Us Broke Backpackers are fundamentally minimalists. We value experiences over stuff, live to travel light and usually don’t have that much leftover money to spend on shiny baubles once we’ve paid for flights, bus tickets and hostel dorms.

But when it comes to travel gear, all of us tend to get a bit “kid-at-Christmas” and all of us are suckers for a good piece of adventure kit. Between us we have probably tried thousands of different pieces of outdoor, adventure and travel gear over the years, making us bonafide experts.

We’ve previously told you about our favourite travel gear ever but in this post, we are just going to take a little look at our favourite gear right now.  In this post, we will look at our new favourite gear. To clarify, most of the gear here is quite literally brand new to the market but a few of them are just new to us.

A man walking through a jungle wearing the Nemo Vantage backpack, he is looking away from the camera.
Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games…
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Let’s Get To The Gear…

OK people, let’s dig in and get ready to meet the shiny new awesome travel gear that we here at The Broke Backpacker are currently excited about.

WANDRD Transit Carry On by Aiden

WANDRD Transit Carry On

Firstly, I need to make it clear that generally, I am NOT a luggage person. I have travelled solely with various shapes and sizes of backpacks for over a decade now and have built up a rather impressive collection.

But the WANDRD Transit Carry-On is the exception. Simply put, it is a versatile and thoughtfully designed piece of luggage tailored to the needs of modern travellers, especially those who are photographers or carry various electronic devices. It is made from high-quality, tough and resilient materials and rolls like a dream. It also offers excellent storage and packing options and uses a rather canny, inter-twinning, locking zipper system for enhanced security.

WANDRD Transit Carry on

My favourite features are the dedicated padded laptop compartment, the aforementioned locking zipper system, and the smooth wheels. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that this might just be my new favourite carry-on luggage at the moment or even ever.

In terms of downsides, it is on the pricey side and despite being custom built for carry-on, is probably over the prescribed size limits of some budget European airlines (such as Ryanair-compliant cabin baggage) so I will have to pay to bring it on some trips. Humbug. Still, right now I am enjoying it and may not hurry back to my beloved backpacks quite yet.

Isle Dry Bag by Joe

Isle Dry Bag

The ISLE Dry Bag is my companion of choice for all my water-based adventures such as kayaking, boat days and paddle boarding. As a dry bag, its primary function is to, well, keep your items dry! This thing actually manages to do that, unlike a bunch of other shit dry bags you can buy on the street corner.

It is one of the only dry bags I’ve ever used that is genuinely reliable enough to risk storing electronics and camera equipment. I have fully submerged this thing when capsizing my inflatable kayak and not a drop of water ended up inside the pack. The strap is easy to attach/detach and it still feels comfortable to wear at full capacity.

Joe getting wet over the Isle bag!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

One of the best things about the ISLE dry bag is that it comes with a 2-year warranty and a 60-day guarantee. Another cool feature of the product includes a useful water-resistant front pocket which is great for quick access to certain key items.

If I were to critique this product at all (which is hard to do) be that it’s not the cheapest dry bag in the world – but it’s defo worth it if you’re protecting valuable items.

WANDRD Crossbody by Joe

WANDRD Crossbody

The WANDRD Crossbody is a stylish and functional accessory for all your daily essentials. This thing has more pockets and compartments than I know what to do with. Its unique features make it stand out when compared to other cross-body bags and bum bags (fanny packs to the Yanks) which can become deep dark black holes of doom and swallow your car keys.

It feels comfortable to wear all day long and has a bunch of cool features such as auto-closing magnetic pockets, a hidden AirTag pocket and water-resistant fabrics which have both saved my butt and protected my belongings from drunk-me a couple of times!

Expensive flooring not included.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

The worst thing about the WANDRD Crossbody is the price tag. At $70 this thing is definitely NOT the cheapest crossbody bag on the market (see the Gregory Nano if you on a budget). It also isn’t the greatest option for storing larger items which could fit into other regular bum bags or sling packs. That being said, the pockets are one of the most useful and unique parts of this product and it does work well as one of the best travel purses.

There is also a lifetime guarantee offered by WANDRD on this product and it comes with a 30-day return policy, just in case you buy the product and later change your mind.

TomToc T73-X by Amanda

Tomtoc Navigator T66

The Navigator-T66 Travel Laptop Backpack is the perfect travel companion for digital nomads. It offers a large capacity along with many compartments for organisation. The size is generally perfect for 5-7 days of light packing.

