Tech Accessories Travel

Trix lets you keep outlets hidden up your sleeve. Or anywhere else.

Power strips have become a must-have tech accessory for people who travel a lot — or even for those who spend loads of time at Wi-Fi hot spots and desperately need to charge their smartphones, tablets and computers. All too often, one has to compete with others for only a couple of outlets, but toting a couple of outlets allows the power-starved to plug in and still let others juice up.

The Trix power strip is a very small (90mm x 90mm x 38mm) and colorful portable power strip with three AC outlets that makes it easy to plug in wall warts without worrying about them overlapping.  It also avoids having to drag along extra USB chargers since it has two USB ports in the fourth face of its X-like design. Trix costs $40 and will ship in September. Also planned is a Traveler’s Pack that adds a universal converter at $60, also coming in September. Its maker is hoping to raise $58,042 by April 30.

One edge that Trix has over theMonster’s Outlets To Go power strip is its design, which is smaller and easier to fit in a pocket.Trix’s curved design also makes it easier to grip. Its minimalism can also come in handy at home for preventing cable sprawl.

Organization Travel

McChi Luggage offers convenience for those on the go, makes airports more bearable

It’s been said that it’s not about the journey, but the destination. Well, most seasoned travelers would have to disagree. Actually trying to get somewhere, especially when air travel is involved, can be a huge pain.

McChi Luggage is a way for travelers to experience a bit more convenience than the airport has to offer. These bags not only hold stuff, but also convert into tabletops. This is especially useful, since airports always seem to lack flat surfaces to put stuff down on. McChi also features its very own USB charging station, perfect for phones and tablets. The luggage is made from either black or silver aluminum, and features two different table heights.

The creators of this luggage line, also the makers of the McChi Lock, have thought of two very important conveniences for travelers: tabletops and chargers. Both will surely make long trips much easier. This product is especially useful for sales or businesspeople who must remain organized in order to appear professional. Hopefully, the bags aren’t too heavy for travelers.

One will cost backers $240 for the carry-on model, and $260 for the mid-size model, with an expected delivery in July of this year. McChi hopes to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter by March 9.

Health and Wellness

Reach For Me does more than just alleviate your itch

One of the most annoying things is an itch on one’s back that is perfectly positioned to be completely unreachable.

Reach For Me offers an option that functions as more than just a back scratcher or shower brush. It has multiple attachments that also allow it to be used as a cream and sunblock applicator, exfoliating pad, massager, mirror, foot file, hair remover and fake tan applicator.

Since it folds up, it stores well and travels well, and the telescopic feature allows it to extend to the ideal length to suit one’s needs. This seems like a useful product worth checking into further, especially for those who do a lot of traveling. Jet setting backers might also want to check out NeXstep, Toiletries Bathroom Travel Case, PentaBox, and Flip Clip.

This campaign seeks to raise €40,000 (~$45,400 USD) by March 6. For €30 (~$34 USD), backers get one product with an expected delivery in April of this year.

Kids/Babies Luggage and Bags

Lugabug turns a rolling suitcase into a convenient seat for the little ones

Family vacations can be a lot of fun, and create some beautiful memories. But weary little legs can be taxing on the arms of mom or dad. Lugabug offers an innovative seating solution that fastens to a rolling suitcase with a couple of straps that clip together and slide over the suitcase handle. The child sits in the seat and can then be pulled along with the luggage through the airport, bus terminal, or train station.

There does not appear to be any type of seatbelt, but the seat seems to be fairly deep. Lugabug folds flat when not in use, and can double as an extra pocket that holds a couple magazines or a tablet. It’s recommended for children ages 2 or older, with a 70 pound weight limit.

This seems like a great idea for parents who like to do a lot of traveling with their little ones. Backers who love family vacations might also want to check out RuitBag and Share Foil. This campaign seeks to raise $25,000 in funding. Early bird backers get one product for $60, with an expected delivery in June.


Propane Porter keeps grill masters safely fueled while camping

Getting a propane tank from store to home is one thing. Transporting it to one’s favorite campsite is quite another. Propane Porter is designed to help those who love grilling and camping to transport this important item safely, and with some added organization conveniences for good measure. The product will be made of a double walled, polyethylene plastic, with two notches (an upper and lower) for appropriate restraining devices. It will be sturdy enough to use as a stool when flipped over, able to be used as a cooler, and there will be a spot for storing and toting cooking utensils for the grill.

This seems like a product that will work well. It will especially have great appeal to outdoor enthusiasts. And when it comes time to hook that tank up to the grill, backers might also appreciate having Loopy on hand. Other potentially useful items at the campsite include TrackBelt360, Ulta-Mitt and POD tents. This campaign seeks to raise $47,000 on Kickstarter. Backers get one product for $35, with an expected delivery of October 2015.

Chargers/Batteries Nutrition/Hydration

EFFIC mug holds coffee, charges smartphones too

For people on the go, a typical morning routine may include grabbing a coffee and checking smartphones. If that’s the case, the EFFIC mug may be the solution the connected crowd did not know they were looking for. The mug combines a traditional thermos with the utility of a smartphone charger all in one.

