Roving Rachel's best crowd-funded travel products that are online right now

​Roving Rachel takes on the Vago sucking device, stuffs everything in, dodges bullets and gets some sleep

One of the crew on my boat was showing off his snazzy travel hoodie last weekend. Unlike regular hoodies this one came with an inbuilt neck pillow, a pen attached to the zip, inside pockets to fit passports and travel documents and a hole to keep earphones attached. While it looked super smart and almost dressy (as dressy as one can look in a casual hoodie) it also served as a functional wardrobe piece. It turns out this marvellous hoodie was bought online through a crowd funding website some time ago. I wanted to see what new travel tech pieces were available now to blow some hard earned cash on.

Vago. A luggage-space saver.

Vago. The portable sucking device.
Vago. The portable sucking device.

More than 3000 backers have already funded the Vago space saving system. It helps travelers minimise suitcase space by vac-packing clothing. What sets this apart from your regular vac-pack bag from Target is the travel-sized, USB-powered pump that which removes the air gaps in your luggage. You will never need to carry a bulky vacuum on your family holiday to Bali again! Hurrah!

Priced from just US$31 for the Vago device and 150cm x 60cm packing bag, it won’t break the bank, however, once you realise you can fit up to 50% more clothing into your suitcase, you will end up overspending at that mid-year fashion sale after all.
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Space case 1 - The most advanced smart suitcase

Space Case 1 probably has more technology than the original moon lander.
Space Case 1 probably has more technology than the original moon lander.

Once you have used your Vago to suck out the air from your clothing, you are going to need a fancy suitcase to carry it all in. Space Case 1 could be for you! The developers have packed a sleuth of gadgets into this four-wheeled black beauty, including a digital self-scale, a power bank to charge your phone on the go, and to appease your inner spy, a digital fingerprint bio lock!

The Spacecase1 has been so popular that over US$1million has been raised so far and it’s now in production in several colours and designs. It comes in both carry-on size and check-in, with the former having a different battery pack due to airline regulations. A travel app was developed in conjunction with the case to serve as a personal concierge and to use the built-in Bluetooth GPS to track your stuff on arrival at your destination. Genius!
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iBackPack. A high-tech backpack

iBackPack can keep you alive.
iBackPack can keep you alive.

There are many travel backpacks out there now, each one boasting the latest mod-cons and including as many techie items as possible and the iBackPack is no different. Sure, it creates its own WIFI cloud, has a quad USB-hub waterproof charger, a Bluetooth speaker, and a rollable solar panel to keep your bits charged. But,the coolest addition? Bulletproof casing! If you are planning a trip to a war zone or your local ghetto you can be safe knowing the kevlar sheet will hold up against bullets and knife attacks. I’ll take two, please.
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QuietOn. Noise cancelling earplugs

QuietOn masks environmental noises.
QuietOn masks environmental noises.

Some years ago my mind was blown by the idea that someone would wear earphones just to block out noise. Now it turns out, not only are noise cancelling headphones amazing for travelling but also have undergone a revolutionary design change. Instead of the bulky 80’s-style headphones that regained popularity some time ago, QuietOn has downsized their headphones to tiny earbuds that allow travelers to sleep-freely while blocking out irritating noises. Unfortunately, they won't completely silence the 4-year-old screaming in seat 12K, but they will drastically reduce the noise pollution helping you to relax back with your fourth Bloody Mary on the flight.
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Dash. The minimalist travel wallet

Dash protects cash. And your passport.
Dash protects cash. And your passport.

Travelling is a sophisticated affair, so why shouldn't your travel wallet reflect this? I love how this suave wallet streamlines your travel documents and keeps the bulk down. Minimalisation is the key to classy here. A mysterious, unspecified form of RFID protection is included so your identity or money is not stolen from your credit cards: an evil necessary when travelling these days. The travel wallet comes in two styles, smooth and pebbled black leather. I just hope they bring out a bright fuchsia-coloured one in the near future so I can match it with my travel heels.
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