If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re probably a gear junkie like me. Or maybe you’re trying to get your packing under control and are here to learn how to travel carry-on-only.
Either way, you want to know what to pack and how to pack it.
We write as much as we can but aren’t the only ones covering travel gear. Check out some of our favorite travel gear blogs below. Some of these sites inspired us while designing the Tortuga Travel Backpack and while starting this blog.
NOTE: We already covered our favorite travel hacking blogs in an earlier post.
1. For Everything You Need to Know: One Bag
One Bag is more of a bible than a blog.
The often-updated site for all things carry-on was started in 1996 by writer and speaker Doug Dyment.
The exhaustive site covers ‘What to Pack,’ ‘What to Pack It In,’ ‘How to Pack It,’ and a variety of packing lists.
I first discovered One Bag when we were still in the conceptual stages of the Tortuga and long before we ever started blogging.
Doug’s writing on rectilinearity is why we designed the Tortuga to be as rectangular as possible. Bags with rounded edges make look “cooler,” but they fit less stuff despite having the same footprint as the Tortuga.
Like Doug, we believe that dual-purpose travel bags are “compromise solutions.” That’s why the Tortuga is only a backpack and doesn’t convert into a shoulder bag.
Many thanks to Doug for his (unknowing) mentorship and guidance. Check out One Bag for everything you need to know to pack in a single bag for any trip. If you only read one packing site, make it One Bag.
2. For RTW Trips: Bootsnall
Bootsnall is the best source for long-term and around-the-world (RTW) travel advice. The Bootsnall team’s expertise includes gear and packing advice.
If you’re planning an extended trip, read Step 5 (Gear and Packing) of Bootsnall’s RTW Planning Guide then bookmark the Travel Gear page. We’re extremely proud to be listed at the top of the gear page.
DISCLAIMER: Bootsnall is an affiliate for Tortuga Backpacks. I included them because I love what they do. I was a huge fan of Bootsnall before I met the team and before we ever worked together.
3. For Best-of-Breed Gear Recommendations: Snarky Nomad
Eytan says his travel site Snarky Nomad is a place for “rant-laden sarcastic tirades.” Maybe so, but he also has great advice on travel gear.
Among his most popular posts are top lists for travel backpacks, packable daypacks, travel shoes for men, and even tea-infusing travel mugs.
Eytan’s recent post on packable down jackets already has me re-thinking my cold weather packing strategy.
I like Eytan’s category-level analysis because he presents multiple options and weighs the pros and cons of each.
The fact that he included the Tortuga in his list of best travel backpacks didn’t hurt either. Maybe we’ll find our way into some other categories soon…
4. For Travel Gadgets: The Wirecutter
The Wirecutter isn’t a travel site or a traditional gadget site. It does have great gear advice for travelers though.
Instead of reviewing every new gadget, the Wirecutter’s team of researchers and writers choose a category, conduct dozens hours of testing, talk to other experts, then choose the best option in that category. They also suggest a few alternatives depending on your budget and use cases.
With the Wirecutter, you don’t have to compare disparate reviews of dozens of products. They just tell you the best one to buy. The Wirecutter’s guides are long, but reading one is more efficient than getting lost in the rabbit hole of product reviews across the web (like I am want to do).
The Wirecutter reviews technology, and its sister site, The Sweethome reviews home goods.
As a traveler, here are some of the guides that will be most useful to you:
- Best Travel Power Strip: I just bought this and will test it on an upcoming trip.
- Best USB Battery Pack
- Best Over-Ear Headphones: I have a very similar model, which I bought for under $100 and love.
- Best Cameras: Multiple categories.
- Best Smartphones: Multiple categories.
- Best Rain Jacket
- Best Water Bottle
DISCLAIMER: I did consulting work for the Wirecutter. I’m including them because they do excellent work, not because they paid me. I was a fan of the site long before we worked together. In fact, that’s why I wanted to work with them.
5. For Women: Her Packing List
Brooke, the founder of Her Packing List was the second person to ever guest post on this blog. Her carry on packing advice for women is still one of our most popular articles.
Her Packing List features advice for women on the best gear, clothing, toiletries, and electronics to pack.
Best of all, the site features over one hundred packing lists by destination (Chile, China) or use case (yoga retreat, hiking the John Muir Trail).
Like Tortuga, Her Packing List isn’t just a blog. Brooke used her travel expertise to create Aroamas, a line of solid perfume sticks that are easier to travel with than traditional liquid perfumes in glass containers.
6. For Stylish Travelers: Travel Fashion Girl
For more recommendations on what to pack, especially when you’re trying to look good on the road, visit Alex at Travel Fashion Girl.
Alex offers packing lists by destination and specific advice like how to mix and match outfits, which are the best leggings for travel, and how to style your hair while traveling.
The site also features advice from fashion bloggers and street style posts featuring real travelers.
Alex even let me write about how guys can look stylish while traveling with a basic 9-item packing list.
All of the posts on Travel Fashion Girl are filled with pictures, which makes the advice easy to visualize. Seeing complete outfits is much more helpful than reading a text-only packing list.
7. For Inspiration: Pack Lite
Pack Lite is an inspiring tumblog of pictures, writing, links, and videos.
The site leans more towards tactical and outdoor carry but includes lots of packing lists, packing videos, and pictures of impressively light packing jobs. If you need some visual inspiration, check out Pack Lite.
8. For Carry Nerds: Carryology
Whenever I think I know a lot about the world of luggage and gear, I read Carryology and am humbled by their expertise and the brilliant people they interview.
If you want to learn the basics, start with Carry 101. Then move on to the homemade projects (hacks) and interviews. Carryology covers everything that you could want to know about the world of luggage from messenger bags to suitcases.
As if that wasn’t enough, our friend Taylor, a talented industrial designer, writes there.
Oh yeah, they also nominated us for Best Carry On in their Second Annual Carry Awards. Sadly, we didn’t win. But we’ll be back next year. And the year after that. And the year after that…
The eight picks above should cover everything you need to know to pack for your trip. And then some. I have all of these sites at the top of my RSS reader.
What are your favorite packing and gear sites? Let us know who we missed in the comments.
Photo: Jon Rawlinson (Flickr)