Review – the PACK

On the most recent trip around the world, we travelled with two new products. One is [The Pack], a product designed to carry clothing/some smaller items inside your luggage (particularly a 40L backpack) and to be able to easily be hung up on a rail in a cupboard or closet.

The PACK

We ordered one of these, and it never made it to India. When I contacted the company, they sent me a replacement – and to the USA, at my request, so I could be sure we safely received it! Adam and I are both extremely pleased with their customer service.

When we opened the PACK, we promptly filled it with the kids’ clothes – socks and underwear, one ‘shelf’ for the infant’s clothes, and the remainder (2 shelves – one whole and one of the divided ones) for the toddler. The clothes fit in fairly neatly, but definitely required folding/rolling. If you’re a “shove it in til it fits” type… you can still use it (there are flaps to close over the drawers/shelves) but take a read through some of the blog posts out there on more efficient packing styles. 🙂

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We ran into a few snags with it, however – and while we love the product, it’s not going to come on every trip with us. The picture here has it packed pretty copiously – 2 skirts, 2 pairs of pants, 4 shirts (including a pullover sweater), 2 bathing suits, a pareo, a pair of pajamas, and undergarments. I probably could have pushed it and put some more in, but decided against it.

 

 

 

Questions to consider:

  • Who Is Using It? My husband is not tiny (and neither, frankly, am I) – but he wouldn’t be able to fit two pairs of pants on one ‘shelf’ of the unit. If you’re not traveling ultralight/minimalist, you may find that it can only handle some of your clothing, rather than all of it. If you’re also traveling with various ‘sets’ (e.g. beach, climbing, etc) the shelves offer a good way to organize – but definitely require rolling/folding. For sorting the kids’ clothes, or even if I were to use it, it would be great. Larger people (who have larger clothes) may not find it as useful.
  • Convenience: it’s absolutely convenient to have all your (or in our case, kid’s) clothes in an easy to pull out container. Not all places we stayed had convenient rails, though – and while staying with family, the Pack got hung on the back of doors. For short (5’4″) me, this made reaching into the top two pockets extremely awkward since the straps don’t adjust in length. I could still do it but it was blind hunting around – we ended up putting socks and underwear in them so I could just grab any pair for the kids.
  • Fasteners: My husband’s quibble is that the hooks don’t have a good way to be packed away within the PACK, and tended to get caught on things; as well, the adjustable clips to close the ‘drawers’/’shelves’ sometimes still gaped. He thinks zippers would be more suitable.
  • Packing the PACK: This is definitely a product to go in a backpack and be pulled right up by the hooks and hung up on a clothes rail or door. It was awkward within a suitcase – things tended to get caught in the hooks or to catch on/in the straps for the ‘shelf’ closures. There is a loop on the back to let you hang it off a hook on a door or wall, but we found those opportunities few and far between.

In sum: we’ll keep this for when we travel with a backpack and not “real” luggage, and it will either be used by myself or the kids; Adam’s stuff just won’t reasonably fit into it. If you’re a solo traveler who likes keeping things organized, and especially if you’re using a small bag, definitely consider the PACK.

I recently received an e-mail survey with what looks like a new iteration of the PACK for 2016 (the survey asked about colour preferences for new PACKs), so I’m hoping to see/hear about the changes.

 

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