Finding Travel Nirvana

Whew, you made it. You’re in your seat, buckled up and ready to relax for the duration of the flight. Except your book and energy bar are trapped in the overhead bin until the “fasten seat belts” sign is turned off. Sigh. Isn’t that always the way? Zen Class has a better way. Company co-founders Jesse Travis and Brent Hollowell logged more than a million air miles when they worked for consumer products companies and had plenty of time to brainstorm about how to improve airplane travel. They came up with a tote that transforms into a seat-back organizer and holds everything from your boarding pass and phone to your water bottle and e-reader. One person who’s more than grateful for their invention — called the Nirvana Organizer — is Malia Ogoshi. “As a height-challenged flier, I avoid aircraft overhead bins at all costs,” says Malia, who told us about this clever find. “The Nirvana Organizer doesn’t need a user’s manual, doesn’t take up a lot of room, doesn’t weigh a lot, and makes the hours spent flying in economy class infinitely more comfy and relaxing.” When traveling in the car, it’s also a great way to keep kids’ supplies at a fingertip’s distance. Whatever your travel mode, you can cut down on the chaos, settle in with the Nirvana Organizer, and oomm out ‘til you reach your destination.

Zen Class

Flight Organizer Tote

Finding Travel Nirvana

Whew, you made it. You’re in your seat, buckled up and ready to relax for the duration of the flight. Except your book and energy bar are trapped in the overhead bin until the “fasten seat belts” sign is turned off. Sigh. Isn’t that always the way? Zen Class has a better way. Company co-founders Jesse Travis and Brent Hollowell logged more than a million air miles when they worked for consumer products companies and had plenty of time to brainstorm about how to improve airplane travel. They came up with a tote that transforms into a seat-back organizer and holds everything from your boarding pass and phone to your water bottle and e-reader. One person who’s more than grateful for their invention — called the Nirvana Organizer — is Malia Ogoshi. “As a height-challenged flier, I avoid aircraft overhead bins at all costs,” says Malia, who told us about this clever find. “The Nirvana Organizer doesn’t need a user’s manual, doesn’t take up a lot of room, doesn’t weigh a lot, and makes the hours spent flying in economy class infinitely more comfy and relaxing.” When traveling in the car, it’s also a great way to keep kids’ supplies at a fingertip’s distance. Whatever your travel mode, you can cut down on the chaos, settle in with the Nirvana Organizer, and oomm out ‘til you reach your destination.

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Brent
    Brent

    Hi, I’m Brent, who along with Jesse is a co-founder of Zen Class, and a traveler of countless miles over the years. Without stressing you out with details of indignities we’ve endured at the hands of the airlines, let’s just say that we decided it was time to take control of our own travel destiny… or at least our own attitudes! We hope that cranky travelers everywhere will practice our mantra and “Upgrade Yourself to Zen Class” where travel is actually pleasant. Thank you Daily Grommet, for giving us the chance to share our very first invention designed to fulfill our mission – the Nirvana Seatback Travel Organizer. This is just the first of several ideas we have to help make travel more comfortable, organized and convenient, in the airline cabin and beyond. Because our customers inspire us to take positive action every day, we hope you’ll join in and let us know what you think. Is there something we’ve missed? Tell us what you need and we’ll do our best to respond!

  • margaret
    margaret
    4/2/2010 12:26 PM

    Hi- This looks like a great product! What do you do when you put down the tray table? Does it close up and go under your seat or attach to something else? Thanks!

  • joanne
    joanne – Grommet Team
    4/2/2010 12:28 PM

    I was the Daily Grommet tester for the Zen Class Bag. Keeping your stuff organized and secure during travel is challenging, even for the experienced traveler. The mesh compartments and multiple pockets provided visibility and order. I learned years ago that personal items ...like books, glasses or business folders are easily forgotten in airplane seat back pockets so I NEVER put anything in there. I carried it, unfolded, in my messenger bag but it's tidy and compact as a stand alone bag too. I gave it a thumbs up.

  • Kate
    Kate – Grommet Team
    4/2/2010 12:29 PM

    Hi Brent - I think I might be one of those cranky travelers you're talking about. Nothing stresses me out more than long lines, gate holds and delays. Now, if I had all my stuff handy and organized, I think I could calm down!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 12:32 PM

    Hi Daily Grommet Team - Thanks for the great feature - you did a wonderful job of capturing our story. And we also wanted to thank Malia Ogashi, who we just learned is the person who recommended us! Thanks Malia, for saying such nice things about the Nirvana Organizer... that made our day!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 12:38 PM

    Hi Peg - great question. It's designed to be most useful and stable while the tray table is "up" and locked (which for most people is the majority of the flight. But yes, you can use it in the tray "down: position too. Here's how - if you have things in the long zippered pockets (like newspaper, book, folders, etc.) this gives the organizer a rigid structure and the whole unit will simpley rest on the arms that hold the tray table to the seat in front of you and lean against the seat back. The back edge or lip of the tray table will hold it in place. Works like a charm, but as we say all the time... if you hit bad turbulence all bets are off! (hook it back to the tray table!) Thanks!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 12:43 PM

    Hi Joaanne and Kate - thanks for the testing and your comments! What you're describing is exactly what Jesse and I sought to solve some of these problems. When you're not juggling all this stuff that we all need to bring with us these days, it is just a lot more relaxing... we think of it as helping to create a little "Zen bubble" around ourselves as we travel. So glad to also hear that you liked it in both the organizer and tote modes!

