iPad 2: The crown prince of no brainers.

It’s confession time: we are techno nerds.  If it plays movies, stores books, converts electricity, or micro-manages our lives in absurd detail, we’re listening.  Here are RSJ’s eight favorite travel gadgets for 2011.  This list is by no means comprehensive, but we can guarantee it’s fabulous.  From boomCAN speakers that will make your apartment fiesta central to sleep-friendly headphones, RSJ has you hooked-up.

#8 All-in-One Travel Plug Power Plug Adapter (US, UK, EU, AU) by Kingsmart

This may not be our sexiest choice, but when it comes to functionality…this all-in-one has us hooked.  One of our worst frustrations when traveling abroad has got to be the plug war for electronics.  Confused with hundreds of tiny pieces–is that for the UK? or the EU? or China?–many of which get lost or never make it overseas, we’ve made the mistake of buying assembly-required adapters. Not to mention the fact that one false move and you could damage your blessed electronic forever.  Kingsmart’s All-in-One is exactly what its name implies: one gadget, multiple plugs.  Slide a lever and suddenly the same adapter you were using in London is functional in Munich.  With over 150 countries covered, idiot-proof labels, and a power surge protector, your electronics will be blissfully thankful.

#7 SleepPhones by AcousticSheep

For anyone who has ever had the burn of an earbud into their ear canal while trying to rest their head on a plane, this gadget is for you.  No longer feel constricted in one position due to your headphones: SleepPhones are flat speakers built into a soft headband, allowing you to drown out the noise of a plane that would otherwise keep you awake.  Forget the TylenolPMs and uncomfortable earbuds of previous transatlantic nightmares.  Slip into your SleepPhones and turn sleepless flights into sweet dreams.

SwissBit: Feel like James Bond with this all-in-one flash drive/Swiss army knife.
#6  Swiss Army 1GB USB Flash Drive by Swissbit

Why hello, James Bond. Cut wire, store top secret documents, illuminate dark spots, and write your phone number on a cocktail napkin for your Bond girl with one gadget.  This Swiss Army knife has all the functionality of its traditional brothers, with a modern twist: a 1 GB USB flash drive.   Whether you need a nail file, scissors, pen, LED light, knife, or file storage, consider Swissbit your mini concierge.  REMEMBER: you can’t carry this baby on, so it will have to be stuck in checked baggage.  Not to fret, though: the flash drive detaches from the knife, making your files accessible and flight-friendly.

#5 Pan Am Vintage Style 21″ Trolley Rolling Case by Brookstone

While not a gadget per se, it can certainly cart your electronics across the globe! Pay homage to the glamorous jetsetters of times past with this Pan Am inspired carry-on suitcase.  What is the best part of this fashionable and functional carry-all? It fits the dimensions of our dreaded budget airline luggage restrictions!  (And you know how we at RSJ feel about those). Pan Am celebrated the glamour of the journey, not just the destination.  Enjoy your globetrotting in stress-free style.

#4 Clear Harmony NC 1100b Headphones by Able Planet

Screaming babies, engines, and gabbers OH MY!  How are you supposed to jam to your trance beats when you’re trapped in a noise capsule 31,000 feet above Bangkok? Fear no more: Able Planet has created the ultimate noise-cancelling headphones that will let you kiss that awkward come-on from your seat-mate goodbye.  Whether you’re trying to get some sleep or calming flight jitters, these headphones will enhance the sound of your favorite tunes and block out the din.

Flip Cams: Transport your memories anywhere in style.
#3 FlipCam Ultra HD by Flip Video

What could possibly make that story about climbing to the top of  a mountain to view the Cambodian sunset better? A video of your heroic adventures! Using this ultra-light, HD video camera, you can tape, store, and send your adventures across the world in seconds.  With an easy USB plug-in and fabulous pre-loaded software, capturing memories has never been this easy.  FlipCams are also customizable these days, making it easy to distinguish yours with bright colors or a favorite photo.  What do you have to say about that, Woody Allen?

#2 PMSSR boomCAN Portable Media Player by Scosche

We’ve seen your Ministry of Sound-worthy speaker system at home.  What will you do when you can’t carry-on that turntable, Guetta-wannabe?  That’s easy: pack your boomCAN.  These baby speakers produce big sound and are compatible with iPods, iPhones, iPads, Tablets, Smartphones, MP3 players, computers, and more.  Who says that you won’t be the most popular party rocker in Rome next semester?  You even have the option of plugging in multiple speakers for double-the-bombastic sound.  Improving the overall quality of your music while simultaneously adding less than a pound to your suitcase?  Get on it.

#1 iPad 2 by Apple

This is the crown prince of no-brainers.  The iPad 2 will soon replace your best friend as the ultimate travel companion.  Whether you want to be entertained, informed, supported, or reached, the iPad 2 will keep you going wherever you are.  Bring your entire movie collection, iTunes library, Entourage Season 6, and favorite books anywhere.  Download the latest magazines and interactive games.  FaceTime with your favorite Apple users at home.  This carry-on friendly gadget has the best of style and functionality, not to mention the ultimate apps store of any tablet.  Work and play have never looked this good or been this easy.  Forget the rest of this list if you must and pick up the iPad 2: we promise you won’t regret it.

What are your favorite travel gadgets for 2011?  Leave a comment and get us on board!