Despite loving travel and touring, and having no problem living out of a bag for a few days at a time, I find packing incredibly stressful. That stress is multiplied when I’m packing to go off on my motorbike for a few days. With very limited space, how am I supposed to choose what to take and what to leave behind? For example, when I was packing to go to Scotland last week I had to make a choice – iPad or hoodie. After lots of thought (way more than should have been necessary, in hindsight), I found a way to cheat and take both. Phew.
The rest of my clothing fitted in this one bright blue bag. The Spacepak Compression Unit by Flight001 was a gift from Bear & Bear who thought I might like to take a clean t-shirt for every day this time… and not have to wash my pants and socks half way through our holiday.
The bright blue bag by Flight001 is part of a range of soft compression packs that help you be organised with your packing. The air vents in the side of the pack allow you to squish the air out, meaning you aren’t packing extra volume unnecessarily.
LincsGeek uses a traditional compression bag for his clothing that has a one way valve, so he can squish out every last bit of air from the bag before sealing it and packing it. While the Spacepak does indeed have air vents so you can squish the air out, the bag cannot be completely sealed with the standard zip closure, which means it does allow the air back in. This isn’t one of those bags you can use to pack away your winter clothes under the bed in a tiny amount of space when they’re not needed; it’s a soft and squashable bag to put your clothes in that will then go inside another bag or suitcase to keep everything very organised. I found after using my body weight to remove the air as instructed, the bag stayed compressed long enough to stuff it inside my motorcycle pannier.
But – even with that said, I definitely won on the organisational side of things. I packed a pair of jeans, a pair of pyjamas, six ordinary t-shirts, a thin jumper, a set of thermals, my swim suit, and enough socks and pants for a week in the bag. I could have got more in, but I needed to keep the pack small enough to fit inside one of my panniers along with a pair of trainers – I tried and I could also fit a thin hoodie and a pair of walking trousers inside and it was still easy to close using the zip.
By far the best thing about this bag, and the reason I really like it (and why I’ve got the bright yellow “underwear” version sat in my basket over at Bear & Bear ready to purchase), is how it keeps everything so organised. The Spacepak Compression Unit opens up completely so you can put things in and take them out without having to unpack the whole bag. Everything stayed so neat. It wasn’t possible for LincsGeek to do that – his plastic compression bag required unpacking and repacking every day, and with the added compression came creases. The Spacepak also has a rather useful “clean and dirty” design so you can keep unworn and worn clothing separately, which made keeping everything orderly in the bunkhouse so easy, very important when you have just a little space and are sharing that with another human being.
I can see this being really handy whatever kind of travelling I am doing, and I know I shall get a lot of use out of it. It’s great for motorcycle touring but will also be good inside a suitcase, a holdall, or even just chucked in the boot of the car as it is. It even comes in it’s own storage bag – you know, just in case you don’t feel quite organised enough! I’m not sure it’ll take all the stress out of packing, but it certainly made me feel ordered and in control, if a bag inside a bag can do that!
Thanks to Bear & Bear for sending me this bright blue bag to try out.