submitted by Jonathan Tayag
Staying organized while traveling is a problem that even some of the best backpacks and duffels on the market aren’t going to solve completely. There’s always smaller items that end up getting lost in the corners, and at the end of the trip your clean clothes usually get mixed up with dirty ones. One way to avoid this is with a good set of packing cubes that help you keep everything in order. When everything has its place it’s easier to retrieve the items you need in a pinch without needing to dig through your bag every time. It’s a great storage solution that helps keep things compact for one-bag travel, and it makes loading and unloading your bag a simple affair. There’s a lot of packing cubes out there to help you settle your luggage for your next trip whether near or far, and they’re not all the same. In this guide we’ll highlighting some of our favorite storage options for your consideration, and we’ll explain what makes them so indispensable when it comes to carrying smarter and packing your gear more efficiently.
AmazonBasics Packing Cube SetKey FeaturesBreathable mesh windowTwo-way zippersTop grab handlesSpecificationsMaterialsNylonDimensions17.5 x 12.75 x 3.25 inchesWeight13.6 oz (all four bags together)EDC RatingPrice$Amazon has a surprising number of quality gear under its AmazonBasics brand, one of them being their 4-piece packing cube set. While you won’t find any abrasion resistance or waterproof materials here, these cubes are perfect for anyone that already has a quality bag and is just seeking a better way to stay organized. You get four different sizes (large, medium, small, and slim) and a mesh top that lets you see where every item of clothing is at a glance. What makes these a good option is the versatility of having four options available to you. The slim one is perfect for socks or underwear while the large packing cube easily holds jeans and dress shirts. For the price, these are hard to beat, and it’s a good and inexpensive place to start if you’re looking for a no-frills option that covers most bases well.
Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Packing Cube SetKey FeaturesCompressible designGrab handlesTwo sizesSpecificationsMaterials30D nylon ripstopDimensions13L and 6LWeight1 oz (medium)EDC RatingPrice$Eagle Creek’s solution allows you to keep things slim in your pack to maximize your carry potential when you’re on the road. Their cubes come in two sizes–13 and 6 liters–and they are meant to make it easy for you to roll them up to fit them down to a smaller size. Rolling your clothes also helps prevent wrinkles, making it less of a hassle when you get to your hotel because you won’t have to spend time with the ironing board getting the kinks out of your dress shirts before the next day rolls along.
Peak Design Packing CubeKey FeaturesExpandable designRip-resistantSecondary compartment for dirty clothesSpecificationsMaterials70D nylon/poly blend shellDimensions18L and 9LWeight4 oz and 5.1 ozEDC RatingPrice$While Peak Design is best known for their camera bags, their thoughtful design language extends to travel bags and accessories as well. The Peak Design packing cubes are also a great option for anyone looking to keep clothing or smaller essentials organized on long trips. The cubes are made from a weatherproof 70D nylon and poly shell that’s 100% recycled and rip-resistant as well. It compresses down to a small size if you don’t have much, but you can expand it by unzipping it to increase the capacity when needed. If you’re not sure where your next trip is going to take you, then something tough like these packing cubes might be for you.
Osprey Ultralight Packing Cube SetKey FeaturesUltralightWide zipper openingTop grab handleSpecificationsMaterials40D ripstop polyesterDimensions6L, 3L, and 1.5LWeight1.1 ozEDC RatingPrice$Osprey is one of the go-to brands when you’re looking for reliable outdoor travel bags, but it also makes plenty of quality accessories designed to make your trip easier. Take the ultralight packing cubes for example, with their super light 40D ripstop polyester construction. It won’t weigh you down or easily tear on your next trip. You’ll get 6L, 3L, and 1.5L cubes so you can choose what goes where. All three also have convenient top-handles so you can access them easily from the bag without needing to remove everything. And if anything should happen to these packing cubes during your travels, you can avail of Osprey’s lifetime no-hassle warranty to get it repaired quickly.
NOMATIC Packing CubeKey FeaturesZippered compression systemSee-through mesh windowSnag-free zippersSpecificationsMaterialsNylon, meshDimensions11.5 x 7.75 x 5 inches (compresses to 2.5 inches depth)Weight6.3 ozEDC RatingPrice$NOMATIC’s line of packing cubes allows for easy identification of the clothes and gear you place inside of them, with a see-through front cover that means you don’t have to fully unpack your bag when you’re on the hunt for a specific piece of clothing. The snag-free zippered compression system also lets you slim things down when you’re trying to take full advantage of your luggage capacity on a trip abroad.
