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doorjammerAs a 5-foot-1 woman who travels alone on a semi-regular basis, I’m always on the lookout for ways to feel more secure on the road. That’s why I was intrigued when the DoorJammer crossed my desk.

The sturdy red gadget is a more sophisticated version of those little triangular wedges you can shove under a door to keep it from being forced open. It has an adjustable foot that allows it to be used on a variety of surfaces and even on uneven floors.

I gave it a try here in the IndependentTraveler.com office, once on carpet and once on a wood floor. While I wasn’t immediately sure how to work the DoorJammer just from looking at it, the step-by-step directions in the manual were easy to follow — put the flat part under the door and tighten the bolt until the engagement foot is firmly anchored against the floor. To take it off, unscrew the bolt. (In an emergency such as a fire, you can also simply pull straight up on the DoorJammer, and it will release immediately. I tested both removal strategies with no problems.)

When someone pushed on the door from outside, the DoorJammer held firm; although there was a clear gap between the frame and the upper part of the door (where my potential assailant was exerting force), the door did not open enough to let anyone in.

Hotel Safety Tips

To see how the DoorJammer works, check out this short video:

Do you really need the DoorJammer if you’re staying in a hotel with both a standard lock and a deadbolt? Probably not. But at hostels, older properties or budget hotels with only single locks or flimsy-looking chains, a product like the DoorJammer can offer an extra layer of protection. It won’t take up much space in your suitcase either: it weighs in at 8 ounces, and stands 4.75 inches high and 2.75 inches wide. You can buy it for $29.99 plus shipping and handling on Door-Jammer.com.

33 Ways to Sleep Better at a Hotel

Want to try it out for yourself? We’re giving away our (gently used) DoorJammer! Just leave us a comment below by 11:59 p.m. ET on October 9, 2013. We’ll pick one person at random to win the DoorJammer. This giveaway is open only to residents of the Lower 48 United States and the District of Columbia. To read the full contest rules, click here.

Editor’s Note: This contest has ended. The winner of the DoorJammer is Terry Kong. Congratulations!

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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61 Responses to “A New Way to Stay Safe in Your Hotel Room”

  1. Debs says:

    I travel the world also as a lone female and would have been very interested in trying this! Shame only available to US peeps ! I was recently in Canada :) does that count !

  2. Alana says:

    My husband and two children (7 & 9) will begin a 12 month trip around the world in February 2014. I have researched several wedge type door stoppers to take on the trip but have not yet found one with reviews that show it works well on all types of flooring. The DoorJammer looks like exactly what we need to feel safe in our hostel, guest rooms or even hotel sleeping accommodations!

  3. Caite says:

    The cool red color gives me a sense of urgency!

  4. Garry says:

    Looks like a great device.

  5. Practical, simple, elegant, and very functional!

  6. Brenda says:

    No matter what hotel or where I am in the world, I can not be at peace. i need 2 of these so I can also jam any connecting doors which just give me the creeps.

  7. Loraine says:

    I wish I had known about this sooner. I spent years travelling and spent many nights barely sleeping or trying to keep a watchful ear on a potential intruder. Per your article, most hotels are safe, but not all towns offer modern and safe facilities. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Isabel Menendez says:

    This would be great to make me safe when I am home aloneand when I travel.
    Thank you!!!!

  9. elizabeth white-nadler says:

    Rather than a comment, I have a question. Does this new device have have an audible alarm? I ask because my old-fashioned wedge one has an eardrum-piercing alarm to wake me up and scare off unwanted visitors…requires a battery of course.

  10. Erin says:

    Great idea!

  11. Barb says:

    This seems like a wonderful item and I will be trying it on my next trip.

  12. acruiseguy says:

    OK I like this idea, especially for cruise ships. My wife sails alone quite a bit, and on a few occasions has fallen asleep and, even with the Do Not Disturb sign on the door, the room steward entered! This would ensure that didn’t happen. She also travels quite a bit for business and I would feel better if she had this with her.

    An alarm on it would be good as well!

    Seems worth a try.

  13. Nancy J says:

    Good idea, but it would be nice if it glowed in the dark to make it easier to see in an emergency situation.

  14. Betty Zamost says:

    Looks like a very useful item….however, would have liked the video to show how it could be removed for an emergency.

    • DoorJammer says:

      Hi Betty,

      In case of emergency, the DoorJammer can be easily pulled-off the door. Simply pull the DoorJammer upward and it will conveniently remove itself from its locked position without any effort.

  15. It is an intriguing and innovative idea. I is small in size, and easily packable. I do wonder, however, if a potential thief would simply be able to take a narrow but sturdy bar (even a sturdy ruler) and simply give the foot of the door jammer a good, solid wack. That would seem to upset the distribution of force, and disable the door jammer. I did not see that addressed in the video.

    • DoorJammer says:

      Hi Alexis,

      Like most security devices, the DoorJammer is a deterrent and it is not designed to stop entry in to a room at all costs. The product is designed to make the occupant feel safer by stopping silent or entry without extreme force or premeditated planning.

  16. Kathleen says:

    We have a long trip scheduled for the month of November and would love to use something like this. It would certainly give you the peace of mind needed in unfamiliar towns. A good night of sleep – or just chillin’ in your room sounds very relaxing.
    Thank you for offering!

  17. Nadia says:

    I travel a lot by myself and would definitely find this device of value. Thank you.

  18. carole says:

    I’d love to provide my elderly parents with one of these – they’re snowbirds, traveling back and forth (Michigan – Florida) every year. I think this would help make them feel safer in the motels they stay at.

  19. Maureen says:

    Glad to know these work. Thanks.

