Tidy Snap Review: Could This Be the Solution to Your Messy Suitcase?
Packing Made Easier for All Ages
The Tidy Snap organizational system promises to help you “pack in a snap” for a “weekend getaway or European vacay.” Yet when I opened the promotional package the company sent me, I found myself feeling skeptical.
To my mind, an organizational system should seem, well, systemic. You know, something with paraphernalia and charts and maybe a book-length treatise justifying its existence. Tidy Snaps don’t have anything like that. In fact, they’re remarkably simple.
Upon first glance, Tidy Snaps look essentially like a glorified version of snap bracelets, those cheap novelties popular in the early nineties. Yet they’re supposed to wrap snugly around rolled pieces of clothing rather than wrists, fitting more articles in less space while keeping everything easily organized. Hard to get much simpler than that.
Tidy Snap Specs and Design
Continuing the simplicity theme, Tidy Snaps are simply coated spring steel. However, they’re long, measuring 11.8” by 1.2”. And upon sliding my stack of 10 large bands (which retail for $14.95 USD) out of their packet, I was struck by their heft. Forget lowest-bidder manufacturers using cheap materials. Tidy Snaps feel like quality when held in your hand.
Part of that is due to their BPA-free silicone coating, which give the bands a high-end brushed gloss. They also come in understated gray, black and sea-green colors, as well as a pleasantly abstract geometrical pattern that you might expect to see on a yoga mat. Additionally, they have small divots on their tops with corresponding dimples beneath, which make them easy to stack.
So far so good, but even attractively made products can fail in the field. How would the Tidy Snap system fare if taken on an actual trip?
Some Wrinkles in Maximizing Your Storage Space
I stand more than six feet tall and weigh around 185 pounds. I am not a small guy. In fact, I’ve always had a hard time fitting everything I need into an airplane-friendly carry-on. Although I didn’t have a trip planned, I decided to try the next best thing: I packed as if for a business getaway using Tidy Snaps and carted my suitcase back and forth to the office over the space of two days.
Sure enough, Tidy Snaps left me with room to spare. I managed to fit in socks, jeans, t-shirts, a polo shirt, dress shirts, ties, undershirts, underwear and a pair of shoes. My suitcase stayed slim and easy to zip.
The condition of my clothes after two days, though, wasn’t quite as unqualifiedly good. I found that garments with a thicker knit or made out of blended materials did quite well. 100% cotton clothing though? It became as wrinkled as a Shar-Pei’s coat. Practical take away? Tidy Snaps works great with casual gear, but don’t try it with items that need to look pristine.
Letting Little Ones Lend a Helping Hand
In addition to the regular bands, Tidy Snap also sent me the Kids Starter Kit ($39.95 USD). The set contains a tri-fold board that helps children fold their garments vertically in roughly equal thirds and a little dowel so they can roll them themselves. It also comes with 25 smaller bands in bright green, blue and pink, the company’s name emblazoned on them in a striking script that looks as though it belongs on an Instagram inspirational saying.
The board came in two pieces, and I struggled a little to insert the prongs of one section into the sockets of the other. But my six-year-old daughter had no problem putting the set to use. She rolled up four pairs of pajamas in a flash. Usually a slow riser in the mornings, she popped out of bed the next day with one thing on her mind: she wanted to bundle up her clothes with Tidy Snaps.
Of course, if you have children, your mileage may vary when it comes to willingness. I asked my eight-year-old son what he thought about Tidy Snaps, and he replied, “Eh, they’re okay.” We have yet to see him produce a single, tightly rolled bundle. But given the right kid, you can imagine how much easier Tidy Snaps would make packing for a trip. And more than easy, it could also be fun.