area? -Dennis Spokane, WA

Rising luggage fees and headaches at baggage claims now prompt many travelers to avoid checking a bag before boarding a flight. Instead, experienced travelers plan strategies to maximize carry-on allowances, including stuffing their jacket pockets full and stretching airlines' rules by bringing a backpack or a huge purse…

Where's best for kayaking or canoeing in Brazil? I like the idea of the Amazon but would also like some beach action. Any tips? -Dave London, England

What are some good places to "escape" Los Angeles without having to go too far? -Susan Los Angeles CA

If you had three to four days to hike Belize, which area would you choose? -Cindy Evansville IN

What are some great outdoor activities I can do while I'm living in Istanbul? The only things I know of are running and swimming in the Bosporus. How about diving or snowboarding? -Lauren Istanbul, Turkey

I'm going to Vancouver for a week on business and would like to peel off for two to three days of being outdoors. Any suggestions for a fit gal who likes to be outside, but has to be back and in a cocktail dress by seven o'clock each evening? -Mathilda Dallas, TX

ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE MINIMALIST This 3,150-cube carry-on’s built like a wolverine: compact, rugged, and toothy—colossal five-inch wheels bite into most any surface and prevent payload rollovers. During a rain-racked week in Chiapas, Mexico, the water-resistant boot bin sequestered dank footwear while the muck-shirking polyurethane exterior was easy to wipe off. Inside, uncomplicated…

Why It’s CoolWith clean lines and contrasting colors, the 4,300-cubic-inch Chameleon (available in May) visually trumps most other rollers on the market. The inside is orange, with contrasting gray compression straps, making it easy to tell bag from swag. The outside is mostly ballistics nylon—strong and resistant to abrasion—reinforced with…

Cyclotourist The lightweight, waterproof Classic Messenger XL is an ode to efficient, simple transport, yawning open with a 3,313-cube maw that’ll consume enough gear for week-plus jaunts. One tester made it his primary carry-on, which morphed into a daily shoulder bag while exploring foreign destinations by bike. Under-the-flap pockets equal…

BIG AND SMART This extra-long, 5,400-cube roller easily accommodated everything for a week of diving in Bora-Bora. All of the well-built details that define Swiss Army’s luggage are here: The extra-large in-line skate wheels are the smoothest around. The fully rotating, cork-gripped, aircraft-grade aluminum handle is the trickest setup I’ve…

SLICK AND UTILITARIAN Fully rotating handle for ergonomic towing; adjustable, ventilated, zip-away backpack suspension for off-road jaunts; detachable day bag with shoulder strap for town tours? Check. This carry-on-legal, 3,200-cube convertible provided all and more during five days in Belize. Sliding the surprisingly svelte main bag—compressed via four straps—into overhead…

Why It’s CoolSure, it’s well made and rolls the heaviest of loads with aplomb, but my favorite feature is its water-proof compartment: a zippered bag that fills the bottom third (viewed vertically) of the trunk, big enough for a pair of hiking boots and Chacos, with room left for a…

Off-Roader After 18,000 air miles and transits to mucky Thai elephant camps, this agile 3,965-cube convertible sustained only negligible knicks. The drop door’s main compartment easily assimilates ten days of garb and gear, while side exterior pockets can hold camera lenses and H2O. We stashed maps, documents, and a netbook…

TAKE IT ALL If you can’t fit it in this dual-compartment, 7,690-cubic-inch beast, you don’t need it. On a weeklong mountain-bike tour in South Dakota, we designated one compartment “clean”—for fresh laundry and camera gear—and stashed everything else, from helmets to a couple of tires to a 12-pack, in the…

A thermomolded plastic shell surrounds three sheets of eggcrate foam to keep your bike safe. Interior tie-downs guard against nicks and scratches. bikeprousa.com…

Why It’s CoolFirst, those spins: a padded pocket with a headphone port for tunes, on the front of the 4,200-cubic-inch bag; on the back, metal grommets through which you can thread a cable lock, and, on the bottom, a pull-out, seamless rain cover. » Most convertibles are weak in backpack…

