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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Compression Packing Cubes

    Before TB, I never used packing cubes. And even now, I pretty much only use the one that holds my pants/shirts to keep them separate from my laptop when both are riding in the same section of my Pilot or WF. However, I've always found that my TB packing cubes are 'squishable'. They tend to take the maximum space in the compartments because they can. I can easily squeeze them to fit other things in, but in the case of things like my laptop, I have to constantly squeeze it every time I put the laptop back. When I'm at some client sites, I might be doing that every 1/2 hour as I go from meeting to meeting. So I've been curious about trying out a compression packing cube instead. Something like this one from Eagle Creek:

    https://www.eaglecreek.com/shop/pack...nId=233#hero=1

    I'm thinking maybe the fact it's always compressed will help streamline my bag, and make it easier to toss my laptop back in, etc... But I'd like some real-world feedback from those of you who've used them before I drop $30+US Taxes+Shipping+Exchange Rate+Cdn Taxes+Duty+Brokerage Fees on one.

  2. #2
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    I have compression Eagle Creek regular and compression packing cubes of various sizes as well as TB packing cubes. I've use them for work, for hiking trips - both day and hike-throughs, and so on. I thought compression cubes would be so cool and I've actually come to the conclusion that they do what should already be happening during packing with the exception of awkward puffy items.

    For your unique usage, I would understand your interest in a compression packing cube. I would think that either a compression packing cube would address your specific point of contention or that the size of your cube is too big for your items. Compression and taking in the "depth" of the cube might be the precise thing you're looking for. However if you're still using too big of a cube, then you might still be unhappy.
    The bigs: BB ■ | S25 ■ | Pilot
    The littles: LS ■ | LSB | SSB | PCSB | SE | CC | 3DOC | PP

  3. #3
    Forum Member Aeon's Avatar
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    The only packing cubes I have are Eagle Creek: the regular, OG ones; the lighterweight silnylon ones; and the Specter compression ones (but mine aren't labeled "Tech" like the ones you linked to).

    The compression cubes are okay. I'm probably not going to explain this well so bear with me, but for the compression cubes to actually compress, the cube has an extra layer of material between the zipper than the standard cubes. I found that this layer VERY EASILY gets caught in the zip, so I have to be more careful when zipping and unzipping the cube. At first I thought this wouldn't be irksome, but it has very much been so. Also, if you overpack or don't pack your cube just right, the compressed cube becomes more dome-like in shape with the middle bulging out (like a Synapse in turtle-mode). This really does nothing to actually increase packing space imo.

    Where I actually LOVED using my compression cube was packing my not so thin cardigan in my S25 for work each day. With a typical day's loadout, it was a tight squeeze if I put my cardigan in my silnylon cube. As long as I folded my cardigan so that it was an even layer and not haphazardly thrown into the cube, I found that the compression worked wonders and gave me just enough added space to move everything in and out of the main compartment.

    But.

    I find as long as I use my silnylon cubes like a giant Ziploc -- rolling out the extra air in the cube before zipping it all the way -- I get similar results to the compression cube without the irritation of the extra fabric between the zipper.

    Will I buy extra compression cubes? Nope. Will I continue to use the three that I have? Yes. They can definitely work in some applications (I have a compression makeup bag that I love and will use until it breaks), but for clothes they're not the end all, be all. I never really see the advantage of using only compression cubes to gain more space in my pack, but that might be a function of the bag I choose and my overall packing style.
    Last edited by Aeon; 04-02-2019 at 09:51 AM.

    Long live Burnt Orange! Zest! 152!

  4. #4
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    I have the Eagle Creek Specter cubes in regular, compression cubes, and their clean/dirty cubes (like the TB laundry cubes). I only use the compression cubes for clothing that's puffy and can compress. So I use the compression cubes for wool knits and sweaters. Cotton and poly clothing is not going to compress, so I use Eagle Creek packing folders, because those will compress down to whatever size your clothing is.

    TLDR; Try the Eagle Creek Specter packing folders.

  5. #5
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    Yeah I've found that compression cubes are rarely helpful. It's easier just to use smaller cubes. The EC silnylon ones are my favorite. TB's are generally bigger than I find useful, though I'm liking how my PCSB can hold a full day's worth of clothes AND toiletries AND accessories for the times when I want to organize by day/event rather than clothing items.

  6. #6
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    I think in your use case, where you have a laptop coming in and out of the same compartment as the packing cube, it would help a lot for you to have a compression cube. It will make the tension on the fabric tight so that the laptop can slide against it rather than cause it to bunch.