  20. Liz says:

    Fantastic idea! Once while traveling alone with only my three small children, we stopped at a less than stellar mountain motel after I almost dozed while driving. We all awakened a few hours later by the loud sound of someone trying to push the locked door open. We immediately got up, dressed, and fled the place in terror. To this day if I am alone in a hotel room, I push a piece of furniture in front of the door. This little device makes a whole lot more sense and would be much easier to use!!!

  21. Terry Kong says:

    It looks like a very useful device to bring peace of mind while traveling.

  22. ILJ says:

    I never really thought about it until reading your article.
    You are right, it’s a good idea.

  23. SP says:

    Great little device! Now I won’t have to throw out my back anymore tugging a heavy chair to tuck under the doorknob of my hotel room :)>

  24. JIM M says:

    Super Innovative Idea and only 8 oz.!!! Fantastic Protection!!!! We sure can use it! Thanks for the cutting edge new product introduction!!!

  25. Jeannie Brust says:

    Inshah Allah !

  26. Rosalind says:

    Having given it some thought my solution is to get a. The door Jammer to prevent anyone forcing open the door to my hotel room and b also buy the Door wedge gizmo so I also get the ear splitting alarm –nothing like covering all bases. :)

  27. Mom4J says:

    I love this idea! Extra peace of mind makes for a better night’s sleep.

  28. Tom says:

    Where is it manufactured? For the high-cost I hope it is the USA.

  29. P Corbett says:

    Same as a wooden doorjamb

  30. Syretta Patterson says:

    Wow, we are planning for our 50th Wedding Anniversary trip. And as seniors we need to be so careful, and this is the answer to so many of our security concerns.

  31. Richard says:

    An excellent idea/design; it is better to be too careful than not careful enough.

  32. Evdokia says:

    I travel to Scandinavia regularly, most to Sweden. The doors in their hotel rooms open outward father than inward. A device such as the one mentioned here doesn’t work on that type of a door. Does anyone know of a device that would work on a door that opens outward from the room? Thanks.

  33. Geraldine Treacy says:

    I would like to get this gadget for my daughter who travels a lot as a flight attendant.

  34. I love all the travel tips; this is an informative, fun site. Thanks for all the good advice. DoorJammer looks like a very worthwhile item to take with. Hope I win!

  35. Susie says:

    Maybe I missed it, but in an emergency, how would someone outside the door get in to help you?

    • DoorJammer says:

      Hi Susie,

      In an emergency, somebody outside the door can overcome the DoorJammer by using about the same amount of force as would be needed to overcome a lock or deadbolt. However, from the inside, in an emergency the DoorJammer can be removed by placing two fingers under the leg and pulling upwards.

  36. Beth says:

    Great idea , love it wish I had it during my trip to Mexico

  37. suebee says:

    Peace of mind + secure door = good night’s sleep !! :)

  38. Shari says:

    What a clever device! Definitely useful when traveling alone.

  39. Sally Spencer says:

    Would also be good to use at home when hubby is away!

  40. Alene R Math says:

    I travel the state and work during the week in various parts of the state of Wisconsin, some “feel” safe and others not so safe. I travel for business as I am a Nurse Practioner working for a Health Organization whose duty it is to keep the elderly in their homes and out of the often horrid conditions found in some nursing homes.
    I often worry about the somewhat “iffy” quality of the door locks at some of the hotels my company (located out of Arizona and thus not that familiar with Wisconsin),books me into. Some are of course better than others and some are so poor I prop a chair against the doorknob at night before retiring for bed. I could sure use the security your product provides and could sure put it to good and VERY frequent use! When my husband and I travel we could take it along as well, its a winning “twofer”!
    Thank you for the chance to win one of these. Looks like a product stout enough to not be effected by being “lightly used”.

  41. barbara says:

    Not only for travel, great for a single person living in an apartment.

  42. Mike Kuhl says:

    Looks like it works. I would definately use it!

  43. Jennifer Rice says:

    As a single senior traveller, I would love this. I my be Canadin, but I do have a US address. Hopefully that qualities me for the draw.

  44. Frank Brammer says:

    Only 8 ounces! I would very much like to win the DoorJammer.

  45. Lauren says:

    It’s simple but brilliant!

  46. Leslie Walden says:

    I’m only 4ft11in and walk with the assistance of a cane, and have often felt that I represent a potential target. Of course any woman traveling alone always is, but I won’t let that stop me. I do have the problem of an overprotective family who I must reassure constantly when I am bitten by the travel bug. This is a happy solution for both. I might even be allowed to take my nephew with me to London, with this nifty little gadget. Hooray!

  47. David says:

    Could had used it on my last stay in San Juan. Currently in Beijing as I think it’s always nice to never be to careful.

  48. Becky says:

    I normally feel quite safe traveling on my own, but I’m heading to Central America and would appreciate a little extra protection.

  49. Judy says:

    I read that, in case of emergency, you can just pull up and release it. I would’ve liked to have seen that demonstrated in your video. Great idea though. Something I could definitely use.

  50. Sil says:

    Only 4 feet 10 inches tall and a female solo traveler. Will be going to South East Asia in a couple of months. Would love to win this. Watched the video – seems very easy to use and safety is a major concern for me.

  51. Sharon says:

    Looks like a great device. Something my husband would let me use when I have to stay in a hotel by myself when he has to be in the hospital in another city, or when we go to visit the kids. They don’t always have room for us. Oh, the Golden Years :)

  52. amy conger says:

    I’d like to try it. I could have used it once years ago.

  53. Gabriela Oritz says:

    Thanks for sharing this article!

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