Luggage Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Luggage

8 Creative Ways To Use Apple AirTags

Apple’s AirTags are small Bluetooth trackers than can be used to locate your luggage but also have a number of other good uses. Despite the bad press, AirTags can be a valuable asset in your personal security system both at home and during travel.

These are 8 creative ways you can use AirTags to recover your lost valuables.

1. Luggage

The most obvious use for an AirTag but the obvious place to put on – in the luggage tag – isn’t the best place. Rather, place the AirTag in your suitcase, preferably in an interior pocket so it can’t be easily swiped or lost.

airtag

2. Pet Tag

Using an AirTag keychain holster or a collar made with AirTags in mind, you can track your pets when they’re outdoors in case they get lost or just to find out what your cat has been up to all day.

3. Car

Hiding an AirTag in the trunk or between seat cushions (again, so it’s not easy to spot or locate for a potential crook) can give you some tracking information in case your car is stolen.

sony electric car

4. Keys

An obvious but useful one is using an AirTag key chain because your keys will get lost when you really need to find them.

airtag key chain

5. Backpack

We often think we wouldn’t just leave our bag somewhere until we actually do. The same principle applies here – keep the AirTag in an interior pocket away from any external zippers.

6. Mail

Sure, you can use FedEx or UPS to track your package but now you can theoretically get real-time updates on any piece of mail you send if you place an AirTag in the envelope.

7. Bicycle

There are specialized lights for bikes built to hide an AirTag out of sight of a potential thief. You can also use the lower tech method or duct taping one inside the seat, keeping it out of view.

amsterdam bikes

8. Purse And Some Wallets

Depending on the type of wallet or clutch you carry, an AirTag can fit and help you find it in case it gets lost. Unfortunately, since AirTags aren’t flat, they won’t easily fit in a folding wallet.

Remember This When Using AirTags

AirTags can be purchased individually but Apple does discount them if you get a 4 pack. Alternatively there’s the competing Tile which might work better for you. Still, there are a lot good ways to put multiple AirTags to use, just remember to keep them hidden because the longer their with your stuff, the more chance you have to recover your valuables if they get lost.

5 Pickpocket Tricks To Use Against Them When Traveling

aer travel pack 2

Part of any good security strategy is to learn from what the other side you’re trying to protect yourself from is doing. You can’t always avoid an elite pickpocket or completely prevent getting robbed at knife point – but what you can do though is minimize your losses by thinking like the criminal who wants to steal from you.

Your personal security plan needs to have many legs to stand on as well as distractions to keep your real valuables safe.

1. Distribute Your Money

Always distribute your valuables in several places when you travel. This include both on your person, in you bag, and your hostel or hotel room. Never keep all of your money in the same place. You can hide some emergency cash in deep in your socks, in the side of your underwear or in a bra and in your front pocket as well. While you may get robbed or pickpocketed you’ll have minimized your loses.

hotel room pakistan lahore falettis

For extreme circumstances do the same and have some money hidden in your hotel room too. Some in the safe if there is one and inside of a dirty sock in your laundry. Have kids? Their toys make great hiding spots.

2. Use A Decoy

Your wallet is the first target of any pickpocket so make it where you keep your least valuable stuff. Put in a small (but not tiny amount) of money along with some of those inactive (or expired) credit cards you get in the mail. If you don’t get any in the mail cancel your current card and request a new one from your bank – instant decoy. Include a student ID or some other photo identification with no personal information on it. A wallet without an ID might give you away.

trove wallet

Make sure your wallet doesn’t have sentimental value and never keep important things in a big purse – they are very easy targets.

3. Set a Trap

A decoy can be a way to potentially set a trap for a pickpocket. It won’t work in all places but if your bank offers a free checking account or credit card with no fees and is free open one up. Keep this card (with no money in the account) in your decoy wallet. If it’s stolen call the credit card company or bank right away to let them know.

ridge wallet

In most countries the companies will keep close track to see where and if that card is used. If there happens to be a camera at the first place the pickpocket tries to use the card you may be in luck.

4. Make Your Things Ugly

There are several techniques on how to make uglify your camera but the same premise goes for all of your valuable electronics. Get over the need to keep your things shiny since they won’t do you any good if they’re enticing and get stolen. Stickers, worn duct tape, and ugly carry bags work too.

red iphone 11

Oh, and that iPhone – be careful where you flash it. If you’re traveling in a place and worried about the area bring along the cheapest, oldest Nokia you can find and save the Twittering until you can get back to the hotel.

