Travel Gadget

The Cool Headlamp That Matches the Angle of your Eyes, Not Head

Adaptive headlights — headlights that anticipate the direction you want to look and orient their spotlight that way — were first introduced on consumer automobiles in 1948. But it wasn’t until 2014 that the same functionality to found its way into a portable headlamp of the sort you’d use for camping. That’s when Snow Peak started selling the Mola — the most significant advance in headlamps since the introduction of the LED bulb.

Here’s how it works:
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Gifts for Tech-Loving Travelers

Most readers of this blog have people on their gift list who love traveling with gadgets. Okay, most readers of this blog are people who love traveling with gadgets.

Yet hardly anyone has all five (or even one) of the cool gift suggestions reviewed below, gifts designed to help tech-loving travelers watch, hear, power and organize their gadgetry better. Our selections each range from $9 to $299 and come with a WOW factor!

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The Brilliant New Kindle Paperwhite
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The Kindle Paperwhite is the most commercially successful eBook reader ever. It’s also the best eBook reader ever, at least in our opinion. So it would have been easy for Amazon to leave the Paperwhite alone.

We’re thrilled they didn’t.

The new version of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite eBook Reader, aka the 6th generation, manages to improve on an already stellar product. The three new features Spot Cool Stuff especially likes:

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Powers Your Gadgets, Looks Like a Coffee Cup
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The cup holder might be the greatest innovation in automobile design since the steering wheel. Not only can the cup holder power you through a late night caffeinated drive, it can also power a smartphone, a laptop and a coffee maker — all at the same time! At least it can when your cup holder is holding a PowerLine PowerCup Inverter.

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BioLite: The World’s Coolest Camping Stove

Heretofore, Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite camping stove was the Jetboil. The gas-burning stove is compact, light weight and seems to have an accessory for every type of cooking. But, recently, the Jetboil was eclipsed as our choice for The World’s Coolest Camping Stove by a new offering: the BioLite CampStove.

The BioLite can do two things that no other easily portable camping stove in the world can do (or, at least do well):

• The BioLite runs on twigs. No charcoal, fuel canisters or logs required.

• The BioLite can charge a smartphone or MP3 player or most any small electronic device that can be charged via a USB outlet.

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Best Tablet Computers for Travel

There are few better items to travel with than a tablet computer. A tablet can be your map, your guidebook and your reading library, your entertainment system, your photo storage and editing device and your means of communicating with friends back home—all in one highly portable package.

The qualities that make for a tablet good for travel are generally the same as those that make a tablet good for other purposes too. When you are on the road, though, weight and build-quality become especially important. Travelers tend to use their tablet for longer between charges and so there’s a premium on battery life. Camera quality is important, partly for taking photos, partly for making Skype video calls. Other qualities to consider in your tablet travel companion include the availability of expansion ports, the quality of the screen (especially for use in direct sunlight), the selection of travel apps and, of course, the price.

With that, here’s Spot Cool Stuff’s take on the best tablet computer to take traveling. Read on, your click on the category that most interests you:

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The Portable 6-Gadget Charger
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Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Sony and other big tech companies have been working hard to create all-in-one gadgets with multiple functionality. But a funny thing happened as they designed gadgets that do more—consumers bought more gadgets. Between smart phones, portable gaming devices, tablet computers, digital cameras, Bluetooth headsets, GPS navigation systems and the like, lots of people now travel with more electronics than ever before.

And that means they travel with more gadgets that need charging than ever before.

To the rescue comes the Chargepod, a mobile charging and plug adapter system that can charge up to six devices at once.

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The Beach Towel With Built-In Speakers
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The Italian company hi-Fun specializes in adding speakers to items that aren’t necessarily improved by their addition. (They also seem expert at added a “hi-” prefix to their product names). The company makes the hi-Sleep, which is a pillow with built-in speakers. There’s the hi-Head, a hat with built-in speakers. And the hi-George is a teddy bear that can both hug an iPod and blast tunes out of its feet.

The hi-product that most caught our attention? The hi-Sun—a beach towel with built-in speakers.

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