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ZipLocs, Pack Mates & Space Bags

Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by CruiseDiva, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. CruiseDiva

    CruiseDiva Guest

    A lot of us use plastic bags for packing. Keeps your clothing organized, clean & dry, and the bags can be compressed to fit more in the suitcase.

    BUT... last month we flew to ATL-NYC and back and then ATL-NOLA and back. A couple times we had the opportunity to get an earlier stand-by flight. In NY at LaGuardia they had a big machine right by the check-in counters and screened our checked luggage right there. No problem.

    However, in New Orleans they had no xray machine out front and were doing hand inspections at a table by the check-in counter. When they opened our suitcases with the nice, neat Pack Mate bags all compressed, the screening lady had to OPEN each bag. She'd never seen a suitcase packed that way and said the plastic bags were "hard" and she had to inspect what was in them. Argh! I had to re-compress each one as she finished. If I hadn't, they would not have fit back in the suitcase. (At least she didn't remove the contents of the Pack Mates.)

    So... beware. If TSA screeners open your suitcases without you being present, and you have them packed tightly with compressed zipper top bags, they may have difficulty reclosing the suitcase. Plus, when you can fit more in the suitcase, it ends up being heavier and can go over the 50# weight limit. I'm still going to use my bags, but I'm not going to compress them as tightly or pack as much in a single suitcase. Better to use two smaller ones these days when flying to port.

    Post Edited (02-16-03 13:28)
  2. Cricket

    Cricket Guest

    Good to know that Linda. I am going to try and find some of those bags. Haven't seen them here.
  3. CruiseDiva

    CruiseDiva Guest

    Pack Mates are sold on QVC and you can do a Google search for Space Bags' web site. I prefer the Pack Mates to ZipLoc bags because they are sturdier.
  4. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Good pointers, Diva. Thank you. One of the reason I use the large zip locs instead of the space bags is because they are smaller and I don't really flatten them...just barely so. I pack with them more to keep grungy hands off my lingerie and to not have my underwear thrown out on dirty counters Even TSA inspectors can determine it is only "soft goods" in the bag.
  5. This was the first time using the plastic bags to pack. Sure was alot more organized. Everything stayed nice and neat., most items were wrinkle free. Thanks for the idea!
  6. BurBunny

    BurBunny Guest

    Hopefully as time goes on, the inspectors will become more familiar with these and realize if it's flat and you see clothes, that's what's in it ;)
  7. Toto

    Toto Guest

    Great thought to pass along Diva,Thanks! Yep, you can get too much in there with those compressed bags and have a time trying to get it all back in if checked.
    I only compress the air in the ziplocks slightly, as you can not remove all the air. Although I am a heavy packer, I make sure that it would all fit back in if that happened. It means taking that extra suitcase that we didn't used to take but with the weight limits now, you can also get carried away and end up having to pay the penalty for overweight bags because they gave you so much extra space that you don't realize how heavy they actually are. I mainly pack that way so that it is not embarassing with undies and dirty socks flying left and right. :lol
  8. CruiseDiva

    CruiseDiva Guest

    Uh, s7s... they STILL put their grungy, yet gloved, hands inside the plastic bags :(

    Toto, I've always compressed all the bags totally--even ZipLocs. Trouble is that ZipLocs are no longer made by Dow Chemical and have become almost 'single use' bags. Sadly, I find they leak more often these days. Heck, I used to wash them and reuse them! That's why I like the Pack Mates. They come in a range of sizes from small to humongous and are really well made.

    Amber, the inspector could see right in the bags, but because they were 'hard' she had to open them. Yep, just clothes.

    Oh, BTW, use a clear plastic bag for your toothbrush! I had to throw one away after a carry-on inspection :(
  9. judy

    judy Guest

    Walgreens carrys pack mates. QVC has the space bags. I have both and use them all the time.
    I use one for all my lingerie and one for Bill's undies and socks. They pack flat and unpack in a jiff.
    Great for packing "warm" clothes you might not need but have to take "just in case". Also for pax on Alaska cruises if you need to take heavy jackets and sweaters.
    I always pack our dirty laundry in them for the ride home.
  10. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    Linda, Curious here, wondering just what it was they did to your toothbrush?
  11. Einstein

    Einstein Guest

    Thanx for the Heads Up Linda. Have to make sure to take one more swimsuit out next cruise and have someone else take out one pair of shoes. :grin

  12. Toto

    Toto Guest

    Well Linda you just answered my question why I have had to double ziplock bag anything that might spill the last several cruises, those ziplocks looked pretty flimsey to me and now I know why! :thumb
  13. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Diva....actually, they did not need to open the zip locs. They weren't hard. They can manipulate the bag when it isn't jambed full and could easily feel there was nothing hard inside it. Three of four pairs of undies and a negligee doesn't feel hard ....but that is the point of why I don't use the space bags. They DO feel hard.
  14. paulfredo

    paulfredo Guest

    Thanks for the warnings, Linda... we often employee your tips.

    In light of the new weight guidelines, we have also changed our baggage routine. We used to take a 30" and two 22" that we checked. We could easily get the 30" over 50lbs.
    So, now we take two 26" and the two 22" for check ins. It actually seemed easier since you can roll one in each hand, which was more difficult with the 30". I also get a perverse pleasure foiling them by actually taking more luggage space up with this scheme, which their new rules forced upon us... LOL!

  15. CruiseDiva

    CruiseDiva Guest

    Gayle, I replaced my toothbrush because the security screener opened the case to see what it contained and touched it. Yech... rubber gloves or not, I couldn't use that toothbrush again.

    Paul, I'm getting pleasure out of that as well :)
  16. hstrybuf

    hstrybuf Guest

    Thanks, Linda! Your advice is always right on! :thumb

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