The 11 greatest journey merchandise we examined in 2021



CNN Underscored is continually testing merchandise — be it espresso makers or workplace chairs — to search out the very best in every respective class.

Our testing course of is rigorous, consisting of hours of analysis (consulting specialists, studying editorial opinions and skimming consumer scores) to search out the highest merchandise in every class. As soon as we choose a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting every product a number of occasions in real-world settings. All this in an effort to choose the very best merchandise.

This 12 months, we examined dozens of travel-related merchandise — from carry-on baggage to sleep masks — to search out the perfect merchandise that you must whip up any espresso with ease.

The Away Carry-On has every little thing you need in a suitcase: sturdiness, considerate group, sensible options and stylish design, all at a good worth level as well. It stood up very nicely to our abuse, dealing with being kicked, jumped on and dropped down stairs with solely minor scuffing and 0 lasting dents. It additionally makes use of clean YKK zippers, an aluminum telescopic deal with and 4 double Hinomoto spinner wheels, which in our testing glided seamlessly on pavement, hardwood and grass alike.

The Chatelet obtained particularly excessive marks for sturdiness, due to its Bayer virgin Makrolon polycarbonate shell, Hinomoto wheels and aluminum deal with. The outer shell is thicker and has much less give than Away’s — making the case heavier and fewer versatile general, but additionally much less dent-prone. In truth, the Chatelet primarily ignored all our makes an attempt to wreck it. The shell additionally has a frivolously textured diamond sample meant to cut back the looks of scratches and scuffs, and it was certainly extra scuff-proof in our checks than the Away.

The Calpak Ambeur is a severely attractive bag that clearly had lots of thought put into its design particulars. Its smooth, monochromatic exterior is endlessly Instagrammable, and even the wheels and telescopic deal with match the remainder of the case. The Calpak Ambeur additionally had a few of our favourite high and aspect handles of the bunch, with a squishy cushioned grip that made for an extremely snug carry. To high issues off, the bag can also be exceedingly gentle at simply 6 kilos.

Polycarbonate is among the many greatest hardside suitcase supplies, however you’ll often must pay a premium for it. Not so with the Samsonite Omni, which has a totally polycarbonate shell but could be snagged for about $100. The micro-diamond texture is much like that of the Delsey Chatelet, and prevented any severe scuffing in our testing — with out Delsey’s bulk. The Omni weighs simply 6.8 kilos and has an enormous 41-liter capability. This can be a very sturdy bag with loads of house, and in addition comes with Samsonite’s 10-year guarantee.

• Learn extra from our testing of carry-on baggage right here.

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

The Away Medium suitcase was probably the most well-rounded piece of bags we examined, outdoing the opposite baggage in lots of our most vital checks. It’s solidly sturdy, with only some scuffs from its journey down the steps. It additionally has an unbelievable inside compression system, is well maneuverable and is even snug to hold for these occasions that you must carry it out and in of the automobile.

The Samsonite Freeform Medium Spinner carried out fairly nicely in our checks, particularly when considering that the opposite baggage that carried out as nicely price nearer to $300. The Freeform’s wheels are smoother than those on the Away suitcase, and with an expandable zipper on the skin, it could match greater than our general winner, whereas weighing almost a pound much less.

• Learn extra from our testing of checked baggage right here.


The Cabeau Evolution S3 updates the usual U-shaped journey pillow design with raised sides that lightly cradled our head and neck once we used it. The S3’s flat again additionally rested comparatively flush towards our seat, stopping our head from uncomfortably jutting ahead, whereas an adjustable entrance clasp allow us to barely tighten or loosen the neck opening to our liking, which makes it potential to tailor the pillow to vacationers of various sizes.

• Learn extra from our testing of journey pillows right here.


Let’s get proper to our favourite factor about this masks: the adjustable nostril wire. Just like the nostril wire in the masks that now we have develop into all too aware of within the final 12 months, the Mavogel’s nostril wire enables you to get the right light-blocking, lock-in-place match. Many masks had a slight crack of sunshine across the nostril bridge. This masks, although, fashioned the perfect seal across the edges, blocking out extra gentle than every other masks we examined.

• Learn extra from our testing of sleep masks right here.

Benjamin Levin/CNN

The Anker PowerCore 13000 packs a ton of worth. You possibly can shortly cost quite a bit with the PowerCore 13000; it could carry an iPhone 11 to full cost two and a half occasions, or two Samsung Galaxy S20s from empty to greater than 90%. And also you received’t be sitting by idly for too lengthy, both, because the PowerCore 13000 takes simply 41 minutes to cost an iPhone 11 to 50%, tying for quickest charging in our testing.

The Belkin Energy Pocket 5K was the smallest and lightest charger we examined: simply 5 inches lengthy, 2.5 inches vast and a half-inch thick. There are few locations this battery received’t match, but many gadgets it’ll cost.

The charging capability of the Energy Pocket 5k is modest, but it surely did come closest to residing as much as its claimed output out of all of the fashions we examined. Whereas its most capability is said to be 5,000mAh, we measured it at about 3,655mAh. That’s 73% of the anticipated worth, which is 12% higher than common in our testing. Whereas its capability isn’t large, it’s greater than sufficient to carry an iPhone 11 or Samsung Galaxy S10 battery again to full life. The one important draw back we might discover was the charging velocity: It takes somewhat greater than 51 minutes to cost an iPhone 11 to 50%.

The Belkin Enhance Cost Energy Pocket 5K provides a bit much less capability than the Belkin Energy Pocket 5K, but it surely’s a match made in heaven for iPhones — and it expenses quicker, too.

Alongside one aspect of the Belkin Enhance Cost resides a USB Kind-A port and a Lightning port (MFi-approved) to cost the battery. That is the massive deal right here — that’s the exact same form of port that your iPhone and iPad has. In different phrases, so long as you’ve got a Lightning cable to cost your iPhone (we’re going to imagine you do), you’ve got a cable to recharge your battery, too. Consolidating cables is a giant win in our e book. This charger additionally pairs higher alongside a smartphone as a result of it’s lighter than the Anker 13000 and sports activities extra of an oblong form, so it suits a bit extra comfortable within the hand.

• Learn extra from our testing of moveable chargers right here.


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