Clothes are highly dependant on which country you’re heading to and how long you’re staying but there are a few brands I love and some tricks to get the most out of what you take.
I’m a massive fan of marino wool in my clothes when I travel. Clothes made with this rarely smell, dry quickly and while they tend to be a little more expensive they last a long time. The clothes I take are broken down into a few sections which you’ll find below. I’m constantly trying out new brands and haven’t found the perfect clothing just yet. I’m getting close though.
I’m starting with this first because for me if you don’t get this right, you’re not going to have a fun trip. I was a big fan of ExOfficio clothing and underwear but they’ve now been surpassed in my opinion. I’ve now discovered Y Athletics and I’m sold. They have underwear, socks and shirts and I’ve bought all of them. Their boxer briefs are sensational and are a mix of merino wool and a silver fabric that make them the least stinky underwear I’ve ever tried. I spend 12 days in Vietnam recently and while this may sound disgusting, I felt like I could have gone the entire trip without changing. I didn’t, but I probably could have. They are just amazing. They fit really nicely and even in the hot, humid Asian conditions they just didn’t smell. I have two pairs I rotate now and because they’re mainly merino wool they dry quick smart. Two pairs of these and you’re all set. Use one pair and then when you need to swap use the second and wash the first. That pair will be dry in a few hours at the worst so it’s the perfect combination. I’m yet to find anything as good.
This one is going to be fairly obvious. I use Y Athletic socks now as well. See above about why they’re so good but these cover me for everything other than big hikes. I have two pairs of these as well and rotate them the same way as my underwear. I also have a big think pair of merino wool socks that I pack for hiking. These are heavy duty, super thick and are great for hours of trekking. I can’t remember the brand of mine anymore but any merino wool thick socks will work.
I like the zip off pants that turn into shorts. I’ve found most of these tend to look a little cheap and tacky but these ones from Kathmandu are ace. I travel with two pairs, one dark pair and one light, and they tend to last me my entire trip. The dark pair are nice enough to wear out to dinner with a collared shirt and nice shoes so they’re my favourite. I used to like having a pair of jeans when I travel but they’re just too thick and bulky for my travel style now. I try to just take carry on luggage and jeans fill up my space really quickly. I may take a pair of board shorts as well if I can squeeze them in but that’s a luxury I usually don’t worry about.
I love my Y Athletic crew and V shirts and these two go with me everywhere. They cover me for 90% of the time but for those times I need a collared shirt they won’t work. I used to use ExOfficio shirts as well but found the style to be a little dated and they wrinkled up on me too much. Shirts need to be wrinkle free otherwise they just won’t work! I now have a shirt that is brand less as far as I can tell. I just know it’s wrinkle free, looks great and dry’s quickly.
This one is a killer for me. I hate having to take more than one or two pairs on any trip so I spend a lot of time figuring out what shoes to bring. For anything where I’ll be hiking I now have a great pair of Straven NGX boots. These are amazing. They’re waterproof, comfy and at a pinch can be used as dress shoes. These saved my butt in Vietnam when it rained for 4 days straight. Not just any rain either, it was bucketing down and my feet never got a drop on them. I also like to bring along a pari of lightweight shoes for more casual walking and currently have a pair of Inov8 F-Lite 235 V2’s. I can stuff these in my bag and they don’t take up much room at all and can be used going out or just casual walking. I still haven’t found the perfect combination of shoes and someday I’ll discover a lightweight, waterproof, dressy-casual shoe that does everything. Until then, this combo is pretty great.
I was really lucky on my recent trip to Vietnam and had Kathmandu give me a jacket to try out. They knew I was going in the rainy season and sent me a Flinders Rain Jacket. It’s an expensive jacket but it is a hell of a thing. With tens of thousands of dollars worth of camera gear with me I wanted something that would protect it as well as keep me dry and warm when it rained. This did it perfectly. It is crazy lightweight but windproof as well which was perfect when the cold winds in the north kicked up. I went one size bigger than I needed and it allowed me to have my camera underneath it when the rain got particularly bad. It was a lifesaver. The best part was that it folded up so small I could shove it in the side pocket of my backpack so it was with me everywhere. I cannot recommend this thing enough. It’s got plenty of pockets and never got too hot either. I’m not sure I’d have invested in something like this before but I’m so glad I’ve gotten the chance to try it out. It’s going with me everywhere now. It’s well worth the investment.
Currently I have a crappy travel belt but I hate it. It’s metal at the front and is a pain to get on and off. I’m going to change soon and find something that gets through airport security without having to remove it and is a lot more stylish.
Not sure if this really fits in this category but it’s something I wanted to included anyway. I’m currently using a Garmin Fenix HR 3 and LOVE it. It’s incredible and it’s just about the perfect watch for me. It’s close enough to a smart watch without being over the top and comes with a ton of fitness trackers that I love. The only downside is charging it. It has a charger that is bulky and thankfully it only needs charging once a week. Unlike the Apple watch and other smart watches that need charging every day! I did take it with me to Vietnam recently and loved knowing just how far I was walking every day but in the end I hated having another charger with me. I’ll continue to use it for now but it may soon be replaced by a new watch called the Matrix Powerwatch. It’s powered by your body heat so never needs charging! It’s brand new and I backed it through Indiegogo and cannot wait to get it to try it out. I’ll miss some of the Garmin’s features but in the end the compromise will be well worth it I think.
That’s pretty much what I take on every trip for my clothes. Things will change or get added to but right now this works for me and I love it. It’s lightweight, stylish when it needs to be and didn’t cost the world.