Ever since I started planning my first backpacking trip and was trying to figure out how the heck I was going to fit everything I needed into one tiny backpack, I’ve been totally in love with packing cubes.
Now, over the years, I’ve tested out quite a few different packing cubes. Some good, some bad. Which leads to this… my personal picks for the best packing cubes for travel!
Quick Look: The Best Packing Cubes For Travel
Don’t have time to read the whole post? Here’s a quick overview of the best packing cubes for travel!
- Ebags Packing Cubes – best overall packing cubes, with super high-quality material and zippers perfect for overpackers
- Amazon Basics Packing Cubes – another great option for high-quality on a slightly smaller budget
- Osprey Ultralight Packing Cubes – super lightweight packing cubes, perfect for if you don’t want to go over luggage weight limits
- Gonex Compression Packing Cubes – high-quality packing cubes which compress your clothes–perfect if you’re traveling with a backpack or carry-on and have no weight limits
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Compression Cubes – another set of high-quality compression cubes
- EasyFun Packing Cubes – fun and stylish packing cubes for those on a budget
- Bagail Packing Cubes – classic packing cubes on a budget
The Best Packing Cubes for Travel
Ebags Packing Cubes
After ripping apart my first set of cheap packing cubes, I decided to invest in a set of eBags packing cubes, and I haven’t looked back since. These guys have lasted me for several years of pretty regular travel now, so you know they’re super good quality.
The eBags packing cubes are made of breathable nylon, with mesh panels on the top, so your clothes won’t get stinky and you can identify what’s inside easily. The self-healing zippers are sewn in so well that they’ve never even budged despite me constantly overpacking them.
Oh, and if you ever do rip them? They come with a lifetime warranty so you’ll get a replacement asap.
You can get eBags packing cubes in multiple different sizes and colors, making it super easy to organize your luggage as well.
Amazon Basics Packing Cubes
If you’ve done much shopping on Amazon, then you’ve probably purchased at least one Amazon Basics item in your time and been pleasantly surprised at the quality of it. The same is true for the Amazon Basics packing cubes!
While I haven’t tried these packing cubes myself, I’ve definitely considered it, as over 4,000 reviews say that they’re pretty amazing. Plus, at almost half the price of other brand-name packing cubes, it’s hard to resist.
The Amazon Basics packing cubes are made of lightweight, durable nylon fabric, with double-seamed zippers to prevent ripping from overpacking. They also have a large mesh panel on top for easy identification, and come in multiple sizes and colors.
If you’re looking for packing cubes that won’t add to your luggage weight, then Osprey’s Ultralight packing cubes are a great choice.
Made from ultralight material, these packing cubes mean you can pack as much as you want. Osprey is well-known for its high quality and lifetime guarantee as well, so you can stuff these guys as full as you want.
Unfortunately, the Osprey Ultralight packing cubes don’t have a mesh panel, and don’t come in as many colors, so they’re probably not the option if you’re looking for easy identification of what’s in different cubes.
The Best Compression Packing Cubes
If you’re a backpacker or carry-on only traveler, then it might be worth it to look into compression packing cubes. These cubes use two different sets of zippers so that you can compress your clothes down and save a ton of space!
Gonex Compression Packing Cubes
I bought the Gonex Compression cubes in preparation for a backpacking trip to Mexico last year and have been seriously impressed with them. I now pull them out any time I’m traveling with a smaller bag but have a ton of stuff to take with me.
The Gonex Compression packing cubes are made from durable and water-resistant nylon, with two sets of tearing-resistant zippers – one to close the bags and one to compress.
With the compression zippers, I’m able to push my clothes down to about half the size as they are in regular packing cubes. You do have to be a little bit careful when compressing the bags, as the extra fabric can get stuck in the zipper pretty easily, but this seems to be a problem with all compression cubes.
They’re also pretty affordable compared to other compression packing cubes, making them a great choice if you’re on a budget.
