Best Men’s Travel Gear: 50+ Hand-Picked [& Tested] Items
On this page you’ll find my favourite men’s travel gear from nearly quarter of a century of travelling.
I am organised to the extreme, unrelenting in finding the best value for money and can take
weeks months to make a decision about a purchase. I read all the reviews, watch YouTube videos, browse Reddit, forums and engage with others on Instagram before finally making my mind up.
Any gear you see below has not only been researched by me, but also regularly used by me and has had to stand up to the test of life on the road.
Whilst the focus here is on men’s travel gear, this is only because I’m the sole writer for this site and I can’t speak honestly or authentically about women’s travel gear because I haven’t tested or used it. Despite this, many of the things on the list will have universal use, so this page should hopefully still be interesting for everyone.
If you find anything below that convinces you to purchase, then please head back and click the links. They are affiliate links, meaning no extra cost for you, but a little bit of money for me which helps a small site like this keep running.
Travel Gear Posts
Before working through my favourite men’s travel gear below here are a few in-depth posts you might like:
Backpacks & Packing
When on the road, a well packed backpack is home.
It keeps gear organised, safe and dry.
This is the place to invest, the one thing that keeps everything else together.
This is not a piece of kit you need to fail while jumping off of a train in some remote Southeast Asian town miles from a shop.
Main Backpack for Long-Term Travel
- Stowaway back panel, harness and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection
- Detachable daypack provides additional storage and organization ideal for daytrips or carry-on
- Durable fabrics in high-wear areas combine with smart design to create a lightweight and tough travel pack that will last a lifetime.
We’ve come to trust Osprey Backpacks. We’ve stretched, bashed, lugged and dumped ours for months on end, but they’re still there loyally waiting for the next trip.
We love the Osprey Farpoint 80l (or Fairview 70l for women) which has a detachable daypack, which makes it absolutely ideal for long-term travel. The straps also tuck in, making almost like a suitcase, keeping it safe on airport luggage carousels. Osprey Backpacks
I work all over Australia, which often means I am on the road for a few days, so I needed a hand luggage backpack that would also allow me to pack enough for work.
Step in the Aer Travel Pack 3.
Honestly, it is brilliant.
I use it as my everyday work bag now – keeping my laptop, cables, power bank, notebook all in one place thanks to the huge number of little hidden holes, pockets and compartments in this rucksack.
When I need to travel there is ample space to fit clothes in thanks to the huge packing compartment. Longest I’ve done (without washing clothes) is four nights away – packing an extra pair of shoes, washbag plus everything I needed for those days.
I love the fact that when it’s empty there are compression straps on the sides to make it smaller and that all small details have been thought through – such as little pockets at the top for easy access, a drinks bottle holder that zips away when not needed and a laptop compartment that is padded.
If you travel short distances a lot, it is well worth the price.
- Durable and Compact: Made from ripstop tarpaulin with sturdy welded seam which is designed for years usage, tear, rip and puncture proof. Perfect for almost any extreme adventure you can imagine.
- Waterproof Guarantee: Solid roll-top closure system provides secure watertight seal. Keeps your gear dry in any wet situation where the bag is not fully submerged. Protects your valuables from water,...
- Easy Operation and Cleaning: Just put your gear in bag, grab top woven tape and roll down tightly 3 to 8 times and then plug buckle to complete seal, whole process is very quick. Dry sack is easy to...
I think a drybag is essential when travelling.
Ours has been used to keep gear dry at the beach, saved our camera and laptop from a downpour when trekking and even doubles up as a washing bag for those backpacking laundry runs (as you can see in the photo at the above!).
Get one that floats, seals tightly and is big enough to hold all your essentials if you take a trip on a boat or are going away in the rainy season.
Ours was by Karrimor, but they are no longer sold – the ones in the above link look to be of good quality and get great reviews.
