New Travel Gadgets to Keep you on the Move

New Travel Gadgets to Keep you on the Move

By Devon Magoon

EarPollution CS40 Comfort Series

Ear Pollution headphones.
Ear Pollution headphones.

They’re small, effective, and snazzy-looking to boot. This new product from Earpollution is one of the more comfortable listening devices you will come across.

These new, sleek headphones, aptly titled ‘Comfort Series,’ deliver all of your favorite tunes through softly padded ear-speakers and a sturdy plastic adjustable frame. The ear-cups are highly flexible and the headband slides smoothly to allow for comfort for those with bigger noggins.

And these guys are built to last. Don’t worry too much about those accidental headphone fumbles because these babies don’t just look good, but they’re solid and snug enough to satisfy even those headbangers who have gone through several sets.

If you’re mostly concerned with sound quality, again, don’t worry. Even through the ear-cups are a little on the smaller side, the sound still comes through crisply.

At $40 and five different groovy color options to choose from, the Earpollution Comfort Series headphones are a great investment and will undoubtedly outlast those flimsy little earbuds already falling apart at the seams.

The Tunebug Shake

For cyclists, snowboarders or any sport or hobby requiring a helmet, the issue of how to listen comfortably to your iPod or mp3 player has always been a little bit of a conundrum.

Tunebug Shake
Tunebug Shake

Riding along, ear buds can be uncomfortable or cumbersome and headphones are simply out of the question. That’s why the folks from Tunebug have taken it upon themselves to find a solution to this niggling little nuisance.

So here’s Shake, a portable surface sound speaker with Bluetooth technology that straps right on top of your helmet and allows easy hands-free music listening. It actually turns your helmet into a surround sound speaker.

It sounds far-fetched, but this baby can keep up with even the most hardcore cyclists with a rubber molded water resistant grip, touch-sensitive controls and five hours of battery life.

Ultra-portable and lightweight, the Shake will mount to most types of helmets (bike helmets as well as skate, snowboarding, and even motorcycle helmets). And you won’t have to worry about looking like a dork with a brick on top of your helmet, because the Shake has a nice minimal design which won’t draw any undue attention. Just don’t forget it’s there!

The Shake comes with its own Gecko Strap or Gecko Mount for adhering the device safely to your helmet as well as charger and connector cables. For around $100 it’s an investment you’ve got to want to commit to, but once you do, you may never want to take your helmet off.

Coghlan's Ultralight tent stakes.
Coghlan’s Ultralight tent stakes.

Coghlans’s Ultralight Tent Stakes

Ever had that frustrating experience when your tent just won’t cooperate, won’t stand up to those blustery winds, or simply collapses right on top of your head in the middle of the night? Coghlan’s Ultralight Tent Stakes will help your tent stay safe and secure.

Crafted with a simple yet effective design in mind, these copper hued nine-inch stakes (coming in packs of four) are three-sided to provide extra staying power with half the weight. With a small notch at the head of the stake, your guy-lines will stay in place and your mind will rest easy knowing that come hell or high-water (well, maybe not the latter) your tent isn’t going anywhere.

Just remember, in order to effectively pin your tent, drive the stakes fully into the ground at a 45 degree angle. And make sure you bury the stakes as deeply as the pull-cord will allow for optimal tent security. Find these guys online for an affordable price at around $5 a set.

Coghlan’s Flint Striker

Flint striker
Flint striker

Coghlan comes to the rescue yet again with another innovative necessity: the portable flint striker. The flint striker is easy to use and comes with a simple two-step set of instructions on the back of the packaging just in case you had any inhibitions about operating the little two piece mechanism.

The flint is reminiscent of a key and with it’s rope extension, it would fit comfortably in a back pocket or on a keychain if desired. A note however, while the Flint Striker lives up to its name as water resistant, it becomes (understandably so) much more difficult to nurture a spark out of the flint rod when it’s wet. And use sparingly, because this guy has a lifespan of 400 strikes and even becomes noticeably less responsive after about 50 or so.

Nonetheless, the Flint Striker should be a welcome little buddy to accompany even the casual trailblazer on his journeys. More than anything, it’s a good safety tool to keep in reserve for all those wild country hikers and backpackers as well as a smart and affordable investment at around $10. You never know when you’ll need to kindle that fire. Just please use responsibly!
Idapt Innovative Adapter charger

Idapt Innovative Adapter charger.
Idapt Innovative Adapter charger.

The Idapt Innovative Adapter Universal Charger

Until they come up with one single universal charger that will cover every device you may ever need charged, we have to settle for buying our own multifaceted universal adapters. But for now the Idapt Universal Charger is about as close as we’re going to get.

With a three pronged design fitting miniUSB, microUSB, and even an iPod-iPhone charging station, just about every device that you’ll need charged is covered. And since there are three stations you can even charge up to three devices simultaneously.

