Are you looking for the best packing cubes for travel? You’ve come to the right place! When I started backpacking, back in 2007, I traveled with a small backpack, a few t-shirts, some underwear and a sweater. However, that changed when I crossed the Andes from Colombia to Argentina. It’s a long journey visiting damn cold places, so I needed a lot of gear and warm clothes.
Having so much stuff in your backpack might be overwhelming sometimes, and keeping everything organized is hard. Packing your luggage is one of the most annoying parts of travel for many people. I guess you get better at it after a few years of traveling, but most of the time it’s stressful and time-consuming. What about those times when you search your backpack but can’t find your headphones, guidebook or scarf? You end up taking pretty much everything out of the backpack because it’s a real mess inside, right? I found packing cubes to be a great help in those situations.
Whether you’re on a backpacking trip, a weekend getaway or a hiking route, packing cubes will help you keep everything organized. You’ll have easy and quick access to your clothes, it’ll be much easier to pack and unpack, and you’ll have more space in your backpack or luggage. By keeping everything well-organized and compressed, you’ll easily fit more clothes in your backpack, maximizing space.
I think they’re especially helpful if you’re planning to use a single backpack or luggage for several people, like traveling with kids. You can easily keep things separated, making your life and your holidays much more pleasant.
There are many models out there and it’s not easy to make the right choice. But don’t worry! You don’t have to spend hours comparing models and reviews. I’ve done it for you! I’ve created an amazing list so you can find the one that fits your needs.
THE BEST PACKING CUBES FOR BACKPACKING
SHACKE PACK 4 SET
“Popular packing cubes”
The Shacke Pack is one of the most popular packing cube sets you can find on the market. These packing cubes are perfect for any kind of traveler because you get four different sizes to adapt to your needs.
You don’t need to bring all of them. Try to pack wisely and avoid overpacking with these practical and versatile cubes.
They’re made of quality water-resistant nylon and reinforced with special stitching to provide the best packing experience. They’re meant to be resistant and durable! I’d like to point out that these cubes are a bit deeper than most cubes on the list, giving you extra space to fit in a few more clothes.
They’re a good choice for backpackers and hikers because they protect your clothes from getting wet. In any event, keep in mind that they’re not totally water resistant, as they have a mesh screen to easily identify your belongings, but it’s extra water protection that most cubes on the list don’t have. The pack includes a laundry bag that, even though it’s not really resistant, is a nice extra to have.
Features: High quality. Deep cubes. Several sizes. Laundry bag
Recommended for: Backpacking, travel, outdoors
BAGAIL PACKING CUBES
“Versatile and resistant”
Bagail Packing Cubes are durable, practical and lightweight. The pack includes four different cubes, so you have one for every type of accessory, from clothing to shoes.
They’re made from durable, resistant nylon and include mesh fabric on one side so that you can spot your belongings and get what you need in a matter of seconds.
They use special YKK zippers that look strong and resistant. Every cube includes a little handle in case you need to carry them independently. They don’t provide the same water resistance but they work just fine for most travelers.
Overall, these are high-quality cubes, providing comfort and portability during your travels. That’s why they’re so popular among all kinds of travelers; they help you organize, pack and unpack all your clothes tightly, saving time and space. A laundry bag is included in the pack to keep your dirty clothing separate from your fresh clothes.
Features: Many colors. Versatile. Laundry bag
Recommended for: General travel
EBAGS PACKING CUBES
“Great overall performance”
The Ebags cubes are a popular option among backpackers, weekenders and many other travelers. Ebags produces a lot of high-quality bags, and this is no exception. The company is so proud of its products, it offers a lifetime warranty if you want to try these packing cubes.
They’re made from resistant diamond nylon, and feature reinforced interior seams, premium YKK zippers and interior zippered compartments to keep everything organized. There’s breathable mesh so you can see what’s inside and find your belongings.
They’re lightweight and practical. The pack includes three different sizes that you can choose from depending on your needs, and it’s available in 10 colors. If you need a few packing cubes to keep your clothes organized, these might be a great option.
