The PACK: A Review

Thanks to a packing mishap
Back when I was on my exchange program in Japan, I
Learned the value of
Packing light.

Thanks to discovering Travel Fashion Girl (TFG)
Before my first backpacking trip around Southeast Asia, I
Learned a lot of tips on
Packing right.

And also thanks to TFG, I
Learned about this nifty
Travel organizer:

The PACK.

Think of it as a
Hanging closet
Inside your backpack. (Actually, that’s pretty much
What it is.)

It’s meant to serve as an alternative to
Packing cubes, which
Organize your clothes and things
Inside your backpack, luggage, etc.
When you travel.

It has a total of
Four (4) major compartments, with the
Bottom compartment split into two (2), and the
Top compartment with a flap, so you can use it as
Two (2) compartments or just one (1) big one.

It makes use of
Hard plastic clasps
To hold your compartments closed; and,

It has two (2)
Sturdy, built-in hooks for
Hanging your PACK

In a closet,

On the top bunk of a hostel bed,

On a tree branch,

Or, well, wherever you can hang it from.

Built for the express purpose of
Packing light and right,
The whole thing
Weighs “less than a t-shirt”, as claimed by the people at
The Pack Gear.

(Find out more about it here.)

So, what did I think?

The first time I used it was
During my trip to Bohol, Philippines
Last December 19 – 22, 2015.

I was using a
Sammies by Samsonite Giraffe 45cm Trolley

IMG_9417_Noiseless
(Yes, I am fully aware it’s a “kid’s” bag, but my mom couldn’t resist buying it for me, so.)

I would peg this at about 20L (?), and
The PACK is said to fit a 30L+ backpack, so:

IMG_9103
It fit! Though, as you can see, it’s a bit…
Squished. Which brings me to

What I loved about The PACK:

Space. It is
VERY spacious!
The reason it looks so squished in the above photo is that, while I was packing it, I just
Kept filling it in, not thinking about the dimensions of my bag. Mind you, I did
NOT fill it up—one, because I was only staying for a 4-day trip; and, two, because
It wouldn’t fit my bag otherwise!
Yes, that’s how spacious it really is.

Weight. Remember how The Pack was claimed to
“Weigh less than a t-shirt”? Well, I’m not quite sure how much a t-shirt actually weighs, but The Pack
Hardly weighs anything at all! What I mean is,
When you carry your bag, the weight you feel is only of the
Things you packed and not The Pack.

Hooks. Not only are the hooks
Sturdy (i.e., they don’t feel like they’ll bend and/or snap any time soon… or at all), but the
Inner circumference of the hooks are also
Large. This allows you more flexibility on
Where to hang your Pack—

Thin closet rod,

Thick closet rod,

Tree trunk:

Bring it on!

Customer service! I bought
Two (2) Packs, one in each of the offered
Colors (blue and black). Unfortunately, when I first
Received them, there was a problem with the
Alignment of the clasps on the blue one.IMG_9422_Noiseless
That’s a hook-to-hook and eye-to-eye.

I e-mailed Jonathan at The Pack Gear
The moment I found out and he
Replied within a few hours! Not only that, he
Offered to send me a replacement, and I didn’t even have
To send back the defective one (more due to the fact that I
Live so far away, in the Philippines)!

(I can’t say if I’ve been
Lucky, or unlucky, with my online purchases recently.)

Kudos, Jonathan! And,
Thank you!

On the flipside though, I did have some
Issues with The Pack, that I hope Jonathan and team
Will improve on in the future:

While the nylon material of The Pack is
Very sturdy—i.e., not susceptible to tears—the
Lack of structure actually

Makes it difficult to pack. While its
Softness contributes to its lightness as well, I found it
Difficult to lay it on the bed (the sides wouldn’t stay up; it would collapse in itself)
While packing.

The lack of structure also presents
A challenge in putting The Pack into
Your bag, especially if it’s a backpack. In a way, I felt like,
Instead of putting an organized closet into my bag, I was
Stuffing a sack into it, i.e., pushing on The Pack until it fit. I think this is
Due to the fact The Pack adapts to what you put inside—it
Stretches outward if you put too many things side by side. And,
Given the space, you feel like you have to fill it.

Further, the clasps
Don’t keep the compartments fully closed. While this makes
Reaching in and pulling out items much easier, it also
Deters you from putting in small items into The Pack as they will just
Roll out. (Clothes aren’t so much a problem as one, they’re fairly big even when rolled, and two, they don’t roll in the first place.)

On the plus side, right after the New Year, I received
A survey from The Pack Gear on whether
To keep the clasps, or
To use zippers! You can guess
Which I chose. 😉

Overall though, I think
The Pack has a lot of potential! Perhaps the
Important thing is
Learning how to pack with it.

For example, for my
Upcoming trip to Kalinga, I am taking
This Single Shot North Face Backpack, also 20L:

IMG_9415_Noiseless
And would you believe, I
Fit The Pack in there! Not only did I
Lessen my packing (it’s only 2 nights, after all), but I also
Considered the dimensions of my bag and
Used less compartments of The Pack—i.e., I only used the
Top two (2) compartments and simply
Folded the bottom two (2) at the bottom of my bag.

I’m definitely feeling much
More confident with this packing arrangement! I’ll
Let you know how it turns out! 😉

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