Editor's note: This hands-on has been updated to include information about reported Kickstarter issues.
If you're like me and prefer traveling to cold countries, then you'll know that packing can be a pain as winter wear isn't the most packable clothing.
Thankfully the Vago vacuum compressor makes it easy to vacuum pack anywhere you go. It's tiny, about the size of a small portable battery charger and fits easily into the pocket. A micro-USB port lets you connect a battery charger to power the Vago. It began as a successfully-backed Kickstarter project, though there have been reported issues from backers that the product was never delivered. However, the Vago is real and available for sale online.
Vacuum bags that take air out of your clothing aren't new. But they can be a hassle to use: You either have to forcibly squeeze out the air manually, or use a vacuum cleaner to do so. This works when you're packing for the trip, but once you get to your destination and unpack, then you're back to square one. And not all hotels will lend you a vacuum cleaner to suck the air out again when it's time to leave. But the portable Vago lets you skip this step,
Getting the Vago to work is simple. You have to use its own bags, though, and they aren't cheap. Put your stuff inside the bag and use the clip to lock it. Then plug in the Vago, screw it tight, plug in the power, hit the button and wait three to five minutes. Your clothes will shrink down to less than half their previous size.
That's it, and because it's so portable, that means you can take out your coat at your destination, wear it, and then get it all compressed again when you're ready to go home. That frees up a lot more space for souvenirs and other things you may buy on your trip.
While the Kickstarter campaign is long over, you can get the Vago now from online distributors, including this one from Singapore (where I got mine). If you're a frequent traveller, this is quite the godsend for getting your luggage easily packed.
|Cost||Size (cm)||Size (inches)|
|Small||S$13 (about $10, £8 or AU$13)||36 by 36||14.1 by 14.1|
|Medium||S$16 (about $12, £9 or AU$16)||40 by 50||15.7 by 19.7|
|Large||S$20 (about $15, £11 or AU$20)||70 by 100||27.5 by 39|