- PREMIUM UPGRADED NYLON FABRIC:Smooth Nylon Fabric Protects Your Clothes from Wrinkles and Stains.High Performance Feature Makes Sure this Packing Cubes can Bear High Density Wear and Tear during...
- LIGHTWEIGHT&DURABLE:Super Light Nylon Fabric Ensures Storing Your Clothes Neatly in Luggage without Adding Extra Weight.Sturdy&Smooth Double Way Zipper with Extended Cord Ensure Fast&Easy Opening and...
- ORGANIZED PACKING and SPACE SAVING:Separating Your Different Clothes with Packing Cubes of Multiple Sizes and Vivid Color Options Available.Time-Saving for Your Traveling,Trip or Outdoors Activities...
When I first started to travel I didn’t understand all the hype around travel cubes…
…but I I was wrong! Packing cubes are brilliant!
So light you won’t even know they’re there, they compress clothing down to take up around 30% less space.
It also makes unpacking/repacking super easy. Just grab the cube with the clothes that are needed and leave the rest where they are, no need to go through everything. Perfect for a multi-stop backpacking trip.
- Construction of heavy-duty, durable and water repellent nylon molded case with elegant design protects your item from scratches, dust and accidental dropping
- Dimensions: [Outer] 6.3 x 9.5 x 1 inches. [Inner] 6.1 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches, easily fit into any backpack or handbags
- Lightweight and durable hard case. Easy to carry, great partner for your hard drive at travel or in the office
Let’s face it, almost everything we purchase now needs its own cable…
…and I need to be organised!
I just can’t handle random wires, charges and cables falling through my bags.
This little cable organiser by Bagsmart has been in my pack for over ten years. It gives everything from SD cards to iPhone charges a proper home and means no more lost cables and scrabbling around at the bottom of a rucksack.
This is my day-to-day pack for work, short trips and hiking.
Solid, with three layers of zipable pockets and lots of useful storage inside, including a padded pocket for a laptop. The outer clips and fastening straps are incredible useful when I can’t quite fit everything in.
I am a bit of a tech geek, but when it comes to travel I try and keep my kit list fairly light as I don’t always have the space.
There are some essentials I have with my every time I leave the door though, so I have included all my favourites below.
- Power You Can Bank On: Equipped with 20,000mAh capacity, keep your devices powered for days while you travel for work or leisure. Charge an iPhone 13 4.3 times, or a Galaxy S22 Ultra over 3 times.
- Blazing Fast Speeds: Get the fastest possible charge of up to 20W with 3 USB ports. Charge an iPhone 13 to 50% in 37 minutes.
- Power for 3: Charge your everyday items such as your phone, earphones, and Apple Watch at once.
This might seem like a boring choice to lead the tech section, especially when there’s so much exciting tech gear out there, but this is the single most used piece of kit in my bag, and is the unit that allow everything else to keep running!
My favourite brand is Anker powerbanks, and I have a variety of them, from small pen-sized units for day-trips or rugby matches right the way up to this big Powercore+.
The reason for choosing this specific device is the sheer amount of power it provides (7x iPhone charge from flat) plus the ability to charge via USB-C which means it can power my Fujifilm X-T3 camera whilst on the go.
Anker devices are reliable and solid, perfect for any tough trip.
If you’re looking for something that can also power a laptop when you’re going off grid, check out the Anker 737. It is a beast, but in some situations, needed.
- SUPERCHARGED BY M2 — The 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop is a portable powerhouse. Get more done faster with a next-generation 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of unified memory.
- UP TO 20 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE — Go all day and into the night, thanks to the power-efficient performance of the Apple M2 chip.
- SUSTAINED PERFORMANCE — Thanks to its active cooling system, the 13-inch MacBook Pro can sustain pro levels of performance, so you can run CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks for hours on end.
I debated putting this on the list as not everyone will want to travel with a laptop but when you’re travel blogging and editing photos it’s absolutely essentially.
I have been a Macbook Pro user for about eight years and the fact that I’m only on my second one tells you how hardwearing and reliable they are.
