5 Must-Have Products Most Commuters Don’t Know About (But Should)

I just learned that the average American spends 408 full days of their life commuting.

I don’t know anyone who LOVES their commute. I imagine the best commutes are really short, comfortable and scenic. I wouldn’t know because my commute has always involved erratic Chicago weather, packed subway cars and bustling city surroundings.

1 year and 43 days is a long time to be stuck in traffic or stuffed on a train. Or walking in the rain.

It’s also a long time to be uncomfortable or in pain. (I’ll stop rhyming now.) Does your neck ever hurt during or after your commute?

We may not be able to change how we logistically commute (train, bus, walking, car etc.) but we can change how we feel when commuting. I realized a big part of that is what we carry for those 9,792 hours.

I made a list of 5 awesome products that I personally tested. They make my commute a little more comfortable and convenient – which goes a long way.

Maybe someday Elon will make the hyperloop a reality and long commutes will no longer exist. But until then, let’s make these 408 days of our life a little less miserable.

1. Compact Power Bank

Commuter Backpack Accessories

This portable charger is a lifesaver for commuters who deal with traffic, stalled trains or delayed flights. Keep your things charged so you have a lifeline when things go wrong, and entertainment when things get boring. This power bank is slim and lightweight, but still powerful and reliable, making it the perfect commuting accessory. It has a speed charging outlet, a normal charging outlet and 4 indicator lights to show battery life. Check it out here.

I use it with this 3.25FT high speed charge cable that’s built for long-lasting use. You’ll love the tangle-resistant braided nylon and durable aluminum housing that protects against strain and breakage.


2. Elastic Grid Organizer

Commuter Backpack Organizer

There’s nothing worse than trying to discreetly dig something out of your bag on a crowded train. With my luck, whatever I desperately need is usually hidden at the bottom of my bag. Fortunately, this banded organizer holds all your small stuff in place with elastic bands so you know exactly where they are. The best part is the that the vertical layout maximizes space so your things aren’t lost in the dark abyss of your backpack. The slim vertical design lets you easily slide it in an out of your backpack.

Honestly, it makes organizing so easy and kinda fun (actually really fun and kind of addicting.) The tangible grip is great for securing pens, headphones, chargers, power packs etc. and it also has a large pocket with corner protection for your iPad or tablet. Get your grid organizer here.


3. Tile Slim

Commuter Backpack Accessories

Ever leave something on the subway? How about your whole backpack? Leaving your backpack on a train or plane is chaotic, stressful and simply not a risk I’m willing to take…which is why I got the Tile Slim. This little device lets you track the location of your backpack on the free Tile app. You can even make it ring so you can find your bag faster. With all the important stuff you carry like your laptop, tablet and chargers, Tile gives you peace of mind knowing your bag can never be lost or stolen for long! I’ve read stories of people finding their luggage in an airport before the airline could even locate them because of the Tile! Learn more about Tile here.


4. Urban21 Bag – Rain Cover

Waterproof Commuter Backpack

Chances are, in those 408 days, you’re going to get caught in the rain unexpectedly at least once. While you’re hair may get trashed, your laptop ($800+) and other electronics don’t have to. This protective rain cover fits perfectly over your bag to make it 100 percent waterproof. It’s so packable and lightweight that you’ll forget you’re carrying it, until you need it. Feel like dancing in the rain when the work day is done? Now you can because you won’t have to worry about your laptop or tablet getting wet. (This rain cover in particular was designed for the Urban21 commuter backpack. See below)


5. Urban21 Commuter Backpack

Commuter Backpack

The single biggest change you can make to improve your commute is your backpack. Your bag is literally attached to you for 9,792 hours of your life. In most cases, people have saggy bags that strain their neck, suffocate their sweaty backs, and don’t protect their things, which just adds more frustration to the commute. This Bag. Changes. Everything.

The Urban21 commuter backpack was recently named Everyday Carry’s Reader’s Choice Bag of 2018. And for good reason. Notably its  “fresh features you don’t see on its peers.” This bag has over 15+ awesome features specifically designed for commuters! But I’ll focus on three for now…

Commuter Backpack

  1. It has a top hardshell compartment that is perfect for fragile items that you need to access quickly like sunglasses or your phone. The hardshell is 100 percent waterproof and can withstand a serious beating while keeping your stuff safe.
  2. The HexBreathe™ back foam pad is made of a unique porous mesh that makes it ultra breathable to help avoid back sweat on your commute. The foam contours your back so that it’s supported but not suffocated, making it super comfortable.Commuter Backpack
  3. Comfort Foam Straps & Stabilized Body –  This bag was designed to be upright for two reasons 1. It allows you to  maximize both vertical and horizontal space 2. Because it makes it more comfortable to carry. Organization and comfort go hand-in-hand when it comes to bags, especially commuter backpacks. It’s all about the structure and the materials. Bags that sag (potbelly bags) pull us backwards by our neck and shoulders, which causes major pain! Urban21 lets you to utilize vertical and horizontal space evenly, which makes it so much more comfortable and proportional than average bags that have a full potbelly at the bottom. Instead of pulling on your neck, the weight is evenly distributed along your back, and supported with durable, foam straps (and a front strap for even more support.) Learn more about the Urban21 backpack here

If you’re going to treat yourself to one thing, or INVEST in one thing, it should be something you’re going to use often and benefit from a lot. A quality commuter backpack like this is a very worthwhile investment. ”

Here are a couple other reviews from other early adopters:

  • Much more comfortable than my old bag. Back pad and shoulder straps are great.  The hard shell compartment is a great way to protect my sunglasses and hold items like wallet and headphones that I wanted to access quickly. The shoulder straps are very thick, padding was very comfortable.” – Kevin Lester
  • “I love it. It has a ton of features that you’d never find in a “normal” backpack. I really like how tough it is. I think the compact size was the most beneficial – and the waterproof quality. ” – Mike Anderson
  • “The backpack is pure quality; I love the design, I love the details. You can tell it was well thought out, with an emphasis on function while maintaining form.” – Edgar Camargo

Imagine a commute with no neck pain, no back strain and less stress. Wouldn’t it be great to start and end your day with more organization, more comfort and less effort? Each one of these products can help you make your commute a little more comfortable and convenient.

If I had to be on a subway 9,792 hrs (which I do)  I’d want the most comfortable commuter backpack and the best accessories to keep things easy and stress-free. Wouldn’t you?


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