  • DJP
    DJP
    4/2/2010 1:23 PM

    Brent, this looks like a brilliant invention. I like the slot for the Boarding pass. Another great Grommet!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 1:31 PM

    Thanks DJP! If you like the boarding pass slot, you'll probably love the smaller slot right underneath it that's sized to perfectly fit a passport (and it has a little security flap on top with a small magnetic closure so you're sure not to lose it). We thought it was important to keep your boarding pass and passport together as you work your way through airport check-in, security, etc...

  • Greg
    Greg
    4/2/2010 1:35 PM

    My family has two of these. What I like most about my bag is it's size and organization. It replaced my need for a carry-on backpack, it's way smaller, I can find my stuff, and I don't have a load on my shoulders. Glad to see it featured here. Keep up the good work!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 1:44 PM

    Hi Greg - a 2 organizer family... that's great! It did surprise us how many people buy 2 or more of these organizers. Turns out they make great gifts - maybe because they're versatile enough for men, women and kids to all get use from it. Thanks for sharing your experience and continued happy travels!

  • Malia
    Malia
    4/2/2010 1:45 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse:

    So glad your Zen Class Bag is featured. I love mine more with every trip!

    p.s. Your bag was the hit gift of the season this Christmas!

  • REB
    REB
    4/2/2010 1:47 PM

    My two kids each have their own bag for the car or plane. I'm no longer searching for their things. It holds their DS, Ipod, snacks, drinks, markers, tissues - everything they can think to ask me for is now at their fingertips. I actually have time to read on a plane trip! Thank you Zen class for a "wish I'd thought of that" bag. R

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 1:55 PM

    Hi Malia - nice to meet you :-). Thanks again for recommending us as a Grommet! That was very good of you. And for giving the gift of Zen at Christmas... I'm am not kidding when I tell you, we nearly ran out of inventory before Christmas! It was our first year and we had absolutely no idea what to expect but fortunately we got more in the same week we ran out... whew! We'll be ready next time. We are grateful for your support - thanks again!

  • rita
    rita
    4/2/2010 2:00 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse-- Is there any way you could create a type of footrest for long flights? Except in 1st class, I've never seen them and I usually prop my feet on my carry on- not a great solution.

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 2:00 PM

    Hi REB - Thanks for sharing how your kids use it in the car and plane. That's great to hear. And hey, I guess as far as your kids are concerned, you did think of it! Glad you're all enjoying the Nirvana, thanks!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 2:08 PM

    Hi rmr - I know exactly what you mean because I do the same with my backpack just to take some stress off the legs. That is a great suggestion! Such a major problem and we just accept it as "the way it is". We've been so busy working on other organizer bag ideas, pillow and blanket solutions, etc. that we've never even considered this. I don't know if we can crack it before anyone else does but you've given us a great challenge that we'll look in to... the demand for a simple yet functional solution to that problem could be really useful. Thanks for the insight!

  • cmt
    cmt
    4/2/2010 3:47 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse,

    I have 2 Nirvana bags and absolutely love them!! I travel some for business and have used it several times for that which was great because I had everything I needed at one glance. I used it again on vacation with the kids and what a lifesaver!! They had everything they needed from snacks to books and games right there in front of them. It was like having inflight daycare. Great bag! Love it!

  • Molly
    Molly
    4/2/2010 3:51 PM

    I purchased this bag for a recent plane trip with my 2 year old. She requires a LOT of stuff for long plane rides. Zen class made it especially easy to keep all of this stuff organized and easily accessable. My "organized" carry on bags in the past ended up being complete chaos by the end of a flight. This bag definately made traveling easy. AND it is great in the car as well!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 4:07 PM

    Hi cmt and Molly - thank you both for sharing your experiences. It's funny, being business travelers (and "guys") we never thought about how useful this would be for kids until we started talking to parents, especially women, while we were doing our original product testing. Their feedback really informed us on how to set up the mesh pockets, zippers, cupholder, etc. It's gratifying to hear how it's now being used in the real world for both business and family travel!

  • Jade
    Jade
    4/2/2010 4:46 PM

    I took the Zen Class bag with me on a trip in March to Tokyo. During a somewhat gruelling 10.5 hours in the air, the extra bit of space provided by the bag helped quite a bit. A very cool concept.

  • Stacey Stier
    Stacey Stier
    4/2/2010 5:24 PM

    Hi Zen Travel Team,

    Just checked out your product and it appears to be just what I need. I'm a yoga teacher, so of course of I LOVE the name. I frequently travel for yoga events and seminars and generally keep all my smaller items in my backpack. Throughout the flight I find myself digging around and hunting for my ipod, earphones, book or a pen for my crossword. How great to have all of it accessible and in plain sight right there in front of me. Yoga gives my that Zen feeling, great to know I can have it on my flight too. Good lookin' out Zen Class Travel!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 6:10 PM

    Hi Jade and Stacey - Thank you both for your feedback. Jade - I guess you're fortunate... when we fly to Japan it's 16 hours :-). Stacey - It's comforting to know that even a yoga instructor struggles to access her things while sitting in an airplane seat! I think you just made a lot of us feel a little better about ourselves! Hope you'll enjoy the organizer.

