travel hats

STUFFITTS For Gear Odor-Killing Backpack

StuffitsI admit. I do not work out on a regular basis when on the road, but it is always a goal of mine to go for a quick jog in a new city or try out the hotel’s fancy fitness center or health club. It is tough to do that when traveling with a carry-on bag as there is limited space for workout apparel and tennis shoes.

The Stuffitts odor-killing backpack provided me with the perfect opportunity to get more exercise while on the road and minimized my previous excuses of not being able to carry gym gear. This is a lightweight bag that allows me to keep everything from dirty laundry to gym gear separated from the rest of my clothes.

Typically, I do not travel with backpacks, but wearing this bag on my shoulders was a bit liberating as I had less to lug behind me when strolling through airports and train stations. This bag was designed for athletes who may travel long distances to compete and often with wet or dirty gear.

Inside the main pouch is the largest compartment, which is perfect for shoes or a stash of laundry. The mesh top allows the contents to “breathe” without developing any internal odor. Smaller items can be placed inside separate pockets.

Lest you be concerned that the bag itself will eventually start to smell, even when empty, Stuffitts designed it with interior panels that can be removed and washed while also creating more space for bigger items.

Two side pockets hold small items that make this a convenient accessory for going to the gym. I used it to store my phone, keys, and wallet. There is a hidden bottom compartment sealed with a zipper, which is another good place to store valuables.

This is a great option for those that like to work out on the road, but prefer not to mix clean and dirty, smelly clothes (who does?!). It is available for around $100 from the Stuffitts website or on Amazon.

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Ibex OD Solo Short-sleeve Merino Button Shirt

Ibex short sleeve buttonsI’m a big fan of quick-drying synthetic clothing for travel, but when it’s time to be social and go out at night, it’s nice to have something a bit nicer that also feels soft against the skin. This OD Solo Shirt from Ibex is my favorite whenever I’m in a short-sleeve climate. For me that’s most of the time, so I’ve worn this shirt a lot.

Think of this as a short-sleeve version of the OD Heather one I reviewed a couple years back. It’s made from fine New Zealand merino wool and assembled in the USA. Considering it’s not from a Chinese sweatshop and is made well, you’re going to pay a good bit more, but this also feels like a superior piece of clothing the minute you put it on. The stitching is well -done, the fabric soft and fine, and the details are right. The buttons line up like they’re supposed to and the collar lies down where it should. This drapes on my body nicely and makes me look like I’m in better shape than I really am. Flattering and comfy.

Naturally you get all the great benefits of merino wool. You don’t have to be washing it every time you wear it for a few hours because it’s very odor resistant. It does dry quickly when you wash it though and stays surprisingly wrinkle-free after being on a clothesline. It feels great and wicks moisture, so even though it’s made of wool, it won’t make you hot and clammy in a hurry. You can wear it in warm weather and be fine, especially in a dry climate where your shirt won’t be soaked in five minutes.

Although I don’t recommend carrying a backpack with a nice merino wool shirt like this because of the pilling risk, it does have seams that are off the shoulder so they won’t rub if you’re carrying a light daypack or messenger bag.

You have to treat this a little carefully in that you probably shouldn’t put it on the heavy duty washer cycle and then put it in the hot dryer, but for me it has held up fine tossed into the washing machine with cold loads and hang drying. And like I said, I’ve worn this a lot, probably going on 10 months now, so it’s had some good real-world endurance testing.

The Ibex OD Solo Shirt for men comes in three colors and four sizes. You can get it direct from Ibex for $120 or check prices at Moosejaw.

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The Ish Smart Watch

The Ish WatchEver felt that your watch was too casual or lacked that sense of Wall Street professionalism that your colleagues had? Well, for those with a sense of humor and an eagerness to make a statement, The Ish watch is the perfect accessory. I tried it on a few business meetings, and it certainly earned me a laugh and some camaraderie with business associates.

This watch isn’t meant for the business traveler constantly checking his dial by the minute to make the next train or plane. It is meant for those making an important statement: I care about business, but I also care about my own personality.

