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Innovative Travel Gear for Returning to the Office, Hybrid Work and Business Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work. While many are still working from home, an extensive, data-based study by Steelcase of over 32,000 workers in 10 different countries determined that 54% of Americans now expect to work from home only one day a week or less. According to Inc. Magazine, a survey from LaSalle network found that 74% of businesses are bringing their employees back to the office (a 25% increase from the same survey in March of this year). With more and more workers getting vaccinated, some want to return to the office. However, many companies are asking their employees to come in only two to three times per week to make the transition easier.

As remote workers take on this new hybrid format or full weeks back at the office, they are looking for travel gear ideal for daily commutes and business trips. Many of us are flying again — another opportunity to shop for products that make these trips as worry-free as possible. We’ve researched the best items available, so whether you’re in the market for the perfect cycling backpack, a chic yet practical tote bag or a genius solution to that tangled cord problem, we’ve got you covered.

As someone who’s worked in a hybrid environment (I drove to an office two days a week and worked remotely the rest of the week), I wish I’d had the SCOUT Hang-10 Bin. Transporting my laptop, charger, file folders and many miscellaneous supplies was a nightmare without the proper vessel. It even folds up for the most convenient storage imaginable.

SCOUT Hang-10 Bin
Photo courtesy of SCOUT

Meet the auto commuter’s new best friend: The Hang-10 Bin. Reinforced bottom and handles for heavy hauls; mold and odor resistant; all-weather woven fabric exterior is water-resistant and wipes clean. Available in three different colors: On Your Markers (pictured), Montauk Mink, and Nantucket Navy. Height: 10.25″; Depth 9.5″; Width: 12.25.” MSRP: $28.50. Contact info: Corinne Manstof; corinne@scoutbags.com; 855-756-0551.

Looking for the perfect tote for the return to your commute? Chic, durable and lightweight, The Daily doubles as a purse and work bag, complete with multiple exterior and interior compartments to store all of your essentials. The name says it all.

SCOUT The Daily
Photo courtesy of SCOUT

The Daily is available in multiple colors: Roars Truly (pictured), Fleetwood Black, Nantucket Navy, Teal Diamond and Plaid Pitt. MSRP: $76. Contact info: Corinne Manstof; corinne@scoutbags.com; 855-756-0551.

With everyone’s germ radar on high alert, it can be worrisome to store personal belongings in bacteria-ridden airplane seat receptacles. Not to mention the frustration of not having enough space to store all of your belongings in the cramped seating area in coach. Enter this convenient organizational solution: Airplane Pockets. According to their website, Airplane Pockets can store all of these items at the same time: laptop, iPhone, headphones, eyeglasses, snacks, tissues, a book or magazine and a water bottle.

Airplane Pockets will revolutionize your next journey. MSRP: $29.99. Contact info: Brit Sharon; brit@airplanepockets.com.

Combining elegance and convenience, the Plume Business Laptop Backpack from Lipault Paris is ideal for any airplane traveler carrying a personal computer. Our favorite feature? The SmartSleeve on the back allows you to secure the bag to the top handle of an upright suitcase.

Lipault Paris Plume Business Laptop Backpack
Photo courtesy of Lipault Paris

The Plume Business Laptop Backpack is durable yet lightweight. MSRP: $115. Contact info: Kristen Keesee; kristen.keesee@tumi.com; 1-888-890-1328.

Optimized for airline travel, the limited edition CoPilot Messenger from Henty is a durable, multi-purpose suit and garment bag made from waxed canvas. It has a larger Inner Tube, allowing you to maximize luggage space on a weekend away or a 2-3 day business trip. The CoPilot Messenger is light and easily stowed in the overhead bin or a suitcase.

Henty CoPilot Messenger Canvas
Photo courtesy of Henty

The Copilot Messenger Canvas is a suit-wearer’s dream come true. MSRP: $299. Contact info: Jeremy; enquiries@henty.cc.

HYDAWAY’s new tumbler solution is the first of its kind, helping consumers overcome their addiction to single-use coffee cups and lids. The cup holds 16 oz of your favorite hot or cold beverage, then folds down to a 1.25” disc that easily fits in your pocket, backpack, gym bag, carry-on or handbag. The HYDAWAY Tumbler’s rigid and durable design provides the best on-the-go experience. It’s designed with a food-grade, double-wall, stainless steel rim for added support, a 3mm insulation sleeve and a leak-proof lid, making it ideal for coffee, tea or iced drinks. The insulated neoprene sleeve keeps drinks hot or cold for hours. A flexible, food-grade silicone straw is included, and the Tumbler is dishwasher safe. HYDAWAY offers a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects on all products.