On both occasions I’ve refurbished units from the Apple store, which has saved me money and proved no less reliable. I normally look for laptops that are not the latest model again, to save some cost.
I prefer the 13″ screen as it’s nice and portable for travel.
Waterproof Laptop Sleeve
As probably the most expensive piece of kit I travel with outside of my camera, making sure my laptop is kept safe is hugely important.
When I bought the Aqua Quest Monsoon I knew I had made the right choice.
It is a laptop sleeve which has a folder-over top making it completely waterproof once sealed and has saved my laptop on more than one occasion in a storm.
It is also padded offering extra protection for when the bag is being thrown around in the luggage compartment of a bus or place.
- Compatible with select Apple iOS and Android devices: You can stay connected while your phone is out of sight.
- Smart notifications: Stay connected with smart notifications for incoming calls, text messages, and calendar view right on your watch when paired with a compatible smartphone.
- Enhanced outdoor navigation: Supports multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) and built-in sensors for three-axis compass, gyroscope, and barometric altimeter to track...
I love this compact watch, which I use to track my runs but there are a many features that make it perfect for travel.
Firstly the watch face I use (Data Lover by Peter Decker) has the sunrise/sunset times, predicted weather and the current time from another timezone all on the face. These are three features I use all the time.
Secondly, the battery life is insane! If I turn off pulse-ox then I can easily get three days from this watch, dream on Apple Watch lovers!
Thirdly, whilst the mapping features are basic they are much better than having your phone out in a dodgy part of a city.
I chose the small size partly because it fits my tiny wrists, partly because it’s a bit less showy and partly because it’s cheaper!
- "PowerTap Technology allows instant transitioning between full and dimmed power
- Brightness Memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full or mid-power
- Settings include full strength in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red night-vision and lock mode
A headtorch is a must-have for travel.
From braaiing in the Kruger National Patk to late-night toilet visits in the Thai jungle, there have been many times I’ve needed light AND my hands free!
I ordered the Black Diamond Spot 325 ahead of our Southeast Asia sabbatical, ended up losing it, but loved it so much I immediately bought a replacement when we returned.
A headtorch is a fairly simple device, but the Black Diamond is packed with features I didn’t realise I needed until I tried them,
Peripheral lighting is useful when using it as a mini-lamp, the lock is great to prevent accidental battery drain in a bag and holding the main button to scroll through brightness settings is very clever, especially given one touch of the side button takes it straight back to full beam if needed.
I suggest watching their YouTube video to get a complete idea of the features.
- A Certified Refurbished Kindle is refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new and comes with the same limited warranty as a new device.
- Purpose-built for reading with a 167 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper, even in direct sunlight.
- Adjustable brightness lets you read comfortably—indoors and outdoors, day and night.
My Kindle goes with me absolutely everywhere.
At less than £50 I can’t see why absolutely everyone doesn’t have one of these. I know some people prefer the feel of a real book, but when travelling I would rather carry a Kindle than a dozen books.
The battery life is fantastic, the anti-glare screen is great for sunny days and I love that it’s slow making it impossible to do anything else with it. Reading is how it should be, unplugged from the rest of the world.
I’ve spent a long time trying out different cameras and styles to try and suit my needs whilst travelling.
I’ve found point-and-shoots just a bit too simple and DSLRs too bulky and heavy.
READ NEXT: How I Bought a Camera, & Learned To Use It (+ Gear & Tips)
- New 26.1MP X trans CMOS 4 sensor with X processor 4 image processing engine
- 4K movie recording: Internal SD card 4K/60P 4:2:0 10 bit recording and the first mirrorless digital camera with APS C or larger sensor that is capable of 4K/60P 4:2:2 10 bit HDMI output
- 2.16M phase detection pixels across entire frame and low light phase detection limits has been increased over X T2 by 2 stops, from 1EV to 3EV
Step in mirrorless cameras and come forward the Fujifilm X-T3.
