As i work my way through the hundreds and hundreds of photos i took during our Switzerland, i thought it might be helpful to share another one of my packing tips. As I have mentioned in the past my family and I prefer to pack as light as we can, typically taking (2) – 21″ roller bags and a backpack each for the three of us. This allows us to remain very mobile, especially on a trip such as Switzerland, where there will be many quick train transitions and times that we will need to walk to our hotels with our luggage in tow. The trouble is how do you stay within these parameters when you are going on a 9 day, 4 location trip, where the temperature is going to vary by roughly 40+ degrees? One product: the Eagle Creek – Pack-it Specter Cube Set; these ultralight packing organizers allow you to not only compression your garments but keep them organized as well. They come in three sizes: cube, half cube, and quarter cube and you will be amazed how much space you can save simply by using this product. Now don’t get the wrong idea here, these aren’t a spin off of those late night infomercials where you put everything in a plastic bag and then remove all the air with a vacuum cleaner. The Pack-it cubes simply allow you to compress your clothing a bit without wrinkling. Just think about a standard zip up fleece and the amount of space it takes up, fold it in half and then press down on it firmly……half the thickness right? This is the concept behind the Eagle Creek Pack-it cubes and you will be amazed at how much space it saves you. For example, i always carry at least one complete outfit in my carry on, that combined with a Woolite packet in my clear plastic carry on liquids bag gives me two full outfits which can usually carry me if my luggage doesn’t make it. Given the wide range of temps expected in Switzerland i decided to take the following:
- 1 pair of Kuhl Liberator™ Convertible pants (very versatile zip-off pants that essentially gives me an extra pair of shorts and/or pants)
- 1 Kuhl Wunderer™ Long Sleeve Shirt (super comfortable, light weight, and the sleeves can be rolled up to short sleeves)
- 1 cotton t-shirt (to be worn under the long sleeve in the colder areas or separately in warmer regions)
- 1 pair of socks and underwear
All of which fit into Eagle Creek’s Half Cube, that only measures 10″ x 7″ x 3″ that’s a full long sleeve/ long pant outfit roughly in the space of an iPad if it was 3 inches thick……quite a space savings!!
The other reason we love using the Eagle Creek – Pack-it Specter Cube Set, especially on a 4 location trip, is for the organizational aspect. With 3 people and 4 locations packing and unpacking can become a real chore, so each person has their own set, in their own color. This makes it very easy once you get to your destination, simple unpack all of the cubes by color and that person’s full wardrobe is all in one place……no more digging through a packed suitcase trying to find what you are looking for, all the while wrinkling everyone else’s stuff!! Besides each person having their assigned color, we try to further organize by packing similar things together: such as socks in a quarter cube, all shorts in a half cube, shirts in another…..and so on. The bags themselves are somewhat transparent so it is fairly easy to identify (without opening them) what is inside. It has been my experience that the half cube size is the most useful, especially for adults – great for your main garments: shirts, shorts, etc. The full cube is nice when you are going to a potentially cooler climate, perfect for that puffy vest, thick fleece or oversized sweater. The beautiful thing is that it stay perfectly packed and folded until you need it……even if it has been in and out of your suitcases and million times. You might ask: What do you do with your dirty laundry? We typically use a couple of extra full cubes for dirty laundry, but you could also just place it in the bottom of your suitcase. So if you are trying to pack light and stay organized, especially if sharing bags on a multiple destination trip check out the Eagle Creek – Pack-it Specter Cube Set