Packing Cubes – and why you should love them!
Packing cubes are a life changing travel essential that will help organise any sized suitcase or backpack. These lightweight, sturdy, magical cubes will make you fall in love them and wonder how you ever travelled without them!
Trust me, you won’t regret using packing cubes!
Published 7.03.2022. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read the disclaimer for more information.
Why use packing cubes?
We have all been in the situation of trying to find something in the suitcase or backpack…but just can’t find it! You know it is in there, but where?!
This can be so frustrating when you are tired, hungry and just want to get shit done!!
Enter the packing cubes – also called luggage cube, packing cell or travel cubes. Use them to sort out your clothes, organise travel items and take the stress out of finding things in your luggage.
Best of all, they aren’t expensive and with so many varieties available you are bound to find the perfect travel cube for you!
How many do you need?
The number of packing cubes you need will be personal and depend on whether you travel light. For a 2-week trip to somewhere warm (ie no bulky jumpers, winter gear) I will use the following for my clothing
Large – pants, shorts, dresses, skirts
Medium – tops, singlets (if I am packing light I skip this and shove it all in a large cell)
Medium – underwear, scarves
Also handy to pack a spare packing cell for half worn clothes (you know those clothes that aren’t ready for the wash bag but you don’t want to put back in with the clean fresh clothes?)
Packing cubes take a pile of clothes and transform them into neat packages that easily pack into your suitcase or backpack
Are packing cubes just for clothes?
Gosh no, packing cubes are not just for clothes! Use them for everything!! I use them to store books, random electrical items (cables, chargers), kids toys, card games and the list goes on!
How to use packing cubes in luggage
Organising packing cubes in a suitcase is like a fun game of Tetris!
Just see what works and think about how you open your suitcase. Do you lay it flat then open (the correct way in my opinion)? Or do you keep your suitcase upright and open the lid like a door (weird!! But some people do it!)?
Put what you use least at the bottom of the bag, and more frequently used items on the top.
For a backpack, go with the softer packing cubes so they can be squashed down more and save on space.
How to use packing cubes while travelling
Rooms with cupboard space
This is where my love for packing cubes expands. I LOVE just lifting them out of the suitcase and sitting them in the cupboard of the hotel. Done!
Then when you are packing to leave, your clothes are still in the cube so just zip it up and off you go. Easy!
Caravans, RV, camping
Packing cubes are also great if you are travelling in a van, RV, campervan, caravan etc to keep your small space more organised.
On planes and public transport
Don’t think of packing cubes as something that are only for your luggage. Packing cubes are great to use on planes and public transport to keep your items organised. Especially when travelling with children – snacks, small toys, books etc.
Types of packing cubes
The market is flooded with packing cubes now because they really are awesome! Think about what you will be using the cubes for, how tough they need to be and what materials you prefer.
My personal favourite are the Kathmandu cubes which I purchased on sale many years ago and they are still like new! Not sure if they are still stocked by Kathmandu but there are plenty of other types available.
There are so many types of packing cubes but I have broadly categorised them as “soft shell” and “rigid style”.
These are a fabric style which is soft with mesh sections to allow airflow. These are really great as the soft material allows the cubes to be compressed down, or you can fold them over to save space.
These packing cubes are the most popular option.
The more rigid packing cubes have a plastic front which stops you from being able to really squash them down to save space. But these are great for smaller items so you can quickly see what is in them.
I use these for holding first aid items, sunscreen containers, insect repellent and my collection of tickets to attractions! I love keeping ticket stubs!
Waterproof, zipper type
Reviewing packing cubes could take all day! Consider whether you need waterproof ones or if the purpose of organisation is all you need.
If you plan on purchasing packing cubes for long term use, make sure the zipper is a good quality and pay a little bit more for a reputable brand.
What’s a compression bag?
Compression bags differ from packing cubes in that you roll out the air. Be mindful of weight limits through as while it’s exciting to fit more in the luggage it will end up weighing more!
TIPS | If your travelling with children check out these tips. Let me know your tips too!
What about drawstring bags?
Drawstring bags are another option for organising your luggage. However, the main benefit of a packing cubes is to easily open it and see everything inside, not just what it at the top. Drawstring bags still require you to rummage around and find what you need.
Drawstring bags are great for shoes, bulky items and as laundry bags.
Having a variety of packing cubes, drawstring bags and organisers will make your suitcase super neat!
How much are packing cubes?
Packing cubes can range in price depending on the material and size of the cube. Purchasing a pack with multiple sizes if often cheapest and is around AUD$35 for 3 for a decent quality. Larger anti-odour or expandable cells can be up to AUD$40 each. Choose what is in your budget and suits your needs.
Where possible try and support your local businesses. This might be dedicated luggage stores, adventure style stores or department stores.
PLAN | Heading to Australia? Check the list of essential items to make your journey more enjoyable!
So, are you convinced? Are you heading out to buy packing cubes for your next journey?!