The Eagle Creek line of Pack-it cubes and folders has been a runaway success, to the point where one person from the company told me a couple years ago that they make more profit from these little pieces of fabric with a zipper than they do from the feature-rich products that got them started so long ago: backpacks.
I’ve got mixed feelings about these packing accessories, as outlined in one of our perennially most popular posts, The Pros and Cons of Packing Cubes. But people who love to be organized and get giddy over a shopping trip to the Container Store think these packing cubes are the greatest thing ever. One of those people is my wife, so whether I pack them in my bag or not, they get a lot of use.
I like these new Specter ones from Eagle Creek more than past iterations because they take up no extra room whatsoever. They’re super-thin and wispy light, to the point where the extra millimeter or two of thickness they add is going to have zero impact on your packing space. This translucent material is the same type of refined nylon used in lightweight tents and is amazingly strong. It weighs next to nothing though: the 14-inch-long cube, for example, only weighs one ounce.
They come in a variety of sizes you can buy individually (list price $12 to $24) or you can buy a set of three for $35 to $38. The general idea is that these pouches keep your clothes organized so you can pack and unpack with ease. This is especially useful if you’re going to be changing hotels several times in one trip. They also give you a place to put dirty laundry as you use up your clothes, keeping dirty things separated from clean ones. One thing I do use one of these for regularly is packing shoes. If they get dirty, no worries.
There’s nothing complicated about these products—just rectangles or pouches with a zipper—but if you’ve got a set of these there’s guidance on how to effectively pack a suitcase, should you need help with that.
A little more complicated but quite useful for business travelers is the Pack-It Specter Folder for shirts. I’ve used an older, thicker version of this whenever I’ve had to pack some dress shirts to look presentable. This folder, which comes with a handy hard plastic sheet to help you fold your shirts to fit, keeps your nice shirts/blouses relatively wrinkle-free and protected from the other items in your bag. This Specter version is much lighter and thinner than the one I’ve been using, but just as strong. It costs a bit more, at $32 for the 18-inch version, but if you travel a lot on business it’s well worth it.
These items come in multiple color combinations, though the packing cubes are generally ghostly white with colored trim. See more details at the Eagle Creek site, where you can buy direct. You can shop for the cube sets online at Zappos, or eBags. Get the shirt folder at Backcountry, Amazon, or Summit Hut.