November 23, 2015 - 7:00 AM
NEW YORK, N.Y. - There are so many ways to charge a cellphone these days, what with all the portable gizmos and cases out there. So why are we still whining?
Because extra or portable charging is just one more thing to buy, one more thing to think about, one more thing to lose or break.
Enter gift-giving season and a selection of handbags, wallets and backpacks that have charging tech built in. Consider one of these for just the right power-challenged recipient who appreciates a touch of style (all prices in $US):
In wristlets, clutches, women's backpacks and cross-body styles, H & Butler offers a nice variety of shapes, sizes and colours for charging. A black leather backpack features a wraparound zipper at the top. Compatible with most phones, the company promises more than two complete charges. Other styles feature suede fringe, quilted nylon, vegan leather and metallic looks. The backpack is listed at $179.99 and the wristlets go for $99.99. Available on Amazon and elsewhere.
In collaboration with Everpurse, Kate Spade New York has a new line of handbags equipped with wireless iPhone-charging tech. The Kate Spade New York x Everpurse collection of three styles includes a wristlet in black, and black-and-white stripes, and two black totes, large and small. Each comes with a wireless charging mat that powers up the bags. Wristlets list at $198, the small Harmony tote at $378 and the large Frieda tote at $698. Available at Katespade.com.
For the guys, there's a phone-charging leather billfold in dark brown with red stitching and a sewn-in pocket that holds a slim, rechargeable lithium-ion backup battery touting about 500 charges. Good for most phones. The look is a traditional men's billfold with one cash compartment, four credit card slots and two extra stash pockets. Available at Sharperimage.com for $59.99.
THE NORTH FACE
Three standout backpacks with charging tech are available from the company, including the Surge II Charged Backpack. It includes a battery that delivers up to 2.5 full phone charges and several days of partial charges via an integrated cable system. The battery can be shut down or placed on hibernation when not in use. The battery is water- and crush-resistant and can be removed. Suggested retail is $229. The two others are the Router Charged Backpack, at $249, and the Recon Charged Backpack at $199. Available at Thenorthface.com.
The Tech-Power Messenger Sling from Herrington includes a battery powerful enough for two full, high-speed phone charges and a partial tablet charge offering up to eight extra hours of tablet time. Includes a USB cable to charge the battery and has auto shut-off to prevent overcharging. Comes in black military-grade nylon. Large enough to carry laptops up to 17 inches. Suggested retail is $88.95 at Herringtoncatalog.com.
The Bluesmart Smart Carry-On Luggage connects wirelessly through a built-in battery that promises to charge phones, tablets and e-books up to six times. Two USB ports built in, one on the outside and one inside. It includes a mobile app to track the bag through GPS if it gets re-routed or stolen. Through a built-in digital scale, the app can also let you know ahead of time if the bag is over weight restrictions. You can set up the bag to lock remotely through TSA-approved technology. On pre-order for Dec. 1 at Bluesmart.com and Amazon, $399.
News from © The Associated Press, 2015