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There’s a new year coming up—and hopefully, for all of us who found ourselves stuck at home in 2021, it’s bringing some new adventures with it. Help the traveler on your list prepare for their their next big trip—or just start dreaming about it—with these ten smart picks for travelers.
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VSSL First Aid Mini—$70
This ultra-compact kit addresses everyday first aid issues without taking up too much room in your pack. The nearly-indestructible aluminum tube is less than 7 inches long, weighs just 9.9 ounces, and comes with bandages, thermometer, tweezers and more. Buy VSSL First Aid Mini Now
Matador SEG42 Travel Pack—$190
It’s part backpack, part duffel, and a smidge packing cube. This 42-liter pack combines the best features of several different categories into one. With five zippered compartments and a waterproof nylon shell, this hauler keeps everything organized and protected. Carry it like a pack, or stow away the shoulder straps and use the top or side straps for duffel duty. It’s even carry-on compliant. Buy the Matador SEG42 Travel Pack Now
GoPro Hero9 Black—$400
GoPro’s point-of-view cameras need no introduction, and the Hero9 Black is one of the best yet. Take travel vlog selfie clips with the new front display on the GoPro, while stretching your filmmaking abilities with changeable lenses, 8X slow motion video and timelapse capability. The rear display has grown to 2.7 inches with a touchscreen, and the whole package boasts 30 percent more battery life. Bonus: It’s waterproof down to 33 feet. Buy the GoPro Hero9 Black Now
Multitask your vessel with this 17-ounce bottle, which screws apart to turn into a 12-ounce tumbler. Double-wall stainless steel will keep your beverage cold or hot for hours. Bonus: All components are dishwasher safe. Buy the CamelBak MultiBev Now
This outdoor timepiece is a smartwatch for travelers who aren’t afraid to get a little dirty. Equipped with GPS tracking and dedicated modes for 70 different sports from hiking to kayaking, and full-color maps, it can do anything from showing you a map of your surroundings to updating you on the weather. A full charge will buy you 12 hours of GPS use or 48 hours of standby. Buy the Suunto 7 Now
NOCS Provisions Waterproof Binoculars—$90
These binocs are so compact they can fit in your back pocket, and at just 11 ounces they’re light enough to do so comfortably.. Since they are injected with nitrogen to prevent fogging, weather is no object, not to mention they can submerge up to 3 feet for 30 minutes. Twist out the eyecups and hold the nocs to a phone to shoot photos with the equivalent of a 400 mm zoom. Buy NOCS Provisions Waterproof Binoculars Now
Yogo Ultralight Folding Yoga Mat—$62
Bring your practice with you on the road. Because this yoga mat packs to the size of a newspaper and weighs just 2 pounds, there’s no need to leave it at home. The pad has straps to connect to the outside of a backpack, or it can be thrown in a carry-on bag. Its origami style folds top to top, ensuring less germs on the practice surface, plus it’s easy to wash and hang dry by its straps in a shower. Buy Yogo Ultralight Folding Yoga Mat Now
PHOOZY Apollo II Upgraded Thermal Phone Case—$35
If you’ve ever had a phone die in the cold or overheat in the sun, you know how frustrating it can be. Enter the Apollo II: The key protective elements of this casing include a thick EVA foam layer with a patent-pending chromium thermal layer, as well as a UV coating, meaning that not only will your phone survive freezing temps in the winter or keep clicking along on hot days, it can also float and survive a 9-foot drop. Buy the PHOOZY Apollo II Upgraded Thermal Phone Case Now
Royal Robbins Switchform Lite Parka—$140 (women’s) / Switchform Waterproof Jacket $180 (men’s)
When suitcase space is tight, versatility matters. The Switchform line of water- and windproof shells aren’t just packable, they also morph into other functional pieces, like a tote for women and a small backpack for men. There are also lighter and less expensive jacket versions in this line that convert into a crossbody sling, fanny packs or pillows. Buy the Royal Robbins Switchform Waterproof Parka Now (Men’s) / Buy the Royal Robbins Switchform Lite Park Now (Women’s)
Bonus: Between Each Step by Patrice La Vigne—$18
We might be a little biased about this book—we wrote it after all. Stretching about 2,000 miles from the tip of the North Island to the bottom of the South, the Te Araroa Track might not be the quickest way to see New Zealand, but a hike down it is a way to see one of the world’s most fascinating countries in detail. Come on an armchair adventure with us. Buy Between Each Step Now