10 gifts for frequent travelers in 2023, from backpacks to portable power

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been traveling a lot this year. In fact, I’ve been aback to my 2019 levels of travel, which has been a animation of beginning air afterwards actuality pandemic-grounded for a brace of years.

I like to acknowledgment to this account every time TechCrunch does a allowance guide. It’s a acceptable befalling for me to appraise whether I’m packing as calmly as I could be. I would like to anticipate I’ve got this affair bottomward to a science, but the adorableness of actuality a hardware editor is that there’s consistently new being to try out.

If you’ve got a common flier in your life, here’s a account of biking ability active the area from beneath than $20 to added than $1,000, several of which are now accessible at a abatement for anniversary and Black Friday deals. There’s article on actuality for every affectionate of tech-obsessed travel.

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Tom Bihn Synik 30 Backpack

Price: $330 at Tom Bihn

Image Credits: Tom Bihn

If you’ve apparent me in the accomplished several years, allowance are my Timbuk2 haversack was abutting by. I still adulation the affair (the adeptness to aggrandize its centralized aggregate is indispensable), but this seemed like a acceptable time to agitate things up and try article new.

Tom Bihn is one of those companies I’ve heard about over the years, but whose articles I’d never absolutely tried. The 51-year-old close seems to accept able a analogously adherent afterward as adolescent Seattle casting Filson (if you anytime see Devin Coldewey in person, ask him his thoughts on waxed canvas). Neither are absolutely a domiciliary name alfresco the PNW, but those who apperceive them assume to adulation them.

When I told CEO Cindy Guan that I was alive on a biking roundup, she recommended the Synik 30, and I anticipate that’s the appropriate alarm for my needs. For starters, it can fit laptops up to 16 inches — ideal for the 15-inch MacBook Air that’s been my biking accompaniment for the accomplished brace of years.

Beyond that, it’s aloof an all-around advised and attractive artefact (digging the abysmal Wilderness Ballistic blooming color) with abounding space, a ton of pockets and removable/customizable elements. It’s not cheap, though. The aggregation offers some added affordable options, but the Synik is affluence abiding and acceptable for both biking and circadian commutes, so you’ll get affluence of breadth out of the bag. It’s calmly one of the best backpacks I’ve anytime tested.

Anker 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe

Price: $150 at Anker

Image Credits: Anker

Anker articles are about a safe bet. They’re aerial quality, after the aforementioned exceptional tax as a aggregation like Mophie. The casting has additionally been innovating anatomy factors absolutely a bit. This 3-in-1 charger is berserk bunched and able-bodied ill-fitted for suitcases. It ships as a cube that folds out to allegation a MagSafe accordant iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at the aforementioned time.

The arrangement supports 15 watt fast charging, while the MagSafe pad appearance an adjustable angle, so it can bifold assignment in standby mode. No charge to await on the auberge all-overs alarm with this sitting abutting to your bedside.

At $150, it’s a acceptable accord added than aloof affairs a USB cable and bank adapter, but you’re bigger accepting three chargers in one carriageable anatomy agency that will chargeless up a lot of biking space.

Apple MacBook Air 15-inch

Price: $1,049 at Amazon

Apple 15-inch M2 MacBook Air

Image Credits: Brian Heater

The M1 and M2 chips accept been such massive gamechangers for travel. When I’m activity decidedly cornball for my earlier struggles, I’ll anamnesis my canicule liveblogging for Engadget, back I had to accompany alternating a massive ability case to accomplish abiding my laptop would survive the accomplished thing.

These days, however, I fly cantankerous country after attention for charging up my Air. Let’s be honest, the outlets below the seats on Delta are a absolute crapshoot anyway. This is the laptop we consistently capital the Air to be, but constraints on processing ability and array activity consistently fell short.

As ability go, it’s an big-ticket one. But added so than any added account on this list, this is an investment. If you’re not able to beddy-bye on planes, at atomic you can assuredly get some absolute assignment done.

Ozlo Sleepbuds

Price: $229 at Indiegogo

COO Brian Mulcahey models Ozlo's Sleepbuds

Image Credits: Brian Heater

I’m activity to do a affair I don’t usually do and acclaim a artefact I’ve not had the adventitious to try yet. I’ve got some acceptance in the aggregation abaft the Ozlo Sleepbuds, accustomed their pedigrees that played a analytical role in the conception of Bose’s version. The aggregation is additionally bent to fix some of the aboriginal ‘buds better issues, including their disability to beck music.

I consistently acquainted like Bose’s two swings at the artefact fell aloof abbreviate of greatness. That’s a bummer, as I’m a historically abhorrent sleeper and I absolutely capital to like the things. Attempting to beddy-bye in approved earbuds and over-ear headphones is a bit of a daydream scenario, so I’m absolutely affairs for the artefact to be as acceptable as it sounds.

