What's New, What's Hot is Travel Weekly's look at useful and fun travel gadgets, edited by Joe Rosen. Click on the images to open a slideshow of all of the featured products for August
An array of ultraportable Bluetooth speakers designed with the laptop-, smartphone-, tablet-toting traveler in mind: • Planet Audio PA200B:
Its foldout design makes this wireless speaker remarkably compact. Despite its small size (8.2 by 3.2 by 2.8 inches), the device features a microphone and hands-free calling. One drawback: only four hours of playback time. $34.99; www.planetaudiousa.com
. • The Oontz: Top performance at an affordable price from the high-end Cambridge SoundWorks is this speaker's calling card. Attributes include an unusually broad volume range, deep bass, light weight (10 ounces) and sleek design. $49.99; www.theoontz.com.
A rubberized exterior makes this speaker water-, dust- and shock-resistant, which means it is just right for outdoor use. An included bike handlebar mount adds to the fun. Rechargeable battery provides up to 10 hours of use. $49.95; www.outdoortechnology.com
. • Hidden Speaker:
Simplicity is the thing with this minimalist unit. Twist and turn the cap to activate it and amplify the volume. About 15 hours of 360-degree sound per battery charge and an included FM radio tuner complete the picture. $149.99; www.hiddenradiodesign.com
. • The Minx Go:
Cambridge Audio (not to be confused with Cambridge SoundWorks above) likes to compare this speaker with the pricey Bose Sound Link, and why not? Attributes include excellent sound reproduction, 18 hours of battery life and an acoustically damped casing to keep the five-speaker array in place even when the rear-mounted bass radiator vibe gets you on your feet and dancing. $149; www.cambridgeaudio.com
Also featured this month: The Evolution Pillow:
It would be asking a lot of this clever product to make you comfortable in an economy-class seat, but it does increase the chances that you could sleep your way through the discomfort of a long flight. More substantial and thereby more supportive than other travel pillows, the Evolution offers a responsive memory foam and raised side supports to keep your head from falling to the side (you can spin it around for full frontal chin support, as well), adjustable sliding toggles to hold the pillow in place and a media pouch for hands-free access to your cellphone. Add to that a machine-washable, velour cover; a travel bag; and a strap to attach it to your luggage. $35.99; www.evolutiontravelpillow.com
. Poo-Pourri Public Scented Bathroom Sprays:
The next best thing to nose plugs, these descriptively named products are formulated to neutralize, if not overcome, the noxious odors that travelers often associate with using restrooms at airports, train stations or roadside rest areas. A sampling of the offerings pretty much tells you all you need to know: To wit, Call of the Wild, "a pre-emptive spray" made with "wild ruby red grapefruit scent and natural essential oils"; Daisy Doo, with the scent of fresh spring flowers; Nature's Call, an organic blend of lemongrass, orange and grapefruit; and Doody Free, a combination of essential oils, basil, mandarin and mint. Just spray them into a toilet bowl or urinal, and the rest is up to you. There is no question this product passes the smell test; it has even earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Travel Kits, such as the aptly named Crap Shooter, come in TSA-approved clear vinyl bags. $17.50 per kit; www.poopourri.com
This collection of sleepwear makes a lot of sense for people on the go. Cool-jams, which uses a microfiber fabric to keep your body cool and dry or comfortably warm as the ambient temperature dictates, make for great travel accouterments because they are quick-drying, compact and lightweight. According to the manufacturer, Cool-jams wick moisture and dry three to four times faster than cotton pajamas. In addition, a percentage of every sale goes to women- and family-centered charities. Sizes range from small to 3X for women and from medium to XXL for men. Prices range from $29 for drawstring shorts to $109 for a three-piece pajama set; www.cool-jams.com
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