Are packing cubes worth it? Pros and Cons

Packing cubes are a great way to organize your belongings when you travel. They can help you save space in your suitcase, and keep your clothes from getting wrinkled.

Using packing cubes pros and cons

When it comes to packing clothes for a trip, there are a few different ways to go about it. You can fold everything and try to fit it all into one suitcase, or you can roll your clothes up and hope they don't wrinkle too badly. Or, you could use packing cubes.


What are packing cubes?

Packing cubes are small, fabric bags that compress your clothes and help you organize them when packing for a trip. They come in different sizes, and most include a mesh top so you can see what's inside.

Packing compression cubes are a popular travel accessory, and there is debate on whether or not they are actually worth the money. Some people find that packing cubes save space and help to keep their luggage more organized, while others find that they squish clothes and cause wrinkles.

Personally, I love them. They help me save space in my luggage when packing for my Greek island hopping trips. Having used them for the last twenty years or so, I can't imagine traveling without them!

Pros and Cons of Travel Packing Cubes

benefits of packing cubes for travel

Here are some pros and cons of packing cubes to help you decide if they are right for you:

Packing Cube Pros:

Some of the benefits of packing cubes include:

– Travel packing cubes can save space in your luggage

Packing cubes also help save space in your luggage if you roll clothes tightly so you can fit more into each cube—and into your suitcase overall. This is especially helpful if you're trying to avoid paying excess baggage fees on an airplane. And if you're traveling carry-on only, packing cubes will be your new best friend.

– They help to keep your luggage more organized, as you can pack each cube with clothes for a specific activity or destination.

Another great thing about travel packing cubes is that they keep you organized while you're traveling. Instead of having to rummage through your entire suitcase every time you need to find something, packing cubes let you compartmentalize your belongings so that everything has its own place. And if you're really looking to step up your organizational game, color-coded packing cubes are a great way to go. That way, you can easily grab the cube(s) you need without having to dig through everything else.

With everything neatly organized in its own cube, you can easily find what you need without having to dig through a pile of clothes. And when it's time to unpack at your destination, simply unzip the cubes and put everything away in its proper place. No more living out of a chaotically stuffed suitcase!

– Packing cubes can protect your clothes from damage, as they keep them separate from other items in your luggage.

In addition to saving space and helping with organization, packing cubes also help protect your belongings while they're in transit. Clothes can shift around and become wrinkled when packed loosely in a suitcase, but when they're packed in a cube, they stay put and arrive at your destination looking just as good as they did when they left home.

Reasons to use travel packing cubes

Packing Cube Cons:

– They can cause wrinkles in your clothes

There's a certain art to packing clothes for a trip, which to tell the truth after 30 years of traveling around the world, I've still not fully mastered! If you can roll your clothes well, you'll have wrinkle free t shirts in your luggage organiser cube. Make a bad job of it, and you might need to find an iron to use while you're on vacation!

– If you lose a packing cube, it can be difficult to get everything back in your luggage

Using packing organizers like cubes is a great way to use every spare inch of your suitcase space, but if you lose one it can be difficult fitting all your clothes back in again. Try not to lose your cubes!

– You need to put your dirty clothes somewhere else

A couple of days into a trip, you will have some dirty laundry. Packing cubes can make this more difficult as you will need to find another place to put your dirty clothes.

I take a dedicated laundry bag (which is sealed so odours don't get out) in which to put my dirty cubes. This way, I can keep my clean clothes separated, and still save space.

reasons to use packing cubes for travel

Wouldn't plastic bags do just as well as a packing cube?

I know what you're thinking, plastic bags! Why would I spend money on packing cubes when I can just use a carrier bag or ziploc bag?


The trouble with using plastic bags is that they don't have the breathability of fabric, so your clothes can end up smelling musty. Also, they are more fragile and can tear easily.

Packing cubes are made from strong durable fabric, so they will last longer and won't rip as easily. And the mesh top allows your clothes to breath, so they won't get musty. In my opinion, the pros of packing cubes really outweigh the cons, and are far superior to plastic bags.

Related: International Travel Packing Lists

Tips for using packing cubes

Anyone who has ever packed for a trip knows that it can be a real pain to fit everything you need into one suitcase. Digital nomads also struggle to get everything into a backpack!

Clothes get wrinkled, items get lost, and it always seems like there's never enough space. That's where packing cubes come in.

Packing cubes are small, usually square or rectangular, fabric bags that help you organize your belongings and make the most of the space in your suitcase. Here are some tips on how to use packing cubes to make your next trip a breeze.

