Travel Wear April 2013

Planning a trip to Japan provided the opportunity to tighten my travel regimen. I already have hiking and camping gear, but since my travels would mostly be urban, I desired something that would be appropriate for city wear.

The goal was two-fold – functional and minimal. Based on prior experience I had an idea of the potential weather conditions which fortunately didn’t include extremes. A layered approach was called for and after much research, I settled on the following:

Footwear
Asolo Malik (reference)
Smartwool light hiker socks
REI merino wool light hiker socks

– functioned perfectly. No blisters. Mainly city walking for 12-16 hours/day, with many stairs. Several trail hikes as well. There was rain a couple days and my feet never got wet, even when standing in puddles a couple inches deep. Shoes were very supportive and socks never bunched up or pinched. Washed after each use and dried overnight.

Base Layer
Smartwool Microweight short and long sleeve

Outer Shirts
Columbia Global Adventure Roll-Up
Exofficio GeoTrek’r
Smartwool Sportknit Crew

– This combination functioned extremely well. The base layers provided much comfort and handled perspiration without discomfort. The flexibility in being able to adjust my wear to suit cold and warm scenarios was very helpful. Base layers also appropriate for public wearing. The Sportknit Crew came in handy when the temperatures were colder in Tokyo vs. Nagasaki. The chest pockets on the shirts were invaluable, allowing quick access to rail passes and maps as well as handy storage for audio gear.  Base layers washed each use – dried overnight. Outer shirts washed after two wears, as perspiration from pack and movement rendered them…unsuitable.

Pants
Exofficio Boracade
Kuhl Raptr

– Both were selected for their ability to stretch. Shooting from different angles require that clothing gives somewhat without tearing or discomfort. The Kuhl is nice for lower zip pockets on each leg vs. Boracade’s one. Both handled rain extremely well, repelling water and not absorbing it. Stylish and durable.

Underwear
Exofficio Give-N-Go (x3)

– I was doubtful as to all the proclamations of their wearability, but colored me impressed. Never an issue and all day comfort.  Of course washed daily.

Jacket
The North Face Geosphere

– Previous windbreaker lost a fight to a campfire ember. This jacket packed easily and was reasonably warm as another layer in the system. Breathed ok when perspiring but definitely will hold in heat. Good job as windbreaker. Faced rain and drizzly multiple times, some heavy.  Zipped and hood up, never a wet moment. Chest pocket extremely handy for larger maps, especially during outdoor treks.

Everything fit in two medium Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes and functioned for 10 days/9 nights.