Summer always ushers in its own unique tempo, but this season is decidedly unlike any other. Despite—or perhaps because of—the challenges, many are seeking ways to ease and enhance the summer months … even if to resolve inconveniences along the way. With that in mind, here’s a tried-and-true assortment of gadgets and gear that can aptly elevate your experiences:
WaterField Pro Executive Laptop Backpack & Folio (www.SFBags.com)
For the fashion-minded person who also demands durability and functionality, the WaterField Pro Backpack is a perfect choice. It is actually designed to address the style and utility needs of modern executives who are increasingly ditching those stuffy briefcases of yore for more comfortable, work-appropriate throw overs. A sumptuous, full-grain leather panel adorns the streamlined, black ballistic luxury backpack, lending it a refined and sophisticated look suitable for professional environments. A plushy padded 15- by 10-inch laptop compartment and ample pockets throughout protect and organize mobile necessities. I also appreciate that the bag remains upright when set down next to a desk or table, maintaining its professional look and allowing users to easily access their items. Ergonomic backpack-straps ensure comfort on the commute; a leather top handle allows wearers to carry the bag briefcase-style when desired; and a wheeled suitcase pass-through makes shuttling the bag through airports a breeze.
An optional, removable Executive Folio combines convenience and elegance for carrying just the essentials. An ideal sidekick, this TSA-friendly folio is designed in rugged black ballistic nylon and premium full-grain leather to complement the WaterField Pro Executive Laptop Backpack. However, this Executive Folio works as a great solo case as well. Available in two sizes to fit either 13- or 15-inch laptops, the Executive Folio includes a lightly padded internal laptop compartment, pen slots, a softly-lined phone pocket on one side and a full-length document pocket on the facing side. An exterior zippered front pocket is ideal for small or flat items you need to keep accessible like tickets, a passport or meeting notes. The clean, streamlined design of the WaterField Pro Executive Backpack and Folio combo promotes comfort while projecting form meets function elegance with an exquisite flare.
Versatile Samsonite Backpacks & Duffel (www.Shop.Samsonite.com)
For the ladies are a number of great options from Samsonite, which not only look chic and stylish but also takes the guesswork out of organizing and packing for the day. For one, the highly versatile Encompass Convertible Brief Backpack has four wearable modes that provide the flexibility and convenience needed for the fast paced, modern commuter. Its 4-1 convertibility is impressive: a backpack by clipping the strap to the secure D-rings and adjusting the fit; a shoulder strap by unclipping that strap from the backpack D-rings and attaching the adjustable piece for a more comfortably carry; a crossbody by adjusting the shoulder strap for a more comfortable, secure, hands-free commuting mode when packed full; and tote by removing the crossbody/shoulder strap and carrying by the handles on the arm or shoulder. It also has a water-resistant body fabric that features a special coating for protection against the elements. Unique to this Samsonite collection, the front pocket also includes pen sleeves and a slip pocket to hold all of your need-it-now personal or business essentials. Plus, a RFID data vault presents a protected pocket that safeguards travel essentials from identity theft. This bodacious bag also boasts a laptop and tablet compartment that are padded and fit most devices up to 14.1-inches and 9.7-inches, respectively.
For use either with or in lieu of that backpack, Samsonite’s Encompass Convertible Weekend Duffel is a stellar bag to build your travel around! It’s that perfect combination of versatility and savvy style. For example, a separate zip bottom compartment and smart organization features elevate this to the next level of lifestyle duffels. Its design leads to 3-1 convertibility for handheld, shoulder and crossbody. Plus, it has quick-access pockets for easy, streamlined use.
Another option I adore is Samsonite’s Limited-Edition Mobile Solution Deluxe Backpack—featuring the addition of Samsonite’s patent-pending wireless charging pocket and USB port to a proven popular style. Lightweight, functional, spacious and wardrobe adaptable, this carryall is the ultimate lifestyle accessory. It is made with nylon fabric with leatherette accents and water-resistant coating, as well as a removable wallet that features two card slots and a zippered pocket. It boasts SmartSleeve technology constructed with neoprene and fits over most upright luggage handles. The design includes a hidden stealth security zippered pocket that is discreetly located in the back SmartSleeve panel for storage and safeguarding of personal items. Comfortable shoulder straps with textured nylon, protective feet to keep the bottom of the bag from dragging and an interior elastic water bottle loop located inside the main compartment that helps to secure water bottles upright during travel rounds out this limited edition bag’s features.
