This is not a store but we are trying very hard to make it look like one.

This is the very thorough review of the gear we bought for our trip, the gear we almost bought, and the gear we saw other people using. We describe the products, make critics, give advices,
and even tell you where to find all that.

It's full of smart tricks, little hints, good advices and past mistakes.
It's the ultimate buying guide for the long-distance motorcycle traveler.

Hopefully, it will help those of you actually planning a trip to spend less time looking for stuff to buy - finding it, trying it, comparing it, waiting for it - and more time doing things that matter, like read about the countries, learn some languages, and practice your mechanic skills.

Brought to you by Merritt & Pierre
after 3 years on the road...
Bon voyage!

Are you planning on taking a long trip?
Vous vous préparez à faire un long voyage?

Congratulations! You just accomplished the most difficult part: taking the decision. Don't worry, you will probably look back at it as the best one you took in your life. Now comes the second most difficult part of the trip: the planning. People often say that it takes twice the duration of the trip itself: for instance, to travel 3 months, you should start planning 6 months before - and to travel 6 months, start one year before...

Quite some work, eh? That's where we can help!

A good amount of time during the planning period is spent just looking for stuff to buy - finding it, trying it, comparing it, waiting for it, etc... When travelling, you are going to live off 2 suitcases and a bag for several months, with little opportunity to find on the road what you need. You are going to be carrying all your stuff with you, which means that you'd better choose carefully what you take and what you leave, and if you do take something, it must fit tight and last long.

The chronology that every traveller goes through are:
Before leaving: It's the period of maximum stress because at least 50% of what you consider absolutely indispensable doesn't fit into the suitcases.
Just after leaving: The stress goes up and down as when problems occur you panic because you don't find what you would need, but you are slowly learning how to get around it.
As time goes by: You realize you are carrying many things you can do without. You start looking at your luggage as "full of stuff". You develop an aversion for all that "stuff" and you start getting rid of it. The simple of fact of giving stuff away puts a big smile on your face. The less "stuff" you carry, the more you pay attention to the rest. You finally are a happy traveller!

We present in the Critical Store the stuff that made it all the way through on our trip:
the stuff that we cannot do without, the stuff that fits, the stuff that lasts...
We tell you why we chose it, why we like it and where to find it at the best price.

We spent litterally months looking for stuff to buy and we often answered other travellers' questions about camera gear, guidebooks, GPS or luggage. We compiled here a review of everything we have, plus a few items of equal quality - either things that we almost bought instead of what we have, or things we liked that other travellers were carrying.

Most of the things we present here point to two internet stores that we tried and were satisfied with: Amazon and Backcountry. Their prices usually are the lowest, and their service has always been excellent with on-time delivery, package tracking and no-restocking-fee money-back guarantee.

The reviews and links from the Critical Store are regularly checked and updated in order to continue to point you to the best stuff at the best price.

The stores that we link to usually have the lowest prices.
Following the links on our pages will not increase the price you pay in any way.
Everytime you go to a store through one of our links, we get a commission.

...and it will helps us to continue our travels and maintain the web site...

We only present products that we bought, or products that we almost bought,
or products that travellers we met have bought.

This is not as if we were running a store and pushing stuff.
You save time and money by buying good products at nice places
and we get rewarded, at no cost to you,
for doing the research and sharing our experience.
So? Ain't the internet cool?

Back to the Critical Store