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December 8, 2018. These are the great space-savers when it’s time to pack for the next trip. And when you know you can save space, you save time. No worries. All peace of mind.

I haven’t checked a bag in forty years. So I’m always on the lookout for anything that eases packing-for-carry-on-only. Here are my current favorites.

Stocking Stuffers to Flatten Your Bags
If Santa used this stuff, he’d have a smaller sack and an easier time down the chimney. You’ll have smaller, lighter bags – and an easier time putting them in the overhead compartment.

Now, about your underwear
You may think this is none of my business and/or too much information, but you really should know about the new SAXX Quest 2.0 Boxer Briefs. They are incredibly lightweight and thin – they take next-to-zero space in your suitcase or backpack. If you tend to pack more undies than you actually need, well, waste no more time thinking about how many to pack. These are “anti-microbial” (translation: anti-stink). But if you suddenly need an extra pair, these wash and dry really, really lightning-fast. Most important: man, are these comfortable. And, uh, women: I do know women who wear these because they’re so darn comfortable. Yes, they have the patented “Ballpark Pouch” design, but I guess this also really works well for … ok, this really would be too much information.

And your socks
These superior light cushion hiking socks for women and men come from Darn Tough. How tough? They’re guaranteed for life. They fit great and stay in place for even a long day on the trail. They’re thin and lightweight – and cool in hot weather, warm in cold weather. Merino wool, Nylon and Lycra. They take minimum space in your bag and you won’t spend a second thinking about which socks to pack once you’ve tried them. Yes, they make socks for running and skiing, too. And all-purpose socks in a wide, wild variety of colors and patterns.

Water and Airport Security
Here’s the lightweight, packs-flat, sustainable workaround for one of the many frustrating airport dilemnas. This Platypus Soft Water Bottle packs completely flat when empty – or clips onto the outside of your bag. Waste no time before airport security looking for a place to dump your environmentally unfriendly disposable plastic water bottle – and more time looking to buy yet another one after security. Use the nearest water fountain for this wide-mouth, easy-to-fill and pretty much leakproof soft bottle that keeps you hydrated while you wait and wait … and, finally, fly.

Now back to your feet
Shoes that are astonishingly light, comfortable, supportive and packable: the Altra Escalante. Yes, they’re designed to be – and are – fantastic running shoes. But they’re stylish, not outlandish, and you’ll be comfortable wearing them almost anywhere. I don’t pack mine – I just wear them everywhere. But if you want to pack a pair that’s perfect for the gym, the sidewalk or the trail – pack these.

Pack less for more
A spare bag for the shopping trip that lets you carry home more than you left with: the Eagle Creek Packable Duffel. Folds up into a soft, crushable, weighs-almost-nothing package that fits in a big pocket or a corner of your suitcase. Opens up into a sturdy 11″ x 22″ x 10″ bag with handles and a cross-body/shoulder strap.

May all your travels be light, easy, quick and safe.

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