When Frank and I were travelling throughout the UK on our honeymoon, the one thing that I noticed happening pretty quickly was the increasing disaster that was our clothes in suitcases. Once neatly folded clothes were getting shoved around and mixed up with clothes meant for the laundry.
Fast forward to a few months after our honeymoon travels and to a September evening - we were watching Dragon's Den (usually not a show that I watch, but Frank enjoys it, particularly Kevin O'Leary). The next duo trying to get the attention of the Dragons were two brothers, casually yet nervously walking on stage in nothing but their underpants and t-shirts. Cue the close up of Arlene Dickinson who is grinning from ear to ear. I'm not surprised she's doing so - the two brothers, Lee and Sean Renshaw, from Rise & Hang,
are in good shape, look charming and clean-cut.
It's what they show the Dragons that captures my interest - luggage inserts that help you ensure your clothes stay as wrinkle-free as possible during your travels.
Cut to a few weeks later, and I'm getting a message from Sean on our Facebook page
, wondering if we'd write about their company and products. We jumped at the opportunity!
After a crazy month including a house move and busy work schedule, I get to checking out the following items sent to me by Sean for my review:
Luggage Insert And Carry-on
Luggage Insert and Carry-On
What I liked:
- Great for travellers who like to be organized and who hate ironing - clothes do not get wrinkled as easily as if they were in a regular suitcase.
- Like a shelving unit is to a walk-in closet, the luggage insert helps you layer items and easily hangs up in any closet.
- The bottom "shelf" is a bit larger and can hold wrinkled clothes ready for the laundry.
- The insert forces you to keep your clothes properly folded.
- It can be used within your luggage or as a separate carry-on.
What's not so great:
Weekender Duffel Bag
- It adds to the weight of your suitcase, so you are forced to pack a bit lighter to NOT go over the limit and end up paying extra for your checked-in luggage.
- For those who pack their whole closet, it also takes up a bit of extra space where normally you would be able to stuff a few extra items of clothing. So you need to think carefully as to what you need to pack for your trip. This could be either a good or back thing depending on what kind of traveler you are.
What I liked:
- Spacious - you can pack quite a bit in this weekender bag. Perfect for a three or four day long weekend trip.
- Dressy clothing can be nicely folded and will not come out overly wrinkled - not too much ironing needed!
- You can carry it in your hand or use a strap for over the shoulder.
- Additional pockets allow you to store items such as toiletries, an umbrella and small camera.
What's not so great:
- Not much room to store shoes, particularly if you are using this as a carry-on for a flight. The option is to use the larger compartment at the bottom of the insert.
- It's heavy due to the luggage insert, so you can't pack anything too heavy if you are concerned about carry-on restrictions... or your shoulder/arms when lugging it around.
I tested it out in my own walk-in closet. Please ignore the messy shoe organizer - we're still settling in from our move.
I definitely see the use with the luggage inserts for those who often do business travel and have little time to iron clothing while on the go. It's also a great idea for those like myself, who are a touch OCDish about keeping organized, even on a weekend road trip.
Although the samples we tried out were made in China, I've been informed by Sean that production has been moved to Toronto! Always great to support a Canadian-made brand and so I'm including Rise and Hang as a #FF post. Follow them on twitter at @Rise_Gear.