FitnessTravelGear.com was created to inform fitness and travel enthusiasts about top quality products that work well, look great, and make participating in fitness and travel activities fun, simple, and comfortable.
Our goal is to provide useful information that helps our readers select outdoor, fitness, and travel gear that can help them: improve performance, enhance comfort and enjoyment, and inspire curiosity and exploration.
We love both innovative new products and familiar classics that never go out of style. We especially like to get the word out about unique, smart products that look cool AND are totally durable and functional. Whether it's a pair of hand-made hiking boots, a 16-pocket travel vest (perfect for business travelers or budding spies), the latest compact electronic device, or the perfect sports bra, we are interested in products that stand out for their design, functionality, and ease of use.
We are not gear scientists, technical wizards, or hard core extreme adventurers, and we don't pretend to be. We don't rate, rank, or compare products. We simply tell you which products we enjoy using. If you see a product mentioned on our site, consider it recommended.
Gear samples are provided to our testers at no charge by manufacturers.
We're all about having fun, getting some exercise, and finding some top quality gear in the process. We figure that most active people are like us--they aren't too concerned with technical specs; they just want to find comfortable boots, rain-proof jackets, and easy-to-operate digital cameras.
Our reviews are more about impressions. If a product does what we need it to do, then we'd like you to know about it, too.
We post a few new reviews every week. The reason our schedule is a bit tentative is because sometimes we upload the site from on the road and don't have cable access. So, please check back often.
*Nathan (N.W.) is a full-time freelance writer and photographer based in Estes Park, Colorado, at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. He's an avid climber, hiker, cyclist and general outdoor adventurer. Each spring, Nathan plans a multi-month trip somewhere for some world-class climbing and adventure travel. He loves coming home to the Rockies, and has a huge tick list of peaks and climbs he's trying to knock off. When he's not out and about, he's trying to figure out how to repair his home. His website is: www.nathanwelton.com.
*Andy (A.S.) is a sail maker and boat builder in Seattle where he lives with his wife and children. He can often be found hiking in the Cascades, or paddling or sailing along a western Washington waterway. A former Pacific Crest Trail hiker, Andy is currently more focused on day trips and one-night backpack trips with his family.
*Narissa (N. K. W.) is a freelance writer and graphic designer. She writes non-fiction articles about natural history, recreation, tourism, and other topics that strike her fancy, plus fiction for both children and adults. In her previous career she worked as a national park ranger and has worked at or visited parks all over the U.S. She enjoys swimming, kayaking, and hiking near her home in Vermont. Her fitness regime includes walking, Tai Chi, aquatic exercise, and repeatedly hefting her overweight felines off of her keyboard.
*Brian (B.S.) grew up a long distance runner in the wind chills and snowfalls of Minnesota when multiple layers of cotton and wool were a kid’s best bet against frostbite and hypothermia. Though still based in Minneapolis, where he commutes by bike year round, he travels the world with surprising frequency combining work (performing on stage as a dancer and an actor) and pleasure (exploring new lands and waters). Recent excursions have taken him from the urban waterways of Rochester, New York to the wilds of the Amazon Basin, and from the windswept plains of central Canada to the precipitous heights of the Andes. One of his scariest adventures was exploring the catacombs beneath Paris…alone.
*Curtis (C.H.) is a Colorado-based freelance writer. He has climbed to the top of Half Dome many times, cycled down Haleakala, backpacked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the top of Mount Whitney. He loves to get outdoors and see nature at its finest, whether that means skiing, backpacking, kayaking, or cycling.
* Jill (J.I.) is a freelance writer and technical editor specializing in environmental conservation and analysis. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jill grew up skiing and backpacking in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington. Since then she has added sea kayaking, bicycle touring, and cross-country skiing to her repertoire of outdoors passions. She blogs about everyday adventures in the Pacific Northwest at www.pacificnwseasons.blogspot.com.
She also marks all of her favorite swimming pools from her travels on a map (New Zealand has fabulous public pools!).
