vacuum storage bags
July 2, 2009 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Which vacuum storage brand is best? I've seen "Space Bag", "Storage Kaddy", and "Honey-can-do" on amazon. The reviews seem fairly mixed or sparse on all of them. Do you have any personal experience with different bags?
posted by blueyellow to Home & Garden (16 answers total)
Not sure about the "Storage Kaddy" or "Honey-can-do," but the general impression here on the green is that "Space Bags" are generally worthless.
posted by torquemaniac at 1:31 PM on July 2, 2009

I use Space Bags to store a bunch of off-season bedding, they work great for that. I haven't had a problem with the bags breaking but I've been careful to not overpack the bags and use the largest bags available. I also store the bags and their compressed contents in a plastic storage bin so that's probably helping them from getting abraded.
posted by jamaro at 1:38 PM on July 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

From personal experience I think the big problem is that people tend to fill the bag, vacuum out the air, then shove the bag under a bed, where it catches on a bolt or a spring and ends up reinflating. Which is fine except that later on you have to lift the bed to get the bugger out.

Of the six we bought, three are still ok two years later. So I'm not completely displeased. Maybe they should make them from Tyvek or something...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:45 PM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

They're all crap. We bought a couple different brands a few months ago, and they have all lost their vacuum. We also put them in large rubbermaid tubs to help avoid the stray snag, to no avail.

They were useful for getting the clothes/blankets etc into the tub though - we were able to fit more in there by vacuuming it down then we would have by just folding them and placing them in the tub. But now that the lid is popped off... Meh.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 1:54 PM on July 2, 2009

I've had Space Bags, and another brand that I can't remember the name of. On both brands, the biggest problem was that the plastic clamp that slides across the zipper will fall off, and they are nearly impossible to get back on. Without the clamp, it's hard to get the zipper tight enough, so the bags reinflate. I personally switched back to a good old under-the-bed box.
posted by motsque at 1:55 PM on July 2, 2009

In my experience, all vacuum bags are useless for anything other than a one-time use. They just don't hold up to repeated filling and emptying or being moved once they are stored.

I've had reasonably good success with using Space Bags to get bedding, or bulky clothes, into a box for moving, but not much success using them for storage or transport of clothing. After the first use, or if you try to carry them around by the hooks or handles or edges, they rip, pop open, or the zipper breaks.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:03 PM on July 2, 2009

I, too, just use Space Bags (and their generic siblings) for single use, mostly travel. Before the airlines got uptight about checked baggage, I'd cram a space bag with the stuff I was taking home, then vaccum it down so it fit in a duffel bag.

I have boxes for long term storage. Simpler to stack.
posted by lysdexic at 2:42 PM on July 2, 2009

I tried Space Bags. They're crap. They're made of thin crinkly flimsy plastic and not one of mine has managed to hold its seal. I say save your money.
posted by bink at 2:59 PM on July 2, 2009

I bought Space Bags once and, like othershave mentioned, they rip pretty easily which renders them useless.

The one good thing that I got with my pack were the "travel bags". They were little bags that didn't need to be vacuumed (you'd roll them up to let the air out). They were a bit more durable and worked pretty well. Though all the clothes I put in there ended up thoroughly wrinkled.
posted by carpyful at 3:03 PM on July 2, 2009

I've had similar success with heavy duty garbage bags sealed with plastic zip ties. It won't last forever, but as long as you leave it alone, and limit the space it has to grow into, things stay pretty much compressed. And you can buy those things at the grocery store for practically nothing.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:37 PM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm spending the summer in the midwest, and managed to pack two weeks of clothing, a full set of sheets, and ephemera into one bag, mainly through the use of spacebags - My ex bought dozens, and the three or four that are now left seem pretty much indestructible.

I think you can get a good percentage of the functionality by buying some Ziploc Big Bags, stuffing them full and zipping the most of the way shut, then putting a board on the bag, slowly sitting on it, then leaning over to finish closing the zip. Bonus - The bags are much stronger.
posted by Orb2069 at 5:23 PM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Space Bags being a waste of money.
posted by i_cola at 5:33 PM on July 2, 2009

I was going to suggest what Orb2069 suggested with the Ziploc Big Bags. We do exactly that and it's awesome.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:19 PM on July 2, 2009

Every single one I've ever tried has failed to hold a vacuum overnight. I wanted to use them as ultralight backpacking storage (so my backpack needn't be waterproof=heavier fabric). No go.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:26 PM on July 2, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks very much for all your feedback! I emailed the kaddy people and this is what they wrote
"As the manufacturer of Storage Kaddy, we strive toward the best customer service and highest quality products. Our technology is state-of-art such as the Q2 Cap-less Valve, and one-way check valves for our travel bag; both provide consistent closure and airtight seal. Moreover, our guarantee is such: If you not completely satisfied with our product, simply return is for a refund. "
I now asked them how long their warranty was for.
That Q2 cap stuff appears in this recent press release:

Can't tell if its significant or just hype.
I'm considering getting the kaddy stuff and trying them out if their warranty actually holds:
posted by blueyellow at 10:02 PM on July 2, 2009

My experience with space bags: the only one that works is the travel one. It doesn't use a vacuum but instead has a one way vent at the end opposite the opening. You fill it up, seal the opening and roll the bag starting at the seal towards the vent.
posted by soelo at 8:41 AM on July 3, 2009

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