The Best Gear You Need to Pack Your Tech Like a Pro
Letting your devices mingle with your toiletries is an expensive recipe for disaster. Get tech-packing tips plus shop our favorite tech-protecting products.
Photo By: 2013ErikPeterson
Photo By: Don_Chernoff
Take Only What You Need
These days we think nothing of traveling 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.
Don’t be a GoPro Amateur
GoPro cameras are accustomed to extreme conditions: they’ve gone up Everest, surfed Mavericks and jumped 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.
Buy It: Amazon, $39.99
Keep Gear Dry
It doesn’t matter how fancy or organized your bag is if it’s not waterproof. One rainstorm could ruin your tech. Protect expensive cameras, laptops and your phone with the KeySmart Urban Backpack. The front pocket and hardshell top are completely waterproof, plus the rest of the bag is constructed with water-repellent nylon.
Buy It: Amazon, $239.99
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 holds 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.
Buy It: Amazon, $19.99
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 flashcard case holds six memory cards in a shock-absorbing, water-resistant shell that’s harder to lose than that last 10 pounds.
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 onboard battery charger to keep you juiced.
Buy It: Amazon, $99.95
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.
Buy It: Amazon, $249.93
Keep 'Em Separated
Throwing caution to the wind along with loose toiletries in a bag is never a good idea. This toiletry bag has pockets with a waterproof fabric lining to prevent accidental spills. If you're still nervous about leaking liquids, double up and pack them in plastic sandwich bags.
Buy It: Amazon, $25.00
If you must leave your laptop or tablet in your suitcase, make sure it is sufficiently 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.
Buy It: Men's Warehouse, $299.99
If your travel photography involves more equipment than a smartphone, rest easy that no cracked lenses will ruin a trip by investing in a full-protection hard case from the brand so many adventure photographers trust: Pelican. Pelican cases are watertight and feature stainless steel-reinforced padlock protectors and an automatic pressure equalization valve that releases built-up pressure while keeping water out. The "Pick N' Pluck" foam allows you to customize the interior based on your gear.
Buy It: Amazon, $145