While there used to be no such thing as bed bug proof luggage, there is now an option on the market that does live up to this expectation.
The product is called Thermalstrike Bed Bug proof self heating luggage. It is manufactured by Protect-a-Bed, a company that has a reputation for developing innovative bed bug prevention products.
The luggage is designed to provide bed bugs travel protection by:
- Preventing bed bugs from penetrating the luggage
- Killing any bed bugs that get into the luggage via a built in heater. Heat treatment or thermal remediation is one of the safest insecticide free ways to kill bed bugs.
Our Trial Product
The Bed Bugs Handbook requested a sample from the company so that we could see and test it for ourselves. While we didn't have live bed bugs on hand, we did take the luggage on a plane trip to test durability and function.
- Strong Polycarbonate Blend Outer Shell
- Built-in infrared heater to kill any bed bugs trapped inside the luggage
- TSA approved lock
- 4 - 360 degree gyroscopic spinner wheels
- Meets FAA Guidelines for flights
- Integrated corner guards for durability
- 20" model is light weight (7.9 lbs) easily fits in airline overhead racks (tested on JetBlue by article author) and meets airline carry-on requirements. Also available in a 24" model.
- Included power cord with timer
- Fully zippered lining to provide added proteciton
How it Works
The suitcase has a heater built in to the case. Simply connect the supplied power cord/time to the luggage and select 2, 4 or 8 hours. All electronics are out of sight and integrated into the back panel.
The temperature inside the suitcase reaches 140 degrees. The heat then passes through all of your belongings, killing all insects. Bed bugs die at 114F, the higher temperature is needed to make sure it penetrates all items in the luggage.
Thermalstrike Luggage Features
We tested the 20" roller and found it easy to maneuver and of good quality. It arrived at our office in perfect condition.
We were concerned that the heat elements may cause an issue when passing through airport security. This turned out to not be an issue on both legs of our trip.
The luggage did not appear to weigh more than luggage without heating elements. The 20" model easily fit into the overhead space on the airplane.
The easiest way to use the luggage is to pack the night before you leave the hotel and then plug in the suitcase for a full 8 hour cycle the night before you leave. This way you can be sure that any insect that crawls into your luggage has been exterminated.
If you have any remaining items the next morning, pack them and return home. When you return home run the process again as an extra measure of safety.
Pros and Cons
ThermalStrike Bed Bug Proof luggage is both a quality piece of luggage and has the added bonus of being the perfect way to avoid bringing the pests into your home. It is sized to meet the requirements for carry-on, with larger models available if you need more space.
There were no apparent negatives with this product beyond having to pack the provided power cord.
Net, this is the perfect travel companion for anyone that wants to avoid bed bugs when traveling. It is also good for anyone that needs a convenient way to heat treat items that may have been purchased in places that are susceptible to bed bugs (such as items in a thrift store.)
Stewardess ThermalStrike Luggage Review
Where to Buy
Thermalstrike luggage can be purchased directly from Bed Bug Supply.
Why You Should Buy This Luggage
The cost to treat a bed bug infestation local pest control services can run from $1000 - $4000 depending on the number of rooms and the bed bug treatments. For a much smaller investment, you can avoid bringing bed bugs home in the first place.
If you find bed bugs in your luggage that you brought home we suggest immediately putting all dirty clothes in plastic bags outside of the home, then place the clothing into a washing machine upon your return home. Wash with hot water followed by 20 minutes in the drier.
Regardless, many travelers inspect hotel rooms before bringing your luggage into the room. Look around each common bed bug hiding place such as bed frames and mattress seams. If you suspect anything, ask the hotel manager to switch rooms if you see any mattress stains or stains on the bedding. Inspect all mattresses and box springs in the room by pulling back any coverings.
When staying in a hotel do not unpack your clothes. Keep them in the zipped self heating luggage.
Bedbugs can be seen with the naked eye and are about the size of an apple seed. Keep your luggage off the floor on a luggage rack. A small flashlight and magnifying glass can also aid with the inspection. Treat any infestation immediately to avoid any spread.