The 10 Best Luggage Brands in 2021
Travel is becoming more convenient due to lots of factors, including luggage options. As you already know, luggage brands aren’t all on equal footing – and that’s a good thing.
While some brands target a particular set of clientele, others are known for their unmatched quality to price ratio. Still, others are famous for their classy designs or blazing the trail and redefining how travel should be.
All these boil down to one thing: customers now have several excellent options to choose from. But if that leaves you a bit overwhelmed, here are the top 10 best luggage brands to get you started.
1. Horizon Studios
The year was 2015, and somewhere in Berlin, a brand was birthed and named Horizon Studios. Within a few short years, Horizon Studios quickly rose to be one of the best luggage brands in the industry, churning out the most beautiful of all travel bags known to the modern man.
From check-in luggage to cabin luggage and luggage sets, Horizon Studios got you covered. But other brands make these types of luggage pieces too, so what’s the big deal with this one?
Check this out.
- Modern luggage pieces fitted with personal travel assistant that caters to different aspects of your trip
- Customizable and limited edition luggage pieces with optional GPS tracking
- Pieces that feature removable USB smart chargers
These are easily what any urban nomad in a digital age will rave about!
Each hardside luggage piece is crafted as if it’s the only one – a lot of attention to details and extra work goes into the production of these masterpieces. Take the M5 Cabin Luggage (33L), for example. It is engineered with a highly durable German aerospace-grade hard polycarbonate shell.
Ordinarily, that should be a heavy piece of luggage, right?
The M5 Cabin Luggage, like many other offerings from Horizon Studios, is surprisingly lightweight. It comes with other features, including four 360-degree Japanese spinner wheels, four-stage telescopic handle, premium water-resistant nylon lining, TSA-approved lock, and front pockets for essential travel documents plus up to 15″ laptop.
But Horizon Studios is not only a remarkable luggage brand because of its outstanding products. This company has also made a name for itself through:
- Collabs with partners such as BMW, Design Hotels, international DJ Seth Troxler, and Soho House to design and produce a unique and limited-edition luggage bag
- Support emerging artists via the annual Horizon Art Program
Perhaps the most recent audacious move of this brand is its current plan to create the first-ever luggage that can be used for space travel. Now, that’s quite impressive for a company that is only five years old.
Away is an awesome luggage brand that hit the industry in November 2015.
Hold on a bit. Have you noticed any pattern here?
What’s with the year 2015? How are the top luggage brands founded in the same year? Was that deliberate or sheer happenstance?
Whatever the case, Away has made a strong mark as a force to be reckoned with since its arrival only half a decade ago.
As you would expect from any top luggage brand, Away provide durable, lightweight, and modern carry solutions ranging from suitcases to kid’s carry-on.
Of note is their suitcases crafted from polycarbonate and designed to strike a perfect balance between functionality and stylishness. These are available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and materials. Whatever your travel need and taste, Away has a suitcase that fits the bill.
But just in case you can’t find something that suits your specific needs, you can customize your selection and build your own set.
Although the brand keeps prices reasonable through a direct-to-customer approach, it doesn’t sacrifice product quality on the altar of affordability. Setting its teaming clientele’s minds at rest offers a lifetime warranty on its products. On top of that, you get a 100-day free trial.
Now you know why everyone kinda loves this new kid on the block!
From a simple wallet camping in 2014, Nomatic has established itself as a leading brand in the industry. From travel bags, carry-ons, travel packs, and camera packs, Nomatic makes them all.
The company is famous for doling out stylish travel bags packed with useful features. Several media giants have touted their pieces as highly functional. WIRED dubbed their product as “the most practical travel bag ever,” and New York Post says Nomatic makes bags “that will change the way you travel.”
One outstanding bag from the brand is the Nomatic Backpack. It combines a sleek modern look with functionality, providing adaptable storage capacity that meets customers’ specific needs. The backpack features a plethora of practical additions, including a magnetic water bottle pocket, an innovative strap system, retractable key leash, and several hidden pockets to help keep your valuables organized.
But even if you are not looking for travel bags, Nomatic excel in producing high-quality wallets, laundry bags, tech cases, and even gives you the option to customize your bundle.
Overall, Nomatic redefines how people travel with the introduction of chic, top-of-the-line, and unmatched travel bags and accessories.
Travelpro is not new to the game when it comes to high-quality assorted bags and luggage. In a quest to find a lasting solution to the many problems of conventional two-wheeled suitcases, Bob Plath, a Northwest Airlines pilot, founded Travelpro in 1987 – over three decades ago.
But it’s not how long the company has been in the industry that matters. For starters, Travelpro invented the four-wheeled spinner suitcase. This innovation drastically minimized wear and tear on suitcases as there is less stress on the cases as well as the traveler pulling it.
