Basic Travel Wardrobe – Travelsmith

Crinkle Summer Dress

If you are looking to put together a basic travel wardrobe, we have a few recommendations for you.

Travelsmith provides a great array of travel clothing.  We tried and recommend the following:

Crinkle Summer Dress

This elegant dress is cool and comfortable, two must-haves for warm-weather travel.  We especially liked the flattering, feminine lines.  Travelsmith takes the white dress to a whole new level for travel with this beauty.

Tank Travel Dress

This all-black travel dress is a must-have for every travel wardrobe.  This travel dress is comfortable and versatile.  You can dress it up, dress it down, or just wear it!

Perfect Fit Pants

Perfect Fit Three-Pocket Pants or Perfect Fit Capris

These pants live up to their name.  They really do give the perfect fit. Perfect Fit Pants and Capris are both made with a patented TravelFit waistband.  The band stretches as needed, ensuring extra comfort, especially after meals!  These pants also have hidden pockets for storing your valuable clandestinely.  We also liked that they are lined, which gives them an extra touch of quality and finesse.  We recommend these pants and capris for your travel wardrobe.  And why not also get a second pair for your everyday wear at work or home?  We highly recommend them.

With these basics, just add a few scarves and you are ready to go!

Happy traveling!

Rating: 5 stars!  Best!

Find these items and much more at

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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 Stuffed Toy: Doodle Bears

Doodle Bears

Every parent knows what it’s like to find unapproved doodling on their child’s books, stuffed animals, and walls.  So what if you could give your child a toy that was doodle-approved?  We recently discovered a must-have stuffed animal: Doodle Bears.

Bright-eyed and ready to play, Doodle Bears offer a creative opportunity for little ones to draw on their toys!  Doodle Bears come in a pink, blue, and violet.  We tested Doodle Bear Violet.


We kid-tested them.  The youngsters loved decorating the Doodle Bears and experiencing the thrill of being able to wash them off and do it over again!  Doodle Bears come with washable markers, a stencil, and a stamper on the end of the markers.

What we liked best: Doodle Bears keep kids busy and engaged while stimulating their imagination.

You can find Doodle Bears here:

Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

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Best Crepe Pan Set


Le Creuset Crepe Set

Delectable every time…The perfect crepe pan makes perfect crepes.  The perfect crepe mix makes the perfection complete! The question we had: where can we find one?

We are excited to announce that Le Creuset recently launched the new Le Creuset Crepe Set.  Le Creuset partnered with Charleston Crepe Company to make a great combination.  Le Creuset’s 11: Nonstick Crepe Pan is made of hard-anodized aluminum which heats quickly and effectively to cook crepes to exact perfection.  The crepe pan comes with a wooden crepe spreader to make crepes thin and smooth.  In our test kitchen, the Nonstick Crepe Pan received the highest marks available in the five-star category.

Charleston Crepe Company’s Classic Crepe Mix adds Southern flare to a longstanding gourmet tradition.  When we tested the crepe mix, we found it to be exactly what we were looking for: light, suitable for sweet or savory crepes, and all natural.

We recommend Le Creuset’s Crepe Set as the Best Crepe Pan Set on the market today.  We believe it will make a great gift for the holidays, weddings, birthdays, and anytime, really.  The Crepe Set is a gift that keeps on giving.  It will last for years to come.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

You can find it here at


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Best Cosmetics Case: Trina Makes Travel Terrific!

Lillie Cosmetic Box by Trina

As most travelers know, a great cosmetics and toiletry case proves to be invaluable.  However, in our years of product research, testing, and reviews, we have rarely come across a cosmetics and toiletry case that we really liked.  Most cosmetics cases are too flimsy to be useful.  Every woman needs a case that will retain its shape yet be flexible enough to pack easily.  This combination is hard to come by.

The solution?  Our idea of a perfect cosmetics/toiletry case is one that has a bit of stiffness, a boxy and spacious frame, and yet is malleable enough to conform to our suitcase or bag.  An added bonus?  It would be stylish, too.

If you are looking for a must-have travel cosmetics case, we have a recommendation for you: Trina.  Trina makes travel terrific!  Their new Lillie Cosmetics Box is truly first-rate.  We tried it out in our travels and it works like a charm.

This carry case also includes a heavyweight plastic pouch which fits snugly inside or out.  It is perfect for holding your toothbrush, toothpaste, and other hygiene essentials, since it’s waterproof.

Trina makes several other great products as well.  You can’t go wrong with any of them!  We also tested these products in their Fall/Winter 2011 line-up:

Avery Makeup Organizer by Trina

Avery Makeup Organizer

The Avery Makeup Organizer is cow-cute on the outside and satiny on the inside, adding a touch of whimsy to luxury.  It’s a great size with a spacious interior.

Rita Fashion Tote by Trina

Rita Fashion Tote

The Rita Fashion Tote adds pizazz to style with a glam-rock attitude.  This tote is certainly fun for the fashion-minded!  It has a slimline over-the-shoulder strap and magnetic enclosures.  We guarantee it will get you many compliments!  We tried it!  (Being stylish is about getting noticed, isn’t it?!)

You can find these great travel accessories and more here at

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

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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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Kids Will Love This!

