I’m a Vegan Traveler, and These 13 Essentials Come With Me on Every Trip

Including picks from Prana, Chaco, Monos, and more.

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Vegan Travel Essentials
Vegan Travel Essentials. Photo:

Choco, Dragon Alliance, Cotopaxi

I have been a vegetarian my whole life. For me, it was a lifestyle that best suited where I lived and how I was raised. This year, the interest in exploring veganism seemed like a natural progression. As a travel journalist and photographer, much of my time is spent on the road, and while I have gotten my culinary choices nailed down to a science, it was not easy maintaining a vegan lifestyle in other aspects of my travels. 

This is why I started researching travel brands that fit the bill. From vegan leather luggage to sustainably-made shoes, clothes, skincare, and more, I’ve found several eco-conscious brands that make products from recycled materials, promote fair wages, and have sustainable manufacturing practices that help me maintain my choices no matter where I go — whether that’s on a weekend getaway or long-term trip to a faraway destination. Keep reading for my top sustainable travel product picks.

Clothing 

Prana Othello Falls Trench

Prana Othello Falls Trench
Prana Othello Falls Trench.

Prana

Sustainability has always been a huge part of Prana’s brand DNA, and that comes across in almost every garment that is sourced, assembled, packaged, and shipped. A must-have for any travel adventure is a weather-resistant, waterproof trench coat. The Othello Falls Trench has an eco-friendly waterproof finish, mesh ventilated back that makes it breathable, and elasticated cuffs that keep the rain out. It is made from 100 percent recycled polyester and comes in three earthy colors, so it checks all the boxes for a fashionable vegan option for traveling.

To buy: prana.com, $210

Prana Shoreline Swim Top and Aurelia Swim Bottoms

Shoreline Top and Aurelia Bottom

prAna

More of my favorites from the brand are the Shoreline Swim Top and Aurelia Swim Bottom. While technically not a sports bra, the Shoreline top looks and feels like one with its athletic look and adjustable shoulder straps. The bottoms are high cut but with a wide soft waistband with roll-down feature for added comfort. The shirring detail on the back adds just the right amount of cheeky coverage. With UPF 50+ sun protection and responsibly made recycled nylon, these swim pieces are perfect for those of us who want summer days to last forever. 

To buy: (top) prana.com, $24 (originally $60); (bottoms) prana.com, $24 (originally $60)

 Mammut Albula IN Hooded Jacket

Albula IN Hooded Jacket Women

Mammut

If you are looking for something a little warmer, one of my favorite pieces of vegan outerwear is the Albula IN Hooded jacket from Mammut, which is made entirely of recycled materials. The outer fabric is sourced from recycled polyester, the lining is made from recycled polyamide, and the synthetic fiber filling is made from recycled plastic bottles — making it a solid vegan option. I find it great for hiking or everyday wear, especially on cooler evenings. The loose cut also makes it easy to put on over a light sweater or mid-layer for added comfort and warmth. 

To buy: mammut.com, $165 (originally $219)

Shoes

Chaco Bodhi Sandals

Chaco Bodhi sandal
Chaco Bodhi sandal.

Chaco

A good pair of sandals goes a long way, and my lightweight go-to pair is the Bodhi style from Chaco. It’s made with recycled polyester webbings, vegan midsoles, and rubber compound outsoles. At only 7.4 ounces, the pair is the perfect performance sandal that easily fits any adventure where packing light is key. I love the adjustable webbing and toe loops that lock in the feet for additional stability and security.

To buy: chacos.com and rei.com, $100

Saucony Jazz 81 RFG Sneakers

JAZZ 81 RFG

Saucony

 For a more everyday wearable shoe, the Jazz 81 RFG Sneakers from Saucony are a great choice. The shoes are made from a plant-based leather alternative called Piñatex, which is sourced from waste from pineapple farming. In addition, the shoes are made with other recycled fabrics, like plant-based mesh and hemp laces.

To buy: saucony.com, $88 (originally $110)

Luggage & Travel Bags

Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack Del Dia

Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack Del Dia
Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack Del Dia.

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi's Allpa 42L Travel Pack Del Dia is one of its best-selling clamshell-style travel packs. It is funky and colorful with lots of well-designed organizational compartments. It is made with 100 percent repurposed materials using other brands’ factory scraps keeping materials out of the landfill. It also gives each pack a one-of-a-kind color scheme. Even the zippers are mismatched, which adds to the eclectic feel of this pack. 

To buy: cotopaxi.com, $215

Monos Metro Duffel

Metro Duffel

Monos

For a more fancy, upscale look, I love my Monos Metro Duffel. It’s made with water-resistant, ultra-microfiber vegan leather. The duffel pairs well with my carry-on with its built-in trolley sleeve, and it’s also great by itself on short weekend trips. The stylish bag is roomy and has a laptop sleeve on the inside that fits up to a 15-inch computer and an inner side pocket for a reusable water bottle.

To buy: monos.com, $230

Monos Metro Sling

Metro Sling

Monos

I wear the Monos Metro Sling either across my body or slung over one shoulder. It is big enough to hold the essentials while still having a sleek crossbody bag look. There is also a hidden back pocket to store a passport or wallet while traveling, which makes it extra convenient and secure. 

To buy: monos.com, $80

Beauty & Skincare Products

Tower 28 Essentials Set

Tower 28 Essentials set
Tower 28 Essentials set.

Tower 28

In terms of makeup, I am a big proponent of a minimalist approach for maximum effect. I am a fan of Tower 28’s products that are non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free. The Tower 28 Essentials set is perfect for traveling with everything you need — tinted sunscreen with SPF 30, tinted balm for lips and cheeks, lip jelly, and a facial spray to hydrate tired, irritated skin. They all come in TSA-approved sizes.

To buy: tower28beauty.com, $65 (originally $77)

Treefort Naturals Wander + Wash Pocket Soap Set

Wander + Wash Pocket Soap

Treefort Naturals

Just as I am very particular about what I eat, I am also very particular about what I put on my skin. From skincare to makeup, I always look for products that are not only good for the environment but also good for me. I love Treefort Naturals Soap Company, where all products are hand-crafted, all natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. With so many incredible options to choose from, like saltwater and aloe or chamomile lavender, it is perhaps best to get the Soap Sampler Set, which is perfect for someone like me who has a hard time choosing a favorite scent. But for avid travelers, I recommend checking out the Wander + Wash Pocket Soap Set, since it comes in a small tin box and each slice is perfect for one shower. 

To buy: treefortnaturals.com, $11

Accessories

Dragon Alliance Opus LL Ion Sunglasses

Dragon Alliance Opus LL Ion sunglasses
Dragon Alliance Opus LL Ion sunglasses.

Dragon Alliance

Another sustainable travel essential I always have handy is a pair of sunglasses. The Dragon Alliance Opus LL Ion sunglasses are made with plant-based resin and offer 100 percent UV protection. Using castor beans is a great alternative to petroleum-based products, and it doesn’t hurt that the frames are just as stylish as any other brand out there.

To buy: dragonalliance.com, $145

Rumpl Nano Loft Flame Blanket

NANOLOFT® FLAME BLANKET Dijon

Rumpl

A good travel blanket is a must, and Rumpl’s Nano Loft Flame blanket is made from 12 recycled water bottles. Even the insulation is made with 100 percent recycled synthetic down. It packs down to the size of a Nalgene water bottle, so is perfect on the go for air travel, camping, or even just lounging in the backyard.

To buy: rumpl.com and rei.com, $129

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