Eagle Creek Pack-it Gear Cubes are gear packing cubes that use a patented triple zipper system to hold everything in place. This helps them stay organized, reduces the risk of forgetting something at their destination, and makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
These aren’t the packing cubes your grandma used. They’re sturdy, durable, and robust—imagine a carrying case instead of a packing cube. DJs use them to carry their mixers and turntables, you know.
“Aren’t packing cubes used for carefully arranging stuff inside your bag?” you may wonder. Yes, in most cases, but Eagle Creek built these Gear cubes so that you can skip the bag and carry them separately if you choose.
This is both a benefit and a drawback. On the one hand, the weather-resistant fabric on them is fantastic. However, they are difficult to pack, which is inconvenient for one-bag travelers. They’re also big and take up a lot of room, so they’re not ideal for minimalist travel. They were best used as stand-alone bags for our trekking and photography gear.
The “Pack-It” packing cube system from Eagle Creek is available in three lines: Reveal, Isolate, and Gear. We’ve tried and assessed each one independently, so our review will concentrate (obviously) on the Gear series.
Features & Fabric
The heavy-duty exterior fabric comprises 100% recycled 900D poly twill with a TPU laminate finish. For those of us who aren’t in the business of selling robots, this means they’re very durable, manufactured from recyclable materials, and water-resistant. Eagle Creek has increased its environmental efforts, and most of its goods now use recycled materials.
The TPU covering gives the cubes a pseudo patent leather appearance as if they’re getting ready for a night out at the club. Although we like the design of the material, it is stiff and difficult to put into your luggage. If you’re going with a duffel bag, this won’t be an issue, but putting them in a backpack may be difficult.
Aside from its seductive appearance, the material performs an excellent job of keeping moisture out or in. Put anything wet in here to protect your other items from becoming wet (such as an old beach towel or rain tarp). Because the cloth is structured, it works incredibly well for any gear with long or sharp edges. As a result, if you need to take tent poles for a camping vacation, the form of the cube won’t vary significantly.
You can see all the seams and snap fastener pieces inside since there is no lining. A colored lining for contrast would have been good, but it’s not a significant concern since it contributes to the rough, rugged vibe of shoes. It isn’t easy to see everything inside a black box if you’re wearing black gear. However, if you choose the “Mossy Green” or “Sahara Yellow” colorways, this won’t be an issue.
All of the cubes include paracord zipper pulls and weather-resistant Zoom zippers. The cubes’ sides have little snappy loops that may be used to connect them to other Eagle Creek bags or clip-on accessories. We used the hefty medium X3, medium gear cube, and small gear bag for this evaluation. Let’s take a look at each one individually.
This thing is enormous. It’s about the size of rolling luggage for kids. No one would bat an eyelid if you carried it as a purse. On a road trip, we utilized it as a stand-alone bag to take shoes and a packable daypack. It was pretty handy to have it in the vehicle and to be able to pull it out of the trunk whenever we wanted anything.
Packing cubes from Eagle Creek Pack-It Gear | The medium X3 is ideal for shoes on a hiking trip. It was also valuable when we required a “bag” to transport a large amount of equipment home from the workplace. The cube’s gripping grips on both sides made it simple to utilize in this manner. Of course, if you’re going to carry it in a duffel or as a bag on its own, you’ll need to be able to grasp it from both sides.
On the exterior of the midsize X3, there are four quick loops for fastening on accessories like keys or a carabiner. A colossal mesh pocket within the cube, opposite the spacious main compartment, is ideal for stashing little things you wish to keep track of. We don’t advocate cramming too many items or putting heavy objects in here. Because the mesh isn’t particularly tight, it will swell (or cut into the cube) if you pack the pocket too much. The mesh isn’t luxuriously soft since it’s made to carry outdoor gear, but it’s also not overly stiff, which is good. There’s also a little zipper garage on the pocket, which we presume is to keep moisture out. We didn’t observe much of a difference in either case.
Unfortunately, several of our favorite travel bags do not fit this cube. It took up virtually the whole bag when we attempted to fit it inside the Eagle Creek Wayfinder 40L.
So, do you think the Medium X3 Gear packing cube is right for you? Perhaps not if you’re traveling with a carry-on. Yes, if you’re a travel writer writing about trekking some obscure Japanese mountain and need a specific backpack for DSLRs, camera lenses, and GoPros. Yes, if you’re going on a road trip and need a separate bag for supplies.
The X3 is about twice the size of the medium gear cube (which we’ll discuss later) and three times the capacity of the tiny gear cube (which we didn’t test).
Cube with Medium Gear
This one is identical to the X3. However, it is smaller. It only has two snappy loops instead of four, but it includes a huge mesh pocket on the inside and two handles on the exterior.
It can be used for clothes and stuffed into a backpack, but getting it in and out requires some maneuvering. We were able to squeeze a pair of trousers, a pair of shorts, and approximately four t-shirts in there, but it’s still better for outdoor clothing.
Pouch for Small Items
For us, this little bag was hit or miss. We don’t want to diminish its excellent water resistance for little outdoor gear, but we wish it were more pliable. It’s difficult to fit it into a larger packing cube, for example, since the form remains the same whether the cube is filled or empty.
This isn’t the pouch for you if you want to travel light and want something that won’t take up too much room in your backpack. However, you may want a lovely purse to store your expensive nail clipper collection in. Or maybe you have a large first-aid kit that requires a carrying bag.
On the back, there are four attaching loops. Because it’s flat and less bulky than the others, it’s easier to incorporate into other Eagle Creek bags. It may also be clipped on as an accessory bag using the little spring clip on the exterior.
The Pack-It Gear line from Eagle Creek also includes a “Quick Trip” bag, which isn’t a packing cube at all. It’s a toiletry bag, after all. So, Eagle Creek, we see you redefining packing cubes. In a literal sense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do packing cubes make a difference?
A: The packing cubes are the difference between your belongings being smushed into a ball and neatly organized in their individual spaces. They support functions that prevent wrinkling and creasing of clothing items, which is crucial for safely transporting these items. These features make it easier to pack efficiently on trips or long-distance moves without worrying about how your clothes will arrive at your destination.
How do Eagle Creek Compression cubes work?
A: The Eagle Creek Compression cubes are tree trunk-sized, hollow rubber blocks made of four chambers. One chamber is filled with air, and the others contain water or sand. They can be used to carry backpacks, keep food fresh in the wilderness, protect your car from breakdowns on long drives, and much more!
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