Scrubba Stealth Pack

In the four years since our original Scrubba review, they’ve been hard at work. As part of the product line expansion, they came out with the Scrubba Stealth Pack. Rather than just a handy way to do your laundry on the go, it’s now a backpack too. But don’t think that they just added some straps and called it good. Clearly, a lot of thinking went into the latest design. While attending Outdoor Retailer this summer, were given a demo of this new Stealth Pack. It impressed us enough that we took one home to try out.

Besides the evolutionary improvements to the original, the Stealth Pack has some new features. First is the addition of its backpack straps. This means it’s no longer limited to cleaning some clothing. Now it’s your waterproof pack for essentials during the day. If you’re at a campsite, it performs another neat trick. Fill it with water, and leave it in the sun for a bit. Instant hot water shower. That’s partly due to the new multi-functional valve. This same valve also allows you to use it as a compression bag, for compact storage. Four uses, one bag.

Scrubba Stealth Pack
Scrubba Stealth Pack

Find it on Amazon!

Having tried the original Scrubba, we were happy to see the new Stealth Pack has 40% more capacity. It’s now a 21 liter pack, which is ideal for cleaning, and for a day pack. And the improved valve makes draining easier too. Although some of the new features require a bit of a compromise, this is one area where it’s definitely better. If you get it solely for washing clothes while traveling, you will not be disappointed.

To use it, simply throw your shirts, socks, and underwear (about two days worth) in it. Add a little detergent, body wash, or biodegradable soap, and fill it 20-40% full of water. Squeeze out the air, roll down the top several times, and clip it shut. Open the valve to remove any remaining air. Close the valve, and rub the Scrubba gently. Think of Buddha, rubbing his belly. Or grandma, with a rolling pin. Give it 30 seconds for a refresh, or 3 minutes for serious dirt and stink. Empty the dirty water, refill with clean, and rinse your clothes. If you have running water, you can also use a tap or shower. Hang to dry, or roll in a towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. It’s that simple.

Scrubba Stealth Pack
The Stealth Pack in action

It’s mostly good as a day pack, with some issues that may or may not be a concern. With a clear “window” running the length of the pack, it’s not ideal for everyone. For your guide book, an extra layer of clothing, sunblock, and some snacks, it’s perfect.┬áIf you’re a drug smuggler or jewel thief, you may want to avoid it. Or, just keep in mind that strangers can see what’s in your pack. Other than that, the removable straps have adequate padding, given the limited weight capacity of the Stealth Pack.

If you’re using it for a quick shower, keep in mind that a black bag in the sun heats water pretty quick. This is the one feature we didn’t get to test. But I’ve used solar showers, and they get rather hot. So if you’re using it for anything other than an ambient temperature shower, be careful. Burns are never fun. Burns on vacation even less fun.

Proving its worth yet again, that new valve even helps during the travel portion of your trip. Load up the Stealth Pack with socks, underwear, and any clothing where wrinkles are not a concern. With the valve open, squeeze out all the air, then close the valve. That should free up a little extra room in your suitcase, backpack, or duffel.

With their Stealth Pack, Scrubba has taken a smart product, and improved it. And not just a little, but a lot. Used to its fullest potential, you can save space, money, and water. Less clothes to pack, and smaller overall luggage to carry. Almost zero cost to do laundry on the go. No need to buy a separate day pack. That’s not bad for about $100. And, Scrubba donates some of its profits to help provide clean water solutions around the world.

So what’s not to like? My only complaints are that a black backpack is almost never a good idea in the sun. And since it doesn’t “breathe”, you’re going to sweat. But you’ve got no excuse for not washing that sweaty shirt, so I guess it’s a wash (yeah, I see what I did there). If you’re a bicycle tourist, camper, or hostel-hopper, this is a pretty good piece of kit. Check it out at thescrubba.com.

Special thanks to Ash Newland for not only creating the Scrubba, and Scrubba Stealth Pack, but for providing one for this review.

 

 

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