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  1. #1
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    Approaches to packing -- packing cube selection

    For some time now, I pack most everything in one large packing cube -- pants, t-shirts, underwear and socks. And I slip that into my travel bag -- whether it's the Western Flyer, Brain Bag, or Aeronaut 45 (or the Tri-Star or Aeronaut 30, more on that later). The bag I select depends on how much stuff I am bringing with me.

    I would like to try a different approach for trips that are 3+ days longs -- placing pants in one packing cube and t-shirts in another (two smalls, a small and a medium, not sure). Perhaps the underwear and socks in another packing cube, or underwear and socks each in their own stuff sack.

    The idea is that it is easier to grab the next clean whatever from its respective packing cube or stuff sack, rather than grabbing a pair of pants from under the layer of t-shirts, etc.

    The packing cubes will be stacked vertically, as I carry these bags with the backpack straps. I think that if the bag is full, the internal pressure should keep the packing cubes flat. If the bag isn't full, I am wondering if the packing cubes may not sag down on each other.

    I think the idea sounds sane, but I just wanted to get some thoughts on this if there is something I am overlooking.

    Thanks!!
    -m

  2. #2
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    Looking forward to these answers. I tried to ask something similar when I got my first bag and TB cubes. I'm used to using the eagle creek Spectre cubes that are smaller in size. I pack smaller cubes very full and tight and use a few of them. With the PCBP or large cube for a Smart Alec I can essentially put everything in one cube with excess space making it more slouchy. Both ways I can fit everything in the bag just didn't know if there was any main reason in packing to use fewer big cubes. Or how clothes do in terms of wrinkles when the cube isn't full and they are turned vertically in a backpack.

  3. #3
    Forum Member wolpertinger's Avatar
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    I realized soon, that using one big packing cube is not right for me. It feels too much like stuffing everything into one bag, so at my destination I have to search through all clothes.

    My separation approaches include by temperature (good/bad weather) and by use (I.e. city/hiking).

    As you see, I really like to have a System.
    Thinking about it, I should also separate undies and socks, even if it all fits in one small TSS.
    As long as I pack careful, I never had issues with wrinkles, but my clothes don't get wrinkled easily.

    My last test was a weekend trip with the Night Flight and two Night Flight Packing Cubes. One cube swallows one outfit, which is perfect for me. But I wouldn't try with winter clothing.

    I cannot answer on the "if packing cubes/bag are not full" question, because for some reason that hardly happens to me.

    I also highly recommend a stuff sack for dirty clothes, so they are out of the way.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    I usually pack 3 clothing cubes: one stuffed large eagle creek specter cube for tops and bottoms, another for my fleece or raincoat, and a half specter cube for underthings and sleepwear. I put things like scarves in small size 1 stuff sacks. I use the Aeronaut 30 and have a lot of electronics, so space is limited and my rule is that if I can't fit an article of clothing in the large clothing cube, then I can't bring it. The large specter cube I pack my jacket in usually becomes my dirty clothes container, or else I use my sea to summit 40 liter duffel (packs extremely tiny) for dirty clothes.
    It is easy to over-organize a bag with too many internal bags, I have discovered. I am constantly refining my internal bag organization so I am not digging for loose stuff on the one hand, or unzipping a million pouches on the other.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    I usually pack 3 clothing cubes: one stuffed large eagle creek specter cube for tops and bottoms, another for my fleece or raincoat, and a half specter cube for underthings and sleepwear. I put things like scarves in small size 1 stuff sacks. I use the Aeronaut 30 and have a lot of electronics, so space is limited and my rule is that if I can't fit an article of clothing in the large clothing cube, then I can't bring it. The large specter cube I pack my jacket in usually becomes my dirty clothes container, or else I use my sea to summit 40 liter duffel (packs extremely tiny) for dirty clothes.
    It is easy to over-organize a bag with too many internal bags, I have discovered. I am constantly refining my internal bag organization so I am not digging for loose stuff on the one hand, or unzipping a million pouches on the other.
    This has pretty much been my strategy. One large eagle creek large for clothes and a smaller one for undergarments. I had two different colors of the eagle creeks for clean and dirty and they squish to nothing empty. So the dirties are empty at the start and clean are empty at the end. Most fleeces get pretty bulky so I've gravitated to an ultra light packable down or primaloft jacket or a Columbia Omniheat fleece (the little metallic dots that reflect heat making the jacket much thinner. With my new TB packing cubes I feel like if I fill them I overpack!

  6. #6
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    Thank you, all!

    I just ordered a small and medium packing cube for the Tri-Star, along with a Tri-Star!

    I have a trip in December, but can't wait -- will do some test packing when I get the Tri-Star and packing cubes!!
    -m

  7. #7
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    Packing Cubes

    Greetings,
    Large packing cubes seem too big for my requirements. My folded clothes don't fill them and end up sliding to the bottom in my Synapse25 backpack. This usually equals lots of wrinkles.

    When I remove folded clothes from a packing cube, I always manage to mess up the remaining clothes. Rolling my clothes eliminates this problem and avoids most wrinkles. Rolling in a way that avoids wrinkles takes slightly longer than folding clothes, but works better for me.

