The Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil are on the near horizon, and we can’t help but be excited about the idea of traveling to this beautiful country to cheer on a record number of countries and over 10,500 athletes!
We hope you are one of the lucky travelers to nab one of 7.5 million tickets to the event. To show our support for our Colorado Olympians, we paired up with Kara Winger, the American record-holder for the javelin throw.
This Colorado Springs resident will be heading to the Olympics for the third time in her career, and we had the opportunity to sit down with her and dive into her experiences traveling around the world as an International athlete. Kara wanted luggage that will help her stay organized for the competitions, while also giving her the flexibility to be a tourist in Brazil.
Together, with our veteran luggage expert and designer, Bernard, we came up with a luggage assortment fit for a gold medal winner!
It’s always a good idea to take packing trips from an Olympic athlete, who spends more time on the road than many of the road warriors we know. Check out the top essential luggage and travel accessories Kara selected for her BIG trip!
Durable Hardside Luggage for International Travel
Kara travels a lot. She went to Europe five times last year and Asia twice. Kara has been looking for a large, durable piece of luggage that won’t get beat up when she checks it and is easy to maneuver throughout the airport. She selected the EXO 24″ Hardside Spinner in green, which is made out of 100% Polycarbonate shell – inarguably the most durable material available for hardside luggage. The debossed pattern magically and effectively reduces the wear and tear marks and abrasions, so when it does get banged up on an International flight, it still holds its brilliant shine. She loved the 360-degree wheels, which makes for super easy maneuvering through any airport crowd…even when she’s also carrying a javelin bag! Kara selected green because, well, she’s pretty darn awesome and this color is radiant!
Carry-On Luggage for Weekend Competitions
Kara needed a light, durable carry-on that would help her organize a bunch of different types of clothing for competitions, as well as everyday clothing for sightseeing or meeting up with friends. She’s a smart girl, and it didn’t take long for her to pick our most popular carry-on, the TLS Mother Lode Mini 21″ Wheeled Duffel in Heathered Graphite. This bag is known for being tough, lightweight, and smart, with wheels that make you go, “yay!” The handles will also adjust to all sizes, and since Kara is quite tall, she’ll no longer worry about hitting the bottom of the suitcase with her ankles. It’s the little things in life that make us happy…
Packing Cubes to Organize Competition & Leisure Wear
Kara was super excited to check out the eBags Packing Cubes. She often has to carry several different uniforms with her, depending on the length of the competition, as well as practice clothes, leisure clothes, and tons of accessories and gadgets. Staying organized can be a bit of a challenge. Now she’ll have a “cube” for each set of clothing, plus different size cubes to organize all of her accessories. She can’t wait to use a couple of cubes to separate her dirty (and sometimes soiled) competition clothes from her clean, professional wear. She chose bright green to match her bright green checked bag. “Score” for Kara!
Backpack for the Competitor/Professional
Kara spends so much time in airports and on-the-go. She was looking for a backpack/briefcase that would be easy on her shoulders but could also give her the look and feel of a professional rather than a sportsman (or woman!) She wisely selected the TLS Professional Slim Laptop Backpack in heathered graphite (to match her carry-on). This backpack is a perfect fit and a solid accessory for men and women, alike. Kara’s awesome husband Russ (also an amazing athlete) sometimes carries it through the airport, this sleek, stylish bag was a favorite for both of them!
Crew Cooler for Everyday Practice
Kara’s usually on the road between her throwing sessions and lifting sessions (which run 6 days a week, 6-7 hours per day during training). She needs to make sure she has a lot of energy snacks and beverages on hand at all times and adored the idea of utilizing one of our Crew Coolers as her co-pilot. The cooler allows her to easily separate chilled items from non-chilled items (no more soggy sandwiches!), and has ample storage pockets for gels, energy bars, and H20! This will be her trusty training pal all year long.
Shoe Bag for Dirty Shoes
Kara’s shoes have spikes on them (not a normal problem to solve, but we’re not talking about a normal gal). As you can imagine, they get REALLY dirty during competitions. We recommended a HShoe Bag so she can make sure she separates shoes from everything else during packing. We think a shoe bag should just be a required packing tool for any voyage. Dirty shoes should never touch clean or dirty clothes. Period. Kara selected aquamarine as a statement piece! We supported this decision.
Compression Set for Wet Clothes
Kara’s never had a great solution for really, really wet clothes. We insisted on supplying her with an Eagle Creek Compression Set, which will allow her to easily store wet clothes without soiling anything else in her bag. This set is nylon-reinforced, airtight, and watertight. Kara will use them for training clothes, but they can just as easily house swimsuits, damp workout clothes, or rain-soaked clothes!
We wish Kara all of the luck in the world in her upcoming competition at the Olympics. If you’re heading to Rio this August, consider packing like a true champion.
Krista’s passion for exploration and world travel was ignited in college when she packed her suitcase and moved to Sweden to study International Business for a year. She hopped on a train or plane every weekend from her home in Uppsala and traveled throughout Europe, making new friends and new memories along the way. Soon after her college career ended, she felt the tug of wanderlust again, and this time went even further…to live on the beach down under in a little place called Australia! Krista’s traveling habit started stacking up frequent flyer miles and she didn’t have a way to organize or utilize all of the points she was earning. So she decided to take matters into her own hands and founded UsingMiles , a company that would help frequent flyers and road warriors become mile moguls. Fast forward to today and you will find Krista engaging with travelers from all over the world to help them find the perfect bag. And of course, planning her next trip.