It’s funny how the concept of Spring Break evolves as we age. When we’re young, it’s the ultimate way to go out and blow off some steam. When we’re a little older, it’s still a fantastic way to let loose and escape everyday stress, but we approach it with a little more maturity. And eventually most of us reach a point where we sprain a muscle or joint just thinking about partying, and instead all we want is something a little more secluded and fulfilling.
One thing never changes, though: we always need new gear. If it’s a road trip to Ft. Lauderdale Beach, we’re going to need to do a little shopping. If it’s a family getaway to the Bahamas, it’s time to make a checklist. And even if it’s a couple’s retreat to that special little villa you’ve always had an eye on, you’re still going to need some extra items to enhance the experience.
Not sure where to start? We have your back.
Bearbottom Rapids Dry Backpack 30L
Take it from a dad who loves to overpack a child’s favorite pool and beach toys: a big dry bag should always be in the luggage rotation. From the moment you unpack the Bearbottom Rapids Dry Backpack 30L, you’ll know that not only will all your gear be safe from the elements, but you can also bring the kitchen sink and remain confident that everything you need is two snaps away.
One important thing to know about this style of backpack is that it’s not just about the adventure. This larger style from Bearbottom excels at adding comfort through a shoulder strap design that you’d expect to find on a fancier leather weekender. So, while it will be carrying snorkeling gear and GoPro accessories one week, it can later serve as your perfect gym bag or a coach’s carryall for Little League and youth flag football. Heck, keep it clean between trips and it can even be your daily work backpack. That’s the beauty of a very intelligent design.
Nomatic McKinnon Camera Pack 35L
For the influencer crowd, every week can be Spring Break, which means the goal of buying a new backpack should be to find an ideal blend of style, comfort, and utilitarian value. If photography is a big part of your vacation, then take a page from icon Peter McKinnon and grab a backpack that not only covers your basics, but also takes great care of your valuable accessories.
The professional photographer teamed with Nomatic to design and create the Nomatic McKinnon Camera Pack 35L (top), which beautifully blends style and durability for a concept that says, “Watch out—serious artist coming through.” Even if we secretly know that you’re just getting started with the hobby.
Nomatic Navigator Travel Backpack 32L
“But I’m not an aspiring photographer,” you might whisper while kicking at the dirt. If Nomatic does anything well, it is promoting variety and versatility in carryon luggage. For general travel needs, the Nomatic Navigator Travel Backpack 32L is a big, beautiful choice that allows solo travelers to spend weeks away from home, parents to pack a little bit of everything for keeping kids entertained and engaged, and couples to save space and money by just bringing the weekend essentials.
This is one big backpack, though, so if the load is lighter for a quick trip, the Navigator Lite Pack 15L is an equally great option. Or, pro tip: get one of each and leave the regular luggage at home…
FlyWithWine Piccolo 5-Bottle Carryon
That is, unless you need the regular luggage to bring back some special souvenirs. Although, the Piccolo 5-Bottle Carryon from FlyWithWine should hardly be considered “regular.” When I first read about this type of luggage, I expected it to be a gimmick that is fine for bringing some bottles home safely, but at the expense of the rest of your gear. Boy, was I wrong.
Let’s start by removing the foam inserts from this hard-case roller bag—it is a strong, durable, and stylish piece of luggage that is ideal for any short getaway. The interior design makes packing a breeze (with or without packing cubes) and the TSA-friendly lock inspires confidence in everything arriving safely when all the families on your return flight take up the overhead space with their excessive shopping hauls and you’re forced to check your bag at the gate.
(Sorry for venting.)
Now, with the foam inserts, this is undoubtedly the best way to bring home a few bottles of beloved wine and spirits, and a wise packer won’t even notice the difference in space.
Bote Zeppelin Aero Kayak
Always wanted to bring a kayak on your road trip but realized it’s pretty difficult when you don’t have a rooftop rack for your car or a kayak? The heroes at Bote have rectified both problems with one very affordable and convenient solution: The Zeppelin Aero Kayak.
With two models to choose from, it’s really all about what a traveler needs for the adventure. The Zeppelin Aero 12’6” is the OG version that got a style upgrade that now delivers tandem seating, making it the ideal selection for couples and dynamic duos. However, the solo wanderer will prefer the Zeppelin Aero 10, which is a single seater that offers more speed and agility for when there are multiple areas to visit before a nice snack on the shore.
What really makes the Bote kayaks so remarkable, though, is how easily they break down and pack up. And yet, despite how they’re designed for convenience, these kayaks are still loaded with bells and whistles. They’re modern miracles for travelers who are all about ease.
Bote Hangout Suite
For those travelers who wish to be on the water but not put forth any physical exertion, Bote also has a modern miracle for you. The new Hangout Suite was developed to revolutionize the “float category” that hasn’t offered many surprises over the years. Sure, there are some giant inflatable bouncers and maybe some crazy water toys, but for those moments when everyone wants to catch some rays and talk about life, very little will best what I am dubbing the Voltron of water-based recreation.
The Hangout Suite is comprised of the Hangout 240, Hangout Couch, and Hangout Lounge, but the ultimate perk is the ability to mix and match with various pieces. For example, the inflatable Hangout Bar Classic will be a must-have for responsibly enjoying fresh cocktails, and it also makes for the perfect spot to leave the Magneboom Swell Waterproof Speaker. Or, you can just go big and choose the Mega Floatilla.
Maybe you don’t want to spend all the time in the water, though. That’s fine, Bote has already thought of you, too. The Inflatable AeroRondak Chairs will provide the best seats in the house for anyone who just wants to dip their toes while staying closest to the dry snacks.
