The 5 Best Packing Cubes for Travels in 2019
#1 LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes
Looking for durable, tough, water-resistant packing cubes? LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes’ set of six is our top pick. Not only are they durable, but they’re also affordable and excel in compression. They can reduce a bag from 4 inches to just one!
- Material: A reinforced wall structure makes these the most durable packing cubes we’ve come across.
- Compression: Compression zippers make a 4-inch bag go down to just 1 inch
- Size variety: Set comes with 2 large, 2 medium, and 2 small packing cubes
#2 Samsonite Go Clear 3PC Packing Cube
If you like to be able to see your clothing inside your packing cubes, you can’t beat translucent packing cubes, and this three-pack from Samsonite is our top choice for translucent packing cubes.
- Translucent: Clear packing cubes let you see what’s inside
- Size variety: This set contains three packing cubes in three different sizes
- Materials: These cubes are comprised of tough, water-resistant, BPA-plastic
#3 Tumi Large Double-Sided Packing Cube
If you’re looking for one massive packing cube you can take on a weekend trip or short getaway, you can’t go wrong with the Tumi Large Double-Sided Packing Cube. It’s has a double zip opening, is light-weight, and features dual compartments.
- Large Size: Packing cube measuring 10.75 ” H x 5.5″ W x 15″ D
- Handle: This cube has a webbed handle, making it easy to pull out of your suitcase
- Mesh top: The mesh top lets you easily see what’s inside your packing cube
#4 Eagle Creek Pack-It Full Cube Set
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, high-quality, set of packing cubes, Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Full Cube Set is our top pick. This set contains three large packing cubes, all of which have mesh tops for visibility and are both lightweight and water resistant.
- Cost: Pack contains three quality packing cubes and cost less than what other high-end single packing cubes cost
- Add-on options: Eagle Creek doesn’t just make packing cubes: they make toiletry bags and other travel accessories too. If you’re looking for a set of travel accessories, you can’t go wrong with Eagle Creek.
- Material: These packing cubes are durable, lightweight and breathable.
#5 Gonex Extensible Storage Mesh Bags
Need to pack a lot of clothing but don’t want to take up a lot of space? Make sure you find a set of packing cubes that specialize in compression like Gonex’s Extensible Storage Mesh Bags.
- Compression: Packing cubes feature a special compression zipper which makes your clothing as compact as possible.
- Price: Cubes are affordably priced.
- Material: Cubes are made of breathable fabric; feel free to pack damp cloths without having to worry about mold or odor.
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If you’re a frequent flier, you’ve likely heard of and perhaps even tried packing cubes (they’re on our list of 5 Simple Steps to Pack a Suitcase Like a Pro Traveler) If you haven’t heard of or used packing cubes, you’re missing out, and we’re about to tell you why (and likely change your life).
What Are Packing Cubes?
You may be wondering “what are packing cubes?” and you wouldn’t be alone. Even some seasoned travelers have never heard of them. So, what are they?
Imagine you could put a dresser into your suitcase, with 3 or more drawers in which all of your items would be neatly sorted, folded, and organized. This is pretty much what packing cubes are. Packing cubes are small, zippered compartments that fit inside your suitcase and hold your clothing. Most packing cubes are either square or rectangle and come in a variety of sizes, with the smallest starting at around 3” x 10.”
Why are packing cubes useful?
They not only help you pack more efficiently, but they compress your clothes to create extra space and prevent your clothes from wrinkling. Each packing cube can be used for a different category: your tops can go in one cube, your undergarments in another cube, your bottoms in a third, etc. Most people even bring an empty packing cube so they can keep their dirty laundry in it and avoid soiling their clean clothes.
In addition to helping you stay organized, packing cubes compress your clothing, meaning you can pack even more! Plus, thanks to the compression, they prevent your clothes from moving around and thus help prevent wrinkles. In order to best prevent wrinkles, you should either roll your clothing and place in a packing cube or ensure they are perfectly folded.
With so many packing cubes on the market, it can be hard knowing exactly which ones to choose. We’re excited to share with you a few of our favorites.
Best Transparent Packing Cubes: Samsonite Go Clear 3PC Packing Cubes
Clear packing cubes may not be the most aesthetically pleasing packing cubes, but in our minds, they’re the best because you can see what’s inside without having to unzip it and sort through everything.
We also like this set as it’s a 3-piece set with varying sizes in small, medium, and large:
- Small packing cube: 11″ x 6.75″ x 3″ & 0.28 lbs.
- Medium packing cube: 13.75” x 9.75” x 3” & 0.44 lbs.
- Large packing cube: 17.5” x 12.75” x 3.25” & 0.66 lbs.
