The trip to and from the office doesn’t have to be a drag. Give the commuter on your list one of these handy gadgets to make his or her daily ride, drive, or walk something to (almost) look forward to.
1. V-MODA ZN HEADPHONES; $180
Riders of public transit need a way to drown out the surrounding chaos on their morning trek—and that means a great pair of headphones. The limited edition Zn in-ear headphones from V-MODA not only rival much pricier models in sound quality, but with a Kevlar-reinforced cord and a plug designed to withstand being bent over 60,000 times, they’re built to last. They even feature a tangle-free cable, so you don’t have to worry about tossing them into your bag when you reach your destination.
Find It: V-MODA
2. AUDIBLE SUBSCRIPTION; $14.95/MONTH
Not everyone likes to listen to music on their commute. A subscription to Audible gives you access to over 180,000 titles, a free audiobook each month, and a 30% discount off additional books to fill countless hours in the car or on the train.
Find It: Audible
3. NEXTBOOK ARES 10L 2-IN-1 TABLET; $193
This portable 2-in-1 brings together the ease of a tablet (it has a touchscreen and its Verizon 4G/LTE Internet connection is fast and reliable on-the-go) and the performance of a laptop (it’s powered by an Intel quad-core processor). This combo makes it perfect for watching movies or reading e-books on your commute, but you can also connect the detachable keyboard to catch up on email or get a jumpstart on projects before you get to the office.
Find It: Walmart
4. AMAZON PRIME SUBSCRIPTION; $99/YEAR
Give your commuter something to read or watch on their new 2-in-1 with a subscription to Amazon Prime. For $99, you get unlimited access to Amazon Prime movies and TV shows (including some HBO classics), over a million songs to stream, and over 500,000 free e-books. And let’s not forget, free two-day shipping for purchases made on Amazon.com (the membership practically pays for itself).
Find It: Amazon
5. NATIVE UNION KEY CABLE; $29.99
Have to leave the house before your phone is fully charged, or realize you’re almost out of juice on your way out of the office? This smart-looking keychain contains a USB port for easy charging while you’re in transit.
Find It: Native Union
6. NOMAD ROADTRIP; $59.99
For those who drive to work, the Nomad Roadtrip car charger and battery is the answer to your phone-charging needs. The handy gadget plugs into your car’s 12V port to fuel your phone during your commute. But the coolest part is that the Roadtrip also contains a battery. If you’re not quite at 100 percent when you reach your destination, you can unplug the device and take it with you—it’ll continue to charge your phone.
Find It: Nomad
7. OSPREY RADIAL 26 CYCLING PACK; $160
Bike commuters need a durable bag to carry all their devices, and this cycling pack fits the bill. The ultimate resource for commuters who get to work on two wheels, the Radial 26 includes a laptop sleeve, a built-in rain cover, and clips and compartments for your helmet and lock. While it’s built for cyclists, other commuters will love the Radial 26’s pockets, 26 liters of storage space, and panel load access.
Find It: Amazon
8. ALADDIN STAINLESS STEEL VACUUM MUG; $19.99
Banish visions of coffee-soaked papers from your mind; this Aladdin travel mug has got you covered. Its flip lid is not only easy to open with one hand, but (more importantly) it is also completely leak-proof. The vacuum-sealed stainless body keeps hot drinks hot for four hours and cold drinks cold for 24 hours.
Find It: Aladdin
9. ALADDIN CLASSIC MASON SALAD JAR; $12.99
Is your commute hindering your best efforts at eating healthy? Worried that packing a salad for lunch will result in a dressing-soaked laptop after too much jostling? This unbreakable, leak-proof Mason jar container from Aladdin will keep your lunch (and valuables) intact. It even has a separate container for dressing so you don’t have to combat soggy lettuce.
Find It: Aladdin
10. BELKIN HANDS-FREE BLUETOOTH CAR KIT; $47.99
While nobody wants to take work home, sometimes it can’t be avoided. Safely join that late conference call from the road with this hands-free Bluetooth kit from Belkin—its echo-canceling microphone will keep the connection clear. And when you hang up, it will seamlessly switch from your call to your playlist, channeling the music to your car’s speakers.
Find It: Amazon
11. BOGS JUNO TALL BOOTS; $180
Winter (and the dreaded “wintry mix” that comes with it) looks a lot less wonderful to commuters who have to walk more than a few steps outside. The insulated Juno Tall boots by Bogs will keep your toes toasty warm and dry for your outdoor trek.
Find It: Bogs Footwear
SPLURGE ITEM: FARADAY E-BIKE; STARTING AT $2,799
Looking for something really special for your special someone? With a motorized bicycle, you get the benefits of cycling to work without the drawback of arriving to your 9AM soaking with sweat. Faraday’s e-bikes are environmentally friendly, agile, and head-turning—but they do have a price tag to match.
Find It: Faraday Bikes