5. Set Up A Camera System

Hotel rooms can be vulnerable spots for your stuff and not all come with safes. You can though use an old smartphone as a security camera to monitor your things and get an alert if anything is disturbed. Also, while we’re at it, always use a “Do Not Disturb” sign and only have your room cleaned while you’re in it (and have packed away your valuables beforehand).

Be Creative and Add More Legs

There are plenty more ways to be shadier than thieves – be creative! Unique hiding spots, zipping your backpack like this, and other tricks are fun to come up with and there are almost an unlimited number of them. The important thing it to have more than one self-security plan and have your strategy stand on many legs so you always have a backup or two.

This is an updated version of a post I originally shared for a now-defunct travel blog in 2009.

Use This Backpack Zipper Trick To Stop Pickpockets

Being out of your direct line of sight backpacks are often your most vulnerable accessory while typically are carrying our most valuable stuff. Fortunately there’s a simple zipper trick that relies on alignment that can seriously hamper the plans of most pickpockets.

Zip Up Top

The simple way to deter pickpockets from your backpack is to zip the zippers up at the top, not on the sides. Zipping up top helps deter pickpockets since access to the interior becomes much more awkward as someone would have to go up and over with their hands to get in… not exactly the most stealthy approach.

Why This Works

Pickpockets don’t want to be noticed either by your or the people around you. All it takes is one person sounding the alarm and that’s the end of a theft. Empty handed or not it could lead to them getting caught so typically pickpockets go to the easiest target in a group. (Think of a lion hunting the slowest wildebeest around.) Your backpack security system doesn’t have to be the best, just better that everyone who’s near you.

backpack zipper trick

Another reason having your zippers up top is ideal placement is because any movement of the zippers in this area will lead to movement of the shoulder straps. As you can see in the video here, your shoulders and lower back are the most sensitive places a backpack makes contact with your body. Because of this you’re much more likely to feel movement in those areas if a crook is fiddling with your bag.

Heavy On The Bottom

To further improve your backpack security structure place your more valuable items as low and close to your back as possible. It’s tempting to put your most frequently used items toward the top of your backpack for easy access (especially if you’re are zipping up top) but there are two reasons not to. First, assuming your zipped up top, if some daring thief does make an attempt they’ll could be hitting something expensive right away.

Second (as you may have guessed) your lower back is more sensitive to movement than the middle. Put in a few layers of bag pockets in between and now your camera, computer, dirty passports and everything else is a lot more secure.

Of course a backpack with durable YKK zippers like the Aer Travel Pack 2 or even stronger military grade GORUCK will further protect your bag from attacks on the zippers themselves.

How Backpack Liters Are Calculated

Backpacks comes in all shapes and sizes measured by length, width, and height. Seems simple enough. To get volume, just multiply those three sides up, right? Well, it turns out a very common backpack measurement, liters, is one that varies based on who’s calculating. You might see two backpacks that are listed as 34 liters but when you get those bags in hand, they might not have the same carrying capacity. There are a few reasons for this, related to more common units of measurement.

You can learn more about how backpack liters are calculated in the video above or read on.

Basic Volume

We know that length multiplied by width and height equals volume. But that’s volume of a cube and most backpacks aren’t completely square. They’ve got rounded corners, so height might be to the top of the bag without accounting for space lost to curved edges. (Length width and height measurements are made by the way when the bag is completely full, potentially stuffed, to give the best numbers.)

osprey daylite day pack

Some backpack manufacturers might try to get away with this to boost their capacity numbers but another, more hands on approach is often used.

Fill The Bag With Balls

To determine the capacity of a backpack small pellets are used to fill every last nook and cranny to determine volume. Fill up the bag, then measure how many liters of pellets you can fit. Always keep that in mind when reviewing backpack specs. The entire usable space isn’t likely to be used unless you’re traveling with a backpack full of sand. Otherwise the carrying capacity is an upper limit, not an average, and it’s measured under ideal conditions.

Exactly how this is done isn’t standardized – although a lot of people use the word standard when talking about backpack liters – there’s no governing body or backpack liters organization issuing a set of specific guidelines that everyone follows. Backpack companies use all sorts of methods to measure their bags.

Literal Variation

A lot of companies only measure pockets and compartments that can be closed with a zipper while others include side compartments, water bottle holders, and other open pockets in their liter measurements. This is a pretty grey area because it is technically storage space and companies are trying to get a capacity measurement as high as they reasonably can.

backpack review foxnomad

The reason it’s a grey area isn’t because this is a shady practice, it’s because not every company is measuring things the same way, which can make things confusing for you, the consumer. Some companies have even gone away from using liter measurements for this very reason.

Understanding Liters

The best way to think about backpack liters is in generalities. They’re ball park figures, basically to give you an idea of what a backpack can carry which of course depends on the configuration of the backpack and what you’ll be packing – clothes are easier to stuff in a bag than camera gear – so my advice to you is to think of backpack liters ranges like this:

These though are just general guidelines. You know now that liters can vary – a 25 liter backpack by one brand doesn’t’ necessarily have the same capacity as a 25 liter bag from another brand. Fortunately though most companies give you enough of a return window where you can try out a bag, pack it up, and do your own, customized capacity test. A fitting process you should go through so you can pick the right backpack for you.

Osprey Daylite Daypack Review: Updated For The Better

Let’s keep this simple. The last Osprey Daylite was a good daypack for hiking or just touristing your way around a city. Big enough for a day’s worth of clothes, light electronic gear, or some combo of the two it didn’t have many noticeable downsides. Now, Osprey have taken that bag and made it better in all the ways that matter with an updated Daylite.

Even Stronger

The Daylite’s materials have been enhanced through cross-stitching and certified recycled recycled polyester. This is a tough bag, even though it’s unassuming at 43 x 26 x 20 centimeters and weighs only 493 grams. You can collapse the Daylite nearly entirely flat or pack it up with 13 liters of stuff.

The shoulder straps have been improved as well. They’re now lighter but with more support – somehow Osprey knew you’d have a tendency to over-pack and compensates for that extra weight. Additionally Osprey removed the lining (coming apart in my older Daylite) for a more durable design.

Easy Choice

Overall, if you’re coming from a previous version of the Daylite but are happy with what you have, this isn’t a must-have upgrade. But if you are thinking your current Daylite (or other daypack) is getting a bit rough around the edges, this is an updated you won’t be disappointed by.

You can watch my full review of the Osprey Daylite in the video above.

Swissdigital Made A Backpack With 4 Massage Motors And It’s Ridiculous

Well, this isn’t a turn in backpack technology any of us were expecting but Swissdigital have debuted a backpack. With massage motors. To massage you while you’re wearing it. Of course it sounds ridiculous and of course it is, but with a few modifications, the Swissdigital Cosmo 3.0 might not be as crazy as you think.

You can watch my full video review here or read on.

Starting With A Backpack

First though, it’s worth considering the Cosmo 3.0 as a backpack. Massaging motors aside, it’s a medium sized bag (28 x 13 x 41 centimeters) weighing 1.37 kilograms. Swissdigital don’t provide any specs in liters but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s around 26 liters. Split into two compartments, the Cosmo 3.0 has a large turtle shell with a smaller pocket for more vertical gear like a laptop.

The turtle shell opens up flat 180 degrees, great for organization and easy access while packing. Overall the Cosmo 3.0 is a respectable backpack designed better for weekend trips rather than as a daily carry due to its bulk.

Let’s Talk Motors

But the most interesting feature of the Cosmo are the 4 massage motors. Two are built into the shoulder straps while on the lower back two other motors add to the mobile massage. You power those massage motors with a portable charge bank (not included) activating 4 massage modes with a little button on the right hip belt.

swissdigital cosmo 3.0

There’s the shoulder massage, the lower back massage, the combo, and a high intensity mode where all the motors are on at full blast. And it’s a pretty relaxing massage until you notice the noise.

Integration Situation

Loudly humming backpacks don’t make for discrete airport lounging. Having motors in the shoulder straps mean they can’t bend too well so when the massage isn’t running, they’re not the most comfortable. Plus you have to bring your own power and possible explanation to airport security who might be wondering why your backpack is motorized.

In all, the Cosmo 3.0 feels like a prototype. A concept you didn’t know you wanted and once they iron our the design a bit, could be one you look for in your next bag. For now though, unless you really want a massaging backpack, it’s better to wait to see what the next version brings.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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