The idea of adding more to my usually already overstuffed luggage while packing was so counter intuitive I found myself questioning my “open-minded” trait that has always served me well in the past.

For my last few trips I finally caved, as it were, to trying theĀ Eagle Creek Pack-It system. A series of little baggies (they call them Cubes and such) to pack your clothes, accessories and whatever else you find yourself taking along. While packing I continued to baulk as I put my t-shirts in one Cube, socks and underwear in another. Pants, sweatshirts, gloves, everything had a place. There are even “Folders” for dress shirts and pants (of which I rarely, but on occasion need to pack) to keep them from getting wrinkled up and ready to wear upon arrival.

Then it clicked. While compressing one of the cubes to get it zipped up it dawned on me how, despite the extra fabric the cube introduces to the packing, it keeps my clothes compressed and out of the way for more items to be packed.

Aside from the compression the cubes bring to the packing process, I’ve always appreciated having my bag organized. Even when backpacking I like to use stuff sacks to keep smaller items like socks, gloves, extra long johns and the such from exploding out of my pack and onto the wet and/or dirty ground as I rummage to find something. The same applies to my suitcase now. And, if for some reason immigration and customs decides to pull me aside for a full bag inspection, I won’t suddenly have unmentionables scattered across the inspection table and falling onto the floor as I have seen some other poor souls suffer.

This sense of organization has been adopted by the many kinds of gear I find my self lugging across the globe for various projects like GoPro and other photography accessories, climbing gear, water sports gear and more. It looks like I’ve retained staying “open-minded” after all.

My only gripe would be for Eagle Creek to provide more color options to distinguish one bag of gear from another. Some of the cubes have little mesh windows and that’s a good start, but not always the most effective. I’m currently working on a good labeling system without using a sharpie on the bag and having to cross it out each time I use that bag/cube/etc for something else. Got any ideas?