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Travel packing cubes are the ultimate luggage organizers! They maximize the space in your bag so you can fit in all your belongings in an organized and efficient way using minimal space.
Unsure how to use them? This article tells you everything you need to know: how to use them (with video), the best ones to use, where to buy them, the best ways to pack using them, and if they’re worth it. Learn more!
7 Best Packing Cubes and How to use Them
Updated March 2018: I was a full-time traveler for almost a decade. Travel cubes helped me achieve my goal of traveling carry-on only in my never-ending journey around the world. I even made this game-changing video to show you just how awesome they really are.
After I published this article and the video, I received thousands of comments and emails from women saying that packing cubes have now helped them travel carry-on only. I hope you’ll find this article as helpful as they did.
It’s important to note that these organizers do much more than just separate your tops from your bottoms. By using the rolling method shown in the video below, you can compress the space in your luggage, making it easier to travel carry-on only!
What are Packing Cubes?
Packing cubes are organizational containers that are meant to help you have a neat and efficient suitcase. Travelers use them to organize clothing, toiletries, and many other items. They usually have a square or rectangular shape with a mesh top and a zipper around the sides.
There are various types of cubes available in different shapes, sizes, and fabrics. They also have different names, such as travel cubes, packing bags, and luggage cubes. While there are various types of luggage organizers, packing cubes are by far the traveler favorite!
They’re traditionally created for the purpose of organization, however, I’ve found a unique way to transform them into something even better! In fact, my method has helped millions of women travel carry-on only! Keep reading to learn more.
Why Packing Cubes are Worth It
With a price tag of roughly $20 for a set of packing cubes, they’re definitely worth a try. If you use the rolling method shown in the video below, you’ll be able to travel carry-on only saving you money in the long run. More importantly, packing light makes your overall travel experience much more comfortable and stress-free.
While it’s possible to use Ziploc bags to store your clothing, true packing organizers have several benefits and don’t cost that much more money and you can re-use them for every trip. I can’t travel without mine and most travelers feel the same way. They’re a game changer!
Which Packing Cube Should I Buy?
My preferred brand is eBags as you can read about in detail below. Throughout the past nine years of full time traveling, I’ve also used various other brands including AmazonBasics, Pro Packing Cubes, Travel Wise, and Dot & Dot, too.
These are my tried and tested packing cube reviews along with some of our readers’ top picks:
eBags Packing Cubes
eBags packing cubes are the most popular brand and they have have a variety of sizes and colors available. In particular, I’m a fan of their slim sized packing cubes but readers that require more space for their belongings prefer the multi-sized set shown above.
The reason this brand has the top selling and one of the best packing cubes is that their products feature durable fabric, strong mesh, and solid zippers. Recently, they’ve also released an “ultralight” version of their cubes but it’s not structured and only offers the benefit of organization. The mesh in the ultralight collection ripped only after using them on a couple of short trips whereas the original set (shown above) has lasted years.
Even though eBags didn’t create their packing cubes with the intention of offering compression, I discovered this to be an additional benefit and utilize this feature in the packing strategy I developed as can be seen in the packing video below. Buy it here!
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes offers an inexpensive organizational solution for budget-conscious travelers or those that are uncertain about making an investment to the banded products.
When Amazon first launched the Basics line it offered a product that was closer to eBags’s original design. I immediately bought it and was happy with my purchase however Amazon stopped selling it and moved on to the next packing cube trend: the ultralight weight fabric styles.
The ultralight soft mesh design rivals the eBags version mentioned above; they’re both featherlight and serve the purpose of organization. Buy it here!
Pro Packing Cubes
I was given a set of Pro Packing Cubes to test and the fabric was ultra-lightweight and seemed incredibly promising. Unfortunately, the quality didn’t hold up and the mesh ripped within a couple of months of usage.
Although I was traveling full time for four months this type of problem is exactly why it’s good to invest a little more in quality products. The company has since stated they have improved the quality but I haven’t tested their new version. Buy it here!
Eagle Creek Packing Cubes
They offer organizers in various shapes, sizes, and designs so they’re worth a look if you’re on the hunt for options to fit into uniquely designed luggage spaces. Buy it here!
Shacke Pak Packing Cubes
While I haven’t tried the Shacke Pak cubes, they are popular with budget-conscious readers that are looking for a larger set with mixed sizes. Because of their square shape and spacious design, these would work well in large suitcases for travelers looking to check their bags vs travel carry-on only.
Our readers prefer the Gentlemen’s Blue color but this set is also available in eight other colors and includes a laundry bag. Buy it here!
TravelWise Packing Cubes
TravelWise packing cubes have an incredibly sturdy fabric that is well-constructed and durable. I was delightfully impressed with their products and tested out the 3-piece set shown above.
Their spacious designs allowed me to use them for much more than just travel. I was able to store and organize a large portion of the clothes in my closet without the need for a box or other container. I liked the idea of also being able to use packing cubes at home in everyday life and it inspired an entire article on the many uses of packing cubes. Buy it here!
Dot&Dot Packing Cubes
As many packing cube brands have popped up in Amazon over the years, Dot&Dot was one of the first to create a design inspired by the eBags slim version. I wanted to see if there was a major difference between them so I ordered it to test it out.
Aside from a slight difference in weight – Dot&Dot was slightly heavier and thicker – the design looked nice and I really liked the bright red color they offered. I only traveled with them on a short two-week trip so I can’t vouch for the quality of their extended use. Buy it here!
Please note: I am not sponsored by any travel company. I genuinely love these organizers so much that I even designed my own!
How to Use Travel Packing Cubes
In 2012, I developed the packing cube rolling method shown in the tutorial and video below and have since helped millions of women travel carry-on only.
Travel cubes are traditionally sold to help you organize your suitcase. However, this unique strategy helps you maximize your luggage space, allowing you to fit more stuff in less space!
As you can see in the above tutorial, you can organize your belongings while making more use of limited space. Now, I’m sure you know this doesn’t mean you should pack a bunch of stuff you don’t need and weigh down your luggage. There are weight restrictions for carry-on baggage you have to consider.
However, using this technique will help you downsize your belongings with ease. You’ll be surprised to know how much you can actually fit into these products. You won’t need to check that bag after all.
Now watch the video below for the complete explanation!
In the above packing video, I show you exactly how you can compress a generous amount of clothing into a carry-on bag by rolling and adjusting your items into a packing cube. (Please note: This was my very first video many years ago but I now have newer videos available on YouTube.)
The video features a a 3-piece set of slim sized packing cubes and an extreme example of what someone would pack for a challenging trip consisting of various climates, activities, and the need to be ready for anything. I used this 15-piece packing list as a guideline for the clothing, the maximum wardrobe size I recommend you pack for any trip.
You may not always need to use this handy packing hack, but it works wonders when needed! You can also use a combination of folding and rolling within the same packing cube, too.
How to Use Packing Cubes: Organization
While there are many benefits to traveling with travel cubes, one of my favorite reasons is that they help you organize. When you’re on the go, the last thing you want to do is waste valuable time searching for clothing.
Packing clothes for travel doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here are three ways to organize like a pro:
1. Organize Clothing Categories
The easiest way to pack your clothes for travel is to use a different packing cube for tops, bottoms, and other.
2. Organize Travel Outfits
Packing clothes for travel with organizers can separate travel outfits. Coordinate the first few days in advance then mix and match as you go.
3. Organize by the Weather
Packing clothes for travel to destinations with different weather can be done efficiently by separating clothes based on hot versus cold climates.
Use one packing cube to store the clothing for your hot weather destination and use the other for your cold weather destination. The third can be used for layering pieces. Create mini capsule wardrobes for each weather system.
How to Choose the Best Travel Packing Cube
Travelers always want to know: what’s the best packing cube? Well, every packing organizer serves a different purpose. It’s best to have a combination of options to meet the needs of varying trips.
When deciding the best luggage organizer, first you need to determine your needs:
- Do you want to downsize your suitcase to a carry-on?
- Do you want to have a more organized suitcase?
- Do you wish to compartmentalize your belongings more efficiently?
- Are you traveling for business or leisure?
- Are you traveling for a weekend or a month?
- Are you traveling in summer or winter weather?
Whether you’re a backpacker, leisure, or business traveler, everyone can benefit from using travel cubes. I’ve been told that families find these extremely helpful and have been able to pack just two carry-on suitcases for a family of four!
Ultimately, travelers should use different types of travel organizers because needs will change from trip to trip. To understand the difference between cubes, folders, sacks, pouches, and other types of packing tools, please read this post on how to choose the best luggage organizer.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a packing organizer:
What’s the Difference Between Regular and Slim Packing Cubes?
Travel packing cubes are available in various sizes but generally two different shapes: regular and slim. The regular cubes are square shaped and great for stacking in a regular suitcase while the slim ones are slender and can be placed alongside each other.
When I received both sets, I was surprised at how large and wide the regular size cubes were and how small the slim set was in comparison.
What Packing Cube Size Should You Use?