Designer 18K Gold ‘Coil’ Ring by Christina Malle (www.ChristinaMalle.com)
Speaking of style, jewelry is an easy way to elevate your image and even your mood. Here’s a brand for the ring-obsessed like me—and one with wares that look good while also doing good. Human rights lawyer turned jewelry designer Christina Malle is no stranger to the conversation on responsible practices. With a passion for humanity and craftsmanship through the ages, Malle is renowned for her timeless 18-karat gold jewelry styles, many of which are sourced from mine to market—to include the gold and gemstones curated therein. One of my favorite pieces from the line is the Yellow Gold Coil Ring. Made by hand and crafted of solid Fairmined 18-karat yellow gold (and with an 18-karat white gold option available), this piece is inspired by Etruscan styles and the ring of La Comtesse d’Hausonville by Ingres at the Frick Collection in New York. It can be dressed up or down, and word on pretty much any finger that it fits on—even a thumb. For her part, Malle is a goldsmith and Gemological Institute of America (GIA)-certified Graduate Gemologist. She uses the finest materials, including traceable Fairmined gold, to make elegant jewelry suitable for daily wear. Malle’s jewelry line also recently became a Fairmined Licensee, as she has long been an advocate for traceability and transparency in the jewelry supply chain. She serves on the Board of Directors of Ethical Metalsmiths and has served on the Steering Committee of the Mercury Free Mining Challenge, which seeks to remove mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining communities. The gold for the Coil Ring, same as other products with the compound ingrained within, is sourced from Hoover & Strong, United Precious Metals (grain), Carrera and Daniel Casting in NYC.
RevAir Reverse-Air Dryer (www.MyRevAir.com)
For styling of a different sort—the hair atop your head—is a time and hassle-saving innovation that proffers a nearly perfect result every time in my personal experience. Indeed, contain those hectic hairdos this summer season with the RevAir Reverse Air Dryer. This ingenious invention entirely replaces your traditional blow dryer and, in many cases, your flat iron too. It’s a multi-functional hair tool that uses patented suction technology to dry hair in the natural direction of the cuticle (downward), without damaging brushes and hot plates, to lock out frizz and seal in shine—with minimal use of heat. So, users can avoid those sweat-inducing blow dry sessions. Plus, it’s fast! RevAir dries, stretches, smooths and straightens hair in less than half the time of a blow dryer and flat iron. It reportedly performed 3.25-times faster than conventional blow-drying and straightening routines, according to third party trials. Unlike traditional devices, RevAir thrives when being used for final or stretch styles on the toughest hair types, even curly and coiled hair. The system closes cuticles in their natural direction, reducing flyaways and increasing shine. Allure, Elle and OK! Magazine have all agreed that it’s a “Game-Changer,” and you’ll be glad to have it this summer and beyond, too.
G-Technology ArmorATD Portable 5TB External Hard Drive (www.WesternDigital.com)
Speaking of killer technology, here’s a fantastic way to store and transport digital files securely—whether you’re out-and-about for business or personal travel. The G-Technology ArmorATD is an incredibly high capacity five terabyte portable hard drive that’s shockingly small and lightweight for all it holds. It maintains data save and write speeds of up to 140MB/sec, allowing for increased work productivity—all with rugged, all-terrain construction offering added protection against dust and rain (with a 1,000-pound crush rating). The G-Technology ArmorATD portable hard drive has a USB-C to USB-A adapter for backward compatibility with Thunderbolt 3, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. Relentless under pressure, the device is made for traveling and outdoor use with rain, dust and triple-layer shock resistance. It’s particularly great for photographers and filmmakers who work outside in the elements. It features a solid aluminum enclosure so users can traverse through the extremes to capture and save the perfect shot. So, this is a rugged drive you can rely on. Plus, it has an easy setup and works with either Mac or Windows and also includes a three-year limited warranty.
VocoPro Streamer LIVE (www.Reverb.com)
For podcasters and content creators of all kinds, audio leader VocoPro has unveiled its new Streamer-Studio and Streamer-Live systems. With this powerful content creator package from VocoPro, creators have everything they need to capture lasting performance, vlogs and podcasts, whether at home or out on the road. The heart of the Streamer package is its USB audio interface. Simply plug it in your PC or smartphone with the included condenser mic to broadcast your content to the world. The Streamer USB audio interface also has tons of features like Bluetooth wireless input; 16 on-board sound effects; and both chat and singing mode with features like pitch correction, pitch bend, reverb effects and vocal eliminator for accompanying music tracks. All combined, this makes the VocoPro Streamer LIVE one of the most flexible and affordable audio interface packages on the market. It also comes with clean microphone preamps with a 48V phantom powered input and a non-powered input for either a dynamic microphone or instruments. Other features include an independent microphone, reverb, FX, accompaniment and monitor level controls, and a rechargeable audio interface via USB to eliminate the need for power supply.
