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Packing for two: plastic "pack mate" or "space bag" clothes flatteners???


markgoodrich

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markgoodrich

Leaving on a ten day trip, first one two up on the RT, we're used to the caverns on the ex-Goldwing. We'll be in the Rockies, so will need a variety of gear...no camping stuff. I'm anticipating the ned for more space, and have considered the small duffel on top of the side cases idea that some have used, but got to thinking about bags that compress clothing, such as THESE and similar brands. Surely others have tried these things? Comments?

 

Sure would be nice to just use the side cases and the top box.

 

TIA.

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Charles Elms

I use gallon size zip lock bags for clothes for all camping trips. Fold clothes, stack flat, and then sit on the bag to get the air out and close it. Really saves space and is water proof. Zip lock bags are cheap and can be replaced easily.

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The compression idea may notwork for the entire trip. If you compress all your clothes and it all fits nicely into your space, what are you going to do as you progressively use things? They will no longer be compressed. Gradually, the uncompressed items will take up more and more room (that you don't have). blush.gif I suppose if you packed enough clothes, you could just mail the dirty stuff home every once in a while. Some folks do. That also frees up room for buying souveniers. smile.gif

I recently learned a trick from a veteran. He told me that he learned in basic that the way to save space is to roll items up tightly and then secure with rubber bands. I tried it. It does save space and is an improvement over laying things flat or tucking them in to oddball places.

Adding a bag and securing it externally is a good idea. Just don't get too carried away. If you do use a bag, I recommend getting one that's waterproof. I have use one. I think they call them river bags because they are used in river rafting. REI has several sizes and colors. Every item you add, adds to your wind profile which of course decreases gas mileage and increased cross-wind resistance.

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I use these bags and they work great. They don't hold much tho. You'll need several for all of your stuff. When you take something out and break the vacuum, you just reseal the bag and roll it up to press out all of the air. They're really best for flat stuff.

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markgoodrich
The compression idea may notwork for the entire trip. If you compress all your clothes and it all fits nicely into your space, what are you going to do as you progressively use things? They will no longer be compressed. Gradually, the uncompressed items will take up more and more room (that you don't have). blush.gif I suppose if you packed enough clothes, you could just mail the dirty stuff home every once in a while. Some folks do. That also frees up room for buying souveniers. smile.gif

I recently learned a trick from a veteran. He told me that he learned in basic that the way to save space is to roll items up tightly and then secure with rubber bands. I tried it. It does save space and is an improvement over laying things flat or tucking them in to oddball places.

Adding a bag and securing it externally is a good idea. Just don't get too carried away. If you do use a bag, I recommend getting one that's waterproof. I have use one. I think they call them river bags because they are used in river rafting. REI has several sizes and colors. Every item you add, adds to your wind profile which of course decreases gas mileage and increased cross-wind resistance.

 

Good points, but actually our plan is to use two or three different places as bases for several days of riding (each) and laundering the few items we take. Dirty stuff...my thought was to use one or more of the bags to compress them, too, on the way home.

 

So, has anyone used those things?

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ShovelStrokeEd

I'm in the one gallon zip lock camp. Been doing it for years. Nothing at all to keep you from re-compressing the dirty stuff, you can actually fold it again, even. I usually, for undergarments and the like, just put a day's worth in individual bags. Left pannier for dirty, right pannier for clean, top box for tomorrow's stuff and all essentials for overnight, including a pair of rolled up microfiber pants and some casual shoes. In the morning, dirty zip lock gets stored in the left, clean one comes out of the right. When the left gets full, I do laundry. I have done multi-week tours and never packed more than 5 days worth of stuff working this way. Longest I have ever gone was 3 months. I do use, on the longer trips, a BMW waterproof duffel that contains things like Gerbings jacket liner, rain suit, spare gloves and the like. All light weight and goes on the top rack of my Givi box.

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These bags are great. I travel a great deal and use them constantly in my regualr luggage. I used them in my side cases on a cross country jaunt on the R1100RT. I would also recommend that you look into the Travelsmith catalog for travel clothing that is low bulk and will roll up very small in these vacuum bags.

 

Poly pro clothing also dries quickly if you have to wash them in a sink and dry them over night.

 

Francis

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We've used them. They work.

Multiple bags of different sizes offer versatility.

However, we found that on a long trip lasting weeks, we were happier with fewer clothes of the "right" kind that we washed frequently.

Never stayed in one place more than a couple days, so wardrobe was always new when you went to a new place. grin.gif

We use the bags more when camping to take items like microfiber blankets, silk sheets, microfleece towels, etc... and reduce their volume even more for packing.

They do work, you'll have to decide if it's what you need.

Best wishes.

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I love em...used em for a few years now....keeps stuff dry, easy to identify and separates dirty from clean...and it is very easy to get the air back out on the road.

 

Look around though, the Cabela's price seems high to me...

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I experimented with these bags and found I can more compactly pack by just tightly rolling my clothes. (I pack all microfiber type clothing except for my wool blend socks). I may use one bag as a dirty laundry bag.

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I'm about to head off on a five week, two-up, ride to the California. Everything we're taking (but riding gear, of course) will fit in the two side cases, plus the 49L topcase. Oh yeah, we have a tank bag too. Like was said above, we have pared down our clothing, and will wash it on the road. I've too often taken clothes on a bike trip that I've never used. I've got one pair of pants, two pair of shorts, and two "dressy" shirts, along with synthetic T-shirts. I also have full rain gear etc., and two pair of shoes (they're the biggest pain, as you know). Use synthetics, and forget the jeans (too bulky). I've been in the "roll them up", and use elastic bands camp. This time, however, my wife wants to try the ziploc bag method for some of her stuff. We'll give that a go.

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