The travel accessories we have today were only available to your grandpa in Asimov novels. From cameras that instantly upload photos to a safe spot in the cloud, to your noise canceling headphones that silence the cries of airplane babies—it is hard to know if it’s the trip requiring the gear or if your cool travel gear is inspiring your trips. Either way, travel accessories available today remind me of the gadgets Q outfitted Bond with.
Here is a list of five cool travel accessories that rank high in both in their utility and ability to impress anyone in thick rimmed glasses who knows what “yak shaving” is. Not all of this was designed to be travel gear, but these products lend an easy adaptability for anyone spending time living out of a suitcase or backpack.
1. Travel Accessories That Belongs In Every Wallet: Gigs 2 Go
Remember when computers had 500 megabytes of memory and cost $2,000? You can now fit over $100,000 in 1990’s storage in your pocket as “disposable storage”. One travel accessory I’ve recently fallen for hard is the Gigs 2 Go disposable memory sticks.
The days of burning a CD of songs for people is over. These are the days of giving passing around communal USBs around the world. Gigs 2 Go is travel gear that puts an end to the ceremonial wild goose chase in the city center on the hunt for USBs in a foreign land of overpriced, dubious electronics.
2. Blankets of The Future: Introducing, The Rumpl
Full disclosure: I have not tried the Rumpl Blanket, but I watched the youtube video three times in a row when it appeared in my Twitter feed. I’m sold, and think every child in America should be issued a Rumpl Blanket at birth.
In the shuffle of design, blankets often get left out. I certainly prefer to pack one designed by guys who spend every chance they can camping in the mountains or surfing.
3-4. Travel Gear That Becomes A Portable Theatre: Pico Projector + Braven Mira Speakers
I’m not recommending you bring this portable theatre on a camping trip, but in a hostel or impress-the-locals-with-your-space-age-technology-from-afar situation, it’s handy to have a bumping, yet small, waterproof speaker connected to an iPhone powering a projector. How else will you share your Spanish dubbed 1970s Japanese Kung Fu movies to the Bolivian highland church congregation you’re chewing leaves with?
I first heard a Braven Mira Speaker in action earlier this year when a German backpacker used one to fill up a beach in Nicaragua with minimal electronic ambient trance music.
Combine this with a portable projector for your phone, and you have a movie theatre that fits in your fanny pack.
Right now the Pocket Projector for iPhone 4 Devices is a clearance rack travel gear grab since the iPhone 4 is so 2012. But a lot of travelers keep their old phones for the road, and for them it’s the perfect time to pimp out last year’s model on the cheap.
5. Carry All Your Travel Accessories In Your Robot Bag
I came across a writeup of the Bluesmart carry-on on The Expeditioner’s Facebook page. Editor Matt Stabile, who survived Malaria in Africa in 2006 only to succumb to me infesting his kitchen in 2010, praises the remote locking features, the design and the suitcase’s magic ability to recharge your cell phone six times. Six times. That means that if Matt Stabile were to become lost in the jungle, this suitcase would allow him to keep his Tinder App powered up until he matched with a rescue worker with access to a helicopter.
Could it be mere coincidence that this intrepid piece of travel gear is available to consumers the same month Terminator: Genisky hits theatres? As of the writing of this post, Bluestart luggage’s crowd funding push on Kickstarter had more than quadrupled their initial goal—usually a good indication the market really wants your product.