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Resources: Commercial and Businesses Web Sites

American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)***

  • By: American Society of Travel Agents. Email: astasysop@astanet.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: ASTA's web site includes quite a bit of information for travelers, including a packing guide (one page). Handy. Fairly easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. ASTA is the primary travel agent association and it provides a lot of consumer-oriented inforamtion. Password protection sections for members.

Best Preparations Before You Leave***

  • By: Arthur Frommer's Outspoken Encyclopedia of Travel. Email: frommers@mcp.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: A popular publisher of travel books, Frommer's web site is full of information including this section specifically on packing. Beware that the lists they recommend are very large and I found quite a few items unnecesary for the adventure traveler (please; I dislike wearing pantyhose for work, why do I have to pack four pairs for a vacation?).

Bitter Root Travel Gear**

  • By: Bitter Root Travel Gear. Email: inquire@brtravelgear.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/29/98
  • Review: Although not particularly aesthetically pleasing, this site has quite a bit of non-sales information for budget travelers going to Europe. Geared towards what appears to be the college crowd. Of particular note is their special deal: Buy a travelpack from them and receive a free shoulder strap (no model mentioned) and free shipping in the Continental US.

Campmor***

  • By: Campmor. Email: customer-service@campmore.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: This no-fuss web site was on the forefront of 'net shopping when most companies barely had web pages. Simple, just like their print catalog. Online shopping available. Definitely worth a visit.

Caribou Mountaineering***

  • By: Caribou Mountaineering. Email: caribou@caribou.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: While this manufacturer does not sell its items online, this no-frills site is very quick to load, and has very good technical data on all of their products (as well as line illustrations of each). Their dealer listing is a simple list that allows browsing. Take a quick visit if you want to look at their products.

Christine Columbus, Inc.***

  • By: Christine Columbus, Inc.. Email: info@christinecolumbus.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/29/98
  • Review: A charming site geared towards women travelers. Their product inventory is limited but selective, and their online shopping method has not yet been implemented. However any shortcomings are overcome by their service-oriented friendly attitude. They also sell specially designed bathroom-friendly clothes that allow women to use the facilities without having to remove everything -- ingenius!

Cordura Home Page***

  • By: Dupont
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the best fabric that travelpacks are made of! Cordura nylon is made by Dupont, and this site gives you very detailed information on this rugged artificial fabric.

Eagle Creek Travel Gear**

  • By: Eagle Creek
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: The king of Cordura bags, Eagle Creek has revamped their web site in the last few months. Unfortunately it is not much of an improvement, as it uses a very strange use of frames. Instead of retaining the same frames for its entire site, each newpage brings forth a new frame set. One nice feature is a direct link to mail-order web sites that carry their merchandise. So while you can't shop directly through them, you are able to make purchases through retailers. Still graphic-heavy and a bit slow to load, although aesthetically pretty. Dealer locator available but you have to know the zip code in which you are searching. Visit if interested in looking at their sample products.

Eddie Bauer Online Store***

  • By: Eddie Bauer. Email: imedia@eddiebauer.com
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: Like its retail cousins LL Bean and Lands' End, Eddie Bauer's web site is a fully operational site with merchandise and secure online shopping. In addition to information on return policy, sizing, shipping, etc., Eddie Bauer's site also has a Wish List, which is what was traditionally called a (bridal) registry. This site does not have extra information or links to external sites of interest, but for the purposes of shopping at Eddie Bauer it navigates easily and loads smoothly.

GORP - Great Outdoor Recreation Pages****

  • By: Greer Consulting Services, Inc.. Email: postmaster@www.gorp.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/29/98
  • Review: This site exemplifies what an Internet web resource should be. Full of information, interactive games, articles and guides, a visitor could easily spend all day at this site.

Healthy Flying with Diana Fairechild***

  • By: Diana Fairechild. Email: diana@flyana.com
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: Former flight attendant is an advocate for healthy flying. Her web site promotes her book, Jet Smart, as well as provides tips for flyers. Visit if interested in air travel healty and safety. She has improved the aesthetic look of her web site in the last few months, and it's quite pleasing to visit now.

JanSport***

  • By: Jansport
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Graphically superior to many web sites, and not too slow to load. Ask for "travel" when searching their online catalog, for a couple of travelpacks. Two very innovative ideas: 1. While online shopping is not available directly from JanSport, products sold online have links directly to the shopping sites (e.g. REI). 2. You can register your warranty card online! Who files their warranty cards and mails them in? This bypasses the snail mail process. Very handy.

