What's New, What's Hot: May 14, 2007

1. Olympus SP-550 Digital Camera.A versatile, lightweight camera, the SP-550 is an especially handy and versatile companion on any trip. Boasting an 18x optical zoom lens and image-stabilization, the SP-550 allows for telephoto shots as well as wide-angle framing. A Super Macro mode enables the user to shoot pictures from as close as one centimeter away. Other virtues: high-speed sequential shoot capability, manual and auto control and 30 shooting modes, including video with sound. $499; www.olympusamerica.com.

2. SteriPEN Traveler. Just the thing for the outdoor adventurer, this hand-held water-purifier provides 16 ounces of safe drinking water in 48 seconds; it can purify 32 ounces of water in 90 seconds. Designed to destroy viruses, bacteria and protozoa, the SteriPEN employs the same technology used by bottling plants and municipalities, according to the manufacturer. The unit is 6 inches long, weighs less than 4 ounces with batteries and is available with a solar charging case at extra cost. $129.95 (charging case, $49.95); www.steripen.com.

3. Fargason Tent Chair. A full-size folding chair with armrests, a beverage holder and a zippered storage bag, the Fargason, when completely unfurled, features a large, nylon canopy to protect you from the sun while allowing ventilation and peripheral vision through two zippered side windows. The tent chair, which sets up quickly, weighs only 10 pounds, so you don't have to carry a load to take a load off. Just be careful not to sit behind one at an outdoor concert if you want to see what's happening on stage. $49.95; www.tentchair.com.

4. Solo Smart Strap Portfolio.The gimmick with this bag is a padded shoulder strap that retracts into the body of the case to keep it from snagging on things or dragging on the floor while you're heading for the plane. This black leather portfolio also includes a back pocket that unzips to allow the case to be slipped over the handle of rolling luggage, a padded compartment for a laptop, an accordion file and a zip-down organizer. $129.99; www.solocases.com.

5. Sherpa Classic Traveler. This home on the go for the pet on the move is the ultimate in animal accommodations. If only we humans were as comfortable while in transit. The Classic Traveler has mesh panels on three sides for more than adequate ventilation, an expandable accessory pocket, an adjustable shoulder strap and a washable faux lambskin liner. The pet carrier, which also features top and side entry and fits under an aircraft cabin seat, comes in three sizes: small, for up to an 8-pound dog or cat; medium, for animals up to 16 pounds; and large, for animals up to 22 pounds. Anything larger, and Fido can carry you. $80 to $100; www.sherpapet.com.


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