Best Airline-Inspired Products For Home And Travel

Most souvenirs remind us of travel to a specific place, but how about products to remind us of the journey? Some crafty designers have made home and travel products inspired by (or even made of) airplane designs.


Baggage tag: You can use your initials or your favorite airport code on the baggage tag design of this messenger bag ($129).

Beverage cart: Ever thought those narrow beverage carts would look cool in your home? Bordbar has vintage and new customized beverage carts from 329 euro for a small galley box, 979 euro for the full size trolley.

Boarding pass: With mobile phone check-in, paper boarding passes might soon be a thing of the past. Take your laptop out for security in this snazzy sleeve, which you can customize with your name and flight info ($28.95-32.95).

Flotation device: The same designer as the belt below has taken flotation devices and fashioned them into sleeves for the iPad and iPhone, but we still wouldn’t recommend getting them wet (49-69 euro).

Remove before flight tag: Rather than wear one of those funny-looking neck pillows, use one made with an aircraft tag, complete with a loop for carrying. Don’t feel you have to follow the “remove before flight” instructions though, it works perfectly on a plane or at home ($25).

Safety card: You shouldn’t actually take the safety card from the seat pocket, but you shouldn’t leave your passport there either. Keep it safe with this $20 passport holder (slim wallet also available, $18).

Seat belt: Stay buckled in for safety with a white belt made with a real airplane belt (79 euro). Keep in mind you’ll likely still have remove it for TSA security.

Gadling Gear Review: Zippo Stainless Steel Wallet

Last week we reviewed an excellent backpack from Tumi that featured a pocket that is specially designed to protect against the theft of data via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. RFID chips are now being incorporated in our credit cards, smartphones, passports and other commonly used items in order to pass information while in close proximity to a device designed to read them. But less-scrupulous people have found a way to hack those chips to gain access to that information, which has added another challenge to keeping our data and identities safe.

Zippo, the company that is so well known for its iconic lighters, has designed a new wallet that is built to protect against RFID theft. The wallet features a stainless steel outer shell that suppresses the signal sent from an RFID chip. This makes it much more difficult for thieves to detect the signal, let alone hack it and obtain access to the data contained within. Considering the fact that so many new credit cards are being issued with these chips, you can see how this could be a very useful feature.

The stainless steel shell doesn’t just serve as an extra layer of protection against high-tech identity theft; however, it also gives this product its own unique look. Zippo’s wallet certainly isn’t like any other that I’ve ever seen and it garnered more than a few comments when I’ve taken it out in public. It has an attractive and distinctive look about it that caught the attention of just about everyone who has spotted it, with most asking where I had gotten it. It has a certain masculine appeal that is uniquely its own and makes it a great gift idea for the man who has everything.Inside, the wallet has enough slots to accommodate up to six credit cards and includes a designated window that specifically allows for quick access to a drivers license or other form of identification. It also has a money pocket, although unlike a traditional wallet, the bills need to be folded in order to make them fit. For my needs, this is plenty of storage capacity, but if you’re one of those people whose wallet is a bit like a mobile office, you may be put off by the minimal amount of space available. There isn’t a lot of room to stuff business cards or receipts for example and if you prefer to carry a lot of cash, it may be tough to squeeze it all into the relatively small bill holder. I’m the type of person who keeps his bills organized in order by ascending value, which allows me to quickly find $1, $5 or $20 bills. But it isn’t possible to do that with this wallet, which I found to be a minor annoyance.

Carrying around a stainless steel wallet also takes a bit of getting use to. Obviously, it is far more rigid than a typical leather wallet and there were times when I’d sit down on a hard surface, only to be reminded of this fact. It definitely has a different feel in your pocket, although after using it for a week or two, it quickly became an afterthought. But the metal outer-shell does provide a level of protection for the contents of the wallet that you don’t get elsewhere and you won’t worry about having one of your credit cards snap when you sit down on it.

