PERSONAL

Modern Industry Packs

With so many iterations of the simple black backpack, how do you choose the right one? Well, the price, for starters, has to be somewhat reasonable, and the ‘cool’ factor must exist. It’s unlikely you’re going to give up the look you’ve cultivated just for a functional carry-all. Modern Industry meets both criteria with two backpacks that will complement your daily wardrobe. The Magnitude Backpack, $250, is the larger of the two, and has a padded laptop sleeve (away from your back for comfort), a large main compartment and three accessories pockets for smaller stuff. The Conduit Sling Pack, $100, is a smaller pack with one main pocket (will fit a laptop or jacket) and one accessories pocket. Both bags feature a flap top that can be adjusted according to your needs.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $100.00 - 250.00
Available from: Modern Industry

Wallet TrackR

Say sayonara to leaving your wallet behind with another handy tracking device. The Wallet TrackR is about the size of a credit card, and when used with the app, it’ll keep you from losing your wallet. When it’s separated from your iPhone or iPad, the app will alert you, simple as that. If for some reason you don’t hear the alert, the app also takes a GPS snapshot of where you left your wallet behind.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $19.00
Available from: Indiegogo

Cotton Umbrella

For goodness’ sake, get yourself a decent umbrella. There’s few things worse than inadequate protection on a cold and rainy day, so invest a little more money to keep yourself dry. In the case of this cotton umbrella, it’ll do that job and more, as you’ll look a tad more put together, maybe even dapper. There’s several bright(er) colors to choose from if black is too somber for your wardrobe.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: Nalata Nalata

Bamboo Round Bento Box

With all that effort that goes into selecting and packing your lunch, shouldn’t you pack it into something that’s perfectly sized and thoughtfully crafted? Perhaps like this Bamboo Bento Box? Bento boxes are classic Japanese lunch/snack carriers, and you’d do well to take a page out of the traditional book when it comes to serving sizes. At 4″ long, 6″ wide, and 5″ deep, you’ll not pack too much, and, as bamboo is durable and lightweight, it’ll suit your commute quite well. Two layers of containers stack vertically with an elastic band for security. Also available in a Rectanglar version.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $105.00
Available from: Baum-Kuchen

11+ Felt Case

Minimalists, do not despair, for your iPad/Macbook Air 11″/Galaxy Tablet need not go without protection in your bag or desk drawer. There’s a super simple felt case for your precious device, and don’t worry, it’s not too terribly expensive. Various pockets keep your smaller items organized and one inside pocket even serves as a mousepad if you need it. Designed by Cloud&Co for 11+.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $55.00
Available from: Leibal

Cosmonaut Stylus

Oh, Cosmonaut, where have you been? Whoops, wrong idea, let’s try that again.

Oh, Cosmonaut, where have you been? It’s such a pain researching styli (or, as you might call them, styluses). Various opinions and reviews send a lesser person into a tailspin, fit to swear off any device-writing-implement for the foreseeable future. However, there’s this simple, dry-erase-marker-like stylus that saves us from relying on our clumsy fingers. A comfortable rubber grip means it’s easy to handle by adults or kids (with or without gloves, mind you), and it’ll work on almost every capacitive touch screen device.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $24.99
Available from: BiteMyAppleco

Phonekerchief Valentines Day Set

You say you care, but show him/her you mean it with a cellphone signal-blocking hanky. That’s right, it’s a nylon and silver handkerchief that blocks all cell signals and says so with the phrase “My Phone is Off For You” just in case you or your significant other forgets what it’s doing wrapped around your phone. You could also purchase it for someone that is on their phone ALL the freaking time as a big hint that their habit is rude and annoying. The ‘Phonekerchief’ comes with a chocolate bar to soften the blow or, more likely, just to make it a more typical Valentine’s gift.

