On this travel gear blog I usually review an item after a few days or a week of use and move on. But sometimes the positive impression is reinforced after I use something on several subsequent trips and give it more of a workout. In the past I've done some capsule mentions of things I use regularly, but here's a rewind look at some other items that have stood up well after the original review.
Targus Convertible Laptop Bag and Backpack
I still prefer a regular backpack style of laptop bag over this style because you can stuff a lot more in it and it's easier to get the laptop in and out at security without unhitching a clasp and moving a flap. When you're going into business meetings though, a backpack doesn't give a great impression. So I'll switch to this convertible Targus bag when I've got to go gladhanding for some reason. I can wear it over my shoulder like a messenger bag or carry it with the handle on top. But then when I'm strolling around the city, I can unzip the back panel, pull out another set of straps, and use it as a backpack. This thing is very well constructed, with some of the strongest-feeling hardware and zippers I've encountered.
Sennheiser Noise Canceling Headphones
I just flew across the Atlantic and back this past week and it was nice to hear Sigur Ros in full symphonic glory on my way to Iceland---without all the airplane engine noise as an intrusive extra instrument. I don't take these if the flight is short or space really tight in the carry-on; I usually take the Comply passive noise cancellation ones then instead. But when I'm in the air for four hours at a time or more, these can put me in my own little world (even in a cramped coach seat.) On my flight home the guy beside me was carrying the big Bose versions. His took up twice as much space and didn't sound any better---we did a swap, tried each others', and called it a wash.
Merrell Hiking Boots
I bought a version similar to these Merrell Outland Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots back before I even started reviewing gear for this blog, which is kind of the point of bringing them up. Years later they still do the job and have not popped a seam anywhere. On a rainy hike I noticed that they've lost some of their original waterproof tendencies, but that's easy enough to remedy with a little Nikwax waterproofing solution. Two other people in my group--both travel writers---were also raving about their Merrill boots, so that's three for three with active travelers who don't just leave them sitting in a closet. I also like these because they are sized wider than many competing models, so there is room for some thick socks. When these hiking boots finally go to their graveyard, I'm getting another pair of Merrells to take their place.
Tati Yes Watch
This quality watch has the ability to set "home" and "away" time zones, which is cool, but the main differentiator (besides the look) is the sun and moon cycles displayed constantly around the rim. If I want to go out and shoot photos in optimal light, this allows me to plan ahead, always knowing when sunset and sunset are. This can also be useful for everything from scheduling golf or tennis game around your work schedule to figuring out how late you can party in the Arctic daylight in August.