Travel Gear for Spring 2015: Car Camping Gear
By Eleanor Harte
Our roundup of the latest travel gear is here. From the good to the bad, we let you know what’s worth investing in this spring – and what’s best left staying on the store shelf. If you’re planning on camping this summer, here are a few useful items.
Eureka Silver Canyon Sleeping Bag
Good up to 30 degrees Farenheit, this new Silver Canyon sleeping bag is good for three seasons and has a 3D foot box so you can find your most comfortable sleeping position. It weighs just under 4 and a half pounds. These might be a bit hefty for a backpacker but for most of us who car camp, this is a great bag that will provide a lot of padding and warmth.
Eureka Sleeping Bag $89.95 YES!
Eureka Silver Canyon Tent
This new line from Eureka offers two Silver Canyon models, the 4 and 6, for 2015. A three season tent that sleeps six people, the Silver Canyon 6 tent clocks in at just under 22 pounds. This is no pup tent, it’s big enough to seriously sleep two or three people. I say that because as a claustrophobic, I need my tent to be roomy. This six should be fine for my partner and I to enjoy a few nights of car camping at a Massachusetts lake.
The Silver Canyon also incorporates Eureka!’s E!luminate System,a removable reflective ceiling panels that reflect the light from a hanging LED lantern back towards the floor, increasing floor-level lighting brightness by up to three times.
Also new is the Eureka! Media Center (a gear hammock with a built-in, touch-screen friendly center sleeve that can hang from any of the interior tent walls to enable campers to watch videos from tablets or other small electronic devices, all from the comfort of their sleeping bags.
Eureka Silver Canyon Tent $399 YES!
This quart-sized bag fits the exact specifications of the TSA, so it’s great for traveling. It stands up on its own for packing and has a wrist strap that makes it easy to hold onto. Now you have a nicer looking place to store those 3 oz bottles of liquids you’re taking through security.
Flanabags $19.95 Maybe
Comfy Commuter Pillow
This comfy pillow compresses into a carrying bag when it’s not in use. It provides neck support and can be used in almost any traveling situation. The only problem many travelers have is lugging this big comfy pillow through airports and en route. I prefer something that can be compressed down to a very small size. Other travelers said the same thing, and a few on Amazon said they stuffed it into their suitcase. I can’t imagine having that much extra room. A chiropractor said that this works better and treated his neck better than any other pillow…so comfortable it is.
Comfy Commuter Pillow $39.99 Meh
Vim & Vigr Women’s Compression Socks
These decorative compression socks work to alleviate swelling, aid in muscle recovery, and help prevent varicose veins. Made of 88% nylon, 12 percent spandex, there is no latex in these socks. It’s nice to see such groovy styling, and though the price is high for a single pair of socks, if you’re bound for India or China or anywhere requiring a longhaul flight, you’ll be happy to be wearing these. But still get up and move around the cabin during a long flight that and wearing the right socks can be a savior against deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.
Vim & Vigr Womens Compression Socks $32.95 MAYBE
Bluetune Bean Wireless Speaker
This lightweight speaker connects to your phone’s bluetooth to play music directly from your phone. It charges with a micro USB cord and comes with a carabiner to easily snap onto anything you’re carrying. It’s amazing how much sound comes out of something so tiny! Our tester even used this device in her car, it sounded better than the car stereo! Past versions of the product have been tested, worked well, and then could not be syched, so we are not 100% sure we can endorse this neat little gadget.
Bluetune Bean $24.90 YES
This jewelry carrying case is lined with velvet to prevent your necklaces and bracelets from being crushed. Its powerful magnets ensure that your jewelry stays in place, even in transit. It’s also kind of fun to snap shut, with a big bang!
MagBag $29.95 and up MAYBE
OGIO Ascent Backpack
This backpack has plenty of room for travel gear and padding for a 15 inch laptop. It has a side water bottle pocket and compression straps. Our testers took this pack on a California Route 1 road trip and it proved its meddle. There is a little gadget vault in the front of this pack that’s useful if you wanted to store your phone and other electronics inside it. This has a good hefty feel to it, good sewing, well built.
OGIO Backpack $99.99 <span “color: #ff0000; background-color: #ffffff;”>YES
TravelPro 4 Wheeled Suitcase
The TravelPro Max Lite 3 21 inch roller is a top notch piece of luggage. This suitcase is the perfect size to fit into an overhead bin on an airplane, and the four wheeled design makes it easy to wheel around. The telescoping handle is sold and feels reliable. One international traveler said that after very careful research, he chose this bag because his old reliable LL Bean two-wheeler wasn’t as easy to carry down an airport concourse.
I concur, having taken many a long trip with the four wheel suitcases and find them always easier than their two-wheel brethren. The light weight construction of this TravelPro was also cited by travelers, who mentioned that some times its the weight and not just the size that forces carryon-sized bags to be checked.
TravelPro suitcase $118.99 YES
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