Journeywoman - Travel Tales - She Packs It and She Leaves It***

  • By: Journeywoman - An Online Travel Magazine Just For Women. Email: editor@journeywoman.com
  • Last reviewed: 6/15/99
  • Review: This place has grown in the past year. Primarily reader-driven with lots of women-centered travel information. Safety-conscious perspective on women's travel wardrobe is nice.

Kindred Spirits Adirondack Outfitters**

  • By: Kindred Spirits Adirondack Outfitters. Email: kindred@netheaven.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Not as polished a site as others, but the information is laid out in a straightforward manner. For travelpacks, go to their link to MEI under "backpacks." Visit if interested in MEI travelpacks.

L.L. Bean****

  • By: L.L. Bean. Email: llbean@llbean.com
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: Another mail-order catalog company that has expanded to provide full ordering capabilities online. Focuses primarily on their catalog, but they do have information on national parks. Very handy feature tells you if an item is actually in stock at the time of your inquiry.

Leatherman Tool Group's Home Page**

  • By: Leatherman Tool Group. Email: mktg@leatherman.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: While not directly about travel, the Leatherman multi purpose tool is one of the handiest gadgets to have in your travel bag. Visit this page if you want to see photos of their various models.

LeTravel Store**

  • By: LeTravel Store. Email: gear@letravelstore.com
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: Located in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, LeTravel Store is a very comprehensive shop for travelers. Their web site is clean, fairly quick to load and two things make this site nice: Their travel tips page is full of suggestions on European cities, and their 'About...' page has a very nice history of the shop. If you were considering purchasing an Eagle Creek product online this place is it. Unfortunately I know they carry a lot of other merchandise in their store but it looks like the bulk of their online catalog consists of Eagle Creek only.

London Bridge Trading Company, Ltd.**

  • By: London Bridge Trading Company. Email: info@londonbridgetrading.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: This luggage manufacturer's web site lists its products and provides photos, but does not include any detailed specifications. Online ordering cumbersome but available. Visit only if you are interested in their products.

Magellan's - America's Leading Source of Travel Supplies***

  • By: Magellan's. Email: sales@magellans.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Simple web site with online shopping. Online catalog appears quite comprehensive and equivalent to print catalog. Not too graphic-heavy so loads easily. Very good site.

Mountain Equipment Co-op - Canada's preeminent outdoor equipment supplier**

  • By: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Email: into@mec.ca
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: As a co-op they probably can't spend too much money on their web site, but you can at least order a catalog online. Note: They do not have their catalog online. Visit if you want to sign up for their print catalog mailing list. They've updated their web site a bit in the last few months so they have some additional information and links to their discussion groups.

Norm Thompson**

  • By: Norm Thompson
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: A very simple and clean web site where you can see some featured products and order your catalog. Unfortunately their entire line of merchandisei s not available.

Outdoor Products*

  • By: Outdoor Products. Email: webmaster@outdoorproducts.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Backpack manufacturer Outdoor Products' web site has a list of their various products, but unless you know the names of the products it is a very long process to browse their site. Asking for the backpack category reveals dozens of models, but only in text form with no description, requiring you to click on the links to see any details. When you are done looking at one model, you must return to the list to see the next model. Visit only if you know the model you want to see.

Outdoor Research Home Page**

  • By: Outdoor Research. Email: comments@www.orgear.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Not to be confused with Outdoor Products, OR makes toiletry pouches in various styles and sizes. Note that they are a manufacturer and do not sell their products online. In addition, retail prices are not consistently listed for all products.

Patagonia***

  • By: Patagonia
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: A fairly easy-to-navigate site with some cute graphics. Online ordering available and their catalog online appears comparable to their paper catalog.

REI Home Page****

  • By: REI
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: An excellent web site, not to be missed. It has everything you might want: Online shopping, ordering in multiple languages, privacy policy, secure transactions, comprehensive catalog, easy-to-use store locator, visually appealing look, easy navigability, quick loading, etc. etc. etc. You get the idea. This is a must-visit site and should serve as a role model for all other online stores. Be warned: You are bound to spend lots of time here!

Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door***

  • By: Rick Steves. Email: rick@ricksteves.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: This site is chock full of information. Rick Steves is one of the most public advocates of the travelite philosophy; you can learn more about his packing tips here, as well as get a description of his affordable travelpack. This site would get a higher grade if only they had online shopping, plus illustrations or photos of their merchandise.

Rockport**

  • By: Rockport Shoes
  • Last reviewed: 8/26/98
  • Review: A manfacturer of comfortable walking shoes, Rockport includes sections on adventure travel with suggestions focused on wearing good shoes.