The bags are made of durable, BPA-free plastic.
- Translucent: These clear packing cubes enable you to see what you packed inside without having to unzip or open the bag
- Different sizes: Three sizes come in this set so you can pick and choose which you’d like to use. Don’t need the large one? Leave it at home and only take the smaller ones
- Materials: Packing cubes are made out of durable, BPA-plastic and are water resistant. You don’t have to worry about them ripping easily or your clothes getting ruined if the bags for some reason get wet.
- Warranty: Samsonite offers a limited 3-year global warranty
- Price: These Samsonite packing cubes are a bit pricier than others on the market, but Samsonite has great sales, so be on the lookout for coupons.
- Aesthetics: These clear packing cubes aren’t the most beautiful. But to be honest, do you really care? When it comes to packing, we’re more about efficiency than aesthetics.
Sometimes you need an entire set of packing cubes, but other times one large one will suffice. In those times, we recommend Tumi’s Large Double-Sided Packing Cube.
While the bag may not be translucent, it does have a mesh top so you can easily peak in and see what you’ve packed. It’s also light-weight, has a double zip opening, dual compartments, and a webbed handle that makes it easy to grab and grasp.
- Size: Bag is large, measuring 10.75 ” H x 5.5″ W x 15″ D. It can hold everything you need for a weekend trip
- Handle: Webbed handle makes it easy to grab
- Mesh top: allows you to see what’s inside.
- More matching sizes: This is the largest of Tumi’s packing cubes, but there are multiple other options. If you like your luggage and packing cubes to match, this is a great piece to start with and add on as you go.
- Price: Tumi’s packing cubes are more expensive than others on the market, especially considering they come in singles as opposed to sets.
- One color: Packing cubes are not customizable and only come in black.
Best Budget-Friendly Packing Cubes: Eagle Creek Pack-It Full Cube Set, 3 Pack
Eagle Creek makes one of our favorite toiletry bags (The Best Budget-Friendly Toiletry Bag) and they also make some of our favorite packing cubes.
The Pack-It Full Cube Set comes with three packing cubes, all of which are comprised of lightweight, mesh material. The mesh allows for visibility, so you can see exactly what’s inside each packing cube. Plus, they’re water resistant, so if you happen to spill anything inside your suitcase the items in your packing cubes will be safe.
- Price: Three packing cubes come in this set and cost less than one high-end packing cube. For the price (and quality) you really can’t beat Eagle Creek’s packing cubes.
- Add-on options: If you like having matching accessories, Eagle Creek is a great brand. Not only do they have packing cubes, but they also make other travel accessories such as toiletry bags.
- Material: Material is lightweight, durable, and breathable. Plus, there’s a mesh top so you can see what’s inside.
- Color Variety: We love the basic black packing cubes, but they do come in different colors if you’d prefer red, blue, or other.
- Handle: These bags have a handle which makes them easy to quickly grab from your suitcase.
- Same Size: We love that three packing cubes come in this set, but we’d prefer if they were different sizes.
- Compression: Because these packing cubes are breathable, they don’t compress your clothes as well as some other packing cubes on the market.
Best Packing Cubes For Compression: Gonex Extensible Storage Mesh Bags
If you plan on packing a lot and need to compress your items as much as possible, check out these Gonex packing cubes. Not only are they affordably priced, but they feature a compression zipper (much like the expansion zipper on your luggage). This compression zipper enables you to expand the packing cubes while you’re packing then and then zip them as tightly as possible in order to maximize space.
Packing cubes are made of breathable mesh fabric, have handles atop each one, and come in a variety of sizes and packs. If you use checked luggage, you may want to go for the five pack, but if you tend to use a carry-on most of the time a set of three is likely your best option (and what we recommend).
- Price: These packing cube sets are affordably priced whether you want to buy the three piece set, five-piece set, or more.
- Compression: Gonex’s packing cubes have the best compression we’ve come across thanks to a special compression zipper.
- Sizes: Set comes in a variety of sizes.
- Breathable Fabric: Breathable fabric means you can pack wet or damp clothes in one bag and not risk mold or odor.
- Aesthetics: These aren’t the prettiest bags, but we don’t care. They’re some of the best in our minds.
- Zippers: There have been reports of the compression zippers catching on the fabric, so be cautious when zipping and unzipping them.
Most Durable Packing Cubes: LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes
If you plan on traveling somewhere and expect your bag to go through a bit of turbulence, consider investing in some tough, durable packing cubes that can take a beating. For this, we recommend a set of LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes.
