After returning from 15 continuous months on the road, it’s an understatement to say that some of my clothing items were rendered useless. I have attachments to certain things like a basic striped summer dress, which, even though is covered with speckles of neon paint, I can’t bear to throw it out (until I find another). But other things, such as staple everyday items, HAVE to be replaced. Otherwise you just look like a nomadic hobo.
My staple items include a fleece, a waterproof jacket, trousers that are great for trekking, good hiking shoes and a durable daypack.
I’d already thrown out my waterproof jacket because the zip busted and I had to almost rip myself out of it every time I wore it. It was replaced with a vibrant, girlie and smart red Northface one. I’ve been through three daypacks because, not only because they got disgustingly dirty with all the dust and grime of multiple journeys, but because they never held up to the test when my the contents of my daypack got slightly heavier. I had also discarded my Northface Hedgehog trekking shoes because they somehow refused to stop killing my feet, purchasing a pair of funky Nike black and neon blue/pink combo trainers in Japan to tide me over. I then left my cute black (albeit slightly worn out) fleece at my mate’s house in Seoul. Total fail all round.
It’s fair to say that a huge overhaul was needed, and when Millets and Blacks contacted me to review some travel items, I jumped at the chance. It was time to get practical and restock again for round two of my round the world travels. Plus it was also the perfect excuse to hang out in travel clothing shops – these two of which I have been frequenting since around the age of 15. I honestly have a bad obsession with doing this, even if I don’t need anything.
The New Daypack – By PacSafe
The PacSafe Venturesafe 25l GII Anti-Theft Travel Pack is hands down the best ever daypack I‘ve ever owned. I’m a huge fan of this brand and carry a lockable wire mesh backpack cover with me when I am travelling, so this brand of day pack was a top choice – its both stylish and heavy on security features.
It’s slash proof (with an eXomesh inner lining), has lockable zippers, a turn and lock hook (which means you can attach and lock your bag around a table leg or post) and a RFIDsafe ‘blocking pocket’ so that people can’t steal your identity details from your passport and credit cards with their clever wireless, thieving technology. With two main compartments, including a padded 15” MacBook compatible sleeve (an essential inclusion for me) and side pockets for water and other items (ideal for when this day pack turns into a day trekking pack), it’s altogether pretty damn perfect.
Even a travel buddy once asked me if I was indestructible after seeing the nifty pockets and contraptions of this pack. It’s basically like being the Inspector Gadget of nomadic adventuring.
The New Trekking Trousers – By Craghoppers
I literally spent years trying to find trekking trousers that are ‘perfect’. Just like all of the years you try to find everyday black trousers that are perfect – it rarely, if at all, happens. My last trekking trousers were navy blue, comfy and a good fit – as boring as that description. For all your ladies out there looking for trekking trousers that are actually flattering, look no further than these navy blue Craghoppers Women’s Kiwi Pro Stretch Convertible Trousers (and breathe).
Stylish and flattering don’t normally go hand in hand in the travel gear world, but these don’t make you look two sizes bigger than you actually are. Hurrah! I wore these on most days during my recent trip to Israel, as the weather was cold and rainy – which meant I made the most of the moisture-wicking fabric and quick-drying fabric, but not the built-in UV protection.
The New Trekking Shoes – By Asolo
Herein lies another one of my many travel-shopping dilemmas – I have really narrow feet. Which means nearly all decent trekking shoes look super chunky on me like I’m secretly harboring hobbit feet.
As a result, I’ve always steered clear of the ‘boot’ style and instead purchased practical footwear that was a cross between a hiking shoe and a trainer. And then one day I decided to try on nearly every hiking boot in Blacks, which wasn’t fun for the shop assistant but it was fun for me. My determination paid off when I found these Asolo Women’s Mesita Gore-Tex Walking Boots.
SLIMLINE hiking boots! Or as they call it: ‘the Natural Shape range… constructed with a curved, rounded sole that ergonomically hugs the shape of your foot.’ Well, amen to that because they look great! So much so, I wore them almost everyday.
I was still wearing them in a little in Israel but I put them to the test on two hikes and they were brilliant – comfortable, waterproof and with great traction on the outer grip to ensure you don’t slip and fall on your arse. And they are blue (can you see a colour obsession forming here?). Enough said.
For Christmas I got a smart new Trespass fleece (in a different shade of blue) and so now all my main staple items are in varying shades of blue and red, which at least makes me feel a little stylish, girlie and coordinated. Anything is better than beige.
Now I’m fully stocked up for the next adventure and have every faith these items will last a lot longer than all my previous last-minute purchases and bad mistakes. But when they do die a death on the road, I know I will be purchasing the exact same items or, even if de-listed, the same brands for these particular items.
Millets and Blacks kindly supplied these items for review, which I choose according to my own style and specific requirements for durable travel wear. All opinions are my own and nor did either party request a favourable review or force upon me the notion of colour coordination. That anally retentive choice is all mine. Due to stock rotation, both websites may not show all the items above. But keep checking, as when stock replenishes, they will be there!