We Tried These Four Travel Accessories - Read Our Mixed Reviews
When traveling it is important to wear comfortable clothing (in sunshine and rain) and keep your belongings safe. We’re avid travelers (if you hadn’t already guessed), so on our trip to Peru and Bolivia we tested out a couple of products and want to share our thoughts with you in case you’re in the market for something similar. We’ve also written about our travel essentials that we never travel without.
Anti-theft Travel Backpack
Facebook Ads FTW! A backpack that no one can steal things from? I immediately became interested knowing that I would be on a lot of public transportation and doing a solo 2 week journey after my trip with Eoghan. I bought the backpack from a sketchy third party website and was not expecting it to arrive anytime soon, however to my surprise it arrived within a week. The backpack itself is small but I can fit a book, my iPad, wallet, phone, external charger and a small water bottle. The material is faux leather but it has a nice color and comes with a fluffy Pom-Pom! It is actually quite deceiving and you can get in a lot more than you would think. The key part of this backpack is that it zips from the backside. This means that the zipper will lie on your back and no one can unzip it and steal your stuff. I love this feature for the ability to feel safe walking city streets knowing no one will be able to sneakily take my belongings, but also dislike it because of the inconvenience and lack of entry way to the backpack from the small zipper. However it’s actually quite worth it in the end and I would definitely recommend it for a city dweller or someone who travels.
UPDATE: After 3 months of use the zipper broke - but could just be me and the fact that I tried to shove a lot into the backpack.
Baux Travel Jacket
Ready for this - the jacket was the biggest disappointment ever!! Again, another facebook advert that sells you on the idea that this jacket is the perfect travel piece, however it is a piece of junk. The quality of the jacket it subpar. Every time I go to velcro something I feel like I’m going to rip the flimsy stitches out of the jacket and create a huge whole where the velcro once was. They provide a pen and a stylist in the front zipper but they had both fallen off on the first day without me even using them. The jacket claims to be rain proof but I haven’t yet had the chance to really test that out. We have only been caught in a small rain shower so I’m not sure how dry the jacket will keep you. They provide you with a collapsable water bottle that is also a piece of trash and I have thrown it out. The only thing semi worth it is the amount of zippered pockets and the inflatable neck pillow. However, I’m sure you could find those things elsewhere with better quality.
686 Men's Everywhere Multi Pant
I (Eoghan) searched and searched everywhere for an appropriate trouser (or pants) that would be good for all day traveling and activities, while remaining practical, comfortable, and stylish enough to dress up at the end of the day for dinner. We were going to Peru and Bolivia for three weeks with just a 30L backpack each, so space was at a premium and chinos or jeans aren’t exactly space savers.
After searching high and low I finally came across 686 - a brand I had never heard of (thank you Instagram for stalking my search history and recommending me this brand!). These pants are described on their website as “perfect for the go-everywhere, do-everything traveler who doesn't want to sacrifice style” - they match this description and what I was looking for almost perfectly. On our three week trip in South America, these pants faired extremely well. They are durable, comfortable, breathable, and the fit I was looking for. The pants’ ‘style’ could do with minor adjustments. My two big qualms with these pants were that the side leg pocket/vent could be made less visible or completely removed, and one of the pockets should have a zip for added security to hold you phone and/or wallet safe. The fit is slim but not too slim, and the material is comfortable, stretchy, and durable (water repellant and provides protection from the sun). I thoroughly enjoyed putting these on (I bought the dark green and tobacco ones) everyday and made me feel ready to tackle any challenge we had planned ahead.
For total transparency, here are the other “travel” pants I looked at and even bought, but felt they didn’t check all the right boxes - Vuori, Patagonia, Nike, Mack Weldon, and Adidas.
Teva Terra-Float Churn
The Teva Terra-Float Churns are the ultimate trekking shoe, that are as good in the hills as they are in the cities. Going to the varying landscapes of Peru and Bolivia was the perfect opportunity to give these shoes a thorough test. I love these shoes! I think I wore them every single day, whether it was roaming the streets of Cusco, splashing in the flooded salt flats of Uyuni, or climbing the terraces of Machu Picchu.
They are lightweight, versatile, and stylish, and any head turning by locals and tourists alike will be from pure jealousy. They aren’t waterproof since the front-top are made of a mesh, however the cushiony sole provides greater support for those days you’re on your feet all-day. I’ve raved about these so much that Kelly is thinking about trading in her Teva hiking boots for these. They are just more versatile, and when space in your luggage is at a premium, bringing the right shoe for any situation certainly helps.