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Aerial view of person packing backpack surrounded by maps, a camera, a globe, and a hat
Halfpoint | Adobe Stock

7 Essential Multipurpose Tools for Travel

SmarterTravel

Why pack multiple items when you can save space (and money) by choosing multipurpose travel gear? The seven items on this list all pull double—or triple—duty, making your travels easier and your suitcase lighter.

All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System

Two flat lays of the components of the Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System
Shark

A good hairstyle is tough to achieve with the weak blow dryers found attached to the walls of most hotel rooms. Fortunately, you can look amazing in your travel photos (without packing an entire beauty salon’s worth of hair tools) by bringing the Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System.

Simply switch out the attachments on this multitasking tool to use the FlexStyle as a curler, dryer, round brush, diffuser, or straightener.

The FlexStyler uses air flow (rather than high heat) to style, helping to prevent damage and saving you precious time getting ready.

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack (left) and woman wearing the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack (right)
REI

Can’t decide if you should bring a backpack or a tote bag on your trip? You don’t have to choose with Patagonia’s Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack. Tuck away the backpack straps to convert this bag to a tote bag—it even features a foam back that allows you to use it as a seat cushion. 

Weighing just 13 ounces, the Black Hole Tote Pack is great for travel and can easily be packed away when you’re not using it.

Samsonite 2-in-1 Magic Travel Pillow

Bed Bath & Beyond

It’s tough to get comfortable on a long flight, but Samsonite’s Magic Travel Pillow can help. When you’re trying to sleep, use the ergonomic pillow as neck support. When your back gets sore from being crammed in a coach seat, simply flip the pillow to switch it to a square lumbar support style.

A microbead filling and soft cover make the Magic Travel Pillow feel great in any configuration.  

Beis The Convertible Weekender

The Beis The Convertible Weekender in black (left) and man holding the Beis The Convertible Weekender in a gray room (right)
Beis

Have minimal space to store luggage and bags at home? Invest in Beis’ Convertible Weekender, a weekender, day bag, and packing cube all in one compact package. The stylish bag features a removable bottom compartment that zips out and can be used as a packing cube. Or, leave it in, for a roomy bag that will hold everything you need for a short trip.

There’s even a removable padded laptop sleeve so you can use this as your daytime laptop bag when you’re not traveling. 

Zero Grid Infinity Scarf

Zero Grid Infinity Scarf in pink, black, and teal with wallets, passports, and money hanging out of the hidden pockets
Amazon

The Zero Grid Infinity Scarf has snaps at either end that allow you to wear this versatile piece as a scarf, blanket, hoodie, shawl, or wrap—plus, it has hidden zippered pockets that can hold your phone, passport, cash, and other valuables and eliminates the need to bring a purse or backpack. 

The Infinity Scarf even comes with a pickpocket-proof guarantee—if anything is stolen from inside the pockets, the company will reimburse you up to $300.

prAna Double Peak Convertible Pants

Two views of model wearing prAna Double Peak Convertible Pants
Amazon

Pants that convert into pants are great for hiking and traveling, but they’re a tough sell if you care about looking fashionable. Fortunately, prAna’s Double Peak Convertible Pants don’t look like typical 2-in-1 travel pants—the leg zippers (especially in the black color) are practically undetectable, meaning you may actually want to wear these even off the trails.

Camelback Multibev

The Camelback Multibev in pink, teal, and tan
Amazon

Frequent flyers know the value in bringing an empty water bottle to the airport to refill post-security. Take it one step further and enjoy both hot and cold drinks with the Camelback Multibev, a water bottle with two compartments. Use it to travel with two different types of drinks, or use the bottom section as a drinking cup. You can also use the smaller compartment to store essentials like medications, drink mixes, and more. 

Both the top and bottom sections are leakproof and dishwasher-safe.

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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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