8 Products to Help You Get Through Airport Security Faster

iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages
iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Who would win in a race—a turtle, or a human going through the Transportation Security Administration’s airport screening process? The TSA is notoriously meticulous in making sure travelers abide by their precise rules, often resulting in long lines and impatient passengers in the terminal. Luckily, you can shorten the amount of time you spend standing in airport security lines during busy travel seasons like spring break, summer vacation, or the winter holidays just by bringing the right equipment. Here are eight products you can buy that will help facilitate the screening process and get you in your plane seat faster.

1. GlobeGear Toiletry Bag

A GlobeGear travel bag is pictured
GLOBEGEAR, Amazon

A carry-on suitcase full of liquids is a security-checkpoint nightmare. In 2006, concerns over liquid explosives led TSA to enact a rule that prohibits passengers from bringing a high volume of liquids onboard commercial aircraft. The agency refers to it as the 3-1-1 rule: 3.4 ounces of liquid per container, packed in a 1-quart bag, with one bag per passenger.

If you don't have TSA PreCheck, you'll need to take all your liquids out for inspection, and having them stashed in a convenient place is key. Luckily, the GlobeGear Toiletry kit makes it easy. Think of it as a measuring cup for travel. The leak-proof bag is exactly 1 quart in volume, and the refillable bottles that come with it are each the required 3.4 ounces. It’s also clear, so security agents can quickly examine its contents, and easy to seal and unseal if TSA agents want to take a closer look.

Buy it on Amazon for $32.99 or at these other retailers:

2. Defway RFID Travel Wallet

A defway RFID travel wallet
defway, Amazon

As you go through security, TSA agents and airline personnel want to see your photo identification, ticket, and passport, and having all of them assembled in one place will keep you from fumbling when you get to the front of the line. Defway’s RFID wallet has open pockets to make retrieval easy and also features a shield to prevent identity thieves from obtaining information from your credit cards or passport.

Buy it on Amazon for $15.

3. Ytonet Laptop Bag

A Ytonet laptop bag is pictured
Ytonet, Amazon

Taking your laptop out of your bag is a huge pain when you're also trying to juggle a security tray, your shoes, your belt, and everything else you have to take off to go through the scanner. Ytonet's laptop bag removes that hassle. The TSA-friendly travel case has a separate laptop compartment that opens flat so you don’t have to take out your computer—just open up the bag and set it on the conveyor belt. (As an added tip, make sure your devices are charged when you arrive, as an agent may ask to see them operating.)

Buy it on Amazon for $27.

4. Vans Slip-On Shoes

A Vans unisex slip-on shoe is pictured
Vans, Amazon

Struggle with getting your laced sneakers on and off at the checkpoint? Opt for slip-ons. We recommend these classic unisex sneakers from Vans, which not only slide off and on with ease, but will keep you comfortable in the airplane cabin, too. If you know you've got a long walk to your gate ahead of you, we suggest upgrading to the company's $60 ComfyCush model, which features a moisture-wicking lining, added arch support, and a sole designed to make it feel like you're "walking on a cloud." Both versions come in just about every color you could want, and in some very vacation-friendly patterns, too. (We cannot, however, guarantee that they will always land facing up.)

Buy it at Vans for $50, on Amazon, or at one of the retailers below:

5. Jasgood Nylon Belt

A Jasgood nylon belt is pictured
JASGOOD, Amazon

There’s always something vaguely disconcerting about undoing a belt in front of a group of strangers. You can skip this step entirely by opting for a metal-free belt. JASGOOD’s TSA-friendly belt is made of nylon and plastic, which won't set off any scanners. It also comes with a backup buckle in case you need a replacement.

Buy it on Amazon from $12.

6. Delsey Helium Aero Luggage

A piece of Delsey Helium Aero luggage is pictured
DELSEY Paris, Amazon

DELSEY's Helium Aero 21-inch carry-on suitcase is designed with air travel in mind. It's small enough to conform to carry-on size standards for most international airlines, and features a rare TSA-approved lock. It has double spinner wheels to facilitate omnidirectional movement, keeping you moving at a quick clip through the terminal, as well as a hard outer shell and a padded space for your laptop, so you won’t risk mashing your belongings while stuffing it into an overhead compartment or checking it. The main compartment is expandable for those prone to overpacking.

Buy it on Amazon for $110 and up, depending on color.