Dozop Dolly (www.Dozop.com)
Summer is prime time for moving and reconfiguring your spaces, but the labor involved can put a damper on the excitement. Here’s a great way to make the effort to transport your “stuff” so much easier: the Dozop Collapsible Dolly. This lightweight gadget fits perfectly in the space between hiring professional movers and trying to haul heavy stuff yourself—things like boxes or furniture, among an array of other items. It assembles in around one minute—just snapping into place—without any tools needed and it can handle loads up to 250 pounds of whatever you need to move. This is especially impressive given that this dolly, itself, weighs in at under five pounds. Plus, parts are stored inside the self-contained design to compactly stow away between jobs. This collapsible dolly is perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications. As such, you can make the dolly large when you need it and small when the situation calls for it. Made out of four, rigid polypropylene struts that create a square frame measuring 19.75″ long and 19″ wide, the Dozop Collapsible Dolly will supply long-lasting strength and reliable use for years to come. It is outfitted with four, inline rubber skate wheels to offer exceptional maneuverability and multi-surface capabilities—especially on carpets and uneven surfaces. When done with your moving tasks, you can simply disassemble the cart for easy storage and transport. Breaking down into a compact size, it’s perfect for your car trunk, office or house.
HandiGuru Refillable Wristband (www.HandiGuru.com)
Now more than ever it’s imperative to be mindful of germs and keeping fingers and hands clean and sanitized. Here’s a handy option ensuring you can achieve this wherever, whenever. HandiGuru provides sleek, wrist-wearable protection from germs, sun and other outdoor elements, giving families and individuals extra peace of mind when they leave home. Developed by Santa Barbara-based artist and innovator Benjamin Anderson, HandiGuru is a lightweight, refillable wristband designed to carry a variety of gels and lotions for easy, on-the-go access. Replacing bulky bottles that can leak or get lost at the bottom of a backpack or purse, HandiGuru wears comfortably like a watch and features FDA-approved, recyclable silicone perfect for storing hand sanitizer, bug repellent, sunscreen and more. Each refillable wristband kit includes a fully recyclable, one-size-fits-all silicone 10 milliliter wristband and a BPA-free squeeze bottle and applicator tip for easy refills. Simply use them to refill your HandiGuru Wristband with any gel/viscous product of your liking. The FDA-approved silicone is self-sealing and will hold your product securely until you need it next. The development of the HandiGuru stemmed from Anderson’s need to have some form of guards against germs and the elements away from home for himself, his family and community. HandiGuru will reportedly also be donating to communities in need based on a one-for-one donation model (for every one kit purchased, one kit will be donated).
TruMed No-Touch Forehead Thermometers (www.Target.com)
Speaking of health, here’s a gadget that can help you keep tabs on your wellbeing this season—as well as those you love. The TruMed Infrared Thermometer is a touchless, digital forehead thermometer perfect for using in nearly any setting: at home, on vacation, at the office or in the hospital. TruMed uses infrared laser sensor technology and detects elevated temperatures without physical contact in seconds in both a hygienic and convenient way. Temperature can be read at a five-centimeter distance from the forehead with an accurate reading! A six-beep sound and light alarm allows for easy identification of high body temperature readings over 100ºF. The newest features include 32 reading memory, and the available test mode allows for total recalibration. It also has a large LED screen for easy reading of the result. The device is battery-powered and the care and cleaning method is as simple as wiping it down so it does not hold bacteria. It is lightweight as well at just 0.35-pounds, making it the perfect portable solution to always know where your temperature stands (or that of others in your sphere), especially in these hot summer months.
