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Dec 21, 2015 – It’s Day 9 of the 12 Days of Dig and this is what we travel with. Here you will find the portables that give you some much needed relief. We give sound a check, boosted battery life, and snug up the satchel. This is the 12 Days of Dig, enjoy!
BITES OF SOUND.
When we travel we all need a decent source of sound. True, most laptops provide ample amplif ication, but nothing compared to what you get from small, portable, wireless speakers. There are tons of them on the market, but we like this sampling of sound. (1) The ECO Pebble ($60) is the smallest of the three. It’s waterproof and floats, can be mounted (mounts are optional), has a built-in microphone, Bluetooth, auxiliary jack, a hands-free speakerphone, is burly and rugged in design, and has a battery charge of about seven hours. While the sound is good, it’s not as good as the (2) ECO Rox ($130)—which is longer and thinner and maintains the same characteristics as the Pebble, but has a 10- to 12-hour battery life and better sound. (3) The Soen Transit XS ($130) has the slickest design of the three. Though it’s not waterproof, it’s also wireless, has a built-in mic, rubber protection in case of drops, a long-life rechargeable battery (about eight hours) and can be mounted (mounts are optional). Of the three, it carries the best sound quality. All three are solid speakers that can be charged via USB, or plugged into the auxiliary plug on your laptop. Most importantly, each packs a good sound punch that can be easily slipped into a spare pocket of your travel bag.
More: ecoxgear.com; soenaudio.com
TODDY GEAR’S THE MONEYMAKER TECH PACK: BOOST+
There’s nothing cool about running out of juice. Whether it’s your phone or MP3 player or anything else that requires USB connection, it’s always nice to have a safety net. Rather than a bulky phone case with a built-in charger, we like to carry this little gem. It’s small and stylish and packs a serious charging punch. The system comes with a 2200mAH power bank, a USB to micro-USB cable (you can also use your own gadget power cord), a 5-by-7 microfiber smart cloth to keep things shiny, and a dual-purpose microfiber pouch to keep things organized. It’s an inexpensive safety net for just $25.
Cost: $25 More: toddygear.com
BOOQ BOA NERVE
We have to admit, we’re more backpack folks, but recently we received the Boa Nerve and were surprised at how versatile it is. It took us a few minutes to figure out the best way to strap it, but once that was figured it out we were dialed. Part of the frustration of commuting with messenger bags is that some get sloppy and flail around on your back. This one does not. The shoulder strap is comfortable and lightweight with a magnetic buckle, while the stabilizer strap, though tiny and nearly unnoticeable, creates the stability on your back. Inside and out, there’s no shortage of cubbies and zipped pockets (with really good zippers) and, of course, a padded compartment for your laptop (up to 15 inches). A tarpaulin exterior keeps everything dry on the inside and a rugged nylon interior keeps the structure sturdy. Overall it’s a pretty normal footprint, but we were surprised at the expansion. It was easy to fit a pair of shoes, cycling gear, a laptop, a bottle of gin, a bike lock and some snacks. The bag also comes with a Terralinq serial number, a service operated by booq designed to help you recover your lost bag. It’s an interesting idea—though all you’ll get back is your bag because the gin and laptop will be long gone. Cost: $195 More: booqbags.com