The iMums Favorite Travel Tech Products, Part 1-Mary’s Must Haves

It is summer again and for my family and many others that means time to go on summer vacation! I have always loved traveling and before kids I visited many places around the world. Since having kids my travel is not quite so footloose and fancy free, but we still love to travel as a family. Every year we go on transatlantic flights to visit my family back in the UK and Ireland, and closer to home we also love to go camping and spend days at the pool, beach or lake.

In this article I want to share some of my favorite travel products that make my life easier every time I travel, including products I use in the car, on the plane, camping and at pool, beach or lake.

1. Back up Battery

myCharge_Razor_Max_6000_mAh_poratble_battery_charger_hero_largeOn long plane journeys and other times when electricity isn’t readily available a good back up battery is essential for keeping everything charged. I find this especially important for keeping the kids iPads charged during our 10 hour plus transatlantic flights and for keeping my phone charged during our camping trips. There are many back up batteries on the market and features I look for include: keeping their charge for long periods when not in use, multiple outlets so I can charge more than 1 device at once, powerful enough that I can use for an iPad when needed and not too bulky or heavy. A good choice is the RazorMax from myCharge it is a 6000mAH battery, with 2 USB ports a combined 2.4A output, and is quite slim and light for it’s output. It is 4.4 in x 2.6 in x 0.5 in and weighs 0.38 lbs. Available from myCharge RRP $69.99

2. External Storage for my iOS Devices

SanDisk-Connect-Wireless-Media-DriveDuring long car or plane journeys a great way to keep the kids happy and entertained is to bring along their favorite movies and even some ones they’ve never seen before. Movies can quickly fill up your iPad storage so I load them onto an external storage device. For movie watching and streaming my favorite storage device is the SanDisk Connect Media Drive. It streams up to 8hrs, connects to up to 8 devices at once and can stream 5 different movies simultaneously. For me it is a must-have travel accessory for families on the go, and it is very reasonably priced for the amount of extra storage you get. I especially love how you can add even more storage capacity very economically using SD cards. It is available with 32GB or 62GB memory. Available from Amazon.com and other retailers from $69.99 for 32GB version. Read my full review.

3. Car Charger

 

ribbn-car-charger-lightning-2-4a-charging Another must-have is a way to keep my iPhone and other tech charged whilst on the road and I’ve found the RIBBN car charger from TYLT is a great choice. It delivers 4.8 Amps – making it powerful enough to charge 2 tablets at once. It has a built-in charging cable and a separate USB charging port. I use the lightning version – it has a built-in lightning cable that I use with my iPhone, iPad Mini or iPad Air (a version with a Micro-USB cable is also available.)  The charging cable is flat and tough and never gets tangled.  I use the 2nd USB charging slot with my own cables to charge a variety of other electronics. Available from TYLT.com for US$49.99

4. Mobile Hot Spot

When I’m away from home I find a mobile hot spot is the best way to ensure I have a reliable internet connection. I have AT&T phone service and find the NETGEAR Unite Hot Spot a great choice as I can add it to my mobile phone service. But if a hot spot is not something you use year around getting one on contract may not be the best option for you. The Around Town from NETGEAR is a great option in this situation as not only does it not require a contract but there is an option to buy data for it that never expires! The Around Town is a 4G LTE mobile hotspot that allows you to securely connect up to 10 devices and its battery lasts up to 10 hours, it uses the Sprint network. It comes with 1GB of data, additional data can be purchased. Available from Amazon and other retailers for US$199.99

 

5. Headphones

iB37B-blue.jpg.450x400_q85For the sake of my sanity I always make sure to pack several pairs of headphones when traveling with the kids. That way each of them can watch their own movies or play their games without me having to listen to them! It also means that I can chill out and relax to my own music in the evenings after they have gone to sleep. A current favorite in our family are the iB37 Color Changing Headphones from iHome. They are adjustable enough that they fit my 8 year-old daughter and yet are comfortable for me to wear too, do a good job of blocking out external noise and sound good. A fun extra (that we don’t use in the car or on the plane) is the color changing option. Coming soon from iHome RRP US$49.99

 

6. Solar Powered Light

imageI recently discovered the Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern and it is a great addition to our family camping equipment. It has 10 bright LEDs and requires no batteries as it runs entirely on its own solar panels. It makes a great backpacking light as it weighs only 4 oz and folds to 1 inch thick. It takes a few seconds to inflate to lantern mode or it can be kept folded to use as a flashlight. Available from Amazon, Big 5 and other retailers for US$14.99


7. Wet Electronics Rescue Pouch 
8577726251_21e3c33567_zOne product I carry with me when I go to the lake, beach or pool, but hope never to have to use is the Evap Wet Electronics Pouch from Kensington. If your mobile phone accidentally goes for a swim the Evap pouch can be a lifesaver (or at least a phone saver!) It contains a drying agent that is 700% more effective than using rice at removing moisture. You simply remove your phone battery and Sim card, wipe off any surface moisture and place in the pouch between to 2 pouches, seal and wait 24 hours or until the moisture indicator shows it is ready. Available from Kensington.com and other retailers RRP US$14.99.

