Packing tip- space saver bags!

Nov 3rd, 2000, 08:49 AM
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Packing tip- space saver bags!

Hi all,
Just thought I would post this cool tip I just found.
I saw it mentioned on a Rick Steves board but it took a while to find it.

Travel Space Bags - found at Walgreens in the misc. aisle. They work great!! I got a Large (1 XL fleece pullover , 1 cardigan sweater & a pair of sweatpants) and a Medium (4 turtlnecks) for $5.60.
They work like zip loc bags, but after you fill them, you start at the zipper and smmooosh / roll them to force the air out of the bottom - some special valve lets air out but not in.
They are completely reusable and cut the space taken up to about 1/3 of the room.

I am very excited and plan on getting another set. ( I am going to Ireland in a week, and will need lots of layers...)

Nov 3rd, 2000, 09:03 AM
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Thanks Debbie, good tip.
Nov 3rd, 2000, 09:32 AM
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You can get the same effect by using extra large zip lock bags. Seal the bag most of the way and then squeeze or sit on it to remove the air. For bulky items, you may have to do it more than once to get maximum compression. I did have to look around for the extra large bags as not all stores regularly carry them. It was very convenient to put all the pieces of a matching outfit in one bag--no more chaos in the suitcase. I also used the small zip locks to package undies and socks together. Again, it was easy to pull a pack out of the suitcase and have everything together. Using this idea kept us very organized.
Nov 3rd, 2000, 09:49 AM
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I tried the zip locs for my sweaters but they really didn't work at all.
First - I could only find 1.5 gal. bags, not 2 gal. and I could only get 1 item in each. (big sweaters....) Also , I found it hard to get the air out.

These bags were much simpler to use and are big enough that you won't rip one just trying to get a sweater into it. IMHO, well worth the cost, especially for winter trips with bigger sweater type clothes.

( I do use smaller zip locs to organize other things, but am now a total Space bag convert)

Nov 3rd, 2000, 02:54 PM
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Thanks for the tip, Debbie. I'd been wondering if the space bags work. I looked at some at Linens 'n Things that require you to suck the air out with a vaccuum cleaner. That'd be OK outbound but might be a problem en route and for the return.
Nov 3rd, 2000, 05:32 PM
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Exactly why I like these - the vacuum ones look fine for packing the first time , but what do you do for the trip home?
These don't need anything but pressur e to get the air out.

P.S. I got the price wrong - they are $6.00 for the set of 2.

Nov 4th, 2000, 11:11 AM
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I've found 3-pks. for 5.29 in the camping aisle at K-mart; don't get
swindled into paying nearly $20 from
a travel catalog.

They are really useful, especially on transatlantic trips.
Nov 4th, 2000, 05:03 PM
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Thanks Ryn. Headed over to my local Walgreen's today (CA) and they only had the vaccuum cleaner dependent bags. Will check out Kmart next. Any other sightings out there?
Nov 5th, 2000, 04:09 AM
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Have seen these space saver bags & am curious to know if your clothes get really, really wrinkled this way? We'll go to Ireland again (we went last March and Loved Ireland) this next March, so clothes will be heavier type.

We always try to pack light, but not easy in the winter.

Thanks for the tip on finding cheap ones!


Nov 5th, 2000, 06:21 AM
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The bags are available at Walgreens website for those of you who can't find them locally
Nov 5th, 2000, 06:47 AM
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I'm curious, too. When you unpack garments from these bags, are they wrinkled?
Nov 5th, 2000, 06:57 AM
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I found the big (2gal.) ziplock type bags at stores like Target and Wallmart.
Nov 5th, 2000, 08:09 AM
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I used those one-way valve packng bags for a three-month trip and they were very very helpful. Your clothes do get wrinkled, but if you take cotton clothes, they usually straighten out if you hang them in the shower or wear them for a while.
If you do use these bags, I highly recommend putting a sheet or two of Bounce in with them to keep them from getting that plane smell.
Nov 5th, 2000, 08:22 AM
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Plane smell? Or plastic smell?
Nov 5th, 2000, 12:16 PM
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Bingo! Found them at another Walgreens. Also found their website printed on one of the List of distributors is on the site.

Thanks again, Debbie
Nov 7th, 2000, 01:01 PM
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Glad to be of help.

I just had to pass it on- I was so excited that by using these bags I could not only use my smaller suitcase, but also not worry about my clothes getting wet if any thing else in there opened.
Also - it should also be much easier to organize my suitcase.

I leave for Ireland on Thursay - will post my findings when I return!!

Nov 7th, 2000, 01:45 PM
satisfied customer
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These bags work best when you need to pack "thick" clothes, especially sweaters. Consequently the heavier items don't wrinkle. However if you do squash a bunch of lighter weight fabrics, then you might have some wrinkles.

Got back from Italy last night & used two of the medium sized bags to help compress my stuff into a 22 inch rollaboard suitcase. Works great!

Also can buy them at the Container Store - don't recall the price.
Nov 29th, 2000, 09:21 AM
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ok - I'm back and here is my report on how the bags worked.

They actually worked really great - saved a lot of space and prevented disaster when something opened in my suitcase ( it was in a ziploc, but oozed out anyway) - I had some damp bags and a soggy book, but the clothes were fine.

Two things I would change for next time.
1. I would pack the bags as full day outfits, instead of 3 sweaters in one bag and all the pants in another ( what was I thinking)

2. Put a fabric softener sheet in each bag - would have been a nice perk.

Nov 29th, 2000, 02:59 PM
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Debbie, I thank you for the Walgreen's tip. I had just bought very expensive bags for (travelling) mother and myself when I saw your post. Saved a bundle at Used a bag to briefly place my bedsheets in with a cotton ball dabbed in lavender essential oil -- fabulouly decadent. Will use (protected) essential oil cotton balls in bags of clothing for my upcoming trip to smoky Paris. (Guess perfume would work, too.) Thanks again!
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