Between gear for shooting video, for writing and keeping everything powered up, it takes quite a bit of tech to cover CES. We break it all down in this special edition of “What’s In My Bag.”
If you’d rather watch than than read, check out the hands-on video.
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I also want to note that I still have a menagerie of hard drives and other recording equipment back in my hotel room, so this is basically what I’ll be toting around the show.
Now let’s go ahead and dig into my CES 2018 gear bag!
Peak Design Messenger
Starting with the bag itself, I’m rocking the Peak Design Messenger bag. It’s super handy with many features and tons of built-in pockets that are easily accessible from nearly any angle.
Inside the front is a ton of small elastic pockets for smaller items.
Around the back is an easy-access pocket for my iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard (or a 15-inch MacBook Pro). The main body is modular, allowing me to store my cameras, gimbals, batteries and everything else.
You can find it on Amazon for $249 in either Charcoal or Tan.
iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard
I’m going to be leaving my Mac notebook up in my room for the majority of the show, instead writing on my 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Apple’s Smart Keyboard.
The new multitasking capabilities in iOS 11 make it pretty great to work on. I also will use Ulysses as my go-to word editor on the go. My iPad Pro is much lighter than my 15-inch MacBook Pro and doesn’t require any additional cables or chargers.
To import photos, I will use Apple’s Lightning SD card reader.
Nomad cords and cables
I’m going to need some way to power up all my gear and that’s where Nomad’s cords and cables come in. Instead of bringing several different cables, I brought two of Nomad’s universal cables: the full size one, as well as the mini.
These have adapters for micro-USB, USB-C and Lightning so they can pretty much handle anything (except my MacBook Pro). I also have Nomad’s Lightning to USB-A carabiner clipped to the side of my bag for easy access, should I need it.
The longer Universal cable will run you $34.95 and the miniaturized version will cost you $29.95 directly from Nomad. The carabiner runs $29.95, if that’s more your style.
Clipped onto my Nomad carabiner is my Tile Sport, another cool gadget which allows me to keep a virtual eye on my bag so I don’t leave it behind. It also sports a much more rugged and subtle design to it than other trackers out there.
You can pick up a two pack of Tile’s Pro series for $59.99. Also, alongside the Tile, Grovemade’s stainless bottle opener (because you should never be without one).
Wallet iPhone case
I hate carrying a wallet—it makes me exceptionally nervous in large crowds. I always worry someone is just going to pick my pocket and I’d prefer to have a bit ease of mind.
That’s why I’ll instead be using the Mujjo leather iPhone case with a built-in wallet. That way, I can keep my ID and credit card without having to constantly check to see if my wallet is still there (I keep much better attention to my phone than my wallet).
You can find these cases on Amazon for $49.95 to fit your iPhone X.
I won’t be shooting on my DSLR the whole time. One of the other cameras I will be using will, needless to say, be my iPhone X. As we reported, Moment recently started shipping Moment’s stellar iPhone X case which lets you mount its fantastic lenses to your phone.
Between iPhone X’s already great videography abilities and Moment’s lenses, it lends itself well to this shooting environment.
They have macro, tele, wide angle and superfish lenses available for under $100.
Anker USB PowerPort and PowerCore+
When it comes to charging all my different gear, I need a few different places to plug in all my Lightning and USB cables. For that, I use Anker’s PowerPort which incorporates four USB-A ports, as well as a solo USB-C one.
This gives me loads of options in a tiny package to keep my watch, iPad and even my Mac powered up overnight. You can make one yours for only $49 on Amazon.
When I’m not near an outlet, I rely on Anker’s PowerCore+ USB-C equipped battery back to keep my gear charged. With its massive capacity of 20,100 mAh, this baby lets me work on my mobile devices or my laptop, if need be.
You can also find it on Amazon for $65.
Theory 11 Saturday Night Live playing cards
I find I can often be fidgety, especially when I’m hopped up on my third cup of Starbucks for the morning. Being that I spent the better part of a decade as a corporate magician, you can usually find me with a deck of cards in my bag.
My latest favorite? The Saturday Night Live deck from Theory 11. They look great, pay homage to one of my favorite shows and have plenty of references to classic skits.
Amazon has them and they run around $10 a deck.
OneDrop Chrome + Dexcom G5
If you have been with me for a while, you may already know that I am a Type 1 diabetic (I was diagnosed at an early age, inheriting it genetically from my father). Unlike Type 2 diabetes, there is no preventing Type 1.
To be sure that my blood sugar levels are in check each day out on the trade show floor, I use the OneDrop Chrome glucose meter and my Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitor.
The meter can more accurately check my levels, but the Dexcom G5 will monitor my blood sugar in real time and report that back to my watch. Though not as accurate as manual checking, I can spot larger trends and significant spikes without having to pull out my meter.
GoPro Hero5 Black
GoPro has had some hard times lately, but I am still an unabashed fan of their tiny cameras. They’re super portable, powerful and deliver solid quality footage. Having carried around my Hero5 Black since it was released, it’ll definitely be with me as a backup, wide angle 4K camera here at CES for use in certain situations.
While it’s a bit old (Hero6 Black is out!), you can still find GoPro’s Hero5 Black for $299.
If I need to listen to some audio, whether our “Let’s Talk iOS” podcast in my spare time, some music while walking or for taking a call, there is nothing I’d rather use than my AirPods.
Not only are they extremely compact, but offer a long battery life and I can easily move them between my Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone and iPad.
Unfortunately, AirPods are still a bit hard to find.
If you’re lucky, you can buy them via Apple.com or occasionally from Amazon.
If I am using my iPhone X, or my GoPro, I need a stabilizer to end up with smoother footage.
I’m bringing along Tiffen’s Steadicam Volt, which folds up exceptionally compact and has the unique benefit of being able to work with or without power.
Of course, it’s more beneficial to have power. But if it dies, I’m not left with shaky footage.
It’s currently available on Amazon for $169.
Nikon D500 + Crane gimbal
My main shooter will be the Nikon D500. It can easily handle 4K video and I have a wide variety of glass to go along with. I’ll also have plenty of pro SD cards and batteries while at the show.
But unless I plan on lugging a tripod with me, I need some way to capture steady footage because my trusted DSLR lacks the same built-in stabilizer as my iPhone. For that, I’ll be using Crane’s gimbal. Though a bit large, it does come apart to make for easy storage. Plus, it has quite the exceptional amount of battery life to boot!
The Crane 3-axis gimbal can hold up to 3.9 pounds and will run you around $550 on Amazon.
Most importantly, I’ll be bringing along plenty of hand sanitizer.
Germs will be spreading all over the place and the last thing I want to do is get myself sick. I will be taking a couple bottles of this Bath and Bodyworks Ocean sanitizer my girlfriend put in my Christmas stocking this year.
You can find a pack of 5 on Amazon for 12 bucks.
Wrap it up
So that about covers it.
Now you have a pretty good idea of the vast majority of gadgets that I’ll be bringing along, with plenty of other technology back in the room.
Which piece of gear is your favorite?
Better yet, what are your recommendations on what I should have brought along?
Be sure to let me know down below in the comments!
Be sure to stay up to date with all our CES 2018 coverage from Las Vegas.