Soft and sensible is how we’d describe Gaiam’s racerback swing top. Whether you wear it as a beach cover-up, a yoga dress or an on-the-town-twirler, this eco-friendly staple crumples up to nothing, making packing a no-brainer. Fold it into a pocket or slide it into the top sleeve of a daypack and you have something cool and comfy to slide into the moment you deplane. Made of 95 per cent bamboo and five per cent Spandex, it’s uber-breathable, self-wicking and versatile—exactly what every travel item should be. (US$58)
Gear review: Tempur-Pedic sleep mask
Rest easy on your next overnight flight with Tempur-Pedic’s sleep mask. I’ve used slim, nylon masks (that slide off with every turn) and big, foamy goggle-affairs but never anything that is as perfectly moulded—precisely why it blocks out all light—to your face as this cozy design. It comes in a navy blue velour-like fabric with an adjustable Velcro strap. Sure, it’s a little bulkier than other masks, but perhaps the company that gave us great mattresses knows a thing or two about designing effective travel-sleep accessories. (US$29)
Gear review: Day Packer utility knife by Victorinox Swiss Army
I so wanted to love the ultra-groovy, lime green, super-slim, Day Packer—made by Victorinox, founders of the traditional red Swiss Army knife. With a four-inch handle, a one-clip super sharp blade, perhaps this is all a person really needs—I thought before taking it out on a day hike. When you think about it, how often do we actually use the tweezers, scissors, toothpicks and umpteen blades? OK, not so much—but a corkscrew and a handy ring on the end so I can clip it to something, are my essentials in even the most basic knife.
Gear review: Columbia Powerdrain water shoe
A typical water shoe for me is a ragged, end-of-the-road pair of old sneakers. But now that I’ve cycled, canoed and swam in my ultra-lightweight, almost-instantly-dry Columbia Powerdrain water shoe, I can see why the hubbub. They drain, they breathe, they don’t stink and they stick to rocks (say, on a canoe portage) when they should. Sure, the sole follows your foot when you slide out of these toggled lightweights, but then that dries in a ridiculously quick moment. ($100)