Best Hiking Shoes For Travel


Harmony Lace by Hi-Tec

Going hiking but dreading taking your heavy hiking boots with you?  At Best Rated Reviews, we always aim to pack light.  We recently discovered a truly amazing pair of hiking shoes that we recommend as the “best of the best” for lightweight travel.

Harmony Lace by Hi-Tec is a pair of hiking shoes designed to function as a lightweight hiking boots without the bulk.  We tried them and found them to be some of the best hiking shoes we have ever tried.

Here’s why:

They are very comfortable for hiking shoes.  They are designed with just enough stiffness to give you the support you need while hiking.  Yet they are made of a comfortable, lightweight material.  Mesh allows your feet to breathe so they do not get as hot as they do in most hiking boots.

We also liked the design of the Harmony Lace.  They are stylish and their smoky brown/aloe color combination lends to professionalism.

These shoes also contain a moisture wicking lining and anti-odor, anti-microbial Ortholite sockliner.    Their durable Vibram rubber outsole gives added protection to your feet.

Harmony Lace Women’s Shoes Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

Also, if you are looking for a well-built, affordable pair of sandals to complement your active travel wardrobe, we recommend Hi-Tec’s Waimea Falls.

These sandals are made with a durable rubber outsole and a sculpted footbed to provide sure-footing.  These are some of the most affordable sandals we have seen for the quality at $40 a pair.

Waimea Falls Women’s Sandals Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

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Best Mosquito-Beating Hammock

Ultralight Skeeter Beeter Hammock

When the weather turns warmer and flowers start to bud, Spring is here.  And that means Summer is just around the corner.  If you’re looking for a great way to relax in Spring and Summer, we recommend getting a hammock.

When most people think of a hammock, they envision a thick-roped hammock hanging between two palm trees on a beautiful blue beach.  When we think of hammocks, we think of Grand Trunk Goods.  We have considered recommending hammocks from a variety of companies.  But Grand Trunk Goods outshines them all.  The design of their products is superior–and they are especially appealing to the adventure traveler because they are lightweight, durable, and bear a design that takes all your travel needs into consideration: comfort, weight, and economy of space.

We recently tried the Ultralight Skeeter Beeter Hammock.  On first glance, we liked the way it is packaged.  The Ultralight Skeeter Beeter comes in a mesh sack which easily contains the hammock, mosquito netting, and net suspension kit.  It only weighs 20 oz.

This amazingly lightweight hammock can hold up to 250 pounds.  It contains two interior storage pockets which provide a handy corner to store small essentials.  Another cleaver feature?  You can just flip it over and lay on it without mosquito netting as well.  The mosquito netting fastens to two lines that overhang to create a mosquito net canopy.  Then, you can read a book without being draped in mosquito netting.

As we said, Grand Trunk Goods designers think of everything when they design gear.  The Ultralight is also great for backpacking, hiking, and taking anywhere, really.  And don’t forget you can even just use it in your backyard!

Grand Trunk Goods has also recently come out with 9 new, innovative products.  We know many of our readers have inquired to know what we think of them.  We are on a waitlist to test them.  We will let you know our findings as soon as possible.  Thanks for your patience.

Find this great hammock and more at

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!



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Best Cozy Travel Apparel

Clagstone Quarter-Zip Sweater

If you are looking for his and hers travel gifts, we have recommendations for you!

The Clagstone Quarter-Zip Sweater provides a magnificent combination of lightweight knit and thick-sweater warmth.  It combines several fibers to achieve maximum insulation while taking up minimal space in your bag. Wool, acrylic, cotton, and polyester combine to make a cozy, sturdy sweater.

Made by Royal Robbins and carried by Magellans, this sweater is a must-have for the men in your life!  Dads, husbands, sons, and boyfriends will all love this unique sweater.

The Plush Cardigan by Magellans is great for the female traveler who has it all.  No other travelwear matches the Plush Cardigan in plush comfort.  This cardigan feels like you are wearing a luxurious robe styled as a cardigan!  It is amazing.  You have to try it to believe it.

Find this great travel apparel and more at

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very good!

