How To Use Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes

Travel has become more complicated today. Numerous airlines have placed restrictions on the number of luggage pieces a single traveler can check and take aboard a plane, as well as size and weight limitations for each piece of luggage.

This has put a lot of pressure on travelers to pack lighter and simpler, often making difficult choices to pack what is wanted versus what is needed.

Today, you can no longer borrow your father’s suitcase he brought with him on his honeymoon 30 years ago. Excessive fees and limitations placed on luggage will deter travelers from bringing that heavy, bulky suitcase.

Eagle Creek Travel Gear Luggage, Blue Sea 3 Pack
445 Reviews
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Luggage, Blue Sea 3 Pack
  • Complete packing cube solution
  • Pack according to travel destinations, weather or events.
  • Save time and stress finding items and packing your luggage especially when you have a plane to catch.
  • Just put the cubes inside the closet and drawers and avoid the clutter.

In a day and age when travelers are forced to be more conservative with space as well as how much luggage they can take with them on their trips, travelers must now get a little creative and crafty in how they pack.

One innovative solution for packing is using packing cubes to help travelers organize their items while also conserve space. Packing cubes are small, ultra lightweight bags of various shapes and sizes that are the perfect selection for your traveling and packing needs.

Packing cubes allow travelers to pack more while also taking up less space in your luggage without sacrificing organization or damaging any items.

Read on to learn more about why using packing cubes are so important, some alternative products to packing cubes, how to effectively use packing cubes and other aides in creative ways, and our recommendations for the best brands and packing cube systems available to help make selecting your choice a bit easier.

Our Highest Recommendation

Why Use Packing Cubes

Is there anything worse than that bottle of lotion bursting and getting all over your other items – even your clothes? By using one small packing cube for all of your toiletries, medications, and toothbrush, and a larger, separate packing cube for all of your clothing, you can avoid this small disaster from happening.

Many travelers have used plastic Zip-lock bags to separate their items, such as toiletries and medications. However, packing cubes were born based on this idea, but they are more durable, practical, and even come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors for travel needs.

Packing cubes also have mesh windows in order to help travelers easily see the times that are packed inside.

Types of Packing Cubes

Packing cubes can come in various products, such as packing cubes, packing folders, and compression sacks. Each type of packing product has various similarities and differences, and even benefits and drawbacks. Here we will review each kind.

Pro Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are ultra lightweight and durable, making them the ultimate packing solution. They are made with durable Rip-Stop Nylon as well as pull zippers and reinforced seams.

Packing cubes are designed to compress, organize, and pack clothing as well as other items. They fit perfectly into most carry-on suitcases, tote bags, backpacks and even duffel bags. Packing cubes are also machine washable.

Although packing cubes are durable, the pull zippers can break or become difficult to use over time. In some instances they can also snag the fabric causing rips or tears.

Packing Folders

Packing folders are a great option if you need to pack dress shirts or other formal clothing and are also extremely pressed for space. Packing folders are in the shape of a folder, and are thinner than packing cubes.

Packing folders are a great option for keeping ironed shirts and slacks looking sharp. These packing folders are slim enough to fit in any carry-on bag or other small piece of luggage without consuming a ton of space. Travel wrinkle-free with packing folders.

One drawback to packing folders is although they are slim and designed as space-savers, the number of shirts, slacks or other types of formal clothing that can fit in a single folder can depend on the size of the individual.

For example, a man with a small torso size can likely fit more neatly pressed shirts in a single folder than a man with a larger torso.

Compression Sacks

A compression sack won’t help you save room in your suitcase, but it will allow you to pack multiple items in a single sack that is strong and durable for any trip or adventure.

For example, a compression sack can be used to store a sleeping bag or compress clothing in order to save the available space in your backpack. A compression sack is made with 100% water-resistant nylon, and also comes equipped with four vertical compression straps with quick-release buckles.

Although the compression sack is a great option for storing large items in a small space by packing them down, it is not the solution for traveling with clothing that you don’t want to wrinkle. The compression sack is ideal for camping trips or other outdoor adventures.

