In this guide to the best packing cubes for travel, you'll find out what makes them an indispensable must-have for your next trip!
Travel Organizing Cubes will help packing for your next vacation a breeze!
It doesn't matter if your are flying with carry on, taking a suitcase on honeymoon, or cycling around the world. Packing Cubes will make efficient use of the space in your bag, and help you stay organized.
What is a packing cube?
Packing cubes are relatively inexpensive small bags made up of a lightweight fabric on five sides. The sixth side is normally made of a fabric mesh, and is zipped 3/4 of the way around to open the cube. Clothes are placed inside these cubes either folded or rolled.
Mesh packing cubes are designed to help maximize the amount of space used in a suitcase or backpack, provide easy access to clothes, and help travelers to organize their travel packing in a more logical way.
Note: You may sometimes find packing cubes referred to as organizer cubes, or compression packing cubes.
What are the features to look for in packing cubes for travel
When choosing packing cubes for travel, it's important to consider several key features to ensure they meet your needs. These features include:
- Weight: Look for lightweight packing cubes to avoid adding unnecessary bulk to your luggage.
- Materials/Build Quality: Opt for packing cubes made from durable materials like nylon or polyester, as they can withstand the rigors of travel.
- Functionality: Consider features such as compression, clean/dry capabilities, and ease of use. Compression cubes can help maximize space, while clean/dry capabilities keep your items organized and protected.
- Size and Organization: Choose packing cubes that come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different items, and consider options with multiple compartments to keep your belongings organized.
- Sustainability: Some brands use recycled materials or prioritize health and production safety, so consider the environmental impact of the packing cubes you choose.
What are the different sizes of packing cubes available in the market
Packing cubes come in various sizes to accommodate different types of clothing and items. Some common sizes available in the market include:
- Small: These cubes are typically 19 cm x 19 cm x 12 cm or similar dimensions, and they are suitable for storing small items like underwear, socks, and accessories
- Medium: Medium-sized cubes are larger than small cubes and are usually 19 cm x 29 cm x 12 cm or similar dimensions. They can accommodate items like t-shirts, shorts, and lighter jackets
- Large: Large cubes are the largest size available and are typically 29 cm x 29 cm x 12 cm or similar dimensions. They can store bulkier items like sweaters, pants, and heavier jackets
Some packing cubes also come in sets with different sizes, such as a small, medium, and large cube, which can be mixed and matched to accommodate various items
Top Packing cubes
Here's a look at some of the best cubes to keep your clothes in as you travel:
Best Budget cubes: Amazon Basics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set. These have literally thousands of positive reviews, and with 2 medium and 2 large cubes in the set, offer the best value for the price.
Best Ultralight Cubes: Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cubes. A very light set of cubes making them suitable for backpackers, cycle tourers, or anyone traveling with just carry-on. You should note, these don't have the mesh lid, and so when zipped you can't see what is inside them.
Best Compression Cubes: Tripped Compression Packing Cubes for Travel- Packing Cubes and Travel Organizers. These feature ripstop fabrics and numerous sizes, meaning you can buy the right cube for your luggage type.
I Use These Packing Cubes: I have been using an Eagle Creek packing cube for over 10 years now. It has survived cycling from England to Cape Town, and Alaska to Argentina. And it's still going strong!
Best Brand of Packing Cube: Eagle Creek have become synonymous with packing cubes, so if in doubt, go for one of their sets!
FAQ About Packing Cubes
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions people who are looking to purchase a packing cube set ask:
Are Travel Packing Cubes Useful?
Travel packing cubes are not just a “luxury” item. They can really come in handy when it comes to lightening your load, making packing and unpacking easier on yourself, keeping things organized – they're an all around good travel accessory!
What are the best packing cubes for traveling?
The best packing cubes are made of durable, lightweight materials. Durability is important for travel gear because it will often experience more wear and tear than home equipment. Travelers want pieces that last beyond their trip’s duration. To avoid wasting money on cheap options, travelers should invest in quality products up front. Look for a packing cube system with good zippers and ripstop materials.
Are packing cubes machine washable?
While some packing cube systems may say they are machine washable, this can cause damage that will shorten their lifespan significantly. My advice is to hand wash with warm water and mild detergent (non-organic). Be sure not to use any harsh chemicals like bleach since this could easily ruin your travel gear. Hang dry only.
Do packing cubes really help?
The main reason for using these is because they make staying organized while you pack so much easier. A lot of people don't like the feeling of rummaging through their suitcase looking for items that could be buried underneath others or even worse out at the bottom with everything else spilling over onto them. Packing Cubes help alleviate this problem by keeping clothing grouped together and neatly stacked inside the bag without having to check every single nook and cranny!
Are Packing cubes TSA approved?
Packing cubes are not TSA approved because they're made of fabric and have zippers. However, if you pack your packing cube in a clear plastic bag (the kind that is often used for liquids), then it will be considered as one item instead of many items inside the same bag.
Packing Cubes vs Compression Bags – Which Should You Choose?
As mentioned before, compression bags can only compress clothing while packing cubes allow you to organize your clothes more than just by type but also by occasion or activity so when packing all your travel gear into two suitcases, make sure to use both types of storage solutions together!
How to use packing cubes?
The best way to choose a packing cube is by first considering your packing style: do you pack with one big suitcase or multiple? Do you want separate compartments in each cube or just one large space shared among all your items? Are there any specific features that would be helpful for traveling on an airplane? If so, look for zippered edges which will make it easier to identify and remove just one item quickly when going through security at the airport (most airlines recommend this).
Can you get waterproof packing cubes?
While some cube sets might call themselves waterproof, most will only go as far as saying they are water resistant. This means that the nylon material they are made of may resist the occasional splash of water, but shouldn't be relied on for keeping clothes and other items totally safe from water.
Can I keep dirty clothes in a mesh packing cube?
It's not really a good idea to keep dirty clothes in a mesh packing cube, as your luggage might start to smell of old clothes! Instead, get a sealed bag designed to keep shoes or dirty clothes in. Eagle Creek have a range to choose from.
Should I roll or fold clothes for packing cubes?
I prefer rolling clothes when I use packing cubes in order to save space, and also be able to more easily see what I have inside.
Reader comments about packing cubes
After reading this guide to buying a set of packing cubes, people left some of the following comments. You might find their opinions and real life use-cases useful. Check them out at the bottom of the page!
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Dave is a travel writer who has spent the last twenty years traveling all over the world. In addition to writing this guide on choosing the best packing cubes, he's created many more guides and posts containing travel tips and insights. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond: