All of Our Reviews, Most Recent First

We loved and happily recommended the original UE Boom as well as its follow-up, the UE Boom 2. Hard acts to follow, but here comes the Ultimate Ears Boom 3. Has Logitech been able to find areas for improvement with this upgrade? A bit, yes. We’ll do a full comparison of the UE Boom 2 …

We’ve long been listening to and recommending both Ultimate Ears and Marshall speakers, and they’re at the top of our lists of larger, louder Bluetooth speakers. Here we’ll do a head-to-head comparison between the latest: the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 and the Marshall Kilburn II. Both are portable party monsters that go very loud, and both …

Torn between the old and the new versions of the deservedly loved Marshall Kilburn? The Marshall Kilburn II is getting lots of praise, but for now the original is still on sale and often discounted. So which should you get? We’ve done a thorough meta-analysis of the reviews for both, and this was one speaker …

The Bose SoundWear Companion is a beautiful-sounding innovation for personal sound, but this wearable neck speaker is also rather expensive. We’ve done a thorough comparison of every alternative speaker out there at present, and come up with some perfectly fine and much cheaper speakers that can help quality sound follow you around without blocking your …

We’ve gone all out in our head-to-head comparison of the features and sound of the JBL Charge 3 and the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3. These are very similarly sized waterproof portable Bluetooth speakers, they both go quite loud, and they are both consistently at the top of critics’ lists in terms of sound quality. But …

Stuck in a decision between the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 and its smart-speaker close cousin, the Megablast? We’ve done a thorough analysis of both speakers, including how they sound and the small differences in features that might make one better than the other. We’ve got a full side-by-side comparison below, followed by a meta-analysis of critical …

Reviews have been pouring in for the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 and we’ve analyzed what everyone has had to say about it — with a particular eye to comparing it to the original Ultimate Ears Megaboom (which was also a critical darling). Logitech skipped a number in their branding scheme with this speaker (there never …

I’ve been whizzing around France on TGV and other trains as cheaply as possible for over a decade. Riding the French rails is nearly always a joy, and if you know when to book and how to work the discount cards, sales, and special offers, you can bop around the French train system without shedding …

I’ve been an avid train rider in France for the past 16 years, but just a year ago I discovered an easier to book my tickets than the error-prone SNCF (official French national railway) websites. There are two great private alternatives for booking train tickets that cost exactly the same as the official OUI.sncf (as …

For over two years I’ve been crisscrossing Europe by train with a dog. I am a digital nomad and the dog in question is actually my daughter’s, but is with me while my daughter finishes her degree. So where I go, the dog goes. Traveling around Europe may seem like a carefree life, but it …

We’ve spent weeks testing websites to find out how to efficiently book the cheapest tickets for Italian train travel. We tested all kinds of routes and options, and looked at overall end purchase prices as well as the complaints about and defects with the national operator’s website, Trenitalia. We compared it to various private systems. There …

I’ve interviewed former students and a long-time trip leader about what you should pack — and, just as importantly, not pack — for study abroad trips. Add to that my own two study abroad experiences and a decade of living in all sorts of countries for extended periods. The result: some quite strong opinions and …

I’ve been booking trains in Italy for many years, and oh, the problems. Trenitalia’s official website is buggy to say the least, and the ticket machines in train stations are as confusing as the humans at the ticket counters. Worse, using foreign (American, French, etc.) credit cards can cause even more headaches. Italians have these problems …

For years I’ve ridden everything from the local S-Bahn to the bougie ICE trains that whisk you around Germany, so I know what to expect in terms of amenities.  With that in mind, I hereby present you with my guide as to what you can expect on their fleet as well. The Deutsche Bahn ferries …

Oh the problems with Renfe.com! I’m fluent in Spanish and have used the site for years, but I still get plenty of error messages myself. We’ve put together some of the major problems and what to do about them in this article, but basically the solutions boil down to one simple thing: buy your tickets …

In our search for the cheapest tickets and easiest booking, we’ve reviewed all of the options for buying train tickets for Spain — from the official Renfe site to a number of private portals. While Spanish trains in general are a pleasure to ride, the national train company’s own website is full of problems (error messages, declined …

Will the Osprey Meridian’s daypack hold a large laptop, second screen, and everything for a digital nomad’s portable office? One of our readers recently purchased the based on our wheeled carry-on backpack recommendation, but she says she freaked out when she saw how … streamlined the daypack looked in real life. So she did a …

We performed hundreds of searches for train tickets on the websites of national European train companies as well as private portals. The goal: determine the cheapest and best way to buy tickets for riding the rails in Europe. We’ve been riding around Europe ourselves for a few combined decades and plan to continue to do so …

I wear a fancy Swiss uniform and go up and down the aisles to check your tickets. My sexy German job name is Personnenzugbegleiter. Basically, a ticket inspector, controller, or checker, depending on your flavor of English. A ticket inspector is a strange little animal. We hop on and off of trains, ensure passengers’ security, …

Over a few days we ran dozens of searches on our two favorite European train booking platforms,  Loco2 and Trainline, and compared the results. The goal: determine which booking experience is smoother and results in better and cheaper routes. We have found that both of these platforms are better than booking directly from mainland Europe’s …

What are the differences between the Osprey Ozone Wheeled series and the Osprey Ozone Convertible series of bags? They’re both great lightweight luggage lines, but the names sound pretty similar and the pictures don’t do enough to help distinguish them on their own. Here for example are the Osprey Ozone Wheeled 75L on the left …

We put together a table to get an understanding of folding electric bike options and answer some basic questions. We haven’t tried out most of these, but do hope to review them eventually. In the meantime, comments from any of you who have experience with these are welcome! Here’s what we know so far. What’s …

We’ve been carefully analyzing dozens of Bluetooth speakers for years, and we also love gardening, so we were happy to approach the question of how best to combine the two. We’ve found that listening to podcasts and music while weeding (especially with a stand-up weeder) makes the whole venture a lot more enjoyable. We went …

In our years reviewing Bluetooth speakers here, the UE Boom 2 has been our top-rated portable Bluetooth speaker for travel. So when the company designed the very similar Ultimate Ears Blast we were intrigued. But we’re not ready to recommend it just yet for most people. What exactly are the differences between the and the …

Over our years travelling the world, we’ve always made room in our extremely minimalist packing scheme for a portable Bluetooth speaker. So we think it’s pretty vital to travel with good sound. We’ve tried out dozens of different Bluetooth speakers for this site, and we continue to read every speaker review from top consumer test …

We use and love Osprey packs, and the Osprey Ozone Convertible 50L/22in is in fact our most-recommended rolling carry-on backpack. But if you’re searching for a durable wheeled/backpack combo that you won’t have to check on a flight, Osprey also offers two others: the Meridian 60L/22in and the Sojourn 45L/22in. Note that these are carry-ons; we also …

What is the best full-sized luggage with both wheels and backpack straps? We’ve analyzed all available options as well as the reviews put out by consumer testing organizations, travel bloggers, and professional critics. This is more than just an obsessive research exercise; after 20-plus combined years of living around the world out of suitcases and …

Our combined decades of travel have led us to delight in the convenience of a small, light backpack that we can also roll. We’ve thus been carefully examining and reviewing rolling backpacks for the past several years and constantly updating this article as we try out bags and analyze brand reliability results from consumer testing …

We ran an exhaustive meta-analysis on Bose’s Bluetooth speakers, and what  major European and American consumer organizations had to say about them. We also took into account the commentary from all sorts of audiophile critics and tech bloggers. Which is best for whom among the Bose Soundlink Revolve, the Bose Soundlink Mini II, or the …

We’ve examined the Bose Soundlink Revolve and Bose Soundlink Revolve+ to run a full comparison looking at the reviews, audiophile blogs, and costumer reviews they’ve thus far received. This is in the same spirit as our complete meta-review of the best travel Bluetooth speakers. Both the Revolve and the Revolve+ have so far gotten great reactions, and we’ll discuss those in more detail …