HYDAWAY Tumbler
Photo courtesy of HYDAWAY

The insulated HYDAWAY Tumbler holds 16 oz of liquid and collapses down to just 1” when not in use. MSRP: $27.95. Contact info: Jessica Loewen; sales@hydawaybottle.com.

For the Tech-Savvy Commuter

Say goodbye to the frustration of trying to untangle your electronic cords and hello to the convenience of Unplugged Good’s UNTIE 10-inch Twistable Ribbons. Favorite uses include: corralling computer cables, supporting a smartphone (takes some bending) and making a stand for a stylus. There’s also a 5” length available, designed for thin cords like earbuds.

Unplugged Goods UNTIE 10 and 5 inch Twistable Ribbons
Photo courtesy of Unplugged Goods

Unplugged Goods UNTIE 10” Twistable Ribbons and 5” Twistable Laces come in packs of 3 with multiple color options. MSRP: $7.95/$9.95. Contact info: Jill Aldrich; sales@unpluggedgoods.com.

One of the most frustrating occurrences while traveling — especially when it’s for business — is when your laptop or phone dies. For your new portable power solution, consider the compact and versatile CORE Power AC from Mobile Edge. It provides extreme power and performance, featuring an AC outlet with an incredible 85 watts. 27,000mAh provides plenty of power to share across three high-speed USB ports. This charger is airplane friendly; it meets FAA carry-on requirements for lithium-ion batteries.

Mobile Edge CORE Power AC USB – 27,000mAh Portable Laptop Charger
Photo courtesy of Mobile Edge

The CORE Power AC USB – 27,000mAh Portable Laptop Charger from Mobile Edge packs a punch: you can plug in and power up to three different personal electronics at a time. MSRP: $199.99. Contact info: Paul June; pj@mobileedge.com.

For those carrying electronics for work, the Professional Backpack and Rolling Case Combo from Mobile Edge is a no-brainer. Complete with a lifetime warranty, these bags both feature four separate sections for a laptop, tablet, files, accessories and your personal items. Wide-mounted, free-rolling wheels and a five-stage telescoping handle on the Rolling Case provide stable maneuvering.

Mobile Edge Professional Backpack and Rolling Case Set
Photo courtesy of Mobile Edge

If you’re looking for the best way to organize multiple laptops and personal items while traveling, look no further than the Professional Backpack and Rolling Case Combo from Mobile Edge. MSRP: $289.98. Contact info: Paul June; pj@mobileedge.com.

An everyday carry essential for the daily pedaler, Camelbak’s new M.U.L.E.® Commute 22 Backpack features a roomy single-compartment design that comes equipped with a waterproof laptop sleeve, side pockets for beverage or U-lock carry and safety-conscious details like a bike light loop and 360-reflective detail. The Command Center™ Harness is adjustable for a customized fit and offers quick and organized access to phone, keys, and other small items. The body-mapped Air Support™ Back Panel keeps air moving for a comfortable ride. The exterior shell is water resistant and durable for years of daily miles.

Camelbak M.U.L.E.® Commute 22 Backpack
Photo courtesy of Camelbak

The M.U.L.E.® Commute 22 Backpack from Camelbak features the Air Support™ Back Panel designed with Body Mapping Technology to allow for maximum ventilation on the hottest areas of your back. Water reservoir compatible. MSRP: $120. Contact info: customerservice@camelbak.com.

Designed for the long haul, the Camelbak H.A.W.G.® Commute 30 Backpack accommodates all the necessities of your daily routine. With an easy-to-access clamshell design, you’ll never be short on storage with 30 liters of capacity and a separate laptop compartment with a weatherproof sleeve and side pockets. A removable waist belt offers a customized fit and extra stability.

Camelbak H.A.W.G.® Commute 30 Backpack
Photo courtesy of Camelbak

The H.A.W.G.® Commute 30 Backpack features 360° Multi-directional Reflectivity: reflective material on all sides of the pack that adds safety in low light conditions. MSRP: $160. Contact info: customerservice@camelbak.com.

