Jordan's Favorite Things
I travel tens of thousands of miles and drive dozens of cars every year. Across my travels, I’ve found (and thoroughly tested!) all manner of products that I use myself.
Here’s some stuff that gets my seal of approval. If you buy anything (not just these items) from Amazon after clicking one of these links, I’ll get a small commission.
And you should definitely go to LEGO and buy this new Atari 2600 and Chevy Camaro!
The killer feature is a natural language engine that lets you type things like lunch with bob tomorrow 1p at morton’s and Fantastical will automatically turn that into an appointment with invitations and location settings determined automatically. It saves you from dropdown menu hell.
Even better, new update just came out that includes the Openings feature pictured above. It lets you share a link with people so they can book meetings with you, and it automatically looks at your calendar to determine when you’re free. The biggest part is that it’s privacy-focused. Other than the actual times you’re free, none of your personal data ever leaves your computer. It’s great. Check out my Openings page to see it in action. It’s far cheaper than the competition, too.
There is a free version with more limited features, but Flexibits Premium is worth every penny and it includes Cardhop, a clever contact management app, too.
There’s even a 14-day free trial so you can try before you buy. Give it a shot and see if you find it as useful as I do.
Bosch ICON Wiper Blades - $35-50 - These blade-style wipers are designed for excellent all-weather performance and have a graphite-blended long-life rubber blade that gives a clean and quiet wipe. Basically, install these and you’ll get a dramatic improvement on your existing wiper blades and get a solid upgrade to your visibility in poor weather. Amazon even has a clever search option where you enter in your car make and model and it’ll tell you which wipers to get.
Rain-X Glass Treatment - $6 - Rain-X is a chemical miracle, repelling rain and snow and dramatically improving visibility in rainy weather. It works so well that in light rain you might not need to turn your wipers on at all. Combine Rain-X with the Bosch wiper blades above and you’ll be ready for even the worst Florida thunderstorms.
Viair Portable Air Compressor - $70 - This air compressor plugs into the 12V outlet in your car and is powerful enough to fill your car’s tires with ease. I’ve used mine on numerous occasions and it’s worth keeping in the emergency bag in the trunk of your car so you don’t need to try and find a gas station with a working air compressor late at night. It pairs well with this easy-to-use tire pressure gauge ($29).
Tappy - $35 - I love Tappy. It’s a credit card-sized bit of plastic with your name and a QR code engraved and an NFC chip built in. If you tap it against a smartphone (iPhone or Android), a link will magically appear on the screen linking to a page with your contact info, links to your social channels or email address, or whatever else you want.
It’s a fantastic modern alternative to a business card since it allows people to act upon your information immediately, or even add you directly to their contact list. I use it to help people I meet sign up for this newsletter! It’s available in a few different flavors, including black and white plastic, or an elegant black metal version.
Randolph Aviators - $309 from FlightSunglasses.com - I started wearing prescription glasses at the beginning of 2021 and, given how much time I spend behind the wheel, that meant I needed a new pair of prescription sunglasses. A friend had previously turned me on to the made-in-the-USA Randolph sunglasses and it turns out that the company (which hand-assembles its frames outside Boston) makes its own prescription lenses as well. I bought my matte black frames with cobalt prescription lenses from FlightSunglasses.com, an eyewear shop that primarily serves pilots. The team over there is incredibly knowledgeable and very quick to respond to emailed questions. I’m not getting any commission on these, I just love the glasses and the service I received. If you’re looking for a pair of Randolph, Maui Jim, or a few other brands of sunglasses, I recommend them highly.
Briggs & Riley Baseline Luggage - $600-700 - I can’t say enough good things about my Briggs & Riley luggage. I have several pieces and though they’re very expensive, they’re worth it for a frequent traveler. In addition to clever design, the luggage comes with a lifetime warranty even against damage caused by airlines. The company partners with luggage shops all over the world to provide free repairs if anything should go wrong. They have a full line of luggage and accessories if you’re looking for different colors or designs. If the Briggs & Riley is too much, the Travelpro Platinum Magna ($200) is nearly as good.
The Ridge Wallet - $85-$125 - I love this slim wallet. It slips into my pocket and holds all my IDs and credit cards, with a strap on the outside to hold more cards or even some cash. I usually tuck my hotel key cards inside the strap. My black aluminum wallet is a bit banged up, but it gives it a nice patina. I get comments on it all the time from folks who are intrigued by such an interesting and space-saving wallet. And now you can too.
Dohm Classic White Noise Machine - $45 - For me, nothing helps me sleep more than some high-quality white noise. Sure, I can use my iPhone but a dedicated physical white noise machine like the Dohm makes a warmer, more natural noise than a phone does. It uses a physical fan You can adjust the pitch and tone by turning the top. If it really works for you, it’s small enough to stuff into the corner of a suitcase and it can help drown out all but the noisiest neighbors.
Anker PowerCore III Elite - $180 - This battery bank is huge, but it’s powerful enough to charge an entire laptop. Hide it in a pocket in your backpack and you can run USB or Lightning cables from your bag to repeatedly charge your phone or tablet. There are smaller, lighter versions but I don’t mind hauling around the big one and not needing to worry about finding a power outlet at an airport.
Manta Sleep Mask - $35 - Whether you’re on a long flight or trying to sleep in a hotel room without blackout curtains, a nice sleep mask is a must-have. I love the Manta Sleep Mask which uses soft eyecups to completely block out light without any pressure on your eyelashes or eyelids and it’s machine washable. There’s an upgraded silk version available for $69 if you’re feeling fancy.
Peeps Eyeglass Lens Cleaner - $20 - After I started wearing glasses everyday, I discovered how shockingly difficult it is to keep them clean. Instead of carrying around spray and microfiber wipes (or, horrifyingly, wiping them with my shirt), I use these Peeps lens cleaners. They use some kind of NASA tech to get your glasses clean with a microfiber-type wipe/clip thing. They really work. If you just want a nice disposable wipe, these Zeiss cleaning wipes are great for a 200-pack for $13.
Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee - $15 - The transportation book I wish I’d written. McPhee follows a remarkable cast of characters who drive trucks, ferries, trains, and more to transport goods to supply our consumer culture. His narrative style keeps things interesting and it helps fill the back story on getting stuff from one corner of the world to another. Highly recommended.
Jack Black Beard Wash and The Best Beard Conditioner Ever - $18 and $8 - I have a beard. It requires a tremendous amount of maintenance, which is pretty annoying. But using beard wash and conditioner in the shower has made a world of difference. Regular shampoo and conditioner doesn’t moisturize the skin like these do, and it really dries things out. If you have a beard or know someone who does, point them towards this stuff. I also like this Reuzel Beard Foam ($14) for post-shower use and this wooden beard brush and comb set ($10) is also a terrific value.