What’s new in Travel Gear?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
the baby travel when open

the Delta Baby Carrycot when open

Who hasn’t groaned in despair when opening their travel bag upon arrival to find that – the sunglasses you threw in at the last minute broke en route, or that a storm brought in a layer of ice and now the power runs you planned can’t happen, or that your laptop’s batter lost its juice during the flight and you can’t look up your itinerary until you recharge it? New travel products for 2015 are designed to tackle those problems, and more.

Pack up everything, including your electronics, into the elegant Trident Messenger Bag or the Hercules Laptop Backpack, cleverly designed and made by ec-bc.com, priced at $119US and $139.99US respectively. The California company’s full line of backpacks, messenger bags and luggage all feature the unique smart luggage technology, the FastPass® system. This “Checkpoint Friendly” feature solves the issue of long lines experienced when passing through airport security by allowing travelers to leave laptops, tablets and other devices inside suitcases—saving time, providing convenience and easing frustrations.

A Hercules bag in a linen finish

A Hercules backpack in a linen finish

Simply unzip the FastPass® compartment, lay it flat, displaying all of your well protected electronics, and send the whole bag through the scanner of the airport conveyor belt..  One less dreaded airport task — no more unpacking your valuables into those grey security bins. The Sparrow’s most enticing feature is the big front zippered, dedicated padded flap section, with modular foam spacers for electronic devices (laptop, tablet, mini-tablets and a portable recharging unit (4500 mAh battery power pack) Made from highly durable materials, such as self-repairing YKK zippers and ballistic nylon, the Trident bag weighs 2.7 lbs., and measures 19.4” high X 12.6” wide X 5” deep, and comes in black and grey, while the Hercules also weighs 2.7 lbs., and measures 18.4” high X12.13” wide X 7.1” deep, available in black, blue, green, linen and berry colors. The Hercules features a moisture-wicking air mesh back panel. Both bags have a zippered water bottle holder.

Travelling with children can be daunting, but this new product eases the prospect somewhat. The Delta Baby Nursery Bag and Travel Carrycot is a roomy, well-designed napppy changing bag that easily converts into a comfortable carrycot. The changing bag, available in grey or taupe, has four large compartments (one of which has isothermal covers to keep bottles warm or chilled.) When the bag is fully opened, it becomes a cosy carrycot in which the baby can sleep, while parents can still access the pockets. It can also be used as a diaper changing “table.”

the baby carrycot when closed

As a nappy changing bag, it has four large compartments, one of which has isothermal covers to keep bottles warm or chilled, with plenty of space for everything needed for outings with baby. The Bag also attaches easily onto a stroller, weighs 2.5 kg, and measures 35 cm. by 80 cm.  (To order, contact: www.baby2k.com) Also sold at the Baby2K store in Portsmouth.

Now for that pesky problem of broken sunglasses, Popticals offers a nifty, and stylish, solution. Made in Italy, these scratch, impact and shatter-resistant sports sunglasses “pop-out” from a small size to become full sunglasses. Cases for wrap-around sports sunglasses are typically too bulky to easily carry around in one’s pocket or purse, yet without the case, the glasses too often end up lost or broken. The Popticals, available in various women’s and men’s styles, extend from a portable size to a compact size that fits inside a small, durable case. The frames are flexible, lightweight and strong, made from Grilamid TR90 thermoplastic. The case can fit easily in a pocket or purse, and can be clipped with a carabiner onto a backpack



The polarized lenses offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection against the sun’s rays, while the curved shape keeps out the rays from the sides of the face. With more people choosing active travel, the company’s sports-specific lines (bicycling, hunting, skiing, running, fishing, golf and fishing) are handy accessories for holidays based on active adventures – or even for some heavy-duty shopping!

Vargo’s Titanium Pocket Cleatscome in a nylon carrying case for easy portability. Vargo, a Pennsylvania-based company that specializes in lightweight, durable outdoor gear, offers an outstanding guarantee policy. “We want you happy,” the website says. These ultralight traction devices help out on winter runs or ultralight hiking with their titanium alloy spikes that claw into snow and ice, attached by Duraflex fasteners to durable nylon webbing. When not in use, the ‘legs’ fold down to nest into pockets. Available in three sizes – small, medium and large, the medium-sized cleats weigh only 1.9 ounces (55 grams) each and when closed up, measure 4.3”long by 1.8” wide (110 x 45 mm.)

the cleats

Titaian pocket cleats

The miniature titanium crampons unfold to fasten to your sneakers or light hikers with toe and mid-foot straps. They’re easy to adjust, put on and take off, similar to the snowshoes, covering your shoes from toe to arch to give traction on snow and ice. Folded for storage, the ice-gripping claws are positioned to safely fit in a pocket and won’t tear your clothing.

The cleats’ low profile and claws are similar to what you’d find on the bottom of a snowshoe. When they’re open, they cover your shoe from toe to arch, giving you traction on snow and ice. Folded, they nest small enough to fit into the pocket of your wind-shell, with the cleats positioned so they won’t rip anything as you run. The Pocket Cleats also work well as emergency crampons for hiking.

While sometimes travel seems much more difficult than it once was (or at least less glamourous,) products such as these help to make it a bit more pleasant.

Bon voyage

PS All the products above are available either by internt order from the USA or available at UK outlets. In case of difficulty contact editor@justabouttravel.net and we’ll see if we can help. At the time of writing $1 = £0.66.

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