Features: High quality. Sturdy construction. Great zippers
Recommended for: Travel and backpacking
EAGLE CREEK PACK-IT STARTER SET
The Eagle Creek Pack-It Starter Set is a great option for organizing your clothing. Eagle Creek is a popular brand and its products are durable and trusted. The high quality of the product is its most remarkable feature.
It’s made from super-resistant 300D nylon with a breathable mesh on top of the cube. It has a solid but lightweight construction, and features strong zippers and holders.
The set includes three cubes that you can use to organize just about anything. There’s a cube, a half cube and a medium folder cube.
The folder cube is great for pants or shirts (it can hold about eight to 12 shirts). You can fold your clothing around the folder board and keep it tidy and folded. You can use the cubes to organize other clothing, like t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc. If you need to bring electronic gear, sunglasses or other items, you can use the smallest cube. I find it to have a sturdy construction.
I’d recommend this for those who travel with many shirts, and who want to keep them folded and nice. It’s definitely one of the best packing cubes sets for travel! It’s not the cheapest set on the list, but the difference between it and other models is not significant.
Features: High quality. Folder board. Sturdy
Recommended for: General travel
TRAVELWISE 5 PIECE
The Travelwise 5-Piece set offers packing options for all kinds of travelers. You get one small, two medium and two large cubes to store and organize whatever you need. It’s a very versatile set, as you can simply use the cubes that fit better in your backpack or suitcase.
It’s a great way to optimize and maximize space. It’s made from resistant, high-quality nylon fabric, meant to be durable and lightweight.
It has a very attractive price for the quality and quantity. I find it to be a very good set for people traveling with kids or on group trips. Otherwise, it contains too many cubes, in my opinion. If you’re a single traveler, I’d suggest that you bring two or three cubes at most. The lighter you travel, the better.
Features: Versatile. Several sizes
Recommended for: Family trips
The Zerogrid set will help you pack and unpack in a matter of seconds. It has a sturdy construction made from high-quality 420D ripstop nylon, and it features resistant YKK zippers and reinforced front panel and side handles. You can fit the three cubes into a big suitcase or use just one or two of the smallest cubes for backpacking or short trips.
If you need easy and quick access to your clothing, the Zerogrid might be your best option. The breathable mesh is so big, it fills pretty much the entire front panel. This way, you’ll spot what you’re looking for instantly.
It includes a water-resistant bag that you can use for dirty clothes or shoes. Overall, it’s a high-quality set and I love its simple design, all in black.
Features: Nice design. Resistant. High quality
Recommended for: Backpackers, travelers
SEA TO SUMMIT TRAVELING LIGHT
“Ultralight and compact”
The Sea to Summit Traveling Light is my favorite choice on the list. As a backpacker, I find that it’s perfect for organizing clothing and maximizing space. I think it’s one of the best packing cubes for backpacking because it’s ultralight and durable and it packs really small when not in use.
There are three sizes available depending on your needs. The small size is 7x10x4 inches, the medium is 10x14x4 inches and the large is 12x16x4 inches.
If you want to keep your clothes tidy and organized in a well-constructed, super lightweight cube, this might be your best choice. I find it very helpful for hiking and outdoor activities because it’s made from water-resistant Ultra-sil fabric. It’ll work just fine if you find some rain on the way, and it’ll dry up quickly. However, keep in mind that it has breathable mesh, so it’s not completely water resistant.
Features: Lightweight. Packs small. Water resistant
Recommended for: Ultralight backpackers and hikers
EAGLE CREEK PACK-IT SPECTER
“The best water protection”
The Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter is another great option for outdoor lovers. We’ve reviewed a few decent, water-resistant packing cubes, but most of them don’t provide the best water protection, as they have breathable mesh and some water will eventually get in the cube. The Eagle Creek is made from 30D silnylon that protects your belongings from water.
The fabric all around the cube is translucent, so although there’s no breathable mesh, you can see what you’re looking for through the fabric. There are three sizes (large, medium and small) in this pack, but you can get them separately in different sizes and shapes.
I recommend it for hikers, adventurers and campers looking for lightweight, water-resistant cubes. However, keep in mind that although the fabric is water resistant, it’s not completely waterproof. If you go hiking and you think it might rain quite a lot, protect your backpack with a good cover.
