A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Australia, West Coast
Everest Base Camp
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Cruising the Nile, Egypt
21st January 2017
Wanderlust has announced our Gear of the Year for 2017, including the best daypacks, boots, jackets and accessories. Here's the definitive list that every adventure traveller needs
Versatility is key for a good daypack as you’ll be using it on trains, planes, trails and tours. Congratulations to the Osprey Talon 22, which has won for the second year in a row. Judges liked it for its light weight – that doesn’t eat into your luggage allowance and new mesh airflow back system that stops you getting too sweaty – whether climbing Machu Picchu or strolling round Paris.
Judges’ comments: “A nifty pack that offers lots of easy to reach pockets on the hipbelt to reach your iPhone, keys and snacks, plus you can attach a bike helmet to it – making it super versatile.”
Special mention: In close joint second place were the Mammut Creon Guide 35L and Regatta Blackfell Hydro Pack 20L both fantastic choice for travellers at both ends of the price spectrum.
With luggage limits what they are for travellers its all about taking one item of kit that can be used for more than one purpose. Perfect for walks from pub to trail are Scarpa’s Mojitos. New for this year is the addition of the Gore-Tex waterproof lining, which makes them even better for whatever the weather throws at you on your travels.
Judges' comments: “Scarpa is renowned for their excellent footwear – including climbing shoes and boots – here we see them take the best of both and distill it into a shoe that even looks great with jeans. A definite travel essential.”
Special mention: In joint second place AKU Bellamont Plus and Ridgemont Monty Hi Boots are awarded our runner-up accolade too for their incredible versatility.
Key for keeping you warm in colder climates, the main issue for travellers with insulated jackets can be the extra bulk in your luggage so a good warmth-to-weight ratio is so key. Also important are the touches to stop heat escaping – from adjustable hems to elasticated sleeves. The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket does all these things whilst managing to harness the new, PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco, a synthetic insulation with 55% recycled content that not only offers a great warmth to weight but also keeps you dry even if it gets wet.
Judges' comments: “It’s great to see a jacket that not only performs well but also ranks green credentials just as importantly.”
Special mention: The runner-up is the Arc’ teryx Atom SL Hoody – a perfect just in case insulating layer that offers the similar warmth as a fleece for much less weight.
There’s no denying it: when you travel regularly your luggage really takes a beating, so you need something to stand up to the rigours of travel – from airport baggage handlers to being strapped to the roof of buses. The Osprey Meridian impressed with its robust build but also its multiple ways of being carried. From backpack-like to wheelie, plus it also comes with a removable 16L daypack which has a well-designed ventilated back – bonus!
Judges' comments: “Practical, sturdy, versatile and it looks great to boot – a clear winner.”
Special mentions: Eagle Creek’s ORV Trunk 30 and Fjallraven’s SplitPack came in as our joint runner-ups: the first being a great option for those who need an all-singing, all-dancing pack for big adventures, the second offering a practical solution for those who can’t decide between a duffle and a backpack.
Sun protection, comfort, usefully placed pockets, ventilation for hot climates – and a lifetime’s protection from biting insects? Hard as it is to be believed, all these things can be found in one travel top – and Craghoppers NosiLife Pro Shirt is it. Not only that but this year’s offering has a polished finished so is sharp enough to wear on safari and in the restaurant afterwards.
Judges' comments: “Smart and useful with loads of added extras – this shirt was built with travellers in mind.”
Special mention: In second place, Mountain Equipment Redline LS Tee which offers a comfortable fabric that’s fast-drying, stretchy and treated with Polygiene for permaeant odour control.
Whether out walking or sat for hours on a plane or train, trousers have to be comfy first and foremost. But if they can offer something extra then they become a winning pair of pants! Doing this beautifully is Fjallraven’s Abisko Lite Trekking Zip-Off Trouser. Not only are they a great pair of trousers – with multiple well-thought out pockets – and made from a lightweight, venting material, but they also transform into a comfortable pair of shorts too.
Judges' comments: “Super versatile, super comfy and well designed.”
Special mention: Once again Sherpa’s Naulo Pants scooped second place, for their 4-way stretch fabric that’s tough and low maintenance too but this time it shared the accolade with Craghoppers NosiLife Pro Trousers renowned for their life-long protection from biting insects.
No one likes to think of it raining when they go away, but the reality is if it does and you’re not prepared you could remember your trip for all the wrong reasons. Enter this year’s winner – the Berghaus Hyper Jacket. A perfect take-anywhere, just-in-case option it weighs under 100g and packs down to smaller than the size of an apple. And the best thing? At a RRP of £120 it won’t break the bank or the scales...
Judges' comments: “This is the perfect waterproof when travelling somewhere when rain may catch you out unexpectedly – it’s light, small and competitively priced.”
Special mention: Sherpa Lithang Jacket was awarded second place for it helmet compatible hood, good-sized pockets, low weight and excellent versatility.”.
It’s always tricky to know which of the thousands of travel accessories are any use for a serious traveller. Enter this category. This year the winning item went to Lifestraw Steel a nifty, slim-line device that makes dirty water safe for drinking using a 2-stage filtration process to remove bacteria and protozoa and reduce organic chemical matter and chlorine – just through a single sip.
Judges’ comments: “If you’re heading somewhere with questionable water this will be the most vital accessory you can pack – and it’s so easy to use.”
Special mention: Rohan Trail Socks – for not forgetting the little things like insect repellent impregnated socks to protect you from biting bugs on your travels – so it dries you quicker and then dries itself fast too.
For more outdoor gear reviews, click HERE
Sean Conway is an extreme endurance adventurer who is the first and only man in history to cycle, swim and run the length of Britain. He completed the record-breaking feat in 2015 when he ran from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just 44 days, having previously cycled and swum the route. Widely admired for his endurance, courage, humour and inimitable style Sean knows how to put travel gear through its paces.
Wanderlust magazine editor Phoebe Smith is as passionate about travel as she is about the outdoors. She likes nothing better than discovering a place on foot, gazing over giant precipices for fun and wild camping – preferably in the mountains. She is author of several books about Britain's wild places including Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper. When not sleeping on top of mountains, she can be found having long conversations with anyone who will listen about the pros and cons of Gore-Tex.
Paul is the founder and CEO of Nomad Travel, the leading store for travel equipment, rucksacks, clothing and of course home of the Nomad Travel Clinics. He has been pioneering the art of travel preparation since 1990, over which time his original market stall in Reading has grown to 10 stores across the UK. He has worked as Logistics Assistant for the TV production company who made BBC's Beyond Boundaries where he helped 10 physically-disabled teenagers cross the Andes, one of the highest mountain ranges in the world.
Being a Mountain Instructor at expeditionguide.com, International Mountain Leader and member of Llanberis Mountain Rescue, Rob is out in the elements in all weathers all over the world. He is also an award-winning filmmaker and certified Drone Pilot at filmuphigh.com and consequently knows the importance of great travel kit.
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