A bit skeptical at first, I tested both and it turned out that the regular cubes are quite big and very generous. Too large, in fact, for my needs. They’re more appropriate for a large size suitcase due to their size and shape.
Because I travel carry-on only and due to the measurements of my bag, the slim size works for me. I can fit anywhere from four thick, fabric pieces like denim or leather to 10+ summer-weight items in each one.
While I think the majority of travelers can make the most of their space with the slim sizes, I wouldn’t recommend you use anything larger than a medium, particularly if your goal is to travel in a smaller suitcase.
I stuff so much clothing into these cubes, you’d think they’d rip easily–but they’re made of extremely durable material with sturdy zippers, which is essential for a long-lasting product. I’ve even thrown them in the washing machine on several occasions and they’re still going strong, three years later.
Additional Uses for Travel Packing Cubes
- In addition to using them for everyday travels, I use them when I go trekking to places like Machu Picchu and can only carry a daypack. Using one cube with the clothing I need acts as an ideal travel organizer and fits neatly in a small bag.
- I use them to hold useful items like sleeping liners, scarves, socks, a travel pillow, and clothing layers, when I have long transportation journeys or long flights and want to have easy access to my comfort items.
- When I’m stationary for a few months, I sometimes don’t have a lot of drawer space in my lodging. I continue using packing cubes to store clothes to make up for the lack of storage space.
- In addition to clothing, you can also use them to store other things in your luggage, like electronics, documents, toiletries, and makeup.
They have endless uses at home, too. Read about them here!
Where To Buy Packing Cubes
You can buy packing organizers in a variety of places but I prefer Amazon. You have the most choices, the best prices, plus you get free 2-day shipping with Prime.
Here’s a quick overview for each of products on our best packing cubes list:
|BRAND / MODEL||DIMENSION||FEATURES||RATING||PRICE|
|eBags Packing Cubes – 3pc Value Set||Large 17.5 x 12.75 x 3.25, medium 13.75 x 9.75 x 3, small 11 x 6.75 x 3 and slim 2.8 x 14 x 5 in||Set includes: 1 large, 1 Medium, 1 Small and 3 Slim, Techlite Diamond Nylon, includes premium YKK zippers, soft mesh tops||Check Price|
|AmazonBasics 4-Piece Packing Cube Set||Large 17.5 x 12.75 x 3.25, medium 13.75 x 9.75 x 3, small 11 x 6.75 x 3, slim 14 x 5 x 2.8 in||100% Polyester, double zipper pull closure, mesh top panel, webbing handle||Check Price|
|Pro Packing Cubes- 6pc set||Large 17.5 x 12.75 x 3.25, medium 13.75 x 9.75 x 3, slim 14 x 5 x 3.5 in||Ultralight & durable rip-stop Nylon, YKK zippers, 100% LIFETIME GUARANTEE||Check Price|
|Eagle Creek Pack It Specter Compression Cube Set||Large 14 x 10 x 3, small 10 x 7 x 3 (before compression)||Compression zipper, ultra lightweight silnylon ripstop, quick grab handle||Check Price|
|Shacke Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes||X-Large 17.5 x 12.75 x 4 Large 13.75 x 12.75 x 4 Medium 13.75 x 9.75 x 4 Small 11 x 6.75 x 4||Made from high quality water resistant nylon material, X design with double stitching, laundry bag Included||Check Price|
|TravelWise Packing Cube System- 5pc Set||Large 17.5 x 12.75 x 4, medium 13.75 x 9.75 x 3.75, small 11.5 x 6.75 x 3.75 in||Constructed of high-quality nylon fabric, 2 way easy-pull zippers, open mesh design||Check Price|
|Dot&Dot Slim Packing Cubes for Travel||14 x 5 x 2.75 in||Design inspired by the eBags slim version||Check Price|
Examples of packing with packing cubes:
Traveling luggage-free with one slim cube and all my belongings in the purse (shown above) for a one-week vacation to Puerto Vallarta.
Everything for a 1-week luggage-free vacation using one slim cube!
I used two slims on a 4-week trip from Colombia to Portugal including a 2-week cruise. I packed everything in the above backpack. Read more!
I also used only two slim cubes for a 4-month+ trip to Southeast Asia including ultra-light scuba gear in the 45L Patagonia wheeled duffle shown above. Read the post here!
What do you think about travel packing cubes? Do you use them? Tell us in the comments!
For more tips on travel gear, please read:
- How to Choose a Suitcase
- How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack
- Top Packing Organizers
- Top 10 Toiletry Bags
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