The garment bags of the future are here: PLIQO’s Pack-In and Carry-On bags are compact, effective and particularly relevant for cyclists, as they fit in almost all backpacks or can be worn cross-body. With simple and sleek designs for the thoughtful traveler and constructed from high-grade, man-made materials, both bags feature a full-width internal slip pocket, two oddment pockets, folding garment and trouser hangers, a large internal pocket for shirt or laptop, two internal zipped pockets for small items, a retaining flap for larger garments, compression straps and buckle fastening. The larger option, the Carry-On, features two full-width external zipped pockets, one with an internal organizer.

PLIQO Pack-In and Carry-On
Photo courtesy of PLIQO

From left to right: the PLIQO Pack-In and PLIQO Carry-On. MSRP: $175/£125; $215/£160. Contact info: Patrick Tatham; patrick@pliqobag.com; +44 (0)20 3488 6920.

Bags for the City Slicker

A leather backpack that stands out from the crowd, the Aiden features Hidesign‘s unique full-grain, vegetable-tanned classic leather and their signature 100% cotton, green-striped lining. This large, multi-functional leather backpack can fit a 17” laptop, notebooks and miscellaneous accessories, and the internal padded compartment keeps your laptop or tablet safe during travel. Your search for the most versatile bag ends here.

Hidesign Aiden Leather Backpack
Photo courtesy of Hidesign

The Aiden Large Multi-Functional Leather Backpack is equipped with a large compartment in the front with a magnetic flap closure. Measurements: 13″L x 16.3″H x 2.6″W. Available in black and brown. MSRP: $248. Contact info: Vikas Kapur; vikas@hidesignamerica.com.

Ideal for your daily commute, the Aiden Crossbody Sling Backpack is a contemporary and multi-functional crossbody bag and backpack. The bag is wide enough to fit an iPad and deep enough to fit your phone, pens, notebooks, keys and accessories. There is an adjustable canvas webbing shoulder strap, one main zip-around compartment and one interior zip pocket. The front of the bag also has a slip pocket large enough to fit cell phones, keys, pens and accessories.

Hidesign Aiden Crossbody Sling
Photo courtesy of Hidesign

The Aiden Sling Crossbody Backpack. 8″L x 12.8″H x 2.55″W. Available in black and brown. MSRP: $108. Contact info: Vikas Kapur; vikas@hidesignamerica.com.

Designed for the working woman driven by her passions, the Parker Hybrid Backpack Tote by Solo New York honors those whose remarkable accomplishments make the impossible feel possible. Classic black accented with timeless gold embodies the heart and soul of New York and creates a dauntless look that can do everything. The Parker features a fully padded 15.6″ laptop compartment, feet protecting the bottom, padded hideaway straps, and a back panel that slides over a rolling suitcase handle.

Solo New York Parker Hybrid Backpack Tote
Photo courtesy of Solo New York

The Parker Hybrid Backpack Tote from Solo New York is quite possibly the cutest option for working women on-the-go. MSRP: $82.99. Contact info: Julie Hoffman, jhoffman@briggs-riley.com, 631-434-7722.

Take on the urban jungle with an anti-theft backpack equipped for city commutes. Organization pockets sort your gear, including a hidden stash for your valuables against your back. Everything is further secured by lockable zips and other anti-theft technology. Available colors include Carbon, Black, Utility (Heather Green) and Dark Denim. 

Pacsafe Metrosafe X Anti-Theft 20L Backpack
Photo courtesy of Pacsafe

Pacsafe’s Metrosafe X Anti-Theft 20L Backpack is the solution to keeping your belongings secure. MSRP: $139.95. Contact info: Kat Blanchard; kblanchard@pacsafe.com; 206-858-7977.

Roam the city or post up in a café for remote work with this anti-theft messenger bag. The dual compartments help sort your gear, while lockable zips, an RFID blocking pocket and anchor strap secure your electronics and other valuables so you can concentrate on more important things.

Pacsafe Metrosafe X Anti-Theft Messenger
Photo courtesy of Pacsafe

The Metrosafe X Anti-Theft Messenger: a city lover’s perfect bag. MSRP: $99.95. Contact info: Kat Blanchard; kblanchard@pacsafe.com; 206-858-7977.

Travel Gear for Office, Hybrid and Business Travel
Photographer: Kerry Pittenger
Model: Jared Reimer

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