I know people who are "extreme backpackers" that are always looking for ways to shed weight from the gear they carry when they go backpacking. While I'm not quite as much of a zealot for measuring how many ounces everything I carry weighs, I do always look for ways to decrease the weight and bulk of the things I carry for business.
My gadget freak bias means I carry a lot of chargers, cables, and similar accessories. I've found a few that have made a big difference for lightening my travel bag and I will start sharing some of my finds with you periodically, with a series of posts that I'll call "Travel Light." Today, I'd like to introduce you to Boxwave's line of charging and synching cables for mobile devices.
I cycled through a couple of cheap, no-name USB sync & charge cables but I had problems with them because they didn't "grip" my Treo well enough and wouldn't stay plugged in reliably. As a result, I had quite a few experiences where I plugged my Treo in to charge before bed in a hotel room, only to wake up and find that the connection hadn't been maintained through the night and my phone was not fully charged for my busy day. Not good.
Then I found Boxwave's miniSync retractable Sync and Charge cable. These folks know how to engineer a quality product. It's compact, retracts very well (some of the cheaper ones I tried often wouldn't retract fully after a few uses). Most importantly for me, it really grips the phone and stays plugged in even if the phone gets jostled. Heck, I can even make phone calls while the phone is charging with this thing. And, as the name implies, it also syncs my Treo (it's a Palm-based PDA) with my computer to keep things accessible when I'm out and about.
They make accessories for a bunch of other devices including cables, cases, and screen protectors. If you are in the market for anything like that, Boxwave is where I'd start looking.