Gear that keeps clothes neat, you cool, and your feet and your dog happy

Do wrinkled clothes hang you up? Higher Hangers, top, have less slope than standard hangers.
(Higher Hangers)

Slim lightweight hangers conserve space in suit bags and hotel closets. New Higher Hangers free up vertical space in addition to bulk. Typical hangers slope downward from the hook, but Higher Hangers dip at the center, then rise on each side like a shoulder shrug. Clothing hangs up to 4 inches closer to the top of the suit bag or closet rod than on sloping hangers. Long coats and dresses are less likely to drag the floor in short closets. Higher Hangers come in a smooth or felt-flocked plastic.

Cost, info: Higher Hangers in packs of 40 cost about $65;

Keeping it cool

LifeProof’s Backpack Cooler can keep ice (and the equivalent of 24 beverage cans) chilled for up to two days; the water-repellent lining prevents leakage for about the same length of time. Adjustable padded back straps and a cinching chest strap help balance the load and reduce neck and shoulder strain.

The new nylon Backpack Cooler makes toting ice or as many as 24 cans easy.

An integrated metal bottle opener and built-in mesh bottle holder flank the pack. Although soft-sided, the cooler can sit upright without sagging. Long pull tabs on the flip-over double-zipper lid make for quick access. The bag can protect more than food. Load it with make-up, lotions, medications and other temperature-sensitive items for a trip to the beach. A zippered pocket at the front is great for stashing documents, keys, credit cards, and other small items.


Cost, info: LifeProof Backpack Cooler costs about $70;

Minimalism is in

Walking shoes are supposed to be sturdy, right? The folks who designed Skinners Minimalist Barefoot Sock Shoes beg to differ — or at least broaden your options. They believe feet should be unencumbered by structure and weight. Skinners’ alternative is a pull-on, ankle-hugging high-tech sock with a grippy, shoe-like sole.

Skinners Minimalist Barefoot Sock Shoes are lightweight but hug the ground.

The breathable multilayer uppers combine yarns made of silver-infused antibacterial, moisture-wicking polypropylene, silky viscose, soft cotton and Lycra. The soles are made of a puncture-resistant, waterproof, double-layer polymer/plastic compound and are fused to the sock uppers with no glue or seams. Skinners’ sock shoes, which weigh about 6 ounces a pair, are machine washable and stash in the included drawstring pouch or in a pocket. They are not intended for extended cold-weather exposure or for feet with serious orthopedic challenges.

Skinners Barefoot Sock Shoes in black with red, green, blue or other color accents cost about $60;

Perfectly packed pooch

Nothing beats a well-organized dog except maybe a well-organized dog owner. Overland Dog Gear has loaded its new doggy Week Away Bags with collapsible spill-proof silicone food bowls, insulated treat and water carriers, even a zip-out placemat, in easy-access internal and external zippered and patch pockets, mesh pouches and flaps.


Week Away Bags for your dog have collapsible spill-proof silicone bowls and a place mat for the organized owner.
(Overland Dog Gear)

They come as shoulder bags, on wheels or as duffels and are made of lightweight water-resistant lined polyester. Shoulder bags come in two sizes in solid colors, animal prints or camo-look. The wheeled bag has a telescoping pull handle; the roomy duffel’s external sleeve slides over the telescoping handle of any wheeled bag.

Overland Dog Gear Week Away Bags, $43 to $50 for shoulder styles; $70 for the duffel; and $90 for wheeled models;

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