Joys of RoadWired and Zip-Linq

I recently decided to put my mobile gear bag on a diet. My messenger bag had become so heavy with gear, tangled with wires, and jammed with assorted random cases filled with stuff I "needed" that I almost didn't want to bother carrying anything at all. Finally, I took some advice from Cory and tried out a few items from RoadWired and Zip-Linq.

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RoadWired makes a slew of ultra-durable gear bags and cases of all sizes. I'm a big fan of their R.A.P.S. advanced protection system. Think of them as diapers for electronic gear. Cory uses one as a laptop envelope, but I was interested in them to wrap and protect other tech like my digital camera and annoying-yet-required dock, noise-cancelling headphones, mobile mouse, international power adapters, and a slew of other odds-and-sods. The RAPS are lined with a material called Corrosion Intercept. Developed by Bell Labs to "protect missile and space components," it's supposed to also save consumer gear from corrosion and tarnishing. It definitely has a gold foil space-age look to it anyway. Three R.A.P.S. of various sizes keeps me organized. And they also make it easier to grab just the bundles I need for each journey. For shorter jaunts though, I just carry one of RoadWired's Skooba Sleeves with my Powerbook inside. Unlike most sleeves I've seen, I'm confident that if (when) I drop the bag, the Skooba will save my machine thanks to the Air Squares, a lining of shock-absorbing pouches of air that looks like soundproofing foam. Link

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I'm now also addicted to Zip-Linq's supercool retractable cables. Instead of carrying a wall-wart charger and separate sync cable for my Treo 600, the Zip-Linq Sync-N-Charge charges my handheld right from my laptop. It also saves me the need to bring an international adapter for the Treo charger. (Caveat: some other phone brands require a string of adapters and attachments, almost defeating the Zip-Linq's purpose. For example, my wife's Nokia Zip-Linq charger kit consists of a retractable USB cable, a 5V to 9V Booster, and the modular tip that enables the Zip-Linq cable to plug into her particular model phone.) I also toss in a Zip-Linq ethernet cable for WiFi-challenged hotel rooms and a stereo 3.5mm to RCA so I can listen to my iPod through hotel stereos or TVs. Zip-Linq lists iPod Charge and Sync Cables on their Web site, but they've been "coming soon" for quite some time now. I'll wait patiently though because substituting even a few Zip-Linq cables has really tidied up my bag. Link

I should have trusted Cory's nomad knowledge sooner.

UPDATE: BB reader Oscar Bartos points to a retractable charge-and-sync cable for iPods already available through the good people at Geeks.com and elsewhere. Link