We’ve talked plenty about packing cubes here at Practical Travel Gear, for good reason. Personally, I am a believer: I always use them when I travel, and 99% of the time, I travel carry on-only. I use packing cubes to fit everything in my bag, but I also use them to stay organized on the road and even when I camp or road trip, storing essentials in the small cubes and emergency supplies in the larger.
There are a lot of packing cube choices out there, but honestly, all you need is something simple, affordable, and functional. TravelWise has a three piece set available on Amazon that I’m currently using, and finding to meet all three criteria. You get a small, medium, and large cube for under $15 total, which is a lot less than many brands on the market. Each cube is made of high-quality nylon fabric, fairly thin but lightweight and durable, with two-way easy-pull zippers. They are not compression zippers, which compact the cubes even further (which I do recommend picking up), but do nicely for things like shoes, medical supplies and toiletries, and jeans and heavy pants.
I like that the TravelWise cubes are easy to open and close (seems like all packing cubes would be pretty easy to use, but that’s actually not always the case). They have a rectangular design that makes it easy to zip, and easy to dig through to find items. There’s an open mesh design so you can see what which cube you need, too.
Having packing cubes is like having drawers built into your suitcase, and when you arrive at your destination, you can toss the cubes right into actual drawers, saving time, staying organized, and keeping things from wrinkling much. If you pick up a few premium cubes or already have them, supplementing with one to two sets of affordable TravelWise cubes will round out your collection. Our whole family owns some, and we actually have more cubes than we need for each trip.
Recently, my youngest son left on a trip to New York City, and I easily packed everything he needed for over a week into four cubes, shown below. All the cubes pictured are from TravelWise.