  • Ellen
    Ellen
    4/2/2010 7:27 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse,

    I LOVE my Nirvana organizer bag and am just getting it loaded to for a trip to Italy tomorrow. I like it so much, I decided to buy a second one as a gift for my boyfriend's parents to take to China. Congratulations, hopefully now the whole world will know how cool this bag is. It's great not having to get your face mashed into the back of the seat in front of you when you reach for your stuff. Thanks for making such a great product!

  • Bonnie K
    Bonnie K
    4/2/2010 7:51 PM

    I bought the Nirvana Organizer and totally love it. I have many health issues and have to carry-on large amounts of supplies that I need to access regularly, especially when the tray is down. So I called the Zen Class and had a very long and enjoyable conversation with Brent. Zen Class has the best customer service I've ever experienced.

    After the conversation, I created 3 different length crochet strings to prevent the organizer from falling over when I rested it on the back rods of the tray table (Brent's suggestion). It worked perfectly and I was able to have simple access to the impossible amount of stuff I easily fit into the Nirvana.

    This is truly wonderful product which I have recommended to others who also bought it and were extremely happy that they did.

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 8:31 PM

    Hi Bonnie and Ellen - Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here with everyone. It's rewarding to have such great customers (who are serious world travelers) in our community. You not only give us ideas and motivation, but are also generous about recommending us to your friends! We really appreciate you!

  • mkp
    mkp
    4/2/2010 8:55 PM

    I bought a zen bag a couple of months ago and have used it on 3 trips. I had the middle seat on all 3 trips. Zen bag was beyond belief at organizing all my electronic stuff (ipod, cell, notebook, kindle), my travel snacks, id and such. I would not consider traveling again without one. GREAT product. mkp

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 9:09 PM

    Hey mkp - 3 straight middle seats... that is an unenviable record! Glad we could be there for you and thanks for your post!

  • Walter Gerber, MD
    Walter Gerber, MD
    4/2/2010 10:17 PM

    The Zen travel organizer has been my constant companion in travels ranging from Nassau to Prague. It turns my coach class space into a first class experience. I recommend it to everyone.

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/3/2010 1:01 AM

    Thank you Dr. Gerber for sharing your endorsement here. Jesse and I appreciate your continued feedback and support!

  • Maureen
    Maureen
    4/3/2010 1:32 AM

    I'm a frequent traveler and I love this bag! The opening at the top lets you access your boarding pass and wallet while you are in the terminal and once on the plane, everything is in reach. No more trying to stuff things in the magazine holder in front of you. The folks at Zen Class are wonderful to work with. I'm always on the lookout for things to make traveling easier and this is one of my favorites.

  • Carol Meehan
    Carol Meehan
    4/9/2010 8:55 PM

    I love this bag - organizer. I first used it on my trip to Australia/New Zealand. On the 13 hour flight it was Nirvana having it open on the tray table. Everything accessible - and the "hidden zipped" pockets kept things secure. There is absolutely a place for everything. In fact, after the trip I continue to use it daily - as I commute between 3 office spaces. They have upgraded the zipper - huge improvement. If you don't have this bag -you need to click "add to cart." Love it Love it Love it.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    4/10/2010 12:37 AM

    @Carol @Maureen - thanks for stopping by. I bet you had your fellow passengers envious as well!

  • Lynn
    Lynn
    5/5/2010 1:21 AM

    I'm considering purchasing this organizer. However, as we typically fly smaller planes (737's and smaller), I'm concerned that this bag will be too wide for the seats and end up intruding on my neighbors space. Can you tell me how it fits width-wise?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/5/2010 9:05 AM

    @Lynn - we've dropped Brent a note to stop back with a response. Thank you for posting!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    5/5/2010 9:57 AM

    Hi Lynn - Thanks for your question. The organizer measures 19.25 inches across when open and deployed on the tray table. The average airline seat, including the space between seats, is wider than this so we've never experienced a situation where the Nirvana Organizer did not fit the tray table or interfered with a neighbor's space (this includes the small regional jets (aka "puddle jumpers"). We designed this to fit all airline seat back tray tables in the coach cabin by taking measure of the largest and smallest trays we could find on modern aircraft. So, we built it to fit the largest but not so big that it couldn't be used on the smallest. When used on the smallest trays, you'll have an inch or two of overhang on either side of the tray, but this "extra" covers the empty space between seats, not your neighbor's seat or tray. I hope this helps answer your question and we wish you many happy travels!

  • Sandra
    Sandra
    6/12/2010 2:18 PM

    When the tray table needs to be used, how to you avoid anything from the organizer falling out?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    6/12/2010 2:42 PM

    @Sandra - when you need to use the tray table, simply slip off the organizer and zip it back together. It's a great travel companion!

  • Shannon
    Shannon
    7/4/2010 1:57 AM

    Hi! How exactly does this attach to the back of a car seat without the little turn "knob" from the tray table to hold it in place??? Thanks!

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    7/4/2010 1:16 PM

    Hi @Sandra. My daughter Grace and I tested this and now she uses her Zen Bag all the time in the car. From her backseat, she wraps the bag's shoulder strap around the driver's headrest. (She puts the headrest all the way up, wraps the straps around it, then puts it down again.) Another way she has done it is to wrap the strap around the driver's seat. I don't even know its there when I'm driving. She loves it! Happy 4th of July!

  • Chris B
    Chris B
    11/19/2010 4:42 PM

    Will an ipad fit in it when it is closed up?