Topo Designs Pack Bags Packing CubeKey FeaturesTop carry handleYKK zippersRemovable shoulder strapSpecificationsMaterials1000D CORDURA nylonDimensions17.3LWeight8.01 ozEDC RatingPrice$Topo Designs opted to give their packing cubes the same 1000D CORDURA nylon and bombproof construction as their bags and packs, making these some of the most durable bags within bags you can opt for as you travel. The sturdy YKK zippers give other packing cubes a run for their money as well, meaning that it’s far less likely that you break a zipper when you least need it in the field due to the quality of this pack. And with the top carry handle, getting this out of your bag once you get to where you’re going is an easy one-handed affair.
Timbuk2 Stack Packing CubeKey FeaturesStacking design for packing and storageBreathable materialColor-coded for easy identificationSpecificationsMaterials200D PA Crinkle EffectDimensions15.2 x 10.4 x 1.5 inchesWeight12 ozEDC RatingJust releasedPrice$Made out of breathable 200D PA Crinkle Effect fabric, the Stack packing cubes from Timbuk2 allow your clothes to breathe, keeping away strange smells built up over time, especially if you can’t get to a proper wash cycle on an extended trip away from home. As the name implies, these packing cubes are meant to stack one on top of another in your luggage, and for further convenience, the cubes fit into each other for storage. The color guides on the bags themselves allow for some visual separation between your clean gear and dirty laundry. The reflective zipper pulls are easy to identify in the dark as well, which can come in handy at the end of the day.
Patagonia Black Hole Packing CubeKey FeaturesWeatherproof designClamshell openingGrab handleSpecificationsMaterials100% recycled polyester ripstop, TPU laminatedDimensions10L, 6L, and 3LWeight8.1 ozEDC RatingJust releasedPrice$Patagonia recently updated their Black Hole line of packing cubes by integrating a tough polyester ripstop that’s been further treated with TPU laminate that makes these packing cubes highly weatherproof and water repellant. This means that if you’re unlucky enough to get caught out in the rain and some water gets into your pack, you have an added layer of protection against having to wear soggy underwear when you get to your next destination. Aside from the large 10L size we feature here, these packing cubes also come in 6 liter medium and 3L small for all of your travel needs.
Aer Packing CubeKey FeaturesLightweightTwo-way zippersMesh panelSpecificationsMaterials70D ripstop nylonDimensions10.9LWeight0.25 lbsEDC RatingJust releasedPrice$Aer’s packing cube makes even more sense to pick up if you already have their award winning Travel Packs, but even if you don’t they’re a great option for travel EDC. They’re made to fit your standard dress shirts folded in half to avoid wrinkling and damage from a life on the road, and their mesh top allows for both breathability and easy identification of the clothes inside at a glance as you open your pack.
Bluffworks Bluffcube Packing CubeKey FeaturesVersatile cinch designTwo models to suit your needsHigh-vis colorwaysSpecificationsMaterialsRipstop nylonDimensions10.5L and 3.9LWeight2-4.5 ozEDC RatingJust releasedPrice$The flap top and cinch compression closure helps the Bluffworks Bluffcube stand apart from the competition. You can pack them to the brim and stand them up in your travel backpack, or if you need more space (or you are running lighter than usual) you can cinch things down and compress your packing cubes on the go. The Pro version offers a bit more structure for the internals of your bag, and the sport uses lighter ripstop nylon that’s available in five bright colors for easy ID in your bag, and you can use these colors to pack different things in different packing cubes for efficiency’s sake too.
DSPTCH Packing CubeKey FeaturesMesh windowGrab handleLarger size to accommodate footwearSpecificationsMaterialsBallistic nylonDimensions13 x 9 x 4 inchesWeightN/AEDC RatingJust releasedPrice$The ventilated top design of the DSPTCH Packing Cube as well as the larger size makes them a great option if you have a pair of hiking boots in your travel carry and you need to separate them from the rest of your clothes as you move from point A to point B. It’s also a perfect fit for DSPTCH’s Weekender bag, but as long as the bag of your choice fits it you can certainly use this packing cube in the configuration of your choice.
WANDRD Essential Camera Packing CubeKey FeaturesRobust protection for your camera gearConfigurable dividersWeatherproof materialsSpecificationsMaterials420 Robic nylon with weather resistant coatingDimensions12.5 x 11 x 5 inchesWeight14.75 ozEDC RatingPrice$$We’ve spent a lot of time talking about carrying your clothes and shoes within your luggage of choice, but when your travel EDC also contains expensive camera gear, packing up a packing cube that can protect those items as you travel is paramount too. That’s where the padded design of the WANDRD Essential Camera cube comes in, with enough space to carry a standard mirrorless interchangeable-lens digital camera and 1-4 lenses including a pro-sized 70-200mm workhorse, this is a great option for photographers on the go. The configurable dividers can also accommodate smaller gear like drones in a pinch, and you can configure the interior how you need, when you need it.
Source: Everyday Carry