How To Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes will change the way you travel. In fact, many happy customers who have used packing cubes have claimed they will never go anywhere without packing cubes again.

Many travelers have even mastered the use of packing cubes to a whole new level.In this section, we will share some tips on how to creatively use packing cubes to maximize space and organization.

Packing Cube Planning

The first step to using packing cubes is to plan on what goes in each cube and how each cube fits in your luggage.

For example, for travelers who are traveling to unknown climates or areas with inconsistent or spontaneous changes in weather conditions, packing cubes can come in handy.

Smaller packing cubes can be used for lighter clothing, such as shorts, tank tops, and so on, and the larger packing cubes can be reserved for sweaters, jackets, sweatpants, and so on.

This approach alone will likely surprise you as to how much space you can save in your luggage. In fact, when used creatively, packing cubes can allow travelers to travel carry-on only!

Rolling Instead of Folding

One way to maximize the space in your packing cubes is to roll clothing rather folding. This can work for T-shirts, underwear, socks, and lighter clothing, and is a great idea to try to do for any clothing that doesn’t have to be ironed or that you don’t care about getting a little wrinkled.

Compression cubes are also a great solution for packing clothing that doesn’t have to be ironed or clothing that is wrinkle-free.

Once your packing cubes are packed, you can then stack them and fit them in a suitcase or carry-on. This is another great method to help you go carry-on only!

Zip It

One of the most attractive features of using packing cubes is that they come with zippers, which are relatively durable. Zippers can allow you to stuff as many items in one cube that you can essentially zipper shut.

Of course you want to avoid overstuffing, as this can take up more space than desired once the cubes are stacked on top of one another, however, you should roll and stuff as much clothing as reasonably possible in a cube and then zip it!

If you have finished packing your clothing in the cubes, and have a little space to spare, then fill the remaining space with smaller items, such as tank tops, socks or underwear.

Each packing cube has a mesh window so you can easily see which items are packed in which cube for maximum accessibility.

Here is a quick guide to using a packing cube, and how to maximize the space within each sized cube:

Full Cube

  • Pants, jeans, sweatpants
  • Sweaters, sweatshirts, and other heavy tops
  • Dresses

Half Cube

  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • Shorts
  • Work-out clothing
  • Women’s underwear and intimate wear
  • Skirts
  • Socks

Quarter Cub

  • Toiletries or other medicine cabinet items that won’t get damaged or spill during travel
  • Belts and hair accessories
  • Bathing suits
  • Electronics

Not only are packing cubes a great investment themselves, they are also a highly effective in helping travelers organize their items and maximize space. Packing cubes avoid lost or damaged items during travel.

After packing all of your clothing and items into the right sized packing cubes, your items will remain right where you left them once you reach your destination.

Now that you know how to use packing cubes, and how to get the more value for your money, we are going to provide you with some recommendations on what we think are the best types of packing cubes out there.

Video Tutorial

Packing Cube System Recommendations

Packing cubes are the great choice for travelers who want to save space, pack in a more organized fashion, cut down on luggage weight or to just travel more simply.

Whether you want to be able to find the exact item you are looking for or to avoid paying exorbitant fees for heavy luggage, packing cubes are a dream come true.

Furthermore, packing cubes avoid losing items at the bottom of your suitcase – those items that aren’t reclaimed until weeks or months later when you are packing for your next trip.

By using packing cubes, everything has a designated place, and you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for without rummaging endlessly through your suitcase to find it.So which is the best option – packing cubes, packing folders or packing organizers?

Packing cubes take the cake on this one, however, ultimately the choice is up to the traveler. So which packing cube systems are the best? Here we have compiled a list of our top recommendations.