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    11/19/2010 5:12 PM

    @Chris B: Hi Chris - Yes, the Nirvana Organizer will hold the iPad, Nook or Kindle in the closed and fully zipped position. The dimensions of the closed organizer (in tote mode) are almost 9" wide and over 11" high. It's good to keep in mind that the bag, while in the tote mode, can hold a limited amount of stuff because we can't build it so big that it takes up a lot of space while hanging on the closed tray table. Best to think of it this way -- the primary use is as a seat back organizer, secondary use is as a slim tote to carry a few essentials that you'll need during the flight. If your worried about space for a lot of accessories, I should also note that the whole unit is also slim enough to easily slide inside another carry-on like a backpack, briefcase, large purse or roll-aboard, and be deployed once you get on the plane (for those who need to carry a ton of gear, like me). Once deployed on the tray table, you can put an amazing amount of gear in to it... even has a cup/bottle holder. Hope that helps! Happy travels...

  • Malia
    Malia
    11/30/2010 2:05 PM

    Just back from 4 nights in sfo/lax and wanting to thank you again for your product. I realized that the stringent carry-on regulations apply to the boarding process. When boarding, I pack my organizer in my tote/handbag (2 pcs/passenger). When deplaning, I put all the stuff i need for arrival/baggage claim/taxi/hotel in my Zen organizer and carry it off the plane as a third piece. I'm all set for the next "phase" of travel, and it's also easier to carry a lighter tote/handbag.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/30/2010 3:45 PM

    @Malia: Very smart! Thank you for stopping back and sharing how you used this organizer to make your travels smoother!

  • Karin
    Karin
    12/31/2010 5:58 PM

    Used the Zen Class organizer on my recent vacation and was very happy I had it! It made boarding and deplaning so much easier and less harried.

    The only downsides are that 1) even though it only adds a little thickness, it's enough to make the tray table a little harder to lock---it took simultaneous hard pushing of the tray into the seat back & twisting the locking mechanism and 2) obviously if you have the organizer on your tray, you can't use the tray.

    But, overall, a great find. I'd definitley recommend this as a gift for a traveling friend or co-worker.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/1/2011 12:23 PM

    @Karin Goldman: We're glad that this travel organizer made your trip less harried! Thanks for coming back to share your experience.

  • Dee
    Dee
    3/28/2011 1:23 PM

    Hi - this sounds like a great invention and could be just what I am looking for. I also stay away from using the overheads as they are cumbersome and fill up very fast, so my under-seat carry-on suitcase takes up all of the room under the seat in front of me and I usually am only able to carry a small purse that I either keep in my suitcase or store in the seat back for takeoffs and landings. I've read many comments about the great uses during and after a flight and I just want to be sure - can the Zen Class organizer (closed) be kept on the up-right tray table during take-offs and landings on all airlines? Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    3/28/2011 2:06 PM

    @Dee: I just spoke with Brent and although there are no regulations against having it positioned around the stowed tray-table during take-off and landing, certain flight attendants will feel that it should be stowed and ask you to do so. You should always follow the instructions of your flight attendant.

  • Joanna
    Joanna
    8/12/2011 4:11 PM

    I am so crazy about this travel bag!!!!! I fly all over the place presenting environmental programs and this goes with me everywhere - on the plane - in the field when we are shooting - to the office - I had been using similar product but it was too stiff and bulky. Your bag holds my travel documents, iPad, phone, my inflight snacks, work folders and a small clutch for incidentals and fits into carryon luggage with no struggles. My trips now are organized and everyone asks "where did you get that". So I am your unofficial sales rep! Please keep us informed about future products!

    (Just one little thing - should the bag overturn things slide out of the mesh pockets so I stitched in little velcro tabs.)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/12/2011 4:42 PM

    @Joanna: That is such a great modification. I am glad that this bag works so well for you. We will definitely keep you updated about new products. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Deb M
    Deb M
    2/8/2012 2:41 PM

    Hi! I travel overseas from time to time, so I was excited to see this bag. I tried it out on our recent trip to Puerto Rico. It made the trip so much more pleasant, since I didn't have to dig into bags under the seat or in the overhead. Fellow travelers were dazzled as well. Thank you for this wonderful product, and I won't hesitate to tell everyone where I got it.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/8/2012 4:14 PM

    @Deb M: It's wonderful to hear that this bag has made it so much more comfortable for you in the airplane; that's quite a testament to the effectiveness of this bag! Thank you for sharing your experience & yes, we love it that you rave about Daily Grommet to fellow travelers ;0)

  •  Carol
    Carol
    6/5/2012 3:56 PM

    I would like to order this but only if I can have it for my trip to S. Korea!! I would need it by June 13, shipped to Niagara Falls, NY.

    I Really don't want to expedite it. This bag looks like so much fun to use. Can you help me?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    6/5/2012 10:54 PM

    @ Carol: This would be a perfect Grommet to have to make sure your overseas trip is "zen-relaxing". Our Customer Service Team will contact you directly about getting the travel tote to you by 6/13.

  •  Carol
    Carol
    6/6/2012 12:13 PM

    @Chew-Hoong

    Good Morning! CST and I are now working on my request. Thank you soooo much.

  •  Samantha
    Samantha
    6/29/2012 12:37 PM

    I refuse to fly anymore because I simply willnot subject myself to the molestation and rudeness of the TSA and others - will this work on the train seats? They have fold down tables just like airline seats (more comfortable, too!) and I take long-distance trains frequently, now.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    7/2/2012 5:40 PM

    @ Samantha: The tote works great on planes, trains, in cars, and even on the back of strollers. You can read other info in the DETAILS tab (below video) of the page where the Grommet is featured.