Travelpro’s Travelpro Platinum Elite-Softside brings this invention into the 21st century.
Unsurprisingly, Travelpro is the popular choice for many pilots and aircrew. The brand has also become the go-to option for frequent business travelers due to its highly functional and hard-wearing luggage.
Travelpro ensures high quality by submitting its suitcases to 15 different tests. The travel bags are available in deep red, navy, gray, and professional black, with most having fold-out suiters designed to keep your clothes free from wrinkles.
Offerings include rollaboards, carry-ons, laptop bags, luggage sets, and a host of other premium pieces designed to meet specific needs.
For over a century, Rimowa has provided customers all over the world with prestigious luggage. Founded in 1898, the brand is famous for its iconic designs and innovative craftsmanship.
As the pioneer in the luggage industry, Rimowa had established itself as a dependable brand long before many of our grandparents were even conceived. It has become the go-to brand for people looking for luxury luggage.
But Rimowa is not just the first luggage brand. It is also the first in many other aspects, including the first manufacturer to produce an aluminum trunk as far back as 1937 and the first brand to engineer a lightweight polycarbonate suitcase back in the year 2000.
For the lightest travel suitcases ever, you may want to take a look at the brand’s Essential Lite Collection. Although these options are lightweight, they offer impressive resilience and optimum stability.
Stylish messenger bags and durable backpacks are two of the many areas where Timbuk2 excels. From a humble beginning in a garage somewhere in San Francisco way back in 1989, the luggage company has blossomed into a world-leading brand.
Simplicity is the brand’s focus, as it strives to offer luggage and accessories crafted to make life easy and convenient for the urban dweller and traveler. If travel backpacks are your thing, they don’t get any better than Timbuk2’s iconic offerings.
The brand also has social initiatives that focus on making the environment and community a better place. For example, in 2016, it encouraged customers to donate their used bags. This is a show of the brand’s commitment to sustainability.
7. Zero Halliburton
In 1938, travelers were first introduced to the strength and security of aluminum cases, thanks to the ingenuity and creative prowess of Zero Halliburton.
The company manufactures some of the highest quality and ultra-durable suitcases in the market. The brand is famous for engineering double-ribbed aluminum shells that are indestructible. However, it has also spread its tentacles to top-notch luggage that is lightweight, sleek, and modern.
With a wide range of collections, including attaché cases, ZH packing systems, bags and backpacks, and luggage, you are sure to find something from Zero Halliburton that meets your specific needs.
8. Peak Design
From everyday bags to travel bags and everything between, Peak Design has got you covered. What began as a Kickstarter campaign back in 2010 is now one of the most successful crowdfunded luggage brands in recent times.
Photographers will be more than impressed with the innovative carrying solutions provided by this company. But you don’t have to be a professional photographer to love this brand. As long as you require any type of luggage, you will find something that meets your needs.
What sets Peak Design luggage apart from the others is the impressive versatility and incredible attention to detail. This company manufactures some of the coolest bags any traveler will be proud to own.
One of the brand’s most recent additions is the Travel Backpack 45L. This is a highly versatile, gorgeous, and durable travel backpack that comes with a number of compartments and pouches for organizing your stuff. It can be converted into a carry-on bag and can be worn in several ways.
Peak Design backpacks and bags are fitted with practical pockets, spacious compartments, and intuitive handles. Each bag is engineered with 400d tear-resistant nylon to ensure durability. In a nutshell, these bags are a fine blend of function and design.
Samsonite is one of the oldest luggage brands on this list, coming behind Rimowa. Established in 1910, the brand has continued to make excellent bags ever since. The industry will probably not be where it currently is without Samsonite blazing the trail.
The brand has one major focus; to satisfy the frequent traveler by carefully engineering luggage pieces that combine durability, functionality, and style.
Whether it is a quick weekend getaway or a business trip, Samsonite offers travelers the assurance of quality bags that can conveniently and securely hold their stuff throughout the trip.
10. Roam Luggage
Roam Luggage is the most recently founded brand on this list, coming into existence only in 2018. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is one of the easiest luggage brands to love. For starters, Roam Luggage is the first luggage brand with fully customizable luggage.
What this means for customers is that you can actually design your very own travel luggage just the way you want it. You are not only limited to choosing the front and back colors, but you can also personalize the wheels and even the zippers.
All it takes is to choose your preferences online. You can select the size of your piece, whether that is check-in or carry-on, choose customized colors, and then add a 3-letter monogram for a more personal touch. How cool is that!
But that’s not all. Roam Luggage delivers all fully customized bags within 10 business days for a 100-day trial period. If you don’t like your custom-designed bag for some reason, you can return it and get a full refund. Customers within the US get free shipping and returns. Now, that’s difficult to beat!
