Christmas gift guide: Home comforts on the move


Treat yourself on your travels with these lightweight, compact and easy-to-pack gadgets and accessories

Matt & Nat Manchester Bag

What a concept – a totally vegan bag; smart, unpretentious and made by a socially conscious firm with an eye for design. No animal products feature in any bags or wallets – think cork, recycled plastic, corduroy and Japanese paper instead. Twenty-one plastic bottles went into the inner of this classy, matt-black, canvas weekend bag. Users love it for its utilitarian style, and it's the right size for cabin luggage, with compartments for laptops and the like. Take a look at the cork iPad cases too.

How much: £140

Where from:

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Champ

Fish scaler, wood saw, magnifying glass... the Champ's 28 tools let you do just about anything. It's sturdy and compact and its owners love it. "The snob in me wanted a Leatherman," says one. "But I'm glad to have this – more tools, more reasonably priced, good quality." Just don't pack it in your hand luggage.

How much: £39.95

Where from:

Eminence Organic Skincare Travel Sets

These handmade lotions from the Hungarian beauty experts will soothe your skin after the travails of travel. Feted by the Green Beauty Bible and the likes of Jessica Biel, they include sour-cherry masques and rosehip whip moisturisers. Choose to suit skin type: normal, dry, oily, sensitive or age-defying.

How much: From £35

Where from:

Bamboo Scarf

Drape yourself in this generous, silky scarf safe in the knowledge that it hasn't been made in a sweatshop nor has it damaged the environment. Measuring two by one metres, it can double as a travel blanket. This eco brand, known for its yoga wear, weaves fabric from sustainable bamboo to create a super-soft but durable cloth which is more absorbent and dries faster than cotton. It comes in burnt orange, black, chocolate brown, lilac and taupe/grey.

How much: £45

Where from:

Mini Hair Straighteners

These styling plates are easy to pack and can plug in anywhere with a universal voltage capability and three-to-two-pin plug. Men love them as the 1cm plates are fine enough for short and spiky hair. They can also do curls, flicks and ultra-straight and heat up in a jiffy. They come with temperature control and sleep mode for the forgetful.

How much: £83.95

Where from:

Kodak Playsport Video Camera Burton Edition ZX5

Shockproof, waterproof up to three metres and dustproof, this is a nifty little video camera which you needn't be overly precious about whether you're at the beach, pool or on the slopes. Users love it for its robust, ergonomic build: "easy and intuitive to use," says one sailor. With image stabilisation, it's perfect for winter sport wipe-outs. A high-definition video camera which adjusts to ambient light and offers various effects, it's at least one up from the basic point-and-shoot competitors. Prices start from around £96, or pay more for the latest winter sport kit: this includes cable, memory card, remote control, tripod and grip case for those moments when you need both hands.

How much: From £149.99

Where from:

Silk Travel Pillow

This best-selling pillow – handmade and stuffed with fine mulberry silk, encased in silk – is supremely comfortable. Fans of this grown-up equivalent of a comfort blanket swear by it, whether they are camping or crossing the Atlantic. Light and easy to pack down, it won't take up precious packing space. Cheshire-based Natalie Xiao Bell made her first pillow case when she was nine years old and now sources silk from her native China.

How much: £55

Where from:

Digital Silence In-Ear Headphones

Blocking out the din of airports, trains and in-flight hum, these headphones live up to their name. Ear buds rather than over-the-head models, they lack the cool of the high-end market, and the noise-cancellation unit will need recharging, but music lovers swear by the high-definition speakers. "These earphones are definitely the best by far," says a frequent flyer. They come with an on-cord microphone, so calls on the move are less frantic. Users declare the rechargeable noise-cancellation function really works – look out for the latest version just released.

How much: From £35-£60

Where from:

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

    Employment Solicitor

    Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

    Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

    £600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

    Commercial Litigation Associate

    Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

    Day In a Page

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride