Buying Guide for Packing Cubes
Why buy packing cubes?
Packing cubes are an excellent investment for frequent and sporadic travelers alike. They were created better to organize items, usually clothes, within your suitcases. You can put your shirts in one cube, your shorts in another, etc.; no more fumbling around through piles of clothes, trying to find where you stashed your favorite shirt. Packing cubes are also meant to make more optimal use of your packing space, allowing you to fit more items overall in your bags when you use them. Even smaller cubes can hold a surprising amount of clothing. They will almost always zip shut to keep your belongings securely in place and may act as a slight buffer for the items inside as well. This means more organized clothing and items and less wrinkly and better-protected clothes as well.
What should you look for in packing cubes?
- Quantity: Packing cubes are usually sold in sets of at least four or five, quite often more. Depending on who you’re packing for and how long your vacations or work trips tend to be, you may want to buy a more extensive set of packing cubes. Also, note that, depending on the brand and set, each packing cube may be a different size, or there may be pairs of cubes that are the same size. They may or may not all be the same shape as well.
- Size: Most packing cubes are designed to fit standard-sized suitcases. Unless you have extra-small, extra-large, or custom-made ones, you don’t have to know your suitcases’ exact sizes. You can measure them if you want to be precise or see if more than one packing cube could fit into a single suitcase, but it’s not strictly necessary. You will want to have some idea if they’re small, large, or average-sized compared to most. This will help you pick the right set of packing cubes for your bags.
- Shape: As the name suggests, many packing cubes are square or rectangular, just like most suitcases tend to be. However, there are other shapes available. Some are designed to fit specific types of bags, like backpacks or duffel bags. There are also variations, such as laundry bags, shoe bags, and toiletry bags. Before you buy packing cubes, be sure to consider the types of suitcases you own and which ones you’d want to use the packing cubes in.
What are the benefits of using compression packing cubes?
Not all packing cubes are compression cubes, though they’re pretty standard. As the name suggests, compression packing cubes compress the air out of your clothes. This presses your clothes even more tightly and compactly together. This gets rid of some of the bulk created by stacked clothing and opens up even more room inside your suitcase. If you’re more concerned about fitting as much as possible inside your suitcase, you’ll want to opt for compression cubes. However, they aren’t as effective at preventing wrinkles, so if neatness is more of your concern, you’ll want to stick with regular packing cubes.
Our Picks for the Best Packing Cubes
BAGAIL 6 Set Packing Cubes
A set of six packing cubes in three different sizes with ventilated mesh tops.
Pros: Made of high-quality nylon with a zipper, the finished interior seams of each cube make them more durable for long service life. Each of the six cubes has a top mesh panel that provides the contents with better ventilation. The mesh also makes it easier for you to view your belongings, so you won’t have to open up the whole cube and dig through it to find the item you’re looking for. You receive two large, two medium, and two small packing cubes with your purchase to better suit various packing purposes and suitcase sizes. Each packing cube has a built-in handle if you ever want to use them as a separate carry-on piece of luggage or standalone suitcase.
Cons: You have to wash these by hand in cold water and then dry them in the shade. You may also find that the zippers aren’t quite as sturdy.
Bottom Line: This premium six-piece set of packing cubes will fit into most carry-ons, suitcases, duffel bags, and even backpacks. Whether you’re taking a long weekend with your significant other, traveling for work, or taking a month-long backpacking trip, these packing cubes have you covered.
TRIPPED Travel Gear Compression Packing Cubes
A set of six compression packing cubes that reduce suitcase bulk and let you make the most of your packing space.
Pros: This set of six includes two large compression cubes, two small compression cubes, a slim tube, and a laundry/shoe bag. A two-piece set of just one large and one small cube is also available, and both sets can be purchased in 10 different color options. All the compression packing cubes, regardless of color or size, are made of anti-rip, water-resistant polyurethane fabric that is durable and lightweight. All the zippers have reinforced zipper stops to prevent breaking, and the zippers used for compression purposes are double-stitched for increased strength. As a bonus, this set is washer-friendly so that you can toss it in the washing machine after a trip for easy cleaning.
Cons: If they’re packed too tightly, they’ll lose their useful trademark compression feature.
Bottom Line: If eliminating excess bulk and saving space inside your luggage is important to you, consider this set of compression packing cubes. The double-zipper closure system presses your clothes together to ensure that no space is wasted within these packing cubes. Despite their slim size, you should be able to fit thicker pieces of clothing like raincoats and hoodies inside these cubes without any problem.
Gonex Extensible Mesh Compression Packing Cubes
A set of lightweight, high-density nylon packing cubes that come in both small and large sets.
Pros: These packing cubes offer a great variety in quantity and colors. They’re available in 20 different accented colors or patterns, and you can buy a set of three, four, or six. Each packing cube can be compressed down to save space inside your luggage or extended out to “normal” size to serve as a standalone carry-on bag. The quick-grab handle on each cube makes them easy to carry in your hand or remove from suitcases, while the soft, high-density nylon fabric body makes the cubes both light and durable. The nylon is also extendable, lightweight, and anti-rip to hold up to frequent use without weighing down your suitcases, bags, and backpacks.
Cons: The zipper can get stuck or snag on fabric.
Bottom Line: Whether you want a small collection of packing cubes or a set with all the trimmings, you’ll find both choices convenient with these compression/extensible packing cubes. There are options for packing for the whole family, a couple, or an individual. With the great color variety offered on top of that, there’s sure to be a set that suits just about any taste.
YAMIU Packing Cubes with Shoe Bag & Toiletry Bags
A lightweight, water-resistant set of seven packing cubes and toiletry bags for one low price.
Pros: This high-value, low-priced set of packing cubes comes with four packing cubes, a shoe bag, a regular toiletry bag, and a TSA-approved carry-on toiletry bag, all for one reasonable price. The packing cubes come in small, medium, and large sizes. They’re made of extremely lightweight, water-resistant, and high-quality nylon, so they won’t add noticeable extra weight to your bags and suitcases. The double zippers on each are smooth and strong to prevent breaking or jamming. Each packing cube has a mesh window at the front, so you can locate your belongings more quickly. The shoe bag is also water-resistant and can double as a travel laundry bag. The two clear toiletry bags are completely waterproof, ideal for holding toiletries, other liquids, and wet clothes to prevent them from spilling, staining, or dirtying your other clothes and belongings.
Cons: The shoe bag doesn’t have ventilation or air circulation to help with smells, which is worth keeping in mind before you nestle it in your suitcase beside your clean clothes.
Bottom Line: If you’re trying to be more careful with how you spend your money or want to be sure you get the best bang for your buck when shopping for packing cubes, look no further. This set has just about every feature you could want in packing cubes. Coupled with the reasonable price for the number of cubes you get, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better set.
Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry Bag
This colorful set of packing cubes will keep your clothes neat and organized during travel and look good doing it.
Pros: Luggage doesn’t have to be basic solid neutral colors anymore, and that extends to packing cubes as well. Though there are a few classic shades for those who like them, these packing cubes are an excellent option for those who love patterns and bright colors. They’re very colorful and eye-catching overall. Each cube has mesh windows on the front that let you locate items inside without needing to aimlessly dig around first. The nylon fabric is water-resistant, aided by the internal vinyl lining, so these packing cubes should be safe to take camping or on other outdoor trips. They’re made of recycled materials for the nature lovers out there.
Cons: These may melt in the dryer, and the mesh material may tear easily.
Bottom Line: If you want your cubes to be as pretty as they are practical, these are the packing cubes for you. Their eye-catching patterns and bright colors will look great, yet their newly thickened material and water-resistant bodies mean you can take them just about anywhere, even camping or backpacking.
Even the most experienced travelers and packers can benefit from a nice set of packing cubes. You can use them to make the most out of small suitcases and backpacks and keep bigger suitcases better organized. You’ll get plenty of mileage out of your packing cubes, whether for short or long trips.