Why Use Packing Cubes? We Try Them And Find Out


Why Use Packing Cubes? We Try Them And Find Out

For years we’ve heard other travelers talk about how much they love packing cubes so we finally checked out packing cubes for ourselves and saw what all the fuss is about.

To get us started, we tested out the 5 pack set of eBags ultra lightweight packing cubes in blue, complete with two large, one medium, and two small cubes.

See prices and details on Amazon now.

To give you an idea of how much we’ve used the packing cubes so far, we’ve been using them, as a family of four, for about six weeks of constant travel through Canada, Mexico, Belize, Columbia and Ecuador.

Why should you use packing cubes?

We started using packing cubes because I was tired of the jumble of clothes in our suitcases. I was constantly looking for underwear or socks that were buried in some hard-to-find corner of a suitcase.

I honestly just felt constantly unorganized and when we all shared a large bag it was a nightmare sorting everyone’s things out.

That’s no longer the case since we started using packing cubes. I love that packing cubes make it easy to find underwear and other small items, without tearing apart the entire contents of a suitcase. I always know when it’s time to do laundry when the underwear cube is down to its last pair, and I always know where to find socks.

I also like that packing cubes give you a bit of privacy. Packing cubes can also help keep the contents of your suitcase private during a TSA inspection. From personal experience, it’s not that enjoyable when TSA agents and every guy in the security line can see your underwear when your suitcase contents are being randomly inspected. Packing cubes can help prevent that.

How much fits inside a packing cube?

We use the small cubes to hold our children’s underwear, and each cube fits seven pairs of children’s underwear and four pairs of socks in a small cube. I love the medium cube, which fits seven pairs of adult women’s underwear, an extra bra, and four pairs of socks, with lots of room to spare.

We use the large cubes to hold bulky items of clothing for colder climates, like extra rain jackets or jeans. Each large cube fits two adult spring or rain jackets, or six pairs of jeans.

When I travel by myself, I use the cubes to organize my clothes differently. I use the small for underwear, the medium for shoes and accessories, one large bag for tops and dresses, and the other large bags for bottoms.

Tips for choosing packing cubes

Look for packing cubes that are as lightweight as possible. There’s no need to add extra weight to your luggage, especially with airlines charging a fortune for overweight luggage.

It’s also a good idea to choose packing cubes with a mesh panel that lets you see what’s inside, and lets the contents breathe, keeping them fresh.

Our review of the eBags ultra lightweight packing cubes

Overall, we really like the eBags ultra lightweight packing cubes. They’re as nice as new after six weeks of constant use and I find that I use the carry handles a lot to grab them and move them around.

See prices and details on Amazon now.

They also have pull tabs that make it very easy to open and shut and a quick loop can secure them up for transport.

We can fit all five of the ultra lightweight eBags cubes (2 large, 1 medium, and one small) in one side of a typical carry on. That leaves the other side of our eBags carry-on, with its zippered compartment, free for other clothes.

As you can tell by their name, our eBags ultra lightweight packing cubes are ultra-lightweight. This means that their shape will change when you put in bulky items unlike compression packing cubes meant to compress clothes.

Compression packing cubes are great for when you really need to your clothes into as small an area as possible and aren’t as worried about the weight.

When empty, the ultra lightweight packing cubes take almost no space and weigh next to nothing however you’ll be paying more for the low weight and patent pending design. Right now, the 5 pack set of eBags ultra lightweight cubes cost about $70 at eBags though they’re sometimes on sale for less. If that’s a bit pricey, you can check out their regular packing cubes, which start at about $35 for a three piece set.

Will they wear out?

We’ve used our packing cubes every day for the past six weeks, and there are absolutely no signs of wear on them. I’m pretty happy with this since I was a little concerned that the lightweight cubes would wear or rip faster than regular packing cubes.

Slim vs Regular packing cubes

Since we’re traveling with carry-ons only this trip (to avoid extra weight and baggage charges), the ultra lightweight cubes work well for us. If we hadn’t chosen the ultra-lightweight ones we probably would have gone for the slim packing cubes design with their eBags lifetime warranty.

For a larger suitcase, a regular size packing cube would work well. The regular size is larger, and would allow us to use a large cube apiece for each of the four of us, with separate small cubes (kids) or medium cubes (adults) for underwear.

Where to buy

You can buy the eBags ultralight packing cubes we tried out at on Amazon.com.

See prices and details on Amazon now.

eBags Allura 22 hardside carry-on with brushed steel look and our kids at the airport

The Allura 22″ Hardside Carry-On we show above is available on Amazon.com. We’ve been using it for the last six weeks continual travel, and I really love the brushed graphite color.

7 Responses

  1. Travis

    Ebags are lifesavers! I have a bunch of them and not only have they helped make packing a whole lot easier, they’ve also saved me a ton of money from having to have my clothes ironed out when I’m traveling.

  2. Brett

    I’m a recovering packing cube user. I gave them up. I used to use a variety of small, medium, and large Eagle Creek Specter lightweight cubes in bright flame orange. However, they just didn’t fit my 45 liter travel pack very well. Left all sorts of strange gaps. I changed to just using a range of simple, mesh stuff sacks that I bought at REI.

    I roll things up before putting them in the stuff sacks just like I did with the cubes. Yet, they still remain loose enough to compress and fill in potential spaces in the pack. And there’s no zippers to break. Torn mesh is also easy to sew or tape back together (duct or GearAid repair tape). Also, the mesh sacks double as laundry bags. Nice getting two uses out of one item.

    Glad you like your cubes. I used to like mine more than I do now.

    • eileen g

      that’s a good point about keeping things soft and squishable. While I see the advantage of putting small items and shoes in a cube or pouch I’m not sure a see the advantage of putting your clothes in a big one that just takes up most of your suitcase. Seems to me those larger items can go right in the suitcase with your sacks positioned around them.

      • Charles Kosman

        They definitely can Eileen and I’m still not 100% sold on using packing cubes for every article of clothing either however here’s another 2 points to consider.

        As you travel and your clothes get dirty you don’t want everything repacked together so a packing cube or bag helps keep them separate. For years we traveled with stuff sacs to hold our dirty clothes and keep them separate. They’re super light and conform to our bag. We don’t see that changing anytime soon.

        Another thing no one mentions is that with packing cubes it makes it so much easier to grab a bunch of clothes and deal with packing them outside of the suitcase. We’ve been in places where we didn’t have a lot of room to fully open the suitcase or had to rearrange some things for an especially tight flight. At the airport we just pulled out a packing cube and plopped it into another bag and in the hotel with no storage space we simply stacked the cubes on a shelf and tucked our bag in the corner.

  3. Billy Keane

    Undoubtedly packing cubes are necessary for those who need to be on business frequently. Thanks for your useful sharing and I will buy some for my husband in no time.

  4. Hardtac

    I am completely sold on packing cubes. We use Pack-It Specter compression cubes. These have a compression feature that allows one to compress compressible items. I am a big guy and it is essential for me to be able to pack for carry on only.

    Many times I will use a small cube to hold one or two days of clothes (pair sox, undies, one shirt etc). This is handy when you want to check in your carry on for a 23 hour stopover or if you do not want to open your luggage in a hotel room.

    I went online to find better ways to pack. I am starting to use the military way to roll up clothes. This actually is a way of somewhat avoiding the use of the compression cubes.


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