Review: Packing Cubes

 If you poll frequent travelers, I think you’ll get a mixed response on whether folks use or don’t use packing cubes. Until recently, I hadn’t even tried using a packing cube, but during the last Amazon Prime Day, there was a pretty decent deal, so I grabbed a 4-pack of two different sizes.

Packing cubes come in many different sizes, though they primarily seem to be quadrilaterals. There are also a bunch of brands as well, in addition to Amazon Essentials—Amazon’s private label brand—eBags has their own, and scores of others. Below are the two sizes that I got:

packing cubes

In general, packing cubes can be helpful for getting more into a smaller suitcase, as each cube compresses your clothes. They can also be really helpful in separating clothes if you are going to multiple destinations on your trip. For example, for a Southeast Asia trip, you could have one packing cube for Singapore and another for Bali. You can also use them to separate clean clothes from the dirty ones.

My Experience with Packing Cubes

I first tested out using the packing cubes on a 2 night trip a couple of weeks ago down to ResellingDO 5. My wife ended up using one as well, and we fit both of the smaller ones into a single Briggs & Riley carry-on—which incidentally is my favorite carry-on, period.

For 2 nights, really I could have just thrown clothes in a back-pack, but, I found for the most part, the clothes came out pretty neat. Not necessarily any more wrinkles than my normal standard rolling technique. Note: Due to the nature of packing cubes, I opted not to roll, just to fold and pack.

packing cubes

My second test of our packing cubes was on a 3 night trip to Napa Valley, California, to visit some friends. This time my wife opted for her own carry-on. You can see mine below:

packing cubes

Again, I was able to get all of my clothes into the smaller of the two sizes. Also of note, This carry-on is the Briggs and Riley Torq, and the cube fit fine with little to no wasted space wide-ways. It fit even easier into my normal Briggs and Riley international wide-body carry-on. 

Final Thoughts on Packing Cubes

While I’ve only had two trips with packing cubes thus far, I’m already sold on using them. I definitely feel like you can get more clothes in the smaller cubes. Are they appropriate for all situations and trips? Probably not, but, there are a lot of benefits. I’m still on the fence of what other sizes might make sense, but the ones that I do have, have already proven better. If anything, I’ll probably side more toward the smaller sizes.

Have you tried using packing cubes? Share your experience in the comments.

9 thoughts on “Review: Packing Cubes

  1. I absolutely love packing cubes. I need more small and medium size ones than larger ones, but I use all sizes. I use them to pack different categories of items in for the flight. If security has to go through my bags, they stay more organized if they’re packed in cubes. It’s especially handy for me in the backpack I use as my personal size carry-on. I can reach in there and grab the blue cube and know that it has my cell phone charger, earbuds, etc, without having to rifle through my whole bag.

    Once I’m at my destination, I re-pack a few of the small cubes to carry what I need in my over the shoulder day bag. I always put things in the same place, so I can reach in and grab something without even having to look.

    They’re completely worth the initial investment, especially if you catch a deal like an American Express offer for cash back on an eBags purchase while eBags is running a promotion and your favorite portal is offering bonus points.

  2. We’ve used them for a few years now. Given them as Xmas gifts to many peeps too. Really appreciate the variety of colours . It allows us to “code” our schmutter so we know whose is what, and which is dress, casual, laundry etc. There is an added bonus too. Bright is also much easier to spot on the final walk through, pre-checkout.
    Since we rarely travel light, 32″, 29″ 22″ Salsa deluxe and 21″ Delsey, cubes have proven to be a way of life during our travels. They allow us to keep outfits and regions sectionalised. I also still keep “emergency” cubes ready to go at a moments notice, funerals etc., though thankfully I rarely use them.

  3. I love packing cubes. When my kids were younger each had an assigned color which made everything so much easier.

    I still roll clothing when I use them about half the time as they fit a ton this way and help keep the rolls neat.

    I use a small red cube for refrigerated medications. Then once in the room I hang the empty red bag somewhere visible. Using this method I have never left medication in a hotel fridge.

    I leave clothing in the cubes even when I unpack into a room (which is rare for me). I just move it into a drawer with the top open and folded back. This way I don’t need to worry about what the last guest used the drawer for.

    • The “not needing to unpack” aspect is probably the best timesaver of the cubes. Obviously there are some items that you’ll want to hang. Overall this is a wonderfully efficient and speedy system.
      I travel with Insulin and your bathroom tip is something I’m going to put to good use from now on.

  4. I’m another big fan of packing cubes, for a variety of reasons. Prior to departure, my wife and I pack our cubes and then it’s very quick to toss them into our luggage. Once at our destination, we simply put the packing cubes directly into drawers and remove clothes daily from the cubes as needed. Clothing is much less wrinkled if it has been in packing cubes.

    But where they really shine is on long trips with multiple stops. When we have to do laundry, we fold our laundered clothes and put them right back into the cubes. And when it’s time to repack and move on to the next destination, repacking is remarkably quick, only requiring us to toss the cubes back into our luggage.

  5. Another fan here of packing cubes! My favorites are from eBags and L.L Bean. I own packing cubes from Sharper Image, Amazon Basics, ebags, and L.L. Bean. I find the zippers are better from ebags and L.L. Bean. It really helps keep everything organized and helps to reduce the wrinkles. I tend to put outfits in zippered plastic bags, then into the packing cubes. That really helps everything stay clean and wrinkle free.

    The medium size are my favorite size.

  6. Originally I got packing cubes only for my kids so they could each have their own color and stay organized while sharing a huge bag. At that point I was blown away by the organization and, as others mentioned, the ease of unpacking in a hotel room. Gradually I find myself using them even when I travel just with one carryon so it is definitely becoming a habit. So far I’ve been happy with the ebags one.

  7. I’m sold on them for our rather large family (2 adults & 6 kids). We usually need 2 hotel rooms when we travel, and we’re never sure until we get to the hotel whether they’ll be able to get us connecting rooms or not. The cubes make it very easy to rearrange our stuff if my daughters and I find out we will be staying in a different room than my husband and sons. Also, my 8 & 10 year-old girls and 3 & 5 year old boys wear not quite the same sizes of clothing, and the cubes make it easy for them to know which clothes belong to them.

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