We’ll accumulate you adapted on the assured review. Meantime, you can preorder a brace over on Indiegogo for $229 — that’s $20 beneath than the Bose Sleepbuds II. How abundant are you accommodating to pay for a bigger night’s sleep?

Nintendo Switch Lite

Price: $199 at Amazon

Nintendo Switch Lite

Image Credits: Brian Heater

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild apparently adored me from accident my apperception during the aboriginal months of the pandemic. Tears of the Kingdom had a agnate aftereffect on me beforehand this year. The Switch Lite is a abundant little carriageable arrangement that’s ideal for continued even rides and during blow at the hotel.

The better differences amid the Lite and accustomed Switch are size, weight and a abridgement of TV connectivity. Because of the latter, the Joycons aren’t removable. If you ahead the animate spending a lot of time on the road, those sacrifices are added than account it — not to acknowledgment the lower amount point.

The Switch is accepting a bit continued in the tooth, six years afterwards its release, but Nintendo has complete a absurd library of amateur in that time — not to acknowledgment acceptance to earlier agreeable through Switch Online. My better complaint charcoal the array life, so absolutely bethink to backpack that USB-C cable and about-face on Airplane approach back able.

Apple AirTags 4-Pack

Price: $80 at Amazon

Image Credits: Apple

My advice? Buy the four-pack. I affliction not accomplishing that initially. I’ve back added AirTags to my keychain, wallet and baggage tag. As an about comically absent being with a lot of all-overs (great combination!), these things are account the amount for the accord of apperception alone. Heck, I acclimated the active complete to acquisition my keys central my blowzy accommodation about an hour ago.

If you’re an Android user, there are additionally some abundant alternatives out there from Tile, Chipolo and Samsung. They’re all great, almost bargain ability that about anyone can acquisition a use for — common travelers, in particular.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

Price: $239 at Amazon

Image Credits: Brian Heater

The aboriginal Kindle DX was a bit of a dud. I doubtable attached a product’s successes to people’s admiration to apprehend newspapers in their aboriginal architecture via slow-loading e ink didn’t abduction the public’s acuteness as Amazon had hoped. Since then, there’s been actual little in the way of aberration from the accepted six-inch screen.

The 10.2-inch affectation was acumen abundant to accomplish me analysis out the Scribe. I absolutely like the beyond format, and the big Kindle has been a connected accoutrement in my haversack anytime since. The accomplished acquaintance has opened up absolutely a bit with the accession of Send-to-Kindle, a browser-based affection that let’s you annoyance and bead agreeable that will be beatific to your accessory the abutting time you blaze it up.

Of course, the absolute affairs point — as the name implies — is the adeptness to doodle addendum on the device. It’s the aboriginal Kindle to action that functionality. I’ve been reminded the adamantine way that my accounting is abundant smoother than my script, but the on-device autography apprehension is mercifully forgiving.

A year of Clear

Price: $189

Long curve at the United Airlines admission adverse at Denver International Airport in 2015

Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Turns out air biking can absolutely be appealing nice — if you’re accommodating to pay. If you acquisition yourself in several airports a year, this is one advancement that can absolutely absolve the cost. A Clear canyon will advice you abstain the generally abhorrent aegis curve at airports. It alike gives you a leg up on association with TSA Pre-Check.

It’s a abundant allowance abstraction because it’s the affectionate of affair a lot of bodies would never anticipate to buy for themselves. Once you’ve got it, however, it’s adamantine to apperceive how you lived that continued after it.

Beshon Flat Plug Power Strip

Price: $13 at Amazon

Image Credits: Beshon

Several years ago, I started packing a miniature ability strip, and it’s been a bold changer. While it’s accurate that added and added hotels are including in-room ports, you never apperceive what you’re activity to acquisition until you accessible that door. Save yourself the affliction of swapping plugs all night with one of these.

There are a ton of options out there — mostly at appealing acceptable prices. I like this one, because it’s nice and compact, while packing in three outlets, a brace of USB-C ports and one USB-A, because you never know. It’s additionally a benefit for all-embracing travel, because you alone charge a distinct adapter.

Belkin iPhone Camera Mount

Price: $23 at Amazon

Apple Belkin Continuity Camera

Apple Belkin Continuity Camera macOS. Image Credits: Brian Heater

My newest accession to the account has been addition gamechanger for me. While it’s accurate that Apple bigger its laptop cameras a brace of years back, the video affection still leaves abundant to be desired. If you accept a Mac and an iPhone, the Continuity Camera affection break the bold advanced open.

I’ve been application the iPhone 15 Pro Max for assignment calls on the road, and annihilation abbreviate of hooking up a DSLR to your computer comes close. This MagSafe accent is a bargain accession to the armory that you can accumulate in your haversack and balloon until you charge it.

This column originally appear November 3, and has been adapted to reflect adapted appraisement and deals.

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