The Best Travel Gear in 2018

Books, camera gadgets, umbrellas and more of our picks for what to pack for vacation.
 

Photo courtesy Getty Images


Translation Tools

 

Google Pixel Buds

These wireless earbuds come equipped with Google Translate, allowing for real-time, multi-language conversation. Compatible with Android or Google Pixel smartphones, the buds’ translation software can decipher 40 foreign languages. $219. Available at store.google.com/ca

Duolingo podcast

Launched in December 2017, the Duolingo Podcast shares engaging true-life travel stories in easy-to-understand Spanish—the second most spoken language in the world—with helpful English narration throughout. Listen to new 15-minute episodes every Thursday at podcast.duolingo.com


Coffee Makers and Mugs

 

Cafflano Klassic

This pour-over coffee maker and travel mug turns your beans into brew. The Cafflano Klassic combines a hand mill grinder, pouring cup, metal filter dripper and tumbler mug into a single portable package about the size of a standard travel mug. $120. Available at cafflanoshop.com

Pascal Press

This combination pressure brewer and travel mug is used by combining grounds and water in an outer cup, then plunging down on a second cup to separate grounds from the coffee, which then travels up an interior tube and into the second cup. $44. Available at pascalpress.com


Rain Gear

 

KAZbrella Umbrella

Developed to fix the problem of dripping umbrellas, the KAZbrella opens and closes in the opposite direction to traditional designs, with the rain-soaked canopy folding upward, thereby trapping the water and leaving only the dry underside exposed. £45. Available at kazbrella.com

Craft Ride Rain Jacket

This waterproof jacket is lightweight with a relaxed bike fit, and its taped seams, elastic cuffs and water-repellent zippers help keep out the damp and cold. It also has laser-cut ventilation holes to keep you cool when the clouds part and the sun pokes through. US$140. Available at shop.craftsports.us


Camera Gear

 

Peak Design’s Everyday Messenger Bag

Founded in 2011 with the mission of finding a better way to carry cameras, Peak Design raised more than US$14 million on various Kickstarter campaigns. Its stylishly simple Everyday Messenger bag—available in charcoal, ash and tan—fits everything a photographer needs for a day of exploring. From US$220. Available at peakdesign.com

Manfrotto’s PIXI Mini Tripod

Whether you’re snapping long exposures or the night sky, tripods are crucial for capturing a great image. But they are notoriously cumbersome, especially when travelling. Weighing in at under 200 grams and measuring less than 20 centimetres long when closed, Manfrotto’s PIXI Mini Tripod excels on the road. $35. Available at manfrotto.ca


Books

 

The Wolves of Winter

In a world devastated by nuclear war and disease, a young woman’s spirit is tested as she fights for survival in the beautiful, but unforgiving, Yukon wilderness. The Wolves of Winter is a fast-paced first novel from Kelowna-based writer Tyrell Johnson. Available at indigo.ca

The Woman in the Window

Agoraphobia keeps Anna Fox confined to her New York apartment, where she passes the time spying on her neighbours—until she sees something she shouldn’t. In his debut novel The Woman in the Window, New Yorker A. J. Finn reimagines a Hitchcock classic. Available at indigo.ca

The Calculating Stars: A Lady

The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel

Astronaut Novel This what-if history novel by Mary Robinette Kowal begins in 1952 in the wake of a meteorite strike. To help save life on Earth, Elma York joins the International Aerospace Coalition with the goal of becoming the first female astronaut. Available at indigo.ca

Summer Wives

Summer Wives

Set on fictional Winthrop Island, a haven to the privileged and home to Portuguese fishermen, this novel by Beatriz Williams leaps between time and the lives of two women, Bianca Medeiro (1930) and Miranda Schulyer (1951 and 1969). Slowly unravel a mystery of lost love, murder and an escaped fugitive. Available at indigo.ca


Music and Sound Gear

 

Jabra Elite 65t

Jabra Elite 65t

 

With a sleek design, and holding a charge for up to 15 hours, these wireless buds will keep you grooving on the go. $219.99. Available at bestbuy.ca

Tribit XSound Go

Tribit XSound Go

 

Waterproof, durable and weighing less than half a kilogram, this Bluetooth speaker boasts 24 hours of playtime. $49.99. Available at amazon.ca


Travel Bags

 

Fossil Camilla Convertible Backpack

Fossil Camilla Convertible Backpack,

This tote and backpack has two interior pockets, so it’ll fit your 13-inch laptop along with your travel essentials. $248. Available at fossil.com


Cell Phone Gear

 

Moment New Wide Lens

Moment New Wide Lens

 

Mount this lens on your phone and capture clear, crisp photos straight from your smartphone. US$99. Available at shopmoment.com

Mophie Charge Stream Pad+

Mophie Charge Stream Pad

This wireless fast-charger is Apple and Android compatible (Qi-enabled) making it the perfect travel companion. $69.99. Available at bestbuy.ca


Hiking Gear

 

Casio PRG 650

Casio PRG 650

Whether you need a little help finding your way, or want to know the altitude of a freshly-conquered peak, this function-packed watch delivers. It’s equipped with a triple sensor—compass, altimeter, thermometer—as well as basic timekeeping functions, which should come in handy on your next adventure. From US$320. Available at shopcasio.com

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX

A walk in the woods (or up a mountain) starts with the right footwear. Salomon’s X Ultra 3 series Trail Shoes are a lightweight choice for short trail walks and longer day hikes. Contagrip outer soles, breathable Goretex membrane and Quicklace tightening provide stability, comfort and convenience wherever you go. $180. Available at salomon.com