The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
I first stumbled upon vacuum bags a good few years ago now, while looking for storage solutions that would work in our tiny rented cottage (I wouldn't stop buying clothes you see). I actually bought my first few on eBay, and they were unbranded. I later got some JML ones, which have lasted a lot better. The idea behind these is simply to remove all the air, compressing whatever you have chosen to store inside. You can see a lot of dramatic before and after pictures concerning these bags but the truth of it is, these do actually work!
You just pack these plastic bags full of clothing, bedding, even pillows and duvets if you wish, seal the bag shut (most seem to have a plastic toggle you pull along, like a ziploc bag) and use your vacuum to remove all the air; there is a circular knob on the front of mine, and the outer section of that turns to open/close it. While it is in the open position I simply put the nozzle of my vacuum over it, switch it on, watch the bag compressing and then quickly screw it shut again once I'm finished.
I have found that my vacuum attachment of my current machine (Vax Swift) doesn't fit into the opening perfectly (though my old Argos value one did), but this doesn't stop it working - the suction is obviously powerful enough even without a closed seal between vacuum and bag, and I would assume this would be the case with any other vacuum with decent suction.
They are just genius things! While in our rented cottage, I was able to easily store so much stuff in the bottom of the wardrobe using these bags, leaving the hanging space for things I was currently using. Since moving back home again, we have a lot more storage space but I seem to have filled the house with animals and all the associated necessary paraphernalia! So I am still using these bags well, for bedding and older clothes that are a bit too small at the mo (groan) but that I'm not quite ready to eBay yet. Even posh handbags that rarely get an outing these days go in the bags.
I have found a few little niggles though, but nothing major. The plastic zip part of my first set would always fall off, and out of 6 bags I only have 1 of the zip bits left! Since you can press the bags closed with your hands, this isn't a huge deal, though it is more effort. In any case, I have also had leaks develop in most of my first set after some (not excessive) use so I have got rid of those. The JML ones I have are much better so far. None of them have developed leaks and are still working really well.
You can get them in a variety of sizes but I have only used the larger ones, as I see little point in small ones. Perhaps packing for a holiday though? But in that case you will probably need a travel iron, as when they compress it's not always even. So even if you take great pains to fold and pack your stuff really nicely, creases will likely be pressed in during storage. Prices will vary with brands, my first set of 6 unbranded from eBay only cost me around £5 delivered. I got 2 huge JML ones for £10 in Asda not too long ago.
I think vacuum storage bags in general are a very nifty idea to make use of cracks and crevices that nothing else will fit in (I've had them behind furniture, in between pieces of furniture, under the sofa or bed, fab!). I have seen budget ones in supermarkets, that work by hand rolling the bags to remove air rather than using a vacuum. They are also a smaller size and softer, more flexible plastic. My partner bought some for Army time away when he was living out of a rucksack, to keep wet and dirty stuff separate from clean and dry. They worked well enough for him but you don't get the air out of them like you do with the vacuum ones, so I wouldn't recommend those for a storage solution.
I would definitely recommend any type of vacuum bags though; they are in the main strong, thick and work really well so long as you ensure you have them sealed properly before sucking out the air. They solved my excess clothing problem in a tiny house and continue to help encourage me to eat better, so I can get into half the stuff I'm storing in them now!