Travel Gear in 2010: When ‘Used’ will be the New ‘New’

Gear Guide — By Alexi Ueltzen on December 31, 2009 at 8:30 am

Just a few of our 2010 predictions:
Marmots will be the new cheeky rodent photo-crashers.
Vikings will be the new vampires.
Neck beards will be the new mustaches.
Tea will be the new coffee.

And travel gear will be different, too.

“Used” will be the new “New.”

What’s cooler than a brand-spanking-new backpack that still smells like the factory? A decade-old bag that’s been around the world twice and is covered with patches. Or stains. “And this one’s from my chopstick accident.” What’s better than sleek, futuristic sunglasses? Some legit vintage frames. A travel journal with a pristine cover and neat pages or a banged-up notebook full of stories and sketches and reminders to “pack Imodium for next Mexico trip“?

Yep. The latter.

Search out vintage gear at thrift stores or online or, better yet, scour flea markets in your destination for unique items. Wouldn’t you rather be wearing/using/carrying something with an interesting history? Plus, you can travel the globe smugly confident in the knowledge that your gear re-use is reducing your carbon footprint. See the difference between someone who goes new and someone who goes “authentic”:
Attractive person sitting next to you on the plane: Awesome shirt! Where’d you get it?
You: Target.
APSNTYOTP: Oh.
or
APSNTYOTP: Awesome shirt! Where’d you get it?
You: It was handwoven in Berlin at a blind bohemian co-op. They use recycled alpaca fur. Touch it.
APSNTYOTP: No.

Vibram FiveFingers will be the new Crocs.

Every year one company comes out with a line of footwear so ugly, people are fooled into thinking it’s cool. One year it was MBT shoes (the “anti-shoe” with a ridiculous curved sole and intentionally-unstable design), which claim to be “a great tool for athletes” but are really a great way for an athlete to look like a tool. Next up was Crocs with their dignity-robbing rubber clog. They’ve since gone bankrupt; draw your own conclusions as to why.

Vibram FiveFingers promises to fill those shoes in 2010. Basically a glove for the foot, Vibram FiveFingers are the product of some heavy biomechanics research, an almost-Germanic attention to detail and America’s penchant for unflattering footwear. For nearly anyone with feet*, they claim to improve flexibility, agility, balance, posture and proprioception (if you know what this is, please use it in a sentence below). So if you you like to elicit stares from passersby, need to work on your pr oprioception or are pretty sure you were a gecko in a past life, pick up a pair today.

*The FiveFinger shoe is not compatible with webbed toes. Sorry.

Ironic passport covers will be the new…passport covers.

TinyMeat’s passport covers turn those awkwardly-illustrated plane safety pamphlets into art. Funny art. And everyone knows art with sense of humor (and function, in this case) is better. Any seasoned traveler also knows that in 2010, laughable moments at the airport are inevitable. Here’s how I imagine owning one of these would play out:
Flight Attendant: “Should we experience a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the-”
You: “Overhead compartment. I know. It’s on my passport cover.” (Waves it around to make everyone else jealous).
Flight Attendant: “Sir, have you been drinking?”

Kindles will be the new books.

The reasons to pack a Kindle instead of a book for a vacation are endless. As long as 3 = endless.
1. Airline weight restrictions. Fitting the entire Harry Potter series on a Kindle leaves room in your suitcase for that extra cauldron.
2. Efficiency. Can’t decide which book to pack? If one of the 1,500 books the Kindle can store doesn’t strike your fancy, a new one can be downloaded in sixty seconds (faster than a speeding segway).
3. Dignity. Read the Twilight series, a really heinous romance novel or about Jesus’ Anatomy without one of those generic book covers because, just like a bottle in a paper bag, everyone knows what’s really under there.

Know of any other travel gear that’s going to come into its own in 2010? We love a good Cinderella story. Tell us about that, and what proprioception is, below.

Photos courtesy of R.W.W., richardmasoner

Tags: 2010, book, fivefinger, gear, Kindle, passport cover, predictions, proprioception, tinymeat, travel, vibram, vintage

    6 Comments

  • Nick says:

    Hilarious post, Alexi! A mate of mine makes bags out of re-used plastic bags – I’d love for her to make me a rucksack!

    According to ole wicked pedia (yep, I’m sad enough to have looked it up!), proprioception is “the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body.” In other words, it’s a posh way of saying that your feet are at the end of your legs, and your head belongs on your neck.

    But then, you knew that, didn’t you, and you’re just trying to distract us from noticing that, desperate to propriocept your life, you went and bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers!

  • rachel says:

    my webbed toes limit me so much! if only the five fingers CLASSICS were make for me…

  • Oretha Boeke says:

    Between myself and my husband we’ve owned more gizmos over the years than I can count, including GPS units, iPods (classic & touch), etc. I love Kindel, it’s by far the coolest toy I got.  Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun it actually is and how easy it is to use . Make sure you get the pouch though as it gets scratched pretty easily.

  • Norberto Farish says:

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  • Travel to Brunei says:

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