A few years ago there were plenty of new travel gadgets to cover, but those times are past. No new GPS devices and few luggage trackers that work. Still, there are some well-designed products for travel that are useful and worth considering, even if they are just improvements from earlier designs.
Backup Batteries for Phones and other devices
Battery backups have been a popular accessory category, pioneered by Mophie. We rarely have enough portable power for everything we do with our phones and tablets. One company that has managed to survive in the competitive category is MyCharge. They stand apart from most of their competitors because many of their models comes equipped with all you need to charge your devices, as well as keep the battery itself charged. It’s one of the only companies to offer batteries with a built-in AC plug and charging circuit that can be recharged from any outlet. It also has built-in cables to connect to your devices. These two features make it a complete all-in-one solution, ideal for carrying in your luggage or briefcase.
I’ve been trying out one of their new models, the HubPlus Universal, labeled as 3.5X, implying that it has about that much more capacity than a typical cellphone. The more meaningful number is its battery size, 6700mAh. 6700mAH will recharge an iPhone X not quite three times. This model comes with an Apple approved Lightening cable and a USB-C cable that can charge nearly all current models of cellphones. Android phones have mostly standardized on USB-C and iPhones use Lightening. For business travelers this cigarette pack size is the ideal backup product for never running out of power. The charger costs $75, not unreasonable since it includes the function of a $10 adapter and a $12 Lightening cord with Apple’s MFI certification.
From July 8th to the 26th you can use the code “20OFFPOWER” to get 20% off their HubMax, HubMax Universal, HubPlus or HubPlus Universal purchase through Amazon.
Airline Seat Pocket
Airline Pockets is an organizer to take with you when flying. It’s made from black fabric that is germ resistant and washable. One part slides over the tray table to make it more the airline tray more sanitary and a safe place to eat or work on. The pocket portion hangs onto the back of the seat in front of you to hold and organize all of your items, substituting for the increasingly undersized pockets built into the seat backs. It also reduces the chance of leaving your iPad or phone on the plane, because you can just grab the Airline Pocket with all of its content when you arrive at your destination. This is currently a crowd funding project on Indiegogo that expects to ship in July. $15.
No More Wallets – The M-Clip money clip is a wallet replacement that is as minimalist as you can get when carrying a load of credit cards and some cash. While there have been a slew of new wallet ideas on Kickstarter and elsewhere to minimize bulk while traveling, none are as simple and elegant than this product. It looks like a conventional money clip, but can hold much more with its large jaw and high clamping force. It’s also weighty enough to sit at the bottom of your pocket and not easily fall out. What’s unique and patented are its slide out handles on each side of the clip to provide great leverage and make it easy to open. The M-Clip, which is precision-made and looks like fine jewelry, comes in two capacity sizes and a variety of finishes, some with inlays of leather, carbon fiber, etc. I have used one for years and it can hold a dozen cards as well as a small wad of bills. The M-Clip is made in the USA with prices starting at $80. https://www.m-clip.com/
Gear organizer case
One of the best and latest newest for carrying all the miscellaneous chargers, cables, dongles, mice, and adapters is the new Gear Case from Waterfield. This 3 x 7 x 10-inch hand made leather case is full of organizer pockets, cable wraps, and mesh compartments to hold and organize most everything. It even comes with its own mouse pad. Another, made in San Francisco product, it’s a terrific solution at a reasonable cost of $129.