I chose this backpack as my travel bag for all my weekend getaway trips while backpacking through Southeast Asia. It comfortably fits my stuff for weekend getaways and helps me stay organised with the handy laptop sleeve. For me, it’s one of the best laptop backpacks I’ve ever tried out.

Wait, where’s Harvey gone?
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

I love all the compartments included; they help me keep all my tech gear well organised and in its own section. It has a large capacity for longer trips and It’s easy to find most of my belongings given all the organisational features.

The only downside is that, as a Woman, I find it a little big and bulky on my frame. The bag is primarily designed for a male user but I did appreciate the extra capacity for longer trips.

Another similar bag I’ve tried out in the past is the Tomtoc Navigator-H71, it offers many of the same features in a bag half the size.

Monarc Sling by Amanda

Monarc Sling

The Monarc Sling Bag is a reasonably sized bag for everyday carry. At 10L, it is designed with convenience in mind and is suitable for the daily commute to the office or for carrying personal items when travelling by plane. With water-resistant zippers and fabric, you won’t have to worry about the weather and can rest assured your stuff will always stay dry.

I’ve had a very positive experience with the Monarc Sling Bag. It fits my 15″ laptop perfectly and makes a great bag for my daily commute to coworking spaces. I love the design and the multiple ways I can wear it on my back. With all the compartments, it’s easy to find my stuff quickly. This bag has quickly become my go-to everyday bag and for me, is one of the best sling packs I’ve ever used.

The Monarc is great for digital nomads.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

The only downside, in my opinion, was the lack of a user manual on the bag tag. I wish the tag had a clear description of all the functionalities. When I first received the bag, it took me an hour or so to look online and figure out all the functions. Other than that, I really appreciate all the compartments the bag includes.

Osprey Ozone Boarding Bag by Jessa

Osprey Ozone Boarding Bag

The airport has never been a fun experience. There are the long lines, extortionate prices and then the packing and repacking numerous times. However, a proper airport bag can help to reduce the stress and strain ten-fold, well, it did in my case.

The Osprey O-Zone boarding bag is one such airport bag. Packed down, it basically looks a bit like a laptop case but also has slots for travel documents and other bits and bobs you’ll need quick access to. Rather than having to shove everything into a backpack, you simply grip this by the handle and use it for your journey through the airport.

Just on my way to the office, obvs!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

If you want to push it, you can fit 20L of stuff in the pack leaving room for a book, cables, a spare pair of socks and your small toiletries although personally, I use it purely for my laptop and docs. Either way, it makes for one of the best travel bags I’ve ever used.

There is a lot to love here. It’s padded, water resistant and best of all, you will have no issue sneaking this into the cabin as well as a backpack/overhead cabin bag. In terms of downsides, well it does have a very specific use so maybe it’s hard to justify paying $150 for a one-trick pony.

MSR Hubba Hubba

The MSR Hubba Hubba tent stands tall as a burning bright bloody beacon of reliability and versatility for those backpackers who DEMAND quality without compromise. With its lightweight design, weighing just a tad over 3 pounds, it strikes an excellent balance between portability and comfort. The tent’s self-standing, two-door architecture ensures easy access and ample ventilation, a critical feature in both humid and dry conditions. Its durability is commendable, thanks to the high-quality materials used in construction, including the ripstop nylon and DuraShield-coated rainfly that offers exceptional protection against the elements.


One of the tent’s standout features is its livability. The Hubba Hubba provides a spacious interior that comfortably accommodates two adults, with enough headroom for sitting up and moving around without feeling cramped. The integration of two large vestibules also allows for ample gear storage, keeping the sleeping area uncluttered. Additionally, the tent’s setup is straightforward, with color-coded poles and clips that simplify the process, making it accessible even to novice campers.

However, no product is without its flaws. Some users have noted that the tent’s ultralight nature means a compromise in some areas, such as the thin floor material that may require the use of an additional footprint for protection against abrasive surfaces. Despite this, the MSR Hubba Hubba remains a top choice for many outdoor enthusiasts and I absolutely bloody love it!

Isle Gateway Waterproof Bag by Danie

Isle Gateway Waterproof Bag

The Isle Gateway Waterproof Bag is ELITE for those adventures who never seem to be far from a water-based activity. Think boating, paddleboarding or merely travelling South East Asia in monsoon season. Even though this pack is designed to be waterproof it’s also super convenient and comfortable for any daily use on or off the water.

Compared with other waterproof bags of similar standard, the material isn’t as stiff as you’d expect and the sealable zippers slide pretty easily. The bag itself is 25L and is what I can only describe as a BIG ol’ day pack.

