Apr 142016

Even with my fancy new Marmot backpack, I’m always looking for ways to save on space and take up as little room as possible.  So I did some research and came up with a rather handy and inexpensive solution.

I picked up a pack of Ziplock Travel Bags and gave them a try.  These things are real handy. They don’t need a vacuum cleaner to suck all the air out.  Rather they use a unique system.  All you do is pack in whatever it is you want to compress, seal the bag, then roll it up.  As you roll, the air escapes through a one way valve and the bag compresses to a nice more smaller size, giving you extra room to pack more shit, or simply not have a bag so cluttered.  I’ve been using them on my shorts and fishing shirts.  They will work on most anything but no, they won’t work on compressing my ex-girlfriend’s head…or so I’ve been told.  The concept is simple and the cost is low.  I got a couple bags in the travel size, 18″ x 22″ for about $7.  They are reusable and can fold up for future use.

In addition, if you go to the Marmot link you might notice the two straps on the side of the pack.  There are 2 more on the other side as well.  Once your bag is packed, you can cinch said straps down to compress the bag even more, giving you a bit more room for stashing said bag in those overhead compartments or elsewhere.  Just make sure whatever you have inside can be compressed or is properly padded.

I like to travel light, very light, and anything I can do to save some space I will take advantage of.  Using said Ziplock bags, and the compression straps on the pack allow me to do so.  Anyone got any similar ideas on saving some space while traveling?  Drop a comment and share.

Capt. Fritter

  3 Responses to “All It Takes Is A Little Bit Of Pressure…”

  1. I really like the looks of the pack. I’ve been traveling with a 28L Deuter pack and while I love the pack, I sometimes wish there was better built in organization to it. Looks like the Marmot pack is a bit larger and has the addition of separated compartments. Do you find it’s easy to organize your gear (charger cords, ear plugs, toothbrush, etc) because of the different sections of the pack? I’d be really interested in visually seeing the pack if you are able to do a short video of the pack or multiple photos of the inside and outside, etc.

    I’ve never seen or heard of the ziplock bags but they look really cool too. I’ve been using packing cubes, but in the last year with travel to various different climates it would have been very helpful to be able to compress some of the winter clothes I ended up having to travel around with.

    As far as tips – I typically roll my clothes, trying to keep them as tightly rolled as possible (although the ziplock bags look like a much better solution. Also, I normally travel with a pair of sneakers (which I typically wear because they are bulky), a pair of flats for dressier occasions, and a pair of flops for use in public showers and in warmer climates. I will put smaller items inside my flats when I’m packing them like pens, socks, blush, contacts, anything that will cram inside the shoes.

    Also, having a 3 way coat has been a lifesaver! I used to have a North Face coat like this but it started getting holes in it and falling apart this year so I opted with the cheaper Spanish version, Neak Peak. All in one, the coat is a heavy insulated winter coat. Take it apart and you have a standard fleece in one hand and a light coat / rain jacket in the other hand.

    I’m an avid reader, so it’s important that I always have something to read when I’m traveling. I found that a kindle has been a lifesaver. It also allows me to read in the sun, which is important for me since I love to be outside. I have started NOT traveling with a tablet and only traveling with my smart phone, kindle, and macbook air. While the tablet doesn’t take up much space and isn’t very heavy, I find that it’s easier to not have to deal with one more electronic or charger cords – especially when going through security at the airport. Between the smart phone and my macbook I can do everything I need to when traveling.

    One of the biggest things I started doing to save space when traveling was by playing attention to how I was using items like clothing. For example, I have 2 long sleeve shirts – one black and one gray, along with 4 different scarves. This has been pretty much my entire ensemble for the winter paired with my one pair of jeans, black slacks, or khakis. I could dress the shirts up a bit with the scarves and switch up which shirt or scarf I was wearing so that it didn’t look like I was wearing the same thing every day. That helped to keep my winter wardrobe smaller than it would’ve been otherwise, while still allowing me to dress appropriately for meetings and business stuff.

    I know it’s different for gals compared to guys, but these are the things that are working for me so far.

    REALLY super interested in learning more about the functionality of the Marmot pack though….I’m looking for my next pack and that one looks promising!

    • I’m still getting used to the pack and deciding what fits best where. I will do a post about it here soon and show how I have been packing it. Those bags make all the difference in the world. Really save on room. If you can find them over there, I recommend getting them.
      C. F.

      • I’m sure I could probably find one here since a lot of the outdoors sporting stores sell Marmot brands. If not, there’s always Amazon, which has been a lifesaver! 🙂 I just tagged you on a post someone has on fb about packing light and travel gear for digital nomads. Always interesting to see how others are traveling light.