    I put tops and skirts in a half cube. Sleepwear and a down travel pillow go in a EC Spectre compression half cube. Socks and undergarments usually go in a quarter cube, a tube cube, or a stuff sack, depending on what bag I'm using and where there is space.

    I'm experimenting with putting two half cubes into the PCBP or DLBP. It is my hope that this would keep the clothing layer thin in the S25, while avoiding the "everything slides to the bottom" effect.

    The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag is a tiny bit larger than the Eagle Creek half cube.
    (PCSB 11.75 x 7.75 x 3; EC HC 10 x 7 x 3) Both fit very well in many bags, from backpacks to luggage. The PCSB, with its outside pocket and optional shoulder strap, makes it more versatile. I've had the EC products longer, so I'm still testing the PCSB as a packing cube.

    Thank you, everyone, for sharing your methods and ideas! elisa

  8. #8
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    If I don't need the space of a large A30 PC, I place a small A30 cube or stuff sack in the large cube to separate items.

  9. #9
    Forum Member readmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djjr View Post
    If I don't need the space of a large A30 PC, I place a small A30 cube or stuff sack in the large cube to separate items.
    Similar tip: A large Dyneema OP works very well inside a large A45 packing cube to separate smaller (or more delicate) items. (I like Dyneema because it has more give, but any large OP would do.)

  10. #10
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    I travel primarily in a Tristar and use small and medium packing cubes almost exclusively. The only exception being when I overpack the tristar and use the center section for clothes, in which case they go in a large PCBP to make it easier to slide in and out of the center section.

    For me I don't put pants in a cube, but strap them down. Socks and undies go in a small cube and shirts go in a medium cube.

  11. #11
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    Yes, I will do some experimentation with what works best and what size cube for my clothes. In hindsight, perhaps I should've ordered one more small cube. I also forgot the size 2 stuff sacks I was thinking of for the underwear and socks. but I am sure I will be placing another order on 30-Nov.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    -m

  12. #12
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
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    If I'm flying with my Aeronaut 45, I take one set of unmentionables and roll it into a shirt, then do that two or three more times and put them in a small packing cube or PCSB. That way, I have most of one day's clothes all together, so less rummaging through the cube. I typically travel with one extra pair of pants, and that goes into the same cube if there's room, or under the cube in my Aeronaut if there isn't. Then exercise clothes and other miscellaneous stuff (swim suit, for example) go in another cube or a stuff sack. That leaves room for a in-flight/day bag (LCB or S19, depending on the trip) on top in the main compartment. Running shoes in an all-fabric cube go in one end pocket, toiletries and other little gear in the other end pocket, and Bob's your uncle.

  13. #13
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    My "go to" travel bag is my WF--I use 2 of the smaller WF packing cubes in the large back compartment (1 for shirts and a sweater and 1 for socks, undies, and a night shirt...in the winter I tuck in gloves/hat/cowl). I use these as a "core" and bundle wrap any pants, skirts, dresses around it. This has worked very well for me and seems to avoid creasing. It also leaves the divided front part "available" for other items.
    Lots of assorted purples, some blues, and a bit of black: 2S19, 5SE, 2WF, MCB, SCB, Imago, 2S, LS, TT, K, 2QC, 5 3D, 4WFSBPC, 2WFBPPC, FJNB, 4Wallets, 4LSB, 2SSB, DLBP, Pilot, Assorted sacks, packing cubes, organizer pouches, key straps :-)

  14. #14
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    interesting topic as I often find people pack them different too.
    I have the tristar and I use the large, medium and small for the tristar
    I pack the large with shorts, and t shirts. I have not yet decided the best method yet. I usually roll them as I find I can get more things in. If I am brining pants I strap them in the large section
    Medium cube is for the bathing suites, tank tops. Sometimes underwear and socks as well
    Small is either flip fops or underwear and socks.
    The centre portion is usually for paperwork. I have put flip flops in an eagle creek shoe cube and I have used an eagle creak shirt folder (can not remember what they call them) in this section if I am just taking a few shirts. I try to leave it as empty as possible depending on the trip.
    I also never use to use it as a backpack so I have put flip flops in there or travel paper work, book etc..... but lately as I am getting older I am finding I switch between shoulder back and backpack so I try to leave it empty

  15. #15
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    You'll find that the only limits to how to use packing cubes is the limit you put on your imagination.

    I pack differently depending on the type of bag I'm using, the type of trip I'm going on, and how long I'll be away. It's all about maximizing space while staying organized.

    For pants and shirts, I go back and forth between and EC Packing Folder and a larger size packing cube. If I have folded shirts, and use the cube instead of the folder, I'll place cardboard sheets inside the folded shirts to keep them from wrinkling. In a sense, I'm using the cardboard as a folding board.

    I mostly put undies, socks t-shirts, athletic shorts (good for sleeping and lounging around) in a smaller cube. These are rolled.

    Sweaters can go in either cube depending on how many I'm taking and the type of cube I'm using.

    I then try to place them in such a way that no matter how I carry the bag, the items inside don't move around much. This is done by trial and error.

    I also use smaller cubes of different sizes for all the little miscellaneous items we all take along on trips. These fill in the gaps. (Sometimes I use sacs instead of cubes for this purpose.)

    I also use the internal tie down straps to hold everything in place.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

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