Pack Your Tech Like a Pro
Letting your devices mingle with your toiletries is an expensive recipe for disaster. Find great tech-packing tips here.
Photo By: Don_Chernoff
Photo By: 2013ErikPeterson
Photo By: James Kaiser
Check Your Tech
These days we think nothing of travelling with several thousand dollars worth of personal technology, not to mention the invaluable data that sits on our laptops, tablets and phones. You wouldn’t carry that much cash around in a Trader Joe’s bag, so why would you toss your devices into a backpack with shampoo and flip-flops? Tech luggage is no place to cut corners. Your first tech-packing tip: Inventory all your tech items and decide which ones you can do without.
Everything Has a Place
Need a device at the bottom of the bag in midflight? Everything has to come out. With the Peak Design Everyday Messenger bag your gear is thoughtfully compartmentalized: Cameras are packed in the middle, while your laptop fits in the rear with separate access to get you through airport security quickly. Color-coded internal pockets allow you to locate accessories instantly—there’s even a clandestine side pocket for your phone. If Batman took vacations, he’d carry one of these.
Don’t be a GoPro Amateur
GoPro cameras are accustomed to extreme conditions: they’ve gone up Everest, surfed Mavericks and leapt out of airplanes, but even a sturdy adventure camera is no match for a careless baggage handler who’s having a bad day. GoPole has an entire line of GoPro accessories including mounts, cases and chargers. The Explorer Bundle organizes everything a YouTube daredevil could possibly need in a convenient and secure carrying case.
Gravity has a way of turning your backpack into a mystery grab bag. The Crisscross Caddy is a two-sided organizer that eliminates wanton burrowing by keeping your necessities within easy reach. One side secures your tablet in place while the other arranges smaller items like your phone, charger, lipstick and pens. The woven elastic straps make it easy to organize all your important items, regardless of size and shape.
If you must leave your laptop or tablet in your suitcase, make sure it is suffiiciently padded. If your current luggage won't do the trick, you can even use leftover bubble wrap from home. The SkyRoll Spinner's interior has a padded sleeve located in the back of the case as extra protection for your laptop or tablet.
Conventional backpacks are among the worst ways to tote your tech and provide almost no isolation for your expensive devices. If you don't have individual cases for each one, invest in a backpack designed to protect them. The Drifter Energy backpack from STM has fleece-lined pockets that are situated above the bottom of the bag to prevent damage and there’s an on-board battery charger to keep you juiced.
Prevents Memory Loss
SD cards are the size of postage stamps, but lose one and say goodbye to a universe of memories. Even worse, someone else might find them. Pelican’s flash card case holds six memory cards in a shock absorbing, water-resistant shell that’s harder to lose than that last 10 pounds.
Keep 'em Separated
Throwing caution to the wind along with loose toiletries in a bag is never a good idea. The Travel Flex bag is a tri-foldable accessory bag with a mesh laundry pouch and six clear pockets with reinforced zippers that will prevent your moisturizer from getting intimate with your iPad. If you're still nervous about leaking liquids, double up and pack them in Ziploc bags.
This Pro Knows
Noted travel writer and photographer James Kaiser knows a thing or two about travelling with expensive gear. He once took a shortcut in packing his camera equipment and learned a costly lesson. Now, he never leaves home without the tools of his trade secured. Don’t arrive at your destination with shattered hopes and lenses. Be like James.
Pack your devices so that each has its own dedicated space. Should you need something in a hurry you'll know where it is. And, if that space is empty you'll know you left it behind. Tortuga backpacks makes cube inserts designed specifically with this in mind. Into saving money? You can also use thick upcycled plastic bags made for bed linens.