on June 1, 2014
Summary: Strong initial impression of quality; small sizes overall - plan accordingly; wish EC offered more than four colors, for color-coding.
Just received the 3-cube EC Pack-It set, which I ordered at the same time as a Travelwise 3-cube set. The Eagle Creek set is smaller overall, which works for me as I plan to use it for my 6yo's clothing for an upcoming multi-week, multi-stop trip.
- The largest cube (~10 x 14") is *roughly* the size of a large-format magazine, and 3" deep.
- The middle size (9" x 7") is about the size of a small cereal box, or slightly bigger than a guidebook (DK Eyewitness size, not Rick Steves).
- And the smallest cube (8 x 4") is about the size of a Jambox speaker or three iPhones in a row. (Why is this size info not available on Amazon's product page?? Also, just noticed than one of the Amazon reviews says they received one large and two half-cubes. I actually would've preferred that set.)
ETA: Went over to the Eagle Creek site and the items in this set are classifed as: cube, half-cube, quarter cube.
The interior seams are nicely finished and zippers work smoothly (there are double/two-way zippers for each bag, so you can open or close at any point along the opening). I hope to report back on the durability and stain resistance of the fabric/mesh after we get back from our trip, but for now it seems sturdy enough. The mesh is the same color as the fabric (vs. the Travelwise set which has black mesh). I'm pleased that the cubes did not have a strong plastic smell when I took them out of the package.
For a starter set I like the quality of the items, but wish the cube sizes were larger across the board or that there were two of the largest size and one small cube (rather than XS/S/M). Note that I am planning to use this to pack a (shared) family suitcase; I might find the current combination just perfect if I was trying to do one-bag travel for myself. (The largest EC cube is about the size of the Travelwise medium cube.)
Going forward I may add another cube (largest size in this set) or the double cube, which is available separately.
And just for the wish list, it would be great if Eagle Creek had more colors available for the Pack-It system beyond black, blue, green, red. (I ordered the Travelwise set because EC doesn't offer purple.) With multiple family members sharing a bag, it's nice to be able to color-code to other travel things we already own.
Will try to update once we get back.
on October 16, 2014
Let's be real. A bag is rarely a perfect shape and sticking a bunch of cubes into it will not allow you to put more in the bag. These will, however, allow you to keep a lot more organized and help make sure you get the same items to fit every time with a lot less wrinkles.
There are a lot of complaints that these aren't as big as the eBags ones but to be honest, I think that Eagle Creek is targeting the more mobile traveler. A single large fills about half my Osprey Farpoint 40 pack so it's a much less flexible option for me. When I pack my 100L rolling duffel to check at the counter, I definitely reach for my large eBags cube but for a backpack, they're simply too big and the extra weight from the heavier cubes are just not worth it to me.
I normally travel with 2 full cubes, a half cube, and one or two quarter cubes depending on what I'm taking. I like the small ones for things like my running shorts/top and swim trunks because it keeps them separate from the rest of my clothes. I also use a compression stuff sack for socks and underwear since wrinkles are meaningless and I can get an extra few days' worth in there.
This setup has allowed me to pack a full 10 days into my Farpoint pack without having to wash clothes. I bring small trash bags and pack my clean and dirty clothes into the same cubes they came from by wrapping them in the bags. it's been a very efficient way to travel and I've never found myself needing more.
So if you are packing light and looking to maximize what you can fit into a backpack, get these. If you're packing for multiple people and/or into a huge suitcase, the ebags are more than likely what you need.
on June 9, 2014
I liked these so much that I think I just might get another set for myself! I feel so much more organized now that I have these cubes!!! Instead of shoving socks, bras, and undies into random places and having to search the whole suitcase for them they have their own little home now! Same for my shirts and pants- all in one little cube and extremely easy to get to.
The only issue that I saw with this set was that the small cube was just too small to carry my socks and panties for a week, so I got the half cube and it works like a charm! I wear mostly smalls and mediums (I'm 5'4") and all of my clothes fit very well in the cubes.. if I were packing this way for my boyfriend I do NOT think it would work well because he is very tall (6'5") and skinny, so his clothes are HUGE compared to mine. He doesn't even seem interested in the whole travel organization thing anyway, so it works out! :P
I would definitely recommend these lightweight cubes for anyone who travels domestically or internationally. We are going on a week vacation this summer and will be going via plane, so I will be putting my cubes in a normal 21" rollerboard. However, I am sure they would work very well in any luggage you have. The large cube is the hole width of my suitcase, the half-cube is just that and the small is about a quarter of the large.
As a teacher I use these sorts of bags not just for packing, but for organization in my backpack and bags.