You’ll find a laptop sleeve and a small zip pocket inside for your high ticket but small-size goodies. The bag also comes with G-hook webbing straps making it compatible with the ISLE-LINK connect system – these can be found on Pioneer Pro and Switch paddleboards. But you can also easily secure it to any other paddleboard or kayak.

A Harvey in the wild!
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

Honestly, this pack has rocked my world – especially since travelling in South East Asia. The majority of bags I’ve had in the past get absolutely soaked along with my treasured belongings, which sucks big time.

Since the Isle Gateway Waterproof Bag has come into my life, sporadic rainfall no longer put such a damper on my day. My belongs seem to survive – yippee! I wouldn’t change much about this pack except it would be nice if it came in a few different colours.

Gregory Nano Waistpack by Harvey

Gregory Nano Waispack

The Gregory Nano waist pack is a lightweight, durable travel essential for any globe trotter. It’s been an absolute game-changer when it comes to holding all my items in one place, especially when I’m on the move. It’s my favourite piece of Gregory gear by a long shot.

The bag has three spacious pockets with easy-access zippers; a large pocket in the middle, a hidden one towards the body – perfect for keeping those important items safe, and a smaller one at the front.

It has a sturdy, adjustable buckle which you can opt to wear around the waist or cross-body. One of my favourite features is the padded back, especially on those long travel days this pack is super comfy and it hardly feels like you are wearing it.

Damn it, where are my keys to this door that goes nowhere!?
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

The only downfall for me is that I am a fairly large human and even for me, this bag is pretty big. Nearly double the size of my previous bumbag; it has a lot of room for items but the size doesn’t go unnoticed. But overall, you know what, I couldn’t be happier with the Gregory Nano Waistpack and have confidence that my items are safe and where I need them to be.

Nomatic Toiletry Bag by Tomas

Nomatic Toiletry Bag

The Nomatic Toiletry Bag is a compact and durable one-stop-shop for your valuable toiletries when on the road. It’s the type of item travellers often overlook, but one that has proved to be a game-changer on many of my recent trips.

I must confess: by the time I got it, I’d been wanting a hanging toiletry bag for a while — and I’m glad I went for this one! With Nomatic’s quality seal, this thing does pack a bunch of gear for such a small item. Zippers seal properly, and the materials actually feel water-resistant – meaning my essentials have been saved from sketchy hostel bathrooms more than once!

My toothbrush trying to make a break for freedom.
Image: Tomas

Its major downside has got to be the price – not every frugal adventurer’s got $50 to splurge on a toiletry bag when they can just get a Calvin Kein replica for $1. But I couldn’t be happier with this purchase. The Nomatic Toiletry bag was designed with travellers in mind – I love its minimal design, its capacity, and how little space it actually takes up.

And that hanging strap… I’m telling you, fellas, you’ll never want anything else after you try it! It’s got to be the best travel toiletries bag out there.

Nemo Vantage Backpack by Manu

Nemo Vantage Backpack

The first-ever backpack from NEMO (of tent and sleeping bag fame) the Vantage backpack is part of their innovative 2024 “Endless Promise” collection, which emphasises sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The Vantage backpack is designed with day-to-day and commuter use in mind, offering sleek designs suitable for office environments but versatile enough for casual use or outdoor adventures. Available in three sizes (20L, 26L, and 30L) and two colourways, the Vantage includes a laptop sleeve that’s elevated to protect your device if the pack is dropped.

A man walking through a jungle wearing the Nemo Vantage backpack, he is looking away from the camera.
The Nemo works well with strong calf muscles!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

It also features a novel, expandable front stash pocket and a tech organising compartment, making it practical for carrying various necessities.

This is a very unique backpack which is great for commutes, gym trips and weekend breaks. That said it does not feel like a proper hiking pack – it’s a bit heavy and does not have a water bottle pocket.

Harvey puts his new bag through its paces.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Final Thoughts

Righty oh then, let’s stop there for now shall we? As we said at the outset, this is the travel gear we are currently really psyched and excited about.

Which honestly, as such experienced travellers, is saying a lot! These days, our team take a lot to get excited about when it comes to travel gear, we’ve pretty much been there and seen it all and a lot of us are pretty stubborn when it comes to firm favourites. So believe me, this is some awesome gear!

If you found this helpful and insightful then perhaps we will turn this into a regular, rolling feature. What do you think? Did you like the new gear we’ve got? Do you think there’s any other gear we should test out? Well, you can let us know by leaving a comment below!

Until next time people.