  • Kate
    Kate
    9/12/2012 4:13 PM

    If you need to put your tray table down, for eating or drinks, how does that work? Does the bag hang down or do you have to take it off, then put it back on again?

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    9/14/2012 6:07 PM

    @Kate: It's best to simply slide the organizer off the tray when you are eating, although it is physically possible to leave it on the tray, depending on space between your lap and the lowered table.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Zen Class

Flight Organizer Tote

Finding Travel Nirvana

Whew, you made it. You’re in your seat, buckled up and ready to relax for the duration of the flight. Except your book and energy bar are trapped in the overhead bin until the “fasten seat belts” sign is turned off. Sigh. Isn’t that always the way?

Zen Class has a better way. Company co-founders Jesse Travis and Brent Hollowell logged more than a million air miles when they worked for consumer products companies and had plenty of time to brainstorm about how to improve airplane travel. They came up with a tote that
transforms into a seat-back organizer and holds everything from your boarding pass and phone to your water bottle and e-reader. One person who’s more than grateful for their invention — called the Nirvana Organizer — is Malia Ogoshi. “As a height-challenged flier, I avoid aircraft overhead bins at all costs,” says Malia, who told us about this clever find. “The Nirvana Organizer doesn’t need a user’s manual, doesn’t take up a lot of room, doesn’t weigh a lot, and makes the hours spent flying in economy class infinitely more comfy and relaxing.”

When traveling in the car, it’s also a great way to keep kids’ supplies at a fingertip’s distance. Whatever your travel mode, you can cut down on the chaos, settle in with the Nirvana Organizer, and oomm out ‘til you reach your destination.
Read More Read Less
Zen Class - Nirvana Organizer
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Brent
    Brent

    Hi, I’m Brent, who along with Jesse is a co-founder of Zen Class, and a traveler of countless miles over the years. Without stressing you out with details of indignities we’ve endured at the hands of the airlines, let’s just say that we decided it was time to take control of our own travel destiny… or at least our own attitudes! We hope that cranky travelers everywhere will practice our mantra and “Upgrade Yourself to Zen Class” where travel is actually pleasant. Thank you Daily Grommet, for giving us the chance to share our very first invention designed to fulfill our mission – the Nirvana Seatback Travel Organizer. This is just the first of several ideas we have to help make travel more comfortable, organized and convenient, in the airline cabin and beyond. Because our customers inspire us to take positive action every day, we hope you’ll join in and let us know what you think. Is there something we’ve missed? Tell us what you need and we’ll do our best to respond!

  • margaret
    margaret
    4/2/2010 12:26 PM

    Hi- This looks like a great product! What do you do when you put down the tray table? Does it close up and go under your seat or attach to something else? Thanks!

  • joanne
    joanne – Grommet Team
    4/2/2010 12:28 PM

    I was the Daily Grommet tester for the Zen Class Bag. Keeping your stuff organized and secure during travel is challenging, even for the experienced traveler. The mesh compartments and multiple pockets provided visibility and order. I learned years ago that personal items ...like books, glasses or business folders are easily forgotten in airplane seat back pockets so I NEVER put anything in there. I carried it, unfolded, in my messenger bag but it's tidy and compact as a stand alone bag too. I gave it a thumbs up.

  • Kate
    Kate – Grommet Team
    4/2/2010 12:29 PM

    Hi Brent - I think I might be one of those cranky travelers you're talking about. Nothing stresses me out more than long lines, gate holds and delays. Now, if I had all my stuff handy and organized, I think I could calm down!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 12:32 PM

    Hi Daily Grommet Team - Thanks for the great feature - you did a wonderful job of capturing our story. And we also wanted to thank Malia Ogashi, who we just learned is the person who recommended us! Thanks Malia, for saying such nice things about the Nirvana Organizer... that made our day!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 12:38 PM

    Hi Peg - great question. It's designed to be most useful and stable while the tray table is "up" and locked (which for most people is the majority of the flight. But yes, you can use it in the tray "down: position too. Here's how - if you have things in the long zippered pockets (like newspaper, book, folders, etc.) this gives the organizer a rigid structure and the whole unit will simpley rest on the arms that hold the tray table to the seat in front of you and lean against the seat back. The back edge or lip of the tray table will hold it in place. Works like a charm, but as we say all the time... if you hit bad turbulence all bets are off! (hook it back to the tray table!) Thanks!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 12:43 PM

    Hi Joaanne and Kate - thanks for the testing and your comments! What you're describing is exactly what Jesse and I sought to solve some of these problems. When you're not juggling all this stuff that we all need to bring with us these days, it is just a lot more relaxing... we think of it as helping to create a little "Zen bubble" around ourselves as we travel. So glad to also hear that you liked it in both the organizer and tote modes!

  • DJP
    DJP
    4/2/2010 1:23 PM

    Brent, this looks like a brilliant invention. I like the slot for the Boarding pass. Another great Grommet!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 1:31 PM

    Thanks DJP! If you like the boarding pass slot, you'll probably love the smaller slot right underneath it that's sized to perfectly fit a passport (and it has a little security flap on top with a small magnetic closure so you're sure not to lose it). We thought it was important to keep your boarding pass and passport together as you work your way through airport check-in, security, etc...

