Seeking the best packing cubes for your luggage in 2018? Read our guide to find some top travel organizers that suit your every need.
Packing cubes sound like a complete and utter travel gimmick. Nonetheless, I will be the first one to admit that they are incredibly useful and handy.
And in all honesty, once you start using them you will be hooked for life.
The best packing cubes simply help minimize effort and maximize efficiency, creating an organized suitcase that keeps clothes wrinkle-free and consolidated.
Just cause your luggage does not have a waterproof compartment does not mean you need to throw it away, just use these cubes instead! For easy packing and unpacking check out our list of the top travel packing cubes.
Our 10 Best Travel packing cubes & organizers
1. Shacke Pak - Packing Cubes 4 set
- No real cons - More color options would be good!
Contains: 4 cubes + laundry bag
These packing cubes by Shacke is easily our pick for the best packing cubes in 2018. The four sizes provide the perfect fit: packing pants in the larger cube, undergarments in the smaller cube, and everything else in between.
At four inches deep, these cubes are slightly deeper than the traditional cubes, which provide additional room for extra items. The “x” shaped nylon structure on the top of the cubes helps to maintain their structure, even when not fully packed, while still offering mesh pockets to view your items through. Their durability does come at the price of a slightly higher weight of 1.2 pounds. Nonetheless, this set is by far the best quality for the price.
2. BAGAIL - Packing Cubes 4 set
- Weighs a bit more than others
This set of cubes can compress two weeks worth of clothes into a carry-on suitcase if you pack with care.
Contains: 4 packing cubes + laundry bag
I was pleasantly surprised by the durability and quality of the cubes, along with the zipper strength and glide-ability. These cubes are sure to withstand your travel wear with ease, while still keeping your clothes clean and wrinkle-free, but are bulky at 1.6 pounds.
3. eBags Medium 3pc Set
- All 3 are the same size
- A tad pricey
Let’s start off with the fact that these cubes are machine washable. Can we say, “easy care?” With fully lined interior seams and a durable nylon exterior, your clothes will be well protected in these cubes.
Contains: 3 packing cubes
Three cubes: all 75” x 9.75” x 3”
All three cubes in this set are the same size, on the cusp between medium and large, they are ideal for packing t-shirts and pants. The mesh top allows you to keep track of your content. These bags are really built to last.
4. Pro Packing Cubes - 4 set
- Durable but the sides feel less study compared to others
We love this set for the main reason that they offer a mixed color set, which makes it incredibly easy to root around in your suitcase and pull out the proper bag without unpacking everything. The bags themselves are constructed from rip-stop nylon that makes them very durable.
Contains: 4 cubes in a set
They can also easily compress and lay flat in your suitcase. The bags range in size from 17.5" x 12.75" x 3.25" to 9" x 3.75" x 3", perfect for everything from jackets and pants to toiletries. The only downside is that they have a strong chemical smell when they first arrive, but this disappears if aired out for a day or two.
5. Eagle Creek - Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set
- Useful only when you need to compress things
These bags are a mixture of the typical packing cube and a compression sack. While they do not remove the air, like a vacuum compression bag, they can handle being stuffed full.
Contains: 2 cubes
Although over time, too significant of stuffing did seem to slightly weaken the seams of my cubes. However, their main downside is also their greatest strength, to create resilience the cubes are made completely out of rip-stop nylon and you, therefore, cannot see the items inside. The flexibility of these cubes’ shape is perfect for the business traveler to the backpacker.
6. TravelWise - 3pc Weekender Set
- Can rip on heavy use
At 1 pound, this set of cubes performed soundly, with my only complaint about the cubes was that the nylon was not rip-stop.
Contains: 3 cubes
So when I did eventually wear the bags to exhaustion, which did take an incredibly long time with heavy use, once ripped the rip would continue to spread. However, with how much abuse I put the set through, I am still exceedingly happy with the overall quality. Additionally, the set includes one medium and one large pack, which is perfect for longer travels, along with an additional small cube.
7. Homdox - Packing Cubes + Laundry Bag
- Some users reported that it feels a tad flimsy
Let’s just start with the fact that you have thirteen fun colors to pick from when selecting these bags, which makes it extremely easy to buy two sets and keep track of “his’” versus “hers” when sharing a suitcase.
Contains: 4 cubes + Laundry bag
Additionally, the bags are constructed out of a honeycomb rip-stop nylon fabric that is extremely durable and can withstand even the most extreme travel, while the mesh netting still allows you to see inside your bag to easily locate needed content. A simple downside is that the bags do not easily maintain their shape unless completely full, which can result in the slight wrinkling of clothing but are easy to compress and store when not in use – even in the smallest suitcases.
8. Tranvers - PVC Waterproof Packing Organizers
- Can be harder to clean
- PVC is slightly less compressible
The biggest asset for this bag is its complete transparency, which makes it remarkably easy to see all your items within the bag – not just the topmost shirt. Additionally, the PVC material and lack of mesh allow you to easily pack bathing suits and towels without worrying about dirtying your other clothes.
Contains: 3 cubes
Be aware that the bags are not completely waterproof due to the zippers, and therefore do not fully submerge in water (i.e.: not the bag to take on a rafting trip). The downside of this set is that the PVC material can be slightly harder to clean and slightly less compressible when empty.
