Subject: Travel Clothing (was: Travel Underwear)
Hello Travel Clothes Wearers:

The underwear thread reminded me of travel clothing in general. A few years ago in anticipation of a driving trip across South America and being restricted to a 2,200 cubic inch carry-on for three weeks, I and my companions delved into investigating lightweight washable travel clothing. Ex Offico was recommended as the premier choice, but we soon found an outlet store in Lincoln, New Hampshire that sold similar travel clothing from name brand distributors at sometimes one-third the price. Most of the clothing was similar in texture to rip-stop nylon. Our key was lightweight, washable and dryable within 12 hours.

For that three weeks, we basically brought four long sleeve shirts which would roll up and button as short sleeve shirts, two pairs of pants which would unzip to make shorts, Coolmax (or similar) underwear, a wool sweater and a couple of polypro turtlenecks.

The dust on the track roads was incredible. It penetrated everything, but in the evening after a long day on the road, we would step fully clothed into the shower (if we could find one) with the soap and spend time washing the clothing first and us afterward. The clothing would often require several rinsings after the shower. Nevertheless, the clothing was dry the next morning. I have to admit that when I returned, Jan washed a particular shirt a dozen times and never got the red clay out. That shirt went to Goodwill.

There are some really good travel clothes out there. Both Jan and our friend, Punkin, have fleece coats which are stylish and warm. Not only that, they compress into nothing if you use those ziplock plastic bags. I have travel trousers from LL Bean which are not only indestructible, they have zippered passport pockets, look great and wash with ease.

I confess that I have a Tilley blue blazer. I believe that it is as safe as a Kevlar bullet proof jacket. It feels it. Yet, Tilley states that it will become more supple the more it is washed. Frankly, I don't have enough years left to get it to the supple stage. It does, however, have more pockets than I could ever want. (I am too embarrassed to tell you the story of how I lost my passport in Florence only to discover it among the myriad of pockets in a gazillion pocket jacket; my theory is the more pockets the better. Jan's theory is the more pockets the more time I will spend losing things.)

Ah, but I ramble. What is your favorite travel clothing?

Tom in Carlisle