In this Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter compression cube review, we’ll take a look at how well they’re made, find out their flaws, and decide whether they’re worth purchasing. I’ll also give my own experience from one year of use.Check Price on Amazon
- Water-resistant. The green Silnylon fabric is almost completely waterproof. However, they still let some water through the zippers, which aren’t water-resistant.
- Well-made. The Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter compression cubes are one of the toughest and well-made compression cubes out there.
- Lifetime warranty. All Eagle Creek products come with a lifetime warranty that covers manufacturing defects.
- Zipper gets stuck in the fabric. Occasionally, the compression zipper gets stuck in the fabric. A good way to make sure that it won’t happen is to put your finger behind the zipper when closing it.
- The main zipper opens only halfway. Unfortunately, because the main zipper doesn’t open all the way around, you have to kind of stuff your clothes inside the cube, which results in more wrinkles.
- Somewhat expensive. Although you can find compression cubes that cost twice as much, the Eagle Creek compression cubes are still not the most affordable ones.
I’m really impressed by the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter compression cubes. After a year of use, they’re still holding up great. No loose stitching, no tears in the fabric, and the zippers still work great.
That said, they definitely work better in backpacks, not luggage. That’s because they have rounded corners when compressed, and the compression system results in more wrinkles compared to regular packing cubes.
If you’re a backpacker and you need to compress your clothes tightly, and need the compression cubes to be durable, lightweight, and water-resistant, then the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter compression cubes are a rock-solid choice. You can find cheaper alternatives, but they won’t be as good as Eagle Creek.Check Price on Amazon
I’ve owned these compression cubes for over a year now. Mainly, I’ve used them for organizing my luggage. But I also used them once on a mountain hiking trip, for storing my clothes inside my backpack. I’ve used them many times now, and they’re still holding up great.
Color Options and Product Variations
Personally, I own the strobe-green version of this set, but you can also get them in white strobe, brilliant blue, and volcano red.
I didn’t choose the white color because they’d get dirtier much quicker. And I suggest you do the same because scuff marks and spilled drinks will be much more visible there.
If you’re getting two or more sets, I’d strongly recommend you to get them in different colors. You’ll have an easier time remembering where you put your underwear and wear your t-shirts.
In addition to these packing cubes, they also offer the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter TECH compression cube set. But for now, let’s take a look at the regular version. I’ll compare both versions further down in this article, towards the bottom.
How Compression Cubes Work
By the way, if you don’t know how compression cubes work, here’s how.
Regular packing cubes come with only one zipper. But compression cubes come with two zippers right next to each other. The first one is a regular, normal one, which provides access to the main compartment. And the second one compresses the width by several inches.
The idea is that when the compression zipper is unzipped, it looks like a regular packing cube, as seen in the picture above. But when you close the compression zipper, everything inside is squished, and all the air from between your clothes is pushed out. This results in 10-30% less space. They’re especially useful for backpackers, and for compressing bulky jackets and coats.
That said, you should remember that compression cubes result in more wrinkles compared to regular packing cubes. You can avoid most of the wrinkles by rolling your clothes, not folding them. In fact, Eagle Creek actually recommends rolling clothes in these compression cubes.
Dimensions and Weight
From what I could find, it looks like these Eagle Creek compression cubes, only come in a two-piece set. Unfortunately, this means that you won’t be able to purchase the pieces separately.
The larger, medium piece measures 13.5 inches in length, 9 inches in width, and 5 inches in depth when packed full and compressed. And the smaller one at 10 inches in length 6.5 inches in width, and 3.5 inches in depth.
The good thing is that both of them add almost no weight. The larger cube weighs 2.2 oz and the smaller one 1.7 oz. Both combined, they add less than 4 oz to the total weight, which is basically the weight of a… pair of sunglasses.
Materials and Stitching
They’re made from 30D Ripstop Silnylon. Sinylon is essentially a combination of silicone and nylon, which makes the fabric lightweight, tear-resistant, and water-repellant. This material is most commonly used in lightweight outdoor gear, such as tents, tarps, and backpacks.
It also looks like they’ve done a pretty good job at the stitching. I didn’t find any loose threads, and when the cubes were compressed, the stitching still looked great.
I tried pouring some water on them, and it looks like the green fabric does a pretty good job of keeping the items inside dry. That’s because the fabric is coated with a silicone coating from the inside. It did get slightly damp, but it definitely kept out most of the water.