How to Choose a Travel Luggage
Consider Your Options
Okay, with all these amazing brands offering tons of luggage types, how do you choose the right travel luggage? Should you go for traditional suitcases, backpacks, or duffle bags?
While everyone has their preferences – and truly, choices are mostly based on subjective reasons – it is safe to recommend backpacks for shorter trips. That’s because most people don’t need to pack a lot of clothes when going on a one- or two-day trip.
Backpacks are generally small and will hold most of your essentials during a quick weekend jaunt. Besides the convenience of their cute and smallish size, you don’t need to check in a backpack during travel. Meaning, you’re more likely to have a hassle-free trip and reach your destination sooner.
But if you need more storage space, then a backpack won’t be your best option. Longer trips or not, a traditional suitcase will offer more storage space. With most suitcases featuring plenty of compartments, you can organize your belongings separately to avoid the frustration of taking everything out just to find one small item.
That’s not to say you can’t bring both a suitcase and a backpack on the same trip. A backpack can be a nice carry-on piece to have on any trip.
Traveling through a large airport can be tiring if you have to haul a duffle bag or backpack on your back. On the flip side, many suitcases come with telescoping handles and wheels that can help you get through the airport quickly and easily.
Modern travel luggage is meant to ease your trip as much as possible and not a burden you have to endure throughout your trip.
Many luggage brands include useful features in travel bags to ensure a smooth travel experience. Look out for practical additions such as a built-in battery pack that allows you to charge Smartphones and other devices on-the-go.
If you travel with toiletries, consider bags that come with built-in waterproof pouches. These will prevent your belongings from getting all wet. Waterproof compartments also provide appropriate storage for wet clothes or bathing suits after a swim in the hotel pool or the beach.
If you are a tech-savvy traveler, you might want to consider investing in smart luggage with high-tech features such as Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth connectivity, app-enabled or remote controls, electronic locks, and GPS tracking, among others.
However, keep in mind that many of the options known as smart luggage are usually hard-sided baggage. Don’t know the pros and cons of hard-shelled travel bags? Not to worry. The next point will clear that up.
Hard vs. Soft Materials
You need to consider the material you choose when buying a travel luggage piece, especially if you do a lot of air travel.
Generally, hard-sided luggage pieces tend to be more expensive than options crafted with soft materials. However, these are more durable and sturdier than soft-sided pieces.
Durability is very important when considering luggage material, especially when buying check-in baggage. That’s because airline workers are not always going to handle checked luggage with the utmost care.
If you check a soft-sided bag, it is usually at the risk of being stained, torn, or damaged. Consider soft-sided luggage as carry-ons instead of check-in baggage.
Hard-sided luggage pieces, such as suitcases, are excellent for travelers who pack heavy. The last thing you want is to have to haul your heavy suitcase because the wheels refuse to work. You also don’t want to have the handle of your bag coming apart at any point in your trip.
For this reason, you want to choose suitcases with excellent wheels and well-designed handles. Travel bags with riveted handles are more durable and less likely to get damaged. Also, bags designed with hard materials tend to make cleaning a lot easier.
Although they are durable, hard-sided luggage is not too convenient as handy bags. Consider choosing travel bags crafted with soft materials if you want something you can easily store underneath a seat or fit into an overhead without much hassle.
Choose Travel Bags That Stand Out
One common (and frustrating) problem at the baggage carousel is confusing your bag with all the other similar bags.
If you’ve ever grabbed someone else’s travel bag (mistakenly, of course), your bag is probably one of the many plain bags on the carousel.
A plain bag doesn’t necessarily mean a poor-quality bag; it is just not helpful when it comes to helping you to differentiate your luggage from others. If you do a lot of traveling by air, it is probably a good idea to choose a bag that stands out to eliminate or, at least minimize, confusion with the bags coming off the conveyor belt.
Consider shopping for luggage with unique patterns or color combinations. You want to avoid common patterns and colors as much as possible. It might be difficult to find a bag that is completely unique, even if it’s a limited edition. But a less common pattern is all it takes to stand out.
If you like, you may choose brands that offer partial or full customization. That way, you can quickly identify your bag since the design is uniquely yours.
Look for Security Features
No matter how stylish a travel bag is, always consider the security and safety options available. The best way to ensure valuables are safe is to have them in a carry-on during your trip. However, this is not always possible.
If you check a bag with valuables inside, ensure that it has solid safety features. Consider luggage with external or internal locks design to meet TSA standards. If your travel bag does not come with a TSA-approved locking system, the lock is likely to be removed by airport security during a search.
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The 10 Best Portable Speakers in 2021
For those on the go, regular speakers simply aren’t going to make the grade. They often don’t have the durability required for travel and the speakers may not be powerful enough to cope with an open environment.
