- Buyer's Guide
Bluffworks Release Smarter Packing Cube for Travel
Bluffworks might not be the first name you think of when you think “carry”. Though, they’ve been around since 2012, making some of the best travel/adventure clothing out there (like pants, outerwear… even travel SUITS), this is their first toe in the world of bags and accessories. And based on the quality of some of the apparel products we’ve tried so far, we had high expectations from this new collection, which has taken their team upwards of one and a half years to dial in to perfection.
Introducing the BluffCube: The Smarter Compression Packing Cube.
Reader, let me be perfectly honest with you. I was a little confused and hesitant when I first laid eyes on the BluffCube with its adjustable strap, folding flap… and lack of a zipper and a clamshell opening. I’m used to travel packing cubes that have a zipper running around the equator of the pouch, which then lay open flat. But, after getting to use the products on a recent trip, I might just be converted. See, unlike their zippered competition out there, these offer full compression and expansion depending on how much you bring or how much you leave behind.
For me, this is a huge win. Previously, I’d jam everything into a cube and then if I needed juuuust a little bit more space, I’d take everything out and put it all into the next larger size cube I have. And then I’d have all this extra unused volume in that new pouch. With the adjustable Velcro strap on BluffCube, you can cinch away that extra unused space and then loosen it all up if you happen acquire a new shirt or jacket along your travels.
But what about the large mouth opening versus a clamshell? Well, we asked that same question. With the opening on the end here, you can really cram stuff down in there. With a clamshell, you just push down on top of your stuff as other sides rise up, a bit like whackamole. Then you struggle with the zipper once you’ve got everything just right. Not here. Additionally, you’ve got a full length zipper on the rear of the cube, allowing you to get quick access to what’s inside while it’s all cinched down tight. Via these two access methods, you’ll be able to access every corner of the 3.9L (small) and 10.5L (large) interior space with ease. Size wise, the Small measures up at 10” x 8” x 3” and the Large at 16” x 10” x 4”.
Bluffworks understands weight and durability are major concerns of travelers, so they’re releasing these cubes in two models; the Sport and the Pro. The Pro has a little heavier material and provides a bit more structure. But the Sport comes in with an ultralight fabric, while maintaining durability. How light? The large Sport weighs in at 77.6 grams and the small Sport is only 56.9 grams). Both riptstop nylon polyester blended fabrics look and feel like great quality and I suspect they’ll last quite a while on the road. I’m looking forward to putting that to the test over the coming years. Additionally, the design team added some heavy duty fabric mesh to the sides of the cubes. This allows for compression as well as breathability. If you splashed some water on a shirt and packed it away, you want to let that breathe, versus be trapped in an airtight environment. Nice touch.
Interested in cinching down a set of these smart packing new BluffCubes? Lucky you. They’re live up on Kickstarter for a really great price ($38 or $45 for a complete set of Sport or Pro, respectively).