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Kikkerland's Music Branch Headphone Splitter

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, July 12 07:00 AM

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Tunes and travel go together like O'Hare and lost luggage. But hiding under your headphones keeps you from interacting with other people. Until now. May we introduce you to the new Kikkerland Music Branch Headphone Splitter ($10)?

The mod, woodsy key chain plugs into your iPod and three sets of headphones. So your travel companion and your new best friend from the airport bar can join you in rocking out to your playlist...or run away in horror at your musical taste. (How did Justin Bieber get on here?) But, hey, all that matters is that you extended a musical olive branch.

Photo: Courtesy of Kikkerland

Minox Mini Digital Camera

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, July 07 07:00 AM

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The best travel images tend to be stealth shots. But unwieldy digital SLRs can make discreet photography difficult. That's why we'll be packing the new 3.88-ounce mini Minox ($179), brought to you by the creators of 1940s CIA spy cams.

The body, a 5/8th-scale replica of the Cold War-era Leica M3, is pure James Bond cool. But that pretty packaging also shoots with precision, thanks to a German-engineered glass lens and 5.1-megapixel resolution. Best of all, it fits in the palm of your hand.

Photo: Courtesy of Photojojo Store

Omar Seluj Sunglasses

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, June 16 03:53 PM

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There are parts of Australia where cloud sightings are a rare occurrence, so it's little wonder that when it comes to anything ray-related, the Aussies really know their stuff. That's why we're so psyched that these rad sunglasses by Oz brand Omar Seluj have arrived on our shores.

Two friends from Down Under spent five years developing their line of unisex shades. The spring-hinge design enables the acetate frames to mold to your face, and with nylon UV 400 lenses, they provide legit eye protection. The frames have luxury touches like gold, wood, or leather detailing. Style and substance? Mate, they're just what we've been looking for.

Omar Seluj Bal sunglasses (pictured), $179.95

Photo: Courtesy of Omar Seluj

Black + Blum Hot-Pot BBQ

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, June 16 07:00 AM

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What's that hiding beneath that handsome herb garden of yours? Oh, you know, just a super-secret undercover charcoal grill.

The Black + Blum Hot-Pot BBQ ($124) is a genius contribution to the world of space-saving appliances. Pulling the top off this terra-cotta pot reveals a stainless steel grill underneath. At about 15 inches wide and 11 inches high, it's big enough to cook up kebabs for friends but compact enough to transport to a vacation home, campsite, or (very grown-up) tailgate. How's that for multipurpose?

Photo: Courtesy of Black + Blum

Underwater Digi Cam

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, June 15 11:15 AM

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The combo of sea and sand can play havoc with a fancy camera, so it's little wonder that many of us don't pack that pricey piece of gear for a day at the beach. But things are looking up, sunseeker: The new Underwater Digi Cam is about to become as essential to your summer as a high-SPF sunscreen.

The shock-resistant casing lets you throw this camera into your beach bag with abandon (it has a plastic lens, it can take it). Plus, it's waterproof down to 100 feet. It's as simple (point, shoot, done) as it is affordable ($35), and there's enough memory for 75 photos--or two minutes of video--to capture the mellow bliss of your day by the sea...and in it.

Photo: Courtesy of Photojojo

Paper Boat Lighthouse Schnapps Set

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, June 14 07:00 AM

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You've scored an invite to a friend's beach house, but you can't show up empty-handed. It's time to do like your mama taught you and find a hostess gift. We suggest avoiding the tired old bottle of wine and instead opting for this nautical schnapps set ($29.95).

The mod stoneware carafe--designed like a New England lighthouse--is perfect for holding the chilled liquor of your choice. And the handblown glasses that stack on top gleam as blue as the sea. When it comes to getting invited back next year, we're pretty sure you'll find this little beacon to be a lifesaver.

Photo: Courtesy of Broadway Panhandler

LAYERxlayer Wayfarer Bag

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, June 13 11:08 AM

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In an increasingly complex world, it's good to hold onto the simpler things in life. Which is why we like the natural materials and timeless design of the LAYERxlayer Wayfarer backpack ($199). It's handmade with heavy-duty cotton denim to stand the test of time, stainless-steel strap adjusters, and rope ends dipped in beeswax to prevent fraying.

This little workhorse has a rope system perfect for lashing on a sweater when you fly over the pond or for toting a picnic blanket just for sitting by one. Inside, you've got multiple pockets and dedicated space for a journal and pen (forget your iPad, we're going old-school).

Photo: Courtesy of LAYERxlayer

Original Maine Lobster Kit

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, June 07 07:00 AM

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There are few summer traditions more hallowed than a lobster bake. Unfortunately, this may also be the ritual most likely to make a mess of your madras. Thankfully, the prepsters at J.Crew have got you covered with the Original Maine Lobster Kit.

This pocket-size wooden case, filled with four shell-crackers and picks, does more than expedite your dinner: Proceeds help support the Nezinscot Guild, a Maine nonprofit organization that provides employment to people with disabilities.

The only catch? Lobster bibs aren't included. So you might want to pick up an extra polo shirt while you're at it.