The watch essentially shows only the 5 o’clock mark while the hands rotate around it based on the appropriate time. The message is that the wearer is interested in having a good time, but is also smart enough to tell time without the numbers imprinted on the watch. To add to that message of good fun is that the back of the watch features a clasp designed to serve as a bottle opener. Perfect for use at 5 o’clock!

The price tag of close to $150 is reflective of its quality rather than its playful vanity. With a brushed steel casing and black (or brown) leather band, the watch is quite fetching and certainly a keeper (not a gag gift).

It is water-resistant and features raised Arabic markers with a crystal frosted mineral window showcasing the face. This is a business-quality watch that only signals an entertainment focus if one were to look closely at it. It is definitely not for those that need a digital watch as it requires a teensy semblance of telling time, which is sadly not a quality that everyone possesses these days. The watch is available from manufacturer Happy Hour Timepieces or on Amazon.

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Snugg iPad 2 Case Cover and Flip Stand

SnuggThere are all sorts of iPad cases out there, and many convert into a flip stand for easy watching of movies on an airplane, for example. Business travelers can also use the stand feature at exhibitions or conferences where the need to display video or presentations is necessary. The stand has two positions to maximize viewing capability, but both require that the case be in the landscape or horizontal position.

The Snugg iPad 2 case cover and flip stand is unique, however, because they have added a stylus loop for those that use the touchscreen stylus functionality. I also particularly liked the easy-access, but secure Velcro closure that keeps it securely in place.

Something I was surprised about was that when you close the cover, it activates the iPad’s sleep functionality. Perhaps that is standard or unique to this case, but I was impressed nonetheless.

The case comes in a variety of colors including bright reds and yellows, but I opted for a more subtle grey since I use it for business purposes. I also don’t want my iPad to stand out when traveling to encourage people to snatch it on a busy train or at the crowded security lane.

It is not crafted from real leather, rather a blend of leather and vinyl, but it has a high-quality look and feel to it. I also appreciated that the company’s logo was not emblazoned on it; it’s there, but in a subtle way. Cut outs in the case allow for the camera and speaker to be used unimpeded of obstruction.

The back stand is not as solid as it could be so this should not be used for someone that is constantly typing on the screen when it is in the stand position, but most people use that function to show video or photos.

This is an affordable and beautiful case. The detailed stitching around the edges adds an elegant touch. It retails for under $40 on The Snugg’s website or on Amazon.

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Biaggi ZipSak with MicroFold Carry-on

biaggi rolling bagFrequent travelers like myself have an arsenal of luggage that takes up attic or valuable bedroom and closet space. The benefit of Biaggi travel pieces is that they can fold conveniently for easy storage and minimize the amount of space that they take in your home or while traveling. This Biaggi ZipSak with MicroFold does just that.

Ever taken a cruise where your luggage took up a third of your allotted cabin space? Or what about a cramped European hotel that surprised you with its spacious website photos, but more realistic minimal square footage.

Biaggi benefits travelers while on the road and at home thanks to its foldable design. The bags are lightweight to begin with, which is a huge perk in today’s hyper-sensitive, eager-to-weigh-everything airline world.

With 4 multi-directional spinner wheels, these bags roll with ease through an airport or train station even when they are packed to the brim. I tested one out along the cobble-stoned streets of Lisbon and was pleasantly surprised at how fast it moved with no damage to the wheels.

The composition of durable oxford nylon is perfect for heavy airline use with eager baggage handlers throwing bags left and right. Zippered lining keeps interior contents secured, and the bag itself can stand up readily to any tears or cuts protecting the contents with its microfibers.

The ZipSaks come in a variety of colors and sizes (including carry-on and checked versions), which appeals to people with various travel needs or personal styles. It is especially popular with people that live in small apartments in large cities where storage space is minimal. The bags do not wrinkle even when squashed for lengthy periods of time.

While it may not be the most stylish of suitcases, it certainly wins out on its sturdy structure and ease of use. It retails for $70-100 depending upon the size from Biaggi’s website, on eBags, and also on Amazon.

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