The Zippo stainless steel wallet carries a price tag of $49.95, which is actually a very reasonable price for a product like this. I’ve certainly paid more for a traditional leather wallet in the past and those tend to all look alike and offer no form of protection from RFID hacking. This wallet certainly has its own look and appeal, and if you don’t mind its minimalist approach to how much it can carry, you’ll likely be very happy with what Zippo has created here. Unlike leather, the stainless steel outer shell isn’t likely to wear out over time either, which means you’re practically buying a wallet for life. This is a great new spin on a product that most men carry with them every day and I think it’ll be a hit with its intended audience.

[Photo: Zippo]

Five stylish items that save time in a security check

We’ve all been there. A security check procedure goes something like this – untie and remove shoes, unbuckle and remove belt, take out wallet, drop keys in the bowl, dig into your bag for your laptop, then step through the metal detector only to discover you had change in your pocket.

It’s an annoying process but one set in place to keep us all safe. So we deal with it. Seasoned travelers know there are shortcuts for the security hubbub and travel goods manufacturers are constantly innovating new products that help us get to our gates a little quicker. Here are five products that fit the bill.

Jimi Wallet
The beauty of the Jimi lies in it’s simplicity. The basic clamshell design and minimalist approach are ideal for those who know how to pare down to the essentials when traveling. With room for a few credit/debit cards, an ID, an insurance card, and a few bills the Jimi forces the user to keep it simple. Its translucent water resistant casing is versatile enough for a trip to the beach or a hike in the hills. The included money clip is also made of plastic and won’t set off the sirens as you breeze through security. All this coolness comes in under $15. The Jimi shows us that plastic wallets aren’t just for kids.

Kavu Burly Belt
Belts are often forgotten as a flier strolls into the metal detector. Then it’s back through the scanner or into the dreaded plastic booth for a pleasant wanding. Kavu has taken a similar approach to our friend the Jimi Wallet. The Kavu Burly Belt uses a plastic fastener for a buckle and doesn’t incorporate metal anywhere in the design. The trippy designs on the webbing that makes up the strap will make your more outdoorsy friends jealous.

Chaco Flip Pro
“pictured above”
This uber-cool flop, available in men’s and women’s models, sports a webbing upper and a rubber lower. The sole is Vibram and is designed to grip all types of terrain. Unlike many flip flops the Flip Pro also keeps feet comfy for the long haul by including an arch. The advantage to flops in the security line are obvious; simply slip out and slide through.Kelty Platform
This day pack is a workhorse in disguise. The rugged exterior gives the Platform a casual appearance but hides some handy features. The ventilated back panel deters a sweaty back when traveling in hot or humid conditions. The strap-to-sling carry configuration allows two ways to carry the bag. But the feature that will help you get past security with lightning speed is the laptop side zipper. This long zipper runs down the side of the pack and accesses only the laptop compartment to allow for a quick grab as you enter the line.

Tech4o Traileader Pro
Who says a plastic watch can’t look professional? The Traileader Pro boasts not only the ability to slip through security without removal but is also packed with features that could prove useful if your destination includes outdoor activities. The Traileader Pro has a built-in compass, barometer, altimeter, and weather forecast for the more adventurous trips.

By upgrading a few items in your travel kit to non-metal accessories and items designed for quick action you will be through security quicker and on to the coffee shop on the other side to check your email. With that said, there are never any guarantees that the guy in front of you won’t have a pocket full of quarters.

Keep your wallet in your front pocket – International travel tip

Time and again, tourists come home from vacation having had their wallet stolen. In many countries, the locals have certain tricks to distract you so they can steal your wallet. Keeping it in your back pocket is potentially a bad idea, because you can’t see it or feel it if someone moves it.

Be smart while traveling in unfamiliar places: transfer your wallet to your front pocket. Consider attaching a clip to it to tie it to your belt loop. This should prevent any petty theft from happening, and you will always know where your wallet is.