We’ve been reviewing rolling travel backpacks for years, and so we were jazzed about the release of the Eagle Creek Expanse Convertible International Carry-On, and about comparing it to our favorite similar offering from Osprey, the Ozone Convertible 22″/50L. Eagle Creek is a trusted and reliable manufacturer of quality gear, and is known for its great …

We’ve run a thorough investigation of UE’s foremost smart speaker, the Ultimate Ears MegaBlast, and compared it to the company’s similar critical darling, the UE MegaBoom. Both speakers are excellent portable outdoor options; frequently people want to know which has better bass, which is louder, which sounds better, and if the small price premium of …

In our years of travel we’ve tried out loads of too-flimsy or too-bulky power adapters, and have always been hungry to find the one plug that could do it all without weighing us down. It’s the key travel gadget that makes all other travel gadgets possible. Sure, you can stop at any electronics store or …

We’re always looking for even lighter and more portable ways to travel comfortably and listen to good audio, so we were hopeful as we approached this review of the Blitzwolf BW-ANC1. We compared them to some of the other headphones we’ve reviewed in the past but this was the first time we’ve tried out headphones …

We’ve been travelling all around Europe by train for two decades now, and we’ve got more than a few dos and don’ts to have a cheap, comfortable, and lovely time rolling across the continent. We’ll go through how to best book train tickets from outside (or inside) Europe, what to take on board, and how …

We’ve been taking long trips around Brazil for years, and boy, the dumb things we’ve seen our fellow gringos carrying. I suppose it’s hard to know what to pack for Brazil, but heavy clothes, wheeled oversize plastic suitcases, fancy watches — these are all asking for trouble in various ways. The ideal packing checklist for …

We spent weeks examining rolling laptop bags, and here are all of the top options designed for women — generally with the look and style of a purse, but big enough to carry a laptop, and with the lovely extra design feature that they can roll on wheels. These are solidly built pieces that hit …

If you are blocked by error messages on OUI.sncf or Ouigo.com, you’re not alone. The websites have lots of redirects and undergo constant updates that can render them in some cases nearly unusable. Fortunately, there are easy solutions as well: options for buying French train tickets from private portals. You can get the same tickets at …

The following are pieces that we considered for our overview of the very best rolling laptop bags — head over to that article to see what we most recommend. But for the sake of completeness, here are other options. Some of them are excellent, some not so much — for most people we think that the bags …

We spent a few weeks evaluating the best rolling laptop bags from the most reliable manufacturers of luggage and tech gear. The wheeled cases that we’ve chosen are excellent for short trips as well as for daily use. People who carry heavier laptops and electronics will love them, as will those who just want to …

We spent a few weeks evaluating the best rolling backpacks for children. We were looking for the most durable, useful, and fun option to recommend for elementary and middle school use, as well as for short overnight trips. We looked at the wheeled kids’ backpacks from both well-established and rather unknown brands. One of the …

We’ve run a full comparison of the JBL Link 10 and JBL Link 20 to see how these two speakers compare. As usual, we’ve taken into account reviews and criticism from around the world from audiophiles, customers, and consumer organizations. These are currently two of the best-sounding smart speakers on the market, and yes, as …

We’ve run our usual thorough analysis on JBL’s two most convenient and portable Bluetooth speaker options: the JBL Flip 4 and JBL Charge 3. Either are excellent for travel, beach use, patio parties, picnics, camping, etc. Which one is right for you largely comes down to how big of a speaker you’re willing to carry …

Our vast research project encompassed all of the largest and loudest Bluetooth speakers that sound great but are still portable enough to be taken out for beach parties, boating, patio soirées, tailgating parties, etc. Most of these speakers are quite durable and many are completely waterproof. All of the speakers we looked at are battery-powered …

We ran our usual, exhaustive meta-analysis on the new Bose Soundlink Micro Bluetooth speaker, comparing what the best audio critics had to say about it with their comments on the well-known (and quite fêted) other Bose speakers, especially its close cousin the not-quite-as-small Bose Soundlink Color II. We’ll also share how these stack up against the other …

