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Best Compression Bags

Hey guys:

I've posted before about packing cubes but after a bit of deliberation I figured I'd go with compression bags. So I'm wondering if anyone here has used them. If so, what brands do you use?

I've seen Eagle Creek but they were a bit pricey. I found the Ziploc brand (like the vacuum bags) but Some of the reviews say that they are hard to compress and tear easily. I see rick steves has a 3 pack for $20 so I'm wondering if anyone has used his.

If you've tried this brands what did/didn't you like about them? Are there any other good ones out there?


Posted by
21300 posts

My compression bags are from TravelSmith. They are the zipper style. I think any bag that compresses by zipping will be a bit heavier than a plastic bag, but I don't believe plastic would hold up for me. In a pinch you can use regular ZIP Lock bags (or a competitor).

Posted by
1681 posts

I just used Eagle Creek ones for the first time and was very happy with them. When I unpacked the clothes, they weren't as wrinkled as they were previously when I did not use compression bags.

Posted by
3713 posts

I have those Eagle Creek Pack-it Specter Compression Cubes. I have 3 sets like these in the bright green, blue and red. They are very light and compress well. They also wash well on the cold, gentle cycle and dry very quickly.

They are expensive, but having tried other regular and compression cubes that are heavier and not nearly so tough, the EC ones are worth every penny. Since I first tried them, I use no other cubes when traveling.

Posted by
276 posts

I had the RS compression bags but not worth the money. They tore after one use. I bought the eagle creek bags that lo posted. Much better. Worth the money to me. I don’t overpack and the compression keeps my suitcase small.

Posted by
3699 posts

Walmart (and no doubt the competition) sell bags in the storage section. The brand doesn't matter; the weight of the plastic does. Bags with a double zip should be stronger. Some have a plastic slider which helps to seal the full bag and is easy to misplace. My approach: I fold a couple of shirts or sweaters into a rectangle and wrap something long, such as pants, around it into a bundle that can slide into the bag. Once full, I put the bag flat on my bed and lie on top of it to squeeze out the air and firmly press the top closed (stop laughing; it works, at least in private.) Or you can gently roll the bag from the bottom; once closed, it will flatten out. Saves space; avoids some if not all wrinkles.

Posted by
9914 posts

I've traveled with both the bigger plastic ziplock type compression bags that you roll to squish out the air as well as the Eagle Creek Specter compression ones Lo mentions. Even with the expense the Eagle Creek ones work better for me. The big plastic ones are cumbersome and generally a PIA. The last time I used one was to take a polarfleece jacket and while it compresses it well it makes a wider "package". I've got Rick's brand compression bags as well as Travelon, I think. My experience is also that the ziplock compression bags wrinkle clothing worse. They are fairly inexpensive, so get them and try them out, then purchase the "good" ones, lol!!

Look at Sierra Trading Post (online or brick and mortar) which often has EC on close out. Also if you've got a TJ Maxx near you cruise thru there and take a look at the travel section every time you are in that area. I saw some Sharper Image brand compression cubes that looked a LOT like the Eagle Creek ones last week.

If you are not traveling soon, sign up for emails from Eagle Creek. Sometimes you will get 30% off coupons. They had some sales last year because I gave them to my family for Christmas.

Also, they sell these at REI if you have that store near you. Perhaps something will be on sale for Black Friday if you can wait that long.

Oh yeah, if you have an AAA travel store near you stop by there and look. Mine has good prices on them for AAA members but they don't always have the cool colors, lol.

Posted by
154 posts

Check the Gonex compression cubes on Amazon. I’ve had mine for a year and they’ve been through a lot of trips with no problems. Much more affordable and they’ve held up fine. In my opinion, some of these packing cubes from the “travel outfitters” like Eagle Creek are ridiculously overpriced.

And buying some heavy duty Ziploc type compression bags is just as good as spending triple the money from a boutique retailer on cubes.

The real world difference in most packing cubes is pretty small. Unless I’m having to nitpick about some European airline’s weight restrictions, that’s about the only place where I’m going to look closely at how much these cubes weigh. And even then, you’re probably looking at ditching a pair of undershorts and socks to make up the difference.

Posted by
1179 posts

In my opinion, some of these packing cubes from the “travel outfitters” like Eagle Creek are ridiculously overpriced.

It depends what you want. The more expensive cubes like Eagle Creek Specter cubes are made of a more technical material than cheaper cubes. It will be lighter and stronger. So you get what you pay for. I find them to be superior to any other cube.

After years of one bagging it I’m of the opinion that it’s worth the extra money to buy the lighter cubes. Many times I’ve been facing a 7kg weight limit and I couldn’t have made it with cheaper heavier equipment.

Some things I don’t care about. Other items I’m willing to pay extra to get a better product. Good shoes, ultralight packable rain coats, ultralight cubes, ultralight toiletry kits, and Primaloft jackets are my investment items. My pack, on the other hand cost less than $100.

In the end it’s about the type of travel that you do. If you’re using a wheelie bag and checking it then you don’t need the lighter products.

Posted by
21300 posts

I am not familiar with the Gonex product line, but I see that Walmart (sorry) has a set of three compression bags on sale for $12.99. Perhaps other suppliers do, too. Just in case someone wants to try the compression technique on the cheap.

Posted by
940 posts

I use Osprey StraightJackets. But only because they’re left over from my cycling touring days. I’ve been trial packing my 40 liter carryon backpack and I’ve removed all but one compression bag and gone back to rolling most of my clothes. The remaining 8 liter compression bag holds my rain gear and some other soft goods. I hope I do not need any of this stuff in Scotland but I would not want to try to find any of it in a hurry at local shops. So I have smooshed them down to their absolute minimum volume.
The problem was that pulling on the compression straps turns an otherwise soft and pliable package into a brick.
You might wish to experiment with gallon ziplocks before buying (possibly very expensive) compression bags. And You may only need one compression bag.