  • Greg
    Greg
    4/2/2010 1:35 PM

    My family has two of these. What I like most about my bag is it's size and organization. It replaced my need for a carry-on backpack, it's way smaller, I can find my stuff, and I don't have a load on my shoulders. Glad to see it featured here. Keep up the good work!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 1:44 PM

    Hi Greg - a 2 organizer family... that's great! It did surprise us how many people buy 2 or more of these organizers. Turns out they make great gifts - maybe because they're versatile enough for men, women and kids to all get use from it. Thanks for sharing your experience and continued happy travels!

  • Malia
    Malia
    4/2/2010 1:45 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse:

    So glad your Zen Class Bag is featured. I love mine more with every trip!

    p.s. Your bag was the hit gift of the season this Christmas!

  • REB
    REB
    4/2/2010 1:47 PM

    My two kids each have their own bag for the car or plane. I'm no longer searching for their things. It holds their DS, Ipod, snacks, drinks, markers, tissues - everything they can think to ask me for is now at their fingertips. I actually have time to read on a plane trip! Thank you Zen class for a "wish I'd thought of that" bag. R

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 1:55 PM

    Hi Malia - nice to meet you :-). Thanks again for recommending us as a Grommet! That was very good of you. And for giving the gift of Zen at Christmas... I'm am not kidding when I tell you, we nearly ran out of inventory before Christmas! It was our first year and we had absolutely no idea what to expect but fortunately we got more in the same week we ran out... whew! We'll be ready next time. We are grateful for your support - thanks again!

  • rita
    rita
    4/2/2010 2:00 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse-- Is there any way you could create a type of footrest for long flights? Except in 1st class, I've never seen them and I usually prop my feet on my carry on- not a great solution.

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 2:00 PM

    Hi REB - Thanks for sharing how your kids use it in the car and plane. That's great to hear. And hey, I guess as far as your kids are concerned, you did think of it! Glad you're all enjoying the Nirvana, thanks!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 2:08 PM

    Hi rmr - I know exactly what you mean because I do the same with my backpack just to take some stress off the legs. That is a great suggestion! Such a major problem and we just accept it as "the way it is". We've been so busy working on other organizer bag ideas, pillow and blanket solutions, etc. that we've never even considered this. I don't know if we can crack it before anyone else does but you've given us a great challenge that we'll look in to... the demand for a simple yet functional solution to that problem could be really useful. Thanks for the insight!

  • cmt
    cmt
    4/2/2010 3:47 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse,

    I have 2 Nirvana bags and absolutely love them!! I travel some for business and have used it several times for that which was great because I had everything I needed at one glance. I used it again on vacation with the kids and what a lifesaver!! They had everything they needed from snacks to books and games right there in front of them. It was like having inflight daycare. Great bag! Love it!

  • Molly
    Molly
    4/2/2010 3:51 PM

    I purchased this bag for a recent plane trip with my 2 year old. She requires a LOT of stuff for long plane rides. Zen class made it especially easy to keep all of this stuff organized and easily accessable. My "organized" carry on bags in the past ended up being complete chaos by the end of a flight. This bag definately made traveling easy. AND it is great in the car as well!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 4:07 PM

    Hi cmt and Molly - thank you both for sharing your experiences. It's funny, being business travelers (and "guys") we never thought about how useful this would be for kids until we started talking to parents, especially women, while we were doing our original product testing. Their feedback really informed us on how to set up the mesh pockets, zippers, cupholder, etc. It's gratifying to hear how it's now being used in the real world for both business and family travel!

  • Jade
    Jade
    4/2/2010 4:46 PM

    I took the Zen Class bag with me on a trip in March to Tokyo. During a somewhat gruelling 10.5 hours in the air, the extra bit of space provided by the bag helped quite a bit. A very cool concept.

  • Stacey Stier
    Stacey Stier
    4/2/2010 5:24 PM

    Hi Zen Travel Team,

    Just checked out your product and it appears to be just what I need. I'm a yoga teacher, so of course of I LOVE the name. I frequently travel for yoga events and seminars and generally keep all my smaller items in my backpack. Throughout the flight I find myself digging around and hunting for my ipod, earphones, book or a pen for my crossword. How great to have all of it accessible and in plain sight right there in front of me. Yoga gives my that Zen feeling, great to know I can have it on my flight too. Good lookin' out Zen Class Travel!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 6:10 PM

    Hi Jade and Stacey - Thank you both for your feedback. Jade - I guess you're fortunate... when we fly to Japan it's 16 hours :-). Stacey - It's comforting to know that even a yoga instructor struggles to access her things while sitting in an airplane seat! I think you just made a lot of us feel a little better about ourselves! Hope you'll enjoy the organizer.

  • Ellen
    Ellen
    4/2/2010 7:27 PM

    Hi Brent & Jesse,

    I LOVE my Nirvana organizer bag and am just getting it loaded to for a trip to Italy tomorrow. I like it so much, I decided to buy a second one as a gift for my boyfriend's parents to take to China. Congratulations, hopefully now the whole world will know how cool this bag is. It's great not having to get your face mashed into the back of the seat in front of you when you reach for your stuff. Thanks for making such a great product!

  • Bonnie K
    Bonnie K
    4/2/2010 7:51 PM

    I bought the Nirvana Organizer and totally love it. I have many health issues and have to carry-on large amounts of supplies that I need to access regularly, especially when the tray is down. So I called the Zen Class and had a very long and enjoyable conversation with Brent. Zen Class has the best customer service I've ever experienced.

