I've used thunars "Create Archive" a few times, and will use any installed compression.
now I would just copy the directory as is to a usb drive. I'd maybe zip it up if I were sending it across a network. It's not like space is at a premium anymore, larger files are more risky on poor quality usb drives, and we're limited to a 4GB file size on default formatting.
But then my .mozilla directory in this instance is only 28MB.
Without a fully functional 7zFM like utility in Linux I've abandoned using any. I do use file system level compression, and now expand any zipped files into directories, so my perusing is never slowed by an additional click.