9. FreeRhythm - Travel Packing Cube set
- Some users reported issues with the zipper
If you are looking for a complete & versatile solution for your entire family, you just found it. This is definitely one of our favorites on the list due to the sheer number of options at your disposal.
Contains: Set of 7
You can very easily use some as part of your carry-on and some as part of your main luggage. This set offers amazing value for money. It's not uncommon to find a set with a laundry bag for that price but this set comes with a shoe & toiletry bag too. The build quality is great but we must say it's not as sturdy as the Shacke Pak which is our top pick but it definitely up there. We thought the zippers were okay but many users did report having issues with it right after purchasing. It does come with a 5-year warranty so it's still a great option.
10. Weweon - 6 Set Packing Cubes
- Structurally not the sturdiest & your clothes can wrinkle due to the lack of reinforcement
This set of five bags will organize your entire suitcase with the perfect bag for everything from pants and skirts to shirts, and even underwear and cosmetics.
Contains: Set of 6 + Laundry Bag
Complete with quality zippers that easily glide closed and open, the bags are constructed out of a strong nylon and even have fabric bound interior seams that will protect even the most delicate clothes from snagging and catching. The netting tops allow you to easily see what is inside your bags, while also allowing your clothes to stayed aired and fresh.
Do I really need packing cubes?
Are you wondering if packing cubes are really worth it? Well, from our perspective the answer is a resounding yes. Packing cubes are particularly useful in situations where you need to get to an item quickly without disrupting everything else or you just want to stay organized & like to compartmentalize your things.
I am pretty sure we’ve all been in a rush at some point and we end up churning our belongings in the search for a single item. Packing cubes offer a good solution in these cases & its applications extend to when you want to head out on day trips or backpacking. You can use the cubes to organize your electronics or clothes in your backpack too.
There are usually many techniques that people adopt when it comes to packing. Whilst it’s true that you can find marginally more space for smaller things without packing cubes & save a few ounces the positives still overshadow the cons in our eyes.
Criteria we used to decide our list
The list we’ve come up with is the result of going through hundreds & thousands of user reviews & extensive research to make sure you get the top travel packing cubes out there. We’ve essentially listed the features & traits we valued when choosing the best packing cubes for travelers. Be in family travel or even backpacking these point’s & explanations can guide you in your decision-making process.
What fabric/ material is used to make packing cubes:
Typically, Nylon or Polyester but there are some made of PVC as well which are even waterproof. Rip-stop Nylon works the best in our eyes & lasts you the distance. The fabric also plays a bit role in the weight of the packing cube which is all important. These cubes have to encounter a decent amount of friction especially if you are frequently accessing your stuff. The fabric has to be light but sturdy enough so it doesn’t cave in when packed completely. Landing and finding out all your well-ironed shirts are wrinkled is a no go.
Zippers coming off on a cube is probably not as bad as it is on a suitcase but its still a problem. We looked for reports of zippers coming loose & the brand of zippers that are used on the bag to ensure you get something that functions well even when subject to some abuse. If a mesh design was adopted to provide visibility & deal with moisture & odor then the toughness of this section is important. We picked models that don’t tend to fray or rip when placed against sharp items like nails, pens, clothes’ zippers etc.
Size & Weight
Normally, we are taking things out of our luggage to make things lighter but these cubes often act as an enabler so the better organized you are, the more you can squeeze into your luggage. Hence we looked at the weights & variety of different sizes on offer. 1 to 5 ounces is usually the weight range we regarded as acceptable for small to large cubes respectively. Size variance is usually important especially for family travel.
Ease of use
Things like whether the set comes with a laundry bag (A practical & reliable one at that), moisture removal & vision are pretty important to any user. If you can’t remember which cube you placed your gloves or socks in then it could be an issue in some scenarios. Cubes that have a mesh or some PVC that gives you a sneak peak into whats in them without reducing the overall durability is a big positive for us. Color is another rather underestimated feature. If you have a set where the individual cubes are of different colors then its probably way easier to identify your items.
Waterproofing ability is an added bonus but designs that are simply resistant fair quite well & complete waterproofed designs are in our experience a bit of an overkill. Additionally, if your set has 1 cube specially tailored for toiletry items (waterproof not just resistant) then it’s a bonus as you can take the toiletry bag off your shopping list. Also in cases where you want moisture & odor to escape the mesh design can come to your aid. Another feature we rated highly was handles. If a cube can function on its own them it was a positive as most people’s travel needs vary between weekend trips, just carry-on adventures & long-term travel etc.
The variance in terms of price between the different options on our list isn’t so much but it definitely is not a non-factor. Eagle creeks tend to be more on the pricier side to reflect their top build quality. What we went for was more of a nice balance between variety(number of cubes) & price. Which is why our top 3 picks tend to factor in price as well as the other important features needed to be taken into account.
From the business traveler to the backpacker, packing cubes will help keep you organized and in control. Once you learn how easy staying organized can be even the laziest of us will be hooked.
Comment below and let us know how your luggage adventures unfold and your personal experiences.