I’ve been using the Eagle Creek Pack-It Compression Sac for three years of hard travel, and it’s proven to be the best compression sack I could own. Here’s my review.
When I was first loading my pack for my around-the-world adventure, I had NO idea what I was doing. Luckily, a friend said “Why don’t you get some of those bags that you can squeeze the air out of?”
“Like vacuum bags?”
“Yeah, but you roll them.”
I’d never heard of these bags, but I found them on Amazon and ordered them, and I’ve been using them ever since.
How Eagle Creek Pack-It Compression Sacks work
You stuff them with clothes (not too full), seal the thick double zip lock at one end, and then roll them to squeeze the air out the other end. Three one-way air valves allow air to push out of the bag, but they don’t let any air come back in. (Still don’t get it? There’s a video at the bottom of this post).
Why I love them
Who would think a giant ziplock baggie could last for six years?
I bought Eagle Creek because they had a reputation for quality, and it paid off. I’ve packed, rolled, stuffed, and unrolled these bags a hundred times now, and they’re still going strong. Honestly, after six years of hard use I would have forgiven them if they split open on a seam or started leaking — but they haven’t.
It’s incredible how much they compress my clothing. I usually keep my off-season items in the medium-sized bag, at the bottom of my pack, and my in-season clothing in the larger one, at the top of my pack.
They’re light as a feather. They keep my clothes organized and dry, and let me carry a lot more gear for all the conditions and activities I encounter. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without them.
There’s always a downside, right?
The yellow plastic doodad that helps you zip the bags comes off, and I’ve lost and found both of mine inside my pack a dozen times. Luckily, you can zip the bag without it (or share one between both bags).
Different kinds of packing require very different kinds of gear. These are perfect for the serious backpacker carrying wrinkle-resistant clothing. But I can’t recommend these if you’re carrying clothes that wrinkle. For that kind of travel, you’re probably better off with packing cubes. All the “suitcase travelers” I know rave about packing cubes, but I left my [expensive] set behind in a hostel only a few months into my journey; they’re bulky and not very useful if you’re carrying a backpack.
Bonus use: When I was in Cartagena with no air con, my computer was acting up because of the constant humidity. I started putting it to bed in a sealed Eagle Creek compression sac every night, with a couple of handfuls of rice, and that really seemed to help.
You can usually get good prices on Eagle Creek Compression Sacks on Amazon.com.
Want to see what else is in my pack?
I know people are curious, and after six years on the road I’ve weeded out the things that didn’t work and narrowed it down to just the very best items. I’ve laid everything out for you in this post about my gear.