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RS Packable Tote or RS Hide-Away Tote?

I just saw these on the RS store website and I’m wondering if anybody has a preference.

I love the idea of taking a very compact & lightweight collapsible bag in my suitcase so I have an extra bag that I can use in case I go shopping and can then check it at the airport.

Which do you prefer? Which is more durable? Or do you have another recommendation of a different brand or bag? Thanks!

Posted by
1307 posts

The hide-away tote has a zipper at the top. I don't think that the other one does.

Posted by
6274 posts

I think they're both durable but the Hide-a-way Tote has a zippered closure and is also bigger than the Packable Tote. Both fold up into a small pouch, but if you're thinking of using it for last-minute shopping, I would definitely go with the larger size.

One other thing, if you don't need them right away, Rick usually has at least one bag on sale each week so it might be worth waiting for that. Although they're not that expensive.

Posted by
11150 posts

The' hide away' is 3 times the size of the 'packable' ( ~ 825 cubic inches vs ~2800 c.i.)

I see the real choice as to what size do you need?..

I would not be inclined to check the smaller ( 'packable') bag

Posted by
3992 posts

I didn’t realize that one has a zipper and one does not! For me to use it as a potential checked piece of luggage, a zipper is mandatory. That it is also 3X larger than the other is another plus. Thank you!

I have the cylinder shaped packable duffel. I like it. If fully packed with dirty laundry, it will still fit in your carry-on size suitcase. It’s a small size for this reason. It’s a nice, practical bag for a variety of uses. If you need a larger bag - look at Patagonia ultralight tote pack or osprey daylite tote pack. Size is going to be a big factor here as well as zip-top closure. Figure out what size you need first. Wandf and Arcteryx (sp?) bags on Amazon.com may help.

Posted by
172 posts

We bought one of each in January. I thought I would like the small one but I use the large zippered one more, mostly for a beach bag.

I have to worn you that the quality is poor. The stitching on both bags started coming apart after just moderate use. My wife has resown them but we are careful not to carry to much weight. I would have returned them both if we were in the USA. It a shame since we have other RS products, like daypacks, that we have used over a decade.

Posted by
882 posts

For the budget minded traveler (like me) "SKYNKE" - available at IKEA (in stores or on-line) is 17 3/4" x 14 1/4" and costs a buck and a half. No zipper. It weighs one ounce.

Posted by
6274 posts

I love IKEA products and have a couple of those bags that I use for groceries, but right now the only colors available are the large black and white vertical stripes (think circus tent stripes) and a bright pink color with large polka dots (think clown). I would use them as grocery totes but not for travel. There's another more muted color but it's out of stock right now. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/skynke-shopping-bag-black-beige-dot-pattern-80534598/#content

Posted by
3992 posts

I appreciate the warning about the poor quality as I will not put up with that. What a real shame. Thank you for that heads up. I have one of those IKEA bags but it has ripped. We have used it many times when we do big grocery shopping outside NYC at Walmart. I think our checked IKEA bag gave up the ghost!

Thanks for the suggestions about Patagonia & those Amazon brands.

Posted by
6274 posts

So blue439 told me about how s/he bought 2 dozen of the pink and black polka dotted IKEA bags for that low, low price and gave them to fellow travellers on a Rick Steves tour.

I think that is such a cool idea! I hereby take back my comment about the colors of the bags!

I do not own the Arxus bag. I hope another poster can chime in here. Or, you can read reviews. For the cost, I would not expect outstanding quality. But, sometimes cheap stuff works well and may be worth a shot. I wouldn’t pack anything like wine bottles in it and check it. I’m thinking clothes, toiletries, travel book, etc.. I would only pack valuables in it if using as an underseat bag.