Traveling light, no matter how much of the world you’ve traversed, often remains a challenge.
If you’re like me, you may leave behind items you need in the name of not going over that fickle luggage limit or wanting to save yourself from the pain of a stuffed backpack digging into your shoulders.
For those in need of the most portable and efficient of sustainable travel basics, look no further than these four titans of smart, compact packing- suited for all the conditions your adventures may throw at you.
1. Okay, you got me. I don’t drink enough water. And I really don’t like having to lug around a massive water bottle.
When packing for a last minute trip, where bringing a large water bottle would be more than beneficial, I often choose to forgo it. Even when I’m tempted to bring a smaller or lighter water bottle, I think about it taking away my precious packing space- space that I’d much rather use to bring a large, hardcover book to look smart even when it’s more than likely I won’t end up opening it.
Luckily for all my friends concerned about my health habits, the Stojo cup twists my arm and takes away all my excuses. Collapsible, good for hot and cold drinks, demurely monochromatic, and made to last a lifetime, I’m glad to be forced into making better decisions for myself.
2. What if you're travelling to a place where the sun never stops shining and you're running out of room in your carry-on? Made from 100% recycled nylon, Baggu's Packable Sun Hat is not only a sustainable staple, but a statement piece. With a 50 cm brim diameter and a chin strap for secure placement, it is adept at blocking out the sun and staying put in windy weather.
It’s also… just very fun. Coming in at 13 colours from solid neutrals to floral to chequered print, it can be equally as useful in both fashion and function.
When it comes to protecting yourself from scorching rays, you can never have too much shade.
3. The key to a good travel companion? Flexibility. Sometimes that perfect sunny weekend you were promised gets a chilly twist, and you need clothes that can account for a last minute change of plans.
Now socks are a basic staple, but I am a strong supporter of the wool sock as a non-negotiable for any trip involving train, planes, or buses.
I get cold in any air-conditioned setting, nevermind the actual winter time, in which I have spent my adult life in the pursuit of the art of extreme layering. Wool socks and I have been attached at the hip ever since I was lucky enough to have been gifted a pair.
They are able to maintain a number of functions. Wool's innate water-resistance and breathability makes it functional for longer trips when a washing machine might be harder to come by, in addition to its sizable ability to provide warmth. Organic Basics uses renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact, and creates a wool sock made with recycled wool and polyamide in unisex sizing.
4. Speaking of warmth, nothing supersedes the indispensable nature of the light protective outer layer. Whether braving coastal wind so biting it seems like it's mocking you for thinking you could survive in it in a mere sweater or just realising not bringing the umbrella was a big mistake, the relief of remembering you have a jacket in your bag cannot be overstated.
Built with 100% remnant fabric and a lightweight design that folds into the chest pocket, Cotopaxi’s Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker is practical enough to make your parents irreversibly proud of you and bold enough that you never forget it.
All apparel brands mentioned are ranked “Good” or above on Good On You’s ethicality and sustainability ranking. All products featured are independently selected and we do not earn an affiliate commission through the associated links.