Carnivorous Creations

“What a big mouth you have!”  “The better to eat you with, my dear!”  Kids can make that statement come to life with Carnivorous Creations.  Carnivorous Creations is a self-contained dome garden which allows you to grow 10 kinds of meat-eating plants.  The complete kit includes everything you need to start your own meat-eating plant garden.

You can raise venus fly traps, trumpet plants, cobra plants, and more.  The seeds are included.  Kids will love this!  And Carnivorous Creations will be fun for the whole family.  In fact, you can grow over 1o varieties of Carnivorous plants. You will also get to see how plants eat flies and other insects.

When we tested this product, we appreciated the manufacturer’s attention to detail.  The complete kit includes a growing dome, planting mixture, swamp rocks, a seed packet, photo sticker decals to decorate your garden, and miniature snakes, frogs, and lizards for decorating.

Carnivorous Creations also contains detailed instructions.  You will need these!  Your garden will not turn out properly if you don’t follow the instructions.  It is important for you to know that just like any other garden, Carnivorous Creations takes some responsibility.  You must check the peat moss to make sure it has proper moisture.  So you might want to make this a family project.

You can find Carnivorous Creations here at

Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

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Get A Great Night’s Sleep Camping With This!

El Diente

Nothing beats a cozy night’s sleep when camping.  Yet when cold weather sets in, not all sleeping bags will provide equal warmth.  When camping in cold weather, we strongly advise taking a down-filled sleeping bag.  Doing so will guarantee a great night’s sleep snuggled in feathery warmth.

We recently tested the El Diente by Mountainsmith.  This great sleeping bag provided optimum coziness and warmth.  El Diente is designed for people as tall as 6′ 4″.  Yet it fits quite compactly into its own sack.  The El Diente also provides mummy-like protection to your head by containing a form-fitting adjustable hood.

When our reviewers tried it, no one wanted to get out of it!  The snuggly warmth of El Diente envelopes you and you feel like you’re in heaven!

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very Good!

You can find it here at


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Best Outdoor Apparel: Fall 2011

Hi-Tec Vector Nighthawk

Fall is just around the corner.  Nothing enhances travel more than having  a”just right” travel jacket and shoes for the occasion.  Our recommendation?  Hi-Tec.  Hi-Tec combines style, functionality, and advanced technology to make products which are a cut above in the outdoor apparel industry.

We recently tested a few Hi-Tec products which we found to be perfectly suited for travel and leisure in the Fall and beyond. We highly recommend them.

The Hi-Tec V-Lite Nighthawk Vector is one of the most secure yet comfortable pair of shoes we have ever tried.  They offer great support.  They are made with Hi-Tec’s advanced technology.  It’s called Ion-mask Hydrophobic Technology.  This technology gives the shoes a special, unusual ability to resist water absorption.  It’s not just a coating, but it is a technology built into the shoes.  It really works!

We tested the Men’s V-Lite Total Terrain Lace shoes as well.  They are made with the same waterproofing technology.  They are also very comfortable, stylish, and durable.

Hi-Tec V-Lite Total Terrain Lace

Hi-Tec also makes superior outdoor apparel that withstands the elements without compromising comfort.

The Women’s Loon Lake Shell provides rainproof, wind-guarding comfort while enhancing your stylish figure.  Best of all, this jacket is fully seam-sealed.  If a jacket is not fully seam-sealed, it will not keep out wind and rain, no matter what the package claims.  The Loon Lake Shell truly achieves rainproof protection.

We also like this jacket because it is well-designed to give a slimming, flattering fit yet feels very comfortable.  The Loon Lake Shell also contains adjustable velcro straps to tighten the sleeves.  In other words, no rain can get through this jacket.  This is a must-have for the serious traveler.

Hi-Tec Loon Lake Shell

We also tested the Men’s Wildcat Canyon Zip Off Pant.  These pants add to travel versatility because they function as pants or shorts.  They also contain 50+ SPF built-in sun protection.

If you want to achieve the “best of the best” travel balance of low-maintenance, high-tech travel, Hi-Tec is the way to go.  Our reviewers unanimously agree Hi-tec acheives “best in class” in  our five-star standard of excellence.  For this reason, we recommend them for Best Outdoor Apparel: Fall 2011.

Rating: 5-Stars!  Best!

You can find it here at



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Best Feather Bed

Euro Rest Feather Bed

Am I in Heaven?

If you’ve ever laid on a feather bed, this is the only thought that crosses your mind: Am I in heaven?  Our readers and clients asked us to find the “best of the best” in today’s feather beds.  We found it!

The Pacific Coast Euro Rest Feather Bed is a cut above.  It delivers the perfect combination of comforting embrace and fluff.  Other feather bed mattresses we tried were too thin or too dense.  The Euro Rest Feather Bed is just right.  Even Goldilocks would think so!

After a hard day’s work or play, a good night’s sleep can be a refuge-if you get one. Sleeping on the Euro Rest Feather Bed is like sleeping on a cloud.  Pacific Coast makes high-quality, hypoallergenic products which will last for years to come.  The Euro Rest Feather Bed is a must-have for anyone who truly wants to sleep luxuriously every night.  This feather bed will give you the best night of sleep you have ever had.  You will sleep like a baby!  All of our reviewers agree!

Now, all we need Pacific Coast to make is a portable Euro Rest travel mat.  Wouldn’t that be heavenly?

You can find the Euro Rest Feather Bed and more at

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!


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