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GEAR & GADGETS

Little Comforts With a Woman's Touch

August 06, 2000|JUDI DASH

It's easier to "enjoy being a girl" with a batch of new products designed to enhance women's comfort on the go. Items may be available in area stores. Price does not include shipping.

Hat on a roll: Found: the perfect sun hat--elegant, lightweight and it really does roll up for packing, then comes popping back up like new. The Roll-Up Travel Hat is made of a synthetic fiber that looks like finely woven straw. Its wide brim can be flipped up for a stylish look or turned down for more coverage. The hat, available in black, navy or natural, has replaced my usual baseball cap for sun protection at home and away.

Roll-Up Travel Hat (MH831) is $29 from Magellan's; telephone (800) 962-4943, Internet http://www.magellans.com.

Cool top: The Supplex Travel Shirt is so lightweight and folds up to such a compact size that four of them occupy less space and weigh less than one regular cotton shirt--making them great for travel. But the real beauty of this cotton-like nylon shirt is the wicking that makes it light and airy in the hottest, most humid climates. The nylon material drip-dries quickly after washing--or a rain drenching. Tailored with an open-neck collar, six breast pockets with Velcro closures and undercover mesh ventilation at the back, the shirt is rugged enough for the hiking trail but stylish enough for a day in the city. Available in white, banana, blue, stone or terra cotta.

Long Supplex Travel Shirt (2523) is $49; short-sleeve version (2765), $44 from TravelSmith; tel. (800) 950-1600, Internet http://www.travelsmith.com.

Dreamy wrap: First there was Dream Sack, a featherweight sleep sheet that worked as a sleeping bag liner or sheet substitute in hotels with questionable housekeeping standards. Now the manufacturer has created the Dream Wrap out of the same luscious material. The 60- by 44-inch rectangle of silk can be used as a shawl, scarf, sarong, cover-up or lightweight blanket and comes in its own little silk shoulder pouch. The Dream Wrap is available in a variety of subtle Oriental patterns in red, black, charcoal, olive or silver.

Dream Wrap (item No. WR110) is $45 from DreamSacks Inc; tel. (800) 670-7661, Internet http://www.dreamsack.com.

Hair sponge: The Essential Hair Dryer is a lightweight high-absorbency towel that takes up so little space it's worth packing no matter how limited your luggage--even for a weekend away or a trip to the gym. Made of a soft cotton-like microfiber, the 13- by 32-inch towel is designed to be wrapped around the hair after washing to speed drying. The manufacturer claims the towel absorbs six times faster than the average towel thanks to tiny filaments that work like little sponges; whether or not that's hype, the towel does soak up a surprising amount of moisture, while remaining soft and comfortable.

Essential Hair Dryer is $16 from the Cleveland Trunk/Traveler's Shoppes, tel. (800) 868-8444, and at luggage stores. To find a store, contact the distributor, Confirm International, tel. (877) 794-0357, Internet http://www.confirmintl.com.

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Gear & Gadgets appears once a month.

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