Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit Review: Travel Light and Connect Well with This EDC

Before the pandemic, when I would travel (remember doing that?), I usually packed a gear pouch loaded with cables, batteries, adapters, and more. The resulting package was bulky, cumbersome, and it weighed a lot, but it kept me connected in any situation when I was away from home. Even when I’m just going out and about or to the office, I’ll usually bring too much gear with me, but the Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit makes that a thing of the past.

Ultra-Light & Portable: Condensed down into a compact carbon fiber wallet, the digital kit not only saves space but is lightweight enough (only 2.75oz/78g) to put in your pocket for travel.

The Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit is small, but it’s packed with all the tech goodies you might need when you are out and about. It is the same size and shape as Pitaka’s MagEZ Wallet (although slightly smaller than the Pitaka MagEZ Wallet UE), and it can be used on its own or as part of the wallet system. Measuring just 4” by 2.7” by .48” and weighing just 2.75 ounces, this innovative kit is small and light, and it can go everywhere with you. As Pitaka explains:

All your digital essentials in a compact, lightweight carbon fiber wallet. With the Type-C charging cable and adapters, charge almost any device while you travel. Easily store and transfer data using the built-in memory card reader and USB flash drive. There are designated slots for storing your spare SIM card, Micro-SD, and SIM ejector tool. The MagEZ Digital Travel Kit holds up to three Chip and PIN cards or business cards in an RFID protected module.

Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit Features

Let’s look at the basic kit, and then we’ll explore some of the additional layers you can purchase to make this an even more effective daily carry you’ll want to add to your backpack or bag in 2020.

Pitaka made a name for itself by using carbon fiber and aramid fiber in their products. In this case, they opted for carbon fiber. It is both strong and lightweight, making it the ideal material for a product like this.

The top layer is a flat piece of carbon fiber. On the outside, it looks like a piece from one of their iPhone cases.

The cover layer is on the left; it has space for one card.

On the inside, there is a slot for one card. It slides into it easily and, thanks to its precise design, once in its place, the card won’t come out until you choose to slide it out. At one end of this component, there is a large magnet. Two smaller ones can be found on either side about 3/4 of the way toward the end into which the card slides.

As we will see, these magnets are a key part of this accessory’s unusual functionality.

The next layer is a “Card Layer.” It has the same magnets at the cover, but in this case, the magnets are on both sides of the layer. Again, we will see why this design was necessary in a moment. The Card Layer can hold up to two cards with one on either side. That means that, between the Cover and the Card Later, you can hold three cards.

Before going further, it is worth noting that, unlike the MagEZ Wallet UE, these card layers don’t shelve cards with magnetized strips that could be rendered useless if the magnets came into contact with them. Pitaka is quite clear about this, noting, “Card module is not compatible with magnetic stripe cards, as demagnetization may occur.” That’s the bad news.

The good news is that because Pitaka used carbon fiber to construct these layers, your cards will all be protected from RFID readers. And while the prospect of demagnetizing my credit cards might otherwise be a deal-breaker, the advent of Apple Pay on my iPhone means my physical credit cards were already seeing less use than ever.

The third layer is the Digital Travel Kit. On one side, it is a solid piece of carbon fiber that looks exactly like the cover layer. The inside has the same three magnets seen on the other layers.

Securely held in this layer are a plethora of ways to connect or charge your mobile devices.

There is a short USB-C to USB-C cable; there are three different adapters.

Each has an end that accepts a USB-C connection. The other side has either a USB-A, micro USB, or Lightning connector. That means that, with this single cable and three adapters, you can connect to any device currently on the market. It’s a smart system and, because each adapter is held securely inside the Digital Travel Kit, you don’t have to worry about losing them.

But that’s not all the Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit has to offer.

Built-in Data Storage: Import and securely store your important data using the built-in memory card reader and removable 16GB flash drive.

Inside there is also a small, 16GB USB-A flash drive.

Along the side, there is a small door that opens to reveal a built-in memory card reader.