    After the conversation, I created 3 different length crochet strings to prevent the organizer from falling over when I rested it on the back rods of the tray table (Brent's suggestion). It worked perfectly and I was able to have simple access to the impossible amount of stuff I easily fit into the Nirvana.

    This is truly wonderful product which I have recommended to others who also bought it and were extremely happy that they did.

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 8:31 PM

    Hi Bonnie and Ellen - Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here with everyone. It's rewarding to have such great customers (who are serious world travelers) in our community. You not only give us ideas and motivation, but are also generous about recommending us to your friends! We really appreciate you!

  • mkp
    mkp
    4/2/2010 8:55 PM

    I bought a zen bag a couple of months ago and have used it on 3 trips. I had the middle seat on all 3 trips. Zen bag was beyond belief at organizing all my electronic stuff (ipod, cell, notebook, kindle), my travel snacks, id and such. I would not consider traveling again without one. GREAT product. mkp

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/2/2010 9:09 PM

    Hey mkp - 3 straight middle seats... that is an unenviable record! Glad we could be there for you and thanks for your post!

  • Walter Gerber, MD
    Walter Gerber, MD
    4/2/2010 10:17 PM

    The Zen travel organizer has been my constant companion in travels ranging from Nassau to Prague. It turns my coach class space into a first class experience. I recommend it to everyone.

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    4/3/2010 1:01 AM

    Thank you Dr. Gerber for sharing your endorsement here. Jesse and I appreciate your continued feedback and support!

  • Maureen
    Maureen
    4/3/2010 1:32 AM

    I'm a frequent traveler and I love this bag! The opening at the top lets you access your boarding pass and wallet while you are in the terminal and once on the plane, everything is in reach. No more trying to stuff things in the magazine holder in front of you. The folks at Zen Class are wonderful to work with. I'm always on the lookout for things to make traveling easier and this is one of my favorites.

  • Carol Meehan
    Carol Meehan
    4/9/2010 8:55 PM

    I love this bag - organizer. I first used it on my trip to Australia/New Zealand. On the 13 hour flight it was Nirvana having it open on the tray table. Everything accessible - and the "hidden zipped" pockets kept things secure. There is absolutely a place for everything. In fact, after the trip I continue to use it daily - as I commute between 3 office spaces. They have upgraded the zipper - huge improvement. If you don't have this bag -you need to click "add to cart." Love it Love it Love it.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    4/10/2010 12:37 AM

    @Carol @Maureen - thanks for stopping by. I bet you had your fellow passengers envious as well!

  • Lynn
    Lynn
    5/5/2010 1:21 AM

    I'm considering purchasing this organizer. However, as we typically fly smaller planes (737's and smaller), I'm concerned that this bag will be too wide for the seats and end up intruding on my neighbors space. Can you tell me how it fits width-wise?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/5/2010 9:05 AM

    @Lynn - we've dropped Brent a note to stop back with a response. Thank you for posting!

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    5/5/2010 9:57 AM

    Hi Lynn - Thanks for your question. The organizer measures 19.25 inches across when open and deployed on the tray table. The average airline seat, including the space between seats, is wider than this so we've never experienced a situation where the Nirvana Organizer did not fit the tray table or interfered with a neighbor's space (this includes the small regional jets (aka "puddle jumpers"). We designed this to fit all airline seat back tray tables in the coach cabin by taking measure of the largest and smallest trays we could find on modern aircraft. So, we built it to fit the largest but not so big that it couldn't be used on the smallest. When used on the smallest trays, you'll have an inch or two of overhang on either side of the tray, but this "extra" covers the empty space between seats, not your neighbor's seat or tray. I hope this helps answer your question and we wish you many happy travels!

  • Sandra
    Sandra
    6/12/2010 2:18 PM

    When the tray table needs to be used, how to you avoid anything from the organizer falling out?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    6/12/2010 2:42 PM

    @Sandra - when you need to use the tray table, simply slip off the organizer and zip it back together. It's a great travel companion!

  • Shannon
    Shannon
    7/4/2010 1:57 AM

    Hi! How exactly does this attach to the back of a car seat without the little turn "knob" from the tray table to hold it in place??? Thanks!

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    7/4/2010 1:16 PM

    Hi @Sandra. My daughter Grace and I tested this and now she uses her Zen Bag all the time in the car. From her backseat, she wraps the bag's shoulder strap around the driver's headrest. (She puts the headrest all the way up, wraps the straps around it, then puts it down again.) Another way she has done it is to wrap the strap around the driver's seat. I don't even know its there when I'm driving. She loves it! Happy 4th of July!

  • Chris B
    Chris B
    11/19/2010 4:42 PM

    Will an ipad fit in it when it is closed up?

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    11/19/2010 5:12 PM

    @Chris B: Hi Chris - Yes, the Nirvana Organizer will hold the iPad, Nook or Kindle in the closed and fully zipped position. The dimensions of the closed organizer (in tote mode) are almost 9" wide and over 11" high. It's good to keep in mind that the bag, while in the tote mode, can hold a limited amount of stuff because we can't build it so big that it takes up a lot of space while hanging on the closed tray table. Best to think of it this way -- the primary use is as a seat back organizer, secondary use is as a slim tote to carry a few essentials that you'll need during the flight. If your worried about space for a lot of accessories, I should also note that the whole unit is also slim enough to easily slide inside another carry-on like a backpack, briefcase, large purse or roll-aboard, and be deployed once you get on the plane (for those who need to carry a ton of gear, like me). Once deployed on the tray table, you can put an amazing amount of gear in to it... even has a cup/bottle holder. Hope that helps! Happy travels...

