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Reviews > Stuff Sacks > Compression Sacks > Eagle Creek Compression Cube Set > Test Report by Frances Penn

EAGLE CREEK PACK-IT COMPRESSION CUBE SET
TEST SERIES BY FRANCES PENN
LONG-TERM REPORT
March 17, 2015

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: oldhikergirl AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 58
LOCATION: Santa Ana, California USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for eight years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with two or more 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight, including food and water, is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight, including food and water, is usually 22-26 lb (10-12 kg) depending on the need for a bear canister. I have converted to a tarp and bivy sleep system instead of a tent to keep my pack weight down. I have experienced all night rain, hail, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Eagle Creek
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: www.eaglecreek.com
MSRP: US $38.00
Listed Weight:
Small: 1.5 oz (45 g)
Large: 2 oz (63 g)
Measured Weight:
Small: 1.5 oz (45 g)
Large: 2 oz (57 g)
Dimensions (unpacked):
Small: 10 x 7 x 1 in (25 x 18 x 3 cm)
Large: 14 x 10 x 1 in (36 x 25 x 3 cm)
Dimensions (expanded):
Small: 10 x 7 x 4 in (25 x 18 x 10 cm)
Large: 14 x 10 x 4 in (36 x 25 x 10 cm)
Capacity (unpacked):
Small: 175 ci (3 L)
Large: 450 ci (7.5 L)
Capacity (expanded):
Small: 375 ci (6 L)
Large: 825 ci (13.5 L)
Fabric: Silnylon Ripstop
Colors Available: Ocean Blue, Tangerine, Beet, Strobe Green, and White/Strobe (white with green zippers)
Color Tested: Ocean Blue

IMAGE 1
photo from www.eaglecreek.com website-unpacked


Eagle Creek's Pack-It Specter™ Compression Cube Set is a small and large compression sack constructed of ultra-lightweight silnylon ripstop designed for packing and compressing soft items such as clothing. Eagle Creek calls the large sack a cube and the small sack a half cube. The sacks have a nylon zipper that runs across the top opening from 6 in (15 cm) down from the top edge, across the top and 2 in (5 cm) down the other side. They include a compression zipper that runs around the perimeter of the sacks that can be completely closed, partially open or completely open while loading the items into the sack. Once the items are packed and the top zipper is closed, the compression zipper can then be closed partially or completely. The sacks include a quick grab handle on the top of each sack. They are water-resistant and stain resistant.

IMAGE 2
photo from www.eaglecreek.com website-partially expanded

IMAGE 3
photo from www.eaglecreek.com website-fully expanded

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The zippers work smooth and do not catch the silnylon material during my initial test of opening and closing them without anything in the sacks.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The hang tag states the sacks are water-resistant, stain resistant and can be machine washed.

TRYING IT OUT

I grabbed the clothes I would usually pack for a backpack trip which include my fleece tights, fleece socks and a long sleeve thermal top for sleeping. I usually don't bring extra clothes to wear during the day except maybe a pair of underwear on a longer trip. I normally leave my Mountain Khakis Rendezvous merino wool long sleeve top loose to add an extra layer for the cool mornings and evenings. I packed all of these items into the large cube and still had room so I stuffed in my 600 fill down jacket which filled up the large cube. I closed the zipper on the contents and then closed the compression zipper all the way shut.

IMAGE 4
clothes packed in large cube
IMAGE 5
large cube with clothes packed and compressed


In the small cube, I packed my fleece tights, fleece socks and a long sleeve thermal top and closed both zippers. Since I had room left in the large cube after packing these items, I was curious to see if they fit into the smaller cube.

It is interesting to note that the Eagle Creek website indicates the sacks are translucent to allow for visibility of the contents. My sacks are teal colored and I am not able to see the contents from the outside.

