- Buyer's Guide
What to Pack to Work from Anywhere
Working remotely and living the ‘digital nomad’ life is being sought after more than ever. And why not? You have the freedom to work wherever life takes you, from bustling cities to venturing off the beaten track. Turning time on public transport or waiting in airports into a productive work period. And allowing you to leave the confines of a claustrophic office to embrace fresh air and the outdoors, boosting your happy levels (and likely productivity levels too). But being a digital nomad is not without its challenges.
You’ll need tools to help you work remotely, whether it’s at your local coffee shop, in a Balinese coworking space, or punching across the US in a van. And this guide can help you hone your list of what to pack to work from anywhere…
Best Portable Hard Drives
Working remotely requires ready access to important files, images, documents, videos and more. But you’re also going to want to back up work in the event your tech device gets damaged (or worst case scenario, stolen). Not to mention having some tunes and movies to enjoy during your downtime. The 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a great option for storing your important files, backing up work, and having entertainment at the ready. All in a lightweight and slim package that’s easy to carry in luggage or a day bag. And if you need more storage space while still enjoying a sleek and compact design, the 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Portable is a solid alternative.
Best Portable Laptop Charger
Tech running out of juice with no mains supply means no work getting done. But you can avoid this frustration and wasted time with mophie’s powerstation AC. The 22,000mAh portable battery will fully recharge an Apple Mac or add an hour of charge to a 90W laptop. Three ports are at the ready including a USB Type-C, USB Type-A and 100W AC port. It’s got fast charge capability and a battery level indicator. And its sleek, durable fabric-wrapped design takes travel knocks and scrapes in its stride too.
Slightly heavier than the powerstation AC but offering extra capacity, this RAVPower 27,000mAh portable charger lets you charge three devices simultaneously. You benefit from a 100W AC output, with a Type-C port and two USB iSmart ports providing charging options. The charger also has inbuilt air vents to keep it cool in use, and a battery level indicator.
Best USB-C Hubs and Docks
Small but mighty, the VAVA VA-UC006 USB-C Hub is packed with features while retaining an easily portable form. Port options include an Ethernet port, charging port, HDMI port, SD card reader, TF card reader, as well as three USB 3.0 ports, giving you plenty of flexibility. The 4K video adapter lets you mirror or extend a laptop screen, while the pass-through charging enables convenient device charging.
This 6-in-1 USB-C hub serves up a handy selection of ports including a charging port, HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, and an SD memory card reader. The HooToo also lets you mirror or extend your screen with the 4K video adapter. And with its compact, stylish design it’s easy to carry in a bag or pouch and looks suitably slick and professional in use.
Best Charging Cables
A trusty charging cable is a must for working remotely and this is a fine option for charging phones, tablets, and laptops up to 60 watts. Its tough construction is also a welcome feature for withstanding demanding on-the-go use.
If fast charging and data transfer speeds are a priority, look to the PowerLine II USB-C to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 cable. With 10Gbps data transfer, slow data transmission is a frustration of the past. And with its durable build and lifetime warranty it’s ready to tackle tough travel use too.
Best iPad Setup
If you want to travel light but still have work-ready tech functionality, a tablet and keyboard combo is a useful solution. The 6th generation 32 GB Apple iPad paired with the Logitech Slim Folio keyboard case provides a convenient and flexible work setup that also protects your tech against bumps and scrapes.
Apple’s MacBook Pro 15″ is the go-to choice for creatives. And it’s a solid pick for a regular-sized device when working out of the same workspace for long periods of time. With a 9th generation 8-core Intel Core i9 processor at your disposal, up to 32 GB of memory, and up to 10 hours of battery life, you can enjoy a smooth, extended workflow across a variety of tasks.
If you’re more on the PC team, have a tighter budget, and perhaps will be working around shadier areas where laptop theft is more likely, then check out the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA. Significantly cheaper than the MacBook, it still serves up enticing functionality and versatility, with a 360-degree hinge that lets you alternate between laptop and tablet mode. The slim design and 12.5″ touchscreen offers a good balance of portability, user-friendly size and adaptability too.
Best Laptop Sleeve
Incase’s ICON Sleeve with Woolenex protects a 15″ MacBook Pro in style. The shock-absorbing TENSAERLITE bumper, durable Woolenex exterior and faux-fur-lined interior provide well-rounded protection for your precious tech. And with its magnetic opening your device remains secure yet quickly accessible throughout the day.