That said, the zippers got wet much quicker. After checking the contents inside, I noticed that the only places that got wet were around the zippers. Compared to regular packing cubes, they’re definitely better at repelling water. But if your bag gets completely soaked, don’t expect the contents of the packing cube to be dry.
And lastly, it’s worth noting that these compression cubes aren’t machine washable. The label says that they should be hand-washed in cold water.
These cubes come with two zippers. The compression zipper is definitely more massive because it needs to hold more stress. Both of them have metal zipper heads with string extensions wrapped through them, which is good because it means that they won’t break off that easily.
They do unzip fairly easily, but occasionally the expandable zipper does get stuck in the fabric. When you’re compressing the packing cube, you have to be somewhat careful. A good way to make sure that the fabric doesn’t get stuck is to put your finger behind the zipper when closing it.
The only thing that I don’t like, is that the regular zipper doesn’t open all the way around. It only opens halfway, so you have to kind of stuff your items inside, and it might result in a few wrinkles here and there.
Both compression cubes also come with these fabric handles on top. They’re sewn in pretty tightly between both zippers, and they feel durable.
In luggage, they’re kind of pointless, because you can pick up the cubes with your hands. But I found them to be useful when I used the cubes in my backpack, on a mountain hiking trip. Usually, everything is squished in there pretty tightly, so the handles make it easier to pull the cubes out.
How Much Stuff Fits Inside?
I tried testing precisely how much you can fit inside them, and here are the results.
In the smaller cube, I managed to fit in:
- 7 pairs of men’s underwear;
- 7 pairs of socks;
- 1 pair of swimming shorts.
And in the larger one, I squeezed in:
- 5 t-shirts;
- 1 pair of jeans;
- 1 pair of shorts;
- 1 long-sleeve shirt;
- 1 hoodie.
Generally, you want to pack them kind of full, but not overpack. Otherwise, you won’t be able to close the compression zipper.
How Well Do the Eagle Creek Compression Cubes Work?
Now, I can’t measure this precisely, but from the looks of it, the compression system compresses around 15-30% of the total space.
The smaller cube definitely works better, because the larger one tends to expand in the middle when it’s compressed.
Although they’re also great for luggage, I do think they work better in backpacks. That’s because when compressed, the corners become rounded (as seen in the picture above,) which results in some unused space when they’re packed in a rectangular suitcase. Backpacks adjust to any shape, so compression cubes are more efficient there.
Pack-It Specter V.S. Pack-It Specter “TECH”
Personally, I own the regular, Pack-it Specter compression cube set. But they also offer the Pack-it Specter “TECH” compression cube set. The only difference is that one set has the word “TECH” in it, and the other doesn’t. I own the one, that doesn’t.
Essentially, they both look almost identical and are priced at the same price. The only difference between the “Tech” version and the regular version, is that they’re built from slightly different materials.
Instead of Silnylon, the “TECH” version is built from regular ripstop nylon without PVC coating. This material is slightly better for the environment, but it’s also heavier. The regular compression cubes together weigh 3.9 oz, but the “TECH” version together weighs 7.5 oz, which is essentially twice as much.
The “TECH” version also fits slightly less inside. The regular version fits 19.5 l of clothes inside, and the “TECH” version only 17 l.
One advantage of the “TECH” version is that the regular zipper opens all the way around, not halfway. This means that you won’t have to stuff your clothes inside through a half-opened zipper.
Personally, I think that both versions are great, and it doesn’t really matter which one you get, because they’re so similar.
One of the best things about Eagle Creek is its lifetime warranty on all of its products. Their warranty covers manufacturing and material defects for a lifetime.
For instance, if stitching near the zipper would become loose and tear apart after a while, this would be considered a manufacturing defect. So they’d fix the stitching or send you a replacement.
Their warranty covers any cause, whether it’s transportation damage, mountain climbing, or anything else.
The only thing that they don’t cover is cosmetic issues, normal wear and tear, and abuse. For instance, if you’d tear the fabric on a knife that was dangling loosely in your bag, they wouldn’t cover it because it would be considered abuse.
Although the Eagle Creek Compression cubes are priced on the higher side, they aren’t the most expensive cubes out there. For instance, they’re still half of what the Peak Design packing cubes cost.
You can get a three or four-piece compression cube set for the same price from a cheap Chinese brand (For instance, the LeanTravel compression cube set), however, they probably won’t be protected by a good warranty, and they won’t last as long.
So in my opinion, the higher price tag on the Eagle Creek compression cubes is justified.Check Price on Amazon