MOST WEATHERPROOF While I was stranded at Denver International Airport during the blizzard of ’06, this 4,600-cubic-inch hauler sat for over an hour in a slushy puddle. But my stuff stayed dry, thanks to the Cargo Hold’s compression-molded plastic underbelly and PU-coated nylon fabric. And when canceled flights meant trudging…

It looks urbane, but it’s a tough guy on the road. This rolling duffel’s cross-woven monofilament fabric and beefy zippers shrugged off punishing loads and transits on a surf-and-turf ramble in Mexico. Though I regularly threw my 200 pounds on the brute to zip it up after overstuffing…

Take it on the road with this ingenious 8,064-cubic-inch rolling duffel, which mounts on rooftop racks. The Rack Lash cruised like any good wheelie, and when late arrivals meant trudging along darkened streets, its reflective fabric helped safeguard against unpredictable traffic. Peel open the Big Mouth top and its…

TOWN AND COUNTRY On a quick trip to Vegas, this bag pulled double duty during a long weekend of outdoor adventure coupled with deluxe digs. Despite its brawny skid plate and oversize hollow wheels, its sleek and inconspicuous design didn’t blow our cover rolling through the Ritz-Carlton’s lobby. Later, on…

TOP TREKKING TAKE-ALONGThe load-compression scheme on this 5,100-cubic-inch convertible hauler progressively cinches your stuff, trash-compactor style. The Waypoint’s cushy handle and hidden suspension kept it streamlined and obedient during an eight-hour layover in Frankfurt. When the road ends and the trail begins, deploy the real-deal adjustable suspension and turn this…

From Big Agnes’s outdoor-inspired travel line comes the redesigned Stagecoach, a virtual amphibian and, of the bags tested, hands-down the best hauler in the muck, slush, and rain. The 3,300-cube small is pictured, but it comes in medium and large as well. Thanks to its nylon-laminated membrane and welded…

Why It’s CoolIn both modes, the Outlander is exceptionally clean and stable, thanks to Osprey’s trademark burrito-wrap pack bag: Foam-stiffened sides envelop (and protect) any load, so there’s no slop. » It’s trek-ready, with a zip-away, fully adjustable harness (padded hipbelt and shoulder straps). Go ahead, haul 50 pounds. Bonus:…

LOVES ABUSE The Shuttle’s DWR-coated, heavy-duty nylon fabric is virtually impervious to weather. On a Colorado road trip, I overloaded it with 70 pounds of hike ‘n’ bike gear, lashed its D-rings to my truck’s rack, and found that everything remained dry despite several afternoon thunderstorms. And when it tumbled…

Slick Packaholic Scads of apparel, triathlon gear, souvenirs for the family…this wide-body, 6,447-cube roller rocked for weekend warrioring. A shiny vinyl sheath gives this tank a clean urban aesthetic that also toughens its skin, all wrapped in external load-cinching straps. We loved the voluminous, 18-inch-wide main compartment and mesh compression…

Leave it to messenger monarch Timbuk2 to devise an ingenious shoulder-bag-cum-suitcase. I toted this 1,521-cube carry-on for a month in the Philippines, where it functioned as my ad hoc office while holding backup clothing in case my checked luggage went missing. Three organizational compartments have various zippered sleeves,…

Why It’s CoolI thought of the Gear Logic as a rolling footlocker with a waterproof bottom “drawer” just big enough for my test cargo: a pair of full-size hiking boots and Tevas. Oh-so-niftily, I could pull out that bottom compartment and—voilà—a tote bag. I could also jettison the tote bag,…

OFF-ROAD WARRIOR How comfortable is the Doubletrack as a backpack? With a 25-pound load jammed in the single, 1,950-cubic-inch main compartment, it felt so comfortable I wanted to ditch my flight and keep on walking. Why? The airy back panel and fully adjustable (and hide-away) suspension system—complete with load-lifters and…

