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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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

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

Reader Interactions

Comments

  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!

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