A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the TUO, a travel organizer designed to save space and make packing easier. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and test the TUO for myself. Will it ease the frustrations of travelers everywhere or is it a Kickstarter campaign full of empty promises?
In case you don’t remember, the TUO is a water resistant travel organizer that contains 3 separate zippered compartments to store undergarments, small clothing, or accessories. When open, the TUO measures 12.5″ x 28″; when closed, it measures 12.5″ x 9.5″. The TUO also includes a small, two pocket laundry bag to keep dirty clothes separate from clean.
The top two compartments each contain 3 elastic pockets to assist with storage.
The handle is detachable, allowing you to hang the TUO in a closet or in the bathroom.
Once packed, the TUO is secured using two snaps.
The TUO is available in five colors, Signature White, Singnautre Black, Hibiscus White, Hibiscus Black, and a special edition leaf pattern.
This is what my suitcase looked like before using the TUO. It’s not terribly disorganized, but there isn’t much room left. Anyone who’s every traveled – especially with children – knows the return trip usually requires extra room for souvenirs or other items you purchased while away.
The designers claim the TUO will be able to store up to 7 days of undergarments. In their promotional video, they suggest men can pack ties, belts, socks, boxers, and a swimsuit. They then go on to pack what appears to be 4 boxers, 1 swimsuit, 5 socks, 1 tie, and a belt.
Always up for a challenge, I decided to see how much stuff I could pack in the TUO. In the picture above, I have 3 swimsuits, 9 pairs of underwear, and 11 socks. My wife laughed and said there was no way I was fitting all of that into the organizer.
To my wife’s astonishment, I was able to fit everything into the TUO. The mesh was ready to burst and it took a bit of muscle to actually get the zipper closed, but everything fit nonetheless.
When the time came to fold the TUO and secure it shut, the snaps were too far apart. This shouldn’t be seen as a negative on the part of the TUO; I’ve clearly exceeded the recommended storage capacity.
Despite being unable to close the TUO, I wanted to see if it would free up space in my suitcase. As you can see, the TUO made a huge difference; a quarter of my suitcase had been freed up. It should also be noted, the socks I stored in the TUO weren’t stored in the main suitcase compartment in the first photo. The socks were stored in a zippered compartment in the lid. So not only has the TUO freed up space in the main compartment, but it emptied out a second compartment as well.
I understand not everyone is willing to abuse a device they paid good money for; with that in mind, I also decided to test the TUO by packing the recommended amount of clothing. The above picture is the TUO closed after packing it with 7 socks and 7 pairs of underwear. This time I was able to secure the TUO using the attached snaps, but I did experience two minor issues.
First, I had a bit of difficulty getting my underwear into the elastic pockets. I had to roll them up and jam them into the pockets for them to fit properly. I had a bit of difficulty holding the pocket open and placing my items in them at the same time. I think it would have been a bit easier if the entire compartment unzipped, allowing you easier access to the pockets.
Second, I also had a bit of difficulty getting the snaps to stay secured. After packing the TUO, I could secure one snap shut without issue; however, when I attempted to snap the second, the first would come undone. After several tries, I was able to get both secured. Instead of the snaps, I would have preferred a buckle similar to those securing my clothes in my suitcase.
After packing the TUO based on the recommended capacity, I placed it in my suitcase. Unlike earlier, the TUO isn’t really saving me much space. The space saved earlier is occupied by my swimsuits and the lid compartment still contains a handful of socks.
After arriving out our destination, I unpacked the TUO and hung it in the closet. The TUO’s ability to detach the handle to hang it anywhere is definitely useful. On this particular trip I had ample storage space; however, in the past, I have traveled with my family and we all struggled to find places to store our items. Having the TUO hang in the closet is like having an extra nightstand with you.
I tried out the laundry bag while away, but didn’t find it very useful. For me, it’s just too small. One night while on vacation I was going out with my wife and needed to bring some spare clothes. I was bringing a pair of cargo shorts, underwear, and socks and decided to use the laundry bag to carry them. I was able to fit everything in there, but it didn’t leave room for much more. If I am using a laundry bag, I’m most likely using it for more than two or three items.
I don’t think there is a definitive answer on whether the TUO is worth a purchase or not. I think it’s going to come down to a case by case basis. If you don’t mind pushing the limits and packing it to the gills, the TUO will defintely save you space. If you’re using it for accessories like ties, belts, watches, etc., the TUO will help keep you organized.
Also, as funny as it may seem, the TUO’s usefulness depends on the type of underwear you wear. Cotton boxer briefs like mine are going to take up more space than regular briefs or boxers. Men’s underwear tends to contain more material and probably takes up more room than women’s. The same goes for socks; my wife’s ankle socks take up a lot less room than my dad’s 1970’s tube socks.
I feel the same for the laundry bag. Someone like me who doesn’t mind tossing all their dirty clothes in one bag won’t get much use of it; however, if you like keeping socks and underwear separate, it may work wonders for you.
At the end of the day, I can see myself using the TUO on future trips and believe for the right people it may be a great purchase. I would recommend evaluating what you travel with to determine if it’s right for you.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Origami Unicorn. Please visit their site for more information.