As travel becomes more and more prevalent in today’s society, more and more ways are popping up to make life easier for the traveler. Packing cubes have not been around for a long time, but they sure fall into this category.
Join me as I delve into the world of convenience and find the best packing cubes for travel!
What Is A Packing Cube?
In all honesty, when these things came out, I had no idea what they were and did not think that they would be a hit. After all, luggage bags were increasing in size and capabilities all the time; surely nobody needed an extra pack for organizing, right?
Fortunately for me, I got to try one when I got one last Christmas, and I have loved it ever since. At its core, these work just like a make-up bag would for make-up, except far more diverse in size, allowing the inside of your luggage to be neat and tidy at all times.
With the rules of air travel becoming increasingly strict, it may feel a little odd to have extra compartments in your bag that would serve as extra weight. After all, 7kgs is not a lot of room to mess around with (for carry-on baggage).
For this reason, any packing cube, first and foremost, has to be really light. Most of the time when I travel, I try to travel as light as possible and only bring carry-on luggage. If it weighs me down too much and does not allow me to pack everything I need, then it defeats its purpose.
While weight may not necessarily be a deal breaker for me, it needs to be a point of consideration.
In my opinion, this is where packing cubes really begin to shine. Where weight is no issue, space can be when looking to pack as much as you can for a long holiday. Remember the days where your dad would ask you to sit on the luggage before he could force its zipper closed?
Packing cubes are built purposefully for this. While its body is technically not rigid, it holds its shape fantastically well, especially when constructed well. Usually made of a synthetic fabric, it can be shoved full of your clothes or gear with very little fear of tearing or losing its shape.
This means that when it comes to packing clothes, it is so easy to layer them, zip up the individual packing cubes, and just stack them atop one another. Why jump up and down on your luggage case when you have a solution as simple as this?
Watch this and see how helpful a packing cube can be when it comes to saving space!
Long Trip or Weekend Getaway?
For many, weekend getaways include a hastily packed bag that is entirely messy. Sure, if you pack light, it really is not that hard to find everything in a small bag. In my experience, however, it does not have to be the case.
It can be argued that packing cubes are far more efficient for longer trips that you pack a lot more for. It will keep your things organized through rough baggage handlers, bag checks, and opening and closing it multiple times.
This could be translated to a shorter trip, albeit be on a smaller scale. Other than toiletries, that are usually packed to a side anyway, imagine a world where your hand carry can be sorted through in 3-5 easily accessible soft boxes. Convenient, right?
When it comes down to it, my pants go in a cube, shirts in another, undergarments in a smaller third, and any formal wear I may need go in the fourth. Other than that, towels and/or jackets usually go at the bottom of the bag, under all the packing cubes.
This does not only make it easy for me to look for what I need, but it also makes going through security a breeze.
Other Packing Cube Benefits Unpacked
Because of its shape, it can be of great help when packing an unshaped bag. Duffel bags are a dream for the backpacker, but can sometimes be a hassle to pack, as they usually end up in a huge blob within its interior. Enter packing cubes, they keep the bag in shape, and its contents in order.
All this may have you rushing out to buy a packing cube right away. That being said, packing cubes are not for everyone. Some may already have a system that deals with many of the problems listed on here and will not need packing cubes anytime in the near future.
For the rest of us, with me included, packing cubes are a dream. What else keeps your bag in shape, everything organized, helps save space, and not add much to the overall weight?
-Enough talking about packing cubes, let’s look at five of the best packing cubes available today for travel!
eBag “Packing Cubes – 3pc Set”
- Strong material – The nylon used for this eBag set looks very durable and does not feel flimsy. It looks like it would hold up to being packed tight to the brim.
- Perfect Medium – Speaking of being packed to the brim, the medium cube of the three fits 5 shirts, 5 pants, and the week’s worth of undergarments. How spacious!
- Big zipper – This may not be a big deal for most, but when packing these to the maximum capacity, it is imperative that the zipper does not break (does not look like it will).
- Weak stitching – The stitching on the piece I got to look at did not look like the best I had seen. May bust under consistent strain.
- Strange large – Unfortunately, the largest of the three is almost the size of an entire cabin baggage. May be rendered useless if you travel for short spurts as opposed to taking long holidays
Pro Packing Cubes “6 Piece Lightweight Travel Cube Set”
- Very lightweight – These feel markedly lighter than the others I tried out on the day.