Note: Or, instead, just make a habit of turning off your phone or putting it on silent, which would obviously be a better method of conveying your attention to your companion(s). Hopefully those around you will get the hint to do the same.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $34.00
Available from: ahalife

Queuger

Queuger, whaa?? Exactly. The Queuger is apparently for any use you can find for it. It’s a flexible elastomer wire with aluminum core, so you can bend it or twist it any which way you want. Maybe you’ll use it to keep wires organized, or to hold cabinet doors closed, or to help ease uncomfortable handles on a heavy bag… those suggestions are based entirely on the ‘ideas’ picture shown below, but you’ll think of many more.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.00
Available from: IPPINKA

Fitbit Zip

You might have heard the 10,000+ steps a day suggestion, but it’s not until you strap on a pedometer or one of the other recent tracking devices that you actually know if you meet that minimum. I’ve posted the Fitbit before, as I currently own one and find it very helpful as motivation to move around more, but I’ve heard from friends that the $99 price tag seems a bit steep for a teeny tiny thing that counts your steps (and calories burned, flights climbed, sleep cycle, etc.). Coming in at $40 less, now there’s the Fitbit Zip. It does the same- tracks steps, distance, calories burned and syncs it to your computer- except it won’t be able to track your sleep cycle. It’s also a wee bit wider/larger and has a replaceable battery instead of a charger.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $59.95
Available from: Fitbit

Symbol Audio Tabletop Hifi

You might completely dismiss this Tabletop Hifi from Symbol Audio once you learn its price, but if you’re serious about sound (i.e. audio geek) and interior aesthetics then you might just be happy to see the specs and available finishes. Using traditional speaker design, the Tabletop Hifi delivers high quality sound with “two 4 in. high efficiency full range drivers, with titanium cones, set in dampened cabinets, ported for optimum sound and paired with a down firing 5 1/4 in. subwoofer to create deep full bass response.” Enough technical specs to please the discerning, don’t you think? Plus, it’s available in all sorts of cabinet and speaker front finishes.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $1,800.00
Available from: Symbol Audio

Stick-N-Find

Only 8 days left for this indiegogo campaign, and pay attention because it’s for bluetooth stickers. Each small sticker has Bluetooth, so you can track any device, person, or animal, and find it/them with an app on your smartphone. Where are your keys? Where’s the dog? Where’s the remote? Easily found, all via the app’s radar. The stickers are about the size of a quarter and adheres to objects with a strong 3M VHB adhesive.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $35.00
Available from: StickNFind

Bluelounge Backpack

Somehow I missed that Bluelounge, the cord/cable/charging station company, has gotten into the bag and backpack game. While backpacks can be hit or miss when it comes to fashion, this one makes the grade for its simple exterior style and very functional interior. There’s a neoprene cushioned laptop compartment as well as a custom iPad pocket- so both of your devices are adequately protected- along with ergonomic shoulder straps. And, for extra credit, the fabric is made of 100% recycled PET plastic bottles.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $159.00
Available from: Bluelounge

Thermo-Pot

As it’s January, most of us will find ourselves huddled around a hot bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. So, of course, let’s look again at the Thermo-Pot from Black + Blum. Think of it as an updated thermos; its stainless steel flask keeps drinks/soups/meals hot for up to six hours and an airtight cork capper ensures a vacuum seal. The spoon is magnetically attached to the side for convenience.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $42.00
Available from: Uncommon Goods

Custom Leather Luggage Tag

Now that the holiday season has passed, it’s time to focus on escaping for ski trips or warmer climes. And what will you need to distinguish your bag from all the other black cases at the airport? How about a custom leather tag hand stamped with your name, phone number, and email address? (Skip your address, for safety concerns and/or just in case you move house.) On a personal note, I watched someone receive his very own custom tag on Christmas morning, and that someone (a frequent flyer) looked like Ralphie with a Red Ryder BB gun.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $45.00
Available from: Owen & Fred

The Arctic Trench by Aether Apparel

The following post is sponsored by Aether Apparel.

Take a walk in downtown Manhattan in the middle of January and you’ll see a few trends in women’s fashion -most notably, the full-length insulated parka. When it’s freezing cold outside, women dress for the occasion. But while the typical quilted parka does a wonderful job of keeping you warm, it’s not exactly the most flattering of options.

Too frequently women are forced to choose between wearing something warm or wearing something fashionable. Either dress well and die of hypothermia or dress warm and look like the Michelin Man. This dilemma was the inspiration for the Arctic Trench. Designed for women in cold urban environments, it offers some serious insulation, but with a refined modern aesthetic.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $495.00
Available from: Aether Apparel