7. Bombax Travel Jacket

A Bombax travel jacket is pictured
BOMBAX, Amazon

Once you’ve emptied out your wallet, phone, electronics, and other accessories, you have a bin full of things that need to be collected so you can go on your way. The Bombax travel jacket comes with 10 easy-to-access pockets that will fit virtually anything you need, turning you into a walking duffel bag. There are spaces custom-designed for your phone, passport, tablet, glasses, headphones, and more. There's even a hidden inflatable neck pillow and fingerless gloves built in.

Buy it on Amazon for men and women for $76.

8. Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

A Nomader collapsible water bottle is pictured
Nomader, Amazon

Bringing water bottles through security is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean you need to dispose of packaged water and then purchase another bottle at the newsstand inside the terminal. The Nomader bottle folds up when empty and clips to carry-on bags, leaving your hands free. After you get through security, you can refill it at a water fountain without having to wait in line at a kiosk.

Buy it on Amazon for $25.

Of course, TSA-friendly bags and belts can only do so much to save you the headache of waiting. To really optimize your airport time, it also helps to look to your left for shorter lines, as most people tend to head right, and to check the MyTSA app for current wait times.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

These ASMR-Ready Headphones Promise to Lull You to Sleep

AcousticSheep
AcousticSheep

What do hushed whispers, gently tapping fingernails, and Bob Ross’s voice have in common? They’re all examples of triggers that may cause what’s known as an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), or, as Dictionary.com succinctly explains it, a “calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation” that can be triggered by soothing stimuli. ASMR has recently been recognized as an effective relaxation technique for those looking to calm their nerves; now, ASMR enthusiasts and novices alike can experience it in the form of a sleep-ready headband.

Upon first glance, SleepPhones: ASMR Edition may look like just a fabric headband, but the device actually features flat speakers tucked into soft, stretchy, eco-friendly material. Unlike regular headphones, SleepPhones can be worn comfortably to bed, even if you sleep on your side, and they come preloaded with content designed to help you relax. They feature eight hours of built-in ASMR content by 16 different ASMR artists (or ASMRtists), including but not limited to tracks with rhythmic tapping and "peaceful Italian whisperings."

A close-up of the SleepPhones speaker technology
AcousticSheep

The speaker components of SleepPhones
AcousticSheep

Using SleepPhones is designed to be a stress-free experience. The speakers have the ability to play for 20 ad-free hours with a mere three-hour charging time in between. There are also zero cords involved, meaning you won’t get all tangled up as you lie down or if you have a tendency to toss and turn at night. The small button located in the back of the headband allows you to start, pause, or skip tracks and control the volume.

For people looking for ways to relax beyond yoga and meditation, ASMR may be the way to go. One study observed that subjects watching ASMR videos not only reported feeling that aforementioned pleasant tingling, but were also found to have reduced heart rates.

You can get a pair of your own SleepPhones on Kickstarter with a pledge of $75 or more. They come in three different sizes with seven colors from which to choose.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Make Shopping Easier With This Super-Light Reusable Bag

Nanobag 3.0
Nanobag 3.0

With the current state of our environment being what it is, it's vital to try to reuse, reduce, and recycle as much as possible. Every year, people consume billions of plastic bags, leading to tons of unnecessary waste. Many consumers have made the switch to reusable bags, but they're often not the sturdiest nor most attractive method of portage.

The Nanobag 3.0, which is now raising money on Kickstarter, claims to be a comfortable, easy-to-fold, high-quality bag that can reduce the number of single-use plastic bags needed per year. This super-soft sack can easily fit into the smallest of places, like the watch pocket in your jeans.

Putting a bag into the watch pocket of jeans
Nanobag 3.0

Weighing just 0.7 ounces, the Nanobag 3.0 is made of water- and dirt-repellant rip-stop fabric. You can carry about 66 pounds of goods in its 18-liter capacity, and the bag's reinforced handles work to distribute the weight evenly on your shoulder or arm. Attached to the bag is a small pouch that can carry keys or a small wallet, so you can have all your essentials in one place.

For each bag sold, one tree will be planted with the Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit organization that restores forests and reduces poverty in developing nations.

With over a month left in its campaign, the Nanobag 3.0 has already exceeded its goal of $3,831, raising over $73,000 as of June 17. By pledging $10 or more, you can get your own ultra-light and ultra-strong reusable bag on Kickstarter. Shipping is scheduled for December.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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