Before you can really ask yourself are packing cubes worth it you need to ask what do I actually want to achieve with them? They may look like a few pieces of overpriced fabric but in my mind they have a ton of uses and are invaluable when travelling.
They are no longer seen as pieces of unnecessary kit designed only for the anally retentive packers out there. In today’s world they are an invaluable tool which allows us to be versatile, efficient and hygienic in our approach to travel.
Why use packing cubes?
The main uses for packing cubes are:
- Organisation – Dividing your gear into easy access segments without having to pull everything out trying to access one thing you may have buried deep in your bag
- Compression – Reducing some of the bulk in your case by putting bulky, puffy items into compression bags for clothes to reduce space usage.
- Fashion – To reduce wrinkles of your clothing to avoid you running around like a headless chicken trying to find an iron to use or a power socket for your travel iron!
- Security – Put your valuables into one pouch for easy retrieval if needed. Clothes can be replaced but what about your laptop, camera, tablet of phone? Plus padding items around these can also provide protection against damage too.
- Hygiene – You can use these to have clean/dirty cubes. If you are moving around a lot and don’t have time to do laundry they make an excellent mini laundry hamper. Keep your clean clothes clean and your niffy ones, well, away from the clean ones!
- Speed up packing – If you are in a room which may not have much space then you can easily live out of these cubes. Think of them as a mini set of cases so rather than pull out the contents of your whole case you can keep the cubes in drawers or on shelves. This will also help keep your clothes clean in case your room is not as clean as you would like.
Have a look at the tables below. They have been divided into small (carry on), medium (backpacks) and large (suitcases) to assist you in deciding which packing cubes would be best suited for your needs. When you click on any of the images or buy buttons it will prompt you to add it to your cart. I have added this feature for your convenience so you can add the ones you like and then go to your cart where you can eliminate from your ‘shortlist’ until you find the perfect ones for you. It’s much easier to have a shortlist rather than trying to remember which ones you liked and then spend time jumping back and forth checking them when they can be all on one neat list for you.
Best packing cubes for backpacks/backpacking
On average a backpack will hold around 30% less than a regular suitcase. (Based on large 70L backpack compared to large 104L suitcase). With this in mind space is the issue here rather than weight so you will be looking to try and shrink down your stuff to as small a footprint as possible.
These cubes are great for backpacking, not only are they strong and super lightweight but the have a wraparound zipper designed to squash the contents to a fraction of the size. Eagle Creek is an American brand so if you want to see just how popular they are there click here for nearly 400 US reviews.
Steffi: It’s my third one of them. I bought them for packpacking because I wanted to have a organized backpack and also I liked the idea of save space. As I am traveling a lot die work I used it already a few times with my normal suitcase and the cubes are amazing.
My stuff has the half size (pillow and warm winter jackets), no chaos in my suitcase anymore and the quality is great. The material seems to be okay vor I was wrong – it’s great quality.
Worth ever pence.
Can also recommend the seller as everything was well packed with a real I voice.
Kalypso Kumberbatch: I have packed using packing cubes for a while, but this is a really brilliant cube. It can be a ” normal”size, or pretty huge once unzipped. It is extremely light compared with other, standard cubes I have used in the past. I bought it to use for backpacking and normal suitcase packing.
Best packing cubes for suitcases
Here space is less of an issue, depending on how long you are going for. Usually weight is the driving factor here rather than size although that still is quite an important secondary issue for your suitcase traveller.
Here is my recommendation for anyone looking to travel with a suitcase. They compress 30% and only weigh 340g. Super light so you won’t use hardly any of your allowance. They come with YKK zips which are super durable and hard wearing too!
Harry Lake: Very good product indeed, with great customer service. I am using this in my Osprey Farpoint 40, and the mediums are a perfect fit.
Please note that the slim cubes included are actually larger than stated, approx 14″x5″x3″. I will be contacting the suppliers now to let them know about the mistake in the advertisement. It’ll probably be done by the time you read this…
This is no downside though, you actually get more for your money.
I use 1x medium for Trousers/shorts, 1x medium for shirts/tshirts, 1x medium for dirty laundry, 1x slim for underwear and socks, and 1x slim for electronics and other small bits. I just wish I had one more slim for beach stuff (mask, snorkel, towel, go pro floatie) but alas they are not available individually. Currently I have no use for the Large cube, but can see myself using it for my waterproofs when hiking.
Barbara Summers: These packing cubes were ordered as a gift. I love the two zipper opening; the look and quality of the product; the cubes are well made and lightweight; 6 bags in different sizes; and the price is very reasonable. Definitely would buy again.
Best packing cubes for carry on
Here you are looking for both small and light for your carry on. If you are travelling light and are carrying your main backpack or case with you then space is paramount as you will be limited to around 40L of space and the last thing you need is to be forced to stow your bag in the hold for being too bulky/overweight.
Lastly here is my recommendation for your carry on bag. When you are travelling it’s nice to have these in your carry on to hold a spare change of clothes, for example, toiletries and your entertainment bag. There’s nothing worse than having to fish through your bag for your tablet or wonder where those pesky earphones went. Keep it all seperate, tidy and easy to access
Gary Grimshaw: Life changing, and I didn’t even know that these great little bags even existed a few weeks ago. A friend of mine has been nagging me to buy these because he loves them, so I thought why not it will stop him going on. Frankly after one weekend break with the wife, it became obvious, that not having my underwear randomly spread over the bedroom was a definite plus to the weekend. Better still on arriving home the unpacking was quick and easy. Almost forgot the bags are well made and will probably last longer than my suitcases.
David J. Crawford: Brought these because I thought that they may be useful boy was I right. What a fantastic idea and so so useful. Pack your clothes in one, toiletries in another and all your many chargers (which you have to take when you are traveling) in another. You know exactly where they are in the suitcase no more trying to move all your ironed clothes to find something you tucked in somewhere. Just pull out the bag of clothes and put them straight into a drawer or on a shelf. Keeps them neat and the bags are really strong. The mesh is really good quality. Really prompt delivery, would definitely recommend
So, are packing cubes worth it?
In my honest opinion, yes. If you are looking to reduce bulk, save time, maximise space, be organised, less creased and efficient then these are for you. Even if you only need them for a few of the reasons above then they are a worthy investment for anyone.