Three Essential Pieces: Travel Gear Both Sexes Can Enjoy

Gear Guide, Top 5/10 Lists — By Alexi Ueltzen on June 25, 2009 at 7:00 am

When it comes down to it, your travel needs are pretty basic. You need your stuff. You need something in which to carry your stuff. And you need someone to tell you the best kind of stuff to buy. (Okay, maybe you don’t need that last one, but we’ll happily give you our opinions anyway).

Read on for a list of three unisex pieces of travel gear, and why they work for both genders.
1. The North Face Recon Backpack

His take: One word – versatile.  It’s great as a gym bag, a hiking pack, or even a manly replacement for those oversized girly shopping bags department stores insist on giving you.  Just throw your goods in your pack and you’re good to go.

Her take: Northface makes products to last. Case in point: I got a version of the Northface recon pack in high school (I’ve since graduated college), and it’s still going strong. Why does the recon leave other packs in the dust?


a) It’s big enough, but not too huge. Perfect for a day at the beach or wandering Mayan ruins, but not so enormous your sweatshirt and camera are going to rattle around inside.

b) It comes in lots of colors (get as girly or as hardcore as you want). Want a maroon one to match your ski jacket, but a black one for your boyfriend/husband/Dad? You got it.

c) That mesh pocket: I love it so much. Perfect for a water bottle, the plane ticket you need accessible but don’t want to carry, an easily bruised banana…

2. A Nikon Coolpix Digital Camera

His take: Guys love telling stories – sometimes they’re believable, sometimes not so much.  With this compact and high-powered Nikon you’ll have proof to go along with your tall tales.  Now when you say the fish you caught was THIS BIG…you can actually show them!

Her take: A point-and-shoot digital camera is this generation’s polaroid. Only much, much cooler. This latest offering from Nikon kicks butt because not only is it small enough to fit in your purse during a night out, but it also practically takes the pictures for you. Fact: if a camera recognizes faces, automatically stabilizes the image and warns you if a subject blinks, you’re about two steps away from Annie Leibowitz status. All you need to do is get some celebrities to let you take iconic portraits of them.


3. A Leatherman Multitool or Swiss Army Pocket Knife

His take: I recommend keeping one of these man-tools in your pocket at all times.  You never know when you’ll have to fight off attacking cougars with the blade, or  if you don’t want to use your teeth to open the last beer, use the handy bottle opener, or if you break a nail and just can’t wait for your next mani/pedi, whip out the file for some on the go smoothing action.

Her take: A multi-tool is one of the most useful things you can add to your packing list. Along with my Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover, this is probably the most-used piece of equipment in my everyday bag (also known as my purse). I’ve used it for everything from spreading brie at a picnic to pulling a thorn out of my dog’s paw. For the number of tools you get on this thing (knife, screwdriver, can opener, pliers, wire cutter, file…) it’s amazingly compact. If you’re looking for more conventional tools (corkscrew, scissors, nail file), a swiss army knife is a slightly-more-tame but equally useful alternative.

What’s on your “I can’t travel without it” list?

Shadow photo courtesy of Elliot Moore/Creative Commons

Tags: backpack, camera, leatherman, nikon coolpix, northface, Swiss Army Knife, travel, travel essentials, unisex

    3 Comments

  • found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later ..

  • Interesting read. There is currently quite a lot of information around this subject around and about on the net and some are most defintely better than others. You have caught the detail here just right which makes for a refreshing change – thanks.

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