Travel Gear Reviews

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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6 Travel-Related Stocking Stuffers
(For Under $10)

Here’s a challenge: Find a gift for a frequent traveler that’s very light weight and easy to pack. Make it something cool and creative. Only pick items that your gift recipient is extremely unlikely to already own. And, oh yeah, your gift can’t cost more than US$10.

Spot Cool Stuff recently went shopping with those exact criteria in mind. Here’s our review of five cool travel-related gifts we found. Each makes for a great stocking stuffer. But there’s no rule saying you can’t shop for yourself too.

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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 Best Wheeled Carry-On Bags

Spot Cool Stuff never checks our luggage if we can avoid doing so. Like most frequent fliers, we travel with a wheeled bag that will fit through the airport security x-ray and into an airplane’s overhead compartment. Unlike most frequent fliers, we also run a travel review blog and are fanatical about travel gear. So we’ve spent a lot of time researching the best wheeled carry-on bags. A lot of time. From conception, through research and writing, this post has been 11 months in the making.

Why so long? Partly because the market is flooded with rollaboard luggage options. But mostly because no single wheeled carry-on stood out to us as being absolutely better than all the others. As with so many products, the “best” option depends on what an individual consumer is looking for.

Given that, we focused on the best wheeled carry-on bag in five different categories. Factors we considered in making our selection included build quality, value for the price, looks, weight, cargo capacity (while staying under the 22-inch maximum height requirements that many airlines set for carry-on luggage) and bag features.

Read on. Or click on the category that appeals to you most:

Best Organizational System Wheeled Carry-On
Best Compression (and Expandable) Wheeled Carry-On
Best Hard Side Wheeled Carry-On
Best Lightweight Wheeled Carry-On
Best Wheeled Carry-On For Laptops

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Have Wood Burning Spa Will Travel

Spot Cool Stuff adores glamping travel. Glamorous camping can get you out into a natural environment in the same way tent camping does. But it combines that with touches of luxury like you might find at a high-end hotel. After spending much of our youth backpacking on a rock-bottom budget, we think we’ve earned a bit of luxury.

Much of what we write about glamping on this travel blog concerns resorts that combine aspects of roughing it with aspects of being pampered. (Our review of these 5 especially wondering glamping spots is a good place to start reading about those). We also appreciate products that let travelers create their own glamping experience. Our favorite of those might be this:

The Dutchtub.

It’s like a personal hot-springs-to-go. If you have a tub-sized patch of flat ground, wood and 200 gallons (750 liters) worth of water or snow you can have your own spa virtually anywhere.

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The Brilliant New Kindle Paperwhite
spot cool stuff TRAVEL

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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Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others

You are with a group of friends hiking in the tropics, or fishing in a swamp, or doing pretty much anything in the state of Floria, and at the end of your day you discover that some members of your group are covered with mosquito bites while others have none.

Sound familiar? That bite disparity is not a product of your imagination and it’s not the result of luck. Mosquitoes genuinely prefer some people over others. Here’s a look at the types of people most at risk — and ways anyone can help prevent themselves from being bitten:

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The Sazzi Decimal Sandal
spot cool stuff TRAVEL

If you had to spend an entire vacation wearing no other footwear besides a pair of flip-flops which model would you want to take?

Spot Cool Stuff has been busy lately researching this exact question. We’ve been testing more than two dozen pairs of flip-flops across several categories. But there’s one model we are already certain will make our final cut: the Sazzi Decimal Sandal.

One needn’t look at a Sazzi Decimal for more an instant to spot its two most pronounced features: the four toe posts and the footbed with individual toe cutouts.

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