The mug comes in a variety of bright colors and is molded with an indent designed to hold a device with the help of a magnet. The other side of the magnet attaches directly to the smartphone. EFFIC uses an external lithium-ion battery that can fully charge a device up to three times. The inner container is made out of stainless steel and BPA-free plastic.

While it may be nice to have a device nestled in the side of a coffee mug, users may not want their smartphones right next to liquid. The company touts a leak-free lid, but most thermoses leak anyway. Pledging $5 or more gets backers the EFFIC mug for delivery in May 2015. The campaign is looking to raise at least $58,000 on Kickstarter.

Safety Travel

The Travel Guardian combines smoke detector and alarm clock for ultimate safety travel companion

Citing that 1.5 million homes in the UK are without a smoke alarm and that most people do not regularly check their smoke detector batteries the makers of the Travel Guardian suggest killing two birds with one stone with their product. They suggest that since most people regularly change alarm clock batteries, that adding a smoke detector to alarms will ensure that both are always ready to go.

Travel Guardian is a large clock display that comes in a variety of colors. Inside is the smoke detector. Backers that pledge £250 (~$380) will get a limited edition metallic gold edition unit.

If you are very concerned about the possibility of smoke or fire hazards while you travel, the Travel Guardian may be for you. However, it’s a little odd that this product is specifically for travelers since at least hotel accommodations definitely have both alarm clocks and smoke detectors. It’s also a huge drawback that the Travel Guardian doesn’t attach to the ceiling, so it really won’t detect smoke at the first opportunity. Backers that contribute £50 (~$75) get the regular edition of the unit. The campaign is seeking to raise £100,000 (~$150,700) on Indiegogo.

Personal Transportation

Pack your bags and get moving with the Coolpeds Solar Electric Scooter

Everyone knows how brutal those mile long treks can be to and from work. A comparable experience is trudging through the vast innards of most airports to the gate which is inevitably on the other side of the entrance. No one likes it, but still it must be done. No one says it can’t be made easier, though.

The Coolpeds Solar Electric Scooter is looking to make it easier to think about the long distances required when simply getting to work or traveling. The scooter combines an eco-friendly transportation option with the storage potential of a small piece of carry-on luggage. A compact brushless motor hub does the work in getting users places, while a USB port charges a wide-variety of common devices people use everyday, all while weighing in at a sprite 7kg. It just takes about three hours to fully charge, so users might be waiting around for a bit.

The Impossible Bike does a better job at the scooter part of the equation without any storage to speak of. In any case, the Coolpeds scooter is going for $399, $200 off its eventual retail price. The $59,000 Indiegogo campaign is looking to have the product shipped by April 2015.

Connected Objects Luggage and Bags

Trackase luggage offers GPS location services so you’ll never lose a bag again

One of the worst hassles of traveling is luggage. Some bags are expensive, but can barely hold up to a plane ride. Others are too heavy to tote around. And sometimes, even the perfect bag doesn’t prevent loss at an airport.

According to Trackase’s campaign, 21.8 million bags are mishandled each year. That’s why they’ve created a bag that will not only stand up to averse conditions, but one that also contains a tracker so the bag is never truly lost. Trackase is made from a type of plastic called polypropylene which is extremely durable. It can withstand temperatures up to 130°C and protects its contents from harmful chemicals. With a colorfast design, the bag won’t fade and can survive strong impact without falling apart.

The bag’s tracker uses cell phone towers to triangulate its position. There’s no need to fear about messing with the plane’s systems while in flight because the tracker only transmits a signal once the user’s cell phone is turned on. Using an accompanying app, it’s possible to see exactly where the bag is. This feature is especially helpful since some airports can take forever to locate a lost bag.

Luggage that can withstand the stress of travel is always welcome on the market. Not only does Trackase offer great design, versatile sizes and tracking capabilities, but it also offers peace of mind. One worry, however, is that the campaign doesn’t mention TSA regulations anywhere and claims that each bag has an internal locking system. Chances are, most airports won’t look kindly on a non-TSA approved lock. Still, backers can have their own super bag in the smallest carryon size for £160 (~$243). Trackase is hoping to raise £30,000 (~$45,500) on Kickstarter by early February.


ArmRestor keeps road warriors focused on enjoying their drive

Driving can be one of the best parts of taking a vacation. ArmRestor was created with the road warrior in mind, providing a comfortable and convenient resting place for that left arm.  Since it attaches to the inside panel of the door and window, it can be used with either the window opened or closed. The latch system makes it compatible with most modern vehicles.

As for those creature comforts, ArmRestor provides easy access to one’s water bottle and a place for tissues and coins. The product’s one drawback seems to be the plastic-looking covering rather than cloth, which means that it may be hot on the arm during the summer and cold during the winter. Overall, the product seems like it has some quality to it, and that it’s a great idea – especially for those who spend a lot of time driving. This campaign seeks to raise $16,000 after having canceled their original campaign back in November. Early bird backers get one product for $24 with an expected delivery of May 2015.