These items act big but stay small when space is at a premium

These items act big but stay small when space is at a premium
Gear fit for travel. (FitKicks)

Discover hidden pockets in a big towel that packs small; grow a stashable pouch into a wheel-aboard bag; power up cute acoustics from tiny, animal-shaped Bluetooth speakers; and get plenty of traction with featherweight amphibious footwear.

A shoe-in for comfort

Imagine your feet could roam free and unencumbered by shoes but shielded from hazards. FitKicks may be the next best thing.The lightweight hybrid slipper/loafer/water shoe has stretchy, breathable spandex uppers that allow plenty of toe-wiggle room.


Black pebble-ridged rubber soles provide protection and traction yet allow full range of foot motion, so you can point, twist or flex. They fold in half for packing. FitKicks come in solid colors and whimsical patterns in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes.

For extra warmth, a version called KoziKicks (available in women’s sizes) is lined with fleece. A women’s Maritime model has white pebbled soles to prevent scuffing boat surfaces.

Cost, info: FitKicks cost $20 to $24 in men’s and women’s sizes; $18 in FitKids styles; Fleece-lined KoziKicks are about $30; Maritime model, $23;

Big spread

  (Monster Towel)

A large lightweight microfiber towel can be a great multitasking take-along, good for lying on the beach and drying off. A big towel also can cushion delicate items in your luggage, fold into a pillow and double as a wrap-around bathrobe twisted and tied behind the neck.

The Monster Towel is a 100-foot-square (roomier than a king-size bed) multitasker made of suede-like absorbent microfiber. The towel rolls up to 15 by 5 inches. An included carry strap secures the roll tight at both ends.

The towel has large corner anchor pockets you can fill with sand to keep it weighed down in place at the beach. You can stash your keys, wallet and other small items in an inconspicuous sewn-in zippered pocket (although the towel can be stolen).

The Monster Towel comes in seven colors, air-dries quickly and is machine washable and dryable.

Cost, info: The Monster Towel costs about $90

Space changer


Most expandable luggage has a zipper around the perimeter, that, when unzipped, provides an inch or so of extra storage room. The new Zipsak Boost from Biaggi starts as a stashable nylon pouch, unzips to become a 22-by-14-by-9-inch carry-on with four spinner wheels, handles on the side and top, and two exterior zippered pockets.

Unzip the wrap-around zipper just above the wheels, and the Boost lengthens to a 28-inch check-through suitcase. The Boost weighs less than 4 pounds.

Cost, info: Biaggi Zipsak Boost, in a choice of six colors, lists for $95

Bluetooth buddy

  (My Audio Pet)

The penguin, goldfish, monkey and panda Bluetooth speakers from My Audio Pet can boom surprisingly big sound for such tiny audio devices, which are about the size of a golf ball. The colorful creatures have multiple little holes in their heads for belting out whatever’s streaming plus a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that charges using an integrated micro USB port (cable included).

An LED indicator light and chimes show when the animal is up and running — about four continuous hours on a charge — and a built-in microphone can be used for phone calls. The power button can activate a cellphone’s camera function for selfies on the go.

My Audio Pets are available in 17 big-eyed animal shapes and include a lanyard.