Friday, March 13, 2009

Saving up space

The last couple of days, my family started moving out to what is going to become our house. My wife and I will be moving somewhere else (to an apartment which will be closer to my work), 
so packing up became our most frequent activity during nights and weekends; to be honest I didn’t think moving was so exhausting till now. Anyway, packing up things made me realise how much space I was wasting when clothes are being put in boxes or even in bags; there is so much space filled with unneeded empty space which I could be using in a better way.
Looking on the Internet and chatting with mates some information popped: “vacuum storage bags”, How didn’t I think about it before? So we got some of them from the local hardware store or market to try it on.

We bought the Space Bag’s vacuum storage bags pack (3 pack bags: one 68x98cm and two 60x80cm) to try it on; if the results were ok we will come back to bough a bunch more to send clothes to Australia via the post office. As we haven’t watched these bags ever, we also bought a Ziploc’s 10 bags pack in order to make some comparison between both designs and behaviours.

The obvious thing to notice when we unpacked the Space Bag’s products was the leak proof valve at a side of the bag, where it is supposed to be attached the vacuum cleaner. Its internal design consists on fins (at the valve’s base) preventing clothes fabric to stick the duct’s air input and a piece of flexible plastic which generates the valve void effect by avoiding the air to go back once is pumped out.

How was the trial with the vacuum storage bags?

We just took a bunch of clothes out of our closet, a furry coat, odd five t-shirts and a couple of jeans, put it in the Space Bag and then couple the air pump to suck the air out (our vacuum cleaner don’t have much power) and started pumping. It was amazing how things works so great, compressing everything till you get a pretty hard compressed fabric in the bag. Feels like a giant piece of plasticine (modelling clay) which in fact, if you punch it a

 couple of times you can work out a series of irregularities getting a pretty flat and slick surface, ready to be arranged into any suitcase, box or anything else.

What then?

We wanted to try out the Ziploc bags as well, so looked around for some tubing it could be fit in the bag’s closure, small enough for just the tubing. The process was sort of the same; I just started pumping out the air meanwhile my wife tried to take out the tubing from the bag as the compression created some void inside the bag. The result was pretty much the same as the vacuum storage bags except it was required two for this just and there is no Ziploc bag big enough for my jeans and jackets.


This kind of storage saves up space in any suitcase, bag or box where you want to put your clothe, is not a joke. Terrific for packing and moving out... And even to store the clothes for long time (being leak proof prevents water or dirt making contact with your clothes and the plastic material, even those Ziplocs, are resistant enough; plus if the bag get a hole you will know because everything expands in a minute or two).

The bags packaging said “Ideal for holiday luggage” which I really don’t find it feasible unless you have a pretty small / compatible vacuum cleaner. As my mom told me: “Once I get to my destination and unpack everything... how do I get things back to the compressed state? Do I need to travel with the air pump or vacuum cleaner as well?” where she got a pretty solid point; I was picturing my mom with bad ass temper carrying a nit small suitcase and our huge vacuum cleaner on her next trip. Isn’t a big deal nor remarkable, just something to be careful.

PS: Sorry Raul, I should post this sooner :(