This Adjustable Bag Mate Makes Traveling Anywhere Much More Convenient

NEX
NEX

Carrying a backpack for a long period of time can lead to aching in your neck, back, or shoulders. Plus, keeping essentials in your bag, like a passport or phone, can make them a hassle to retrieve when necessary. NEX, now raising money on Kickstarter, is a three-in-one bag mate that makes traveling with a backpack pain-free and convenient.

This new "bag mate" is designed with air cushions that evenly distribute the weight of your backpack across your shoulders. Since it makes your bag feel 30 percent lighter, it also helps improve your posture.

NEX features functional and hidden pockets to not only make it easier to grab your essentials when on the go, but also keep them secured—since they are much safer on your shoulders than in your bag where people can easily steal them. Each strap is designed with three inner pockets as well as a hidden pocket to store everyday valuables such as your keys or cash.

Cash and keys going in a pocket on a NEX bag mate
NEX

Sometimes a backpack isn't necessary for quick outings, so NEX can act as a cross-body bag as well. Easily clip it on and adjust the fit to your liking, and now NEX can be used when you're simply going out for a run or grabbing groceries. Plus, it's designed with recycled waterproof material, meaning you don't have to worry about your valuables getting damaged due to the weather.

guy walking with blue cross body bag
NEX

With over a week left in its campaign, NEX has already surpassed its goal of $1000, raising over $47,000 as of June 25. By pledging $19 or more, you can get your own bag mate on KickStarter. Shipping is scheduled for August.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

The Office-Themed Ugly Christmas Sweaters Are Here to Show Off Your Dunder Mifflin Spirit

Target
Target

It's now easier than ever to gift your loved ones with Dunder Mifflin-inspired Christmas presents, thanks to Target's new The Office collection. What does it include, you ask? Ugly Christmas sweaters with Dwight Schrute's face and the paper company's logo on them.

As reported by POPSUGAR, Target is selling two different holiday sweaters—one featuring Dwight's festive face and another, more general Dunder Mifflin one—on its website, each priced at $29.99. It seems the NBC series' popularity will never die, as companies continue to sell The Office-related products, from cool artwork to construction sets.

While fans continue to binge The Office on Netflix, they know that major changes are ahead. NBCUniversal is launching its own streaming platform, Peacock, and will take the show back in January 2021. In the meantime, you can still soak up as much Dunder Mifflin insanity as you can handle via Netflix—and now you can do it decked out in a festive holiday sweater.

[h/t POPSUGAR]

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

15 Cool and Unusual Candles You Can Buy Right Now

PyroPet
PyroPet

Candles are a great way to add some ambiance to any room—especially when that candle smells like pancakes. The next time you're planning a special evening, with yourself or someone else, consider these options.

1. Avocado-Shaped Candles

Two avocado candles
Echaprey / Amazon

Your favorite fruit can now be your favorite candle, too. These surprisingly lifelike avocado-shaped candles make the perfect decoration. We can't guarantee that they smell like fresh avocados, though.

Buy it on Amazon for $15 for two.

2. 60-Hour Coiled Candles

A candle with coiled wax
Candle by the Hour, Amazon

This long-lasting candle features a coiled design that promises 60 hours of burn time—20 minutes for every inch of wax. Simply pull the candle through the clip to burn more. The candle self-extinguishes when it burns down to the clip, allowing you to use it as a timer. It comes in vertical and horizontal coil designs, and can be refilled when you reach the end.

Buy it on Amazon or The Grommet starting at $22.

3. Skunk- and B.O.-Scented Candles

An array of candle tins
Stinky Candle Co.

If fresh pine isn’t your thing, may we suggest nacho cheese? The Stinky Candle Company specializes in candles boasting unorthodox odors. Choose from off-putting scents like onion, potting soil, and body odor, or go for some more delightful scents, like clean puppy and pizza. While we don’t recommend the fart or skunk candles, the money candle definitely has some potential.

