Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Travel Category Heating Up â€“ At Last
Any company selling travel-related products is eyeing the travel market with a hunger not seen in a number of years. It wasn’t so long ago the country was immersed in the middle of, excuse the over-used phrase, a perfect storm of travel killers. There was the war in Iraq, the economy was all over the board, SARS was making headlines, and if that weren’t enough, there was a little matter of a national election to deal with. Now, while there is still a war in Iraq (we know, the President says it is NOT a war, but puleeze, who’s he kidding?) and the economy isn’t exactly roaring along, things have gotten more predictable, and Americans predictably like predictable. More importantly, for Americans, being able to travel domestically and internationally is considered a right and the demand has been building for some time now. So, while gas prices remain high, oil prices keep setting records, and the international and economic pictures are not really rosy, they are stable enough and that is all the good news travel-hungry U.S. citizens need to see.
Travel, both via car and plane, is now up over the pre-9/11 level, which means that more and more people are in the skies and on the roads. Road trips for outdoor adventures can mean a lot of gear to organize. This means we’ll see more gear not only for travel by plane, but also travel by car.
And all of the above means companies are rolling out more travel products than the GearTrendsÂ® team has seen in quite some time.
Clothing for Travel
Contourwear’s Adventure Travel Pack
7 pieces, 35 outfits, one small sleek pouch â€“ fits in a messenger bag or a backpack. The pouch says â€œsmart travelâ€ and with the caption â€œwear a different outfit every day for more than a monthâ€ it makes an amazingly strong visual â€“ plus it just looks cool. With the average adventure traveler being a 47 year old woman, the average outdoor participant a 37 year old woman, the fastest growing travel category being business women, and increase of the adrenaline/adventure seeking womanâ€”Contourwear is delivering incredible value with function and style. Travel the world wearing a different outfit every day for more than a monthâ€”hit the trail and hit the town with the ultimate in versatility and style. As our female consumers become more discerning and demanding we have to deliver more: The per-outfit price of the Adventure Travel Pack 35/7 is less than $20! Smart clothes, smart travel, smart woman. Contourwear’s Adventure Travel Pack 35/7 includes: Zip-off Pants, AnyWear Convertible Skirt, Zip-up SPF Blouse, Zip-Up Vest with hidden pockets, Wrap Tank, Bike Seam Tee and the AnyWear Pants. MSRP: $680. â€“ www.contourwear.com or 513-252-4679.
Travel Packs and Bags
Osprey’s Meridian Series wheeled luggage
Osprey has greatly expanded their travel line with three new series designed for Adventure Travel. All of the new travel packs include Osprey’s tuck-away backpack harness system that allows for a versatile carry no matter what situation you find yourself in. The Meridian series, the keystone piece in the expanded collection, features a NEW custom wheeled frame. The design is inspired by external-frame backpacks, to carry the load evenly and easilyâ€¹ only now with discreet wheels for easy navigation through airports and train stations. The Meridian also boasts a removable daypack, perfect for the adventure traveler who only wants to bring one well-designed pack for all of their travel needs. www.ospreypacks.com or 970-564-5900
Mountainsmith’s Road Trippin’ Series Cargo Case Storage System
The Cargo Case Storage System, one of the new additions to Mountainsmith’s Road Trippin’ category, is unique and makes sense. Organizing gear for road trips can be challenging at best, especially when there is either/or lots of gear or lots of people involved. For those who use cargo cases, this storage system will let them efficiently store, organize, pack, and transport their vacation gear and enable them to enjoy the outdoors without loosing valuable playtime searching for gear. www.mountainsmith.com
Pacsafe duffel and daypack
For Spring ’06 Pacsafe brings their revolutionary lightweight, stainless-steel eXomesh technology to a time-tested traveler standby — the duffle bag. Travel security is on everybody’s mind, and when venturing away from home – whether to a third-world country or the corner store – theft is a major concern. For peace of mind as you travel, the DuffelSafe 100 is a carry-on size secure duffel bag with a built-in stainless steel mesh cage. The DuffelSafe locks closed, and can be locked to any secure object. The DuffelSafe 200 is a larger, checked-baggage version of this design, for travel security on longer or more gear-intensive trips. Their lockable day pack, called the DaySafe, and the MetroSafe — a small shoulder bag with a slashproof (wire-reinforced) shoulder strap — perfect for travelers concerned about theft. www.pacsafe.com
Kiva Designs PTG-1, 26â€ Rolling Big Mouth Reflective (BMR)
With Kiva’s new, upgraded, internally integrated Rack Lash System (RLS – Splashguard weather cover included), the RLS bungee cord is hidden inside the structured frame of the bag, eliminating any â€œhang-upsâ€ during transit. This system allows for direct attachment of the bag to any vehicle roof rack, freeing up room inside for extra passengers. Internal stays offer structure to our wide mouth opening while multiple internal and external organizer pockets help you pack it in. Clam shell opening on bottom compartment lets you separate shoes or soiled clothing. Pulls along easily with locking, telescoping handle on smooth, double ball-bearing wheels. www.kivadesigns.com