1. Choose the right size packing cubes.

Packing cubes come in all different sizes, so it's important to choose the ones that will best fit your needs. If you're packing for a long trip or plan on bringing a lot of souvenirs home with you, opt for larger packing cubes. If you're only going away for a weekend or don't plan on bringing home many items, smaller packing cubes will do the trick.

2. Use them to organize your belongings.

Packing cubes are great for organizing your clothes by outfit, activity, or even day of the week. This way, you can just grab the cube (or cubes) you need and go without having to rummage through your entire suitcase. Sort your clothes by type. Put all of your shirts in one cube, all of your pants in another, and so on. This will make it easier to find what you're looking for when you're on the go.

3. Roll your clothes instead of folding them.

This may seem counterintuitive, but rolling your clothes instead of folding them actually saves a lot of space and helps prevent wrinkles. Simply place your clothes in the packing cube and roll them up tightly before zipping the cube shut.

4. Maximize space by filling empty spaces with smaller items.

Once you've rolled and packed all of your clothes into packing cubes, take a look at any empty spaces that remain. These spaces are perfect for storing small items such as socks, underwear, belts, ties, jewelry, etc. 

5. Zip it up!

Once everything is packed into its own cube, zip up the cubes and put them into your suitcase. Now all of your belongings are organized and easy to find.

Packing cubes are a great way to maximize space and stay organized while traveling. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your next trip is hassle-free and enjoyable from start to finish.

One large packing cube vs two medium cubes

I prefer to take a couple of medium sized packing cubes rather than one large one. This way, I can keep my clothes organized by type, and I don't have to rummage through everything to find what I'm looking for.

If you're only taking a small bag or suitcase, you might be better off with one small packing cube. But if you're packing for a longer trip or bringing a lot of items with you, I would recommend using two medium sized packing cubes. Or more – it depends on how many clothes you want to pack for your holiday!

Related: Can I take a powerbank on an airplane?

Packing Cubes vs Compression Bags

The subtle difference between packing cubes and compression bags is that cubes zip shut, whereas compression bags may have a drawstring and an adjustable strap to change the amount of compression.

Packing cubes can be thought of as a luggage organizer, whereas compression sacks are designed to minimize the amount of space that your clothes occupy.

Packing cubes can be used with or without compression, depending on how much space you have and whether you need to worry about wrinkles. If you are short on space, however, compression bags can be a good way to get everything into one suitcase.

Packing cubes are more useful for people traveling with regular luggage such as suitcases. A compression or stuff sack is more suited to hikers and backpackers who don't mind if clothes are wrinkled.

Related: Snacks to take on a flight

Best Packing Cubes

If you are looking for a packing cube set, they come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the ones that best fit your needs. Here's some of the best packing cubes on the market:

Packing Cube FAQ

Do packing cubes actually help?

Some travelers find that using travel packing cubes saves space and keeps their belongings organized in a suitcase or backpack as they can group items together. Others find that they are not necessary at all.

Do packing cubes work better than rolling?

When it comes to saving space in your luggage, nothing beats both rolling your clothes and then packing them in a packing cube. You can also separate items by type (e.g. shirts, pants, underwear) which makes it easy to find what you're looking for when you arrive at your destination.

Are packing compression cubes worth it?

Regular packing cubes are inexpensive and do a great job of organizing your clothes and maximizing space. Compression packing cubes are slightly more expensive but will help you save even more space in your suitcase by compressing your clothes.

Do I need different sizes of packing cubes?

The size of packing cubes you need will depend on the type of trip you're taking and how much clothing you need to bring. For shorter trips or if you're only packing a few items, a small or medium cube should suffice. For longer trips or if you plan on bringing home souvenirs, a large packing cube may be necessary.

What is the purpose of packing cubes?

Packing cubes help to organize your belongings and make the most of the space in your suitcase. They come in different sizes and shapes, with most packing cubes having a mesh lid so you can tell what is in each one.

Compression Packing Cubes Conclusion

Packing cubes have become a popular travel accessory in recent years, with many people claiming that they save space and help to keep luggage organised. However, there is debate over whether they are actually worth the money. Some people argue that packing cubes are not necessary and that they can actually add bulk to luggage. Others say that packing cubes are an essential part of their travel gear and that they help to save space and keep everything organised. Ultimately, it is all up to you!

Do you use packing cubes, or have any comments to add? Leave them at the end of this blog post!

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Dave Briggs visiting an island in GreeceDave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer based in Athens, Greece. As well as writing this advice on whether to use packing cubes for travel, he's written many more travel tips and guides here at Dave's Travel Pages. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond:

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