The door is a bit difficult to open, but with a paperclip or a SIM removal tool, you can easily pry it open.

Speaking of SIM removal tools, the kit also has a slot that holds the included tool. If you’ve ever needed to remove your SIM card but couldn’t find a removal tool or a paperclip small enough to fit inside the ejection hole, you will know how great it is the Pitaka included one in the kit!

Space for Your SD and SIM Cards: Specially designed slots keep your spare SD and SIM cards safe while you travel

Finally, the Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit has two slots to securely hold a microSD memory card and an extra SIM card. I have an Israeli SIM card to stay in touch when I lead groups there, so having a safe place to keep my US SIM when traveling gives me peace of mind.

When the three layers are put together, you have a small wallet that can hold a few cards and all the digital tools you need on the road.

But that’s not where this story ends.

Building upon the Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit

A Magnetic, Modular Design: The magnetic travel kit and card layers attach seamlessly to the MagEZ Wallet (not MagEZ Wallet UE) and MagEZ Power Bank.

The system works with the Pitaka MagEZ Power Bank, although you’ll have to purchase that separately.

It also works with the other card layers that were initially designed for the MagEZ Wallet. As previously mentioned, this is not the case with the MagEZ Wallet UE, which is slightly larger to accommodate the innovative way Pitaka found to protect magnetized cards from the magnets — we will be looking at that wallet next.

Pitaka sent me some of these additional layers, and it’s worth exploring them before we look at how it all works together.

The extra Card Layer Pitaka sent is $25. It lets you carry a few additional cards.

Box Layer is in the middle.

The $35 Box Layer can hold a flat key, some coins, or a few folded bills.

Finally, the $30 Money Clip layer can hold bills so long as they are folded in thirds. Five or six bills seem optimal, but I’ve been able to carry up to seven.

Whether you are just using the three layers that come with the Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit or adding additional layers, all the layers securely connect and create a single accessory. These magnets are strong enough that they won’t come apart even when dropped. I know because I’ve tested it.

The real key to this design is found in the way in which Pitaka placed the magnets. The larger one on the ends is, as you might expect, stronger than the two smaller ones. That means you can all the layers out with the larger magnets functioning as the pivot point. When you do fan it out, it looks like this.

 

There is still, however, one additional trick! When I combine the Digital Travel Kit with the three additional layers Pitaka sent, I end up with something that is fairly bulky while still light.

But the brilliant design means I don’t have to carry all the layers all the time. If  I only need my license, insurance card, and a few bills, I can take the card layer, money clip layer, and digital travel kit while leaving the other layers in a safe place.

If I need to carry a few more cards, I can add the second card layer. And if I’m on a cruise, I can leave the money clip behind and just take a card layer and the digital travel kit.

Ultra-Light & Portable: Condensed down into a compact carbon fiber wallet, the digital kit not only saves space but is lightweight enough (only 2.75oz/78g) to put in your pocket for travel.

The key is flexibility, and no other wallet gives you as much flexibility as this one! And while I don’t see myself using this as my daily driver as I’m too concerned about demagnetizing my credit cards, the Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit will be taking up residence (and saving me space) in my work bag… when the pandemic is over, and I eventually need one again.

At $80, the Pitaka MagEZ Digital Travel Kit isn’t inexpensive. But if you have ever needed a cable only to realize you forgot to pack it, or you needed to swap out your SIM but didn’t have the right tool for the job I think you will agree that it is hard to place a price on avoiding such moments of panic.

The MagEZ Digital Travel Kit sells for $80; it is available directly from the manufacturer

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Small, Thin, Light, Made form Carbon Fiber; Tool Kit has all the tools you need to stay charged and connected; Protects cards from RFID readers; Additional layers can be purchased and added; Layers can be left at home or in a hotel safe when not needed; Magnets let you fan out the layers and easily access whatever you need

What Needs Improvement: It can get pricey as you add layers; Unlike the MagEZ Wallet UE, magnets will likely demagnetize cards with magnetic strips

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.