Lonely Planet Writer

How to win the airplane armrest battle once and for all

The single armrest that separates you from your neighbour on an airplane can lead to all sorts of passive-aggressive interactions but a clever passenger aims to end the battle for elbow room by doubling the usable space and keeping both parties happy.

The Soarigami aims to give both passengers adequate elbow room. Image by Soarigami

Soarigami is a travel gadget that provides passengers sitting next to each other with two armrests instead of just one. It’s a handy invention to use when you’re battling with an armrest hogger who insists on invading your personal space. Based on the design of a paper airplane and made of recycled cardboard and leatherette, the device clips onto the existing armrest to allow double the surface area for each person to rest their elbows and forearms with a divider in between.

It can be packed neatly away when not in use. Image by Soarigami

Rubberised wings clamp the device in place securely and you can adjust the width to fit any plane with stainless steel toggles. It can fit on any armrest anywhere from 1.5 to 2.75 inches and can fold up neatly back into your bag when not in use.

Soarigami product design Image by Soarigami

“Soarigami was designed to elevate the travel space by getting rid of the fight for armrests,” co-creator Grace Chang wrote on the website’s blog. “Sick of fighting for armrests, our co-founder sketched the first idea onto a cocktail napkin during a particularly unpleasant flight.

“Sora means sky in Japanese, and gami means graceful. With the product being origami-inspired and meant to be used in flight, the name Soarigami was born, aiming to soar the skies with grace.  The Sorigami is a portable, lightweight travel product that ends the fight for elbows.”

Soarigami retails for US$19.99 and can be purchased here.