At Glance

Bago Packing Cubes

4 Pcs Set

6 Addnl Organizers

  • Saves Time
  • Protect Clothes
  • Tidy Packing
  • 100% Guarantee

Buy From Amazon

Shacke Pak Cubes

4 Pcs Set

Extra Large To Small

  • Laundry Bag
  • Avail 8 Colors
  • Water Resistant
  • YKK Zippers

Buy From Amazon

eBags Packing Cubes

3 Pcs Set

#1  Travel Accessory

  • 10 Fun Colors
  • Reinforced Zips
  • Double Duty
  • Mesh Tops

Buy From Amazon

TravelWise Cubes

5 Pcs Set

Weekender Plus Set

  • Nylon Fabric
  • Large To Small
  • Lightweight
  • MB Guarantee

Buy From Amazon

Bago Packing Cubes

Bago Packing Cubes 4pcs Value Set for Travel
2,609 Reviews
Bago Packing Cubes 4pcs Value Set for Travel
  • 6 additional organizer plastic zip bags for even more complete & beneficial organization.
  • Pack according to travel destinations, weather or events.
  • Save time and stress finding items and packing your luggage especially when you have a plane to catch.
  • Just put the cubes inside the closet and drawers and avoid the clutter.
  • Packed in a Documents Protector Plastic Bag and Travel e-Guides with each purchase.

This value set of travel packing cubes are our top choice for the best kind of packing cubes out there. This awesome packing cube system comes with two medium cubes and two large cubes in the same color.

This system also comes equipped with six additional organizer plastic zip bags for even more complete organization. The larger cubes are large enough to fit heavier clothing, such as jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts and sweatpants, and even help keep that suit wrinkle-free and clean.


The Bago Packing cubes are a great packing aide that can help travelers pack what they need, regardless of travel destination, weather conditions or climate. The Bago packing cubes are ultra lightweight and can hold it all!

They are also guaranteed to protect your clothing and luggage from stains, wrinkles and damages during travel. The cubes are also made with durable rip-stop nylon material that tucks your clothes safely inside.

Bago Packing cubes are quick and easy to pack and are convenient for locating specific items during travel, especially if used as a carry-on. Bago Packing cubes also come in a wide range of bright color options.


Some users believe that packing cubes are nothing more than an organizational tool used while packing. Some users also believe that stacking packing cubes in a suitcase only takes up more room rather than saving space.

However, the majority of users have made packing cubes work for them successfully. It’s all about making packing cubes fit in any piece of luggage. This might mean doing some rearranging in order to get them to fit just right.

Another tip for successful use is to use the packing cubes for larger items that require protection and organization, such as your jeans right down to that bottle of lotion.


Bago Packing cubes come with four packing cubes – in two different sizes – and six organizer bags, all for $25 on Amazon – making it one of the best deals.

Travelers get a lot for this great price, and even save money on extra luggage fees and weight restrictions at airports. Bago Packing cubes are the number one choice for quality, quantity, variety, effectiveness and value.

Shacke Pak Travel Organizers

Shacke Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag
7,334 Reviews
Shacke Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag
  • Made From High Quality Water Resistant Nylon Material.
  • 4 Packing Cubes – Extra Large, Large, Medium, and Small.
  • Creates a Reinforced Lid to Hold Your Clothes in Place and Prevents the Bag Material in the Middle to Fold Upwards.
  • 4 inch Deep Design Allows You to Fit All The Clothes You Need into Our Bags.
  • Laundry Bag Included to Help Separate your Dirty Clothes At The End of The Trip.

The Shacke Pak travel packing cube system helps make packing everything you want in a snap. This packing cube system makes it easy to store and and organize clothing and all of your other items easily and neatly, which is the perfect option if you need to pack a suit, dress or other formal clothing.

Clothing stays wrinkle free and other items stay put throughout travel. This system also comes with a laundry bag to separate dirty laundry from clean laundry.


Shacke Pak is made with high-quality durable and water resistant nylon. Each packing cube is four inches deep, giving travelers sufficient space to pack more clothing.

This packing cube system comes with an extra large cube, one large cube, a medium cube and a small cube, and mesh windows for easy viewing of the items inside each cube and compartment.


