Travel Dress: A Lightweight, Reversible Backpacker’s Must

Dressing well, and carrying cute clothes, is vital to my travel-psyche. Living out of a suitcase or a backpack can be uncomfortable and frustrating for me. Especially when I have to wear the same limited selection of clothing over and over again. Naturally, by sleeping in bus stations,  on trains and ferries, and in hostels, I have to allow myself grunge days.  But when it comes time to dress up for a club or a dinner out, I don’t want to look like a backpacking hobo.

I’m always on the lookout for new additions to my travel wardrobe, and when I buy a new piece of clothing, I consider three things: functionality, style and weight. There’s no point in carrying a heavy, bulky, impractical item. If you’re carrying too much extra weight you notice it fast, and before you even make it to the first hostel you’ll be ready to chuck some of your clothes in the garbage can–I’ve definitely done it…

I recently came across a travel dress that measured up to all three of my criteria. It’s functional, stylish and only 6oz. The Cayambe Reversible Travel Dress from GoLite gear was sent to me for review, and I love it. This is a strong addition to any traveling woman’s wardrobe because it’s double sided. I have the black/beet color, but it also comes in a light pink/brown, a black/gray, and gray/powder blue. It’s semi-fitted, avaliable in sizes XS-XL and retails at $80.00.

The dress is two outfits–by flipping the Cayambe inside out, the dress goes from a casual colored sundress to a dinner-ready black cocktail dress. The cinched design at the chest gives the dress style, but it’s a basic piece that can be accessorized with a piece of chunky jewelry or a colored cardigan. It falls just on my knee so it’s appropriate for a fancy restaurant, but not too long that you couldn’t wear it to a bar or a club. The thicker shoulder straps give the dress an elegant structure so it can stand alone without a cover up.

The best part about the dress is that it’s only 6oz. (180 grams). It’s 100 %polyester and apparently wrinkle-free because it came in the mail actually folded up in an envelope. It slid out, ready-to-wear. Low maintenance clothes are so important to have on the road. You don’t want to be dealing with dry cleaning, and especially if you backpack, you’ll most likely do laundry in your hostel sink at some point. Look for easy-to-wash clothing to save yourself a lot of laundry related hassle. For the Cayambe, you can simply cold water wash and line dry. Easy.

Buying a GoLite piece of gear like the Cayambe is an investment. You are investing in yourself as a traveler or athlete, and it’s not like picking up a dress from Target or a department store. This piece of gear is actually made for active-wear performance so it’s okay to get it dirty, it’s okay to run around, sweat, spill on it–it’s the kind of dress that is meant to be used. The Cayambe is breathable, moisture wicking, stretchy, soft and lightweight. The GoLite Guarantee ensures the company will replace any gear with a manufacturing defect for the lifetime of the product, free.

Every woman should own a packable black dress like the Cayambe as a stable of their travel wardrobe. I’d recommend this item to any woman in the market for a good travel dress. And I look forward to using my Cayambe on many more trips to come. Read more about buying backpacking gear here.

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