I love this camera. It’s fairly small, but with more analog controls than any camera I’ve seen for about 20 years, with a wide choice of incredible and fairly cheap lenses (compared to buying for a full-frame DSLR).
Not only does it take fantastic photos, have a weatherproof body and have regular firmware updates to make it even better, but its vintage looks also make bloody cool too.
That’s a win, win, win, win (and win!) for me.
Fuji’s kit lens is a great place to start and a very good lens.
The 18-55mm kit lens is pretty good, but I ended up selling this and getting the more expensive 16-80mm lens, which I find just perfect for covering all my bases while travelling.
I then moved on to prime lenses, starting with the cheap and cheerful Samyang (or Rokinon) 12mm for wide-angle shots.
Next I want to get a lens for wildlife photography, but I think it will probably be cheaper in the long run to just rent one as I need it.
Here is my current full stable of lenses:
- Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/2.8-4 R OIS WR. The ultimate travel lens. If I travel with just one, it’s this.
- Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR. I was doing a lot of sunset seascapes near my home and decided a wide-angle lens would really help. This is normally the second lens I take if I have room as it gives me the wide-angle shots.
- Fuji 35mm f/1.4 R. This is probably my favourite lens. It has such personality! A square lens hood, slow and noisy autofocus, incredible bokeh, I can’t use it for everything, but what it does do, it does amazingly well.
- Fuji 23mm f/2.0 R WR I use it when the 35mm is a bit closer up and need a bit more speed of shutter than the old 35mm,
- Samyang 12mm f/2.0. We were headed up the the Victorian High Country and I wanted a wide-angle lens with a faster aperture for astrophotography (the f/4 of the 10-24mm was not enough), and I saw someone selling this on a local Facebook group for A$200! I rarely use this, but it’s useful to have for specific circumstances.
- Fujifilm XF 70-300mm F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR. I haven’t bought this lens yet, but it’s going to be the final piece of the puzzle. Only released last year it was a long zoom but with a low weight. Perfect for travel photography.
I found this post ‘The BEST Fujifilm Lenses for Stunning Travel Photography‘ a real inspiration when looking into buying lenses.
- UPGRADED DESIGN: The unique design of the center column consisted of 2 sections enables the maximum height of the tripod and monopod to be higher; 4 section legs with quick pull flip type locking...
- 360 DEGREES PANORAMA BALL HEAD: The specially designed ball head can rotate 360 degrees which will allow you to get the perfect shooting angle to create stunning panoramas every time. It has 2...
- PRACTICAL AND ADJUSTABLE: The tripod can be folded to 19 inches compact storage size and 3.53 pounds net weight for easy carrying with bag; 3 levels of opening angle to stabilize on varying uneven...
Let’s be clear, this isn’t THE best tripod in the world, but it’s a great balance between price and quality.
A tripod isn’t always necessary, but if you’re looking for super-sharp images and have the time to set up they make such a difference.
My old video-camera cheap tripod had to go – it was heavy and clumsy to use – and since swapping to the Neewer I have been so happy.
The ball head makes re-adjusting the shot simple, the centre column comes out to be used as a monopod when needed and it weighs less than 1.5kg – perfect for travel.
There are lots of sizes available, my advice is to buy one that is as close as possible to your eye level, as this is where you’ll want to use it.
- 3 straps in 1.
- With quick connectors.
- Quick connecting buckle included.
I spent a long time searching for the right camera strap, tried out a few, but when I found the Peak Design system I was sold!
You hook up a couple of toggles to the camera and from there you have access to a number of straps which clip on and off easily.
I have one neck strap and one wrist strap which I carry in my bag and can flick between at a moment’s notice – a really simple system.
Camera Cleaning Accessories
Keeping a camera lens clean is definitely not the most exciting part of photography, but there is nothing more frustrating than losing a decent shot because of dust or smudges on a lens.
There are a few bits of kit that travel with me everywhere to help keep the lenses clean.
- Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air
A brilliant little air blaster for getting the dust off of the lens on a dry day.
- Zeiss Lens Wipes
I travel with a selection of microfibre cloths, but these professional lens wipes are perfect for getting extra layers of grease and grime off of the lens.
- LensPen NLP-1
This double-ended pen has a retractable brush at one end and the other is a spot-fixer, which is made of a fine carbon material that cleans small marks from the lens.
- READY FOR ANYTHING: A fresh upgrade to our most popular multitool; Now includes premium replaceable wire cutters for tackling jobs tough, big and small for years to come
- INSTANT TOOLKIT: Packs a quiver of 18 tools, including pliers, replaceable wire cutters, wire stripper, knives, saw, spring-action scissors, ruler, can & bottle openers, files and screwdrivers
- OUR GUARANTEE: We’re proud to stand behind every product that leaves our factory in Portland, Oregon; That’s why we offer our 25-year warranty, so you can be confident your Leatherman lasts a...
I’ve loved Leathermans for a long time. I remember my Dad buying one in South Africa when I was a kid and him taking it with us on all our safari adventures.
It was my Dad that then bought me mine and I’ve had it for years.
I’m not going to claim to be an expert on these tools, I’m not exactly an outdoorsman, but I did a lot of research to find the right one.
I settled on the Wave+ because it has a few of the tools I find most useful – namely scissors, a strong knife and pliers. It’s amazing how often these come in handy, and I find it can do more than a Swiss Army Knife, though admittedly it’s bigger.
Another bonus is that it’s possible to swap parts of they get damaged.
Travel Washing Line
- [Creative Design]Portable Clothesline with 12 Colorful Clothespins，13 Anti-Skid Clips can windproof，Design with Positioning Bead，Can move smoothly from left to right，the black rope is stretchy...
- [Strong & Durable] heavy duty clothesline Easy to fasten by two strong stainless steel material hooks and easy removable,Our pegless Clothesline can be attached...
- [Strong Clamping Force]Anti-slip Design with Positioning Bead,Hooks and Clothespins,Strong Clamping Force,Used to hang different types of clothes such as towels, cloth diapers, underwear, socks...
We’ve bought (and broken) a fair few cheaper models than this, but given it’s less than £6 this can hardly not be described as a bargain.
There are lots with suction hooks that we found not to work, so second time around we bought this one with hooks.
We removed the pegs, took it out of the bag and it becomes the perfect lightweight line which is much needed when doing washing in hotel sinks.
- FAST DRYING - much comfortable for next use & convenient to pack. SUPER ABSORBENT - capable of repeat use in short time & dry you fast. BEAUTIFUL COLOR - much suitable for multi use daily.
- SKIN FRIENDLY - remarkable soft suede like feel on your skin and face.SUPER ABSORBENT-will absorb water 5 times more than its' weight but dry fast
- ULTRA COMPACT & LIGHT WEIGHT - easy to carry and space saving. HANG SNAP LOOP - practical & easy to hang anywhere and dry. CARRY BAG - reusable
Microfibre towels are great for travel.
They pack down very small, dry quickly and weight hardly anything.
We bought ours from ECOdept, but they no longer seem to be available on Amazon, so I have put here the closest equivalent I could find (they come in literally exactly the same packaging, so I think it’s a brand name change).
They travel with us everywhere. They also include a useful cover which packs them tight and a snap loop which means they can be hung up to dry anywhere.
Water Bottle & Accessories
- ADVANCED WATER FILTRATION. Protects against, microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter and sand, dirt, cloudiness and more; improves taste
- MADE TO LAST. Long-lasting membrane microfilter lasts up to 4,000 liters and the activated carbon filter lasts up to 100 liters of water with proper use and maintenance
- RIGOROUSLY TESTED. Reusable, durable and BPA-free, independently lab tested to meet protocols established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NSF International/ANSI
When I’m travelling locally I have a big silver metal water bottle to keep water cool, but for international travel, it is far too heavy.
