Want to Pack More? Here’s the Best Gear to Use

May 7, 2019

Last Updated on July 12, 2019 by Candy Wafford

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light.” Cesar Pavese

Packing well is part art and part science.  We want to take as much stuff as possible in the smallest space possible. If you want to pack more, having the right packing gear is essential. It can make all the difference in how much you can pack and what it looks like when you arrive.  Here’s the best packing gear I have found.

This list is small but it includes the packing gear that I’ve found works best for me and that I think will work best for you too.  Finding the best gear involved trying and eliminating several items.  Many weren’t bad, but these have allowed me to maximize the amount of space I have so that I can pack more.

For reference, I travel for work on average 2-3 times a month and take vacations domestically a couple of times a year and internationally at least once a year. The last couple of years I’ve managed to squeeze in an extra trip outside of the US (huge smiley face).  I travel exclusively with carry-on luggage and use either a 22” or 21” Travelpro suitcase.  I’ve gotten pretty good at packing well whether it’s for an overnight work trip or a ten-day vacation. 

eBags Pack-It-Flat Toiletry Bag

I’m a high maintenance girl which means I use a lot of beauty products.  I would love to have just one bag for all of my toiletries but it ain’t gonna happen.  For TSA compliance, I use one bag for my liquids, found HERE. Another small bag holds my makeup.  This eBags Pack-It-Flat Toiletry Bag holds everything else. 

After trying several different bags for my toiletries, I’ve found this one to be the best option.  What makes it the best? The flat design allows me to pack it horizontally in my suitcase saving a ton of space which means I can pack more clothes. 

Made of heavy-duty nylon, it’s super sturdy, durable, and easy to clean.  Four external zippered sections allow me to easily store all of my non-liquid items.  One area is reserved for those pack-in-case-I-need-them items such as a nail file, small first-aid kit and a couple of other items.  Another section holds my shower cap and soap and yet another section holds dental floss, eye makeup remover, and my mini Foreo.  The largest compartment has two smaller zippered mesh pouches and several pockets.  My electronic toothbrush, deodorant, razor, and comb are stashed in the pockets and the pouches hold small toiletries such as eye cream and travel sizes of some of my must-have skin care products.  I have a TON stored in this bag and could easily put in more.

A large hook gives me the option to hang it up in the hotel bathroom.  I like this feature more than I expected because I don’t have to unpack everything and still have everything easily accessible.  It’s available in several colors and has a lifetime warranty.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Spector Compression Cube Set

It’s no secret that packing cubes can completely change your packing game.  They allow you to organize and efficiently pack your clothes and then neatly pack the cubes in your suitcase.  A neatly packed and well-organized suitcase makes packing and unpacking so much easier. After trying several different versions, I found the best in these Eagle Creek compression cubes and I’ve never looked back.

Compression bags are kind of fun.  I get a kick out of trying to remove as much as air as possible so that I can zip the bag up.  I find myself compressing the bag even when I don’t need the space in my suitcase. It’s super satisfying when I’m able to fully compress a bag.  Obviously, I’m easily amused.

To use, place your clothes in the bag, folded or rolled your preference and zip the first zipper which will give you a kind of floppy bag.  Leave a small opening in the zipper and start compressing by pushing excess air out of the bag.  Occasionally this involves multiple body parts and I always take it on as a personal challenge.  As you squeeze out the air, close the other zipper.  Once fully zipped, your bag will be a compact, solid block of clothes that can toss in your suitcase.  It’s amazing how much you can fit into a compression bag and how much smaller it can get.

My set has two bags.  I use the smaller bag for my undergarments, socks, and PJs and it travels with me on every trip.  The larger size is great for packing t-shirts, shorts, swimsuits, etc.  You would think that clothes would be a wrinkled mess after compression but they aren’t.  However, I generally do not use the cubes for my work clothes or delicate fabrics that do wrinkle easily.  I have another must-have for those that I’ll share with you next.

The Eagle Creek bags are made of a super lightweight, yet durable fabric.  They are available in different sizes and colors.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Garment Folder

Another Eagle Creek product I love is the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Garment Folder. It’s fantastic for packing suits and delicate clothes. I always use it for longer trips so that my clothes stay wrinkle-free and I can still pack a ton of stuff in my carry-on bag.

It’s basically a plastic board that you use to fold your garments around and then slip the board out.  From there you stack your items in the folder and wrap the clothes up.  Like the bags above, this tool also uses compression allowing you to use less space in your suitcase. 

I’ve found this product not only frees up more space, but it does a great job of packing your clothes so that they arrive with very few wrinkles.  This makes it a great product to have for business travel or if you are traveling with items that wrinkle easily.

I also love that it lies flat and I usually put it in the bottom of my suitcase and then stack my compression cubes and hanging toiletry bag on top.

I hope you’ll try some of these items and see that you can pack more with the right products. Let me know what you think!

More about Candy Wafford

Candy Wafford is a US-based travel blogger and while she travels frequently for her job, she is happiest when traveling for pleasure. Preferably strolling along a cobblestoned street with an ice cream cone in her hand.

23 Comments
    1. When we go international, we always bring older clothes so we can throw them away and use the extra space for things we buy.

    1. Thanks for sharing this. I’m traveling for the next 4 months and wasn’t sure whether to get packing cubes or not but now I’m definitely going to

      1. They make a huge difference! I can’t imagine traveling without them.

    1. I love geeking out on packing tips and techniques! Some great solutions here. I think I will get a garment folder for my husband’s work travel.

      1. The garment folder would be great for packing men’s shirts!

    1. I love packing posts! I’ve heard so much about packing cubes but haven’t taken the plunge. I typically just roll all my clothes, but thinking I’ll give the cubes a go.

      1. I still roll my clothes, I just stick them in a packing cube now!

    1. I love Eagle Creek bags! I haven’t tried all the ones you’ve highlighted, but their waterproof bag is totally awesome for wet swimsuits.

    1. I never travel without packing cubes! They save so much space in my carryon leaving room for more souvenirs 🙂

    1. I love the compression bag idea! I always try to pack carry on so space is always tight! Haha

    1. I am going to look for travel size Downey Wrinkle Free Spray. Might be worth the space in my 311 bag

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