Imagine a duffel bag outfitted with accordion-style shelves inside, letting you neatly fold clothes instead of stuffing them haphazardly. Rise & Hang Travel Gear functions perfectly for road warriors looking for practical luggage.
When I first saw Rise & Hang bags on the CBC show Dragon's Den, I was attracted to the invention immediately. Here was a design overhaul I could appreciate it, since I've often hated dealing with travel bags where I'm forced to stuff in my clothes without any sense of order. These bags, though, come with foldable cloth shelves so you can practically fold your shirts and pants, stack them on the shelves and fold everything neatly into one compact bag.
The Rise & Hang Duffel Shelves bag ($70) worked excellently on a recent road trip. I was able to pack in all that I wanted, using the bottom shelf area for larger items like dress shoes. I folded my shirts like any Gap staffer would, stacking the shirts on the shelves without having to do too much stuffing. Same thing with pants, although I found jeans to be a bit too bulky for the top two shelves, so next time I'll place those on the floor-level area of the bag.
Hooks on the top shelf let me package everything together neatly, although for tighter fits I can see it being a bit of a pain to make sure nothing is spilling out. It just means you can't overdo with Rise & Hang bags, so realize this product is best used for short trips as opposed to week-long vacations.
Weighing at four pounds, the duffel is somewhat heavier than I expected, so I'm guessing the embedded shelves might be adding to that heft. But I heard from the Renshaw brothers responsible for the bags that they will soon be moving to finer materials to help lessen the bag weight. It was heavy, but not disastrously so.
When I reached my hotel room, I hung the bag via its hook, so the shelves pull out and hang, giving me access to my clothes. Nothing was crushed and everything looked as I had left it when I filled the bag. And it looked pretty darn cool.
Note I also received the luggage insert shelves ($45) but have not yet tested them on the road.
I can see myself using Rise & Hang products for any weekend road trip, since I found the luggage to be well-made, functional and very easy to use. It's a genius idea and I'm not surprised the inventory is all sold out, as Sean Renshaw told me. But it's worth the wait, travelers.