The French train operator’s websites OUI.sncf and Ouigo.com are notorious about rejecting bank and credit cards from outside of France. Users with cards from the United States, Australia, and Canada in particular report problems with payments not going through or getting rejected. We’ve been carefully researching the best alternatives for foreigners looking to purchase French train tickets …

As we analyzed every single published review of the largest, loudest Bluetooth speakers, we discovered two that were consistently at the top of critics’ lists in terms of sound quality: the Marshall Kilburn and the UE Megaboom. Each of these portable speakers has advantages over the other — here we’ll discuss the contrasts and how we’d decide …

In examining every scrap of press on the latest Bluetooth speaker releases, we’ve seen Marshall speakers coming to the top of critics’ lists. So here we’ll look at the portable speaker offerings from Marshall, the famed guitar-amp manufacturer. There are only two truly portable (that is, battery-powered) Marshall speakers to consider: the Marshall Kilburn and …

Over the decades, we’ve made countless visits to the United States and bought electronics, luggage, clothes, perfumes, and more. Often we’re doing so for the cheaper prices, but sometimes it’s also to snag gadgets or brands only available in the United States. And we’re not the only ones; shopping is the top activity for international visitors …

In the current bluetooth speaker market deluge, three models consistently float to the top of reviewers’ lists. These are all excellent speakers, and depending on your priorities, any one of the three might be the best for you. Our exhaustive bluetooth speaker meta-review suggests that the UE Boom 2 offers the best combination of sound …

We’ve taken a hard look at the differences between these top portable Bluetooth speakers and all of the commentary from the leading critics. Which is better for you? It depends if you’re carrying tunes around the house, to the beach, or on a whitewater rafting trip — here’s a look at which speaker of these …

We’ve analyzed everything said by consumer organizations, tech sites, and audiophile bloggers for the three greatest portable Bluetooth speakers out there. These three speakers are all about the size and shape of a tall beer can, and can deliver powerful, balanced, detailed audio for inside use or out in wet, noisy environments like the beach. Our exhaustive meta-review of …

We’ve examined everything about Fugoo’s Bluetooth speaker offerings in the Style, Style-S, Sport, and Tough lines in order to tease out exactly what the differences are and which is right for whom. As usual, this means a meta-review of everything put out by consumer testing organizations, audiophile bloggers, and tech reviewers. We’ll have a little more …

At this point we’ve spent decades on the road — as well as decades uncorking wine.  It was finally time to take a good hard look at our road uncorking options. All too often we have wound up in some cheap tourist apartment, hostel, or campsite sans that most basic of basic necessities: the corkscrew. …

Sometimes we need to hop our luggage up on our backs, but when we can we prefer to roll it around. So what’s better?A dedicated wheeled backpack, or a backpacker’s pack accompanied by a separate, foldable cart? We ran a full analysis of the options. We’ve previously run comparisons on some top wheeled carry-on backpacks …

We analyzed Osprey’s three full-size convertible (backpack/wheeled combo) luggage options to uncover the key functional differences and find out which pack is best for whom. Osprey’s own descriptions tend to be enthusiastic and vague, so it can be tricky to tease out which will serve you best, depending on how you travel. We’re here to clarify that. We highly recommend …

We’ve compared every popular luggage cart in terms of price, weight, size, features, and carrying capacity; we’ve also considered reactions from online reviewers (eliminating the fakes!) and luggage brand reliability as reported by America’s Consumer Reports and European consumer organizations. While for travel purposes we tend to prefer both large or carry-on wheeled travel packs, there are …

We’ve examined every wheeled carry-on backpack out there, and ranked the top two brands in that category as Osprey and Eagle Creek. If you want a carry-on piece that you can both wheel around and carry on your back, Osprey and Eagle Creek offer the best convertible pieces we’ve found. And, while there are a few other options from …