VERSATILE CARRY-ON Packed tight and smart, this trim 1,831-cubic-inch carry-on had just enough real estate for a weeklong jaunt in Trinidad. While I was scouting hotels in Port-of-Spain, the Wapack’s supersmooth polyurethane wheels and telescoping, ice-pick-style aluminum handle made it easy to weave through chaotic crowds without whacking anyone. In…

Long, trim, well-built, and without an ounce of excess flab, the Swerve manages large loads elegantly. Inside is 5,800 cubic inches of uninterrupted space, which was more than enough to cram all my dive gear, clothing, and personals for a month in the Philippines. Exterior compression straps ratcheted the…

Always in a hurry? As with many carry-ons, stashing this ten-inch-deep roller in overhead bins is fast and simple. Unlike with many, extracting it is just as quick: A strategically placed bottom handle puts an end to frustrating yank-athons. The Vienna is a petite 2,150 cubes, yet its compression-strap…

COMPACT AND DURABLE At six pounds and change, this agile carry-on is the choice for fast-and-light travel. Its 2,800 cubic inches carried enough for a week in Mexico, where my giddyup included planes, boats, taxis, and a conked-out scooter that left me hitchhiking. The rigid, lightweight aluminum frame handled trunk-stuffing…

DOUBLE-DUTY HAULER Mountaineering boots, crampons, ice ax, backpack, and so much more gear for a climb on Mexico’s El Pico de Orizaba were gobbled up by this simple yet ingenious two-for-one luggage solution. Fully loaded, the 7,300-cube monster rig rolls like a stalwart SUV with a cargo box up top.

Smart organization, cush protection, lightweight but durable construction, agile road manners, and a mod aesthetic—this one’s a greatest-hits compilation. We love its over-and-under footlocker design: fancy duds and unmentionables in the basement; in the roomy loft, footwear, bulky outdoor apparel, and camera gear (secured with a zippered mesh divider…

Rainforest explorers and Weather Channel illiterates, take note: The aptly named WeatherShed defies the elements. It’s roofed with a rubbery topside fabric, sealed with a water-resistant zipper, and finished with a bathtublike plastic bottom. The duffel yawns open like a doctor’s black bag, exposing a 4,100-cube interior that isn’t…

EVERYTHING AT HAND The 2,610-cube Maximum Legal Carry-On is overly tough, with 1,680-denier ballistics nylon and a DWR finish. It multitasks as a shoulder bag, soft-sided suitcase, or convertible backpack, handling mad airport dashes and civilized check-ins with equal ease. In the water-resistant main compartment, an internal compression panel/divider cinches…

Your wish—sturdy backpack, civilized wheelie, suitcase-style interior—is this bag’s command. The versatility of this carry-on-compliant hybrid was welcome during a couple of weeks of Greek-island hopping. Pack the 3,060-cubic-inch Cross Roads in your sleep; its undivided main compartment and front-panel pockets make the procedure blessedly simple. When cobblestone gave…

The 6,700-cube Black Hole is the U-Haul of travel packs, aimed at itinerant gear junkies and purists who don’t need no stinkin’ wheels. Ski boots, collapsible poles, climbing rope, tent, football, 12-pack—go ahead, load ‘er up. Packing and unloading the cavernous gullet is blissfully simple. And the bag’s padded…

This world beater survived a 20-bag squashfest trucking over 13,000-foot passes in Bhutan, never blowing a seam or busting an axle. The kicker? Back home, we marveled that fragile, wooden treasures from the world’s last Buddhist kingdom made the journey unscathed. The cavernous 8,360-cubic-inch interior has upstairs and downstairs…

BOMBER VAGABOND What looks like a techy backpack splits into a 1,340-cube daypack and a 4,400-cube main hauler, carried as shoulder or side bag. In Iquitos, Peru, it all behaved like a comfortable 40-pound backpack, with load-adjuster straps and stiff back panel, as I traveled by boat and navigated muddy…

