New Travel Bags

From the work-from-anywhere lifestyle to long-awaited summer travel, the new WaterField Air Travel Backpack is the carry-on travel bag designed for these times where our office might be most anywhere – a coffee shop, a backyard, or a park. It’s a large bag, 22.5 x 16 x 7.5 inches, with a dedicated office compartment for two laptops and other work necessities plus details like lockable zippers, multiple comfortable carry options, and a professional aesthetic. It’s called the Air Travel Backpack, can be used as a large suitcase or backpack, and fits on the handle of a rollerboard.

The company explains, “Most of us need a travel backpack for walking through airports, hailing taxis, and going to hotels, not for trekking the Amazon forest, so we don’t need cumbersome and unsightly dangling hip straps. We need a streamlined, elegant Travel Backpack to comfortably transport our belongings from car, train, or plane to our hotel or straight to a business meeting.”

Check it out at  Price:  $419

Peak Design makes thoughtfully designed cases that puts an emphasis on organization. I recently bought their popular Tech Pouch to keep all my stuff organized on a recent cross-country trip. I used it to store a variety of cables, EarPods, chargers, batteries, pens, a small notebook, memory cards and more. It’s a cleverly designed case with a couple of dozen pockets of all sizes and shapes. $60.

While the Tech Pouch has been available for a while, a new carry pouch was just introduced that’s carried on your belt or over your shoulder for $45. The Field Pouch has a rolltop hook-and-loop closure for easy access and expandable capacity and expands from 1.5L to 3L. It’s made of recycled and Bluesign approved and is 100% carbon neutral

Peak Design has made it a part of their business model to be environmentally and socially responsible, including “understanding and accounting for a product’s entire lifecycle, from complex supply chain to design that extends usefulness as long as possible. It also means policies and advocacy that aim to improve the lives of our employees, contractors, customers, and people the planet over.”


Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

In spite of designing generations of phones, Apple continues to prioritize making thin phones  over offering batteries that can take a heavy user through a full 12 hour day, even though more of us are spending more time with their phones doing more things requiring more power.  We’re using faster cell connections, streaming more audio video and using higher resolution and brighter displays, all consuming more power, yet battery capacity has barely increased. Apple is not alone, but seems to trail its primary competitor Samsung in using larger batteries. And some companies, such as Motorola, offer phones with two days of batteries. This month Apple has turned this liability into a new accessory, the MagSafe Battery Pack. It’s a battery that magnetically attaches to the back of those phones that have MagSafe built in (the iPhone 12 series). The case affixes to the back of the phone, and power is transmitted through the back of the phone without requiring a cable or connector. The case provides about 40-70% additional capacity, varying by the phone model. It’s a neat solution, albeit pricey at $99.


Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds

Sony has been one of the leaders in noise cancelling headphones, providing products comparable to Bose, the inventor of the category.  Their recently introduced WF-1000XM4 earbuds cements their leadership in the bud category. For the first time, they’ve put noise reduction equivalent to the best over-the-ear headphones into their tiny earbuds. But along with that, they managed to deliver some of the best audio in a wireless product.  The product costs $279, $30 more than Apple’s AirPods Pro.  While wireless earphones can’t deliver hi res music, the best are able to approach CD quality.These products are ideal for air travelers because of their tiny size and effective noise cancellation. They come in a tiny case, much like the AirPods.  I’ve compared them to the AirPods and they are far superior for both audio and noise cancellation. Comes in black or white.