Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 13, 2017
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Lighten up

Travel gifts worth their weight in gold

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Gifts on the go

The size of a stocking stuffer

Sony’s Alpha NEX-7 pocket digital is getting a lot of hype —and it hasn’t even hit store shelves yet. The NEX-7 is as small as a compact digital, but has the interchangeable lenses and power of a regular DSLR. This top-of-the-line mirrorless camera even squeezes in many features of Sony's larger (and “world’s fastest”) A77 DSLR. It has a 24-megapixel sensor, a 2.4-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (that enables full HD recording), a pop-up flash, a full-size hot shoe (for an external flash) and a tiltable rear LCD. All this in a 285-gram, magnesium-alloy body that’s 12 centimetres long, seven centimetres high and four centimetres wide (minus the lens), that is, barely bigger than Sony's usual line of compact digitals. Yes, this bad boy definitely has the potential to replace a regular DSLR for any experienced photographer, maybe even the one under your roof. $1199.99 for the body; $1399.99 for the body and an E-mount 18-55mm lens. store.sony.ca. [CC]

Carry on carrying on

Here’s a bag for the traveller who really just wants to have fun. You know the type: someone who experiences as much of a city as possible, despite bad weather and time restrictions. Or maybe this someone is seriously active — perhaps a walker, a kayaker or biker? The ingenious Carry-On Zip made by Hummingbird is designed for the light-travelling practically-minded frequent flyer who hates bells, whistles and pockets. The bag meets any worldwide carry-on requirement despite its large size. And because it is basically a large, strong bag, it can swallow a small mountain of clothing and gear. Above all else, your business suit and conference papers will be completely protected thanks to super welded seams, a fully waterproof zipper and tough, vinyl material weighing just over 500 grams. Know anyone about to visit India during monsoon season? Bet they’d love one of these. $139.95. amazon.com. [AS]

A hoodie for all seasons

With travel restriction tighter than ever, no one wants to travel with too much to wear. The Smartwool Thermal Midlayers (TML) will eliminate a lot of the hemming and hawing over what jacket or sweatshirt to pack. While you can get the Midlayer in one of three styles — as a vest, half-zip or full-zip without a hood, and a full-zip hoody — the full-zip hoody will get frequent flyers through most climate changes. It’s designed for mountain athletes — in other words, its merino wool is a good material to sweat and cool down in without feeling all wet and clammy an hour later. One of these would be perfect for the conference goers who likes to walk or jog — and doesn’t mind a little unpredictable weather. Great under a winter jacket or bike helmet. Very stylish, with gorgeously finished pockets. $140 for the vest; $190 for the full-zip. smartwool.com. [AS]

Home in one piece

Need to safeguard a beautiful bottle of Bordeaux from France, freshly-pressed olive oil from Italy or homemade preserves from Grandma’s house? The VinniBag is a reusable travel bag with an inflatable air chamber designed to protect its contents against impact and leakage. In other words, no more having to roll fragile souvenirs in T-shirts and pyjamas, though the bag should be cushioned in between clothing for maximum protection. When inflated, its air chamber conforms to its contents, whether it’s a 750-millilitre bottle or small items like espresso cups, and suspends and immobilizes them without touching; it’s not designed for items with rough edges. When not in use, the bag stores flat, rolled or folded. When it wears out, customers who return it to the company will get a discount on their next purchase. Old bags are recycled into garden hoses.US$28. vinnibag.com or amazon.com. [CC]

It’s a case, it’s a charger, it's...

The Eton Mobius is many things in one: it’s a protective case for that fragile glass-covered iPhone4, it’s green (in sensibility, not colour) and it’s a solar-powered charger. One hour of sun on the solar cells is enough for 25 minutes of talk time, 20 minutes of Internet use, 35 minutes of video playback and two hours of audio playback. The 800 mAh lithium ion battery pack will store power for later use, and a standby switch allows you to send that power over to the phone when you run low on juice. Perfect for those who constantly forget to charge their phones. (You know who you are.) $80.95. amazon.ca. [AS]

A bear hug like no other

It’s a good thing Lug’s Undercover Bears are machine washable because the kids you’re buying them for is going to take this blanket-and-pillow set everywhere Each “agent” in the 10-bear super squad has a special strength that’ll comfort your kid while travelling to an unusual and faraway land: the liquorice-loving Agent Boomer, for instance, will wrap your kid in power and courage, while the iron-pumping Agent Boots will make sure he or she stays healthy. The 87.5-by-115-centimetre blanket fits inside the 27.5-by-22.5-centimetre case, as does the inflatable pillow included. The blanket and pillow are also super soft, and snooze inducing. Lug’s new Cub Caps toque ($16 for kids aged two through six) complement the set in the same 10 Undercover Bear colours. $30. The company’s also got a best-selling Nap Sac blanket-and-pillow set ($28) that’s a tried-and-true favourite with adults. www.luglife.ca. [CC]

Pocket solutions

Here’s a useful stocking stuffer or miniature gift: the Leatherman Style PS is a TSA-friendly multi-tool (yes, you can carry it onto a US plane) that clips onto a keychain, a bag or a backpack. Leatherman makes smartly designed, high-quality multi-tools that look great and this diminutive model is no exception. It comes with a bottle opener, a flat/Phillips screwdriver, a nail file, scissors, spring-action needle-nose pliers, spring-action regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters, tweezers — all this in a 7.5-centimetre, 44.7-gram package. The multi-tasking traveller on your list will be ready for just anything — except if he or she has to open a can of beans. Though the Style is TSA compliant, do yourself and favour and pull it out in full view when passing security. $13.75. mec.ca. [AS]

Flip and go

The T-Pass Ekert Slim Laptop Brief is a handsome laptop bag that’s TSA-compliant, which mean no more pulling your computer out of your bag to go through security. You just unzip the bag down the centre, lay it flat and pop it on the rails through the x-ray machine. Part of Tumi's sleek and affordable T-Tech Data line, it’s made of tough ballistic nylon with leather trim — perfect for that conservative (in look only) and sophisticated traveller on your list. US$195. tumi.com. [AS]

Zip across the world

Zipbuds are tangle-resistant earbuds made by bonding plastic zipper teeth onto braided nylon cables. The left and right cables zip together (up) and apart (down) — and make you wonder why no one invented sooner. The new Generation 2 Zipbuds feature 11-millimetre drivers (instead of eight-millimetre ones) and redesigned aluminum buds that are more formfitting. The Gen 2s are also 20 percent lighter than their predecessors. They come with three ear-tip sizes and two sport-ear clips. They don’t include a microphone. Zipbuds are available in different colour combos of black, blue, pink and white, and are compatible with iPhones and iPods as well as other devices that accept standard 3.5-millimetre headphone inputs. US$39.99, but you should factor in the hefty international shipping: US$25 to US$30. zipbuds.com. [CC]

Camera directions

Know someone embarking on a multicity cruise or road trip? Gift him or her Fujifilm’s new GPS-equipped, 14-megapixel XP30 digital compact. Besides geo-tagging photos with latitude and longitude coordinates or location names (making searching and sorting easier), the built-in GPS can calculate the distance and direction from your current location to that chanced-upon, off-the-beaten-path beach you blissfully indulged in yesterday. The rugged “adventure-proof” XP30 is dustproof, freezeproof (max of -10°C), shockproof (up to a 1.5-metre fall) and waterproof (up to five metres underwater). There’s an LED in the front to light the way in the dark and an anti-slip rubber grip to hold onto in rough conditions. Only available in blue in Canada. $229.99 at Future Shop. fujifilm.ca. [CC]

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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