We have tested both.  They are truly two gifts worth giving!

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Best Camping Gear

Time and time again, we at Best Rated have been impressed by the design, quality, and value of Grand Trunk Goods.  Grand Trunk makes specially-designed camping gear.  We tested and approve the following products.

Parachute Nylon Hammock

Parachute Nylon Hammock

The Parachute Nylon Hammock is made of rip-stop nylon.  It is strong, durable, and compact.  Furthermore, it is compfortable and lightweight.  It comes in two sizes, single and double, and several colors.

Silk Sleep Sack (Single)

Silk Sleep Sack (Single or Double)

Carrying a Silk Sleep Sack with you when camping will turn a good night’s sleep into a great night’s sleep.  In keeping with Grand Trunk Goods’ standards, we found their sleep sacks to be lightweight, thin, compact, and easy to take along.

Adjustable Travel Pillow XL

Adjustable Travel Pillow

Grand Trunk Goods makes an Adjustable Travel Pillow which is a must-have for any camper or traveler.  This great travel pillow adjusts comfortably to your specification.  You cinch or release the drawstring to make the pillow firmer or softer, smaller or larger.  This is one of the best travel pillows we have ever seen.  It comes in two sizes, regular and XL.

Quick Set Tent

Quick-Set Tent

Can you imagine a tent that truly takes one person less than one minute to assemble?  Meet the Grand Trunk Uinta Tent.   With the Uinta Tent, you will never have to engage in the not-so-good-ol’-days of rigorous tent-pitching again!

The Uinta Tent is a Quick-Set Tent which is specially designed to do most of the set-up work for you.  You follow a few simple instructions, press a button, and wallah!  Your tent is ready to go.  We tried it and it really works!

The Uita Tent includes a rain fly and helpful interior stash pockets for a few small items.  This tent is just right for sleeping!  It is lightweight and easily portable, too.

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very Good!

You can find these products and more here at


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Travel Golf Club

33-In-1 Golf Club

If you’re looking to golf on the go, we have a recommendation for you.  The 33-In-1 Golf Club is a unique solution to golfing during travel.  The 33-In-1 Golf Club adjusts to 33 different loft angles and telescopically expands and decreases, fitting in a well-designed carry case.

Several of our reviewers tried this club.  Here’s our overall assessment: this club will certainly work if you’re in a pinch and looking for something compact.  However, it is important to make sure you purchase the size that is compatible with your height.

The 33-In-1 Golf Club comes in two sizes, one for golfers 5’8″ or taller and the other for golfers 5′ 7″ or shorter.

Although nothing takes the place of a golfer’s beloved clubs, the 33-In-1 Golf Club gives you a solution for golfing while traveling, especially if you are a traveler who likes to pack light

Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

You can find it here at

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Best Compact Zoom Binoculars

Best Compact Zoom Binoculars

Whether you are birding, camping, enjoying a sporting event, or fishing, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view with these!   Have you ever looked through binoculars only to wish you could see just a little closer?  Compact Zoom Binoculars enable you to do just that!

We tested the Best Compact Zoom Binoculars.  These amazing binoculars give you ample viewing distance and specification with an 8-16x21UCF Zoom.  They are very compact.  The added zoom feature greatly improves your view by allowing you to get in just a little closer.

The Best Compact Zoom Binoculars  are carried by Hammacher Schlemmer and made by Pentax.

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very good!

You can find the Best Compact Zoom Binoculars here at

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Best Hands-Free Umbrella

Hands-Free Umbrella

Have you ever tried to juggle the dog, the paper, and the umbrella at the same time in the rain?  When it rains, do you ever wish you had a free hand to make sure your valuables stay dry?  Or maybe you need two free hands to walk your kids to the schoolbus.  Now, you can have it all!

The Hands-Free Umbrella (a.k.a. Backpack Umbrella)  is the perfect solution to being hands-free in the rain!  We tried it and it works great.  It’s sturdy, durable, and the backpack is adjustable to fit securely for all sizes.

You can find it here at

Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

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Photograph Yourself Anywhere!

