Gear Review: Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tech Starter Set

Feb 3, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In This Post

Are you a roller or a stuffer? The art of packing for a trip really is an art. Some people abide by the rolling trick, tightly winding shirts and jeans into little hot dogs and carefully sandwiching them in their bags. Others wing it by stuffing in whatever they can — a far less methodical though still effective approach. Then there are still others who swear by sectioning off their clothes into cubes. Workout clothes in one cube. Sweaters in another. Shoes over there.

I’ve been a roller for a few years — it’s easy to pack for a weeklong trip in a carry-on this way — but cubes have always eluded me. Until now. I recently took the new Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Tech Starter Set, launched in July, on a trip from New York to Los Angeles. Here’s how it went.

The Specs

The set has three parts: one small bag, one medium bag and one medium structured cube. They’re made of a semi-transparent water- and stain-repellant ripstop nylon with “two-way self-repairing zippers with climbing rope pulls.” They definitely don’t feel dainty. The structured cube has a stiff folding board inside to keep your crisply folded shirts, well, crisp.

The dimensions for the small pack are 6.75 x 9.75 x 3.25 inches; the medium is 10 x 13.5 x 3.25 inches and the structured medium is 10 x 13.5 x 1.25 inches. They’re all light as a feather — seriously. The small weighs in at 1.3 ounce; medium is 1.8 ounce and the structured medium 8.2 ounces.

The Look

Simple, sleek and utilitarian, they’re not going to win any style points at New York Fashion Week, but to hold your balled up underwear and socks? The gender-neutral bags totally work and are totally functional. I do wish they were slightly more transparent. I kept unzipping each bag to see what was inside; not a problem if you completely unpack when you arrive at your destination, but if you’re moving around to new cities, it might be time-consuming or annoying to rummage for what you need.

The Road Test

Fair warning: You might derive an odd sense of satisfaction when you open up your suitcase and see all your possessions so neatly arranged. I did. Instead of stuff bursting the second I unzipped my bag, I felt like I tamed travel — or at least the annoying packing part. My suitcase felt way more organized, so I felt more organized. Plus, parceling out my clothes (running gear in one, shirts and sweaters in another, and underwear/socks in the third) made me see how much space I was wasting by adding “just one more” item. These cubes made me realize I should try to pack even lighter.

The Details

Eagle Creek provides a lifetime warranty on all products, including repair or replacement if the product fails. (They boast that their return rate is less than 1%.) They also pride themselves on being an environmentally conscious company concerned about reducing their ecological footprint. The nylon shell is a bluesign-approved fabric, which means natural resources were used responsibly to improve water and air emissions. The Starter Set is $54 (less than $18 per cube), and is on sale at times, through Eagle Creek and elsewhere.

The Takeaway

If you’re a stuffer, you might become a roller. If you’re a roller, you might become a cuber. I never quite understood the appeal of divvying your clothes into cubes, but they really do save space — and some of the time you spend rooting around for that lost sock. They’re strangely calming and make you feel in control of your trip. Even if your itinerary isn’t the most organized thing in the world, your gear can be.

Prices accurate as of publication date.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$150
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.