- More cubes! – Oddly enough, this was the only cube set that included more than just 3-4 cubes, like its competitors. Seeing as the ‘medium’ and ‘small’ sizes are the most in demand, it is good to have extras on hand!
- Price-wise – For the sheer number of cubes that this set comes with, its price still stays relatively similar to the others, keeping it quite competitive.
- Marketing error – These are marketed as ‘compression cubes’, ie used to keep everything held tight. These are, unfortunately, not, but are regular packing cubes.
- Zipper... – Maybe it was an unfortunate coincidence, or maybe it is just the norm, but when I was trying to pack the clothes I brought into one of the ‘medium’ cubes, the zipper snapped. It was easy enough to fit it back in place, but it may not be a travel cube for the long run.
Bago “Packing Cubes for Travel”
- Extra stuff – Where the Pro Packing Cubes came with extra cubes, this one had only the four. To make up for it. However, bago included six extra small storage bags, all while keeping the price steady alongside the others. Neat!
- Convenient sizing – All four packing cubes fit perfectly into my usual carry-on bag! As I usually travel as light as possible, this was quite a big thing for me, seeing as I will probably be able to use all four cubes often.
- Double zipper – Obviously a recurring theme in my choosing of a packing cube. The double zipper does mean that it takes both zips to break for it to become irrelevant, as opposed to just the one with most of the others.
- Strange smell – Odd chemical smell to the material of the cubes. Store person assured me that it would go away with airing, but it is untested.
- Stitching and material – The storage bags that come as the additional extra seem to be durable and of great quality. The packing cubes, unfortunately, do not seem durable and the stitching looks weak.
Shacke Pak “4 Set Packing Cubes.”
- Quality makes – This is probably the only packing cube set I tested that had solid, uniform stitching. Its material and make both also look very well-rounded, well-thought-out, and seem to be made to last.
- Lifetime warranty – I do not think I need to really explain this one. Any company that is confident enough in their product to slap a lifetime warranty on it has my vote of confidence for sure!
- Compression – As compression packs go, none of these really fit the bill. The Shacke Pak, however, looks to hold its shape far better than any of the others when filled to the brim.
- Weight – Unfortunately, the extra effort that went into making this cube set seems to have allowed it to add on some extra weight. This is not a monumental amount of weight, but something to think about.
- Bag number – Oddly enough, while it is advertised as a four piece, some of the sets I looked at only had three. The store person had no idea why that was, despite them all being advertised the same, but as long as you look into it, this should not be a problem for you.
Eagle Creek “Pack-it Cube 3pc Set.”
- Handles – None of the other packing cubes I looked at on the day had handles, which made this stand out right away. While they are not an absolute necessity, it is definitely a cool and convenient thing to have.
- Two-way zippers – Once again, the double zipper has caught my eye. It is twice as hard to render a double zipper obsolete, so this will always be a plus in my eyes.
- Slim – If the luggage bag you are carrying is slimmer than usual, this may be what seals it for you. Quite obviously slimmer than most of the packing cubes out there, ergonomically efficient.
- Smaller sized – All three sizes run a little smaller than most of the other packing cubes reviewed here. This is not really a problem for a light packer like me, but it will need some extra planning for most of you out there. Unfortunately...
- Smallest cube too small – There is no real way around the fact that the smallest cube was not meant to fit any clothes in it. Unfortunately, as a light traveler, I need to maximize space, and it is more of a hassle than a help. Might be a deal breaker for you, too.
- After careful consideration of my needs and wants, I have come up with a decision.
eBag’s set was wonderfully made, and the material feels durable enough for me. Unfortunately, the combination of the week stitching and oversized ‘large’ cube really brought me away from this set. I need a packing cube set that is strong and can fit into my carry on.
The Pro Packing Cubes were really lightweight, which would have helped my carry on weight a bunch. Its broken zipper, however, really threw me at the time, and I do not think I am willing to risk my organization on a possibly flawed design.
I have many of bago’s luggage bags, but the strange chemical smell of the cubes turned me off them. Maybe the store person was right, and it just needed airing out, but it did not smell of anything stale to me.
Unfortunately, in the end, while Eagle Creek had the handy handles and the double zippers, the smallest cube was a deal breaker, as I would never be able to use it for anything useful.
That is why my best packing cubes for travel has to be Shacke Pak’s 4 Set Packing Cubes. It’s quality make and lifetime warranty was more than enough to help me overlook its very slight weight increase, as compared to the others.
Hopefully, this helped.Travel safe!
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Great. I want to get one.Reply