Gear that improves on what was and changes what might be
Shape-shifting innovations put a twist on the familiar in this gear roundup.
The quality of photos from a smartphone is so good that many travelers leave their clunky camera gear at home. To give you even more photographic flexibility, Pixter has introduced a pack of four compact specialty lenses that clip onto any smartphone.
The Pixter Pro Pack includes a wide-angle lens; a 238-degree super fisheye lens; a 10X macro lens; and a telephoto lens. The lenses come in a padded travel case and have front and back lens caps.
Cost, info: Pixter Pro Pack lists for $154.90 (lenses are about $55 apiece a la carte).
Taking a buddy along can make children happier and when that pal is a plush companion that morphs from a toy into a pillow, you'll please and placate your child.
Pillow Pets are chenille-stuffed animals (also some cute cars) that widen and flatten into a pillow with the release of a cinch strap. Sizes average 12- to 16-inches-square when fully open. All are machine washable.
Pillow Pets also come as zippered sweatshirts. Bunch up the garment for a nice, fat cushion or use just the padded hood part as a pillow and wrap the rest around your child for an extra-warm hug with pockets.
This bag does tricks
Pulling a rabbit out of a hat is just a trick; pulling a backpack out of a wheel-aboard bag? That’s magic.
That’s what the wizards at Eagle Creek Luggage have conjured with the new Morphus International Wheeled Carry-On. With a quick unzip, what had been a single 20½-by-13¾-by-9-inch roller bag separates into a backpack and a wheeled bag, offering about double the space you started with.
Both are made with polyurethane-coated polyester and have top- and side-padded grab handles, double lockable zippers and reinforced seams.
The wheeled bag has thick, treaded wheels; a hinged kickstand keeps the bag upright. The soft backpack has zip-away padded interior sleeves that can accommodate a 15-inch laptop and a tablet, as a well as a nifty built-in cord winder, a key fob and padded pouches for fragile electronics.
The backpack’s two trolley straps can slide over the wheeled bag’s telescoping pull handle. Zipped back together, the bag can be wheeled, or carried using the pack’s back straps.
All this abracadabra isn’t cheap, but it’s a class act, even without the wand.
Cost, info: Morphus International Wheeled Carry-On costs $329.
A bag that suits
Is anything as yummy as curling up in your tent inside a toasty sleeping bag on a chilly night camping? Is anything as awful as having to get out of that warm sleeping bag to go out into the elements?
No problem if you have the new SelkBag Wearable Sleeping Bag, designed to keep you comfy in and out of the tent.
It looks like a giant snowsuit, but lets you be much more mobile. It has zip-off booties, big kangaroo-style pockets and flaps at the wrists that let you quickly free your hands.
It’s made of ripstop nylon and polyester with hollow fiber polyester insulation, and its insulated adjustable hood extends from a high thermal collar.
The zip-off booties let you substitute your own shoes when you are active, and the booties’ reinforced nylon soles and lateral grips for traction make them tough enough for a stroll.
The bag comes in a range of colors and patterns, including Star Wars-themed designs, in adult and children’s sizes.
One quibble: The SelkBag is not equipped with a drop seat so you must wriggle out of the bottoms when nature calls. A fix is in the works.
Cost, info: SelkBag Wearable Sleeping Bag in adult sizes costs about $170 for the Original (warmest) model; a lighter, less-insulated model costs $99. Children’s SelkBags cost $69 to $89. www.selkbagusa.com
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