travel gadgets

New gear & gadgets from the International Travel Goods Show

The latest in luggage, travel gear and on-the-go gadgets goes on display each year at the International Travel Goods Show in Las Vegas.

It’s anyone’s bet which of the products displayed by the more than 500 brands in attendance will take flight, but some of these new products have a great chance

Luggage scooter

Villagio of Miami’s Transmover 3-wheeled scooter has a TSA-approved detachable, rechargeable battery, a space to attach luggage (even a pet carrier) and may be a harried travelers’ answer to that long walk out to the gate.

And it’s fun. The scooter’s 12 mph top speed and 12-15 mile range can provide entertainment on a long layover inside or outside of the terminal. (MSRP: $550-$595 for the electric model; $250-$295 for the non-electric model)

Window tablet bag

Italian designer Nunzia Palmieri created a clever and sophisticated line of women’s business-style handbags and shoulder bags featuring a front pocket that can be used to store and cushion an iPad or tablet or, with the cushion removed, provide working access to the tablet via a clear window. At this year’s International Travel Goods Show Palmieri is expanding the collection to include a men’s line of leather and fabric travel bags with tablet-shaped windows as well. MSRP: starting at $228.

One bag becomes two

Thule luggage maker is rolling out a new Subterra collection that includes four rolling luggage pieces and four travel backpacks.

The 22-inch 2-wheel Subterra Carry-On (MSRP: $279.95) has a compression panel that makes it easy to pack more items and to keep clean clothes separate from dirty ones. The versatile, 22-inch Subterra Luggage piece (MSRP: $319.95) can be filled and checked as one piece or split into two smaller, independent pieces of luggage that are carry-on compliant.

Luggage tags made from airplane fuselage

 

MotoArt Studios is well-known among airplane aficionados for the conference tables, office furniture and decorative items, such as mirrors, it makes from old Boeing 747 engine turbofan housings, airplane wings and other bits of retired aircraft.

The company has recently expanded its line of offering to include serial-numbered luggage tags ($25 to $100) made from the skin of retired airplanes.

“We include the tail number of the aircraft so you can look up the history of your plane,” said Dave Hall of MotoArt Studios, “And it will tell you how much the aircraft originally cost, what year it was built and the airlines that flew it.”

Sniff, but don’t eat these purses

For fun – and for candy fans – American Jewel has a line of colorful, scented Jelly Belly-branded purses (wristlets), hairbrushes and bracelets.  Wristlet “flavors” include Blueberry Muffin, Birthday Cake, Rainbow Sherbert, Green Apple Bubblegum, Pink Lemonade, Roller Rink Pink and Tutti-Frutti.

Drink and Twist

Buying bottled water on the road at $5 (or more) a pop can get expensive, but packing an empty reusable water bottle to fill at the airport or in the hotel gym can take up valuable suitcase space.

A good fluid-carrying solution? Collapsible bottles, such as HydraPak’s clever 1 liter Stash model (MSRP: $23) which twists and crushes down to an easily-packable quarter of its size and comes in outdoor-inspired colors such as Malibu, Mojave, Mammoth and Sequoia.

Sit on this

 

Toronto-based Airopedic, which has been making ergonomic office furniture since the mid-1980s, has created a self-inflating, portable ergonomic seat to take to sports arenas, into airports, onto airplanes and to other places where comfortable seating isn’t reliably available.

The seat weighs in at 1.6 pounds, has carrying straps and mesh side pockets for storage and a pressure control button to enable seat density adjustments that the manufacturer suggests will make sitting on the Airopedic Portable Seat (MSRP: $65) feel like “sitting on a cloud.”

(My story about accessories and luggage from the 2017 International Travel Goods Show appeared in a slightly different version on CNBC.)

No tablet or laptop on the plane? Some workarounds.

 

Whether or not you’re flying on an airline now required to make passengers check electronic devices larger than smartphones on planes headed to the U.S. or U.K, it’s a good idea to have workarounds for getting things done.

Paper books, magazines and the seat-back entertainment offerings (if available) are good options, but if you want to work, check email or watch a movie you’ve downloaded before your flight, gadgets and tools like some of those in the photo above might help.

For example, ZAGG has a Bluetooth pocket keyboard that can be used with both smartphones and small tablets (Apple & Android) and – to keep seatmates from looking at your screen – the InvisibleShield Glass + Privacy screen protector.

And, if you’re going to have to rely on your smartphone for extended hours, Ventev’s chargestand 3000c, is both a portable charger and a phone stand. 

I’m checking out these and a few other gadgets this weekend and reworking my accessories kit to accommodate a few more useful-in-a-pinch items.

 

 

 

 

New travel gear & gadgets

Blackpool SuitcaseArrives

The latest designs in luggage and the newest ideas for travel gadgets were on display for three days at the International Travel Goods show in Las Vegas last week.

For CNBC.com, I put together a slide show of the product innovation award- winners and several other items that caught my eye. Here are some samples…

4_Arm-share

Tired of fighting over who gets to use those middle armrests on the airplane? The inventor of the Arm-Share gadget thinks he’s got a solution figured out.

1_OrgoLite

“Boutique” hotel often equates to “no room for your stuff in the bathroom.”
The Orgo Lite inventors came up with a solution for that: an expandable cosmetic kit that can sit over the sink.

5_Baseball bag

Sports fans can carry their gear in bags made out of the same material used to make basketballs, golf balls, soccer balls and baseballs – stitching included. From Zumer Sport.

8_Walter + Ray BendyMan Flashlight and stand

Fun, inexpensive and useful – the quirky and colorful Bendy Man from Walter + Ray is a flashlight and a gadget holder in one.

Would you use this? Airhook

There are gadgets galore out there promising to make life easier on the road.

Some work. Some don’t.

Here’s one, called the Airhook, that just got funded on Kickstarter.

The inventor, Craig Rabin, describes it as “an easy tool that allows airline travelers to use their seat’s tray table to securely hold an electronic device and beverage—all while allowing for maximum legroom.”

Check out a video of the Airhook in action.

Would you use it?

AIRHOOK

Souvenir Sunday: Scanning new SkyMall Products

Over at the 10Best section of USA TODAY, one of the Readers’ Choice contests going on right now is for Best SkyMall Product for Business Travel.

I’m included on that page as one of the contest’s travel ‘experts,’ so wanted to take a moment to encourage you to go over there and vote, especially because while you’re there you can also register to win a $500 SkyMall gift card in the process.

The SkyMall catalog is that familiar ‘amenity’ found in the seatback pocket on just about any domestic airline flight and it is full of useful, wacky, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and “Who would buy that?” products. I often find myself leafing through it during those very long last 10 minutes of a flight when I’ve put away all my gadgets and am just waiting for the plane to land.

Everyone has their favorite items from the in-flight catalog.

I think the Sippy Wine Glass is a great idea, for example, but not sure I’d actually use it in public. Gift-wise, though, it’s a keeper.

Unfortunately, that wine glass isn’t on the list of 20 product nominees in the current 10Best contest, but here’s an example of some useful ones that are:

I’ve written about and considered buying this portable security door device that seems useful for those hotel stays where the locks just don’t seem that modern or adequate.

Security door

This compact, folding portable footrest is promoted as being being good for circulation, reducing back strain and helping to prevent deep vein thrombosis, but I’d be tempted to tote one because I’m quite short and when seated in some airplane seats, my feet don’t reach the floor.

Footrest

And I can definitely see the usefulness of the PocketPlug Case that has a built in two-prong charger.

I’ll circle back around before the contest ends to make note of some of the sillier items on the list, but go see the full list, add your vote and don’t forget to register for the $500 gift card.