One of the disadvantages to the Shacke Pak travel packing cube system is that there aren’t many color options available. These packing cubes come in only two standard colors: black and navy blue. This might work just fine for the male buyer, however, some women may want more feminine packing cubes.

Another disadvantage is although the cubes themselves are relatively lightweight, once the larger cubes are filled, they are heavier than some of the other products and brands.

Although they are still a great option for saving space, they might not be the best option if the goal is to reduce luggage weight.

Additionally, the Shacke Pak packing cube system comes with one less cube than what we already saw with the Bago packing cube system. Although sometimes less is more – especially when traveling – getting the most for your money is likely one of our top priorities.


All in all, the Shacke Pak travel organizer system is still a great find. This packing cube brand costs approximately $30 on Amazon.

eBags Packing Cubes help keep everything contained in your luggage – right where you put it – while also maximizing the space in your luggage. eBags packing cube system makes packing and unpacking easier than ever.

eBags Packing Cubes

eBags Packing Cubes - 3pc Set
277 Reviews
eBags Packing Cubes - 3pc Set
  • Techlite Diamond Nylon.
  • Zipper closure.
  • Guaranteed for life under the eBags Lifetime Warranty.
  • Includes premium YKK zippers with corded pulls for a lifetime of opening and closing.
  • Highest construction standards utilized and interior seams fully finished for durability.

eBags Packing Cubes help keep everything contained in your luggage – right where you put it – while also maximizing the space in your luggage. eBags packing cube system makes packing and unpacking easier than ever.


eBags packing cubes are designed with premium YKK zippers, with are the best quality zippers in the industry, breathable nylon and mesh compartments and fabric bound interior seams.

No matter what you pack into an eBag packing cube, you will find a space for it. eBags packing cubes are also great for packing in drawers, even while you are at home!


One disadvantage to the eBags packing cube system is that the dimensions are a little deceiving. Although the eBags packing system comes with three packing cube bags, as we have seen with other products and brands, the three bags are a bit smaller than the others, which might be a deal-breaker for travelers who are looking for packing cubes at the right size in order to maximize space.


In summary, the eBags packing cube system is still a great quality product at a great price, even if they are a bit smaller than when compared with other packing cube systems. The eBags packing cube system is available on Amazon for approximately $26.

TravelWise Packing Cube System

TravelWise Packing Cube System - 5pc Set
2,345 Reviews
TravelWise Packing Cube System - 5pc Set
  • 5 Piece Weekender Plus Packing Cube Set (1 Small, 2 Medium and 2 Large Cubes) .
  • Zipper closure.
  • Constructed of high-quality nylon fabric.
  • Open mesh design makes it easy to locate items.
  • Clothes no longer shift in transit! Clothes stay neat and tidy in their own small drawers.

Finally, our last item on the recommendation list is the TravelWise Packing Cube System. This packing cube system comes with one mall cube, two medium cubes, and two large cubes.

The five-piece packing cube system is made from high-quality, ultra lightweight nylon. The This system also comes equipped with two easy-to-pull zippers, and even an open mesh pockets and compartments that makes finding items easier.


The various compartments also provide optimum interior luggage space, saving room for other items as necessary. Additionally, by having neat compartments for each item or article of clothing, everything stays neat and organization and will not shift during travel.


Although the TravelWise packing cube system comes with four cubes total, the overall quality of these bags seem to be the lowest when compared with the other products and brands we have reviewed.

Many consumers have thought these to be of cheap quality. Although this system claims to be manufactured with high-quality nylon, many consumers still found that their bags ripped or fell apart after only a short time.

In several instances, the pull zippers fell off or broke off, leaving the packing cubes almost useless.


Finally, this system is still a great option when researching various packing cube systems for your next travel experience, especially if you are on a budget! The TravelWise system also comes in a variety of color options, appealing to any personality, gender or style preferences. You can find this packing cube brand on Amazon for approximately $26.

Never Travel Without Packing Cubes Again!

When it comes time to pack for your next trip or adventure, choose the packing cubes, packing folder organizers, or compression sacks that work best for you and your travel destination.