The Original Maine Lobster Kit available from J.Crew ($32) or direct from the Nezinscot Guild

Photo: Courtesy of J.Crew

Sunpocket Glasses

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, June 02 07:00 AM

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The future is looking bright for you, dear traveler. Especially now that Sunpocket has solved the problem of where to store your shades when it's, well, shady.

This hip Swedish company has revived a cult '80s foldable frame that fits into a teeny carrying case and slips into your pocket, which keeps your hands free when you dip into a dark bar or dim boutique. The lenses are nonglare with 100 percent UV protection and are, they say, unbreakable. But we were sold after one look at the retro-chic design ($65).

Photo: Courtesy of Sunpocket

Vanmoof No. 5 Bicycle

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, May 17 07:00 AM

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Packing can be a drag. Packing for what's supposed to be a leisurely bike ride can be an even bigger one. A helmet you can cope with, but then there's the heavy bike lock and all the bells and whistles to strap on, too.

Thankfully, Dutch manufacturer Vanmoof has streamlined the process of taking a spin. Its new No. 5 bike (about $790) integrates a cylinder chain lock and solar-powered LED lighting system--similar to those used on airport runways--into the aluminum frame. But what if you store your wheels in the shade or live in Seattle? You needn't rely on solar power--just use your phone to charge the bike lights via a built-in micro-USB cable. Now if only it could teach you how to pop a wheelie.

Photo: Courtesy of Vanmoof

A Must-Have for Memorial Day Cookouts

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, May 09 01:33 PM

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Coming to a campsite near you: a portable grill ($50) that isn't unwieldy or a hot mess to clean up. And whom do we have to thank for this charcoal-fueled little wonder? The creative minds at iconic workwear brand Carhartt, so it's no surprise that this stainless-steel beauty is more than just a pretty face.

This filet mignon-worthy grill comes in a messenger-style bag not much bigger than a laptop case. In less than five minutes, you can set it up, toss in some charcoal, and get a slow burn going to cook up your catch of the day--or, let's face it, whatever caught your eye at the local grocery store.

Photo: Courtesy of Carhartt

Master of Malt Drinks by The Dram

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, May 06 11:03 AM

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The only thing worse than a flight delay is the quality of beer on offer as you kill time at the airport. Thankfully, the fine folks at Master of Malt have brewed up something to keep you in good spirits: Drinks by the Dram, a selection of over 300 high-end single malts and ryes in sealed 1-fluid-ounce containers. (Perfectly sized to pop in a ziplock bag with your TSA-friendly toiletries.) So, for half the price of a watery Michelob (prices start at $4), you can sip the peaty fire of a 15-year-old Glenfarclas or Laphroaig Quarter Cask.

Be sure to down the draught before boarding time: Consuming a private stash of booze in-flight doesn't fly with the Feds.

 Photo: Courtesy of Master of Malt

ck 3d Sunglasses by ck Calvin Klein

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, December 03 12:39 PM

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If your travel plans include Cannes in May, trust Calvin Klein to help you save face: The designer's ck 3d sunglasses will complement your look as you pose on the beach and keep you from appearing ridiculous at film screenings.

The shades come in three styles: the Safari (pictured above), the Wayfarer-esque Havana, and the Glam (a large, square frame for women). They offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection, and the lenses are curved to give you a better viewing experience than those disposable frames handed out at movie theaters.

The specs will be available this month, so even if the gloomy weather doesn't give you an excuse to wear them, the crop of 3-D holiday movie releases will.

ck 3d Sunglasses by ck Calvin Klein, $180, will be available exclusively at the Calvin Klein Collection boutique, 654 Madison Avenue, New York City.

Smythson Travel Backgammon Set

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, November 30 09:21 AM

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Sometimes you can't truly switch off on vacation until you switch off your technology, too. So instead of reaching for your phone to check Facebook, you could reach for Smythson's elegant travel backgammon set instead.

It's a beautiful object made of Mara leather in damson, pictured above, or chocolate, with nubuck lining. An amber option is also available, exclusively at Barneys. The set rolls up to a compact 2 by 10 inches (about the size of a T-shirt).

And the lightweight leather has an added advantage: If you're a bad loser, you won't cause much of a stir when you flip the game upside down in a huff.

Smythson travel backgammon set, $530

Photo: Courtesy of Smythson

Jose Parla MacBook Pro Sleeve, iPad Jacket, and iPhone Case

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, November 29 09:15 AM

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Apple fans are not usually happy to have their shiny new products covered up: What if someone mistakes you for a PC? The loss of cool would be unthinkable!

But artist José Parlá's designs for a MacBook Pro sleeve, iPad jacket, and iPhone case solve the problem. The latest in the Curated series by Arkitip for Incase, Parlá's designs--influenced by distressed surfaces and city walls--are just as eye-catching as what they're protecting. The iPhone case is made of hard-shell plastic with interior rubber guardrails, while the laptop sleeve and iPad jacket are made of pebbled leather with suede lining.

Seems you can judge a book by its cover.

MacBook Pro sleeve, $179.95; iPad jacket, $179.95; and iPhone case, $49.95; available from Incase.

Photo: Courtesy of Incase

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Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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