8. Rugged, Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker

If you are looking for a tough  Bluetooth speaker to take with you the iBN68 from iHome is a great choice. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, its rechargeable battery lasts up to 14 hours and it will even recharge your smartphone too! RRP $119

Where ever you go it is fun to be able to listen to music even when you are away from a power source. My favorite “take it anywhere” speaker is the iBN6 Rugged Waterproof Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker from iHome. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means you can even submerge it in water. It has a rubberized exterior to help it withstand knocks and as it is dust and waterproof it is a great choice for a camping trip or day out at the beach, pool or lake. Its rechargeable battery lasts up to 14 hours and it will even recharge your smartphone too! Just in case you get thirsty it has a carabiner with a built-in bottle opener too.  Available from iHome, Amazon and other retailers  RRP US$99

9. Added Peace of Mind at the Pool, Beach or Lake

Goggles and bands 1My 3 kids love to play in water, but as a parent I can find it very stressful, especially as I have 1 non-swimmer. A product which helps to give me peace of mind is iSwimband. It does not replace proper adult supervision around water, but is designed to give you an extra early warning system should your non-swimmer fall in the water or your swimmer stay submerged too long. iSwimband is a wearable sensor that works in conjunction with a smartphone app. In can be attached via a wrist strap for non-swimmers (such as toddlers) and a headband/google strap for swimmers. Available from iSwimband.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $59.99.Read my full review

10. Smartphone Mount for the Car
17743670533_1e1e30e6e6_z When traveling by car I often use my cellphone as a GPS navigation system, and to do that I need it securely mounted where I can see it without taking my eyes off the road. The Universal Car Mount from Kensington is a great solution for this, and is really flexible, working with different vehicles and phones.It mounts in 2 ways- either via a 12 inch long flexible arm attached to a powerful suction cup, or via a vent clip. The mount works in both portrait and landscape mode, and releases with a touch of a button. I love that it is really easy to adjust and will work with lots of different size smartphones up to and including the iPhone6+. Read my full review. Available from Kensington.com for US $29.99.


iPhone Screenshot 2
Of course you need a great navigation app to go with your smartphone, and my favorite navigation apps are the CoPilot series by ALK Technologies. They are available for US and Canada as well as many other countries, you can read my review of the UK and Ireland version here. I love that they can be used off-line, saving precious data (especially important with international data roaming charges!) They are regularly updated, have clear directions, alternative route options and you can also get live traffic updates.

These are some of my travel “must-haves”, what are yours? I’d love to hear about how you like to spend your summer, and what products you have found most useful on your travels.

Note: Some of the products included in this article were supplied by the companies for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received. Their inclusion was the decision of the author, all opinions stated in the article are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – With Great Giveaways Too!

shareasimage (27)

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones? 2014 is drawing to a close and it is time to start shopping for Christmas Gifts. The iMums have been searching far and wide for gifts that will be a hit with family members of all ages. Which ones are on your wish list this Holiday Season ?

We have picked out some of our favorite products from the past year to share with you including products for the home,and office,  for the young and young at heart, gifts for use on the go, photography picks, and some brand new cases for the iPhone!

 

Gifts for The Young and Young at Heart

In this section we highlight some cool products that kids and teens will enjoy, but they aren’t just for kids – adults will have just as much fun racing a rally car, enjoying a light and sound show or feeling the soothing effects of playing with sand.

[metaslider id=54674]

 

For the Home and Office

We have a great selection of gift ideas for the home and office. Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a pet lover, a home baker,

[metaslider id=54681]

Gifts for On-The-Go

We have a great range of on-the-go gift ideas including mobile storage solutions, portable speakers and bags and cases for the avid traveller and those who like to stay closer to home.

[metaslider id=54679]

 

For the Photographer

Whether you prefer to take pictures with your DSLR or iPhone we have some great gift ideas.

[metaslider id=54782]

 

Stocking Stuffers

These are a few of our favorite gift ideas for $30 or less.