If you love music and the outdoors, then you need a speaker that is able to cope with your lifestyle. That means an ability to protect itself from water, dust, and drops. It also needs sound that can cut through the open air.
Thankfully, you don’t need to look very far to find speakers to match those criteria. We’ve done the hard work to find 10 speakers that we think are perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Read on to find the perfect portable speaker for you. Let’s go!
1. Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore
For the perfect combination of durability and sound quality, we picked this Bang & Olufsen speaker as the best overall choice. It has an excellent array of qualities and will never let you down.
The design of the speaker makes it look very tough and that’s exactly what you get. Its body is made from anodized aluminum and it can take a lot of punishment. This includes the speaker being both dust and waterproof.
While we adore the durability of this speaker, the feature we are most impressed by is the runtime. It can play for an incredible 27 hours before it needs to be charged. That’s usually enough time for most outdoor adventures.
There are many other aspects to love about this speaker such as the 360-degree sound, its solid Bluetooth connection, and the stylish earthy colors. While this speaker is great for any outdoor adventure, it’s brilliant in dusty or sandy environments where most other speakers suffer. It’s the perfect outdoor speaker, which is why it took our top pick.
2. Vifa Oslo Bluetooth Speaker
While the Bang & Olufsen speaker is perfect for those in more extreme environments, the Vifa Oslo is ideal for those who will be traveling in a bit more comfort. It’s a stunningly stylish speaker that comes in a choice of five vibrant colors.
It has two connection options of either Bluetooth or Aux, which are both very easy to use. The speaker itself is quite bulky, which is ideal for those looking for a larger speaker but not for those who need something compact.
The most impressive aspect of this Bluetooth speaker is the sound quality. The balanced woofers give you a premium level of sound at all ranges. It works well in any setting to give you exceptional performance.
There is also no doubting the level of durability and craftsmanship you get here. It’s extremely well made and has a soft feel. It looks great, sounds great, and is fantastic for premium sound quality on the go.
3. Anker Soundcore Flare Wireless Speaker
With the Anker brand, one thing you can always expect is excellent value for money. This speaker is able to produce premium sound while coming in at a lower price point, making it our best value product.
It has all the durability that you need for an outdoor speaker. It comes with an IP67 rating which not only means it can be briefly submerged in water but that it also has great dust protection.
For a small speaker, it also packs a punch. The bass especially stands out but the overall clarity is very impressive and it can deliver 360-degree sound. It’s able to run for 12 hours and is easy to charge back up.
A customizable light show is also available, which can be dialed back if you need to save power. That customization also extends to the EQ, which can be controlled via an app. It looks very good in either black or blue and is exceptional for a budget speaker.
4. Sonos Roam
A brilliant option for your outdoor adventure is to get a speaker that also has smart functionality for voice control. That’s exactly what you get with this Sonos Roam speaker which is packed full of exciting features.
It can be connected to a wide range of devices through either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which are both very easy to use. You can also control the speaker from their App, which adds to the usability.
As with most Sonos speakers, it looks stylish and will complement any room or outdoor space. It lasts for 10 hours, which is a little less than some rivals but is still a decent runtime.
You’ll find the music to have plenty of clarity with precision sound, even in an outdoor setting. Part of the reason for that is due to its ability to automatically adjust to its surroundings. We loved it and with the IP67 rating, it can easily cope with anything the outdoors throws at it.
5. Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3
If a company decided to call their speaker the MEGABOOM then it has a lot to live up to. You’d expect the volume to be great, even in outdoor settings. Thankfully, this outdoor speaker delivers on those promises.
The long cylindrical shape is very easy to carry and is able to deliver 360-degree sounds. This makes it ideal for the likes of a campsite where you can put it in the middle of your group and all enjoy the music.
You don’t have to worry about breaking it either. With its IP67 rating, the speaker can take a lot of punishment. That rating means it can be submerged in water and is highly resistant to dust ingress.
There are other features we love here such as the fabric covering, wireless charging, and drop resistance. It’s the ideal solution if you want a tough speaker that can deliver booming sound.
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6. JBL Charge 5
JBL is another brand name that you can trust. For these outdoor speakers to make this list, they needed to be very tough without compromising on sound quality. The JBL Charge 5 is a great example of that.
It’s able to produce a sound that is rich and clear. This is true even in challenging outdoor environments. If another member of your group has a JBL speaker with “Party Boost,” then you can connect it up for stereo sound.
It has 20 hours of run time, which is one of the highest available. If you use it for a few hours a day, then it has the potential to last for quite a long trip.
It’s another that has an IP67 rating but a standout feature is the built-in power bank that can charge your devices. It can be a lifesaver if your phone dies when you’re outdoors.
