Convertible Travel Gear
We all aim to bring as much as we need when we travel. Though the words ‘as much as’ and ‘need’ are pretty subjective depending on each person. I’ve mentioned how I average 3 pairs of shoes on a trip, and which handbag is my perfect travel companion. But what if you just ‘need’ to have a pair of heels on you, or you ‘need’ to bring a dress but don’t want to bring a handbag. Now what?
I’ve heard of a few of the products below, but must admit I do not own any of them for direct testing. So my feedback here will be more high level/ superficial then what I would like. But truth be told, with some of the price tags on these things, I don’t really feel the strong urge to purchase one just to ‘try it out’.
1: Columbia converter pants (Omni-Dry and Psych)
Most of you may have seen this somewhere, or on someone, or even lusted after it once in your life. On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is when your pants converts into Optimus Prime, these come in pretty low at a 2-3 rating for me.
Essentially all said and done with their wicking technology, sun proof-iness, and lightweight material, these are a pair of long pants that converts into short pants. These pair of pants are most useful when going on an actual hike where you may start the morning in cool weather and want to keep your pants long and eventually converting them into shorts as the sun rises. But these are not really a pair of pants I see fitting in with a city travel where most travellers would prefer non-khaki, hiking pants.
Transforming abilities: Long pants becomes short pants without the help of a pair of scissors.
2: Scottevest Kelly Jacket
I caught a glimpse of the Scoottevest a while ago on a daytime TV show. They were showing then the easy technology of magnetic clasps that would mean easily removing and attaching the sleeves of the jacket. Yes folks, this is an outfit that converts from a long sleeve jacket into a vest. I would have given it the same low converter rating of 2-3 if not for the additional benefits that comes with it.
See the Scottevest clothing line is focused on trying to keep your travel clothes functional whilst being stylish. Though stylish is a word we may debate on, (forget even trying to wear a jacket like this in its long sleeved form in Southeast Asia) it is highly functional with 10 discreet pockets for you to hide everything from your travel guide (so as not to look so obviously a tourist) to your passport. As I mentioned before, I have yet to try the Scottevest line for women, but from everything I see, it’s semi purpose is to be able to carry a lot of your things on you. As opposed to inside your handbag… which I guess now you would no longer need to carry. Boom! reduction of more weight and increasing more space in your suitcase.
Transforming abilities: Long jacket into short sleeve vest whilst hopefully not setting of TSA’s magnetic security screenings; but acts as your handbag as well.
3: Nat-2 Transforming Footwear collection
The Nat-2 footwear collections are focused on transforming your everyday sneakers into something with at least dual functionality. They became well known for their patented 2-in1 shoes and has since then expanded to the point where they can convert your shoes into something with four different functionalities. In travelling however, I believe their 2-in 1 gear would be more helpful than their 4-in 1 gear. I mentioned how you should always have a pair of flip flops on you at all time, at the very least to be able to take a shower in perhaps questionable hostel bathrooms. These pair of shoes ensures you will never forget your flip flops ever again (since they need to be attached to the shoes to be able to function as sneakers).
The 4-in 1 was also impressive from a fashion perspective since with a few buttons here and there, you can convert your shoes into boat shoes, sneakers, and high-tops to boot. But I found that this may be more useful for weather changes than it would be for traveling unless of course they included the flip flop option as well. 5-in 1 shoes?? That’s about to blow my mind.
Transforming abilities: Sneakers into flip flops with an unzip of a secret compartment. But the non-sneaker only transforming options means you may end up with a pair of saggy flip flop covered in a shoe.
When discussing travel footwear, I’ve also recommended that you should always have flats when you travel. But what if you really really really want to have a pair of heels with you and don’t have enough space in your suitcase? Well, with Camileon Heels, you can switch from your high heels into kitten heels (not flats) shoes with a little click of the wrist. These beautiful Italian leather babies look perfect for a work trip that you extended to take advantage of being flown all the way there. The range they have for the 2013 Fall collection is also quite impressive with a mostly closed toe option available.
Though I do love the idea and design of them, my only gripe about the shoes is that it doesn’t fully flatten out into a pair of flats. Though reducing your high heels to kitten heels is ideal for your daily commute, it still wouldn’t be your best choice for long travels and especially so when you don’t have a taxi to help bring you everywhere.
Transforming abilities: High heels into kitten heels to help with your daily commute.
Originally designed by an insurance company to help women driver’s switch from heels to flats when driving, these shoes are what I think of as the perfect choice as a pair of travelling shoes. Its high heel form alone made it interesting enough for me to buy since I am a sucker for patent black and pink heels. (Look at that perfect pink stiletto that joins up to the back seam of the shoe). The fact that the stiletto then clicks back into the base turning it into a complete flat shoe had me completely sold.
(Seriously, anyone knows where I can get these?)
Now the downside of this is that I have no idea where it actually is sold (if it is). I’ve contacted the company in Australia to see how much a pair would cost (and if they did in fact produce them), but have not heard back yet.
Transforming abilities: High heels into complete flats without losing its sexy kitten capabilities.
**Note: I finally heard back from Sheila’s Wheels and they confirmed that these shoes never made it into production unfortunately. =( Anyone want to take up the challenge of producing it? =)
So there you have it, my few choices of convertible travel gear. I have studied a lot of these but may only sink my money into one or two. But how about you? have any convertible travel gear you would like to share? Sound off below!
*Note: all pictures from each company websites