Eagle Creek Pack-It Compression Packing Cubes
Another great compression packing cube option is the Eagle Creek Pack-It compression cubes. Not only do they have double zippers for compression, but they’re made of super lightweight nylon fabric, meaning that they’re durable without putting much extra weight in your bag.
Although there isn’t a mesh panel (as there isn’t in most compression cubes), the fabric (which comes in many different colors and patterns) is actually see-through, so you’ll still be able to identify what’s inside the bags.
Again, you’ll need to be careful with fabric getting stuck in the second zipper, but you should be able to compress clothes really well with these guys!
Best Budget Packing Cubes
If you’d like high-quality packing cubes at a fraction of the cost, then these two different sets should do just the trick!
EasyFun Packing Cubes
The EasyFun packing cubes are some of the most fun and stylish packing cubes I’ve seen out there, and the set of 6 comes with 2 different colors, making it super easy for you to organize your luggage.
They’re made of water-resistant nylon, with mesh panels on top for breathability and easy identification of what’s inside.
Although they’re cheaper than brand name packing cubes, and probably won’t last quite as long, they’re still a great choice if you’re on a budget. And over 500 5-star Amazon reviews means that they’re still pretty high quality!
Bagail Packing Cubes
Last but not least, Bagail packing cubes are a great, classic choice for people on a budget. A pack of 6 comes in at less than a pack of 3 for some other brands, but are still made with high-quality fabric and interior sewn zippers for durability.
The mesh panels and many fun colors will make organizing a breeze, and nearly 4,000 5-star Amazon reviews can’t be wrong about their quality! They’re definitely some of the best packing cubes for travel if you’re on a budget.
How to Choose the Best Packing Cubes
If you’re still not quite sure about which packing cubes you should buy, here are a few tips for what to look for.
Durability – The #1 thing you want to be sure of when buying a set of packing cubes is it’s durability. Look for high-quality rip-stop nylon, double-sewn interior zippers, etc. These will ensure that, even if you overstuff your cubes a little bit, they’ll be with you for years to come.
Packability – Another thing you’ll want to look at is how the packing cubes actually pack. Depending on if you’re an over-packer who likes to stuff things, or an organizer who likes things nice and sturdy, this will look different, but choose which works best for you. I’d also recommend more sturdy cubes if you travel with a suitcase, and more stuff-able ones if you travel with a backpack.
Weight – While organization is great, you probably don’t want to add too much weight to your bag if you can avoid it. Look for packing cubes with thinner, more lightweight (but still durable) fabric.
Breathability – I highly recommend packing cubes with a mesh panel on top. This will prevent your clothes from getting stinky, and also makes it easy to see what’s inside without opening up ever single cube.
How to Use Packing Cubes
Finally, here are a few quick tips so that you can make the best use of your new packing cubes!
Roll your clothes – Rolling your clothes is a pretty popular tip for saving space these days, and the same goes when you’re using packing cubes. Not only will rolling your clothes help you save even more space, but it will also keep wrinkles at bay!
Use different cubes for different things – One of the best things about packing cubes is that you can organize your luggage super easily. I like to use one packing cube for bottoms, one for tops, and one for underwear and socks. Alternatively, you could pack different types of outfits in different cubes, or cold weather gear in one and warm weather gear in another, if you’re on a longer trip. If you’re traveling with your family or a partner, then using different colors for each person is another great way to keep things organized.
Use different types of cubes – I definitely recommend using different types of cubes for different things. I usually use compression cubes when I’m traveling with a smaller bag and regular packing cubes when I want to keep things a little bit more organized. I’ve also occasionally done more packable things like bulky sweaters in compression cubes and lightweight things in regular ones!
Don’t overstuff – Even if you have a super high quality packing cube, try your best not to overstuff them too much. I prefer to use more packing cubes with less things in each one for organization purposes, than fewer ones with more things in them. It also makes them a lot easier to zip!