From iPhones to MP3 players to digital cameras to Blackberry’s, the Idapt will charge it. And if a nest of tangled wires has you pulling your hair out, again, the Idapt will help put your life back in order by at least three wires. And the lightweight design makes transport super simple.

At about a cost of $60, the Idapt model i4 comes highly recommended, even offering an energy saving feature commonly overlooked by a host of other universal chargers. This product ships with 6 adapters, but if you find yourself short a USB port, don’t fret, there are 14 additional ports to choose from. Coming in a simple black or silver color scheme, even the aesthetics of this charger are appealing. Highly recommended by GoNOMAD Editor Max Hartshorne.

The Ballistic HC iPhone protector

Ballistic HC iPhone Protector.
Ballistic HC iPhone Protector.

With four layers of protection, an optional outer layer for further protection, and an integrated screen protector and holster, the Ballistic HC really is designed to survive whatever life cares to throw at your that iPhone you’ve been so carefully toting around.

Although the product itself seems a little like overkill and even has the potential to overwhelm those not used to using phone protectors, this heavy duty holster will ensure that your iPhone lives through every painful fumble on the tarmac.

The case even comes with handy installation instructions for those of us who find the smooth black design with all its hidden grooves and windows a little confusing at first. And if for whatever reason your phone takes a tumble and can’t be recovered, the case comes with a one-year limited warranty.

The only complaint is that assembling and disassembling the protector can get a little trying with all the layers. Now it’s just up to you if a preserved phone is worth the $50 cost. Just don’t drop it in the pool because this guy isn’t waterproof!

Eberhard Göbel Swing Hands-FreeTrekking Umbrella
Eberhard Göbel Swing Hands-FreeTrekking Umbrella

Eberhard Göbel Swing Hands-Free Trekking Umbrella

A product of EuroSCHIRM, the backpackers dream umbrella has finally been designed. And yes, as the product name promises, you can shout, ‘Look, Ma, no hands!’ as much as you please because this umbrella is hands-free, allowing you to use your hiking poles while you’re trekking in the rain.

Just clip it onto an arm of your backpack and secure it onto your backpack’s waist belt (assuming you have one, of course) and you won’t have to worry about getting soaked or the tiresome task of keeping an umbrella aloft.

The only aspect of this trekking umbrella that you might want to keep in mind is that if your backpack’s arm slings are too thin, too loosely secured or if you’re missing a waist belt, you may run into some trouble keeping your umbrella up and functional.

You’ll look like a pro and keep dry like one with this extra tear-proof 100% polyester fabric gadget. It’s even got high-density fiberglass parts with Teflon coating.

It’s also worth mentioning that the metallic coating of the trekking umbrella we received at the GoNOMAD headquarters is UV reflective. It may look a little space-age, but it might be a great accomplice on a desert hike.

The umbrella comes with several different modification options (colors, weight, size and handle-size) for varying different prices. And it comes with it’s own storage sack for when the sun does decide to appear from behind the clouds, although by the time that happens, you may not even want it to. About $60.

SteriPEN Traveler Handheld UV Water Purifier

SteriPEN Traveler
SteriPEN Traveler

So you’re traveling abroad and the drinking water’s got you nervous? The SteriPEN Traveler will alleviate any concerns about traveler’s diarrhea or something nastier with its easy and effective water purifying system.

The SteriPEN works fast at about 48 seconds for 16 oz. and 90 seconds for 32 oz.

There’s no pumping, timekeeping, aftertaste or chemical odor involved as long as you have one of these little gizmos on hand, and no reason to worry yourself sick about dysentery either.

It destroys more than 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa by using a UV light, which is the same technology used by cities to purify municipal water.

And if you’re still not convinced, the SteriPEN is tested and certified by WQA against US EPA Microbiological Water Purifier Standard.

Don’t just use it on glasses of water either. The SteriPEN is built specifically to fit inside water bottles. Because let’s face it, even bottled water in foreign countries can come from an unknown or unregulated source. This gadget runs at about $60 a pop.

Armpocket Sport 20

Armpocket Sport
Armpocket Sport

The Armpocket Sport 20 pouch is almost exactly what it sounds like, a little pouch to keep on your upper arm and store all your goodies for quick and accessible use.

The Armpocket can carry anything from your iPhone, to your credit card and keys, to your energy bars for those long hikes through who-knows-where.

With six different colors to choose from, high visibility reflective piping for night hikes, and a double front zipper, this little arm-bag will also keep your important items nice and dry inside its moisture resistant fabric.

And best of all, these water-resistant fibers are made from recyclable materials. It’s even got a little ear jack that allows you to store your delicate music device safely inside the pocket while still affording the ability to listen to it. Great for hikes, bikes, working out or anything that requires the freedom of both your hands, the Armpocket will probably become one of your new favorite high-energy activity buddies.

For around $27, this handy little gadget will follow you through rain and shine no matter where your travels take you.

Devon Magoon

Devon Magoon is a former editorial assistant at GoNOMAD and attends the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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