Luggage & Packing

The Best Airline-Friendly Travel Bottles

Have you—like us—ever had a container of liquid or gel confiscated from you by airport security? Or have you—like us—had a bottle of shampoo explode in your luggage?

If you have, then you—like us—can appreciate the value of a durable, carry-on friendly travel bottles.

Travel bottles are not the sort of WOW! factor products we usually review at Spot Cool Stuff. But they are the sort of product nearly everyone brings on an overnight trip.

And so we thought it was worth mentioning what will become a staple of our own travels: the PakUrDerm travel kit.

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The World’s Worst Travel Gear

At Spot Cool Stuff, almost all our reviews cover products and places we love. Sometimes, though, a product can be so mind boggling terrible that, well, there’s something good about the horribleness of it.

With that attempted explanation we take a break from our usual routine of writing about genuinely cool things and present you with a collection of travel gear you would almost certainly never bring on your next trip—unless you lost a bet.

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Cool Outdoor Gear You’ll See In Stores Soon

Spot Cool Stuff is freshly back from the Summer Outdoor Retailer convention in Salt Lake City where, along with approximately 20,999 others, we ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over the latest tents, backpacks, kayaks, shoes, bicycles, roof-top carriers, portable disposable toilets (yes, really), sunglasses, jackets, pocket knives, hammocks, energy bars, hiking GPS units and an assorted sundry of outdoor gear and gadgets.

Many products at the OR Show were newly released and several will not be available to the general public for several months. What were the coolest new items we discovered? Here’s a roundup of our 12 favorites—and a sneak peak at some products we’ll be reviewing more fully in the future:

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Airport Codes Made Fashionable

Spot Cool Stuff can get geeky when it comes to airport codes. Those three letter combinations unique to every airport, used on all manner of airline documents from tickets and checked bag tags, are familiar to every frequent air traveler. So it was only a matter of time before some one incorporated those codes into the design of travel gear.

That some one turned out to be Jason Solarek, a former journalist and diplomat in South America. Solarek apparently shares our love of airport codes because he’s made them central to his Airwear collection of products.

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7 Items for Reducing
Air Travel Frustration

Have you flown on a commercial flight recently? Ugh. Airlines are decreasing their level of service. Airports are increasing their level of security. Add to that delayed flights, crowded cabins and lost luggage and you have a recipe for frustration.

Spot Cool Stuff can’t do anything about the workings of the airline business. But we can recommend seven items that can help take some out of the stress out of air travel. Or at least help make the experience of it seem to go by faster.

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The Best BPA-Free Water Bottles

Want to reduce the environmental impact of your next trip? Bring your own water bottle. Particularly if you are traveling to a tropical destination where you’d otherwise buy (and then later throw out) plastic water bottles.

Thailand alone is littered with up to a billion (with a B!) plastic water bottles according to some estimates. And water bottles are also an issue in the developed world. In the Washington DC area 1 in 5 single-use plastic water bottles sold end up in a public waterway. In London single-use water bottles became such a problem that their sales were banned.

In the face of that you wouldn’t think that you could make much difference. But let’s say you and a partner go on a two week tropical trip and each drink three bottles of water per day. If you each bring your own reusable water bottles that alone will prevent 84 disposable ones from clogging land fills or being strewn across the landscape. That’s enough water bottles that, were they placed end to end, would be higher than an eight story building!

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10 Superb Gifts For Travelers

Shopping for a traveler you really can’t stand? You should click on over to our collection of the worst travel gear. For everyone else—those of you hoping to, you know, find a present that will make a traveler happy—we offer you these 10 suggestions, a cross section of products that will appeal to a variety of travelers from geeks to frequent fliers to travlelers of the armchair variety. If none of these are appealing, you can always purchase some one gallon zip lock bags to help them get through security!

And remember—there’s no reason you can’t give any of these items to yourself too.

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The Power Assisted Wheeled Suitcase
spot cool stuff TRAVEL

In the early days of commercial air travel people used those big trunks for their luggage, the ones that it took two people to carry. Then came the one-handle suitcase. Then the suitcase with wheels. And now comes the next step in of the evolutionary process: Live Luggage, a suitcase with power assisted wheels.

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