No matter how carefully you pack for a trip, you can still open your suitcase to find an annoying jumble of clothes, accessories, and other items when you reach your destination. That’s a problem the best packing cubes are designed to solve for moving and travel. These lightweight containers, usually made of nylon, polyester, or a blend, come in various sizes that allow you to slide your clothes, shoes, and toiletries inside, close the container, and stow it in your suitcase—then find your belongings organized and your clothes still looking crisp when you unpack.
Packing cubes are relatively inexpensive and come with a host of features to suit your travel style, including transparency, water resistance, and divided pockets inside the case. The travel cubes listed below are considered among the best on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: AmazonBasics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes
- UPGRADE PICK: Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube Set
- BEST FOR LONGER TRIPS: PRO Packing Cubes
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: eBags Classic 4pc Packing Cubes
- BEST WATER-RESISTANT: YAMIU Packing Cubes
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Full Cube Set
- BEST SEE-THROUGH: vallilan Best Packing Cubes Set
- BEST COMPRESSION: Gonex Compression Packing Cubes
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Packing Cubes
Choosing the best packing cube requires giving some thought to your travel style. Whether you travel frequently or just occasionally, pack a large amount in a big bag or prefer to travel light, it’s worth considering the features and components that the best packing cubes share. In general, keep in mind that sturdy construction is a must, since when a cube is fully packed, the items inside put a lot of strain on the seams and the closure (usually a zipper).
The best travel cubes are made of durable material and have rugged, high-quality zippers with aligned teeth sewn into the fabric. You may also wish to consider compression cubes, which let you remove the air between garments to shrink down the size of what you’re packing. Users typically roll up items into a cylinder shape, put them in a compression cube, push out the air, and zip the top closed to shrink.
If the closing mechanism of a cube fails, your gear will likely spill out into your suitcase—so make sure the cube has a quality zipper. Packing cubes are usually secured with a zipper or a two-zipper system to ensure they don’t pop open.
Examine the zipper to ensure that the teeth are aligned. The slider should glide up and down smoothly without hesitation. If you tend to pack heavy, consider cubes with double zippers for extra strength.
Packing cubes should be lightweight enough, when fully packed, to be pulled out of a suitcase with ease, even without a handle. Yet while a handle isn’t necessary, it may prove to have benefits. A handle allows you to carry the cube separately from your luggage if desired. It also lets you hang the cube from a cart or a hook in a hotel room for easy access.
Packing cubes are usually sold in sets with varying sizes. Think about what you generally take on trips before you commit to a cube set. Also bear in mind the dimensions of your suitcase, duffle bag, or backpack—you’ll want travel cubes that slip easily inside.
If you plan to tote bulky items like jeans and sweaters, consider a set with a few large or extra-large cubes (or buy extras individually). Midsize cubes are suited for shirts, blouses, shorts, skirts, and nightclothes. Many people use small cubes for underwear and socks.
Packing cubes are made from strong but flexible materials that can stretch to hold many clothes without ripping. Nylon is generally considered the superior fabric for cubes, though polyester, and polyester-nylon, and silicone-nylon blends are also durable. If you opt for compression cubes, the added strength provided by nylon is recommended. Both nylon and polyester are naturally water resistant, while nylon is less resistant to stains compared to polyester.
If you’re planning to transport liquid products, a waterproof material can provide peace of mind in case of leaks. Some packing cubes contain polyvinyl (PVC) and plastic for waterproofing, though the cubes can only be considered 100 percent waterproof if they contain a reverse zipper (usually made of rubber or PVC).
Packing cubes are generally designed to be lightweight so they won’t add much to the overall weight of your luggage. If you’ll be changing modes of transportation often during long trips or will be carrying a backpack for some time, consider an extra-light cube, such as one made from ultralight nylon.
The extra features on packing cubes are designed to suit personal preferences and provide added convenience. Some models are clear or semi-clear to help users keep track of what’s inside. Double-sided packing cubes can separate dirty clothes from clean ones, often dividing items between water-resistant and breathable mesh compartments. Certain packing cubes are built with padding to provide extra protection for fragile items.
Our Top Picks
The best packing cubes are carefully crafted for durability and come in a host of sizes. Read about the models below, considered among the best in their categories, to help you find the best packing cubes for your journeys.
Rolling clothes for packing in compression tubes can lead to wrinkles, but LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes are designed to avoid this. Their high-quality polyester and durable mesh offer an effective anti-wrinkle combination. Mesh also allows clothes to breathe and minimizes odors, while letting you see at a glance what is packed inside. Each of the three cubes in the set will compress 4 inches of clothing down to 1 inch—a boon for folks who tend to overpack.
This set of rectangular travel cubes includes two large containers (15.5 by 11.5 by 4 inches) and one medium-sized (11 by 11 by 4 inches). High-quality SBS brand double zippers fasten securely on the LeanTravel cubes and feature anti-catch technology, so the teeth won’t catch and snag garments. The LeanTravel cubes are available in all black or gray, a combination of gray, black, and brown cubes, or a fun patterned green set for kids.
If you’d rather spend your money on travel than on pricey packing cubes, the budget-friendly AmazonBasics 4 Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes might be your best bet. The set includes four rectangular cases: one large (17.5 by 12.75 by 3.25 inches), one medium (13.75 by 9.75 by 3 inches), one small (11 by 6.75 by 3 inches), and one slim (14 by 5 by 2.8 inches).
While the set has “Basics” in its name, these cubes boast quality features, including a mesh top panel that lets clothing breathe, finished seams for durability, and double zippers for security. The set is available in black, blue, gray, green, red, and sky blue. The AmazonBasics travel cubes are conveniently machine washable.
