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Pack less, carry more
WITH the weather warming up in the Northern Hemisphere, and the school holidays around the corner, many of you are probably either planning or packing for travel or some rest and relaxation.
With that in mind, this month's Cult Status column brings you two products to help you save space in your carry-on and check-in baggage.
The first is a product that began as a Kickstarter project. It's a nifty little water bottle with an equally adorable name: the que bottle.
It comes in two sizes: a larger 600ml bottle (US$25), and a smaller 355ml one (US$20).
I bought two of the smaller size, in Iceberg Blue (a bright sky blue) and Glacier White (a very pale grey). It also comes in Sunbeam Orange, Violet Purple, Metallic Charcoal and Keylime Green.
As someone who doesn't enjoy lugging around a water bottle (it adds weight and takes up space), I loved the fact that the que bottle can be collapsed to half its size when you've drunk about that much or all of the water in it. It's also very light.
The concertina design serves another purpose: when you extend the bottle to its full height, the grooves along the exterior of the bottle, along with its rubbery texture, give you plenty of grip.
I bought one of the bottles for my school-going daughter, because it's shatterproof and leakproof. It's made of a rubbery food-grade (BPA/PVC-free) silicone that causes the bottle to simply bounce or roll if dropped on the floor.
The que bottle also has a stainless steel cap with a leakproof rim, so it doesn't ever end up soaking my daughter's school bag or my purse.
It can hold hot beverages of up to 60 deg C, as well as cold ones (though it doesn't keep drinks hot or cold). That brings me to another thing I really like about the bottle: its mouth is large enough for ice cubes to easily fit through, making it easy to chill your drink.
The bottle is also dishwasher-safe, for those of you who have dishwashers. It's also touted to be taste- and odour-free, as well as stain- and bacteria-resistant.
Plus, honestly, isn't it just the cutest-looking thing?
You can order it off Kickstarter, Amazon or Joyus. For Joyus.com, you will need a US credit card and a US postal address; you can also use a mail-forwarding service - such as HopShopGo - to purchase products on your behalf.
I bought my bottles from Joyus.com because the site had the best range of colours.
eBags Pack-it-Flat Toiletry Kit
For those of you who struggle to get those typically cuboid-shaped toiletry bags to fit into your luggage (mine literally stick out of my packing like a sore thumb), here's a space-saving alternative: a flat toiletry bag that's just 6cm high.
The eBags Pack-it-Flat Toiletry Kit (US$34.99) can simply be tossed on top of my stuff when I'm done; I no longer have to set aside large sections of space in my bag before I start packing.
Despite its compact height, the kit holds quite a lot. It is about 24 cm wide and 38 cm long - with a zippered option on the right that allows you to extend the bag a bit more.
The left section is lined with PVC film for damp contents.
The bag really excels with small items, such as travel-sized containers, make-up products and jewellery. Full-sized cosmetic and bath products don't use the space as effectively.
There are four zippered compartments - one of which holds five pocketed sections for easy sorting, and a removable hanging hook, should you prefer to hang up your toiletry bag (instead of unpacking everything) upon checking in.
The kit comes in eight colours - so each member of the family can have his own, with the different colours allowing easy identification.
The kit is available from eBags.com, which ships worldwide. eBags also offers a lifetime warranty for its products.
- Cult Status is a monthly column focused on the best products, services and experiences we come across.