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Stuffable Bags: REI Stuff Travel Pack Review

rei stuff travel pack review

This REI stuff travel pack review was originally part of our One Little Thing interviews.

I always travel with my REI Stuff Travel Pack. It has so many uses and it packs up small, so I have a hard time finding a reason to leave it at home.

There are so many situations while traveling when you need an extra bag for something, whether it’s shopping, the beach or laundry day, and having a stuffable bag is super convenient.

REI Stuff Travel Pack Features

A few years ago I saw this post about another stuff bag right here on Her Packing List and I thought, I need something like that! The only thing Brooke didn’t like about that one was the lack of any smaller outside pockets. I LOVE pockets, so I went searching for something else.

Luckily I found the REI Stuff Travel Pack (with a small pocket on top plus 2 mesh side pockets for bottles or flip flops) right after I got my REI dividend check. It’s a 22L bag, so it holds a lot, but it packs up so small you’ll hardly know it’s there when you’re not using it.

It’s very packable. In fact, it’s designed to fold up into itself so it takes up very little space. According to REI’s website it only weighs 10 ounces (about 284 grams) so it doesn’t add much weight to my backpack. The price was also reasonable at $29.50.

>> Check it out on the REI site.

REI stuff bag
The REI stuff bag unfolded

REI Stuff Travel Pack Uses

I usually travel with a regular daypack, but since I pack my laptop in there, I don’t want to use that bag for certain situations. It’s perfect for packing up a few things, like sunscreen, a towel, and my Kindle, to spend the day at the beach. When I’m renting an apartment somewhere, I can load it up with food from the grocery store. I’ve also used it as a laundry bag to take my clothes to a laundromat.

Sometimes I travel with even less stuff and leave my daypack at home. On those trips the stuff bag serves as a daypack since I can’t fit snacks or a water bottle in my camera bag. I’m always finding more uses for this bag.

REI Stuff Bag
The REI Stuff Bag packed up into its own pouch.

REI Stuff Travel Pack in Action

I am a big advocate of traveling carry-on only so all my stuff fits into my REI 40L backpack plus either my camera bag or a daypack with not much room to spare. But often there are days when I’m traveling by train or bus from one city to another and I pick up snacks or even an entire lunch to bring on the ride. Having the stuff bag means I have extra space to pack up some food, my Kindle, something to drink, and anything else I want to have easy access to while in transit.

My husband and I were especially happy to have the stuff bag while we were in Southeast Asia a few years ago where we took several long bus rides. The stuff bag gave us a place for the things we temporarily acquired, like food, that made the journey more tolerable.

Final Thoughts

The REI stuff bag is perfect for any traveler. There’s almost always a situation where having an extra bag is helpful. Since it hardly weighs anything, takes up very little space, and is multi-functional, it’s worth packing for any trip.

>> You can purchase an REI Stuff Pack on the REI site.

More Feedback on the REI Stuff Pack

Nani of Dreaming of Oriental Tigers also shared her experience with the REI Stuff Travel Pack.

Stuffable daypack in it's stuff sack
What fits in the REI Stuff Travel Pack + the bag in its stuff sack.

Favorite Features:

Roomy: [Pictured above] Hooded rain coat, 4 long sleeve shirts, 2 skirts, convertible pants, leggings, tank top, lightweight jacket, XL microfiber towel, swimsuit, swim goggles, SteriPen Classic kit, water bottle, and a pair of flip flops. Even with all that, I could have also fit in there my Nook, iPhone and a camera.

Storability: When traveling between towns or even camping, I can stuff the bag within its own pocket and throw it inside my backpack without it taking much space.

The straps: They are thin enough to be unisex, and are made of a breathable, mesh-like material reinforced around the edges. The padding is thin but adequate.

The little details: The two front mesh pockets easily accommodate items such as small umbrellas, water bottles, a pair of flip flops, rain coats, travel towels, etc. The pocket at the top of the pack is zippered and convenient to access snacks and sunglasses. The bag’s water-resistant lid covers the zip-cord entrance to the main compartment.

Desired Improvements:

A waterproof-version: Now, this bag is pretty water resistant and keeps the sand out too, but I would not trust it in a downpour. I keep any electronics in ziplocs just in case.

A sternum strap and an interior pocket: Not deal breakers, but would be nice. A little sewing could take care of that, so maybe I’ll get around to doing that someday.

In terms of travel gear, I think this bag has been one of the best bang-for-buck purchases I’ve ever made. It’s so versatile; I can’t imagine traveling without it.

P.S. Packing Extra Storage That Takes Up No Space

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rei stuff pack review
stuffable bag rei stuff pack

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Written by Ali

Ali Garland is a freelance writer, blogger, and travel addict who made it to all 7 continents before her 30th birthday. She enjoys travel planning, encouraging others to see the world, and packing carry-on only. She and her husband are expats living in Berlin. You can find Ali at Ali's Adventures and Travel Made Simple.

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Travel Resources

HPL Learnables

Handbag Packing Masterclass – Learn to pack your lightest bag ever in this revolutionary packing class run by HPL founder, Brooke.

Creative Ways to Minimize Your Toiletry & Beauty Kit – Practical tips alongside DIY recipes designed to help you pack lighter, smaller & with fewer liquids. (Also included as a bonus to Handbag Packing Masterclass.)

Book Your Trip

Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe. – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine says

    I’ve been looking for a perfect stuff sack. I don’t know why I didn’t think to check REI! They get enough of my paycheck as it is. Ha! Thanks for highlighting this awesome sack. I’m 100% positive that as soon as I snag one, it’ll be my One Little Thing.

  2. Viva says

    I love this little bag. It is an awesome addition to your bag collection, or maybe the only little day bag you need.

  3. Helen Purdy says

    I have one of these and find it really handy for going to the beach or shopping for groceries without having to carry a spare bag. It also washes really well when the lid from a jar of peanut butter comes loose!

  4. Diane says

    I have this pack, and I love it. It’s great for hostels, because you can load all your morning stuff into it the night before, comfortably keep it in the bunk with you overnight, and hang it on a hook in the bathroom without anything falling out of it. Because that’s not the cleanest floor. Zip top packs are less reliable on that point, and the additional structure makes it harder to sleep with.

    This pack is also a favorite for my personal item on flights. I typically use a carryon pack and my crossbody handbag, but I always want extra items during my flight and I want to keep my handbag clean. I can easily pull out this little pack, drop in my handbag, tech kit, book, inflatable pillow, etc just for the flight, and put the extras back into my carryon in the arrival area. In my destinations, this pack is my beach or pool bag and more!

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