We don’t recommend buying each type; rather, we simply provide this as a guide to aid you in your decision. This might mean trying two different kinds of packing tools that intrigue you the most and determine if they’re the right “fit” for you.

Traveling can be fun and exciting but it can also be stressful and challenging, especially when you need to pack your life in a time crunch – and in a tight space. In fact, not properly packing for your trip can lead to frustration, disappointment or even misery.

This often means making important choices in what to bring with you on your trip, which could mean making the choice between packing an extra book to read or another pair of shoes.

By using packing cubes, you can pack the best of both worlds – packing what you want AND saving space.Enjoy everything about your trip – even if it’s for business rather than leisure – as much as possible by making your packing experience as easy as possible.

The next time you are ready to pack for a trip, whether it is for a long weekend or for week-long vacation overseas, you will likely think of packing cubes to make packing a snap – and in less time.


  1. Kara on April 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I use packing cubes in my ZUCA Pro wheeled carry on. They stack vertically. Love the concept and love the bag.

  2. Linda on April 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I am kind of on the fence about these things too. If I’m packing a plain suitcase with lots of room, they definitely make life easier. But they don’t really help you pack any lighter or more compactly if you know what you’re doing already. An organization aid more than anything.

  3. mike on April 26, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I can definitely fit more with packing cubes, because the limiting factor is often not how much I can smoosh in to my bag, it’s how much I can easily get to. By helping with organization, packing cubes increase the amount of stuff that I can carry and get to at the same time.

    They’re also great because I no longer spend an hour every night unpacking and packing my bag when I travel.

  4. Jodi on May 5, 2009 at 5:42 am

    I agree with Linda – these are great when you are using a suitcase, but when traipsing around with a pack, they’re hard to use, especially when you need to pack quickly. I’ve found that thin siliconized nylon stuff sacks (like sea to summit’s Ultra Sil compression bag ) in different sizes do the trick. I can unpack quickly and put my clothes in one and underwear/bathing suit/socks, etc in the other smaller one. And they’re water resistant, which is great.

  5. Chris on April 27, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I also agree with Linda. The biggest advantage is in my opinion that you don`t have to pack or unpack the bag.

    @ Jodi: Thanks for the tip with nylon stuff sacks. Simple but effective

    PS: “packing cubes” link is broken.

  6. Mary Alice Coffman on November 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I don’t really see much of an advantage with these. I prefer using my spacepak bags to suck the air out of bulky items like polar fleece to give me more room.

  7. greg on January 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    As a long time travelling climber, skier and occasional surfer who wound up becoming the product guy for a travel storage company i often find myself engaged in the storage compartments vs storage sacs discussion. That choice usually comes down to some of the points that have been well covered in the original article and followup comments. From my perspective another equally important factor concerns the risk of grim weather and the possibility of clothes and essentials getting wet. If that is a possibility then consider weather or water proof storage options.

  8. Joseph Boarman on March 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I answere yes to every question but #6. I guess I need these.

  9. Johnny on June 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I never use these things. My wife thinks they’re the bomb. Like you said though, so also gets giddy about The Container Store. I never seem to have any trouble finding my underwear, so these seem like something extra to pack rather than a help.

  10. innate on July 1, 2013 at 8:19 am

    One further point for consideration are weatherproof cubes. With full disclosure, and at the risk of self-promotion, the Innate team saw a critical need for cubes that keep shirts/pants/frocks dry and sealed up when on the road for deployment on the flight home or a meeting when you’ve got to look your best. We used our stitch-less rf welding technology on recycled and repurposed materials to create a nice option for travellers needing more than mere organizers. Worth considering if you need you are travelling in we, humid environs.

  11. Maria on November 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    There is a new compression version that Eagle Creek put out that changed my mind about these thing. You stuff in all your stuff and then the second zipper compresses everything tight. Great for dirty clothes.

