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Gear to Go: A Few of My Favorite Things in 2013

e Bags eTech 2.0 21" Mini Wheeled Duffel
e Bags eTech 2.0 21″ Mini Wheeled Duffel

By Everett Potter

eBags eTech 2.0 21″ Mini Wheeled Duffel

In the carry-on luggage wars, smart travelers are always looking for a bag that a) truly fits overhead; b) doesn’t set off alarm bells with eager-eyed airline personnel waiting to pronounce it “too large”; c) actually fits the clothes and toiletries that you need to bring with you. This bag from eTech should do the trick handily. Its design and shape are different from the usual roll-a-board herd – it’s 22 x 14 x 9, making it a touch longer and not quite  as deep as typical carry-ons, redistributing the allowed space in an unusual way. The top half actually conceals about half of the packable space, accessible via two zippered pockets. The main bag is long enough so that it has a very wide opening, good for those of us who tend to live out of our suitcases when we travel. Even better, the manufacturers still found room for a pair of rugged wheels and a telescopic handle. If you’re an efficient packer, this bag can work for a week of overseas travel. Cost $159.99 Visit eBags

 

STM Grip for iPad Mini
STM Grip for iPad Mini

STM grip for iPad Mini

I started carrying around an iPad Mini this year and my only complaint is the hinged cover. It works well at home but not for travel, such as when I’m stuffing the tablet into a backpack and discover later that the protective cover has come off. That’s why I like the new STM grip for iPad Mini. It’s a hardshell case made of polycarbonate plastic that closes shut. Period. It has a kickstand with two settings, and has a ridged texture so it won’t slip out of my hand when I’m doing the furious pack and unpack tango at a TSA checkpoint. The iPad Mini grip runs $24.99 on sites such as Ebags. Beyond the iPad Mini, STM makes them for tablets and phones of all shapes, sizes and brands. Visit STM

Pelican ProGear Backpack
Pelican ProGear Backpack

Pelican ProGear Backpack

Pelican is known for their professional gear for photographers and videographers, but even serious amateurs would be pretty happy to find the Pelican ProGear Backpack under the tree. Small enough to fit under the seat on most planes, this pack has an integrated crushproof case that features a watertight seal to safeguard things like your e-reader, tablet or laptop. It also features a high-impact compartment to protect a camera body/equipment. The compartment also becomes a pack large  enough to fit a few days¹ worth of personal gear.If you’re on of those travelers who lugs a GoPro, an SLR with  lenses, and other sensitive gear, it’s a way to keep it safe and out of the hands of baggage handlers.  Cost: $130 Visit Pelican

P^cubed Pickpocket Proof Pants
P^cubed Pickpocket Proof Pants

P^cubed Pickpocket Proof Pants

I tried these out a pair of Adventure Pants made by P^cubed a couple of months ago when I traveled to Namibia for the Adventure Travel World Summit. I wasn’t pick pocketed, but more to the point, I found myself living in these rugged pants, which fit perfectly and were instantly comfortable. Considering that most adventure clothing makes me look like a Lego character, that’s pretty good. But they are also ingeniously made, with zippers, buttons and flaps that work and will clearly last for a long time. Clothing Arts, a Brooklyn company, makes them in various configurations and materials. Mine were 75% Cotton 25% Nylon Canvas, and they are substantial and not too heavy.   At $109.95, they’re priced competitively with other well made adventure gear and based on everything that desert travel could dish out, worth every penny. Visit Clothing Arts

LL Bean Streamlight Ultra Four-Piece Fly Rod Outfit
LL Bean Streamlight Ultra Four-Piece Fly Rod Outfit

LL Bean Streamlight Ultra Four-Piece Fly Rod Outfit

Finding a decent fly rod that works well, is well made and doesn’t cost a small fortune is not an easy matter. But LL Bean’s Streamlight series answers the call with their four piece rods. It outperforms fancier and far more expensive rods that I have and holds up under any conditions that I’ve put it through. If you go for the 9wt class, then you’ve got something that you can use for saltwater casting this winter if you’re lucky enough to be heading to Florida, the Caribbean or Mexico. The case runs 31 inches, small enough to stow in an overhead bin. Cost $205 -239. Visit LL Bean

Magellan Echo Family
Magellan Echo Family

Echo: The Smart Running Watch

So you want to stay on top of your running or walking workout when you’re on the road (or at home, for that matter)? Get a smart watch like Echo from Magellan, the same people who make those wonderful GPS systems that hikers love. How smart is this watch? Echo streams data and controls from your smart phone to your wrist. At a glance, you can see distance, pace, and heart rate from fitness apps in real-time. It’s water resistant, compatible with all iPhones and tablets, and is supported by fitness apps such as Wahoo Fitness, Strava, MapMyRun and iSmoothRun. Finished running? It looks cool enough to wear as a mere watch for the rest of the day. $149  Visit Magellan

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