7. Sony Extra Bass Speaker
Sony is another company that has made an exceptional outdoor speaker. This stylish model comes in either blue, black, or taupe and will look great wherever you put it.
You’ll also be delighted with the sound quality. It’s both deep and punchy which can help to cut through any noisy outdoor environment. It also has a bass boost feature which can really boom.
The runtime is exceptional at 24 hours so you’ll be able to get plenty of enjoyment from it between recharges. It also has a lightshow feature that will sync up to the music that is playing.
The IP67 rating means it’s great for outdoor life but the fabric covering still adds style and a premium feel. The speaker is beautifully balanced and you’ll be impressed by the vocal clarity.
8. Urbanista Brisbane Wireless Speaker
When it comes to an outdoor speaker, style isn’t really that important. That being said, most people still want their devices to look great. It’s an area where this Urbanista speaker shines with its sleek rectangular design.
Looks aside, this speaker also performs brilliantly in both outdoor and indoor settings. It’s able to produce plenty of driver power which gives it a loud and deep bass. The vocal clarity is also excellent.
It’s highly compatible with many devices and you can also connect it with other speakers for surround stereophonic sound. It has a 10 hours runtime but only takes around three hours for a full recharge.
It isn’t quite as tough as other speakers we’ve looked at here as it has an IPX5 rating, making it splash resistant. That will still be more than enough protection for most uses.
9. Bose Portable Smart Speaker
If you want to have the ultimate in simple portability then you can easily get that here with this Bose portable speaker. It has a wide handle that makes it very easy to carry, along with it being lightweight.
It’s available in either black or white and both of them look great with the cylindrical design. There are many connection options here with Aux cable, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth all available.
It has an IPX4 rating which gives it decent splash resistance and a 12 hour runtime. You may also love the smart functionality, making it simple and easy to be controlled via voice.
10. Tribit StormBox Micro Bluetooth Speaker
For those wanting something a little more compact, this could be what you’re looking for. It’s only small but it can still pack a mighty punch in terms of volume and sound quality. The IP67 rating means it can cope with all tough environments and can easily manage rain, dust, and drops.
It will easily fit in any backpack and with the weight of just 0.64 lbs, you’ll hardly feel it. The eight hours of runtime isn’t the longest but you’d expect it to be a little lower with the smaller size.
The versatile speaker can be taken anywhere and your friends will be shocked at how much power can be delivered from this little thing. The bass can thump and it can cope with windy outdoor settings.
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Outdoor Speaker FAQs
Indoor speakers don’t usually need to worry about water, dust, and being dropped. An outdoor speaker is made to be much tougher and can cope with all these issues. An outdoor speaker also needs to be loud enough to cope with large open spaces.
Outdoor speakers need to have a high level of water and dust resistance, have enough power, and a long runtime between charges. After these key features, you can look at the connectivity, usability, and size. It’s important that you can easily carry it with you, so portability is also important.
We’ve looked at many great brands here such as JBL, Sony, and Bose. You can trust them all to give you a quality product. We’ve also looked at some lesser-known brands which often provide better value for money. It’s always a good idea to look beyond the brand and just get a speaker that perfectly matches your needs.
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The 10 Best Fashion Combat Boots for Men
The first pair of combat boots I purchased were a pair of black canvas Dr. Martens. Not to age myself but it was the 90s and I was in high school and they were essential in boosting my fashion confidence. I lived in Kentucky at the time and I stuck out like a sore thumb and I did not care.
Those boots made me feel invincible. And the best part? I still have them and I still wear them. Read the list below to find your next (or first!) pair of combat boots that you will be sure to have for years, nay, decades to come!
1. Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace Up Boots
This is the original Dr. Marten boot. Named the 1460 because they were born on January 4, 1960 (01.04.60) this 8-eye work boot is iconic and a must-have for every closet. Each pair stays true to the original design with a Trans colored sole and the classic black and yellow AirWair heel loop.
The Goodyear-welted lines are heat-sealed at 700 degrees celsius and reinforced with the brand’s signature yellow welt stitch. New colors are introduced every season but smooth black never goes out of style. The leather can be polished to shine or scuffed-up depending on your preference and style.
2. Thom Browne Tricolor-Stripe Brogue Combat Boot
Two words: Thom Browne.
Three more words: Add to cart.
These Thom Browne black books are a mix of a traditional brogue shoe and a combat boot. These sexy-ass boots are crafted in Italy from pebbled leather and have perforated wingtip accents, chunky rubber soles, a tricolor pull tab, tricolor toebox stripes, and a cutout heel groove that twists around the edge. I cannot stress enough the cool factor associated with these. Trust me. They are in my cart.