We’ve analyzed every stand-up weeding tool out there, as well as what gardeners’ blogs, consumer testing organizations, and forums have to say about them. We’ve seen everything from pretty silly tools to truly durable, effective equipment. If you want a healthy garden or lawn and have back difficulties, or you just don’t care to squat down for every damn dandelion, there …

We’ve analyzed all of the teeniest Bluetooth speaker options out  there — those that are small enough to be clipped or strapped onto clothing, or slide into a pocket. For now, we’ve got one main recommendation. We’ll list a few other cheap tiny options later in this piece as well. Our Top Pick for Tiny, Wearable …

We’ve looked at every option out there for wheeled carry-on backpacks, and Eagle Creek pieces were close to the top, but not our top pick for most people. However, Eagle Creek has excellent, durable luggage and high brand satisfaction, and for some people, the Eagle Creek DoubleBack or the Eagle Creek Switchback International Carry-Ons could be …

We’ve examined every Bluetooth speaker on the market, but we thought it would be wise to narrow our focus here to just two excellent, small, outdoorsy speaker offers from Logitech’s UE: the Wonderboom and the Roll 2. We stand by our overall Bluetooth speaker meta-review‘s recommendation of the UE Boom 2 as the best combination of durability and great sound …

We recently tested out our top-recommended USB-C battery, the Anker PowerCore+ 20,100 with the Samsung Chromebook Plus. Reports had been great on its use with a variety of USB-C phones, laptops, and tablets, but we wanted to see how well it would work with the latest Chromebook from Samsung. Our assumption is that a laptop user who …

We reviewed every scrap of information published so far about the recently released UE Wonderboom. We were crazy curious about this speaker, as other speakers from Logitech’s UE have frequently been our favorites. The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom is quite new, so the verdict is not in yet from world consumer testing organizations, but plenty of other …

We’ve compared every small Bluetooth speaker on the American market by size and weight — in centimeters and grams. This compliments our meta-review of Bluetooth speakers and focuses on the smallest speakers available. There is also a version of this chart in inches and ounces. The table below starts with the lightest speakers and moves up by weight. It also …

We’ve spent weeks researching our total meta-review of Bluetooth speakers, and we’ve done a comparison of a few top brands. But we think it would also be worthwhile to make a complete chart of the very smallest and lightest Bluetooth speakers out there, sorted by size. In the table below we start with the very lightest speakers and then …

Sure, you could take a bottle of wine on a picnic in Italy, or a flask of vodka on the Peter-Moscow overnight train. But the best road drinking gear is Spanish: the bota. These drink sacks are made from leather with an inner lining of goat bladder, pitch or — nowadays — more durable, food-safe latex. The chief …

Most of the bluetooth speakers that tech sites were raving about a few years ago are still available, and you can expect to pay about half price for them. This market is a chaotic war — there are hundreds of models, and lots of them are excellent. We have thus been  constantly updating our meta-review of the latest portable bluetooth speaker …

We got a bit obessed with researching toiletry bags. That’s because we’ve blown through lots of crummy ones in our decades of constant travel. Standard bags leak, fall apart, and aren’t much better than a plastic ziplock bag. We’re thus delighted to have found one that we can really get behind. This article is mainly for those needing to …

Our complete meta-review found that the is the most recommendable portable Bluetooth speaker out right now. That survey, however, did not take into account bigger speakers like the , and our readers have been asking us about it and how it compares to its famous littler sibling. Both are excellent speakers and quite similar, but there are a few differences to be …

Original text Our meta-review of picky audiophile rants and international testing results has come up with three portable Bluetooth headphones that consistently top the rankings. We also have a few picks below for those who want noise-cancellation or the cheapest decent options. Understanding Bluetooth Headphone Features For quick primers on aptX, sealed vs. unsealed, and other features, click the …

To find the best portable battery to provide backup juice to USB-C devices (Macbooks, Nexus phones, and more), we devoured the extant consumer advocate and press reviews, as well as customer complaints and raves across blogs, YouTube, Amazon comments, and tech geek forums. The best deal we have found at the moment is the . But we’ll also point out a decent cheaper, somewhat-lighter …

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