When it comes to travel gear, I am a HUGE fan of the Eagle Creek brand. I use their rolling luggage (mine are the Tarmac 22 carry-on bag, and the FlipSwitch convertible wheeled backpack (full, check-in size), laptop bag, backpack and packing cubes.
Pack-It Specter™ On Board toiletry kit
So when I needed a new toiletry travel pack, I went straight to Eagle Creek and got their newest one, the Pack-it Specter On Board in white and green. It’s described on the website as “An ultra-light toiletry kit with a ton of organizer pockets and swivel hook for easy hanging and quick access. Made with a durable, water-repellent, silnylon ripstop material.” I like the way it opens from the top (my previous one just opened the whole front so everything would fall out), and I love the lightweight yet durable material. I immediately took it with me on a 2-week trip to Alaska, and then have been carting it around the past two months from place to place as I stay in multiple hotels to review them, and have been house sitting in various places.
I really like this piece. My favorite aspects of it are:
- The look, style and material.
- How much you can fit into it. I put a separate bag inside the main compartment that contains all my cosmetics; then my hairbrush, skin care items, prescriptions, sunscreen, deodorant, bug repellent, etc in all the surrounding pockets. Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and lotion go in one zipper compartment on the inside flap; while my sleep mask, shampoo, razor, band-aids, Q-tips, cotton pads, etc go in the other.
- The way it hangs when you use the hook – everything is still accessible, you can access all the compartments, and it doesn’t collapse like some, or completely open all the way like my previous one, to where stuff falls out of it.
The only criticism or thing I would change about this toiletry bag is, I don’t understand why the three pockets along the back of the interior compartment do not have bottoms to them. They are just open slip pockets that I suppose are meant to just hold bigger items in place.
But for me, I always carry the smallest travel-size products possible, and in these three pockets, the things just often slide out the very bottom and become loose in the main compartment.
The two side pockets DO have bottoms and stuff stays in them. If I re-did this bag, I would make the back pockets the same way, with bottoms.
All in all – a GREAT toiletry kit. I would rate it a 9 out of 10 (with a point deducted for those pesky bottomless pockets) and definitely recommend it.
Details: Retail price $45.95 with free 2-day shipping; comes in 5 colors. And it’s part of the Pink Ribbon products – see below!
On a completely separate note, I really love that Eagle Creek has partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to donate 10% of the purchase price of select Pink Ribbon items. For example, the wonderful Pack-It Compression Cubes. My family has personally been affected by breast cancer (both my mother and sister), as has virtually everyone in some way or another. I have many friends who have fought it and a few who have succumbed. Please consider shopping these special Eagle Creek items to support this worthy cause!
Fast Inflate™ Pillow M
The second item I recently got was this fab travel pillow. Oh my gosh – where have you been all my life?
Let me preface this review by saying that I am one of those people who find it nearly impossible to sleep in airplanes (unless I’m in first class with a flat-lying seat, but that rarely happens to little old moi). Up until now, I’ve used those traditional U-shaped neck pillows. I’ve tried the foam kind, the blow-up kind, the micro-bead kind. They help, of course, but not by much. I can never sleep in an upright, sitting position; so actually placing these pillows around my neck and sitting back only allows me to relax or doze off for a few moments at a time, until my neck starts hurting.
I can really only sleep, albeit not well, leaning against the window. I usually end up using both my neck pillow and the little airline pillow or a jacket, all bundled up together for a semblance of a real pillow to lean against.
Not anymore! Wow, this Fast Inflate Eagle Creek pillow is seriously one of the best travel finds I have ever discovered. It’s almost just like a real pillow. It’s big – and I only have the medium size, which is 19 x 14 x 5 inches (there is a bigger one, the L, that’s 21x17x5). But…and here’s the clincher…it’s an inflatable pillow, which means it takes up very little room in your bag. When not inflated, it rolls up into its own little bag and tucks nicely into a purse, briefcase or carry-on.
It’s a breeze to inflate, too – none of that old huffing and puffing into the little plastic tube. The Fast Inflate’s patent-pending Windcatcher™ valve technology lets you just blow a couple puffs of air into the large opening and it fills up like that. Check out the video that demonstrates it in action:
And then….oh, relaxation and sleep bliss, especially for someone like me who finds this so hard to achieve in planes, buses, cars, etc. I can lean against it, even wrap an arm around it, and I found it worked well on my lap tray as well, laying on it like that.
This little piece of greatness is going to completely change my long-haul flights and other travel, I can already tell over one use on a red-eye flight to between Texas and Alaska.
All in all – FABULOUS! I rate it an easy 10 out of 10 – I’d give it more points if I could – and highly recommend it.