Guys – I have like four days until I leave! FOUR DAYS! I’m legitimately in packing mode (I’ve already organized everything and made packing lists so I knew what I was taking) and I thought I’d share with you some packing tips 🙂
While watching one of Elle’s recent packing videos, she started going on about how much she loved her packing cubes, specifically her compression cubes. She used the Eagle Creek ones so I went googling away and found there were a couple of brands who made compression cubes.
I purchased both the Eagle Creek and a brand called BigFoot. Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Compression cubes retail for $40 and come in a pack of two – one small and one medium sized. The BigFoot set comes with two large, and one medium, and retails for $20. I’ll definitely say with Eagle Creek you’re paying for the brand name – there are differences in zipper quality (the Eagle Creek seem a bit sturdier), but the material itself is the same in both sets. It’s a light, white nylon fabric that is easy to see through so it’s easy to distinguish what’s inside.
We bought the Eagle Creek ones first just to see how they worked. We also bought some regular non-compression packing cubes from Eagle Creek as well. Those will mostly house super bulky items like outerwear. We love the cube system since it just makes organizing a suitcase that much easier.
The reason we bought the extra BigFoot ones were because they were inexpensive, and also came in a Large size. For items like jeans, it’s easier to fit them in the large size. I can also easily fit all of my tops into one large compression cube, with space to spare.
I’ve read somewhere that laying your clothes flat in the compression cube is the most convenient way to use them – but I just rolled up all my shirts to that I could see them all from one side. That was also a habit for me when I used to pack without the compression cubes – all of my shirts would be rolled so they could stack and I could see them all.
As an example, I’ve rolled up five tank tops, and then folded one skirt. It may seem like a lot of clothes to fit into the medium sized compression cube, but I promise – it works!
The compression cubes can actually be used just as a regular packing cube, should you choose to do that. They come with two zippers – one to open the compartment, and one to squeeze all the air out.
You can see that just zipped shut, the five shirts and one skirt almost completely fill up the space in the packing cube. If we weren’t traveling internationally on a plane, and were just road tripping, I’d actually probably just keep it like this and organize each cube by outfit.
For this trip, I’m probably going to put all of my shirts in one cube, and all of my dresses in another, then have my pants just folded underneath because I’m only going to take a few pairs of pants to go with about six different tanks.
Once the compartment is zipped, then the compression can start. It’s really easy to get it started, but it gets really difficult really quickly. It’s totally worth it though because you can save inches of space in your suitcase.
Considering the clothes I put in aren’t clothes that I care too much about being wrinkled/are fabric that don’t really wrinkle all that much, sucking the air out of the pouch and basically crushing your clothes as small as possible is great lol. It’s definitely the best space saving and organizational tool for packing.
Eagle Creek does make a packing folder, if you have any clothes that need to stay wrinkle-free. It comes with a folding board so you can fold a shirt around it, and pull it out once you have it the way you like it. You can stack something like 10-20 shirts depending on what size folder you get. The folder then just folds around your clothes and is made of a pretty sturdy material so everything stays flat once it’s secured. We did purchase one just in case, but I don’t think we’re planning on taking it on this trip either.
Once everything is nice and compressed, you get this little pouch, stuffed with clothes. Again, it saves inches in a suitcase, which may not sound like much, but if you use multiple compression cubes, then you can in theory end up having about 40% to 50% more space in your suitcase.
At the end of a trip, that’s great if you’re planning on bringing home souvenirs like we are. Plus they’re soft pouches, so at the end of a trip (when you honestly don’t care which pieces of clothes are in which pouch, and where the pouches are in your suitcase), they basically just serve as soft padding for any possibly fragile items you’re taking home.
For the large sized pouch, I was able to fit in one pair of jeans, one seater, two dresses, and two shorts.
Just between those two pouches, I have about a week’s worth of clothes. Between my mom and I, we could in theory pack in about a weeks worth of clothes each into a single carry-on sized piece of luggage.
Since we’re going to check a bag, we have a little bit more room to spare, and thanks to the compression cubes, we’ll have plenty of room on the way home for gifts 🙂
I will say that although the compression cubes come in different colors, I’d recommend purchasing white ones so you can clearly see what’s inside. You can see in the pictures that the print of my clothes is showing straight through. If you’re somebody that likes to pack by outfit, this is an easy way to know which bag to open instead of having to dig through all of your things.
There are other types of compression and as well as vacuum sealing luggage organizers out there. I feel like although these take quite a bit of arm strength to zip up, that they’re still the most convenient way of saving space. Some of the vacuum sealing ones require a vacuum, while others just require to roll up the plastic bag. In my mind, the zip up is just too easy to beat. Plus you get the added bonus of a rectangular little pouch that easily stacks.
If you’ve tried any of the other travel organizers out there, I’d love to know if you liked them, or didn’t like them!