travel gadgets, gifts and products: Pillow Talk Mobile Pillow
Spice of Life

Travel Products That Get Big Jobs Done in Small Spaces

Pillow Talk Mobile Pillow

It's the travel pillow that will also clamp your smartphone in place on flights. The Pillow Talk Mobile Pillow ($48) from Spice of Life is 56 inches long, can bend into any shape, and then preserve its position so you don't have to hold your screen in your hand for hours. This unique conversation starter comes in five colors, but none of them look like octopus tentacles, which feels to us like a missed opportunity.

travel gadgets, gifts and products: Skogfe Refillable Perfume Atomizer
Skogfe Refillable Perfume Atomizer

Perfume or cologne usually comes in a bottle that's too fancy, too heavy, or too big to pack well. With the Skogfe Refillable Perfume Atomizer ($14 for 4), you can carry a small amount of fragrance—about 70 sprays' worth at a time—which will agonize neither airport security nor your aching back.

travel gadgets, gifts and products:  Sanikind Mini Refillable Eco-Friendly Hand Sanitizer
Sanikind Mini Refillable Eco-Friendly Hand Sanitizer

Typical containers of hand sanitizer can ooze easily if the cap is pressed by something else you're carrying in your luggage. The Sanikind Mini Refillable Eco-Friendly Hand Sanitizer ($13; add $13 for refills) takes care of that, storing about 450 sprays' worth. Each device is 3.3 inches tall and made from plastic recovered from the ocean in Haiti and Mexico. For the best results, order the orange-scented sanitizer, which is formulated at the right viscosity to work the best.

travel gadgets, gifts and products: Sabre Mighty Discreet Pepper Spray
Sabre Mighty Discreet Pepper Spray

The shrink job you just performed for perfume and sanitizer you can also do for whoop-ass. The Sabre Mighty Discreet Pepper Spray ($10) gives you an extra layer of liquid protection when you have to walk down unfamiliar streets. Each vial contains 16 bursts of pepper spray (may you never need to use any of them) and is capable of shooting streams up to 12 feet. The container's 0.19-ounce capacity is well under the legal limit for most U.S. states, but make sure you check local rules before flying internationally with this device—not every country permits self-defense spray, and even ones that do may require the item to be placed in checked luggage.

travel gadgets, gifts and products: Bug Bite Thing
Bug Bite Thing

Fix insect bites with hickeys! Really—when applied immediately after a sting or bite, the 5-inch-tall Bug Bite Thing ($10) reusable plunger, one of those rare Shark Tank products that actually developed a following, literally sucks the toxins back out. Using it promptly can reduce the itching of a mosquito attack, ease the reaction from bee or wasp venom, and even help pull a splinter back to the surface. The makers discourage you from using the device on your face or neck, where it might leave a temporary but hard-to-explain suck mark.

travel gadgets, gifts and products: Wad-Free

Anyone who has ever laundered large sheets knows that a tight cleaning schedule can be waylaid in the dryer, where bedding frequently bunches up, trapping moisture and fabric in a wrinkly mass that takes time to untangle and re-dry. Speed up the cleaning process in your vacation rental or guest room with Wad-Free ($20 for 2), a novel doodad that clasps the four corners of large bedsheets so there's a much lower chance of snarling into a soggy hot clump. We found attaching the item to be a little laborious, but we can't deny that when we got it right, it seemed to reduce balled-up sheets. (It's not recommended for rayon sheets that contain bamboo or eucalyptus.)

travel gadgets, gifts and products: Shell Starter 1200A
1200A Shell Portable Jump Starter

Improving battery technology has brought us improved roadside tool kits. If your car battery dies, you might not have to depend upon the kindness of strangers or AAA anymore. The 1200A Shell Portable Jump Starter ($130) can give your engine the boost it needs, and you can also use the product as a flashlight, beacon, or smartphone charger. Generally speaking, this unit can jump gasoline engines as big as 7 liters, which covers most passenger vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and minivans. (You might want to buy some jumper cables, though; the ones that come with this portable jump starter are pretty short.) Dimensions: 9.17 x 3.46 x 1.42 inches

travel gadgets, gifts and products: Front Runner Camp Kitchen Utensil Set
Front Runner
Front Runner Camp Kitchen Utensil Set

Eat, drink, and be organized. The 25-piece Front Runner Camp Kitchen Utensil Set ($65) contains everything you need for picnic or camping food prep for four people: not just table knives, spoons, and two sizes of forks (la-di-da, how upper class)—but also such civilized necessities as a corkscrew, serving spoon, bread knife, and even a cutting board. Everything together weighs just over 4 pounds.

travel gadgets, gifts and products: Zenbivy Double Bed
Zenbivy Double Bed

The Zenbivy Double Bed ($518) is a new solution for car sleeping or camping that enables couples to snuggle together without cold air leaking in. It's a bit more sophisticated and luxurious than a plain old sleeping bag: The quilt that envelops you clips to a separate sleeping pad so you won't roll off onto hard surfaces overnight, and the hood at the head is large enough to hold two standard pillows from home. An optional $60 Double Quilt Liner makes the inside feel a lot like bedsheets from home, too.

travel gadgets, gifts and products: RiotPWR Mobile Controller for iOS
RiotPWR Mobile Controller for iOS

The RiotPWR Mobile Controller for iOS ($70) is an easier way to play games on planes and trains. It plugs into your smartphone with a Lightning cord, eliminating the need for Bluetooth and batteries, and there's a headphone jack. But perhaps the biggest selling point is that you don't have to drain your phone to play games—you can plug the controller in while you play and it will keep your phone charged up. Although there's an Xbox button so you can use Xbox Cloud Gaming, the device is compatible with more than 1,000 games from a variety of makers. The same company also makes controllers for Android as well as controllers that are certified for other gaming platforms.