3. Clarks Batcombe Hi2 Boot
Lined with sheepskin, these dark olive suede lace-up ankle boots were crafted with your comfort in mind. Made with Clarks Cushion Plus™ technology, the unique dual-density foam technology reduces strain on the ball of the foot and supports your natural movement, keeping your feet comfortable all day long. The durable yet lightweight cleated rubber sole ups the ante with an unbeatable grip making for a versatile boot that works for all aspects of life.
4. Thursday Boot Co. Captain Rugged
If you know, you know… and if you own a pair of boots from the Thursday Boot Co. you know that they’re a company that makes handcrafted and hand-stitched boots designed to complement your look from business casual to everyday wear.
These boots are made from genuine leather with a fully lined supple leather interior, studded rubber outsoles, and cork-bed midsoles that form to your feet for added comfort in order to give a clean, rugged, yet sophisticated look.
5. Moncler Black Vancouver Boot
These buffed black leather ankle boots are built for cold weather and then some. They feature a round toe, tonal lace-up closure, tonal hardware, and black leather lining. These boots also have a Vibram® black rubber outsole, a padded nylon tongue with a logo patch, a pull loop, and a tricolor rubber midsole. Moncler sells luxury and this boot is no exception.
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6. Timberland 6 Inch Premium Boots
Timberland boots. Need I say more? Oh… I do? This is awkward… Ok, then, for the few of you who do not recognize the original Timberland waterproof “yellow” boots from a mile away, let me give you some more information.
This classic boot was born in 1973 and features PrimaLoft® ECO insulation and waterproof leather sourced from a sustainable tannery. With premium leather uppers, rustproof hardware, seam-sealed waterproof construction, and exclusive anti-fatigue technology that provides all-day comfort and support, these boots have proven they will be in style for years to come. And did I mention that they’re waterproof?
7. Diesel Lace-Up Combat Boots
These Diesel black, goat skin blend lace-up combat boots feature contrasting panels, a logo patch at the tongue, logo to the back, a pull tab at the rear, a round toe, a chunky low heel, and a ridged rubber sole. At the time of publishing, if you use this link, they are also 40% off!
8. Wolverine 1000 Mile Axel Boot
Handcrafted in America since 1914, the 1000 Mile boot still maintains the same attention to detail with the finest materials and craftsmanship as it did over a century ago. The uppers are made from premium leather from Chicago and flat waxed laces from South Carolina. The sole is made from Goodyear™ welt construction that’s durable, flexible, and allows the boot to be resoled for years of wear.
9. Alexander McQueen Military Boot
Hands down, no contest, Alexander McQueen is my most favorite and can do no wrong. But that’s just my humble opinion. You can decide for yourself. Inspired by the military (as most combat boots are) these boots are crafted from genuine calf leather and they secure to your foot with an eight-hole lacing system. The edgy aesthetic is completed with a chunky lugged sole and printed branding pull tabs.
10. Red Wing Shoes Heritage Iron Ranger
No list of boots is complete without a pair of Red Wing Heritage boots. The Iron Ranger was originally built for iron miners in the 1930s. The six inch boot’s signature is a distinctive leather toe cap. These boots are built with a Goodyear welt, Puritan triple-stitch construction, and brass speed hooks that provide precision lacing and a visual hit of hardware.
The Iron Ranger is anchored with a Vibram® 430 Mini-lug outsole. As you wear the footwear, the full-grain leather upper, insole, and cork midsole will mold to your feet, creating an increasingly personalized fit over time.
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Combat Boots FAQs
Historically, combat boots were a tactical boot style designed for the military to wear during literal combat. In the 70s they became a symbol of the anti-establishment, most popular amongst British punk rockers.
Combat boots really gained traction in the 90s with the emergence of the grunge scene. Today, combat boots don’t have the same anti-establishment appeal as they did in decades past but they still ooze cool. There are a variety of modern styles, including traditional lace-ups in black and brown, as well as more bold colors like green and blue.
Combat boots became mainstream in the 90s when grunge was both a music genre and a fashion trend. Band members and fans of groups like Nirvana, Garbage, Hole, and Alice In Chains started rocking the utilitarian tactical boot style and by the turn of the century, combat-style boots became a part of mainstream fashion.
Combat boots look great styled with skinny jeans, flares, straight leg, cuffed jeans – basically, they look good with pants. If your pants are too long, tuck them in or roll them up. Or pair your boots with shorts. A longer short looks better but with confidence, you can pull off almost any look.
The 12 Best Beaches To Visit in the U.S.
There’s really no such thing as a bad beach, right? Sand, sun, and glistening, refreshing water to play or cool off in – what’s not to love? Thinking about what makes a beach exceptional, though, is a whole different story. It’s a very subjective thing, as the best beach might mean calm water and powdery white sand to some, while to others it may mean excellent surf and plenty of opportunities for adventure.
