Travel products

A backpack with a beltpack from MindShift Gear


ABOVE: The rotation180° Travel Away Backpack from MindShift Gear.

Backpacks are handy, but you wouldn't want to use a backpack for your passport, wallet, camera, and smartphone--or would you? With the new rotation180° Travel Away Backpack from MindShift Gear, you can enjoy the storage space of a backpack and the security of a rotating hidden or front-mounted beltpack at the same time.

According to MindShift, "In one swift motion, the wearer can rotate the concealed beltpack to the front for instantaneous and secure access to camera, passports, guidebooks, tablets, or other travel essentials." And when you (a.k.a. "the wearer") want to make the beltpack less obvious, you can rotate it back into a "secure locked channel" between the backpack and your back until you need it again.

The beltpack is large enough to carry a small tablet (such as an iPad Mini), a point-and-shoot camera, your passport, cash, and other small items.

The backpack has dedicated pockets to conceal a laptop (up to 15 inches) and a 10-inch tablet, along with pockets or compartments for clothing and other gear. If you wish, you can remove the beltpack and wear it without the backpack for local sightseeing.

We haven't had a chance to field-test the rotation180° Travel Away Backpack, but the concept sounds brilliant. What's more, the Travel Away backpack is only one of four rotation180° backpacks, including a versatile (if pricey) Professional model for serious photographers who need to keep their camera gear instantly at hand.

For more information on all four r180° backpacks from MindShift Gear, visit:

BELOW: A video of the rotating beltpack in action on the r180° Professional backpack:


'P^cubed Pick-Pocket Proof Pants' by Clothing Arts

Clothing Arts Adventurer Traveler pants

ABOVE: P^cubed Adventure Traveler Pants by Clothing Arts.

by Durant Imboden

Not long ago, we received an e-mail from Adam Rapp, the owner and designer of a New York-based company named Clothing Arts. Adam wanted to tell us about his company's line of "P^cubed Pick-Pocket Proof Pants" for travelers.

Adam recounted the story behind the new product line:

"A few years back, I had a run-in with a team of pickpockets in Xian, Chia. I looked down at the wide-open pockets on my chinos and thought 'why not combine the security of money belts and a great pair of travel pants?' Five years of travel experiene and two years of development, 'Picket-Pocket Proof Pants' were born."

The P^cubed concept involves "all-around covered zippers and a triple-secure hidden passport/money pocket." The company's Web site explains:

"Zip the zipper to seal the pocket, secure the button flap for twice the protection; for even more security, lock what's most valuable in the triple-secure hidden passport pocket... Pickpockets are looking for an easy target, and in a pair of our P^cubed Picket-Pocket Proof Pants, they'll have to find another victim--and you'll be free to enjoy the beauty of the world around you."

The product line includes Adventure Pants (top photo) and Adventure Shorts and--for urban wear--Business Pants and Business Shorts (photo below).

I haven't tried the trousers myself, but the concept is intriguing, and as soon as a lightweight and quick-drying nylon version is available, I hope to field-test the Business Traveler Pants in Europe.

For more information on P^cubed Pick-Pocket Proof Pants, visit the Clothing Arts Web site at

BELOW: P^cubed Business Traveler Pants from Clothing Arts.

Clothing Arts P^cubed Business Traveler Pants

Photos: Clothing Arts.

A SCOTTEVEST Expedition Jacket and a natural dog coat

SCOTTEVEST Expedition Jacket and Bearded Collie

ABOVE: The Expedition Jacket was supplied by SCOTTEVEST. The dog was donated 8-1/2 years ago by the BCCA Beardie Rescue program.

by Durant Imboden

SCOTTEVEST sent me a sample of its Expedition Jacket a while back for review at I haven't had many opportunities to test it because the winter weather in my Midwestern city has required something warmer. Today, however, was a perfect day for the jacket: just above freezing, with melting snow dripping from trees and soggy snowflakes falling from the sky. A combination of the SeV Expedition Jacket and a fleece pullover was enough to keep me warm and dry.

I'll be reviewing the jacket more thoroughly in due course, comparing it to the first- or second-generation SeV jacket that I've been wearing since 2005. So far, I'm impressed by the Expedition Jacket: Like my earlier jacket, it has loads of inside pockets, but it also has large outside pockets that are big enough for guidebooks and maps. If you don't need removable sleeves, it's a great jacket for spring, fall, or the kind of winter weather that you're likely to encounter in most European cities. To learn more about the jacket, visit the Expedition Jacket page at