8 Great Inflight Products

You know, or should know, by now that I am a member of the carryon club: a strong proponent of carrying all your stuff onto flights and not checking bags. In fact, Pack Light, is my first habit of happy travelers.

It is definitely a challenge to pack light but still make sure you have useful inflight products.

With that background, here are some of my travel ninja packing techniques and favorite inflight products along with a few items I will try on future flights.

8 Great Inflight Products

1. Camelbak Filtered Water Bottle. Whenever possible, I avoid buying beverages in plastic bottles. My main change was to buy and use a refillable water bottle with a charcoal filter. I currently have my second water bottle from Camelbak. My first was left on a flight and I hoped it would be returned; I even tweeted about it to the airline (no luck). Other people use products like SteriPEN, LifeStraw, or water filters. Such products save you money and save the world from more plastic. I usually also bring an extra water bottle (non filtered) and fill both from water fountains after security check and before boarding a flight.


Camelbak filtered water bottle, photo from Camelbak.com
Camelbak filtered water bottle, photo from Camelbak.com


2. Entertainment. I love exploring new places but really no longer enjoy the flight process to get there (I once did!). Some flights have great entertainment while some have none. I always pack a few magazines and something to write with and on. Sometimes I will have a book, my iPad (to watch movies), or playing cards.

3. Headphones. I am content with plain old ear buds. Maybe one day I will splurge (or receive as a gift) the industry gold standard of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. For me, personal headphones are convenient for listening to my own music (on an iPod Shuffle or iPhone) or the airplane’s entertainment system, like DirecTv and SiriusXM on JetBlue.

4. Supplies. I always have a travel size bottle of Purell. If I run out or forget it, then I buy a new bottle ASAP at my destination. Usually I also bring a travel pack of baby wipes. I have not gone full out into bringing disinfectant wipes (for those nasty germy airplane spots) but I always think about it.

5. Snacks. Even five years ago, I could rely on getting enough sustaining snacks during flight. Today, carriers are focused on the bottom line (financials) and complimentary snacks are rare to find. Even on short flights, I make sure to brings some snacks. I tend to bring snacks like granola bars and wasabi peas.

Charles McCool carryon packing items
Some inflight products I pack

The following three products were recently provided to me as promos. I will write full reviews after I take them on a flight.

6. Head DEFENDER. Is it just me who wants to shower right after getting off an airplane? To combat the germs found on headrests, Keely Watson invented “the first stylish headrest cover that kills 99.9% of disease causing germs that cause Staph, MRSA, the common cold and the flu. It’s unique integrated solution allows it to be washed over and over without losing it’s strength. The Head DEFENDER is a stylish, easy to carry product, that helps DEFEND you on every flight.”

Keely sent me a note saying that the Head DEFENDER is also great for movie theatre headrests. Thank you Keely and Lamont PR for providing me with a complimentary product to review.


Head Defender Seat Cover, photo from HeadDefender.com
Head Defender, photo from HeadDefender.com


7. Vector Cup Holder. I have never brought a laptop computer on a trip (really!) but I know thousands of travelers do so every day. To protect expensive devices from beverage spills, Cliff Thier invented the Vector Cup Holder—which attaches to the tray table and keeps beverages off the table and your computer safe. It is slick, sleet, aluminum, and will surely be a topic of conversation with passengers on future flights.

Thank you Cliff for sending me a Vector Cup Holder to review on a future flight.


Vector Cup Holder, photo from VectorWerks.com
Vector Cup Holder, photo from VectorWerks.com

8. Backpack. I am typically not picky about the type of bag I bring on the plane. As long as it is small enough to bring aboard and not be checked, I am content. My typical bag is usually a soft sided bag with one main compartment. MM Brand Agency recently sent me a Power Pack 3.0 from Outdoor Products and I will use it as a carryon on my next flight. This bag has a dedicated compartment for a laptop, lots of open space, security features, and several zippered and formatted compartments—for pens, digital gear (hopefully I will not lose any more chargers), and more.

Thank you MM Brand Agency and Outdoor Products for sending me a Power Pack 3.0

Power Pack 3.0, photo from REI.com
Power Pack 3.0, photo from REI.com

What are your go-to products for surviving long flights?

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20 thoughts on “8 Great Inflight Products”

  1. Great ideas! Of course I knew about some of them and already use them, but I had never heard of the head defender or thought about the cup holder! Great post!!

  2. I used one of those vector cup holders on a recent flight to LA and loved it! I use the noise cancelling headphones because I swear that I have less jet lag when I use them. I also wear hideously frumpy compression socks on flights of more than 5 hours. That headrest cover is a great idea and the backpack looks great! Just remember it’s behind you when you turn around ( said the short person who’s been thumped with many of them). I’ve gotten lazy and have been massively overpacking but am forcing myself back to carry-on for my next trip. Wish me well!

  3. I always pack Neosporin to put up my nose with q-tips. It is what keeps me well on flights where the people around me are sneezing and coughing.

  4. I’m with you – carry-on only! Makes things much easier. Snacks and water are a must. I recently started carrying my own water bottle too. Much better. You know where the water came from and have it when you want it not when they come around. I also have to have my eye mask and my music.

  5. My number one product is my kindle. Like you, I try to travel with hand luggage only – now that I take a kindle rather than lots of books I have room for a few clothes as well!

  6. So many great tips! Entertainment is key so along with my kindle I always have my IPod for music or an audio book. I wear a light scarf to wrap around my neck which helps with the cold but also works great to drape over my eyes and block out the light if I want to sleep. However, I’m still looking for a good (blowup) travel pillow – mine always seem to have a slow leak. Anita

  7. I don’t have it yet, but for my next overseas flight I think I will get an eye mask. I can generally shut out background noise if I want to get some shut-eye (or can put my earbuds in for background music), but I found the light kept me up on my last long-haul flight.

  8. Some great idea and suggestions. Yes, the ultimate travel pillow would be something that I’d definitely go for – mine are always too bulky and not really that comfortable (but better than nothing!). Thanks by the way for commenting on my blog the other day 🙂

  9. Like you, I think very carefully about each and every product I take with you because it’s so cumbersome to have too much stuff.

  10. That cup holder is genius! Best for a window seat on a full flight, though, yes? I’d love to find a travel pillow that doesn’t take up space AND supports well.

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