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Tech Travel Tip: Remember to Bring (Gadget) Protection

Bring Protection
With the week drawing to a triumphant close, we thought we'd end our series on tech travel tips with a brief rundown of how to go about physically protecting your gadgets while abroad. Of course, the degree to which you sheath your beloved laptops and tablets largely depends upon where you're going. If you're planning on surfing the Web from the beaches of Brazil, you might want to take extra precautions to guard against pesky grains of sand that could send your netbook into a tailspin. If, on the other hand, you're headed to Mumbai during monsoon season, you'll have an entirely different set of atmospheric obstacles to overcome.

Even if you're "just" hopping on a transatlantic flight to the Old World, you should make sure that your gadgets are securely tucked away, and safe from the perils that even the most routine travel itineraries can present. Fortunately, you can do so without sacrificing any style points.

Let's ignore, for a moment, the obvious. We know enough not to dump our laptops in our Samsonites, and toss them in with the checked baggage, right? That means carry-on, and carry-on means laptop bags. Having heard our fair share of laptop-theft-in-the-airport-bathroom horror stories, we decided long ago to abandon any laptop bags that actually look like laptop bags. They're like low-hanging fruit to any train station pickpocket -- and they're frequently ugly, too. Here are some safe and stylish alternatives worth checking out.


In Incase's offerings, you'll find plenty of bags designed expressly to handle and cushion generically sized laptops (including MacBooks). There are even some messenger bags that won't make you look like you're in town for an IT convention. (iPad users will remember that we recommended Incase's TravelKit Plus during our iPad case rundown earlier this year.)


Golla is a Finnish company that, in true Nordic fashion, offers a wide array of utilitarian-chic carry cases for a variety of toys, including cameras, laptops, MP3 players and GPS devices.


Extreme globetrotters looking for some extra heavy-duty gadget protection need look no further than OtterBox. iPhones, Droids, BlackBerrys, laptops -- OtterBox has a durable (and waterproof) solution for all of them.


The name may evoke images of urbanites pounding the pavement of Manhattan, but BuiltNY's lineup of travel accessories and bags can hold up just as well to the demands of international travel. Here, you can browse through netbook sleeves, iPhone cases, and laptop bags designed specifically for Macs or PCs.


Leave the monochromatic world of black travel cases behind, and immerse yourself in Speck's wide spectrum of colors. iPhone users will probably find the most variety here, but there are still plenty of options for laptop toters and Kindle users. You can even find a safe home for your external hard drive.

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