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Whether you are a frequent flier, or an occasional vacationer, packing your bags is always a daunting task.
And you know that even the most efficiently packed suitcase can become a jumbled mess after a few hours of rough handling. That’s where packing cubes come in.
Packing cubes are soft-shelled luggage pieces that help you maximize the storage space inside your suitcase.
They not only keep the different luggage items from mixing, but also keep them in their foldded state, thus maintaining order.
The way you use your packing cubes is completely up to you.
Read on and we'll help you decide what type of packing cubes are best for you.
Because most packing cubes are not designed to be standalone pieces of luggage, durability is always a concern for shoppers. High-end cubes are usually made of strong nylon or polyester, but cheap packing cubes often consist of thin vinyl or another plastic.
Cheap vinyl packing cubes are usually compressive and transparent, and for many casual travelers, that’s all they need. Vinyl cubes easily separate wet and dirty clothing, and they don’t add much weight to your bag. The tradeoff, however, is durability. Entry-level packing cubes often don’t fare well under rough handling; the sides puncture easily and plastic zippers, once broken, are often irreparable.
Pricier nylon or polyester packing cubes boast a stronger internal structure than their vinyl counterparts and, as a result, offer more protection against damage. You’re also more likely to find a set that matches the interior dimensions of your suitcase when you shop on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. Those who travel frequently may wish to invest in a set of high-end packing cubes for their added durability and versatility.
Packing cubes vary in size and material and can be used in everything from backpacks to suitcases.
Packing cubes can be used to address other storage issues, too. Over time, a quality set of packing cubes can pay for itself in a number of ways:
The material of your packing cube be a factor in its durability — but also its price.
If you’re in the market for a better way to organize your suitcase, keep the following ideas and issues in mind as you shop. They'll help you determine which packing cubes will best fit your needs and your budget.
Although some packing cubes are compressible, cramming a cube with a depth of eight inches into a carry-on with a depth of six inches will always pose a challenge. The dimensions of your luggage affect what it can accommodate.
Some people have compared the use of packing cubes to the classic video game Tetris. The trick is to find the most efficient way to pack each cube within a limited amount of space.
Travelers who plan to share luggage with others should consider color-coding their cubes to improve organization and efficiency. Instead of spending time searching for a specific child’s swimsuit, for instance, a parent will know that all of that child’s belongings are stored in blue storage cubes.
Choosing a color of packing cubes per family member can make unpacking and finding specific items a snap. To lessen the financial load, investing in several less-expensive sets or individual pieces should do the trick.
As an added convenience, many packing cube sets include a mesh laundry bag where you can stash wet or dirty clothing. Because ventilation and breathability are known issues with packing cubes, the inclusion of this mesh bag is a definite plus.
Choose a different color per family member. That way you can easily distinguish which is whose when unpacking.
Some people wonder if they should buy packing cubes as a set or in separate pieces. Buying a full set usually makes good economic sense, but there are some things to consider first:
Casual travelers may prefer to buy individual packing cubes for specific reasons:
Some travelers carry such a light load that packing cubes would not really improve their situation. However, even the lightest of packers may find themselves in need of some extra organizational help now and then.
We believe the benefits of a good packing cube set outweigh any drawbacks. As a packing cube owner, you’ll spend a few more minutes sorting and packing your belongings, but you’ll probably be glad you did. We urge new or unsure customers to invest in an inexpensive set first, then decide if an upgrade would be beneficial.