I never would have thought to pack this.
Last month, I went on a quick weekend trip to Asheville, North Carolina for a reunion with some high school friends. The trip was low-key, with each of us just packing a backpack and sharing a hotel room. We didn't have any fancy events planned or big dinners out, so when one of my friends pulled out a portable steamer from her minimally-packed bag and started de-wrinkling her skirt for the next day, I was stunned. How did she think to bring a steamer on a two-day trip, and how did she fit it (along with her clothes for the weekend) inside one small backpack?
Fielding the barrage of questions, my friend (who's well-known for her polished, always wrinkle-free clothing, I might add) explained that her boyfriend had bought her the mini PurSteam Fabric Steamer ($20; amazon.com). She brought it along on her trip to South Korea last year, and ended up using it every single day. Plus, the tiny machine only weighs one pound, so it was easy to slip into her suitcase. After the trip, she said she decided to bring the small-but-mighty steamer with her whenever she travels (even if it's just for the weekend).
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I'll admit, I was still skeptical, but after watching the machine heat up in less than a minute and witnessing it steam a skirt and top without having to be refilled with water, I was impressed. And the next day, the steamer worked its magic on another outfit. While I felt a little disheveled wearing a dress I'd just pulled out of my backpack (the rolling trick only does so much), my friend looked perfectly pulled together.
By the time we boarded our flight home, I was convinced and decided to order the steamer myself. Not only is it bound to become my new favorite travel companion, but I'm hoping it will also replace my bulkier steamer for quick before-work de-wrinkling sessions. This is maybe the best $20 I've ever invested in my wardrobe.