A blog where 'practical' means just that

Practical Travel Gear speaks to the evolving needs of business travelers, parents, adventure enthusiasts and those who try to pack their bags lighter than they did the last time.

What's hot: A shiny new makeover breathes life into the 4-year-old travel gear blog started by veteran travel writer Tim Leffel. The key difference: Practical Travel Gear is now written by three travelers who bring personal insight to reviews, whether it's a family-friendly iPhone app that turns digital photos into postcards or a handy cellphone power extender. There are lots of travel gear blogs, but this one makes me feel as though I could use some of the products mentioned, even if I'm not going mountain climbing above 10,000 feet.

What's not: I wish there were a photo and price provided for every product mentioned. Each post does have an image and sometimes several, but when the site runs a list such as "Nine Road-tested Travel Gear Winners," some recommended items are not shown. Prices sometimes are included in the post but are often buried. It would be great if there were a standard format to make reading the posts on the fly easier.

-- Jen Leo

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