I've got you covered.
On this page you'll find my favourite men's travel gear from nearly quarter of a decade of travelling.
Anything on this list isn't here by chance.
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'ts travel gear below here are a few in-depth posts for you:
Backpacks & Packing
When on the road, a backpack and well packed bag is everything.
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.
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 carosels.
Best Travel Drybag: Karrimor 25l
Ours has been used to keep gear dry at the beach, saved our camera and laptop from a downpour when trekking and even doubles us as a washing bag for those backpacking laundry runs (as you can see in the photo on the right)!
Best Packing Cubes: PRO Packing Cubes
I was a packing cube cynic before our first big trip. I mean why on earth would I want to take more stuff than needed?
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.
Best Cable Organiser: Bagsmart
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 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.
Best Short Trip/Day-To-Day Backpack: North Face Borealis
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.
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!
I have a variety of Anker powerbanks, 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 both my Macbook and the Fujifilm X-T3 camera whilst on the go.
Anker devices are reliable and solid, perfect for any tough trip.
Best Travel Laptop: Macbook Pro 13"
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.
Best Travel Laptop Case: Aqua Quest Monsoon
As probably the most expensive piece of hit 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.
Best Travel Watch: Garmin Vivoactive 4 (Small)
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!
Best Headtorch: Black Diamond Spot 325
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.
Best Travel E-Reader: Kindle (Original)
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.
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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.
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.
Best Fuji Lenses
Fuji's kit lens is a great place to start and a very good lens. Personally, I spent a bit of extra money and went for the 18-120mm lens to give me that bit of extra zoom.
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 the 200mm to 400mm lens for wildlife photography, but I think it will probably be cheaper in the long run to just rent one as I need it.
I found this post 'The BEST Fujifilm Lenses for Stunning Travel Photography' a real inspiration when looking into buying lenses.
Best Tripod: Neewer Carbon Fibre 168cm
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.
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Best Camera Strap: BlackRapid Cross Shot Breathe
I spent a long time searching for the right camera strap, tried out a few, but when I found the BlackRapid I was sold!
It hooks to a small attachment that screws into the tripod mount, which means you are carrying the camera around upside-down, so it can be flipped ready for use.
I love the fact it only attaches to a single point on the camera, rather that the two sides as found on a conventional strap. This seems to make it hang better and also leaves the sides of the camera free for gripping when taking a photo.
It also has quick-release and easy-adjustable straps to make it a perfect fit, and to quickly remove the camera when needed.
If you're worried about using it with a tripod mount, that's easy. All tripod mounts have a hook on the bottom, so just attach the carabina to that instead.
Best Lens 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
A 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.
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.
Best Travel Clothesline: Chialstar Travel Clothesline
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.
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.
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Best Travel Towel: ECOdept Microfibre Towel
Microfibre towels are great for travel.
They pack down very small, dry quickly and weight hardly anything.
We bought ours from ECOdept and 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.
Best Travel Water Bottle: Lifestraw Go
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
Best Travel Sunglasses: Shady Rays
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 $15 off your first purchase with my link: ShadyRays.com
Best Travel Trousers: Kathmandu Federate
I live in jeans when I'm at home, but when backpacking I need something that is light, quick-drying and can also look smart when needed.
I'm found golf trousers to be useful for some of this, but they don't do so well when trekking.
The best overall pair I've got are 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.
Best Travel Boxers: Under Armour Boxerjocks
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!).
Best Versatile Piece of Clothing: Buff
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.
Best Travel Shoes: Nike Free Run 2017
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.
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