Here’s my review of the VAGO baggage compressor, a clever travel tool to help reduce the size of your luggage by up to 50% with a tiny, portable vacuum compressor.
Does anyone else always wish they had just a tiny bit more space in their luggage? If this is you then I have a clever tool for you.
Today I’d like to introduce you to the VAGO baggage compressor, a vacuum bag with a tiny, portable compressor that is ideal for travelling.
Photo taken by George (aged 2) who is all set to be my new blogging assistant!
I’m a total geek when it comes to luggage, packing, storage solutions and nifty little tools to help you travel light and pack more, so I was really excited when this arrived.
Vacuum bags have been around for a long time. It’s basically a large plastic bag that you fill with soft items such as bedding or clothing and then you use something to suck the air out of the bag.
I’ve looked at used vacuum bags before for travelling but they often use a vacuum cleaner or a bulky pump to suck the air from the bag. They’d be great while you’re at home but awkward when you’re packing for your return journey because it’s unlikely you’ll have a vacuum cleaner handy!
The VAGO baggage compression device is great because it’s tiny. It’s lightweight and just 70mm long so takes up barely any space in your luggage.
How does the VAGO Baggage Compressor work?
When you order the compressor, you also order a special vacuum bag(s) that connect to the compressor by screwing on it.
The VAGO compressor works with a simple USB cord and Android connector so there’s no batteries to worry about. (Note that it doesn’t come with a plug or an Android connector but, if you’re anything like me, you probably have about a billion of them at home anyway).I really like that you plug it in rather than use batteries as batteries add extra weight and there’s the cost and inconvenience of the batteries dying when you have no replacements. You just fill up the VAGO bag with your clothes and zip it shut, making sure there are no air gaps. You attach the little compressor, plug it in and let it do its thing and within about a minute it’s compressed the bag.
These were all the clothes I added to the bag – more than enough clothes for a toddler for a weekend away
You seal the bag with a ziplock top
I placed it inside a packing cube so you can see how much smaller it is once it’s compressed
It does make a noise but it’s similar to an electric toothbrush – maybe slightly louder – and it’s not disruptive.
There’s a promotional video that shows someone sleeping while their luggage compressed so I assumed it would take FOREVER! But it doesn’t. My medium vacuum bag literally took less than 60 seconds so I can’t image even the biggest bag would take too long.
According to VAGO, it can reduce the size of your soft items by up to 50% so it can make way for a lot of extra space in your luggage.
The vacuum bags come in sizes small, medium and large. Mine is a medium but I think you’d really notice a massive difference if you used a large, or even two smalls.
Then when you’re ready to take your items back out of the bag, you simply unzip it like a ziplock sandwich bag and your clothes start to fluff up with air again.
So easy, even a toddler can do it
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The packing cube had been almost full with the VAGO bag before it had been compressed. But after it had been compressed there was enough space to add four bulky sweatshirts and a small toiletry bag!
Do you end up with really creased clothes?
There’s no way to smooth over this downside to the VAGO baggage compressor because your clothes do end up being more creased than they would without it.
I feel like people generally fall into these camps when it comes to ironing and travelling
- The people who iron all their clothes when they arrive – if you’re one of these people then this won’t be an issue for you
- The people who iron their clothes before they pack and then carefully arrange their clothing in their suitcase in a way that won’t lead to new creases – If you’re one of these people then save yourself the hassle of ironing before you leave and just do it when you arrive
- The people who don’t iron anything and don’t care about creased clothes – You’re all good
- The people who don’t iron many things and will just ‘shake out the creases’ unless it’s something special – You, my friends, will probably struggle the most.
Personally, I fall into the fourth camp. I don’t often iron clothes unless it’s something formal or those materials that get really crumpled and you look like you’ve just slept in it unless you iron it. Unfortunately, after using the VAGO baggage compressor, all your clothes are going to look like you’ve slept in them so you will need to iron them. And yes, I tried meticulously rolling each item of clothing and they still came out really creased after 24 hours in the vacuum bag.
Other things to be aware of
If you’re using a large vacuum bag it would be very easy to end up with overweight luggage. The compressor bags might reduce the size of your luggage but they won’t reduce the weight so it’s something to bear in mind.
If you’re travelling with cabin luggage only then you might be OK. Airlines do often have weight limits for hand luggage but they rarely check and some airlines simply state that the only weight restriction is that you need to be able to lift your own luggage into the overhead locker. If you’re strong then it’s much easier to get away with it!
Even with the creases, is the VAGO compressor worth it?
If you’re travelling with just hand luggage then yes, I do think the VAGO baggage compressor is worth it. It’s such a simple way to get so much extra space and I was so impressed by how small it made my clothing.
I think the crease issue is something only you can decide on. For some people it’s an issue and for others it just isn’t at all.
For Sam, my fiancé for example, he irons his outfit for the day each morning. He does this while we’re on holiday too, so the VAGO compressor would be great for him because he’d be ironing his clothes anyway.
For me, I avoid ironing at all costs (well if I’m really being honest – Sam does my ironing) so I would consider it an extra hassle and I probably wouldn’t use it unless I had to. If I was really struggling for space then I would 100% use the compressor but otherwise I’d just try and squeeze everything into my hand luggage and hope I folded everything neatly enough to avoid creases.
Another nifty use for the VAGO compressor
One thing I would definitely use the VAGO compressor and vacuum bags for is like a packing cube on departure but a compressed bag filled with dirty clothes on the way home.
You may already know that I love packing cubes and think they’re such an easy way to organise your luggage and save so much space in your case. And if you’re travelling as a family, they’re a great way to separate everyone’s clothing if you’ve got everything in one big case together.
You could use the bag just like a normal packing cube when you’re leaving for your holiday, but when it’s filled with dirty clothes when you come home, then you’d compress it because it will all be going straight in the washing machine when you get home. This would give you extra space for any souvenirs you’ve picked up during your holiday. Please tell me I’m not the only one who seems to come home with waaaay more than I left with!
How much does the VAGO compressor cost?
At the time of publishing this (February 2018) the VAGO compressor is on sale and available to pre-order for delivery in July.
The compressor and a medium vacuum bag costs $79.00 which is about £57 in the UK. This is quite expensive but once you’ve got your VAGO compressor you can then purchase the vacuum bags for $9.90 for a small, $11.90 for a medium or $14.90 for a large.
What do you think? Would you use the VAGO compressor and vacuum bag for travelling?
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Sunday 30th of June 2019
Hey Monica, i'm interested in getting something similar and wanted to know if you're still using the VAGO and if it works well for you, or if it's not something that you continue to use? Also, if you think these are superior to packing cubes overall?
Tuesday 2nd of July 2019
Hi Sam! I don't use it for every trip as I usually have plenty of luggage space but I've had a few trips where I've been short on space so I use it then. What I tend to do is use it like a regular packing cube on the way out and vacuum compress it on the way home. I wouldn't compress it on the way out because my clothes would just be too crumpled - you'd need to re-wash them all to get the creases out. But on the way home they're all going in the washing machine anyway so it doesn't matter to me about the creases! I'd say it's just the same as a packing cube really but with the added benefit of compressing it for the journey home if you need it. I hope that helps!
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Wednesday 14th of November 2018
I suppose the vago vacuum only works on vago bags then..?
Thursday 15th of November 2018
Probably but I don't have any other bags to check and see if it works on other brands.