Whatever your personal definition of the best beach is, America has lots (and lots) of them to choose from. With two very different coasts and three major bodies of water, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a beach for everyone here.
Do you prefer iconic, broad, sandy, palm tree-dotted beaches, hidden ones requiring a hike to access, or maybe even beaches where wild horses live? Whatever your beach style, you’ll find the perfect one for you on this list of the best beaches in the U.S.
1. Secret Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
For most people, Hawaii immediately comes to mind when they think of the best beaches in the U.S. Kauai’s Secret Beach, which is officially named Kauapea Beach and often referred to as simply “Secrets,” is the epitome of a pristine Hawaiian beach. It’s exceptionally large in terms of both length and width and features golden sand, shimmering turquoise water, and lush green rainforests.
To get to Secret Beach, you’ll need to find the unmarked, steep trail between Kilauea Point and Kalihiwai Bay. You can actually see the beach from the Kilauea lighthouse, so if you get stuck searching, try visiting there first. Secrets is large enough that it’s always easy to find a secluded spot for yourself to layout and relax.
Note that the far eastern end of the beach has a reputation for being a go-to spot for nude sunbathers. There’s also a waterfall toward the east end of the beach and at the west end, there are a few lagoons that form natural calm swimming holes. The strong ocean current here makes it difficult to swim at Secret Beach most of the time, so stick to these lagoons for swimming and enjoy simply relaxing on one of the best beaches in the U.S.
2. Miramar Beach, Santa Barbara, California
Technically five miles from Santa Barbara proper in Montecito, Miramar Beach is somewhat of a hidden gem. This beach is very quiet and calm, with gentle, clear waters and sugar-fine soft sand, making it ideal for everything from surfing and swimming to sunbathing and walking the shoreline.
Miramar Beach’s calm waters are attributed to the fact that it’s situated in a south-facing cove. It’s pretty well-sheltered, which also allows for leisurely exploring the crystal-clear water. At low tide, several tide pools are also revealed. Thanks to its location just outside Santa Barbara, Miramar Beach is rarely crowded, yet it’s less than an hour from Los Angeles. Talk about the best of both worlds!
3. Crescent Beach, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Fun fact: Maine has more coastline than the entire state of California. It’s true! So it comes as no surprise that some of the best beaches in the U.S. are in Maine. Located about eight miles from Portland in southwestern Maine, Crescent Beach is a classic, postcard-perfect New England beach.
The beach itself, as you may have guessed, is a one-mile crescent-shaped swath of soft sand. It’s surrounded by saltwater coves, sand dunes, woods, and granite rock ledges. Swimming and sunbathing are popular activities at Crescent Beach, of course, but there are also plenty of opportunities for fishing and paddling, plus several hiking trails.
4. Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Orange Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Gulf Shores, and for good reason. The superfine, sugar-white sand is so soft that it’s said to squeak under your feet and the calm waters are an almost unbelievable turquoise blue.
Adjacent to Perdido Key in the Florida panhandle (which is another spectacular beach), Orange Beach spans eight miles. It’s also fairly wide, so even on the most crowded days, it’s not difficult to find a patch of sand to make your own and stretch out comfortably. There’s a waterfront park, plenty of opportunities to fish either from the pier or aboard a boat with a guided outfitter, and even a shipwreck, The Lulu, to explore on a scuba diving expedition.
5. Moonstone Beach, Cambria, California
Part of Hearts San Simeon State Park and situated just off the world-famous Highway 1 (aka the Pacific Coast Highway) in central California, Moonstone Beach is one of the best beaches in the U.S. The coastline here is punctuated by rocky cliffs and several coves with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the beach. Spend some time combing the beach for several varieties of beautiful sea glass and impossibly smooth stones, including jade, jasper, agate, and of course, chalcedony – also known as moonstone.
Up above the beach, a boardwalk spans exactly one mile between the Santa Rosa Creek and Leffingwell Landing day-use areas, both with plenty of parking. A lookout near the boardwalk is perfect for spotting gray whales, dolphins, sea lions, and otters.
6. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida
Since 2015, TripAdvisor has named Siesta Beach America’s #1 beach a whopping three times on its annual Traveler’s Choice Awards. The soft, fluffy white sand is cloud-like, with hardly a shell or other debris in sight. And thanks to its composition of nearly all quartz-crystal, the sand doesn’t get hot on even the sunniest days – an impressive feat on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida summers.
The largest of Siesta Key’s beaches, Siesta Beach has shaded playgrounds, volleyball courts, picnic areas, and plenty of free parking. Dolphins are frequently seen playing in the turquoise waters just off the shore, and the sea here is calm, shallow, and clear, making it one of the best U.S. beaches for families.