  12. Daidri ~ on November 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Thanks Tom, great review! I personally love cubes. They were a life safer for me in my backpack while in Italy. Maria, my sister just purchased the Eagle Creek cubes that compress and is absolutely loving them.

  13. hermes on January 4, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I am a bit of an over-organizer, but as I travel a lot I loathe spending a lot of time sorting my stuff and spending hours between one-night hotels. I also travel in the tropics in the third world where rain comes in downpours. I use a cheap (no point inviting crimes of opportunity) one compartment bag because I find organizer bags overkill when I do it all myself inside anyway.

    Ziplocks are too soft and packing cubes are too clever with colour codes and patterns. The only *pure* see-through plastic (not smokey, no advertising, zero extras) are the line sold in Tokyu Hands department store in Japan. They have dozens of sizes and shapes – for everything from toiletries to sweaters. Zen packing. My only criticisms of that bares bones line are that the plastic is a bit hard and the zippers would be better if they extended truly half-way down the sides, or better all the way down so I could create top-open boxes on the road. I actually designed my own very sturdy organizers and have five progressively refined prototypes made in Vietnam. Problem is in my quest for military durability they were too heavy.

    And yes, you get more in your bag without any organizers.

  14. Jennifer on August 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I’m taking my first Europe trip next month and we are backpacking. I have a large backpack (70 liters) and wondering if packing cubes would help. If so which would be best? Considering Eagel Creek and ebags.

    We’re visiting France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. No real backpacking while hiking but a lot of traveling from country to country on trains which is why we’re using backpacks.

    Any feedback would be so appreciated.

  15. Tim Leffel on August 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I would go a middle route and take some, but don’t fill your whole pack with them. They work better in rectangular suitcases. The compression ones Eagle Creek makes are great though because you can fit more in or compress your dirty clothes. But often with a pack, roll and stuff will actually work better.

  16. Michael on June 9, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Last year I bought a set of packing cubes and looking back, I don’t know how I traveled without them. Makes life so much easier. One thing I would recommend is buying a set of packing cubes that have 2 compartments so you can keep your clean and dirty clothes separate. Really useful when you go on longer trips. I have this set from Amazon and I can’t recommend them enough.

  17. Joanne on October 6, 2015 at 4:09 am

    I think if you’re looking at cubes you need to look no further than Eagle Creek Specter or Pro Packing Cubes. I have both. Apart from price (Pro Packing Cubes are significantly cheaper) it is down to whether you want a mesh window (I like this – allows you to see inside the cube / find stuff) or compression (Eagle Creek compress better but at expense of wrinkles an its harder to pull things out without unpacking the whole cube). Personally I prefer my Pro Cubes 90% of the time as they are more practical.

  18. Wirakorn @ Mora Bushcraft on October 13, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Good idea.

  19. refslady on December 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

    We usually go on a 3 week winter vacation where we are changing timeshares weekly. The cubes are especially useful when I want to unpack at each location – I simply move the entire cube into a dresser drawer and unzip it. Fortunately, we have laundry facilities at each place, so I don’t need to worry about separating clean and dirty clothes.

  20. zeumerka on December 7, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I discovered the usefulness of packing cubes this autumn. I love them because I can use them to pack into my backpack for two days hike and also for my business trips in my suitcase. I tried my children to get packed in them for weekend at grandparents house, and voila they did it without any problem. And finally we did not forget nothing essential…:-)
    I bought thess ones and I really like them

  21. Heidi on November 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I never travel without my packing cubes from Ikea. They are cheap and do what they should do. Am a huge fan of travelling light 🙂

  22. Nikky on January 19, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I had Bago cubes and during the second trip they painted my white blouse into black. Will never use them again. Since then I tried few more but stopped with Besquirrel packing cubes: they are really very light, durable and cheap.

  23. Micheal on April 18, 2017 at 2:53 am

    I bought a set of eurybia packing cubes last week It is good so far. I bought bago before. There is not much difference between those packing cubes actually.

  24. ALYSON MARY KIRN on April 28, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I am just getting ready to try them.

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