    I searched for compression cubes on Amazon Canada, and found Eagle Creek ones as well as other brands I am not familiar with:
    https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=Compression+packing+cubes

    Hope this helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
    Before TB, I never used packing cubes. And even now, I pretty much only use the one that holds my pants/shirts to keep them separate from my laptop when both are riding in the same section of my Pilot or WF. However, I've always found that my TB packing cubes are 'squishable'. They tend to take the maximum space in the compartments because they can. I can easily squeeze them to fit other things in, but in the case of things like my laptop, I have to constantly squeeze it every time I put the laptop back. When I'm at some client sites, I might be doing that every 1/2 hour as I go from meeting to meeting. So I've been curious about trying out a compression packing cube instead. Something like this one from Eagle Creek:

    https://www.eaglecreek.com/shop/pack...nId=233#hero=1

    I'm thinking maybe the fact it's always compressed will help streamline my bag, and make it easier to toss my laptop back in, etc... But I'd like some real-world feedback from those of you who've used them before I drop $30+US Taxes+Shipping+Exchange Rate+Cdn Taxes+Duty+Brokerage Fees on one.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Thanks all, Thanks to Cristina's tip, I found some on Amazon (I was placing an order anyways for other stuff). Gonna try it out when it gets here and see how it works. Hopeful it'll improve my travels but if not, oh well, I'm sure they'll find a use somewhere.

  8. #8
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    If you are buying Eagle Creek products from Canada, I recommend checking out Jet-Setter online. I haven’t ordered from them in a while, but I remember good customer service and a good selection of Eagle Creek products.

    https://www.jet-setter.ca/collections/Eagle-Creek

    Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Surprisingly, for only ordering yesterday, they showed up today, I'll have to see how it does. It's smaller than my Pilot packing cube, so we'll need to give it a test when I'm out next week.

  10. #10
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    Compression cubes have their place--I also have the EC Spectre and use them when I'm looking to save a bit of space. (Otherwise, I just use regular TB non-compressable because it helps to save one step.)

    For making it easier to slide your laptop in and out, it'll definitely help. I've got the same problem with inserting an iPad into an interior sleeve in a different non-TB bag that I often travel with. When the bag is very full, there's extra pressure on the sleeve making it hard to take out and especially put back the iPad--reducing some vertical depth of the bag's load would help...alas, I just deal with it b/c it's not that big of a pain point. Ideally, that bag would have a separate laptop + ipad compartment that I could access--think the Minnal Daily bag.

  11. #11
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    I've bought EC gear from Jet-setter before as they had better pricing than Amazon. What I've done in the past is for fluffy items that will actually compress is to put them into a large zip lock and use that to compress the air...then pack that either in a packing cube with other things or just treat it like it's own packing cube....but them I'm notoriously cheap

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    TLDR; Try the Eagle Creek Specter packing folders.
    I watched the EC packing folder videos and wonder the value of the "packing board" for folding to the correct size to match a packing cube. Admittedly, I am not a good folder of clothes and especially when I tried to fold clothes into my A45 large packing cube. (fold too wide, too narrow, etc) I felt folding well could (and does) get fit more clothes per cube, but I struggled matching fold size to packing cube size and now thing making a packing board from cardboard would help greatly.

    Is the packing board useful or do they make it use look easy in the video? Is using a packing folder far superior to a packing cube if someone folds clothes for packing?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by organicfarmer View Post
    Is the packing board useful or do they make it use look easy in the video? Is using a packing folder far superior to a packing cube if someone folds clothes for packing?
    I have some of the EC folders and do use the packing board when using them... I only use them when I have to travel with nicer/formal shirts/blouses vs my normal work clothes. They both help size things exactly to fit and help compress/keep neat the packet of clothes in your bag.

    For the TB cubes, I use the small, not the larges, because it fits my packing style better. I found that the first couple of times I had to fiddle to learn the best folding method -but it's easy now that I've done it so many times. Try starting your fold on the cube when it's lying open - decide how many items across you're going to put in and work it out with the first couple before replicating that fold pattern.

    Making your own packing boards would help, but I think you'll find that it just takes practice.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too!

  14. #14
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    I love the EC folding boards that come with the packing folders. It makes it so easy to fold a shirt or pants to exactly the right size and shape to fit in the packing folder. I found that the folding board is also the same size and shape as some of my other bags, so even if I don't use a cube or folder, I may still bring the folding board as it helps in folding my clothing. And then I place the folder on top of the clothing and it keeps everything from shifting.

  15. #15
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    I really like the EC compression packing cubes. I don't often fill up a full-size cube so without the compression my clothes would be sinking to the bottom and getting extra wrinkled.

    I also like that it keeps the package of clothing small and tight which makes it easier to get in and out of the bag with little things like scarves or umbrellas taking up the gaps.

    I've wanted to switch over to Aether packing cubes for awhile now to have a matching set of TB travel gear but without the compression they just won't work for me.

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