Posts Tagged airplane gear
Who would have thought that magnets would be so popular, but when they are holding your iPad upright, they surely are! This minimalist stand from TenOne Design is perfect for those who like a bit of style in all corners of their life.
The base has a rubber, gripping surface to keep it from slipping or falling over easily. This is especially helpful if you are tapping or swiping on the screen often. The combo work by the magnets and the rubber sole work well. It also performed well in airplane turbulence without falling over. I wouldn’t recommend placing it anywhere where an accidental brush could send it over the edge of a table or high surface. Not even the powerful magnets can save your device!
This iPad stand is perfect for those who travel and love to download movies or TV shows to watch inflight. It is also great for families who want to capture kids’ attention with something in a jiffy. The magnets do an extremely good job of gripping the device, and it takes both hands to separate the two intentionally.
The stand works with all versions of iPads from 2 onward. It does not matter if you keep a protective case on it or not, the stand still protects and holds it. It weighs relatively little, which is great because it does not add any weight to carry-on bags.
The clean aluminum look of the entire device even makes it usable for corporate displays at exhibitions and shows or to put on your desk while you work. It is sleek, almost Scandinavian, in its design and can even be used as a way to display your iPad when you are not using it. The magnets keep the iPad in place well no matter if it is placed horizontally or vertically on it.
This sleek device is a great way to prop your iPad and looks a whole lot better than simply folding back an iPad’s case. It is available from the Ten One Design online store or at Amazon for $49.95 and makes a great gift for design buffs.
I travel to Latin America more than other continents partly because it’s a lot easier to hit the ground running both going and coming. Flying from the U.S. or Canada, you seldom have to move more than a couple time zones, so the dreaded jet lag won’t knock you out.
Crossing the Atlantic or Pacific is a different story, however, and almost any pre-flight ritual or remedy you hear about has as many downsides as upsides. Apart from just getting on the local time as soon as possible and getting lots of sleep on the local clock time, there’s no simple cure.
I’ve got to say these No Jet Lag pills work surprisingly well though in shortening the time it takes to recover. My big test was when I flew from the East Coast of the U.S. to Bangkok via London. I took these all natural pills as directed and so did my wife and daughter. We were all dragging through the day as expected at first after arriving in Thailand at dawn. On the second day though, we were rocking the sightseeing and feeling good despite the blanket of heat.
On the way back, I flew Hanoi-Singapore-Frankfurt (2 hours)-New York. That would normally kick me in the butt hard, but I took No Jet Lag again on that trip and was back at the desk the next day and reasonably functional after sleeping all night. My wife came back a different route and took a sleeping pill over the Pacific. It definitely took her longer to get back on local time.
Was there a placebo effect in action? That may be some of it, but I’ve lived through jet lag enough times to know I felt better than usual when I go that far. The ingredients are no secret though: No Jet Lag contains Arnica Montana (Leopard’s Bane), Bellis Perennis (Daisy), Chamomilla (Wild Chamomile), Ipecacuanha (Ipecac), and Lycopodium.
You have to take these every two hours more or less, unless you’re asleep for a while of course, but there are 32 pills in a package so they’ll last a few trips.
Bringing back some wine or spirits from your travels? Get a VinniBag so you can be sure it will survive the journey.
As the makeshift bars sitting next to the international security lines at TSA checkpoints will attest, every day some suckers have to give up those bottles of booze or wine they bought because they neglected to pack them in their checked luggage. Now 10 years on from 9/11/01, some travelers still haven’t gotten the message. (I did get to watch one guy chug 1/3 of a bottle of Jack Daniels once though before heading into the terminal. That lightened up the mood in the security line. Hopefully he didn’t go puke in the bathroom.)
We’ve reviewed a few different carriers over the years, from a Wine Diaper to a soft and stretchy Built NY Wine Carrier. This VinniBag tops those in several respects. For one thing, I feel totally confident with this around a bottle of wine or booze that no matter how badly the luggage crew mishandles my suitcase or backpack, the glass won’t break. with the two-membrane construction and air in the middle, the contents are isolated from the outside. I tried this with both a rum bottle and a wine bottle, dropping it six feet onto the ground with no damage.
It’s also more flexible in its usage than most. It’s not just for wine: you can also slide in multiple spirits bottles or even a perfume bottle if you wish. Blow it up and the walls will conform to the object size. Or two objects in the same bag even.
The way it works is, you insert your item in the center of the bag and start blowing it up partially. Then you flatten the seal on the corners, then roll up and buckle the bottom. You then finish inflating the bag and your glass-enclosed liquid is safe.
