Author Topic: Compression sacks - do you use them?  (Read 612 times)

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Offline gottobike

Compression sacks - do you use them?
« on: August 08, 2020, 08:19:02 pm »
Are compression sacks useful for bicycle touring / bike packing?

Do you use them?

Why, or why not?

Which ones worked well or did not work well?


Offline John Nettles

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2020, 08:24:07 pm »
I use a compression sack (maybe an MSR or Sea to Summit brand) to store my rain gear since it is fairly bulky or maybe fluffy but the entire set (jacket, pants, booties, gloves, cap) compresses down to a 6x6x6 size.  I might consider using one on the tent body & fly if I needed to pack it differently but I currently use a dedicated pannier for that and some other camping gear. 

Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2020, 08:27:14 pm »
I do not use them. I don't need one more thing to fuss with.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2020, 09:02:15 pm »
What John said. I have a couple but seldom use them.  If you must, perhaps you're packing too much stuff.  Just an observation.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2020, 09:23:03 pm »
Which John?  ;D

Offline hikerjer

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2020, 11:17:17 pm »
Which ever one want's to take the credit.  But if you must know,I was referring to Nelson.  Sorry for the confusion. You guys both usually give pretty sound advice.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 12:32:42 am by hikerjer »

Offline jwrushman

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2020, 06:23:32 am »
I use two - one for my sleeping bag and one for my clothing (backup bike clothes, city clothes).  Makes it easier to pack the panniers.  They are Sea-to-Summit and hold up well.  I don't recall the sizes.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2020, 09:51:01 am »
I experimented and found that I can actually pack smaller with small ultrasil stuff sacks with my most common gear choices.  My synthetic bag packs smaller with a compression sack and I have used that when sharing a tent with my daughter who seems to get fairly allergic when in the same tent as my down bag.  That is usually the only time I use a compression sack.

The other exception is when I used one or more sea to summit dry bags with compression straps instead of panniers.  That experiment worked out well enough that I may do it again sometime if a trip seems to call for it for some reason, but it hasn't become a standard practice for me.

My down bag packs a bit bigger than softball sized with or without a compression bag.

I find that stuffing a bunch of little color coded ultrasil sacks in helps me segregate damp or dirty gear and also helps it all fit better in the larger bag.  It works for me and the little ultrasil stuff sacks are really light weight.

Offline RonK

Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2020, 01:26:53 am »
My sleeping bag goes in a compression sack. I hardly think I’m packing too much, and likely much less than most here anyway.
Compression sacks can up being hard little balls which don’t pack very well, but for some uses they are invaluable.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 01:29:07 am by RonK »
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline gottobike

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2020, 05:35:32 pm »
Previous generations of compression sacks and waterproof bags I've used were all cylindrical and when compressed, their diameter was too large to fit into my panniers nor would they stay in place when strapped directly to the rack. Now Osprey Packs has several options that are rectangular and seems these would be much more usable for bicycle touring / bike packing. Options I am currently testing include the Straightjacket Compression Sack and Ultralight Dry Sack. Also, trying out the Osprey's Ultralight Stuff Pack which looks similar to Sea to Summits' Ultra-Sil Day Pack.
With the rectangular shapes I am expecting all the same benefits of waterproof compression sacks/bags but also able to get them in/out of panniers easily.

Planned Straightjacket Compression Sack usage is 8 and 12 liter or 12 and 20 liter:
8 liter Straightjacket Compression sack for fluffy sleeping gear (thick fluffy balaclava, thick fluffy wool socks, thick fluffy pants, thick fluffy henley, thick fluffy gloves, bag liner)
12 liter Straightjacket Compression sack for bedding (thick fluffy quilt)
Alternatively, the 20 liter Straightjacket Compression sack may be required for colder weather sleep system or if I can't get everything to fit into the smaller sacks

« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 02:37:26 pm by gottobike »

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2020, 10:51:44 pm »
Yes, for the sleeping bag. Two gallon zip lock bags for clothes but mostly for organizational purposes.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2020, 10:11:28 am »
I too used ziplock bags for organization - one for electronics, one for the items I'd need in the tent at night.  I haven't seen 2-gallons ones in the store.  I think they would have been useful. 

Offline hikerjer

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2020, 12:35:42 am »
My sleeping bag goes in a compression sack. I hardly think I’m packing too much, and likely much less than most here anyway.


Hey, if it's works for you, great. Sorry. I didn't meanto come off as snarky.

Offline froze

Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2020, 09:43:23 pm »
I don't have an issue with going small, my issue is going lighter and still be cheap.  I also don't want to fuss with one more thing while camping.