Home

Home Travel Tips Travel Deals Destinations Trip Reviews Forums Blog
The IndependentTraveler.com Blog

I love to globetrot, but I’m not the biggest fan of air travel — particularly because I get bored on flights longer than an hour (which, unfortunately, is most of them). Cue SkyMall, the infamous and ubiquitous mail-order catalog found in most seatback pockets. Targeting impulse buyers who have nothing better to do while soaring, it provides a means of procuring “Star Wars” plush toys, talking dog collars, gold-dipped roses and even Harry Potter’s wand. If those examples aren’t ridiculous enough, check out our list of the nine most head-scratching, money-wasting, dust-collecting products from the company’s early spring 2013 catalog.

Editor’s Note: Click on the thumbnail images for a larger view of each product.

skyrest9. SkyRest Travel Pillow: If you’ve ever fallen asleep on a flight and woken up with a stiff neck, this lap-based, wedge-shaped travel pillow appears to offer an affordable ($30) solution. Its cumbersome size may initially be a turn-off, but don’t worry — it’s inflatable, ensuring that you’ll thoroughly disturb the person in the seat next to you with all of the huffing and puffing required to blow it up.

nano uv wand8. Nano-UV Wand: Pack this $160 bad boy when you travel, and you can instantly kill dust mites and their eggs on pillows, bedding and carpets, according to the ad. Awesome — now you can sleep on dead bugs instead of bedbugs. If your sheets aren’t what’s worrying you, you can also pick up less expensive models for killing foodbourne bacteria ($60) or for sanitizing dinner plates and tap water while traveling ($100).

bacon pillow7. Bacon Throw and Pillow: Now bacon lovers of the world can do more than just eat it; they can sleep on it, too. This polyester pair is expensive at about $65 for both items, and apart from the hefty price, my question is simply: Why bacon? Why not eggs? Why not pancakes? I’d imagine the hash browns feel pretty left out too.

dermatend cream6. DermaTend: Talk about getting personal. With this handy-dandy tube of miracle cream, you can “safely remove your unwanted moles and skin tags at home.” Ranging in price from $40 to $100 (depending, of course, on how many moles you have), this product can be described in one word: gross.

porch potty5. Porch Potty: Has your pooch ever wanted his very own patch of synthetic grass on which to do his business? This wicker-enclosed 52″ x 6″ faux lawn — including a drain hose for outdoors, a catch basin for indoors and a scented fire hydrant — is certainly one step up from a Wee-Wee Pad, but at $260, it should be. For an extra $20, they’ll even throw in a sprinkler system to clean the Porch Potty. (After all, if you’re too lazy to take your dog outside in the first place, it’s likely you’ll also be too lazy to clean this darn thing.)

tabletop photo studio4. Tabletop Photo Studio: If you find yourself wanting to take professional photos on the go, be sure to pick up this portable 40-inch foldable photo studio ($200), which will give you the perfect shot … after you set up one of four backdrops, a tripod, two lights and whatever it is you’re hoping to photograph. For a smaller — but equally intricate and infuriating — experience, you can always try the 20-inch one instead ($100).

bigfoot garden yeti3. Bigfoot, the Garden Yeti: Pink flamingos are SO last-century. If you agree, show your disdain by snagging yourself one of these statues. It’s sure to be a conversation-starter at any garden party. (“Pssst! Did you SEE that thing? It’s so tacky!”) Ranging in height from 21″ to nearly 6 feet, medium ($90), large ($125) and life-size ($2,250) versions are available. Oh, and don’t forget to budget up to $200 extra for delivery charges.

mounted squirrel head2. Mounted Squirrel Head: Don’t hunt? Don’t worry! Pretend you do with this disturbing and not-at-all-lifelike squirrel head … and torso … and arms. Ew. This item is perfect for anyone interested in glorifying roadkill or a “Deliverance” revival. I beg you, spend your $25 elsewhere.

igrow hair rejuvenation1. iGrow Hair Rejuvenation: If you’re in flight and really wishing you had more hair, this is one product you won’t want to pass up. Expose your scalp to 51 lasers and LED lights that will regrow what nature has taken away. This gadget, which will set you back a cool $695, looks like a cross between a space-age bicycle helmet and unnecessarily large headphones (for use with the built-in iPod interface, naturally). Whether you’re a male or a female, you’ll look stunning in this … contraption.

Pack This: 11 Versatile Travel Essentials
The Ultimate Guide to Travel Packing

Would you try any of these products? Are you a SkyMall fan? Share your thoughts below.

– written by Ashley Kosciolek

8 Responses to “9 Useless Items You Can Buy at 35,000 Feet”

  1. Anita says:

    I have not tried these products and will not. They seem utterly ridiculous to me but there is one product sky mall has I would try and that is the oxgenated water picture.

  2. Pat says:

    Thanks for a good laugh, there are not many laughable things in the news anymore….Keep posting the “gizmos and gadgets” items, the wackier the better!

  3. Dan Turner says:

    The SkyRest Travel Pillow looks the best thing since sliced bread, and I will buy it on my next trip.

  4. Lula says:

    I actually own #4 and it was perfect for photgraphing inventory for insurance purposes. I also use it for other photgraphical uses. If you aren’t a photg you might thing this is useless but it has been very useful for me.

    I would love to own #8, too. The usefulness of this item is immmeasurable if you are the caretaker of someone with a compromised immune system. Public services are the worst places for bacterial contamination and anywhere I can eliminate a potential threat to my loved ones health, it’s worth it.

  5. Lola says:

    A friend of mine actually did buy the indoor patch of grass for her puppy because he refused to go to the bathroom outside. It quickly turned into a disgusting smelly mess. Luckily he now will go to the bathroom outdoors. He used to pee on me everytime he saw me as well. That thankfully has also stopped!

  6. Kim says:

    I’ve seriously considered purchasing the “fake lawn for dogs”. The author misses the point. It’s NOT because the dog owner is lazy – it’s because the dog owner is not home! And we don’t want to have the dog wait so long until we do get home. It also looks great for training a new puppy when you live in a condo on the third floor. Many dogs stand on puppy pads and pee on the floor. This way seems more “tactile” and MAYBE more accurate?!?

  7. Karen says:

    I bought the NY skyline panoramic wrap around picture for my bathroom. Love it!

Leave a Reply