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The Best Valet Trays for Keeping Your Stuff Together

Try as we might, some of us just can’t keep our s*** together — literally. If your frantic, end-of-day routine involves coming home, flinging open the door, and dropping a Hansel-and-Gretel-style trail of keys, wallet, mail, phone, gum wrappers, and the like throughout the house, you need a valet tray. The best valet trays are handsome, well-made, and guaranteed to keep your everyday carry in check.

Tanner Goods Valet Tray

From wallets and leather belts to coffee mugs and daypacks, Tanner Goods has mastered the art of handcrafted basics. Clean lines, simple styling, and a clear purpose are hallmarks of every product in the company’s catalog. Tanner’s no-nonsense Valet Tray is no different. At just 5 inches square, the minimalist leather tray is just big enough to hold the essentials — spare change, a key ring, maybe a cigar lighter. Brass rivets at the corners add a touch of class.

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DOIY Design Concrete Valet Tray

DOIY Design Concrete Valet Tray

Nothing exudes the pure Brutalist aesthetic like concrete. DOIY Design’s Concrete Valet Tray is a 12-inch-wide shard of raw, poured concrete that feels plucked from a dystopian future where leather and wood are extinct. Each of the tray’s four sections is carved with a simple icon — wallet, phone, key, loose change — to remind you what goes where. Plus, the hefty two-pound form factor is also guaranteed to stay put.

Courant Catch:3

Courant Catch: 3

For the modern gentleman who prefers an all-in-one EDC station, Courant’s Catch:3 will keep your shit together and wirelessly charge your smartphone. The left third of the tray houses a three-coil fast wireless charging pad, while the right side is large enough for a wallet, Apple Watch, key ring, and a pen. The premium pebble-grain Italian leather tray is available in five colors from off-white to blue.

Defy Snappy Valet Tray

Defy Snappy Valet Tray

Travelers who need a portable valet solution will appreciate Defy Bags’ Snappy. As the name implies, the Horween leather valet tray folds flat to fit neatly in a carry-on, while button snaps at the corners hold it together when you need it. The unique “Defy Clutter” branding at the bottom is a reminder to keep your mess in check.

Maxx&Unicorn Co. Catch-All

Maxx&Unicorn Co. Catch-All

For a woodsy alternative, Maxx&Unicorn Co’s Catch-All is finished in solid American walnut with maple stripes and a low-sheen varnish. It’s classic, unassuming, and handsome. The unique hexagonal design measures roughly six inches across — just large enough for your basic EDC. A notch at the rear holds a smartphone upright and ready to charge.

Barbour Tartan and Leather Valet Tray

Barbour Tartan and Leather Valet Tray

From the brand that never met a tartan it didn’t like, Barbour’s Tartan and Leather Valet Tray features a timeless design with a dose of British-inspired class. The collapsible walls are handmade from waxed leather that secures with snap enclosures at the corners. The soft, lined interior will protect your cufflinks and Rolex from scratches.

Base Object 004 Valet Tray

Base Object 004 Valet Tray

If the natural look of leather, wood, and concrete isn’t disco enough for you, the Base Object 004 from Dsptch is a distinct, attention-grabbing alternative. The straightforward rectangular design is available in this bright yellow, ensuring you’ll never have trouble finding it, even in the dark.

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Best cheap backpack deals for October 2022
classic backpack

If you're looking for the best cheap backpack deals, you be happy to find there are many choices. The backpack universe includes packs for hiking, biking, commuting, and more. For this overview of the current best cheap backpack deals, we focused primarily on backpacks tech backpacks for commuters or people who work from home, and backpacks for travel.
Today's Best Cheap Backpack Deals

How To Choose A Backpack
Backpack capacity is best determined by the size of the person who will be wearing it, but there are variation based on personal preference and habits. A middle school student who likes to carry their all books to and from school every day will need a larger backpack than a student who rarely brings books home. Student athletes may want a gigantic bag to carry sports clothing and gear, though in that case a second bag is often an option. One factor regarding size is specific to electronics, considered separately just below. Commuters will want to consider how much weight and bulk they want to carry on a daily basis.
Laptop And Electronics Readiness
Computers, Chromebooks, tablets, and other electronics are expensive. Even though most devices can take moderately rough handling, the best solution when choosing a backpack is to pick one with a padded protected area that fits the device. Most laptops will fit in a sleeve designed for the most common 15.6-inch display size, but a few are larger, so be sure to account for screen size (measured diagonally). Because many tech-focused people and some students carry more than one device, there are also backpacks with multiple protected sections. Two additional handy electronics-focused features to look for are an opening for a USB charging port and an easily-accessed zippered compartment for adapters, cables, mice, and other small accessories.
Backpacks are constructed of a variety of materials, including nylon, polyester, canvas, cotton fabric, leather, and more. If you're choosing a backpack for a student, keep in mind the material will need to withstand rough treatment and often be put or stored in areas where they will pick up dirt.
Backpacks often have a variety of handles and extra straps, but padded shoulder straps that don't dig in when the backpack is loaded with books can add a lot to its comfort.
Water Resistance
None of the cheap backpacks below are waterproof, but some are constructed of water-resistant material. If anyone will be wearing or carrying the pack in the rain, at least minimal water resistance is a good thing.
Style is another personal preference consideration, but try not to sacrifice function and comfort just for looks.

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Amazon Style lacks the human touch: Why that’s a problem for retail’s future
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Amazon first opened Amazon Style Glendale (California, outside of L.A.) earlier this year. While the tech-forward brick-and-mortar store sports upgrades to old-school big box stores, some customers have reported being disappointed in the experience, according to The Guardian.

While Amazon Style does have front-of-house employees who can assist shoppers in their search (much the same way traditional retailers do), shoppers can also experience the store via their smartphone by scanning QR codes to send clothes to the fitting room or straight to pick up. Once in the fitting room, shoppers can select looks without having to leave. The store delivers on-the-spot algorithmic service that traditional brick-and-mortar models often can't meet, but retailers in the future will have to incorporate that sort of technology with an even greater human touch — more like a personal shopper experience — to offer that personal touch critical to the sensory experience of seeing, touching, and feeling products.

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