Photo: Kraxe Wien/Facebook

The Gear Matador’s Staff Can Never Travel Without

Technology + Gear Insider Guides
by Matador Creators Dec 26, 2018

Being on the road is no fun when you’re more concerned with whether or not you forgot your swimsuit than getting to the airport on time. Proper gear makes all the difference, a lesson our staff has learned quite well over the years. These are all straightforward pieces of travel gear that make our lives slightly more organized. This is the stuff Matador’s staff trusts to keep us on the move — the travel gear we actually use and recommend. From packs that keep your work and personal gear organized to slip-on airport shoes to a favorite toothbrush, this is what we won’t leave home without.


Tortuga Setout

Tortuga backpack

Photo: Tortuga

Loved by: Tim Wenger, Associate Editor

“The three customized packing cubes keep my clothes organized, and the separate compartments make it so I can dedicate one solely to work gear — laptop, camera, notebook, etc., and another to personal stuff. It’s a backpack but clamshells like a suitcase so I can open it up and make sure I haven’t forgotten anything, sort of like those Instagrammers who lay all their stuff out for that sexy pre-trip gear photo. It’s carry-on sized and has essentially streamlined my packing process, no matter the length of time I’m going to be on the road.”

The Carry-On from Away

away carry on luggage in black

Photo: Away

Loved by: Nick Hines, Food and Drink Editor

“It goes over cobblestone streets without a hitch and has seen some rough environments in the few months I’ve had it and I can’t even tell — not to mention that phone charger keeps me connected. I’ve always been against roller cases in a ‘if I can’t carry it, I’m not taking it’ type of way, but having a small hard-shell case that works as a carry-on has converted me. Also, not sure if this is good or bad, but having the option to check a rock-solid bag that I can trust has led to me taking home lots (too much?) of wine and liquor from everywhere I’ve been.”

Kraxe Tirol Backpack

kraxe tirol backpack

Photo: Kraxe Wien

Loved by: Noelle Salmi, Outdoors Editor

“Found it in Porto, on an artsy pedestrian street full of graffiti that actually contained hip shops, the kind with lots of blond wood and empty space. It was a little pricey, but I really wanted a great backpack that I can use for work, travel with, and dress up as needed. I love that it has a padded pocket for my computer on the front side of the backpack — as opposed to the back — so it always keeps its neat, squared-off shape. It has a spacious interior pocket for your passport and wallet, too. And it’s not really known outside Europe… until now, I guess.”


Sox wool socks

travel socks by sox

Photo: soxs

Loved by: Dayana Aleksandrova, Community Manager

“I love them because when I’m cold and get my feet warm, everything is better. They’re light and super sturdy.”

Knix Evolution Tank

Knix tank top in red

Photo: Knix

Loved by: Morgane Croissant, Executive Producer

“Knix’s Evolution Tank is the best top out there if you want to save space in your pack. It has an invisible built-in bra that works for everyone, even those who think they’re too busty for that type of clothing. It’s very comfortable, as supportive as a bra, comes in many different colors, and makes you look like a million bucks. Take it from someone who never thought she’d go out without a bra — this tank top is amazing.”

OluKai Nohea Moku Hulus

olukai shoes

Photo: OluKai

Loved by: Tim Wenger, Associate Editor

“If ever there were a men’s shoe designed for airport security, it’s the Nohea Moku Hulus. This might not be its intended purpose, but I’ve worn this pair of shoes every time I’ve been to the airport since I got them. They slip on and off effortlessly, look clean and professional, and are super comfortable for both extended walks and chilling on the plane. They’re a total travel hack.”


BUBM Electronics Organizer Pack

BUBM travel bag and kit

Photo: BUBM

Loved by: Allison Cole, Supervising Producer

“This organizer is amazing and I can seriously fit everything in it. All my charging cords, pens, medication, etc. I don’t leave home without it.”

Hydroflask Water Bottle


Photo: Hydroflask

Loved by: Alice Latham, Social Media Director

“I always have my Hydroflask water bottle. They’re vacuum-sealed so your drink stays cold/hot for hours and are very durable for life on the go.”

Decathlon Inflatable Travel Cushion

decathlon inflatable pillow

Photo: Decathlon

Loved by: Dayana Aleksandrova, Community Manager

“I can take it with me even if I’m traveling with just a handbag. With it, I don’t feel like my head is bobbing up and down as I doze off and my neck doesn’t hurt. It gives me great stability.”

Moment 18mm wide iPhone camera lens

Loved by: Juan Carlos Piña, Video Editor, Matador en Español

“This lens is so useful to snap a shot of any beautiful landscape that comes across, especially when I don’t want to carry a heavy DSLR around.”

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush

sonicare electric toothbrush

Photo: Sonicare

Loved by: Matt Meltzer, Senior Staff Writer

“When you’re on the road a lot, there are a handful of things that give you a routine. Working. The gym. And the three minutes of 10,000-stroke-per-minute tooth brushing that that Sonicare brings. It begins and ends each day with a familiar routine that keeps your mouth super clean, even when you’re trying weird food and drinking wine that stains your teeth. It’s also kinda fun to see it confuse TSA.”

Speedo Goggles

Speedo goggles

Photo: Speedo USA

Loved by: Kyle Lamont, Supervising Producer

“I take them with me everywhere because you never know when a swimming pool, lake, pond, ocean, or quarry will invite — more like beckon — you for a swim.”

Sherpani Sojourn Tote

sherpani tote bag

Photo: Sherpani

Loved by: Allison Cole, Supervising Producer

“This bag is my everyday and travel bag. It’s unique because it turns into a backpack. Plus that organizer fits perfectly in it along with my laptop. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this bag. It’s also RFID protected, slash proof, and you can lock it with the provided chair lock loop.”

First-aid kit

First aid kit

Photo: REI

Loved by: Laura Reilly, Managing Editor

“There is no single more important thing to always travel with than a basic first aid kit. My Wilderness First Responder training taught me not only to always be prepared for emergencies, but that a shockingly large majority of people are never prepared for even the most minor of ailments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been the only person on a trip that had a band-aid, antiseptic ointment, or some Asprin to offer a fellow traveler in need. After I fell into a river in Thailand and split open my knee (yeah), I was able to stave off infection by having alcohol wipes and bandages on hand. It’s super easy to create a custom mini kit that suits your travel style, whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or an urban explorer, or you could just buy this small Adventure Medical Kit Mountain Series Day Tripper Lite kit from REI for only $15.”

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