Buy it on Amazon for $12.

4. Book-Scented Candles

Perfect for curling up with a good book, these candle scents were inspired by classic literature. Pick from “Sherlock’s Study,” “Oxford Library,” or “Halfling Hills,” or channel the smell of your favorite collection with scents like “Old Books” and “Reading at the Cafe.”

Buy it on Amazon for $22.

5. PyroPet Candles

PyroPet Candles
PyroPet

These geometric cat candles—first featured on Kickstarter in 2013—hold a (slightly morbid) surprise inside. Once lit, a skeleton cat emerges, which almost makes you feel bad for setting it on fire in the first place. If the cat's not your style, the candle also comes in the form of a bird, unicorn, deer, and more.

Buy it on Amazon or The Grommet for $34.

6. Roman Candles

Fred Roman Candles
Fred, Amazon

The packaging on these punny Roman-numeral-shaped candles from Fred promises they'll help you party like it's MCMXCIX.

Buy it on Amazon for $10.

7. Cactus-Shaped Candles


ornerx, Amazon

These realistic cacti candles might fool your friends—until you light them. The wax candles come in sets of six.

Buy it on Amazon for $10.

8. Homesick Candles

Homesick candles
Uncommon Goods

Smell is connected to memory, so if you’re missing home, you’ll want to burn one of these candles. The scents of these hand-poured, soy wax candles were created with the input of locals from every state. All states are available.

Buy it on Uncommon Goods for $30. 

9. Candles With Plantable Packaging

A candle next to two boxes of plantable packaging
Uncommon Goods

These candles smell like a blooming garden filled with poppies and sunflowers. If the floral candles make you long for the real deal, simply soak the seed-infused boxes in water and plant them in the ground.

Buy it on Uncommon Goods for $28.

10. Chocolate Egg Cream-Scented Candles


Katz's Deli, Amazon

Alongside excellent food, did you know Katz’s Deli sells a scented candle, too? Made in New York City, these wax creations evoke the restaurant’s famous chocolate egg creams. Light one and be transported to the Lower East Side, no matter how far away you actually are.

Buy it on Amazon for $25 plus shipping.

11. Crackling Fire Candles

A lit candle next to two sticks of cinnamon
Uncommon Goods

The next best thing to a real fireplace? These candles, which boast wooden wicks that crackle as though you'd thrown another log on the pile. Inspired by the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas," the candle smells like vanilla, cinnamon, and clove—the scents of a long winter's nap, according to the creators.

Buy it on Uncommon Goods for $30.

12. Edible Candles

These birthday candles are designed to both adorn your dessert and be your dessert. Available in dark or milk chocolate and five different designs, Let Them Eat Candles feature a wick that you can remove after the singing ends, allowing you to eat the delicious chocolate sticks.

Buy it on The Grommet for $12 for three.

13. Terrarium Candles

Cactus and poppy terarium candles
Uncommon Goods

Hand-made by Canadian designer Zoe Tang, these terrarium candles contain incredibly detailed plants made out of wax. The candles come in two varieties: either jasmine-scented poppy on a white-tea-scented base or pine-scented cactus on a vanilla base. They’re so beautiful, you probably won’t even want to light them.

Buy it from Uncommon Goods for $25.

14. Hatching Dinosaur Candle

Dinosaur candle
Yazan-Molandi / Amazon

This is one candle you’ll be excited to finish. The egg-shaped candle melts down to reveal a delightful surprise—a tiny porcelain raptor.

Buy it from Amazon for $45.

15. Glacier-Shaped Candles

Icelandic designer Brynjar Sigurðarson's creations have a message behind them: Global warming can only be ignored for so long. Just like real ice, these wax designs melt when they get hot—and just like real glaciers, they're increasingly rare. Since their creation in 2015, they've sold out at most retailers, but you can still get them (albeit for a higher price) from Pamono.

Buy it from Pamono for $83.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A version of this article first ran in 2015. It has been updated to reflect current availability.

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