I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sometimes I like packing for a trip more than the trip itself. I’ve always been a sucker for the whole Tetris-style approach to getting all my gear, especially for an extended trip, into a relatively small piece of luggage. Over the years, I’ve perfected rolling tees and fitting as many socks as possible into a pair of boots. I’ve traditionally also been a big fan of travel backpacks and duffels.
On my recent weeklong excursion to France, I had the pleasure of trying out a rolling suitcase for the first time in quite a while. But this was no ordinary roller, this was by a company called Solgaard. A long-time pal recently accepted a position at this newish player in the luggage space and once I heard about their packing philosophy, I began looking for the right trip to try their product out. This was that trip. The Check-In Closet Medium is available for $395 on the Solgaard website today.
The Solgaard approach is to organize the luggage with a closet-like, collapsible shelving system. This soft, internal framework enables you to instantly categorize your apparel either by kind, day, or in my case… by outfit. This literally rewired my entire approach to packing. Now, not only was I planning more purposefully, I was also spending less time trying to figure out how to make it all fit. Granted, this does remove a bit of the Jenga-like balancing act of getting it all to play nice once you try to close the latches. But the upsides are quite high.
Besides a swifter, more organized packing experience, once you arrive at your destination, the real benefits are instantly evident. First, rather than having a sprawling suitcase splayed out on the floor, you instead have a vertical solution that reduces its footprint dramatically. This becomes a massive benefit the second you realize how much smaller your Airbnb is, once you see it in person. Next, this system forever eliminates the dig. No longer do you need a degree in archeology and a permit to excavate in order to find that favorite shirt. Finally, if you organize by outfit, you can simply make your way down each shelf day in and day out. This allows you to keep exact track of what’s clean and what’s already been worn.
There are multiple sizes of both Solgaard’s Check-In Closet, as well as their Carry-On Closet. I found their Check-In Closet in Medium to be that goldilocks size for me. The slightly smaller size from their Check-In Closet Large kept me from overpacking and fit nicely in our small, European rental car. Do I miss a bit of the packing game I’ve played over the years? Yes. Am I looking back with any regrets? Not a one. This is now how I roll.
– Kyle Snarr is the Head of Partnerships at Worn & Wound