What's New, What's Hot: November 2014


What's New, What's Hot is Travel Weekly's look at useful and fun travel gadgets, edited by Joe Rosen.

Pivotal Soft Case Gear Bag: If your stuff doesn't fit in this luggage, perhaps you should reconsider your packing priorities because this bag measures 14 by 12 by 36 inches and offers a main compartment divider that can be folded down to provide maximum capacity. The "Pivotal" in its name refers to a grip that rotates 360 degrees to reduce strain on your arm when negotiating the soft case on its two large all-terrain wheels through an airport or hotel lobby. Other features include two "quick-grab" side pockets, a front accessory pocket, an external securing strap, a large internal zippered pocket and a frame that folds flat for easy storage. All this and the bag weighs only 10.7 pounds. $249.95; http://pivotalgear.com

Vrum Ride-On Storage BagVrum Ride-On Storage Bag: At once a carry-all and a toy for youngsters, the Vrum has several attributes that should be of interest to parents taking their kids on the road for short trips and overnights. For starters, the luggage, which features licensed characters such as Spiderman, Batman, Dora the Explorer and Disney Princesses, has a dual pull, storage strap, four wheels, a handlebar for comfort and support, and is safe and fun for kids to ride. As for practical travel matters, the Vrum measures 18 by 8 by 12 inches, providing plenty of lockable storage room for toys and other essentials. $49.99; http://govrum.com.  

The Scrubba Wash Bag: Pack lighter, spend less on laundry while on the road or backpacking and wear cleaner clothes by using this ingenious product devised so that you can do your laundry in a hotel sink or a nearby stream (for you adventure lovers). The Scrubba bag, which weighs a mere 5 ounces and includes a flexible internal washboard, is reusable, portable, ecologically sound, does not need electricity and demands a lot less water than a standard washing machine. $54.95; www.thescrubba.com.  

Mosaic and Montage Photo Books: There are lots of ways to capture and share the memories of recent vacations and two of the best come from an online site called HeyMosaic.com. The Mosaic Photo Book, for one, enables you to take any 20 photos from your smart device, deliver them electronically and have them returned to you four days later in a 7-inch square, linen-covered book designed to highlight your photos in stunning colors or vivid black and white. The Montage Photo Book, on the other hand, can handle up to 180 photos and 70 pages while automatically assessing the quality, chronology and importance of the submissions. The Montage book, which comes wrapped in leather, can be customized with captions, design themes and a personalized cover. Mosaic, $20; Montage, $39 (6 square inches), $59 (8.5 inches) and $119 (12 inches); www.heymosaic.com.  

Kodiak 6000 Portable Power Bank: Here's what sets this charger apart from others: It is waterproof. Outdoor Tech, the company that sells this powerful power pack, has designed it to operate in about any conceivable environment, which means that in addition to being able to operate despite being submerged in three feet of water for 30 minutes it also can withstand high impact drops and dust conditions. Don't let its size fool you (just 9.4 ounces). The Kodiak's 2.1-Amp output and 6,000 milliamps of battery power are fully sufficient to easily charge any small device. The rechargeable Kodiak also offers power level indicators that monitor the amount of juice remaining in the unit. $49.95; www.outdoortechnology.com.  

Got something for What's New, What's Hot? Email Joe Rosen at [email protected].

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