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:
You just hopped off of a two-hour flight that had no meal service. You are connecting to a four-hour flight, which, of course, doesn’t provide meal service either. And you don’t have much time during your layover.
In such a situation, how can you get a hot meal? As it happens, there’s now an app for that.
Specifically the B4YouBoard app. It lets you pre-order and pay for a restaurant meal and have it delivered directly to you at your departure gate. It’s like room service for the airport.
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.
Back in 2009, we reviewed the Bergmönch—a scooter that transforms into a backpack.
In 2011, one of the stars of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Show was the Skyver Ortovox—a scooter that transforms into a backpack.
Yes, everything old being new again. But Spot Cool Stuff is thrilled to see the Ortovox get such attention. (And we’re happy to lend our voice to it.)
A year ago we previewed the Klymit Inertia X-Frame, a minimalist sleeping pad that weighs a mere 9.1 ounces (258g).
The Inertia X-Frame looks a bit like a balloon animal that’s gone horribly wrong, but is surprisingly comfortable to sleep on. It is surprisingly warm too—the pad’s “loft pockets” allow sleeping bag insulation to expand a bit, thus trapping extra hot air.
At the time it came out, the Inertia X-Frame was the world’s lightest sleeping pad. That title has since been usurped by a newly released Klymit product: the Inertia X-Lite. For those willing to carry a few extra ounces in exchange for a whole lot of extra sleeping luxury, check out the Klymit Inertia XL.
Our look at both of these Klymit offerings:
Skijoring, a sport that originated in Norway, involves a dog pulling a human who is on skis.
A new product from Ruff Wear aims to take the “ski” out of skijoring. The appropriately named Omnijore is a dog harness that allows master and pooch to go joring with the former riding atop all manner of moving objects, including bicycles, roller skates or even mountainboards!
The Omnijore system works through a well-researched combination of three items:
Shoes are luggage space hogs. When we pack shoes we usually stuff the insides with socks and underwear. But we like this idea better: Shoes that fold up. Like the colorful Timberland Radler Trail Camp line.
Radler Trail Camps don’t only fold closed. They zip closed too. That thanks to the zipper that rings the shoe’s 42% recycled rubber lug outsole. (The zipper, fortunately, is mostly hidden from view when the shoe is open). When zipped closed, a 225g (8 oz) Radler Trail Camp is compact enough to fit into a jacket pocket.
On the inside of an item of clothing made by Icebreaker—a wonderful manufacturer of activewear using a merino wool fiber layering system—you’ll find the usual tag with machine washing care instructions.
Below that you’ll find another tag that isn’t so usual, one that contains a unique nine digit code.
Using that code you can go to the internet and see exactly where the sheep live that provided the merino wool for that specific garment!