[metaslider id=54800]

 

Giveaways

Giveaway for the Perfect Bake
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a ReadyNAS RN102
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a Minnie Amelie bag from Mia Tui
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win an Ozobot Smart Robot – Congrats to our Winner Helen W – your prize is on the way!!

Sales and offer codes

Yantouch Diamond+ 

From November 18 until December 31, 2014, the Diamond+ is $50 off, priced at only $99 (normally $149) from Amazon Yantouch IceDiamond+  when using coupon code YT50DOFF

Ozobot

To celebrate the launch of #OzoGroove, we’re offering 20% off Ozobot Dual Packs when you use the promo code: GROOVY20 Visit www.ozobot.com to purchase!

Mia Tui

15% off your entire order using the code imums at MiaTuiUSA

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Kicker Vapor Headphones by Kicker Audio – Review

Vapor front

Summary

The Vapor Headphones from Kicker Audio are an awesome pair of headphones. They are light and incredibly comfortable, with soft leather trapezoid ear cups and an adjustable padded headband. The audio is clear and detailed with thumping bass. RRP $199.99 available from Kicker.com

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Vapor Headphones are the latest premium headphones from Stillwater, OK based Kicker Audio. Kicker Audio have been designing Audio products in America’s heartland for over 40 years with an emphasis on re-creating live performance and great bass.

The Vapor headphones are  Kicker’s top of the line headphones. They are black with yellow trim. The ear cups are a rather unusual trapezoid shape and feature very soft leather ear pads, I found them very comfortable even for extended use. The leather means they are better able to cope with perspiration, and likely to last better than synthetic coverings. The headband is padded and has a stainless steel trim. I found the padded headband took a little getting used to (most of my headphones don’t have padding here), but once I adjusted to it I found it was very comfortable and helped keep the earphones in place during extended wear.

Vapor R

 

The detachable audio cable is flat,  bright yellow, and has an inline microphone and  3 button remote control. When connected to your iPhone you can use the inline control to answer calls, access Siri, increase or decrease volume, pause, and resume. I found the flat cord design really worked well for avoiding tangled cords. I really like having detachable cords on headphones- if it gets caught on something it avoids damaging the cord, and if the cord fails it is much cheaper to get a new cord instead of a new set of headphones.

vaporCord

 

The headphones fold for transport and come with a great hard-sided, zippered, carrying case which protects them when not in use.

vaporCaseFor listening the audio quality is very good – crisp, clear sound with lots of detail and a a strong bass. I listened to a variety of different genres and really enjoyed the sound quality. If you are not a fan of lots of bass, these probably not the headphones for you, but for everyone else I would highly recommend them.

 

 

Vapor front

The Vapor Headphones from Kicker Audio are an awesome pair of headphones. They are light and incredibly comfortable, with soft leather trapezoid ear cups and an adjustable padded headband. The audio is clear and detailed with thumping bass. RRP $199.95 available from Kicker.com, Amazon and other retailers.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Technical Specifications

Drive Components                                      1.58″( 40mm)

Frequency Response                                  20-20kHz

Sensitivity                                                    103 dB SPL/mW
Impedance                                                  40 Ohms
Input Connections                                    0.138, 3.5mm
Weight                                                         6.35oz (180gm)
Accessories                                                   zippered hard case; detachable flat cable
Microphone Specifications
Frequency Response                              50-10kHz, ± 10dB
Sensitivity                                                 -44 dB/1mW, ± 3
Impedance                                                2 Ohms

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

12 Great Gifts for Dads and Grads – and win $150 gift card and more!

With Father’s Day rapidly approaching and graduation right around the corner you may be on the look out for the perfect gift for the man in your life. The iMums have brought together 12 gift ideas to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Is your man a music fan ? Does he love to take pictures with his iPhone ? Is grilling his passion? Maybe he needs a stylish new timepiece or needs help getting up in the morning or finding his car keys. We have ideas for all of these and more. We even have a chance to win some of these fabulous gifts – enter via the rafflecopters and be sure to check our list of open giveaways too !

[metaslider id=48377]

Giveaways and Special Offers

Toffee Cases have kindly given us a $150 Voucher for their website, this can be redeemed in Australia, NZ, USA, UK and Canada.

They are also having  a Father’s Day sale- for 20% off site wide use the code EOFY20 – Enter to win the $150 Voucher here

Jord Wood watches have given us a FieldCrest Maple Wood Watch Valued at $120 to giveaway  Enter to win the wood watch here

Grip & Shoot– have given us a complete Grip & Shoot package in white valued at $100 to giveaway – Enter here to win the Grip & Shoot

Griffin Technology are having a 20% off sale use the coupon code DADNGRAD for 20% off sitewide

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Pin It on Pinterest