1. Archive

Haul that hard-to-lug baggage

The search for better products to carry travel gear is endless. Following is a selection of items to haul jewelry, maps, shoes, photographs and other hard-to-organize belongings. Prices do not include shipping and handling:

Found _ the perfect case for the woman who travels with a stash of jewelry. The 7-by-5-by-2{-inch, suede, zippered jewel pouch from T. Anthony, a New York store that specializes in leather accessories, has a place for everything. A large open compartment has ample space for bracelets, brooches, and other larger baubles. There's a snap-off ring holder and a sewn-in strip for attaching pierced earrings. A small zippered pocket on the inside of the lid can hold slim items or receipts, and a removable three-pocket zippered section can store delicate items individually, to keep them from being scratched.

This gorgeous case isn't inexpensive, but it's one of the most efficient (and classy) solutions for toting jewelry I've seen.

Travel Jewel Pouch (Item 1478) is $155 in fuchsia, royal blue, or aqua Nu-Buck suede from T. Anthony; (800) 722-2406.

On a more budget-minded tack, Sassaby, a California manufacturer, makes brightly colored, plastic, cosmetic organizers. I liked the sturdy compact case, which at 6\-by-4{-by-2{ inches, is large enough to store a small powder compact, lipstick, mascara, make-up pencils and other basics for a quick touch-up. Behind a mirrored middle section is still more space for keys, a notepad, or other small items.

Because the case is made of hard plastic, it has the added advantage of keeping fragile items from breaking in transit _ and the price certainly is right.

Sassaby Compact with mirrored compartment in purple, blue, or green (110) is $4.99 at cosmetic counters of department stores, or, for a store in your area, call the manufacturer: (800) 468-7277.

Keeping items neatly arranged in a car often is an exercise in futility _ but it needn't be if you've got this useful nylon organizer that hooks onto the back of a seat by flexible metal hangers. Five mesh pockets of varying sizes are ideal for maps, guidebooks, a flashlight, cassette players and tapes, and other items that otherwise might get lost under a seat or mangled under a heavy foot.

Car Organizer in red (815622) or black (628129) is $9.98 from Lillian Vernon, a mail order company; (800) 285-5555.

Shoes put in a suitcase often either get crushed or scratched by other objects or the shoe polish rubs off on clothes. These tartan-colored, cotton-flannel shoe bags can protect both the shoes and the rest of your clothes. I also use the bags for delicate travel items, such as a hairblower, portable coffeemaker, and other breakables.

Tartan Flannel Shoe Bags (1360-5GI8) are $7 a pair from Land's End; (800) 356-4444.

Finally, a nifty way of storing and displaying snapshots. The Showbox Photo Viewer, created by Burns of Boston, manufacturer of quality picture frames, looks like a thick plastic frame, and stores up to 40 photographs in a slide-out drawer. By opening and closing the drawer (which slides into the frame part) the photos rotate in sequence, with a new photo appearing in the window after each open/close motion. An easel-like stand on the back of the frame revolves, locking into place for either horizontal or vertical display.

Tired of the same old picture? Just open and close the drawer to change the shot. The Showbox comes in a hard cardboard sleeve with an inner pocket for storing extra photos and/or negatives.

This was a big hit on my Christmas gift list. One word of caution. You must keep a minimum of 20 photos in the tray for the rotation process to work, and prints should be in good condition, with no frayed edges, or they could snag and be damaged.

The Showbox comes in a choice of two frame sizes to accommodate the most common photo sizes: 4-by-6 inches, or 3{-by-5 inches. You also can choose from among four design motifs: Travel (with an antique map motif on the frame matting and storage sleeve), wedding, baby, or holiday.

Showbox Photo Viewer is $14.99 at department stores and camera shops, or, for a location in your area, call the manufacturer: (800) 998-8090.