Multipurpose Travel Jackets, and More to Make Every Inch of Suitcase Space Count - freetxp

Multipurpose Travel Jackets, and More to Make Every Inch of Suitcase Space Count

During family trips to Taiwan growing up, I loved browsing the stores for kitschy items that would impress friends back home. One of the most spectacular was a rain jacket that, like a magic trick, flipped inside out into a full-sized backpack. I grew to realize that what I really loved about these items was that one thing could so easily convert into two, each with completely different purposes—in essence, increasing my preparedness while lessening my load.

Since then—as I’ve grown into an overprepared traveler who loves to maximize every ounce of my baggage—I’ve been on the hunt for items that can check off two (or more!) functions while I’m traveling. From the more common pants that zip off into shorts to more surprising finds, like an infinity scarf with a travel pillow tucked inside, here are 11 types of multi-use products that will make your packing list more purposeful.

Water bottle and cup

Reusable water bottles are an essential step to help eliminate single-use plastics, and while most of us have a few in our cupboard, there are times when we still tend to depend on disposable cups. One part cups game and one part Russian nesting dolls, the Hitch Bottle and Cup rids travelers of that problem by tucking a removable 12-ounce cup (and lid) inside a hidden layer of an 18-ounce bottle. The stainless steel contraption is vacuum insulated, guaranteeing liquids stay cold for up to 12 hours and hot for up to eight. And to double down on its sustainable purpose, the company offsets 110 percent of its carbon footprint.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to serve drinks for two, Miir’s new Tomo—named after the Japanese word for friend—can hold 33 ounces of liquid and retain its temperature. Its two twist-off eight-ounce cups are perfect for sharing a cup of coffee or a picnic drink.

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Image may contain: Cylinder

Miir Tomo stainless steel cup

Scarf and neck pillow

At first glance, this Uncommon Goods infinity scarf is rather unassuming. Whether in its black or gray shades, the cotton accessory is a simple way to add warmth to your travels, especially on chilly plane rides. But its secret power comes hidden in a zippered pocket, which opens to expose the opening of a built-in inflatable travel pillow tucked right into the seas. Fellow germaphobes, don’t worry—the pillow can be removed so you can toss the scarf into the washing machine after a trip. Plus, there’s even room within the zippered pocket to store a few essential items, like earbuds or lip balm.

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Convertible travel pillow and infinity scarf

Pants and shorts

Outdoor adventurers must be ready for any weather, and these pants make quick changes easy—just zip off the pant legs and you’re wearing shorts. Patagonia’s Quandry Convertible Pants for men turn into 10-inch shorts, while the women’s style snaps up into capris and zips off into eight-inch shorts. Truly made to battle the elements, the lightweight hiking pants have 50+ UPF sun protection, as well as a water-repellent finish to repel moisture; both come in tan or gray.

Columbia’s take on the multi-use product comes in a wider range of shades, with its women’s Saturday Trail II convertible pants available in four trail-friendly neutral hues and its men’s Newton Ridge convertible pants available in bright walnut and neutral gray. Outdoor Research has its own best-selling version called the Ferrosi convertible pants for women and men.

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Patagonia men’s Quandary convertible pants

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Outdoor Research men’s Ferrosi convertible pants

Jacket and bags

No matter what type of bag personality you have, there’s a jacket that converts into that form. For tote bag types, Royal Robbins’ women’s Switchform Lite parka goes from a cinch-waisted, trench-length jacket—complete with a water-repelling coating and drop hem in the back for full coverage—into an equally chic crossbody tote. If a backpack is more your speed, the Royal Robbins men’s Switchform waterproof parka transforms into a full daypack, while Lolë’s women’s Piper rain jacket flips into a mini backpack. And for those who prefer to strap on a fanny pack, Eddie Bauer’s WindPac jacket rolls up into a waist pack with its own zip pocket to store more items.

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Royal Robbins men’s Switchform parka

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Royal Robbins women’s Switchform Lite parka

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Eddie Bauer WindPac jacket

Pillow and blanket

The travel pillow-plus-blanket combination may be among the more standard multifunctional products, but these two stand out amongst the rest: The Ikea Fältmal pillow and quilt is made with the Swedish company’s knack for design in mind: the recycled polyester blanket has both a button fastener and sleeves. No matter how much you toss and turn in that cramped airplane seat, it’ll always stay in place—which also means no more fishing for lost blankets on the cabin floor. At 75”-by-47”, it packs a ton of cozy surface area into 23 ounces.


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