It can be easy to pick up tech products and accessories that end up serving a single purpose or don’t end up being used as much as you imagined. That’s even truer during the holidays when discounts and deals abound. In the spirit of high functionality and usefulness, let’s take a look at some of the best travel tech out there that you or your loved ones will also find valuable for everyday use at home or the office.
I’ve been using all of the products in this gift guide over the last year and they’ve all proven to be so useful that they’ve become my go-to accessories whether it’s a weekend trip, extended travel, or just working out of a coffee shop. But what I love even more about these products is their utility isn’t limited to work and life on the move. I’ve consistently found them all valuable in everyday use.
Ekster wallets – compact, high quality, Siri support
I hadn’t heard of Ekster until earlier this year and I’ve been really impressed with its products. You know when you discover a new company that’s just making something so sharp that you’re always sharing it with your friends and family? Ekster is one of those brands for me.
Ekster makes beautiful, high-quality leather wallets with a fantastic quick access mechanical button that fans your cards out in a way that makes it easy to grab the one you want. It’s a really fun and satisfying feature that you get to enjoy every time you need to use a card.
Ekster Vachetta Parliament in Brescia Bronze
There’s also a slick optional solar-powered Chipolo card that brings Siri functionality and location tracking and pinging.
Ekster makes a range of compact and highly functional wallet options. It’s flagship Parliament comes in a variety of beautiful finishes and holds 6 cards in the quick access portion with additional card slots as well as a spot for cash and more.
From left to right: Chipolo/Ekster tracking card with Siri support, Vachetta Parliament Wallet, and Secretary Cardholder
If you’re looking for an even slimmer option, the Secretary Cardholder is a great choice. Stay tuned for a full review of these great wallets.
Satechi 75W Dual Type-C Travel Charger and 72W USB-C Car Charger
These two products make everyday life with tech smoother by keeping your devices charged up on the move or at home/work. First up the Satechi 75W Dual Type-C Travel Charger.
Even though this charger has “Travel” in its name, it’s perfect as an everyday charger for Apple users at home or the office in addition to on the go. As the name implies, it has 2 USB-C PD ports and 2 USB-A ports.
One USB-C port puts out 60W and the other 18W. The 2 USB-A ports have a total output of 12W. Even though it’s not the full 87W of output that the Apple charger delivers, I’ve been using this as my everyday and travel charger for my 15-inch MacBook Pro + iPad Pro setup. Even during my peak work hours, it keeps up just fine.
My colleague Zac first wrote about the 72W Type-C Car Charger from Satechi back in August and included it in his gift guide this year after finding it super valuable. I love this thing so much I had to mention it again. This is the first car charger that offers enough power to truly keep up with MacBooks while in use without having to buy DC to AC inverters. In addition to the 60W USB-C port, you get a 12W USB-A port.
Even better, at the time of writing the Type-C Car Charger is on sale for just $20 (reg. $30).
When I want to keep things as slim and simple as possible, I reach for a wallet case for my iPhone. Over the years I’ve tried dozens of different ones and have narrowed down my favorites to two, Mujjo and JimmyCase.
When I’m going for the lowest profile I put on the Mujjo iPhone wallet case. These iPhone wallet cases fit two cards (you could probably stretch the leather to fit 3 but that’s kinda pushing it).
Even though they’re slim, I’ve found them really protective. I’ve accidentally dropped my iPhone 11 Pro on two different occasions face down on concrete from about 4 feet and I’ve escaped any damage.
Another aspect to point out, if you like Apple’s first-party leather cases, you’ll likely love Mujjo. They’ve got the same open bottom design with a microfiber inner lining.
From left to right, JimmyCase in Sketch, JimmyCase in Black Maple, Mujjo iPhone 11 Pro wallet case
JimmyCase iPhone wallet cases take a unique approach that offers more utility than most other options without becoming bulky. The use of a durable elastic for the wallet around beautifully finished wood creates a sharp look and very functional wallet.
Using elastic for the wallet means you can fit up to 6 cards + cash and JimmyCases come in a really nice variety of woods and different patterns for the elastic.
I wrote about my hands-on time with Fuse’s newly launched lineup that brings clever cable management to the chargers and cables for every Apple device. I’ve been using them for a while now and the products offer a great user experience and simplify keeping your Apple devices powered up.
Fuse is running a Black Friday promotion giving customers 30% off its entire lineup. The new Fuse lineup starts from just $7 with the Black Friday sale and the products make perfect stocking stuffers.
Native Union Stow Organizer
This has become my go-to tech organizer. It’s got a combination of interior pockets and elastic loops for almost any accessory including a loop for Apple Pencil, a waterproof zipper, and an exterior pocket for accessing items quickly.
Other notable details of the Native Union Stow Organizer include a padded design, leather zipper pulls, and the overall construction is made from treated canvas to stand up to wear and tear over the years.
And yes, AirPods Pro also fit (sideways) in the same elastic slot as where my AirPods are in the photo above : )
Having a good portable Apple Watch Charger is a great asset. Ha, so great my dad ended up taking mine so he could easily charge at work, when traveling, and more.
The Oittm portable Apple Watch Charger is a solid option with a candy bar design and an extra USB port to offer charging for a secondary device. It’s MFi certified and is often found on Amazon under $50.
AmpliFi Mesh WiFi router system
You might be thinking “why is a mesh router on in this gift guide?” Well, AmpliFi started giving users a free VPN service earlier this year and you can even share it with friends and family. Better yet, AmpliFi has a great range of mesh WiFi systems that cover everything from affordable to the top of the line Alien WiFi 6 offering.
Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack
Okay, this last one I actually haven’t used yet but I just bought it and I’m stoked about it! The Allpa comes in 28, 35, and 42L sizes, and while the larger ones might not be the right fight for everyday use, if you travel somewhat frequently and don’t like to check bags, this may be a great fit for you.
I’m excited about all the great integrated organization, it’s like if packing pods were built-in to your travel backpack. There’s also a padded laptop and tablet sleeve in addition to other thoughtful features like security zippers, multiple ways to access your gear, an included rain cover, stowable backpack straps, and much more.
Check out the Allpa Travel Packs at Cotopaxi’s website.
Find more great ideas in our other gift guides:
- 9to5Mac Audio Gift Guide: Treat your loved ones to the gift of great sound
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Getting started with HomeKit lights, cameras, AirPlay 2, and more
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: What do you buy for the person who already has the latest technology?
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