TRAVELS WITH NINA

is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

GADGETS AND TRAVEL ACCESSORIES: PARADISE MAG
The image is property of Fairfax Media

Pendleton straw hat
A travel hat that’s practical and stylish? Yes, they do exist. Case in point, Pendleton’s packable straw outback hat that has a classic look (note the brim and chic leather band) and is crafted from linen and seagrass with vents on the side crown to keep your head cool whether you’re in a rainforest or the streets of Port Moresby. It’s portable, packable and resilient, making it perfect for throwing into your bag. About $85, pendleton-usa.com

 

Bedol water-powered clock
Combine jetlag, time differences and busy travel schedules, and you could have a disaster on your hands. Better to take an alarm clock on the road – and better still to take the Bedol Travel Water Clock which runs on tap water instead of batteries. The eco-friendly gizmo converts ions in the water into energy used to fuel its digital LCD display and alarm, so you can reduce your carbon footprint while making sure you run on time. About $20, bedolwhatsnext.com

 

Mophie Space Pack
This is a full-charge battery case for the iPhone 5 or 5S, with 16 or 32GB of extra flash storage thrown in for photos, music and other files. For those on long holidays who use their mobile as their main camera, it could be a lifesaver, as it lets you free up space on the go. Comes in black or white. About $160 for the 16GB, $195 for 32GB, mophie.com

 

Cotopaxi pack
The Cusco pack from new outdoor gear brand Cotopaxi looks and feels great, being made from nylon cotton canvas with a suede bottom and breathable back panel, but it also has a conscience. At least 10 per cent of Cotopaxi sales go to raising money for educational causes: Cusco profits help provide an on-site tutor to one child for one week at a shelter in Peru. About $100, cotopaxi.com

 

Paklite Cyborg case
Ideal for the style-savvy business traveller, light traveller or short-stay holidaymaker, the Paklite small Cyborg trolley case has a durable shell to keep your valuables safe while you’re on the move, and four easy-glide spinner wheels for effortless maneuvering. The slick design comes in three handsome colours: devil red, cobalt blue and carbon grey. About $215, paklite.com.au

 

Trakdot luggage tracker
Pair the battery-run Trakdot luggage tracker with your mobile, pack it in your check-in luggage, then once you land the device will send you an SMS or e-mail telling you where your bag is. If it’s not where it should be, your knowledge of its whereabouts will speed up the recovery process, and if it is, an alert will tell you when it’s approaching the end of the carousel. About $115, trakdotluggage.co.nz

 

Black Rapid camera sling
SLR cameras can be a pain to lug around, but Black Rapid camera slings can help soften that pain. Non-slip, well padded and ergonomically curved to fit over the shoulder like a satchel, the slings don’t cut into your shoulder or pull on your neck, plus they’re adjustable and made of ballistic nylon so you know they’ll last a long time. Attachable pockets and extenders can be bought separately. About $77 for the classic Curve RS-7, blackrapid.com

 

Tumi passport holder
Tumi’s Ticon black-leather passport holder, delicately embossed with the brand’s signature T-pattern, also features the ingenious Tumi ID Lock. The lock, a little red pocket on the inside of the case that incorporates metal threads with radio-frequency chips, protects personal data encoded on any cards and passports from identity thieves. About $120, tumi.com.au

 

Paperblank journal
Paperblank’s leather writing journals are hand-stitched, come in three sizes including pocket-size, and are crafted from paper sourced from fast-growing pines. Inspiration for the designs come from world art and culture, like the 18th-century goldwork recreated in the Stitched Splendour design. The company also donates 10 per cent of its profits to charities such as Doctors Without Borders and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Style with a cause. Fro
m $20, paperblanks.com

 

Steripen water purifier
If you’re heading down the Sepik or anywhere into the wilds, the Steripen Freedom handheld water purifier might become your new best friend. The USB rechargeable device weighs only 74 grams and uses UV light to zap waterborne viruses, bacteria and protozoa, making it a great alternative to chlorine or iodine tablets for water sterilisation. Simply swirl the Steripen around a litre of water for 48 seconds and it’s perfectly fine to drink. About $120
, steripen.com

 

iStabilizer Selfie Bundle
Selfies are pretty much a travel essential these days, even though they might not always show us in the best light. Thank goodness for the clever folk at iStabilizer, who have come up with a “Selfie Bundle” including a lightweight Monopod that extends to three feet and a Bluetooth shutter remote, ensuring more attractive, double-chinless selfies, and group shots that fit everyone in. $65
, istabilizer.com

 

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