XShot Camera Extender

Now You Can Photograph Yourself Anywhere!

Taking photos and preserving wonderful memories are half the fun of a great trip.  But if you’re the one who’s always behind the camera, you rarely get to be in the picture!  We recently discovered a product that makes that a problem of the past: the XShot Camera Extender.

With the XShot Camera Extender, you can photograph yourself anywhere.  You can get picture-perfect photos for Facebook!   If you are hiking to the top of Mt. Everest or anywhere else in the world by yourself and you want to take a stunning picture showing you are there, you can do it with the XShot camera extender!

Also, you will never have to ask a stranger to take a photo when traveling again.

We put the XShot Camera Extender to the test.  It worked great for traveling, hiking, camping, and family photos.  You just have to make sure you point the camera in the right direction.  XShot staff give this wise advice: “Make sure the lens is pointing at you and you’ll be in the picture.”  In short, if you can see the lens, it can see you!

This product is made for use with compact digital cameras and camcorders weighing no more than 1.25 lbs.

You can find it here at

Best Rated: 3-Stars! Good!


Buy It Now!


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Waterproof Binoculars Great For Travel

Legend Ultra HD

With today’s amazing technology, Bushnell makes binoculars that give clear visibility even on a cloudy or rainy day. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Binoculars are compact, portable, and easily accessible. They offer high definition visibility. They also come with a sturdy carry case.

The Legend Ultra HD Binoculars contain a Rainguard coating which keeps them clear and waterproof in rain. They are a great pair of binoculars to take along when traveling, since you never know what the weather will do.

When we tried them, we found all of their features useful for traveling. They also contain ED Prime Glass and a special coating which allowed us to use them for extended periods of time without getting tired eyes!

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Binoculars offer high-quality visibility yet are compact enough to be portable. These binoculars include a neckstrap, which makes them extra portable.

We recommend them!

Rating: 4-Stars! Very Good!

You can find them here at



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Best Birding Accessory 2011

I-Flyer Birdsong Scanning Wand



If you like birding, you’ll love this! The I-Flyer BirdSong Scanning Wand by Identiflyer allows you to recognize birds and hear their songs immediately!

The BirdSong Scanning Wand packs neatly into a compact, hard travel case which is efficient for storing the Scanning Wand and BarCode ScanBook. The Identifyer BirdSong Scanning Wand is built like a jumbo pen. It has built-in volume control.

We tried out this product in a wooded pine forest in the Central United States. We put bird food in a feeder and waited. Soon, a cardinal arrived. So we turned on the I-Flyer BirdsSong Scanning Wand, found a picture of a cardinal in the I-Flyer BarCode ScanBook, and played it for the cardinal. Suddenly, 3 other gorgeous red cardinals arrived and a female, also. Their curiosity got the best of them, so they had to come see what all the fuss was about.

It was thrilling to know that we had called the birds and they came! We began to call several other birds as well, including yardbirds, such as Blue Jays, Robins, Crows, and a Woodpecker. Each bird began responding in the forest and some of them flew overhead or perched in a tree nearby.

When we played the woodpecker, the forest really stirred up as three woodpeckers began calling back. They were quite persistent. We set out to find them to discover why. To our delight, we got to see a momma woodpecker feeding a baby woodpecker in the hole of a hollowed-out tree.

Now, we call the I-Flyer BirdSong Scanning Wand our “magic wand”. It brings so much joy and delight into our lives to be able to interact with birds and the beauty of nature on a closer and more educated level that enriches the lives of everyone who enjoys nature as a part of their travel or leisure. Whether you are a seasoned birding expert, a novice, or just someone who enjoys the beauty of the outdoors in your backyard, this is a must-have product.

Editor’s Note: This really is a product for the whole family. Kids love it, too. It gets them out of the house and inspires them to explore our wonderful world. This product is an editor’s favorite!

You can find it here at

Rating: 5-Stars! Best!

This product was rated as “Best Birding Accessory 2011” by Best Rated Reviews.

iFlyer Birdsong Scanning Wand Video:

Courtesy of Identiflyer

Buy It Now!

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