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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.
At BestReviews, we want to help you pick the perfect packing cubes for your travels. We're dedicated to writing the most honest and unbiased reviews out there. We never accept free products from manufacturers. Instead, we buy products off of store shelves, test them in our labs, consult experts, and examine feedback from product owners.
Our ultimate goal: to become your go-to source for trustworthy product recommendations whenever you’re faced with a buying decision.
At the top of this page, you'll find our five favorite travel cubes on the market. These highly rated products all qualify for our top-contender list.
How you use your oacking cubes is up to you.
Read on and we'll help you decide what type of packing cubes are best for you.
Packing cubes are very handy in filling up the space between the bars inside soft-shelled suitcases.
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 low-priced packing cubes often consist of thin vinyl or another plastic.
These 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.
They 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 can not only be a factor in its durability but also in 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.
Familiarity with your luggage's capacity and compartments is key when selecting packing cubes.
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.
Choosing different colours of packing cubes for different family members can help you 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:
How you fold your clothing can make a difference in how much a packing cube can hold. We found that rolling clothing made best use of the space.
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.
Find the best gifts for travel
These are our top picks for travel.
Best Travel Irons
SF-717 Mini Steam Iron
Best Carry On Luggage
Winfield 2 Fashion HS Spinner 20
Best Neck Pillows
Best Packing Cubes
6pc Value Set
Best Money Belts
Best Travel Hair Dryers
Professional Travel Hair Dryer
Best Travel Mugs
Stainless 16 Ounce Travel Mug
Best Luggage Sets
Winfield 2 Fashion HS
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.