SCOTT EVEST, $120
Pros: Wearable, stylish storage for all manner of hand-held devices, headsets, batteries, magazines, and water bottles. Zip-off sleeves make it a year-round wardrobe item.
Cons: With 17 pockets to search, don’t forget where you put the cell phone.
Bottom line: Rejoice, ye gadgetheavy. The eVest sounds like Geek City on paper, but it’s comfortable even when fully loaded, surprisingly functional, and fairly cool-looking. The makers thought of everything — even conduits in the fabric for cell-phone mikes and MP3 players. There’s even room to stow an ultralight laptop. Just be sure you don’t sit on it.
AIWA HPCN5 Headphones, $55
Pros: Good music quality in a light-weight product; does a nice job cutting jet-engine noise.
Cons: Audiophiles may want more bass boost with their tunes.
Bottom line: These open-air head phones deliver music with high fidelity. Or, if you’d rather hear the sweet sounds of silence while you work — rather than your chatty new friend in the next seat — the unit cancels indoor noise with the best of them. To get much quieter, you’d better be prepared to spend four times as much.
Seiko DF4033 Six Language Translator, $30
Pros: Cross-translates thousands of words and phrases
in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese. Packs a lot — including 160-name address book and world time clock — in a small package.
Cons: Large letters minimize squint factor, but — mon Dieu! — only 12 characters on screen at a time. Be ready to scroll.
Bottom line: This unit won’t decode Sartre or get you far in a chat about the European Union, but it covers most of the traveler’s basics with phrase categories such as "business," "paying," and "emergency."