New Travel Gear We Love
Innovative, stylish products that will streamline your trip and lighten your load.
Bacteria be gone
SteriPen's lightest water purifier yet, the AdventurerOpti weighs a mere 3.6 ounces. Using ultraviolet light, the handheld device quickly zaps 99 percent of viruses, bacteria, and protozoans that cause waterborne illness. A newly insulated tip allows it to purify even the coldest of water, say, from a mountain stream. Another new trick: The device doubles as an LED flashlight. steripen.com, $99.
Everything in its right place
Instead of having one cavernous compartment that swallows your stuff whole, Ivar's day packs use semi rigid dividers to redistribute the weight, keeping your items from clumping at the bottom in an indistinguishable mass positioned to wrench your back. Bags come in grown-up gray and black, though five more colorful looks debut this July. ivarpack.com, from $85.
Seeing is believing
Should you ever come face-to-face with a shark while diving, the one-of-a-kind, wide-angle lens on Liquid Image's new Scuba Series HD Wide Angle video mask will capture its ferocious glory, from tooth to tail. Assuming, that is, you remember to press the "record" button on top of the mask. (An LED screen inside the mask tells you if you're recording.) The camera captures high-def video and also takes five-megapixel stills. liquidimageco.com, $350, available in late June.
Know where you go
Panasonic brings built-in GPS to its vaunted line of Leica-lensed cameras in the Lumix ZS7, which geotags each photo and video with precisely where it was taken. (The 12.1-megapixel photo and HD video camera works with photo-sharing sites such as Picasa and software programs such as iPhoto to create a map of your trip.) Its memory is loaded with the locations of half a million landmarks around the world and displays the attraction's name on the camera's screen-in case you're not sure what you're shooting. The lens options for zooming range from superwide to tight close-up. panasonic.com, $400, lens included
If you're tired of jockeying for a spot at the baggage carousel and battling fellow fliers over similar-looking luggage, let your bag find you instead. The Easy 2 Pick electronic luggage tag is like a high-tech version of the children's game of Hot, Warm, Cold. Press a button, and when you step within 90 feet of your bag, the fob alerts you by vibrating, ringing, and flashing. naftaliinc.com, $25.
Cut the cord(s)
Powermat's Portable Mat wireless charging station allows you to charge devices such as your phone, MP3 player, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Bluetooth headset without their adapters, so you can leave the tangle of cords at home. Instead, connect a tiny Powermat receiver to each device, and place it on the mat to begin charging. The only cord involved is the one running from the wall outlet to the mat, which folds up into a nifty packable case smaller than a Harlequin romance novel. powermat.com, $100.
Finally, a reliable way to transport wine while flying: The VinniBag lets you pack a bottle in your checked luggage with confidence. Inflatable air chambers protect your treasure against the grumpiest of baggage handlers and guard against the nightmare of a vintage Bordeaux staining your travel wardrobe. Its shape accommodates other fragile items, too, from olive oil to fragile figurines. vinnibag.com, $29.
Loads of laughs
The Comic Tote from eco-conscious design house Make Love Not Trash is the perfect size (16 x 13.5 x 6.5 inches) to shoulder all the magazines, snacks, beverages, and electronics that you're inevitably juggling. Channeling the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein, the polyurethane-coated bag injects some much-needed levity into the jetway queue. makelovenottrash.com, $38.
Fly to the music
Sennheiser's CX 680 earbuds are tough, with Kevlar woven into the cords, and they're sealed to be water-resistant. Unique soft-rubber fins secure the earbuds in place, keeping them in your ears. Volume control is built into the cord, making it easy to adjust sound levels on the fly. sennheiser.com, $90.
Max out your allowance
How gleeful it is to wrestle a bulging bag onto the scale at the airport check-in counter and watch it tick right up to the very limit of the weight allowance—and not one ounce more? Balanzza's new Mini luggage scale is shaped like a handle, with a strap that hooks to your belongings, so it's compact enough to take anywhere. Its measurements could spare you the embarrassment of airing your dirty laundry at the check-in counter. Best of all, it will pay for itself the first time you avert an overweight baggage fee. balanzza.com, $25, debuts in August.
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