Now that I commute I am finding myself intricately interested in what everyone is carrying ..
Here is a short list
The S'well bottles are highly popular as are now the slightly affordable Swissgear backpacks but I have seen a few new brands break into my commute but one absolute gear must be had regardless of the length of your commute is this bike by DAHON it is unbelievable the most popular bike on Caltrain to say the least and it is considered really durable.
Now you are probably wondering which electronics are most popular to take traveling. While compact is good I am still seeing 15 inch laptops popup alongside 10 inch smart phones so if you like Apple get Apple if you don't you have a lot of choices but one thing I do not see traveling at any time is any of the Surface products. The rare occasion I found someone using an Microsoft Surface product traveling was a student and he was the odd one out in a sea of Apple products.
Does the Apple watch work better than the Samsung. Well I have see my share of VR adapted items and honestly I refrain from taking virtual reality trip on my travels.
Finally shoe wear is the last travel gear that I can think of.
Tennis shoes or Athletic shoes are fine but the real gear is found either KEEN or your preferred shoe. Toms are popular but not always practical as I find myself having difficulty not tearing straight thru a pair.
One note on Personal Safety and probably why I recommend Eagle Creek bags over a lot of other bags ....the safety whistle feature while totally frivolous it is a good idea if you have a commute that takes you through some difficult paths.
Should you learn martial arts...yes...because its good exercise :)