A few Jill's favorite travel activities and destinations include: sea kayaking in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico; Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C.; Abel Tasman Park, New Zealand; and San Juan Islands in Washington. She also enjoys hiking in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, southern Utah, the Swiss Alps, and, of course, the Cascades. During ski season, Jill can be found on the slopes in British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, or Utah.
*Cameron (C. W.) is a California-based freelance writer. She writes about science, the environment and travel for places like Skiing, Outside, National Geographic.com and Alaska Airlines magazine.
Wendy (W.L.) is a kayak instructor, personal trainer and outdoor, health and fitness writer. After enduring Michigan's notoriously gray, bitter cold winters and summers swamped with the bug-of-the-month for the first 18 years of her life, she migrated to sunny California. Currently based in Fair Oaks, CA, she gets her adrenaline fix whitewater kayaking, trail running, mountain biking, skiing in the wintertime and occasionally scaling one of the nearby crack climbs. In the gym, you'll find her in the yoga studio, pumping iron, or splashing in the pool. Her writing has been published in the Sacramento Bee, Sierra Heritage Magazine, Paddler, and Canoe & Kayak. She is currently working on a mountain biking and hiking guidebook for Northern California.
*Joe (J.G.), a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY, spent most of his childhood playing basketball. After college, he took up running and triathlon. In 1988 he cycled across America and followed that with four other long solo bike trips. In 1993, after doing a story for Men's Journal about kayaking in Florida's 10,000 Islands, he signed on to do a 30-day kayak race from Chicago to New York. The next spring he paddled alone for 77 days from Montana to Chicago via the Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois rivers. He's been on two U.S. National Marathon Kayak Teams and raced in neat spots like Hawaii, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Quebec and, of course, Brooklyn's Jamaica Bay. He penned two dozen "Weekend Warrior" columns for The New York Times and has written articles for Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Conde Nast's Traveler, Canoe & Kayak, Paddler, Sea Kayaker and many more. To complete his book To The Top (Northword Press), he climbed the highest point in each of the 50 states, including Alaska's Mt. McKinley. His latest book is The Kayak Companion (Storey Books).
*Eli (E.M.) spent a good chunk of his childhood frolicking amid the tall grass on the high plains. Now that he lives in the urban wilds of San Francisco, his love for the freedom and thrill of being outside leads him to seek out adventures in hiking, mountain biking, backpacking and sailing. When not out raising Cain, he contributes as a freelance writer and sometime photographer on a variety of subjects, including technology, bicycles and the outdoors.
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* Erika (E.D.), FTG.com's editor, is a health, fitness, and travel writer and producer based in Seattle, WA. She has written numerous articles for a variety of national magazines and web sites, including Runner's World, Self, Ms., Hemispheres (United Airlines), Women's Sports & Fitness, MungoPark.com, Festivals.com, Expedia.com, and Underwire.com. Formerly, she wrote and produced a regular travel segment for Outside Radio, Outside Magazine's former radio show.
Erika is also the author of an eight-book health and fitness series published by Warner Books, a division of AOL-Time Warner, that includes The Little Yoga Book, The Little Abs Workout Book, The Little Pilates Book, The Little Strength Training Book, The Little Butt & Thigh Workout Book....and more. Her lastest book is Outdoors Online: An Internet Guide to Everything Wild & Green. Favorite travel destinations: United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, and New Zealand. She won't get on the plane without her....iPod! See Erika's books.
For More Information
We're focused on telling you, in simple terms, why we like products, so we've left the technical specifications to the experts, the manufacturers. If you're wondering about available colors, sizes, and styles, please use the links provided in each review to contact manufacturers directly.
Also, please keep in mind: clothing and footwear fit varies from size to size, from brand to brand. We are all unique with our own special shapes and sizes, so not everything we review will fit every body. Hopefully, though, our reviews will help you recognize quality products. Most of the companies listed here have a wide variety of styles and sizes from which to choose.
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And thanks again to Pentax, our camera sponsor.