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7. Jack’s Bay Beach, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Often overlooked, the U.S. Virgin Islands are a group of three main islands nestled into the Caribbean. Each of the islands – St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix – is stunning and, interestingly, very different from one another.
One of the best beaches in the U.S., Jack’s Bay Beach, happens to be on St. Croix and it’s well off the beaten path, which means you’ll likely have it all to yourself. Located near the far eastern end of the island, Jack’s Bay Beach is directly below Point Udall.
Fun fact: Point Udall is the easternmost point in the United States and sees America’s very first sunrise every morning. You’ll need to hike downhill from Point Udall to get to Jack’s Bay Beach and while it’s not a long hike, it is steep. The reward is well worth it, though, as there’s rarely more than just a few people at the beach.
8. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, North Carolina
North Carolina has dozens of fantastic beaches to choose from, but one of the best is Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Technically a narrow, 72 mile long strip of several barrier islands between Nags Head and Ocracoke Island, Cape Hatteras National Seashore has a little something for everyone.
Enjoy broad sandy beaches dotted with seashells and framed by towering sand dunes, lots of water and beach activities, and a couple of lighthouses. In fact, the tallest lighthouse in the United States is here, 196 foot tall Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Standing just 40 feet shorter, the Bodie Island Lighthouse is also nearby. Both date back to the 1870s and visitors can (and should!) climb both. Allow a full day for visiting the beach and lighthouse, and keep your eyes open for sea turtles sunbathing on the beach.
9. Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California
No list of the best beaches in the U.S. is complete without a mention of Big Sur. Arguably one of the most iconic stretches of coastline anywhere in the world, the Big Sur area is defined by dramatic rugged sea cliffs, crashing waves, and pristine beaches. Because of the rugged cliffs, Big Sur beaches aren’t necessarily the most accessible and visiting many of them requires a bit of effort.
That’s actually not the case with Pfeiffer Beach – it doesn’t require a hike or even an admission fee, but it is somewhat hard to find, thanks to the unmarked road connecting it to Highway 1. Once you do manage to find it, you’ll be treated to large unique rock formations (including Keyhole Arch, a natural rock arch) just offshore, tide pools at the north end of the beach during low tide, unbelievable sunsets, and sand that’s unmistakably purple, thanks to manganese garnet in the cliffs above.
10. Assateague Beach, Assateague Island, Maryland & Virginia
In the heart of the east coast, Assateague Island is truly unlike any other. The barrier island sits in both Maryland and Virginia and features a rugged landscape dotted with wind-swept sand dunes, grasslands, and warm, shallow bays. Oh, and it’s also home to hundreds of wild, free-roaming horses. Legend holds that they’re descendants of a handful of domesticated horses that survived a shipwreck sometime in the 17th century.
The horses are, of course, one of the main reasons that Assateague Beach is one of the best beaches in the U.S. However, it’s far from the only reason. Each side of the island is unique, with 12 miles of quiet sandy beaches on the Maryland side and the interior bayside being more recreation-oriented.
Here, there are numerous opportunities for kayaking, clamming, and crabbing, plus the waters are warmer and calmer – perfect for swimming. If you want to go for a horseback ride, head to the Virginia district.
11. Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Situated on one of Georgia’s four Golden Isles, Driftwood Beach is widely considered one of the best and romantic beaches in the country. Due to years and years of erosion on the northern end of the island, hundreds of weathered, warped, and bleached trees dot the beach.
It may sound a little odd if you’ve never seen it in person, but it’s strikingly beautiful and truly memorable. In fact, Driftwood Beach is one of Georgia’s most photographed landmarks!
Aside from being picturesque, Driftwood Beach has tons to do. Georgia’s coastline is notorious for its excellent fishing, there’s a great network of bicycle trails, and you can even camp on the beach here. Another must-do activity at Driftwood Beach is visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, an interactive experience for every member of the family!
12. Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hana, Hawaii
Wai’anapanapa State Park, along the famous Road to Hana, is the epitome of a Hawaiian beach. Its black sand was created by basalt lava flow several centuries ago, and it’s framed by lush green rainforest and indigo blue ocean.
The dramatic scenery is postcard-perfect and absolutely pristine. Being a stop along the Road to Hana, Wai’anapanapa State Park takes a bit of effort to reach. Those willing to put in the work are rewarded with a big payoff, as the beach is rarely crowded – something increasingly hard to find anywhere in Hawaii.
In addition to the beach itself, Wai’anapanapa State Park features large black boulders, sea caves, a natural sea arch, a blowhole, several small swimming holes, and a blowhole. Visitors can cliff dive, explore the sea caves, or hike to explore the boulders and inlets.
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