When travelling to countries where the water supply is not reliable, we pack our Lifestraw bottles. Whilst they are fairly expensive, by the time you’ve paid 15+ times for bottled water you’ve got the money back (and doing the planet a big favour too).
The filters go for 4,000 litres and cost £24.99 to replace, so you’ll be going for a while.
They do smaller versions, or caps for standard water bottles if you want something different.
Men’s Travel Clothing
I’m a bit funny about sunglasses as I have a narrow head. I’ve spent years search for the right pair, but after seeing an advert on Instagram I chose a pair of Shady Rays Oakmounts and have never looked back.
Here are a few reasons I first chose to shop with them and have bought more pairs since:
- I loved their website – The sizing guides made it easy to choose a pair that fitted
- The price – I paid $75USD for these. Not the cheapest, but given the great quality they’re certainly not as expensive as more famous brands, meaning I’m less worried about damaging them
- Free replacement – Another thing that makes them a pair of sunglasses for travel is the free replacement. Damage or lost a pair? Just make contact and they’ll replace them for a small postage fee
- They actually fit – I have quite a narrow head, but the sizing guides on the website made it easy for me to chose a pair that fitted, and they do perfectly. They’re also very light which makes them comfortable for wearing all day
- Sustainable – Shady Rays also talk about their ethical mission and along with the charity Verdn, remove two kilos of ocean plastic for every pair purchased
Still not convinced? Get $20 off on your first order using the link below.
The worst thing happened recently…
…my favourite travel trousers now appear to be discontinued!
The best overall pair I’ve ever found are/were the Kathmandu Federate.
I love the skinny fit, which makes me still feel (fairly!) stylish, they also have hidden zippable pockets which are great for cities and try super-fast. They are available in blue, black or a sand colour.
They are absolutely perfect, I love mine and have not even considered needing any others since finding them.
Well I hadn’t until I went to order a new pair recently.
So back to the drawing board! I’m considering travelling next time in a pair of skinny UNIQLO jeans, as they are hard wearing and so flexible, but I think they just take too long to try.
I’ll update here when I find a new solution
- Lightweight, smooth HeatGear fabric for superior performance
- 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction
- Material wicks sweat & dries really fast
I need two things from a boxer short when travelling.
They need to dry quickly.
And they need to not chafe my thick thighs, especially in humid countries.
I first bought Under Armour Boxerjocks ahead of our three month sabbatical in 2017 and now they are the only ones I have.
They are nice and long to prevent chafing, so I even wear them running and they last forever (don’t be disgusted, but I have pairs that are three years old and still are absolutely fine!).
They are also proving difficult to find recently (well in Australia anyway) so I hope Under Armour aren’t going to be discontinuing them any time soon!
- FABRIC: 95% recycled REPREVE performance microfiber, 5% Elastane
- FEATURES: Moisture-wicking, quick-drying, breathable. 4-Way, lightweight, seamless, ULTRA STRETCH fabric construction that features UPF 50+ sun protection.
- WAYS TO WEAR & USE: Can be worn 12 different ways - from cap to balaclava, neck gaiter to hair tie - for optimal performance, protection, personalized style, and perfect fit. The do-it-all performance...
I first bought a Buff to keep my neck warm cycling, but they have since found a way into my travel pack.
This versatile tubular piece of merino can be a scarf, hat or bandana – and mine has also been used as everything from a cloth to a pillow.
They are lightweight and just really handy to have around, I take mine on every trip I go on.
I love the Nike Free Runs and they have done everything from smart dinners out to hikes through muddy rainforests.
I chose the all-black pair from 2017 (still available) because they make the logo more discreet and when paired with my Kathmandu Federate trousers they can look fairly smart.
Because they are a running shoe they also allow me to go running (obviously!) while on trips, but this means they offer enough support for walking.
They are also incredibly light and pack down very small, perfect for when not being worn and sitting in the backpack.