  • Malia
    Malia
    11/30/2010 2:05 PM

    Just back from 4 nights in sfo/lax and wanting to thank you again for your product. I realized that the stringent carry-on regulations apply to the boarding process. When boarding, I pack my organizer in my tote/handbag (2 pcs/passenger). When deplaning, I put all the stuff i need for arrival/baggage claim/taxi/hotel in my Zen organizer and carry it off the plane as a third piece. I'm all set for the next "phase" of travel, and it's also easier to carry a lighter tote/handbag.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/30/2010 3:45 PM

    @Malia: Very smart! Thank you for stopping back and sharing how you used this organizer to make your travels smoother!

  • Karin
    Karin
    12/31/2010 5:58 PM

    Used the Zen Class organizer on my recent vacation and was very happy I had it! It made boarding and deplaning so much easier and less harried.

    The only downsides are that 1) even though it only adds a little thickness, it's enough to make the tray table a little harder to lock---it took simultaneous hard pushing of the tray into the seat back & twisting the locking mechanism and 2) obviously if you have the organizer on your tray, you can't use the tray.

    But, overall, a great find. I'd definitley recommend this as a gift for a traveling friend or co-worker.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/1/2011 12:23 PM

    @Karin Goldman: We're glad that this travel organizer made your trip less harried! Thanks for coming back to share your experience.

  • Dee
    Dee
    3/28/2011 1:23 PM

    Hi - this sounds like a great invention and could be just what I am looking for. I also stay away from using the overheads as they are cumbersome and fill up very fast, so my under-seat carry-on suitcase takes up all of the room under the seat in front of me and I usually am only able to carry a small purse that I either keep in my suitcase or store in the seat back for takeoffs and landings. I've read many comments about the great uses during and after a flight and I just want to be sure - can the Zen Class organizer (closed) be kept on the up-right tray table during take-offs and landings on all airlines? Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    3/28/2011 2:06 PM

    @Dee: I just spoke with Brent and although there are no regulations against having it positioned around the stowed tray-table during take-off and landing, certain flight attendants will feel that it should be stowed and ask you to do so. You should always follow the instructions of your flight attendant.

  • Joanna
    Joanna
    8/12/2011 4:11 PM

    I am so crazy about this travel bag!!!!! I fly all over the place presenting environmental programs and this goes with me everywhere - on the plane - in the field when we are shooting - to the office - I had been using similar product but it was too stiff and bulky. Your bag holds my travel documents, iPad, phone, my inflight snacks, work folders and a small clutch for incidentals and fits into carryon luggage with no struggles. My trips now are organized and everyone asks "where did you get that". So I am your unofficial sales rep! Please keep us informed about future products!

    (Just one little thing - should the bag overturn things slide out of the mesh pockets so I stitched in little velcro tabs.)

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/12/2011 4:42 PM

    @Joanna: That is such a great modification. I am glad that this bag works so well for you. We will definitely keep you updated about new products. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Deb M
    Deb M
    2/8/2012 2:41 PM

    Hi! I travel overseas from time to time, so I was excited to see this bag. I tried it out on our recent trip to Puerto Rico. It made the trip so much more pleasant, since I didn't have to dig into bags under the seat or in the overhead. Fellow travelers were dazzled as well. Thank you for this wonderful product, and I won't hesitate to tell everyone where I got it.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    2/8/2012 4:14 PM

    @Deb M: It's wonderful to hear that this bag has made it so much more comfortable for you in the airplane; that's quite a testament to the effectiveness of this bag! Thank you for sharing your experience & yes, we love it that you rave about Daily Grommet to fellow travelers ;0)

  •  Carol
    Carol
    6/5/2012 3:56 PM

    I would like to order this but only if I can have it for my trip to S. Korea!! I would need it by June 13, shipped to Niagara Falls, NY.

    I Really don't want to expedite it. This bag looks like so much fun to use. Can you help me?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    6/5/2012 10:54 PM

    @ Carol: This would be a perfect Grommet to have to make sure your overseas trip is "zen-relaxing". Our Customer Service Team will contact you directly about getting the travel tote to you by 6/13.

  •  Carol
    Carol
    6/6/2012 12:13 PM

    @Chew-Hoong

    Good Morning! CST and I are now working on my request. Thank you soooo much.

  •  Samantha
    Samantha
    6/29/2012 12:37 PM

    I refuse to fly anymore because I simply willnot subject myself to the molestation and rudeness of the TSA and others - will this work on the train seats? They have fold down tables just like airline seats (more comfortable, too!) and I take long-distance trains frequently, now.

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    7/2/2012 5:40 PM

    @ Samantha: The tote works great on planes, trains, in cars, and even on the back of strollers. You can read other info in the DETAILS tab (below video) of the page where the Grommet is featured.

  • Kate
    Kate
    9/12/2012 4:13 PM

    If you need to put your tray table down, for eating or drinks, how does that work? Does the bag hang down or do you have to take it off, then put it back on again?

  • Brent
    Brent – Special Guest
    9/14/2012 6:07 PM

    @Kate: It's best to simply slide the organizer off the tray when you are eating, although it is physically possible to leave it on the tray, depending on space between your lap and the lowered table.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.