Whether by plane, train or automobile, we are all eager to make up for lost travel time in a vaccinated world this winter. This equipment will go as far as you do.
Nixon The Hauler 35L Backpack ($ 130)
At 35 liters, the Hauler is the perfect size to carry on an airplane as a personal item. This fits under your seat but leaves room for extra layers, and has a separate shoe compartment so you can reserve valuable space for your checked baggage. But the highlight is the 270-degree zipper, which lets you get into the bottom of your bag without digging. The four external carry straps (these are meant for a skateboard, but a tester used them for a snowboard and ski jacket), removable belt, and comfortable back panel make this bag functional for hiking or climbing once you reach your destination.
Bose QuietComfort headphones ($ 279)
We’ve praised Bose noise-canceling headphones for travel before, but so far we’ve been unable to find a more portable version. These headphones blew us away with their sound quality and intuitive controls for raising and lowering volume, adjusting noise reduction levels, and skipping songs. Our favorite features: the automatic pause when you remove an earbud and the way they stay in place during exercise and under a ski helmet.
Matador Laptop Base Layer Case ($ 60)
Base layers are a key part of any active winter wardrobe, and they should be a staple in your tech kit, too. The Matador ripstop nylon laptop case is lightweight and waterproof (thanks to a waterproof bag interior liner), with just enough padding to protect a laptop from bumps and scratches during a bumpy ride without adding bulk additional. Roll the top down for full protection, or close it with Velcro for quick access in less challenging conditions.
Hitch water bottle ($ 69)
A take-out cup nestles at the bottom of this container, with its top securely seated on the water bottle lid; Unbox them, fill them, stack them, lock them together, and you can carry two drinks in one hand. Both vacuum insulated containers come with splash-proof lids that keep both drinks at ideal temperatures for several hours.
Fjällräven Visby 3 in 1 Jacket ($ 550)
The technique enough for snow and sleet but stylish enough to wear around town, and ideal for changing winter conditions, the Visby 3 in 1 combines a waterproof recycled polyester shell, coated with PU and DWR with a removable insulated midsole jacket. Wear them together when it’s cold, or pull them apart when you need less protection or insulation. We also like the deep pockets and the flattering cut that tapers slightly at the waist, more reminiscent of a pea coat than a parka. (women XXS-XL / men XS-XXL)
Dakine Split Roller 110L Luggage ($ 240)
Wheeled dumpers are great for swallowing material, but they have some drawbacks: most lack organization, are difficult to store, and tip over when standing. Not the Split Roller, which has a clamshell opening with a split interior that makes it easy to separate layers. We also love the interior neoprene stretch panel, which can accommodate bulky gear and even the most glaring overpacks. A Foldable bottom brace, which provides stability even when the bag is filled to the brim and folds up for easier storage.
Allyson Dovetail Trucker Jacket ($ 139)
Combine the style of a denim jacket, the functionality of a chore coat, and the comfort of your favorite flannel, and you have the Allyson. Six deep, secure button and zip pockets eliminate the need to carry a purse for small items. On a recent trip, a tester was able to stash a phone, sunglasses, wallet, e-reader, headphones, and boarding documents without looking lumpy. Meanwhile, an ultra soft cotton flannel lining makes this jacket much warmer than it looks, almost like wearing two layers in one. A plant-based stain-repellent and water-repellent coating withstood a day of drizzle and spilled airport coffee. (women XS-3XL)
Kodiak Kindersley Boots ($ 170)
The waterproof Kindersley features 200 gram PrimaLoft synthetic insulation to keep toes dry after hours in the snow. But don’t be fooled by the technicalities. Unlike your snow boots, the Kindersleys are easy to dress up, with their sleek dark brown leather, pointed metal rivets, striped red laces, and pebbled outsoles. A comfortable suede tongue and elastic footbed made from a herbal foam make for comfortable after-beer tours after a day on the slopes.
Duer All Weather Performance Denim Jeans ($ 199)
To test Duer’s claim that “anytime, anywhere, any weather” we wore these pants for hiking, biking and sledding in snow, wind and rain. The soft cotton-polyester-elastane blend was stretchy enough to maintain range of motion in all of these activities. Meanwhile, the windproof and waterproof inner membrane kept us surprisingly warm and dry. And, unlike other technical pants, these can be dressed up for dinner. (women 24-34 / men 28-38)