Miscellaneous travel/outdoor gear that I've stumbled across and feel the need to recommend to others. I'm not sponsored by any of these companies. They don't know I exist. I've just found this stuff to be fantastic and/or incredibly useful on my adventures.
Osprey Sojourn 28 and the Osprey Porter 46
(I tested these packs for SNEWS/GearTrends. You can read the full review here). I love the combination of these two bags. I use one or both for everything from 6-month stays to weekend visits. If you travel a lot and are looking to invest in some great travel luggage, I think you'll find these to be durable, versatile, and perfect for a variety of travel styles.
Petzl Tikka Headlamp
Petzl Tikka Headlamp
I always travel with a headlamp. You never know when you'll find yourself walking down a road in Morocco with no streetlights or staying in a hotel with no power. If you don't already include a headlamp in your "don't leave home without" line-up, I would highly recommend investing in one. If you're looking for something super lightweight, you might check out the Black Diamond ion. But personally, I prefer the Tikka. I've had this headlamp for years and have nothing but good things to say about it. Get one.
Arc'teryx Caliber Hooded Fleece Jacket:
My absolute favorite fleece. Hands-down. I love this thing, and it's held up so well after extremely hard use. I wear it for skiing, hiking, around town, traveling Arc'teryx is a little on the pricey side, especially for a penny-pinching traveler, but it's the worth the money. This stuff holds up, and they stand by their product 100%. Love them.
I never leave home without one of these. Ever. My absolute favorite journal. I adore the simplicity, the elegance, and the paper quality is lovely.
Dynafit Haute Route (women's backcountry skis):
I like these skis because they're pretty (they have flowers), and they're lightweight, and they make me look like a better skier than I actually am. Enough said. I first bought some skis a few years ago. I desperately wanted to learn to ski, but shortly after purchasing them I moved to Monterey, California for graduate school and found myself with limited opportunity to ski. Then I moved to the Middle East and while there is great skiing in Afghanistan and Lebanon, there aren't many any opportunities to ski in the West Bank. Then I moved to Geneva. I contacted a friend of mine who works for Dynafit, and long story short...I ended up with the Haute Route skis. My friend knows his gear and the very fact that he works for Dynafit is testament enough for me that these guys have their stuff figured out. These skis are no exception. I'm not a skiing expert by any means. I have one (shaky) season of ski mountaineering under my belt, and am definitely a novice. But I know that these skis + skins + bindings were fricking amazing. They're super lightweight--which for a little person like me trying to keep up with a big person like British guy on the ascent is a definite plus. I wouldn't recommend them for powder and they're a little bit wobbly at high speeds, but overall I found them to be very responsive and pretty forgiving (I mean...come on...I was able to use them). The Dynafit binding system can be a little tricky to figure out, but it doesn't take long to get used to. Trust me. If I can figure it out, anybody can. I complicate even the most basic things. I can barely put together IKEA furniture. Not sure I would recommend these skis for someone just getting into skiing (basically I'm saying...don't be like me), but if you're looking for an upgrade or making the switch from piste to off-piste, I personally love these skis.