LeanTravel’s packing cubes aren’t only durable, but they’re affordable and just like Gonex, have an extra zipper to aid in compression. They can even “reduce the packing bags thickness from 4 inches to 1 inch!”
Our favorite pack is the set of six, which is perfect for a week-long trip (especially in the winter). This set contains 2 large packing cubes (good for coats and sweaters), 2 medium packing cubes (good for shirts, pants, and dresses), and 2 small packing cubes (perfect for undergarments and travel accessories including chargers). Bags measure:
- Large packing cubes: 15.5″ x 11.5″ x 4″
- Medium packing cubes: 11″ x 11″ x 4″
- Small packing cubes: 11″ x 7.5 “x 4”
- Price: This set of six packing cubes is priced lower than you’d expect
- Compression: Special compression zipper helps make a 4-inch bag go down to just 1 inch
- Sizes: Set comes with 2 large, 2 medium, and 2 small packing cubes
- Reinforced walls structure: Thick, reinforced fabric makes these the most durable packing cubes we’ve come across. Feel free to pack sharp objects alongside them without fear of them tearing
- Compression zipper: Customers have complained about the fabric getting stuck in the compression zipper
Are Packing Cubes Worth It?
In our opinions, yes. Especially if you’re traveling with a carry-on or traveling for a long period of time. Packing cubes are worth it because they enable you to pack more than you’d be able to in a suitcase without packing cubes. They compress your clothes and create space for more items. If you often run out of space while packing and find yourself having to leave clothes behind because you simply didn’t have enough room in your suitcase, we highly recommend you invest in some packing cubes.
Like to ski or travel to snowy, cold destinations? Then you know how difficult it can be to fit bulky sweaters, ski pants, down jackets, and other cold-weather gear into a suitcase. It’s near impossible to bring a carry-on on a ski trip. This is why packing cubes are particularly helpful in the winter: winter clothes are bulky, but the truth is they’re not really that big or heavy. They just hold a lot of air. By compressing these items with packing cubes, you can radically create more space.
How To use Packing Cubes Effectively in Four Simple Steps
If you’re going to buy packing cubes, you’ll need to make sure you use them correctly. If not then you’ve wasted your money. So, how exactly should you use packing cubes? It’s easy:
Step One: Figure Out Your Clothing Needs
If you’re the type to walk over to your closet and throw a bunch of stuff haphazardly into your suitcase, that won’t fly with packing cubes. In order to best use packing cubes, you need to first figure out what you’re going to pack. We recommend starting with a list. An example could be:
- Running outfit (black leggings, black sports bra, pink fitness top, 1 pair socks, Nike sneakers, running jacket)
- Daytime attire (Citizens jeans, white shirt, blue sweater, 1 pair socks, black shoes)
- Evening attire (red dress, black tights, black boots, denim jacket)
- Nighttime attire (flannel pajamas)
- Undergarments: bra, underwear
Do this for each day and be as specific as possible. When your list is complete, go back through it. Is there anything you can remove?
Once your list is final, go into your closet and pull out each item from your list and lay it on your bed. From here, you have two options: you can either sort the items by day or you can sort by category. If it’s a long trip, you may not have enough packing cubes to sort by day, thus category may be easier. Once you figure out how you want to sort your clothes, sort them that way on your bed.
Step Two: Figure Out Your Toiletry Needs
Once you know what clothing you’ll be bringing, it’s time to move on to the toiletries. Make a list of all the toiletries you’ll need.
- Face Wash
- Face Lotion
Once you have your list, figure out if you want to use a toiletry bag or a packing cube to keep your toiletries in. We recommend a toiletry bag (see the Best Toiletry Bags For 2019) that will spacially fit well with your packing cubes.
Once your list of toiletries is ready, go ahead and back them. It’s much faster than packing your clothes, so you may as well start with the toiletries.
And – once your toiletries are packed and ready, it’s time to pack your apparel.
Step Three: Packing Cube Time
Once your clothes are sorted on your bed by either day or category, it’s time to pack. The first step is to figure out which method of packing you’ll use: rolling or folding. We recommend rolling. This way, you’ll be able to see all of your items through the clear or mesh top of your packing cube (assuming you purchase a clear or mesh top, which is what we highly recommend).
If you want to fold your clothes that’s fine too. They’ll stay relatively wrinkle-free either way.
Step Four: Pack Your Suitcase
Once your packing cubes and toiletry bag are packed, it’s time to load everything into your suitcase. Think of it as one big Tetris game – the packing cubes should easily fit together. Make sure you pack an empty packing cube as well so you can store your dirty laundry it in.
We hope this article enlightened you to the benefit of using packing cubes. If you’ve used them before, what are your favorite kinds? Tell us in the comments.Read More