TEMPUR breeze° Advanced Cooling Pillows (www.Tempurpedic.com)
With so much at stake this season, sleep is another critical way to keep our immunity elevated. Our pillows play a key role in how restful—or not—our night’s sleep can be. Staying cool is key, so a great option is the TEMPUR breeze° Neck + Advanced Cooling Pillow. It’s engineered with one-of-a-kind TEMPUR Material that’s combined with a premium, cool-to-the-touch SmartClimate removable and washable cover. Cutting edge cooling gel helps keep you cooler while falling asleep and the pillow’s proprietary material components makes sure it never loses its shape or flattens over time. Designed for back and side sleepers, this medium profile pillow perfectly contours to your head, neck and shoulders. The TEMPUR breeze° Neck + Advanced Cooling Pillow is great for those who are looking for the supportive feel of fine TEMPUR Material and the SmartClimate cover is constructed with a premium, high stretch performance fabric.
Also from the company is the TEMPUR breeze° Pro + Advanced Cooling Pillow, which is a highly adaptable option that’s engineered with the same one-of-a-kind TEMPUR Material. This offers multiple profiles for any kind of sleeper and also features the SmartClimate cover for all night comfort. Designed for sleepers of all positions, the pillow adapts to your shape, cradling neck and shoulders. Available in both “Hi” and “Lo” measurements, the TEMPUR breeze° Pro + Advanced Cooling Pillow Lo is best for stomach or back sleepers, or small to medium frames, while the Hi is best for side or back sleepers, or medium to larger frames.
REM Ritual Sleep Supplement (www.Baseline-Wellness.com)
There’s sleep and then there’s sleep and perhaps nothing is more important to our health and wellness. REM Ritual capsules from Baseline Wellness is a nightly dietary supplement product created to support the body’s natural sleep cycle, using short and long action ingredients for sustained rest. The foundation of all the Baseline products is full-spectrum CBD and a unique liposomal delivery system. The company encapsulate hemp extract rich in terpenes, CBD and, in this case, also melatonin into liposomes shown to significantly improve the bioavailability. Further, Baseline Wellness uses a whole plant extraction process that yields all of the synergistic cannabinoids, terpenes and other natural compounds of the original plant. Plus, melatonin has a short half-life, which may be an issue for some who have difficulty staying asleep. And, because it is in a liposome, not only do users get the enhanced absorption, they also get the slow breakdown of the liposomal wall structure and an extended release that takes the half-life up to up to six hours as a result. This effective REM Ritual blend includes 25mg full-spectrum CBD, combined with melatonin, which regulates sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin, when taken with magnesium (which is also included in each capsule), is a highly effective sleep aid for falling and staying asleep. Additionally, magnesium is effective in regulating the body’s neurotransmitters and ultimately calming the nervous system. In addition to both of these regulators, REM Ritual contains jujube extract—otherwise known as the red date—which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to help calm the mind and relax the body.
Jupiter CBD Stress Relief Drops (www.GetJupiter.com)
Managing stress is prudent any time of year, but summer months are definitely meant to be more carefree. If you need support in that department, Jupiter Organic CBD drops (non-psychogenic) are considered by some to be “the future of stress relief.” Jupiter is reportedly the first CBD product that is completely 100 percent USDA Certified Organic, triple laboratory tested for purity, made solely from hemp flowers, sustainable and made in small batches from a single-origin American-based family farm. This all sets these drops apart from other companies in the space, as a significant percent of CBD products are thought to be mislabeled. This can cause confusion and even harm to consumers. CBD does not give users the altered state of mind effect, as there is less than 0.3 percent of THC via advanced extraction. CBD (made from hemp plants) is often confused with THC (made from marijuana plants), the latter of which contains the properties that create distorted sensations. The Jupiter CBD Drops are the company’s beginner formula and is an optimum place to start if you’re new to CBD. Jupiter’s signature flavor is always made from fresh, organic peppermint via organic peppermint oil and coconut MCT oil. It comes in three different strength options in 450mg (15mg per serving), 900mg (30mg per serving) and 1,350mg (45mg per serving). Jupiter’s full spectrum extract has more cannabinoids, which work together for maximum benefit facilitating the Entourage Effect. Plus, the drops have organic terpenes (Humulene, Myrcene, B-Caryophyllene), which are natural plant compounds that each enhances Jupiter’s effects. It’s also easy to use, as you simply place Jupiter drops under your tongue, hold for 30 seconds and swallow.
Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” as well as Host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show. As a prolific consumer and business trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com and www.SavvyLiving.tv / Instagram www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReports / Twitter www.Twitter.com/LuxeListReports/ Facebook www.Facebook.com/LuxeListReports / LinkedIN www.LinkedIn.com/in/MerileeKern.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate if this is review editorial, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
Photo/s Copyright/Courtesy of Samsonite