Features: Lightweight. Water resistant
Recommended for: Hiking, outdoors sports
SLIM PACKING CUBES FOR TRAVEL
EBAGS SLIM 3PC
The Ebags slim pack is a good solution for those who don’t need to bring much clothing on their trips. There are three practical packing cubes with the same slim size: 2.8x14x5 inches. These cubes are well-designed, sturdy and durable, and they’re great for organizing your underwear, socks and t-shirts. They’re some of the best packing cubes for eliminating wasted space in your backpack!
They feature YKK resistant zippers, strong seams, useful holders and breathable mesh. Ebags is a high-quality brand, so you’ll get a limited lifetime warranty on this product.
It’s a very popular set among backpackers because the shape of the cubes fits well in most backpacks. I’d also recommend it for outdoor adventures! I personally like the set in black, but you have 13 colors to choose from. Plenty of options!
Features: Great design. Resistant construction. Many colors
Recommended for: Backpackers, travelers, outdoor lovers
EAGLE CREEK PACK-IT CUBE SLIM
“Perfect for your underwear”
The Eagle Creek Pack-It Slim is the last packing cube on the list. It’s not a set but a single cube with a reduced size and slim shape, which can be the best option for keeping some of your clothes tidy and organized.
There is no breathable mesh because it’s meant mainly to hold your underwear, socks, etc. It’s made from 300D super-resistant micro-weave polyester and features two-way zippers for easier opening and closing. I recommend it for weekend trips and minimal backpackers.
Features: Nice design. Resistant. Durable
Recommended for: Short trips, backpacking
OTHER ITEMS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
MOUNTAINSMITH RAIN COVER
As we’ve seen, some packing cubes on the list are water resistant. However, if you’re planning to go hiking or camping and you expect heavy rains, they won’t withstand much water. I recommend that you get a proper rain cover for your backpack if you don’t have one.
I like the Mountainsmith rain cover because it’s effective, affordable and available in four sizes. Get your backpack ready for the outdoors!
WHICH ARE THE BEST PACKING CUBES FOR TRAVEL?
Have you found what you were looking for? If you still have doubts, let me help you with some suggestions. If you’re looking for a sturdy and well-constructed set with several sizes, I’d go with the Shacke packing cubes set. If you need your cube to be water resistant, the Eagle Creek Specter would be your best option.
I also recommend the Sea to Summit packing cube for the minimal backpacker.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A COMPRESSION PACKING CUBE
WHAT ARE PACKING CUBES?
Packing cubes are small travel organizer bags in which you can pack your clothes and other belongings. Most of them are zippered, rectangular and made of fabric but there are more options. Some are square shaped, circular or like tubes and are made of synthetic materials. Some are even waterproof. The best packing cubes for travel are made of ultralight materials and feature a mesh side so you can spot your clothes quickly.
They’re usually sold in packs, with it being common to find three or four pieces in different sizes within the same set. They’re designed to help you organize your belongings and maximize the space in your luggage.
There are many advantages of using packing cubes when traveling. However, it depends on what you’re looking for. Some people love to use them, while others prefer to organize things their own way. Find out how they could help you!
DO I NEED PACKING CUBES?
It really depends on the type of travel and your preferences in terms of organizing your belongings. Many people find packing cubes worthwhile because the cubes make their trips less stressful. If you don’t have much luggage and consider yourself an organized person, able to easily pack everything efficiently, you probably don’t need packing cubes.
However, if you need to bring a lot of clothes and gear and want to prevent your backpack from becoming a jumbled mess, packing cubes might be quite helpful. I find them very useful for families, too. I can imagine that traveling with kids must be hard sometimes. Packing cubes will help you keep your kids’ clothes at hand when you need them.
I like to use packing cubes for hiking, too. It’s important to keep your gear and clothes well-organized when you’re outdoors. At the same time, you don’t want to bring many things because your backpack will get heavy. That’s why I bring just one packing cube for my clothes. Some have separate compartments, so you can keep your dirty clothes away from the clean ones. Keeping everything compressed is another good trick to optimize the space in your luggage.
WHAT SIZE SHOULD I GET?
Although there are several options, the best packing cubes for travel come in different sizes.
Typically, you’ll get three sizes: small, medium and large. You can buy single and double packing cubes if that’s what you need.
