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Product Review: Packable Shelves

What Is It: Shelves to Go! Packable shelves designed to fit in your suitcase and hang at your hotel.

Price and Where to Buy: $29.95 to $39.95 at SkyMall or Amazon.

Pros: No need to worry about unpacking at your destination, just lift the shelves out and hang them up in your hotel room's closet. Your clothes will remain folded, unwrinkled, and safe from bedbugs and general hotel room grime.  

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Cons: If your suitcase isn't bigger than 18" x 12" or 20" x 12", this product is not for you, as it would be impossible to fold the shelves to fit into a smaller suitcase. Especially when full of packed clothing, the shelves are going to take up the majority of room in your suitcase. This is probably not for light-packers or carry-on only travelers, for whom every inch of space is important. Finally, at around $30, this product doesn't feel that well made. Within two minutes of taking the shelves out of the package in my test scenario, the grips at the end of the Shelves to Go's hooks popped off. 

How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 2/10. Best if you're a neat freak/germaphobe who absolutely hates not unpacking, but simultaneously hates using dirty hotel drawers. For the traveler who's content to live out of his/her suitcase on the road, or simply hang up clothing in a hotel's closet, this product creates more work than it eliminates.
  • Portability: 4/10. You'll need a fairly big suitcase to fit these shelves, especially if you've used all three shelves when packing. However, the shelves are surprisingly lightweight.
  • Value: 1/10. If you're really sold on packing shelves, you can buy three-shelf organizers that are normally used in closets, that also fold and hang, for around $10 at Target, Wal-Mart, etc.
  • Durability: 3/10. Considering that the grips on the shelves popped off within a few minutes of use, and the fact that the shelves come with warnings not to load with more than 35 lbs. of stuff, we have doubts as to this product's durability. It does come with a one-year limited warranty, though.
  • Cool Factor: 6/10. It would look cool to have everything nicely organized and hung up in your hotel room rather than exploding out of your messy suitcase!

Final Verdict: Not worth it. If you really do want to pack shelves, we suggest getting a regular closet organizer for about one-third the price.

Editor's Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and "cool factor." Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

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