Employing handle or shoulder strap, the Tour totes as a mild-mannered side satchel, easily stowing in overhead bins. But where planes and trains stop, this travel chameleon gets going. Deploy the cushy, adjustable hidden suspension and the Tour morphs into a legit 3,750-cubic-inch backpack primed for cruising inn to…

Gearhead Enabler Bulky equipment disappeared in this 8,769-cubic-inch dump bin. The over-under design means there are two cargo holds sporting Burton’s stretchy zippers, which invite overstuffing. Bust the 50-pound mark at check-in and a quick zip splits the monster into two scale-cheaters. We dragged, pushed, and tossed this brute during…

NO SWAG LEFT BEHINDPack the swim fins, for the cavernous XL Traveler can swallow gear up to 34 inches long. The tele-scopic handle swivels to your liking, and a front pocket holds the quick-grab stuff as you roll up to the check-in counter. On a Panama dive trip, the drop-bottom…

MULTISPORT MAW This rolling expedition duffel could eat two pony kegs. I dumped loads of gear into the 6,100-cube behemoth for kayaking and glacier tromping in Alaska and still had plenty of room. Osprey’s inventive exoskeleton design features a flexible Delrin rod that acts as a shield while forming the…

Why It’s CoolThe roof-rack lashing system is integral: Strong shock cords run along both sides of the bag. Wrap ’em around the rack and fasten them to the bag. Also with roof racking in mind, Kiva supplies a rain cover. » Big Mouth takes its name from the thin aluminum…

Recon Artist Brawny and balanced, the TLS is a 4,976-cubic-inch beefcake that shuns bling for practicality—perfect for a Thailand traverse where rain, muck, and brusque Bangkok cabbies failed to breach the 900-denier fabric and stout compression-molded bottom. No rummaging, thanks to the straightforward suitcase-style design, which splays open to reveal…

CARRY-ON CHAMPHere’s a carry-on that hauls like a suitcase and scoots like a wheelie. The 3,112-cubic-inch interior assimilated a week’s worth of traveling essentials for Caribbean island hopping. Close the telescopic handle and stake out your turf in any overhead bin. With water-bottle holders and a headphone port, the zip-off…

Photo by Will Taylor  Recent studies show that discontinuing Daylight Savings Time (DST) could both save energy and encourage people in the Northern Hemisphere to exercise more, Reuters reports. “It must be rare to find a means of vastly improving the health and…

I'm planning a trip for my husband's 40th birthday this fall, and I'm trying to find the place with the perfect mix of beach relaxation and adventure. You know, kayaking, hiking, sailing, snorkelling, and windsurfing to go with a super nice room, superb food, and a spa treatment or two. What are your suggestions? –Jill North Attleboro, MA

I'm looking for places in the east where I can do some sport climbing and camping. Can you hook me up? –Brendan Media, PA

I know of some companies that arrange travel in the States for trail runners, like Adventure Running Co [www.adventurerunningco.com]. They take your belongings to the next destination while you're running. I would love to take a trail run in New Zealand or Chile. Is there some similar program for those who would like to do the same abroad? –Joshua Melbourne, FL

I'm planning a weeklong vacation in early November, and am looking for a relatively nearby destination where I can find some good outdoor activities mixed with good culture. If you could give me a top 5 list that would be great. –Josh Washington DC

I'm really outdoorsy and my new boyfriend isn't—though he's willing to learn. We're about to take our first vacation together. What's a good place within a day's drive of Washington, DC where I can introduce him to hiking but also have access to other fun activities in case he needs a more restful day or two? –Madeline Alexandria, VA

You've all seen the apps that will stylize your photos and give them that nineties-era cross-processed look, the dark vignetted corners, or the American Apparel Lomo look. But here is a way to combine iPhone apps to shoot in the style of some of Outside's favorite photographers. Yes, we realize…

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