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I have a number of Eagle Creek products because they offer great solutions to packing problems. They compact items that usually take up valuable room such as swimwear, t-shirts, undergarments and socks.
There are 6 sizes of cube to choose from. I have two different sizes, but regular cube measures 36cm x 25 cm by 8 cm and I use this for my pyjamas, socks and undergarment. The cube is perfect for travelling as you can squeeze so much into it and then pop it in your suit case. Once in your case, items are really easy to find, as all you need to do is pull out the packing cube. I always take the cube on holiday with me. Once I arrive at my destination, I can deposit whatever is in the cube into a drawer and then use the cube as a laundry basket and use it to keep all my dirty clothes together. My partner and I always take the cube when we go camping as it keeps the necessities; socks and underwear together, making it much easier to locate things in the confines of a tent.
We have had the Eagle Creek cube for a number of years and bought it from the Duty Free at an airport where there was a large display of Eagle Creek products and a video showing how they work. I was instantly taken with the products and bought two versions of the cube. The standard cube cost me £21.00.
The capacity of the cube is 10.5L and there is plenty of give in the material for you to squeeze a few extra things in. The cube fastens with a strong zip that is really robust and will withstand some rather rough handling. The main body of the cube is a thick polyester material combined with a mesh window at the front so you can look into the cube and see what is in it before having to open it. To assist you in moving the cube around, there is a strong handle at the top. This is secured with double stitching so it will not be pulled off easily.
It is so wonderful arriving at a destination and knowing that when you open your case, you know exactly where things are. Before the cubes, my suitcase was rather like a pandora's box and things would pop out all over the place and I could never find what I was looking for. Your holiday should begin as soon as you check in and you should not have to waste time unpacking a bag in order to find things. It makes life so much easier.
To refresh the cube, you can pop it in the washing machine and then dry on the line. I think it is important to put clean clothes in a clean bag. The range that Eagle Creek do in their Pack It line is extensive and you really can find a cube or box for everything. I'd fully recommend this product as not only is it really useful but it is really good quality.
So I wasn't too far wrong in guessing that I'm not the only one who doesn't like packing. We love our holidays - we don't like packing. So here is the follow up to the Eagle Creek Pack-it Folder - drum roll
. the Eagle Creek Pack-it Cube. A product so simple you'll wonder why you don't already have half a dozen (or if you do, you'll wonder why your friends and family didn't steal them all).
The Principle of Pack-It
The basic idea of the Pack-it system is that you can squeeze more into your luggage if you are loading regularly shaped blocks. And because the blocks are soft, they'll squidge a bit to maximise your space utilisation and they'll also compress your gear gently without messing it all up.
What's a Pack-It Cube?
A cube, put simply, is a bag that's shaped like a little suitcase with a zip the whole way round the opening. The top is usually made of mesh so you can see inside and recognise what you've packed. I've seen photos of more recently introduced versions with a see-through plastic lid but I think I'd rather stick to the mesh.
The next thing to say about the cube is that it isn't cubic. Not at all. It's oblong in shape and is about 2.5 to three inches deep. Some of the modern ones have a carry handle - I suppose it might be handy if you want to hang it but mine are old and I've never woken in the night fretting about the absence of a handle.
What sizes are available?
The three standard sizes are called the cube, the half cube and the quarter cube. Eagle Creek are American so the sizes are in inches - apologies to anyone under 35 brought up on metric. I took these off the Eagle Creek website.
Cube - 14 x 10 x 3 inches. Total volume 650 cubic inches or 10.5 litres
Half Cube - 10 x 7 x 3 inches. Total volume 300 cubic inches or 5 litres
Quarter Cube - 7.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 . Total volume 75 cubic inches or 1.2 litres
Now I don't know about you but those figures don't look right to me. My maths is pretty good and the numbers don't add up - the large one ought to come out at 420 cubic inches but maybe the 'old money' numbers work differently (all those rods, perches and fathoms) or more likely they are allowing for the compression factor that can be achieved. Just as when you zip up a suitcase you can always squeeze in more than the apparent volume maybe it's the same with a cube.
How would I use them?
My recommendation is to buy a selection. If you have a couple of each size, you should be able to cover off everything you might need for a fortnight.
* Use the full cube to pack bulkier items - fleeces, jumpers, casual trousers, flip flops etc.
* Use half-cubes for your t-shirts, PJ's, swimwear, underwear, socks etc.
* Use the quarters for your first aid kit or non-spill toiletries.
* Pack a quarter cube for each of your kids with goodies for the flight or journey - space for a game boy, some sweets, a book and so on (OK, I confess, I don't have kids so I don't really know what they need)
* Pack a half cube with the nappies and baby paraphernalia for the journey - you can tuck it under the plane seat.
* Pack a cube for a day at the beach - keeps everything together so you are less likely to leave stuff behind.
* If you are backpacking in hostels and moving on every day put just what you need for that night into just one cube and put it at the top of your bag - then you can leave everything else in your pack for moving on next day. If you are somewhere a bit risky and you don't trust the security, you can lock up your bag with everything except the essentials (I recommend one of those wire mesh backpack covers).
* If you are camping, keep everything in the cubes and you won't get stuff all over the tent or caravan.
* Business trip? Just need a clean shirt, a razor and clean undies - slip them in a half cube and pop it in your briefcase.
* Use a half cube to take your kit to the gym or the pool
Fold or Roll?
I would layer items flat but some people like to roll everything into little sausages so they can see each thing through the mesh lid. Each to his/her own I suppose but I don't find any great hardship to just riffle through the pile and find what I want.
You don't need to do a major unpack. If everything is in the right cube, you just unpack the bundles together. I've mentioned in other reviews that I am very untidy - I am a woman transformed when I'm working with my cubes
Mine are old and boring in black and green but today you should be able to get them in all sorts of jazzy colours and even stripes. You can make the inside of your suitcase look bright and cheery - yeah, really - instead of looking like an explosion in Primark.
What will these little miracle workers cost me?
Typical prices - Quarter cube £5.95 each; half cube £6.95 and full cube £7.95
Where can I find them?
Google the term 'Eagle Creek Pack It' for lots of websites or try out Mountain Warehouse or any good outdoor store Mine came from the Rohan store which used to be in Terminal one at Heathrow - I don't think it's there any more.
I haven't seen these in this country but the US website has padded Pack-It cubes. These might be suitable for protecting your hairdryer, tongs, travel iron and all the other odd electricals that some people don't seem to be able to travel without (come on - will it hurt to go without all that stuff for a few days?). They also show a split double cube with zips on both side - one half is waterproof. You could use this for going to the pool.
Have a great trip! And if your bag burst on the carousel, you'll be glad you cubed your luggage when your dirty washing isn't spilling out all over the arrivals hall.