These are very well made, although also more expensive, than some other brands I use.
The zippers work well, and I appreciate that there are two zip puls, my cheaper ones have only one zip, so you must open and close from one side.
These are on the small side for clothes, I have attached a photograph with a soda can for scale.
on July 18, 2014
I bought the Eagle Creek Packing cubes at first then purchased this set to compare before I order some more. I thought that this set of eBags were costly than the Eagle Creek but then I have not seen both of the orders yet. When they arrived, the eBags were a better purchase! Here's why--the largest bag for Eagle Creek is actually equivalent to the size and dimension of the medium eBag, while the medium Eagle Creek is equal to the smallest eBag packing cube. The Eagle Creek packing cubes is great just for tiny kids,toddlers or babies but not for Adult use especially if you have bulky clothes. If you roll your clothes up they will fit just fine with both Eagle Creek and eBags. In summary, the eBags are $3++ worth it than Eagle Creek Packing Cubes--both in price and capacity. I can't say much about the quality yet since I just bought them this week but in a few years, whichever lasts longer, I will come back and buy some more and give a feedback on its durability. I hope there are more color choices though. Note: I ironed some iron-on name tags on them with both Eagle Creek and eBags and they both didn't melt, burn or got deformed. P.S. I just cut and paste this review from my eBag review since I am comparing both products.
When looking at packing cubes, there are three questions:
1) Are they worth using?
2) Which brands work best?
3) What sizes of cubes are most useful?
Are they worth using? This depends on what kind of travel you do. If you pack your suitcase, travel to one destination, unpack, stay there for ten days, then repack the dirty clothes are return, I see no real value in packing cubes -- they'll just reduce flexibility and (very slightly) increase weight. But if your typical trip is like mine, where a ten day trip might cover four or five cities/countries, so you're changing hotels every couple of nights, then packing cubes are invaluable. Without packing cubes, you're faced with the bad choice of either living out of your suitcase or unpacking/repacking ever other day. With packing cubes, you can put different items in different cubes (e.g., shirts in one, underwear in another, pants in a third, dirty clothes in a fourth), then unpacking just means removing a handful of cubes from your suitcase, and repacking is just as easy. If you hop between cities, and you haven't used packing cubes, they'll change the way you pack and travel. Also, cubes are great if you need to unpack to help airport security find a particular item they can't identify on the scanner.
Which brands work best? My favorite cubes are the cubes from eBags and those from Eagle Creek, with Rick Steves a more distant third. The Eagle Creak cubes are made of a durable fabric, sort of like a lightweight nylon canvas. The front panel is mesh so you can see what's inside the cube. They have a convenient carry handle and zippers that open around three sides and all four corners, which is essential for easy packing. The zippers open smoothly, and fabric is durable. The eBags cubes have a very similar design (with a solid back, mesh front, carry handle, and all-around zippers), but eBags uses a parachute cloth, similar to that of Eagle Creek's Ultra-Light line. I prefer the eBags cube fabric, since it's a bit lighter and also a bit smoother (as a result, the eBags cubes seem to me to nestle into position better, and it's a bit easier to pull one out from the bottom if needed). The Rick Steves cubes are all mesh. That means they're very light, but it also means they're very prone to snags. My Rick Steves cubes developed holes in the mesh after just a few uses, whereas the other brands look like new after much heavier use. Bottom line: After a few trips around the globe, it's eBags by a half length, followed by Eagle Creek, with Rick Steves a distant third.
What sizes are most useful? Personally, I prefer to pack using cubes of the same size. Assuming your suitcase is rectangular, it's more efficient to have 4-6 cubes that you can stack like bricks (say 2-3 cubes in the lower half of the suitcase and 2-3 in the upper half). This fills up the "box" efficiently and makes it super easy to pack. So, personally, I'd recommend measuring your suitcase and buying multiple cubes of the same size, rather than a set with three different size cubes. Having said that, the cubes in this set will neatly tile a suitcase that's about 15-16" by 19-20" inside, which is roughly the size of many carry-ons. So, if your suitcase has roughly these dimensions, two of these sets will efficiently fill the space (since each cube is about 3" thick when filled). In any case, the sizes of cubes that are most useful are those that "tile" the inside space of your suitcase, neatly fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle with no empty spaces, and that hold the stuff you travel with.
Overall: Packing cubes are awesome if you travel with multiple stops. Eagle Creek and eBags have worked best for me (with a slight preference for eBags due to the parachute cloth fabric, but both are excellent -- good design, good materials, high quality construction). Measure your suitcase to figure out what sizes of cubes make most sense for you -- pick bags that cover the interior space like tiles.