You have probably heard of packing cubes before. But what do they do and how effective are they really? Read on to find out.
Packing cubes come in several different shapes and sizes. They are a life-line for those travellers that hate packing and those messy packers out there. Besides keeping everything neat and organised, they have a few other nifty uses that won’t leave you disappointed.
First things first…
What are Packing Cubes?
Let’s tackle the basics first. A packing cube is a smaller zip-up case which you can use to pack your clothing and essentials into. These smaller cases come in various sizes which can be easily packed into your suitcase. They can be used for everything from clothing, underwear, socks, cables, toiletries and even your shoes. They make your luggage so much easier to navigate that once you’ve tried them, you won’t want to pack any other way.
So now that you know what a packing cube is, you’re one step closer to asking the more essential question:
Should you invest in packing cubes?
Before you make up your mind, here are a few other things that might help you decide.
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Do Packing Cubes really Help?
For a lot of travellers packing cubes are a must-have for every trip. Whether you are packing for a long vacation, or just taking a carry-on, packing cubes are perfect for organising your luggage.
Don’t you hate when while on vacation and can’t find one thing and the result is having to unpack and re-pack everything again? Well, packing cubes help you avoid this situation. With packing cubes, you can choose how to organise your clothing and other travel essentials so that it is easier for you to reach what you need. This saves you time and effort. And if you are like most travel-lovers out there, re-packing your suitcase is not how you would want to spend your time.
The fact that they help you organise everything (and I mean everything), makes packing cubes an essential in my travels. If you’re a messy packer, which admittedly most of us are, then rest assured that these nifty little bags can make all the difference.
And there’s more…
There are some other great reasons why you should be using packing cubes. Add your toiletry bag into a cube and you have a double layer protecting your clothes from nasty spills during your travels. There are some great waterproof packing cubes on the market that will do the job.
Using cubes also helps keep wrinkles at bay. Since you won’t be constantly rummaging through your clothes, you’ll save yourself quite a bit of ironing. They also keep your things from moving around in your bag. Cubes can also double as laundry bags. They are great for keeping your dirty clothes in, and you won’t have to use those pesky plastic laundry bags which the hotel supplies. It is a more eco-friendly option.
And now for the pièce de résistance: They are incredibly space-saving! They really do help fit everything you need into your bag with less fuss. If you love packing a little extra on your travels, then packing cubes are the perfect addition to your luggage. You might even find yourself with a little more space.
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Which are the best Packing Cubes
Okay, so now that you know what packing cubes do… How do you choose the perfect cubes for your travel needs? It’s a lot simpler then you think. There are a few main things that you should always look for. Firstly, make sure that they are made of good quality fabric. Most cubes on the market are made of nylon which is great as it is malleable and won’t damage your delicate clothing. When looking at the quality of fabric you should also note whether it is water-resistant which comes in handy if you travel in a wet climate.
Secondly, make sure that your cubes have a handle. If they have handles you can conveniently use them on their own if the situation calls for it. I find that using a packing cube for a change of clothes on long-distance flights always comes in handy. No need to take the whole carry-on, you can just take your packing cube.
Finally, consider whether you would like to look into the packing cube to find something without having to open it. This comes in handy if you are packing more items and in several packing cubes. The mesh makes it easier to find things, especially if you roll your clothes when packing the cube. But, the mesh is not always a necessity, so this depends entirely on you.
Check out these recommendations:
AmazonBasics have a few great options when it comes to packing cubes. This specific one comes in some great colours and has all the sizes you would typically need. The cubes have double zippers to make opening and closing easier. There is also a mesh top panel which makes it easier to see what’s inside. One of the best things about this cube is that they all have handles making them super convenient to use on their own.
Top Pick: eBags Classic Packing Cubes 3pc Set
eBags is one of the most recommended packing cube brands. And it’s no wonder. They are made with good quality, lightweight nylon and even the zips are high quality and are sure to last you a long, long time. These cubes also have mesh tops and are designed to be delicate on your clothes. You will find three main sizes (small, medium and large), which are the perfect size for carry-on luggage in my opinion. They even have a limited warranty which is definitely worth looking into.
Top Pick: Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube Set
One of my favourite things about these Eagle Creek Packing Cubes is that they look really stylish. They are designed to be durable, lightweight and water repellent. This makes it perfect if you’ll be travelling during a wet season or want to protect your clothes against messy shampoo spills. And, they come with a great warranty. You’ll have one less thing to worry about on your travels.
Top Pick: Osprey UL Packing Cube Set
Osprey is one of my favourite brands. You won’t be let down by their quality goods. These cubes come small, medium and large which are convenient if you travel with carry-on luggage. They are even great for backpacks and can be a great companion when on the road as they are perfect for organising everything. These also have a great grab handle which makes them convenient to use on their own.
Top Pick: Shacke Pak- 5 Set Packing Cubes
These are probably the highest-rated packing cubes that you can find. These Shacke Pak cubes are super stylish, come in great sizes and are great quality. You will also find the mesh front that is a less traditional style, and they all have handles. This set even comes with a separate laundry bag. They are water-resistant and can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear on your travels. And the best part? They are one of the most affordable out there.
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How do you use Packing Cubes
Now that you know what you should be looking for, let’s get to the easy part. How to best use them. You should know that packing cubes aren’t expressly for clothing. You can use them for almost anything, if not everything. They are great for packing shoes, toiletries, charger cables and even jewellery. They keep everything where it’s supposed to be, so you won’t lose that pair of socks amongst all the other stuff.
Use the different sizes to help you differentiate between everything. For instance, you could use a larger cube for your pants, a medium for your shirts and a small cube for your underwear and socks. You could choose what works for you in this case, but you get the gist of it.
The most asked question, and probably the most important one, is how to pack your clothes in the cube. Do I roll or fold? Well, the general consensus is that rolling is the most efficient way to go. By rolling you can eliminate wrinkles more effectively and in a mesh topped cube you can see what you’re looking for without having to pull everything out.
There are also other nifty uses for packing cubes. You could pack for you and your significant other in one bag, just use the packing cubes to separate your things. This works perfectly for quick weekends away, especially if you want to lug around fewer bags. You can also re-purpose your cubes. Store your travel essentials in them when you aren’t travelling. It is the perfect way to keep everything ready to go and you won’t have to search for things the next time you’re getting ready for your vacation.
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Where can I buy Packing cubes
You can buy packing cubes almost anywhere. The most convenient place to buy them is on Amazon. It is the most easily accessed and you can order from anywhere. You would also find packing cubes at your local luggage store. I have found cubes at my local outdoor and camping store too, so make sure to check out stores like REI if it is easier for you.