So what’s the downside? You could argue that it’s a little pricey at $28 for one, a tad less for two. But considering the bottle you put inside just once could easily cost that much, it’s not a bad price if you use it multiple times. The main problem is that it takes up a lot of room. It’s the trade-off for having more cushioning. If you’re a light packer that hasn’t filled up your whole suitcase with shoes and “just in case” outfits, no problem. But if you’re the type that has to sit on your suitcase to get it closed and routinely gets dinged for excess weight fees, you’ll have a problem finding room for this. When I blew one of these up with a wine bottle inside, it was as big as my thigh. And I’ve been working out…
I guess the ideal thing would be if you’re bringing a gift to a business colleague far away. You cart the cult wine or single barrel bourbon in your bag, give your gift, then let the air out for coming home. Or if you’re going by train or on an airline that let’s you check two bags: Southwest.
If you manage to wear your VinniBag out, it’s recyclable PVC plastic. If you’ve got curbside recycling that takes numbers 1-6, just toss it in your curbside bin.
Not too long ago, I raved about Grand Trunk’s Bamboo Sleep Sack and Tim reviewed their family tent. Now I’m back with Grand Trunk’s Hooded Blackout Pillow. I said it last time and I’ll say it again: I love the Grand Trunk philosophy of adventurous exploration and practical solutions to make said adventures more fun and, frankly, more comfortable.
The Hooded Sleep Pillow is designed for long car, plane, and bus trips, but we used it for another purpose as well (three cheers for double-duty gear!). More on that in a minute, but first, here’s how it works: travelers pull the compressed u-shaped pillow out of its stuff sack, put it around their neck like a standard travel neck pillow, and then put the attached blackout hood over their head, adjusting with the drawstring to tighten as needed over eyes for some serious shut-eye on the go.
My kids used the pillow for precisely this purpose while on a long road trip last month, but I grabbed it from the car for an overnight in our camping tent on impulse and never looked back. I love using this pillow for camping and backpacking! I’m actually surprised the Grand Trunk folks don’t list backpacking as a use for the pillow on their site: the included stuff sack makes it easy to bring along (though yes, smaller backpacking pillows are out there), and the blackout hood does double duty as either a regular hood to keep your head and ears warm on cold nights or as a blackout for your eyes (I always wake at dawn while backpacking because the sun wakes me before I’d like).
The shape of the pillow (which is lovely memory foam) is just as comfortable while resting it on the ground as it is to use while sitting, and it’s much more substantial than other backpacking pillows. It felt downright luxurious to use it on a multi-day pack in July. The weight is 16 oz, so no, this won’t work for extreme backpackers reducing every ounce, but for the less hard-core, give it a try! The stuff sack is washable, and you can remove the memory foam insert and wash the outside too.
Whether you use the hooded pillow for road or air travel or as a camping and backpacking pillow, it’s a nice travel accessory to have in your arsenal for $39. Pick it up at Grand Trunk, or look for it at Amazon for the same price.
I agreed to review TravelRest’s 4-in-1 Travel Blanket with a bit of prejudice in my heart. The truth is, I’ve never found much use for travel blankets. Oh yes, I’ve often wished I had one while in the car or on a plane at night, but not enough to actually pack one (just enough to ask a flight attendant to bring me a scratchy, subpar one). Travel blankets tend to take up too much room and be awkward and bulky to carry…in other words, they’ve always felt frivolous.
After trying TravelRest’s 4-in-1 Travel Blanket, has my travel blanket stance changed? No. (More on that later.) However, if you’re going to buy a travel blanket, this is the best one I’ve seen yet. Why? First of all, it’s made of high quality micro-fleece that does not get charged with too much static. Secondly, its design is far better than that of your average travel blanket: TravelRest’s version goes over your head poncho-style, which means it doesn’t slip off your shoulders while you’re sleeping while sitting up.
It folds into its own pocket (attached), as I’ve seen other travel blankets do, but this one zippers closed, which is nice, because it ensures the ‘stuffing’ isn’t going to unroll and spill out while you’re using the 4-in-1 as a pillow. It looks a little goofy on, (poncho-style), but while you’re traveling, all style rules seem to become suspended, so that’s not a big strike against it in my book.
Because of its design, TravelRest’s 4-in-1 is especially great for kids. My 12-year-old has adopted it as his own personal property, but if he hadn’t, I’d have packed it in the car during our recent road trip along California’s Highway 1 for my youngest. It’s big enough to fit over a toddler’s car seat or a preschooler’s booster seat, and you won’t continually hear, ‘Can you pick up my blanket?’ off the floor of cars and planes.
Would I pack it? Not for air travel: at roughly the size of my laptop (and twice as fat) while stuffed into its own pocket, it’s still just too big and bulky to justify packing with limited space. (It does, however, have a nice snap-closure nylon strap that can be used to attach it to a suitcase or backpack.) It will, however, accompany us on road trips when space isn’t at a premium. I know we’ll be glad to have it.
The 4-in-1 retails for a reasonable $24.95 and comes in beige or navy. We have beige, but I worry it will show dirt, so I’d opt for the darker color. It’s machine washable, and can also be found on Amazon the same price.