Treblab HD Force
For home or away, there are few accessories we love more than Treblab’s Bluetooth speakers and headphone. They’re always affordably priced while delivering the same quality as the bigger names, and if ever there is a perk for travelers to love, it is exceptional battery life. The latest offering from this reliable brand is the Treblab HD-Force waterproof portable speaker, which helps anyone launch a portable party while remaining conveniently helpful.
For starters, I just added a pair of these speakers to my backyard pool setup to see if they deliver the best summer sounds, and the pairing option is shockingly easy. A couple quick button pushes and these lightweight devices are going for hours, which is a nice upgrade from previous models that sometimes require multiple efforts to pair.
But the thing that spontaneous pool party hosts will love the most is the built-in power bank that lets guests charge their phones without detriment to the longevity of the playlist. Oh, and there’s a built-in mic in case you need to take that work call and pretend you’re definitely not on your lounger.
Sway Fire Flame Hydro Go
As far as portability, we love a lightweight Bluetooth speaker that fits in a backpack, because you never know where and when it’ll be time to enjoy a soundtrack. With up to 15 hours of playtime between charges, the Sway Fire Flame Hydro Go IPX7 Waterproof Speaker will deliver plenty of fun on the journey, especially when the sun sets and the full motion LED lights kick in.
But the most important aspect of all is durability and this speaker was designed to handle the bumps that come with exploring. In fact, this speaker is likely going to be a favorite among younger travelers, between the colorful lights and the fact that they can’t get in trouble for dropping it by or in the pool.
Himiway Cruiser Electric Bike
Still riding strong as my favorite product of the last year, I’m a sleeveless leather jacket away from starting my own e-bike gang. It’s hard not to feel such vibes while riding around on the Himiway Cruiser, because in addition to being a lot of fun and convenient, it is also a head turner.
With up to 60 miles of range, it remains an ideal choice for professionals with short commutes or simply riding to the store or gym. But for the space-saving crowd, the Himiway Escape Pro is also a great choice that doesn’t sacrifice style or fun while delivering reliability and safety.
BN3TH Bike Shorts
One thing I’ve learned as an e-bike aficionado is that the roads are a little bumpier than I anticipated, and that’s bad news for my old bones. Fortunately, my favorite athletic apparel brand from the PGA Show wasn’t content to just create an amazing pair of underwear. BN3TH’s Vacay Multi North Shore Chamois combines the same comfort I’m thoroughly enjoying from the Infinite Boxer Brief with the support needed to handle several hours of touring Caribbean cities on a stiff seat.
But what I really love about this spin on padded bike shorts is how versatile it is. I can go from the bike to a restaurant to the shops and back to the bike, all without walking around like Yosemite Sam after he hops off his horse. That’s a huge bonus for those of us who need to pack light.
Rheos Lanier Sunglasses
A lot of factors play a role in developing an ideal pair of sunglasses for avid travelers, and one that I’ve focused on plenty over the last year is the “floater” style. After having lost a favorite pair of pricy shades to the beautiful waters off the coast of Cancun, it has been a top priority to make sure each new pair will never suffer that fate. But I also don’t want to sacrifice style and comfort because of my clumsiness. That’s why I was elated to get my hands on one of the latest styles from the Rheos Spring line.
The Rheos Lanier sunglasses boast a unisex style that works for a variety of travel-related occasions. A slightly modern twist on the Palmettos Aviator frame, the Lanier comes in two versatile tones—blue and olive—that not only complement water-based activities, but also wear well for everything from the airport transfer to a sunset dinner on the terrace.
More than anything, they are sublimely lightweight and easy on the nose without causing concern for sliding down and eventually settling on the ocean floor. Sorry, I’m still mourning.
Bearbottom Tech Polo
Just like sunglasses, I’m also constantly on the prowl for performance polos that can thrive in any setting. If you think that sounds like an easy feat, you clearly never took the middle seat next to someone who apparently just finished playing a round of golf on a goat farm. The problem with performance wear is that it can trap odors, which is often a result of poor wash and care, but we also need to expect better of our shirts.
I play a lot of golf in hot places, and more often than not I am rushing from the course to dinner, which is why I constantly stress versatility in products. Bearbottom’s Tech Polo is a perfect example of a shirt that can do it all on vacation, as it comes in four basic colors and goes with almost anything. That means it can go from the airplane to the city shopping spree to the pickleball court and back to the resort restaurant.
Best of all, it cleans quickly for those moments when freshening up means splashing in the bathroom sink.
Duvin Design Co. Enjoy Your Stay Collection
One of the biggest themes I learned from both this year’s Surf Expo and PGA Show is that resort wear is having a moment, as the kids say. And who can blame anyone for wanting to be stylish yet casual at all times? It’s simply the best. One company that knows how to make this happen better than almost any other is Duvin Design Co., a Florida-based apparel company that excels at helping travelers wear their personalities on their sleeves.
The brand’s latest is the “Enjoy Your Stay” collection, for which there are 75 pieces that range from subtle and charming to unapologetically loud and vibrant, which will always be the preferred vibes of the Filthy Flamingo Surf Gang. Best of all, the vintage elements of the shirts and hats will mean they’ll have a place in your luggage for years to come.
Arcade A2 Carto Belt
My love for Arcade’s performance belts is basically a public service announcement at this point. Look, when you travel a lot, you should constantly be evolving in terms of how you can be better prepared to make the transit aspect simpler and more convenient for everyone. That especially includes when you’re standing in those awful TSA lines, waiting to play the mental game show, “How Fast Can I Get My Stuff through the Scanner?!?!”
When you wear a belt like the Arcade A2 Carto, the brand’s latest durable style, that’s one less step you need to focus on when preparing. Made with Repreve, a post-consumer recycled yarn, the eco-friendly belts can stay on and go through the detector with you, which is a huge bonus when you don’t want to be the person whose shorts or pants get a little too saggy when the airport is at its busiest.