Hot! Searching for the Best Packing Cube Ever!

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Given the small amount of space I have to work with, I am seriously considering testing out some packing cubes for my ten week trip to France this summer. I am terrible about making a mess of my bag, and inevitably, what I want is at the bottom. I think that I’m a prime candidate for packing cubes, but I’ve never used them in the past.

Since I know that many of you folks use or have used packing cubes in the past, I am looking for some suggestions. There seem to be many, many companies that make them, and I have no idea where to begin! Here are my priorities:

1st Priority: Weight & Bulk

I am not 100% sure of the strength of the stitching in my backpack straps, so I’m trying to keep things as lightweight as possible. Also, packing cubes are something I’ve scoffed at in the past because it seems silly to me to add something that takes up yet more space in your bag, and while I now realize that they are potentially useful, I am particularly concerned about them taking up extra space in the bag compared to me just doing the traditional roll-and-cram method that I usually use.

2nd Priority: Toughness

I am phenomenally rough on my gear. I don’t really know how I destroy everything so quickly, but I do. If the material or construction of the packing cubes isn’t top notch, I’m going to end up with tears, separated zippers, and ripped seams within a week.

3rd Priority: Visibility

I’d like to be able to see what’s in the cube, if possible. Sure, I could just write on it in sharpie, but since I might not use the same cube for the same items the next time, the bag would become pretty covered in writing pretty quickly. Whether it has mesh or a clear panel, I need to be able to see into the cube. On the other side of visibility, bright colors are also preferable, to help me distinguish cubes from within the bag.

Dear readers: What packing cubes are your favourite? Why did you choose them over other options?

Dear packing cube manufacturers: If you think your packing cubes are the best and want to test that theory, I would be happy to test it and put it through its paces this summer, and do an extensive write-up and review for you!

Now, if I can’t find packing cubes that I like, I’ll likely just use large-size ziploc bags, since they have the added benefit of providing a degree of waterproofing. Ziploc bags can also be repurposed much more easily than packing cubes, and I’m all about items that are potentially multi-purpose.

[Header photo by Pinay Traveller]

8 Comments

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  1. I love my eagle creek cubes – they’re very durable and really well made. They weigh hardly anything and come in plenty of different colours and sizes so you can figure out what’s in each one without needing to use labels.

    I never travel without them!

    I also take ziploc bags for anything that might spill, but I do find that the end up dying on me fairly quickly – they get thin, or get holes or whatever.

  2. I use the ziplock bag deal for underwear and socks, bras. Easier to find and don’t go falling out of the suitcase if opened in the airport by security. My absolute best buy was made years ago and is one of those “all in one bag” toiletries bag that hangs on a hook or rack. I have used it on boats, hotels, homestays and never had to unpack it, so I never lose anything.

  3. Mine is LLBean. I think that I have the next to small one.

  4. I have assorted sizes of the Sea to Summit garment mesh bags. They are completely brilliant. They come in various sizes, as I said, they have YKK zips, are constructed out of ripstop cordura fabrics, weigh absolutely nothing (generally half of what the similar sized Eagle Creek Pack It cubes weigh) and come in fabulous colours. The price is on the higher side but still competittive with the Eagle Creek products. I love the cubes particularly as we are constantly on the move on our trips abroad and it takes me literally 5 minutes to unpack and repack my bag between destinations – as compared to the 20 minutes it took me to do the same chore before I used cubes. I can also find precisely what I want in my bag when we are on the move without having to pull everything out.