What's New, What's Hot is Travel Weekly's look at useful and fun travel gadgets, edited by Joe Rosen. Click on the image to open a slideshow of all of the featured products for January.
Trident Messenger Bag. This is a great bag for business travelers with laptops in tow -- that is, when airport security cooperates. The Trident's primary calling card is its FastPass laptop compartment, which is designed to allow you to pass through an airport screener without having to go to remove your computer from its case. When the security officers recognize the system, the screening proceeds without a hitch. Unfortunately, you may still be subject to secondary screenings and the hassle of having to free up your laptop for separate examination. Beyond the FastPass compartment, the Trident has all the features you would want in a laptop carrier: a luggage trolley pass-through handle, top zipper for quick access, water-repellent exterior, protective foam compartment for most 15-inch laptops, exterior cell phone compartment, beverage pocket, front zipper pocket for ticket/passport and zippered utility pockets. $119.99; www.ec-bc.com.
Nicea, Uncommon and Pelican cell phone cases. In the market for a cell phone case to go with that new iPhone or Android? Three new cases are worth consideration:
- The Nicea wallet-style case, which opens like a small book and is designed exclusively for the iPhone 5, comes in 100% pure cowhide crocodile-style leather or glossy leather in a choice of five colors, with a soft interior fabric that prevents scratches. All iPhone capabilities are accessible. Concealed magnets keep the case closed when not in use, and a removable wristlet is an added security feature. $80; www.mapicases.com.
- Also made for the iPhone 5, the Uncommon Capsule offers direct access to all phone features, a two-piece slide-on design for easy docking, an anti-glare camera ring and the intriguing online option to allow you to add a photo, logo, phrase, name or monogram to the back of the case. Use it with your own eye-catching photo and you will discover people asking where you got that unusual case. $39.95; www.getuncommon.com.
- Great for sports enthusiasts, the Pelican i1015 Protector Case features a carabiner that can secure it to backpack or belt loop, an easy-open latch, a rubber liner that doubles as an o-ring seal and stainless steel hardware. Water resistant, crushproof and dust proof, the i1015, which includes an external jack, fits several smartphones, including Blackberrys, iPhones, Nokias, Motorolas and the Samsung Galaxy S. $39.95; www.CableOrganizer.com.
Rapala Ultimate Fisherman Kit. Just the thing to sneak onto a "Survivor" location or to take on a soft adventure to a lakeside retreat, this all-in-one package includes every tool an angler might need to land a big one -- or spend a week trying. The components include a three-DVD set of fishing instructions by pros; stainless steel scissors with oversized finger holes and serrated cutting edges to grip and hold braided line; 6-inch carbon steel, nickel-plated fisherman's pliers with side cutters; a lure-tuning tool; and a split shot crimper. In addition, the kit features a six-inch filet knife, a hard-sheath with a single-stage knife sharpener and a compact fishing scale. $29.99; www.kotulas.com.
Boom and Beats Executive Headphones. While the former is relatively inexpensive and the latter comes at a much steeper price, both products have several things to recommend them to people on the go. The Boom offers reasonable sound fidelity at the price, and adds a noise-isolating design, a lightweight and comfortable architecture, a microphone/remote combo and a unique pliable plug that is the heart of a tangle-free wire system for storing the cables when the headphones are not in use. Available in a variety of arresting color combinations. $40; www.coloud.com. The Beats Executive model, marketed by rapper Dr. Dre, features active noise cancellation, a sleek aluminum body and soft leather ear cushions while delivering high-end sound. They are lightweight, fold flat and are comfortable for long-distance airline travel. Each set comes with two AA batteries, 3.5mm audio cable, airline adapter plug, remote microphone and a hard-shell carrying case. $299; www.beatsbydrdre.com.
Crew 9 25-Inch Expandable Spinner. This sturdy but lightweight bag from the Travelpro Crew 9 line has a lot going for it: four wheels, with large rear wheels for ease of mobility; an extension handle the minimizes wobble; and a newly designed handle grip for added comfort and maneuverability. Other features include a stain-, water- and abrasion-resistant nylon exterior; a drop-in removable suiter; a ticket pocket; skid guard; a bottom-carry handle; and a zippered, 2.5-inch expansion capability. The tale of the tape: 25 x 18 x 11.5 inches; 13.1 pounds. Comes in black and gray. $229.49; www.travelpro.com.
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