Best Pencil Case
Small items are easy to lose in a bag. But Bellroy’s Pencil Case provides a durable, stylish all-in-one storage option to house stationery, cables, smaller work tools and personal items. The design opens out wide to provide a handy tray for easy access to items. And pull loops on either end allow for convenient opening and closing too.
Best Tech Pouch
Bellroy’s Classic Pouch does a fine job of blending chic aesthetics with practical organization. The clean exterior is complemented by a selection of interior pockets and a wide opening to keep work tools, small tech, EDC and travel items organized and quickly accessible without rummaging. And its compact design is easy to transfer between bags so you don’t leave important essentials behind.
If you like to mix and match your organization options, look to Topo Designs’ Accessory Bags. These handy pouches come in a choice of three sizes to suit different loads, as well as a variety of colorways so you can color-coordinate your organization if desired. Add in their rugged 1000D Cordura construction and you’re set for years of hassle-free storage.
A smartphone is one of the most useful and multifunctional items you can pack for remote working. With maps, photography, secure payments, entertainment, research capability, email and social media access, and a host of apps at your fingertips, it’s much more than a mini workstation. And the Google Pixel 3A is an impressive pick that comes in at a very reasonable price tag for its functionality. Great camera capability makes it easy to capture your travel memories or take work-related snaps without needing to carry around a separate bulky camera. And with its fast charging you can get up to 7 hours of battery use from a 15-minute charge.
Best Travel Adapters
Travel adapters are a necessary addition to your remote working packing list when traveling overseas. And this versatile, affordable Kikkerland adapter is well worth adding to your bag. Compatible in over 150 countries, the travel adapter is lightweight and folds flat for compact storage when you’re on the move.
If you need to charge multiple devices simultaneously, the Travel Inspira Universal Travel Adapter is a helpful addition to your packing list. It includes two USB ports and an AC socket and works in over 150 countries.
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony’s WH1000XM2 noise-cancelling headphones are great for drowning out background noise in airports, cafes, on public transport and more, allowing you to work (or relax) distraction-free. It automatically adjusts to ambient sounds for your preferred setup and features touch control for ease of use. And with a quick attention mode you can instantly turn down sound for conversations.
Best Laptop Backpacks
A reliable bag to carry your work and travel gear is essential. And with its clean, versatile aesthetics, comfy carry and functional design, Tortuga’s Setout Laptop Backpack is a great pick. This carry-on pack combines a lay-flat main compartment with quick-access front pockets and a dedicated quick-access laptop compartment. The luggage pass-through lets you secure it to wheeled luggage too, making it a useful partner for trips with larger loads or a dependable one-bag option for more minimalist packing.
If you’re after a laptop pack that can venture outdoors too, the EVERGOODS CPL24 backpack has you covered. Durable, comfortable and versatile, it keeps your work items secure yet accessible and organized on the move. The pack offers a fully padded laptop compartment, lay-flat main compartment, hydration bladder compatibility and a tough, weather-resistant build so you can work and play hard in urban and outdoor settings alike.
Best Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is important throughout your travels and work day alike. And the Purist Mover 18oz bottle spruces up your carry setup with its pared-back aesthetics and durable build. The bottle features a stainless steel exterior and a glass interior that doesn’t retain flavors, so you can easily swap out beverages without retaining unwanted tastes. The double-wall vacuum insulated bottle is designed to keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 24 hours.
Best Portable Charging Phone Case
Wireless charging, extra battery, and impact protection all in one sleek design? No problem for mophie’s juice pack air, which combines charging capabilities and phone protection in one. Available for a variety of iPhone models, it’s a convenient way to ensure you don’t run out of juice with important phone calls or work needs on the horizon.
Best Security Bag
Need to leave your public workspace for a quick bathroom break but don’t want to lug everything with you to the toilet? Want added peace of mind in crowded spaces? The LOCTOTE Flak Sack dishes up discreet security with a highly slash-resistant and water-resistant material, reinforced locking strap to secure the bag closed and attach it to fixed objects, and RFID-blocking interior pocket. Plus it’s a handy storage bag for grocery shops or varied day-to-day use too.
Field Notes is one of the foremost names in notebooks. And with good reason. Available in a variety of sizes and paper options such as ruled, dot graph, and plain, these inexpensive notebooks are ideal for stashing in a pocket or work bag to jot down notes, capture ideas, create sketches, write down to-do lists and plenty more.
A good notebook needs a good partner and the Ti Click EDC Pen is ready to step up and shine. This versatile and attractive pen is adjustable to accommodate over a hundred different pen refills to suit changing needs and preferences. It’s machined from lightweight yet tough titanium alloy and includes a useful titanium pocket clip.
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