SUMMARY

These bags are lightweight and appear to be constructed well. The zippers appear sturdy and should be durable. Since the bags are designed to contain soft items like clothing, I would expect care should be taken in order to store hard cased items. The silnylon ripstop material looks like it should hold up well. I usually pack my clothes in gallon size zip-top bags so they can be used as food or trash bags if needed. I will be interested to see how these compression sacks perform in my backpack and in my suitcase for airline travel.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #1:
Location: Toad Lake, Mt. Shasta area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2,134 m)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: off trail in the forest with stream crossings
Temperatures: 70 F (21 C)
Weather: sunny

Trip #2:
Location: Sugarloaf Mountain area, Big Bear Lake, California USA
Elevation: 9,200 ft (2,800 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: on and off trail in the forest with stream crossings
Temperatures: 60 F (15 C)
Weather: sunny

Trip #3:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,500 ft (2,286 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: on trail in the forest
Temperatures: 75 F (24 C)
Weather: sunny

Trip #4:
Location: Eureka Peak area of Joshua Tree, California USA
Elevation: 5,500 ft (1,676 m)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: sandy desert on and off trail
Temperatures: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)
Weather: clear and sunny

Trip #5:
Location: Warren Point area of Joshua Tree, California USA
Elevation: 5,100 ft (1,554 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: sandy desert on and off trail
Temperatures: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)
Weather: clear and sunny

Trip #6:
Location: Ashland, Oregon USA
Elevation: 1,950 ft (594 m)
Trip Duration: 2 day hikes on trail in the forest
Trail Conditions: Dirt forest trail with wet portions after a rainstorm
Temperatures: 40 F (4 C)
Weather: Sunny one day and rainy the other day

Trip #7:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,500 ft (2,286 m)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: on snow in the forest
Temperatures: 45 F (7 C)
Weather: sunny

Trip #8:
Location: Huntington Beach, California USA
Elevation: sea level
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: wet sandy beach
Temperatures: 50 F (10 C)
Weather: sunny with light winds

Trip #9:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,500 ft (2,286 m)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: on snow in the forest
Temperatures: 40 F (7 C)
Weather: sunny

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

In addition to my backpacking trips, I also flew to Northern California and Oregon using a suitcase. I found these compression sacks to be very useful in organizing my clothing in the suitcase on these trips.

All of my clothing for the backpacking trips fit into the large compression sack. I used the small compression sack to keep small items organized in one bag. Once camp was set up, I would change into my clothes for sleeping and then place my daytime clothing into the large sack to form a pillow in my bivy as shown in the picture below. As I am always looking for ways to use items for more than one purpose, not having to carry a pillow was an unexpected use of the large sack.

IMAGE 1
using the large sack as a pillow


I found the best use of the sacks to be with the compression zipper closed. I accessed my items by opening only the main zipper. I carried all of the clothing shown in my Initial Report on my backpacking trips. I was careful to use my fingers to keep material from catching when zipping them closed. The zippers performed well and did not catch on any of my clothing.

Since I usually compress my clothing in zip-top bags which can then be repurposed if necessary for food or trash, I was curious to see how these sacks would perform. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they compressed my clothing and other small items to keep them organized. It didn't matter that I couldn't see my clothing from the outside because I only put my clothes in the large sack. The sacks did not pick up any stains or become damaged. The sacks and their zippers still look and work like when they were new.

Fitting the large sack in my backpack when it was filled with my clothing and then compressed presented another challenge. Prior to using these sacks, I would usually place my clothing in two gallon size zip-top bags which are easier to pack in a backpack. After I tried several different configurations, I decided that since I didn't need my sleeping clothing and down jacket during the day, I packed the large sack containing my clothing near the bottom of my pack near my sleeping bag and bivy. The large sack full of my clothing provided stability to the rest of my items to be packed on top of the sack. The small sack containing the smaller items was packed near the top of my pack for easy access during the day.

SUMMARY

These compression sacks are a useful lightweight method of organizing my backpacking gear. I will continue to use them for my future trips.

This test is now completed. Many thanks to Eagle Creek and BackpackGearTest.org for this testing opportunity.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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