Travel Gear Reviews

Cool Backpacks For Photographers

We bring our camera with us almost everywhere when we travel. So, almost everywhere we travel, we need a backpack that is protective to our camera and comfortable to us. And our backpack must to be built to endure the rigors of road. And we’d like it to look cool. And, oh yeah, maybe our backpack should have a paddled sleeve for our laptop?

After testing out most of the leading camera backpacks here are the four we’ve found to be the best:

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Backpack, Meet Wheels.
Wheels, Backpack.

This post has been updated—see our new review of the Osprey Meridian (and Sojourn) Wheeled Backpack Convertibles.

space Backpack, Meet Wheels. <br>Wheels, Backpack.

In the comments section of our recent overview of cool gifts for travelers, Cate, blogger extraordinaire over at The Caffeinated Traveler, saw our inclusion of the Osprey Meridian Wheeled Backpack and exclaimed “I knew there had to be something out there for my travel needs!”

Cate is not alone in those sentiments.

When headed on a multi-day hike then obviously you bring a backpack. When going on a business trip a wheeled bag is ideal. But what if your trip is something between those? Or a combination of both? Perhaps you are headed on an adventurous trip to Thailand, wanting a backpack to roam across beaches and through mountain jungles but wanting a wheeled bag to navigate the airport and to arrive at Bangkok’s Metropolitan Hotel for a luxury stop at the end of your trip.

For flashpackers, for urban explorers and for anyone who has faced a tough choice between bringing a backpack on a trip and bringing a wheeled bag your luggage of choice is: the Osprey Meridian. Backpack, Meet Wheels. <br>Wheels, Backpack.

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Cool Gifts For Travelers

Spot Cool Stuff knows lots of people who take their travel seriously. For them we try to pick out a travel-related gift. Because we take our travel gear seriously.

Here are some gift suggestions for the traveler in your life. Let’s start with our favorite travel gadget of 2008 . . .

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Have Wine Will Travel

If you are heading to the Napa Valley or Bordeaux or the wineries of around Cape Town, or perhaps you are going to a picnic or outdoor concert, here are some ways for transporting and chilling your wine Spot Cool Stuff style:

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With its sleek aerodynamic profile, the Bikamper Bikamper biking tent from Topeak looks cool when it is set up. But its two best qualities can not be captured in a photograph:

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APC, The Truly Universal Plug Adapter

Most so-called universal plug adapters aren’t. Universal, that is. They are capable of converting between the most common outlets like the C-type (used in much of Europe) and the A-type (North America and Japan). But your typical plug adapter can’t conform to the M-type of plug (southern Africa) or L-type (northern Africa and the Middle East). Some even have a hard time with the “sunken” plugs used in Europe, like the J-type (common in Switzerland) or F-Type (found in Germany).

The APC is one of the few universal plug adapters that can handle every residential outlet type on the planet. And it is by far the smallest and most lightweight of those that can. The APC is so efficient because it consists of two parts, each of which can be twisted, turned and attached together in a multitude of ways such that its users can be forgiven for thinking that they are playing with a transformer toy. The design is unusual, but it works. Always. Making the APC adapter one of Spot Cool Stuff’s must-pack items for any international trip.


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The Sweet Smell of Magic (Soap)

For staying clean on a roughing-it trip there’s no better friend than magic soap.

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Georg Jensen Voyage Passport Holder

Ruggedness and smart design meet in this passport holder from the Norwegian online store Dansk Design. The sleek stainless steel exterior keeps a passport safe from harm. But what’s really cool is the card slot — it’s located at the top of the passport holder making it easy to slide out your ID or credit card.


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