This gear makes your world go round, flat, darker and spacier


For innovative products that provide help in challenging situations, consider a new spin on tablet cases, a mat that’s got your back (and feet and rump), an antidote to sun glare and a collapsible rack that turns any door into extra hanging space.

Take this for a spin

Among tablet computers’ most appreciated features: being able to switch between portrait or landscape with a simple rotation, but most cases that double as stands are stuck in landscape mode.

Hurray for Fintie’s lightweight 360-Degree Rotating Tablet Stand Case, which lets you switch orientations with little ado.


Just snap your tablet into the leatherette-backed hard plastic shell and spin. Two raised strips on the microfiber-lined padded interior of the cover let you prop up your tablet at different angles in horizontal or vertical mode.

For transport, the cover folds back over the tablet shell, secured shut by a sewn-in elastic band.

The cases are available in a range of sizes and cut-out configurations designed for models of tablets made by Apple, Samsung and LG, as well as Amazon e-readers. Styles vary — solid colors and wild and whimsical patterns.

Cost, info: Fintie 360-Degree Rotating Tablet Stand Cases start at $17;

Down to the mat

A lightweight padded exercise mat is great for a workout in your hotel room or just plopping down while exploring. The folks at Yogo have rolled out a nifty pad that folds into a small cylinder, then fastens tight using an attached strap with buckle clips and an integrated handle.


The mat’s slightly sticky surface will keep you from sliding around as you launch into warrior pose or a round of push-ups. But it’s not sticky, sticky, more like grippy, so it’s comfortable for those of us going for a downward sit rather than a downward dog.

The mat comes in two sizes. The 72-by-29-inch Ultra Long folds or rolls into a 14-inch-long cylinder. The smaller 68-by-24-inch Ultralight rolls into a 12-inch-long cylinder. An optional shoulder strap wraps and buckles around the rolled mat for hands-free carrying.

Cost, info: Yogo Ultra Travel Yoga Mat Long is $89.99; Ultralight, $64.99; shoulder carry strap, $6.99;

Stop glaring

Ever feel as though you need a sun visor for your electronic screen? A company called Hooshion has just that. Although marketed mainly to drone photography enthusiasts, the company’s trifold sun hoods work great shielding screens in more down-to-earth endeavors.

The hoods are made of molded silicone with a soft-touch polyurethane skin that grips the sides of your device using strong built-in stretch bands, leaving enough room to manipulate touch screens. They work best with a stand (or a case with a stand) that lets you tilt your screen so the visor can block overhead and peripheral sun glare.

The available sizes work well with a wider range of brands and models than those specifically listed. The published measurements are for screen size, so you’ll have to add in the extra room that a case or stand frame takes up.

Cost, info: Hooshion Folding Sun Hoods for smartphones and tablets run about $17 to $19 at Amazon.

Space case

Studio 3B’s lightweight Over-the-Door Collapsible Valet is an ingenious hanging rack. It is supported by detachable hollow metal arms that slide open along an integrated metal track, then slide closed flat against the door and out of the way.

The pieces snap together using a simple push-button release system (no tools needed) and come apart for compact packing. The rack opens to about 12 inches high, 11 inches deep and 18 inches wide but can extend up to 24 inches wide, thanks to push-buttons that snap into slots spaced along the hanging bar.

The two over-the-door support brackets are slim enough to allow most doors to close with the rack attached. The Collapsible Door Valet is also handy as extra hanging space in lodgings with tiny (or no) closets.

Cost, info: Studio 3B Over-the-Door Collapsible Valet costs about $15 at various online retailers.