The size will depend on your needs and your luggage. I find that medium packing cubes work well for backpacking, while large packing cubes tend to work better for big luggage. The small ones can be of help in organizing and holding underwear, for example.
Keep in mind that sizes are not standardized and some brands consider medium what other brands consider large. However, there are no big differences and most sets offer similar sizes.
If you’re not sure how many packing cubes you’ll need and their sizes, think about the suitcase or backpack you’re going to bring. Most of the time, two packing cubes (small and medium) will be enough for backpacking while three packing cubes would be recommended for large suitcases.
I recommend that you get a three-piece set. This way, you can use one, two or three pieces depending on the trip and your preferences. If you can fit everything into just one or two packing cubes, that would be great. I always recommend packing as light as you can.
EXTRA FEATURES OF PACKING CUBES
In addition to sizes and designs, there are a few extra features in the best travel packing cubes.
Double-sided packing cubes are great for hiking and scuba diving trips. You can keep your dirty and wet clothes in the water-resistant compartment, while keeping your clean clothes in the main one. They’re the best option for keeping certain clothes separated.
Some models are more compressible than others. It depends on the material and the design. I like those that don’t have a solid structure because they can fit much better in your backpack. I recommend that you get flexible packing cubes. They will easily adapt to the shape of your suitcase or backpack.
If you like going outdoors, your backpack might get wet more often than you’d like. A few models are made of waterproof materials to protect your belongings from unexpected weather conditions. It depends on your preferences, but I don’t recommend this type of packing cube unless you’re almost sure that your stuff will get wet, like if you’re going on a scuba diving trip.
Some models are water-resistant, which can be a good solution for hikers, divers and adventurers. They aren’t completely waterproof, but will protect your belongings from the rain while still being breathable.
In addition to storing your clothes, some packing cubes might be great for keeping and protecting your electronic gear. Some models feature special padding and strips to secure your camera, tablet, iPhone, etc.
ADVANTAGES OF PACKING CUBES:
They provide an easier way to keep your clothes organized. You can use one for your shirts and another one for your underwear, your kids’ clothes or anything you need to bring on your travels.
When you’re backpacking, you can’t expect your clothes to always be neat and wrinkle-free. However, you can reduce wrinkles by using travel packing cubes. If you’ve just ironed a shirt and you keep it inside a packing cube, it will be kept in the same position throughout the trip, keeping wrinkles to a minimum.
Easy to find what you need
I hate that feeling when you need something from your backpack and you have no idea where it is. You have to literally take all your stuff out of the backpack, find what you’re looking for and pack again. By using packing cubes, you’ll know where things are and you can find everything you need in a matter of seconds.
Many ways to use
You can use your packing cubes in many ways. You can keep electronic devices, travel accessories and other items inside them. Some people use them for cosmetic or personal hygiene bags. Depending on the situation, you can even use them as a comfortable pillow!
One of the biggest advantages of packing cubes, besides keeping everything organized, is that you can compress your clothes inside them. This way, you maximize your space, fitting more clothes into your backpack or suitcase.
The can be washed
Packing cubes are designed to be washed. They’re made of resistant materials with strong seams. If you use them to keep dirty clothes, don’t worry! You can wash them from time to time in a washing machine.
HOW TO AVOID USING PACKING CUBES THE WRONG WAY
1- DON’T PACK TOO MANY THINGS
It’s easy to overpack when you see that you can fit several cubes in your backpack. That might be the main disadvantage of using packing cubes. You tend to pack more things and forget the most important rule: Pack as light as possible! Most backpackers are quite aware of this because they must carry their heavy backpacks during the trip.
2- DON’T OVERFILL OR UNDERFILL THEM
Overfilling your packing cubes isn’t a good idea. You can break the zipper or experience problems closing the bags. Moreover, you’ve probably overpacked your luggage, making it heavier. On the other hand, if you underfill it, the clothing will shift around and get more wrinkled.
3- DON’T USE THE BIG ONES TOO OFTEN
If you have different sizes, try not to use the big one too often. You can quit using it gradually if necessary. The idea is that it’ll help you pack lighter and smaller, trip after trip.
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Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 10 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.