ALEX Bottle in “What’s New, What’s Hot: May 2011”
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 the slideshow of all of the featured products for May.
Alex Bottles. The Alex Bottle, the first brand and product of parent company Nice Reusables, is an attractively designed, reusable metal bottle that is easily washable by hand or in a dishwasher (it twists open in the middle) and stackable (again, it twists open in the middle, with the top half nesting in the bottom half). Easily stored in your checked baggage or carry-on (empty, of course), the Alex is great for hydrating while touring on a hot day. Just fill the bottom half with ice, twist on the top half, add water or any cold beverage and secure the twist-on cap. Alex’s 32-ounce and 20-ounce unlined bottles, which can be mixed and matched to create a 26-ouncer (colors of top, bottom and caps can be mixed and matched, too), are made of polished stainless steel. $25.95 (20-ounce), $29.95 (32-ounce); www.alexbottle.com.
TravelRest Pillow. Those of you who can’t sleep away the long hours spent in planes, trains and automobiles (please, passengers only!) can now rest easy: The TravelRest will catch you napping. The elongated inflatable pillow — no horseshoe-shaped collar here — comes with a tether that helps secure it to your body, to a seat headrest or to a seat itself. Easily inflated with a few puffs of air and deflated in seconds when not in use, the pillow provides support for your head, neck and back and can be used several ways: tethered; cuddled against or draped across your chest, “messenger bag” style; or worn on your head (an extreme way to discourage chit-chat from a seatmate). The TravelRest can be easily rolled up for compact storage or attached to a luggage handle. $26.95 (a washable, micro-fleece cover is available for $12.99); www.travelrest.net.
Airbak. Tired of feeling like a beast of burden while on vacation? This line of backpacks can help take the load off by protecting fragile equipment such as cameras, laptops and anything else, thanks to an inflatable air-cushion system that simultaneously spreads the weight of the pack evenly across your otherwise aching back. Perfect for long-distance travel and walking tours alike, the Airbak’s inflatable system can be adjusted to any degree of comfort and lumbar support. The Airbak line offers several sizes and styles and has sufficient bells and whistles in the form of zippered compartments, pockets and panels to serve any traveler’s needs. $59.99 to $169.99; www.airbak.com.
JetBag. It’s a traveler’s nightmare: You arrive at your destination only to find that a bottle of wine or some other liquid packed in your checked baggage has either broken or opened while in transit. The result: ruined clothing, junked luggage, possibly the loss of a valuable bottle of wine or spirits, certainly dampened spirits. One way to prevent this from happening is to transport your bottles in a JetBag, a biodegradable pouch with a zip seal that is lined with the same materials used in baby diapers. The protective JetBag is designed to keep your bottles from breaking, but if they do break, according to the manufacturer, the absorbent material will soak up the mess and keep it from spilling on the contents of your baggage. The JetBag, which is 18 inches tall and can accommodate a 750 ml bottle, comes in a three-pack that can be customized with logos as promotional gifts. $15; www.thejetbag.com.
ScanSnap S1100. This compact document scanner from Fujitsu is just the thing for the business traveler who needs to combine the capabilities of a full-function scanner with the mobility and ease of use of a compact, portable device. In fact, all that is needed to scan and share documents while on the go is the ScanSnap, a laptop and a USB cable. In addition to standard and custom-sized paper, the ScanSnap, which features one-button operation and has the ability to scan continuously fed pages at the rate of eight per minute in color at 300 dpi, can tackle thick postcards, greeting cards and plastic IDs. Other attributes include the ability to provide users direct scanning to Evernote and Google Docs; scan, extract and export business-card data automatically; create PDF or JPEG scans; and generate editable Word, Excel or PowerPoint files. $199; www.us.fujitsu.com/scansnap.
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