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Best compression bag/sack for travel or camping

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

Over the past 20 years, I have spent thousands  of hours in the air. Travelling is definitely as thrill and allows you to live new experiences. Travelling is incredibly enriching, but do it long enough and you start to look for cheats or tricks.

After buying dozens of different types and brands of luggage, I finally found the one I fell in love with and I recommend, the RedOxx AirBoss. I wrote a review about it here (link). After travelling around the world several times, it still looks sharp and brand new.

But this article isn't about luggage but about compression sacks. These allow you to travel with lots of irregular shaped items while conserving precious luggage (or backpack) space. 

Unfortunately I never seem to choose the right one immediately and have gone through at least 25 different stuff sacks (compression bags) until I found the Ultralight Z Compression sack from Outdoor Research. 

The Ultralight Z compression sack comes in 8 or 12 litter size options and orange or blue colour. 

This is a great add-on for checkin luggage and may even fit some larger carry on rolling cases.

How do you use it?

You load up the bag with all of your clothes (jackets, sweaters, socks, underwear, etc), close the top and then pull on the compression cords. 

What makes it unique?

Most stuff sacks are made from cheap material and use buckles and straps. Buckles and straps are "more difficult to use" and take up more space but they do allow you to get maximum compressions. 

The Ultralight Z Compression sack uses and much easier to manipulate string and pulley system.

What about the space saver type vacuum seal storage bags?

The biggest competitor is the vacuum seal bags where you "roll out the air" or vacuum it out. I have tried several different brands of these bags and hated everyone. First they over-wrinkle your clothes. Next the top of bag seal has a 50/50 chance of opening up which defeats the entire purpose.  The last issue is that (regardless of the thickness of the plastic), the bag will eventually tear. The worst thing that can happen is that it rips right before your return trip home and you're stuck with too many clothes and not enough luggage space.


Where to buy it?

Many outdoor retailers carry Outdoor research gear so it's worth popping into your local favourite store and comparing prices. Amazon seems to offer the most competitive price (link)