6 Water & Rain Friendly Items for Your Next Trip
Reviewed By Gerrie Summers
Key Smart Urban 21 Commuter Backpack
I’m a big backpack person. I find them more convenient and they (usually) place less stress on my back and shoulders than totes. The only problem, when I travel with one, I can’t find anything—I usually dump items into the typical three to four large pockets. I’m a little more organized with Key Smart’s Urban 21 Commuter Backpack, which has several helpful features. It has waterproof front and top pockets. The top pocket is a hard shell storage compartment that is shockproof, so it not only keeps things dry, tech items like cell phones or headphones, or delicate items like sunglasses are protected and easily accessed. There are also organizational pockets and compartments inside for cables, keys, and other items. It does add a slight bit of weight to the pack, but there’s a pass-through sleeve that you can slide onto a handle of wheeled luggage for easy transport. Another plus, the strap buckles are magnetic. I can’t tell you how many fingernails have been broken snapping and unsnapping regular buckles. In addition, it has a padded laptop pocket, anti-sweat foam back pad, a secret pocket to hide an ID or passport. The Professional Bundle ($259.99) includes the backpack with a chest strap, water bottle (keeps liquids cold up to 24 hours and hot for 12 hours), rain cover and pocket organizer.
Ryka Hydro Sport Water Shoe
I like water shoes for canoeing and kayaking, but if you have to step out onto small rocks, they’re not very protective. Ryka Hydro Sport Water Shoes are great for that, as well as for mild hikes and tours when there’s a chance for rain. They’re very comfortable for long walks. They have a multi-port drainage system to remove excess water after leaving the pool or water. The sticky rubber soles give extra traction on wet surfaces. Most wearers use them for water aerobics (although some say they are slippery in the pool, while others find it has a good grip.) The speed lace system with toggle makes them easy-off and back on at the airport security line. The only downside is I can’t wear them as a regular sneaker in chilly weather, without really heavy socks because the cool air seeps in. But that’s what boots are for, right? $69.99.
If you’re going to be exercising in the pool on your cruise or at the resort, try HydroChic. HydroChic has a chlorine proof and sun-protective activewear line. The Petal Cap Sleeve Swim & Sport Shirt ($76) and matching Performance Wave Runner Swim Tights ($74) are good for the pool and for working out in the sun because the fabric provides 50+ UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). hydrochic.com.
There are times when I need comfortable shoes while on city tours yet I don’t want to wear sneakers because we might make a stop at a fancy restaurant. I prefer to use ballet-style shoes but not all of them stay comfortable the whole day. I found the solution, Arcopedico’s Lolita ballet flat. The upper part of the shoe is made of a Lycra material blend that conforms to the feet, has twin arch support for even distribution of weight over the entire surface of the foot for all-day comfort. The polyurethane outer sole absorbs impact and makes the shoe great for strolls over cobblestones and slippery sidewalks. The Lolita is lightweight, breathable and a dream to pack. They also have a removable insole and are machine washable. The Lolita is available in 14 colors for $69.00.
Tyr Active Lagoon Abby Swim Leggings
Two things usually happen while away, in a nice warm destination: I’m going to do yoga on the beach and I’ll more than likely wind up in a boat. So it’s great that Tyr’s Women’s Active Lagoon Abby Swim Leggings can double as yoga and swimwear. You can wear them for paddle-boarding and other water sports, or do your morning beach yoga and then cool off in the water. They provide UPF 50+ UV protection and there’s also a hidden pocket for your room key. $49.99. swimoutlet.com.
XTRATUF Canvas Sharkbyte Deck Shoes
Do you need a good shoe for fishing, boating, and land excursions? XTRATUF Canvas Sharkbyte Deck Shoes are durable, water-resistant and stylish. It has a water-resistant canvas upper and a rear pull tab that makes them easy to put on and reinforced leather panel at the heel for easy slip off. It also has a non-marking, slip-resistant chevron outsole. Made with breathable mesh lining, it keeps feet cool on hot days. The shoe is available in styles for women (light grey, blue or camo) and men (navy, olive or camo). $75.
Gerrie Summers is a New York-based freelance writer and has been writing professionally for several years in the areas of entertainment, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and wellness. She is currently the Style Editor for New York Lifestyles Magazine where she also writes about wellness and travel, and a regular contributor to Real Health magazine and Sisters from AARP. Her travel features have appeared in Luxury Living Magazine, Foxnews.com, Trip Savvy, For the Bride and Today’s Black Woman. She also writes the blogs SummersRetreat and The Tranquil Traveler.