Southwest Airlines - Packing Smart***

  • By: Southwest Airlines
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Southwest's web site is full of information, including this packing list. Convenient tips specifically for air travel, including lists of things not allowed to be taken on.

Tilley Endurable's Web Presence**

  • By: Tilley
  • Last reviewed: 8/26/98
  • Review: Known for their Tilley hats, this company sells conservative travel clothing primarily in khaki. Warning to those with slow modems: Pretty to look at, but with the cost of a slow download. Online shopping available.

Travel Supplies***

  • By: Travel Supplies. Email: http://www.travelsupplies.com/specialrequest/
  • Last reviewed: 2/13/00
  • Review: Travel Supplies bought out California Luggage Outlet, and their web pages merged also. Travel Supplies' merchandise is somewhat similar to California Luggage's, except now it's mostly full price. There is a lot of merchandise here, but do realize this site does not cater just to the light traveler. In particular, they sell lots of very expensive luggage.

Tough Traveler**

  • By: Tough Traveler
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: A family-friendly manufacturer of backpacks for all ages, this simple web site has an online catalog with ordering capability. While the cartoonish illustrations are cute, they do not make it the easiest to determine exactly what the bags may look like. Beware that their online shopping form is not secure.

Travel Tips**

  • By: World Wide Travel, Inc.. Email: cybertrvl@wwts.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: One of the few sites that separates packing tips between men and women, this site includes checklists as well.

Traveling Lite Online**

  • By: Traveling Lite TV Series
  • Last reviewed: 8/26/98
  • Review: This is an interesting site with quite a bit of information. Pardon my own ignorance as I say that I have never heard of this television series, and that I do not know to what age group the show caters to. I say this because the web site is rather lively all I can is that I am glad I do not get seizures from bright flashy things. However not suffering from Attention Deficit Syndrome this site seemed somewhat uh...like one big party. They do have a very nice section on packing tips.

TravelSmith Outfitting Guide and Catalog***

  • By: TravelSmith. Email: service@travelsmith.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Attractive web site now has online shopping. Apperance similar to print catalog. Note: Uses frames, and my Netscape navigational buttons didn't work well at this site. Very good site.

U.S. Cavalry***

  • By: U.S. Cavalry. Email: service@uscav.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Greatly expanded since 1997, this site now contains secure online shopping of many of their print catalog products. Not specifically for general travel, but lots of handy travel accessories and camping gear (especially if you're into khaki or camouflage). Many items similar to those found in US military base/post clothing sales stores.

Uphill Down**

  • By: Uphill Down. Email: service@uphill.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: A manufacturer of backpacks and the minimalist's dream, the Sierra travelpack. This web site is minimal as well, but provides photos of their full line of merchandise. Since they are not a retailer they do not provide online shopping, but they do include ordering information for those willing to pay a handling fee for small orders.

Walkabout Travel Gear***

  • By: Walkabout Travel Gear. Email: sales@walkabouttravelgear.com
  • Last reviewed: 7/28/98
  • Review: Some of the user-provided travel tips are hilarious! Online shopping available, although a bit awkward in that you must first obtain a shopping cart by sending them your email address. They have been regularly increasing their product line. Lots of good info and tons of links. Visually appealing. Recommended.

Walking Company, the*

  • By: The Walking Company. Email: Non given
  • Last reviewed: 8/26/98
  • Review: The Walking Company is a chain of retail stores that sells walking-related products such as walking shoes and canes. If you are interested in looking at examples of comfortable walking shoes for your trip, their shoe listing is somewhat helpful. However no online shopping is available, and the web site is very sparse and minimal at best. The store location index is nice but does not list hours. Visit only if you are curious.

Welcome to Lands' End!****

  • By: Lands' End. Email: webmaster@landsend.com
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: Clean, visually appealing, easy navigability, comprehensive, quick to load. An excellent web site with secure online shopping of their complete catalog, tons of Lands' End email addresses for various queries, as well as pages for corporate shoppers. Value-added site with an online newsletter! Excellent, not to be missed.

WorldTraveler Luggage and Travel Goods Discount Store**

  • By: WorldTraveler. Email: traveler@worldtraveler.com
  • Last reviewed: 8/10/98
  • Review: A visually pleasing site that I muddled through slowly. Animated gifs and java applets fill this site, which breaks things down to a minute level. For example to get to a page that described a specific shirt they sold took me SIX levels of browsing. Worse, after all the navigating this way I discovered links that were empty. At least I did not find 'Request not found.' They do carry Eagle Creek and Jansport but they focus on very expensive hard-sided luggage. There is a short packing tips page. Beware: This site is framed, although it doesn't look that way.

 

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