Name: : Pack-Flat Back-Up Bag, by Travelon

What it is: : A blowfish of a polyester bag that zips shut to less than an inch thick for easy packing in your luggage.

How it works: : It's the rare traveler who doesn't come back with something from a trip. That's where the backup bag comes in; it's thin and light enough that it doesn't consume precious space in your primary bag. It swells to 19 by 13 by 10 inches, so you can use it as a carry-on.

The good: : I tried this on a trip to Italy.. I used it to carry home most of my dirty clothes, freeing up space in my other luggage.

The bad: : This is a soft-sided bag, so don't count on it to cushion that blown Venetian glass in a cargo hold. Use it to carry crushable items as checked baggage or as a roomy carry-on.

Cost: : $29.99 suggested retail

Available from: : Numerous sites online, but I found it on sale for $17.99 at

- Ross Werland, Tribune Newspapers

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