Maximize luggage space without using vacuum cleaner hoses to remove air and you will have plenty of room for all the new "stuff" you'll buy in ports to take home in the same piece of luggage! These are the answer to a traveler's prayer!
Go to Bagsbuy.com (affiliate of Shoebuy.com) and check out the travel accessories area or in the search space enter: Eagle Creek Pack-It Compressor Bags (also come in 2 or 3 pack sets) I have the 2-pk set (1 medium measures 15.5"x24.5" and the large is 17.5"x28.5") No vacuum needed to remove air; it reduces the volume (space in luggage) by 80% and can be used for clean/dry items or for wet clothes as well (suggest wet stuff not remain in sealed bag for long period of time).
I fold clothes flat and neatly (shirts, pants, bathing suits, sweats/fleece jackets, undies, etc) layer items in same direction, one on top of the other, with any pins, zippers, buttons or any sharp decorations on garment facing the inner most section of the clothing. Leave 2-3 inches of space at each end of the bag (one end has a plastic zipper slide and the other end has the valves that allow the compressed air to be released. If not done properly the zipper will not hold the vacuum) Work on hard, flat surface when packing.
Slide the zipper closed. Start ROLLING the bag from the zipper end to the opposite end (valves) Roll as tightly as possible (you will see and hear the air being forced out) For maximum compression you can just turn the bag over and roll it again to force any air pockets thru valves.
I bought some King Sized Non-Allergic Firm pillows recently to be used on new bedrm furniture we bought. I wanted to use them only on the new bedding, but my linen closet is really small - so I tried putting the pillows into the Compressor bags and used up only a fraction of space in the closet that would have otherwise taken up three shelves! The pillows were taken out a few weeks later and immediately returned to their original size & shape; it also workes on comforters, bedspreads, winter coats and bulky clothing to be stored.
I kid you not! This is the real deal....all you have to do is slide the zipper open to restore your "stuff"! And, little or no wrinkling with clothing that is placed neatly when packed.
I searched a few sites for best pricing on Eagle Creek bags - the best deal I got was on Bagsbuy.com. I am a registered buyer so I saved an extra 10% off the 15% discounted promotional sale price of $25.95.(for 2 pc set I paid $18.32). Also, that site never charges sales tax or shipping/handline and even if you want to return anything, they pay the return shipping & handling! That goes for Shoebuy.com too - if you register (no strings attached) for savings e-mail messages, you get all discounts on both sites and everytime you make a purchase within 60 days of your last purchase, you get another 10% or more off your order!
If anyone reads this and tries these bags I would like to know what your experience was if you leave feedback to this post.
Happy sailing to all!
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Even better than Zip-Locs - the bags that Target sells that are back by their closet clips, shoe bags, etc. (buy some closet clips too). I just used these on my cruise last week and they're great. You actually roll out the air and they take up less space then ziplocs. I'm going back to buy another box so that all of my stuff and my husband's will fit in one suitcase for a trip to Cabo San Lucas in September.
I didn't put my formal dress in the bags because I borrowed a two section suitcase from my in laws. It was perfect for the two dresses and two long pairs of pants that I took for evenings. I'm hoping MIL buys me this same suitcase for Christmas unless I get it for myself before then!!
True, zip locks help but they don't do near the job as the travel bags.
I bought a set at either WalMart or Target and they were a huge help on our Baltic and Alaska cruises. Particularly good for sweaters and sweats that take up so much space. And rolling around on the floor squishing out all that air is a great work out - more cheesecake please!
I have a question about compressing your clothes in those bags. I just bought some for an Alaskan cruise because of all the extra clothes you need to take for the climate. However, what happens if your bag is hand searched by some TSA employee? Most airports do baggage checks in areas where you cannot see them. So, what if they unzip those bags and let all the air out? Do you think that they will take the time to compress your clothes again? It seems unlikely to me. So I'm imaging in my head that they'll end up just shoving things back in and leaving things hanging out if they don't all fit.
I actually called the TSA and asked if they would open the bags and she said that they strongly suggest not using them for the reason I stated above. Has anyone ever had your bags "decompressed" so to speak?
We bought a box of space bags, and there were a few "roll-up" bags included. They are great because you can fill them up, then roll up and extract the air.
I also carry a folding bag with wheels that I bought at one of those airport shoppes a few years ago. It is about 1" x 12 x 6 when folded, but can hold a LOT of stuff when expanded out. It's very helpful for when your purchases exceed the limit of your suitcase!
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I bought some bags like these at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I think you got a set of three small, three medium and three large for about $20. They worked great and I didn't have a problem with the bags being searched. They save a lot of room!!
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Ive done both space saver bags and pack-it folders.
I'll keep my folders and you all can have those over priced ziplocks.
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I have a really stupid question about these bags....while you have your vaccum at home and "decompress" the bags....what happens when you come home and have no vaccum to decompress the bags before you come home? Aren't you faced with overflowing bags and no way to use these bags on the return? Am I missing something?
Good question, Chyna. I've used both the vacuum bags and ziplocks and ziplocks are just as good, IMHO. The cost is waaaay less and you don't have the vacuum issue. Just squish and go!
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I think I had better get some of those giant ziplocks, as "squish and go" sounds like my whole approach to packing for a cruise. Just kidding, although years ago, I was going on a cruise and had to go into work the day the ship left. Had been working really long hours, no time to pack properly. So that trip really was squish and go!
If you're flying to your embarkation port keep in mind that even compressed your things will weigh the same! While any kind of bags may be great for getting more into your luggage and minimizing wrinkles you don't want to be paying for overweight luggage!
Originally Posted by Magnolia Blossom
And rolling around on the floor squishing out all that air is a great work out - more cheesecake please!
I'll second that!
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the Pack Mate bags we use do not need a vacuum cleaner--they are designed with one-way valves that let the air out as you roll them up. We've been using them for 3 years and couldn't travel without them. We've never had them opened by TSA but, as stated above, there's very little that could be hidden in them when they are flattened. They free up a lot of space so that I have more room for my assorted colors of Crocs!
My sister gave me some of the roll-up bags for our upcoming cruise.
I put my "dress" diner shirts in one bag and did the roll trick. The shirts were all wrinkled. I had just ironed 5 of them now I have to re-iron them.
How do you get these gizzmos to work without wrinkling everything to death?
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