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GEAR & GADGETS

The best travel adventures come with small packages

November 02, 2003|Judi Dash | Special to The Times

Just when you thought you had the perfect suitcase or accessory, a better one comes along.

Suitable for sleeping

JourneyRest: If your flight is delayed and you would really like to lie down for a nap, just inflate your garment bag. The JourneyRest is a 42-by-22-inch zippered suit bag with a concealed air mattress that runs the length of the bag. Just inflate the mattress with the embedded nozzle. The bag has three large Velcro-closure interior mesh pockets, two interior corner zippered pockets and one zippered external pocket. An adjustable interior strap secures hangers. The bag has an adjustable padded shoulder strap and built-in handle. Like most garment bags, the JourneyRest folds in half for travel.

JourneyRest inflatable garment bag is $195.95. JourneyRest (866) 556-8763, www.journeyrest.com.

All tied up

Tie Caddy: There's a new way to pack ties: roll them. The Tie Caddy is a transparent plastic cylinder with a spindle built into the removable cap. Slide the tie (at the fold) into the spindle's gripping arm, replace the cap, with the tie hanging out of the slit in the cylinder, and turn the cap, winding the tie into the cylinder. Each test produced a tie with no wrinkles. The 4 1/4-inch-long by 2 1/4-inch-diameter Tie Caddy tucks into luggage (put one into each shoe to save space) easily.

Tie Caddy is $5.95, $21.95 for a four-pack. Pinnacle Ventures, (888) 849-4008, www.TieCaddy.com.

Staying dry

Pack-It 2-Sided Cube: Eagle Creek has long been a leader in innovative lightweight packing accessories. The Pack-It 2-Sided Cube is one of the company's most useful items yet. Two zippered compartments, separated by a waterproof plastic shield, protect clean, dry clothes from dirty, wet ones in one 14-by-10-by-4-inch nylon bag. The side for dirty, wet items is waterproof; the other side has breathable mesh on the outside. A 10-by-7- by-3 1/2-inch Half Cube also is available.

Pack-It 2-Sided Cube (40140) is $22; half-cube (40180), $18. Eagle Creek; (800) 874-1048, www.eaglecreek.com.

Really strapped

Victorinox's Vertical Deluxe Travel Companion: This is a waist pack, shoulder tote and cross-body messenger-style bag all in one. Two padded straps attached to the top of the bag rotate and click into position, pointing to the top, side or corner, allowing the bag to be carried three ways. The 9 1/2-by 8 1/2-by 4-inch ballistic nylon bag has two main zippered compartments, an interior key clip and internal organizational panels for documents, wallet and pens. Exterior Velcro-closure pockets hold a cellphone, sunglasses and other items.

Victorinox Vertical Deluxe Travel Companion in red, black or sapphire is $65. TRG Accessories; (888) 658-0717, www.swissarmy.com.

Zip-out and about

Zip-Out Shopping Tote: I'm always on the lookout for the greatest zip-out nylon bag to take along for just-in-case occasions. It has to be featherweight, expand into a roomy zippered bag and have long shoulder straps. The Zip-Out Shopping Tote is my best find so far. The nylon bag expands to 17 by 17 by 6 inches and folds into an 8-inch-square zippered pocket. When the bag is expanded, the pocket becomes an external zippered pouch. The bag and the pocket have double zippers, so they can be padlocked.

Zip-Out Shopping Tote, which comes in several bright colors, is $19.99. The Container Store; (800) 786-7315, www.containerstore.com.

Judi Dash can be reached at judidash@aol.com.

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