This set of three cubes from Eagle Creek is made from lightweight silnylon, an innovative water-resistant blend of silicone and nylon, to prevent garments and other gear from getting wet (note however, the material is not 100 percent waterproof). The set includes three vertical rectangular cubes: one medium (14 by 10 by 3 inches), one small (10 by 7 by 3 inches), and one extra-small (7.5 by 4.5 by 2.5 inches).
The Eagle Creek packing cubes are machine washable, extra strong, and have a sturdy zipper closure. Handles make it easy to tote the cubes outside your suitcase and hang from hooks. For a distinctive, stylish touch, the set is available in brilliant blue, strobe green, volcano red, and white/strobe, as well as two appealing prints.
Between packing lots of clothes, shopping on your travels, and trying to cut down on luggage bulk, these packing cubes are designed to help you maximize space. This set from PRO is suitable for longer trips, containing six rectangular cubes: two slim (13.75 by 5.3 inches), three medium-sized (13.75 by 9.75 by 3 inches), and one large (17.5 by 12.75 by 3.25 inches).
The slim cubes are well suited for underwear and gym gear, while bulky items like jeans and towels fit well in the large one. PRO Packing Cubes are made of double-stitched rip-stop nylon for durability and feature sturdy, easy-gliding zippers to help keep your things secure.
If you’ve got to look your best when you reach your destination, your packing cubes must be strong enough to withstand pressure on seams and openings, and thereby protect your good clothes from wrinkles and snags. The rectangular cases in this heavy-duty eBags Classic four-piece set also stack so you can use them as makeshift drawers, rather than unpack.
The cubes are made of breathable Techlite Diamond Nylon, with premium YKK zippers for security and fabric-bound interior seams that prevent snags. They also have mesh fronting so you can easily identify the items inside. The set includes one large (17.5 by 12.75 x 3.25 inches), one medium (13.75 by 9.75 by 3 inches), one small (11 by 6.75 by 3 inches), and one slim cube (14 by 5 by 2.75 inches). The eBags are machine washable for easy care when you come home, available in six different colors.
It’s disappointing to unpack and find that sweaty shirts, damp shoes, or other wet items have allowed moisture to seep onto formerly dry clothes in your luggage. YAMIU’s durable, seven-piece rectangular packing set is certified water-resistant, so wet clothes or improperly closed bottles won’t negatively impact other packed items.
This set comes with two clear, waterproof plastic cubes, including a 7- by 2.3- by 5.4-inch size that’s TSA-approved, to take the correct-sized liquids through airport security without unpacking them. The second clear, waterproof cube (9.7 by 3.1 by 7.8 inches) can be used to pack wet items such as towels, swimsuits, and shoes. Four 4-inch deep packing cubes and a 5-inch deep shoe bag complete the set. The YAMIU fabric cubes are made of lightweight, durable nylon and include rugged double zippers to keep items secure.
The three cubes in the Eagle Creek Full Cube Set weigh 1 ounce each, so they won’t add any significant burden to your baggage. The cubes are constructed from silnylon ripstop, a water-resistant material that’s similar to that of parachutes.
These cubes—one medium (14 by 10 by 3 inches), one small (10 by 7 by 3 inches), and one extra-small (7.5 by 4.5 by 2.5 inches)—are made of flexible material and have sturdy handles to grab and hang with ease. Each rectangular case features a see-through mesh front for visibility. They’re available in six colors and are machine washable for easy care.
See-through mesh cubes come in handy when you need to access particular items in a hurry while traveling. The six-piece Best Packing Cubes Set is constructed of durable wool and nylon fabric with mesh that lets you see most of the contents at a glance and releases odors resulting from wear to dissipate. The rectangular cubes feature strong zipper closures to keep items secure and convenient handles for toting and hanging.
The vallilan set, available in three color choices, includes two large cubes (15.75 by 11.61 by 3.54 inches), two medium cubes (12.99 by 9.65 by 3.54 inches), and two small cubes (10.24 by 7.87 by 3.54 inches).
Compression cubes can be fairly utilitarian, but this set of six from Gonex brings style and convenience aboard as well. The vertical rectangular cubes, crafted from soft, smooth, honeycomb ripstop nylon, are available in 34 stylish designs ranging from duotone to prints. These cubes compress clothes when you roll them into cylinders, put them in a compression cube, push out the air, and zip close the top.
These expandable cubes are tear-resistant and waterproof, with mesh top panels for breathability and at-a-glance viewing. The Gonex set includes one large (15.4 by 15 by 3.54 inches), one medium (11.8 by 9.1 by 3.54 inches), one small (9.8 by 7.5 by 3.54 inches), one extra-small (7.9 by 5.9 by 3.54 inches), and one slim cube (13 by 3.9 by 3.54 inches). A shoe bag (18.1 by 13 inches) completes the set.
FAQs About Your New Packing Cubes
Q. Do packing cubes really save room?
Not all packing cubes are designed to save room in your suitcase. Compression packing cubes that take the extra air out of clothes will maximize luggage space. Other packing cubes are designed to organize clothes.
Q. Is it better to roll or fold clothes in packing cubes?
Tightly rolling clothes allows you to slide more items into packing cubes and depending on fabric may help deter wrinkles.
Q. What is the best way to use packing cubes?
There are various ways to organize items in packing cubes to suit your travel style. One of the most common is to put specific clothes categories in one cube, such as all blouses or T-shirts in a medium-sized cube and all socks and underwear in a small cube. An alternative approach is to put all the clothes you’ll wear each day of the trip in a separate cube.