Five quick-dry clothing items for people who like to travel light

Improve your wash-and-wear routine and cut down on baggage with these everyday essentials

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 7:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 2:03pm

So you want to travel with a capsule wardrobe? It’s a liberating concept that will allow you to go adventuring as soon as you hit a new destination, and not waste time checking into hotels or waiting around with luggage in airports in transit.

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It also makes in-transit days much easier on your body. However, the truth about travelling with a capsule wardrobe is that if you only pack for two or three days, you do have to regularly wash your clothes. Cue some innovative new fabrics and versatile products that dry in just a few hours – sometimes less – that can make your dreams of travelling without being weighed down by baggage come true.

Arc’teryx Phase SL briefs

So a 10-day break means packing 10 pairs of underwear? That can add a lot of unnecessary bulk to your luggage. The first step to travelling light is to abandon that idea and only pack for three days, committing yourself to a “wash and wear” routine.

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It’s very easy to do if you have invested in your underwear, and the Arc’teryx Phase SL briefs (HK$390, US$50) for women are ideal for this purpose. Available in black or red, they’re made of super-light material (just 25g each) and dry in minutes. Available at

Icebreaker Anatomica boxers

These Icebreaker Anatomica boxers (HK$366) may be bigger than their female equivalent above, but the Anatomicas are hard to beat for travel, not least because they’re fashioned from merino wool, which is as comfortable as it is super-light – and incredibly quick drying. The only issue is that merino wool doesn’t tend to last more than a couple of years before small rips appear. Available at

Rab Aeon T-shirt

If you travel with less, you have to prioritise clothes that are practical. Weighing just 65g, this super-light and comfortable stretch silk weight tee (HK$255) for women is made with technical fabric that dries super-fast. It’s designed for hikers, trekkers and climbers to wear as a base layer, and layering is a sensible way to approach a capsule wardrobe; don’t take anything bulky. Available at

Icebreaker Quantum cap

Whether you’re hiking or simply flying long-haul, don’t underestimate the value of a good cap to keep you warm, or shielded from the elements. That could mean rain as well as sunshine or sweat. Although it’s a brand known for making travel gear from merino wool, the Icebreaker Quantum Cap (HK$405) designed for trail runners is a little different.

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Made from Cool-lite fabric that blends merino with Tencel fabric and even some Lycra, it’s lightweight and breathable, adjustable, and wicks away moisture effectively without staining. Available at

Columbia Silver Ridge Lite shirt

Its Silver Ridge collection of versatile travel gear has been around for a while, but Columbia is constantly refining it. This latest effort (HK$599), available in male and female cuts, is made from Omni-Wick Ripstop fabric that’s lighter and quicker to dry than ever.

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A zipped security pocket is handy for travel documents, as is the UPF 40 sun protection. It’s easily smart enough for restaurants and hotels, not just mountains and trails. Available at