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Reviewed by our Gear Geeks:

The Best Packing Cubes in 2021

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:
Test multiple Packing Cubes and write reviews of the best.

The result is 12 of the best Packing Cubes on the market today.

Mart-Mari Jansen van Vuren

Writer
Based out of South Africa Mart-Mari enjoys hiking, snorkeling, and surfing.

torben lonne

Bradley Axmith

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Vikingship building gear enthusiast and waterworld fanatic.

If there is one thing I have learned through my years of traveling is that packing and keeping your items organized is hard. Whether you pack like Mary Kondo or need a little help, everyone needs a set of packing cubes.

In this guide, we will review our favorite packing cubes on material, durability, and packability. Needs and preferences differ, so we will take a look at the best ultralight, compression, and budget packing cubes.

Why Use Packing Cubes?

During my first few months of traveling, I hated packing for big trips. I struggled to keep my bag organized, my clothes were always wrinkled, and finding items was impossible. That’s when I bought my first set of packing cubes, and it changed my life!

The idea behind packing cubes is to keep all your items separate and compartmentalized. Additionally, packing cubes compresses your clothes, taking up less space in your bag, and keeping your dirty and clean clothes separate. The best part is that it has never been easier to transfer your clothes into your closet space.

Lastly, they are cheap and fit any budget no matter how limited.

Best Ultralight Packing Cubes

These waterproof cubes are ideal for any outdoor adventure. They are lightweight, water-resistant, and will bring order to your bag and protect your belongings from any travel mishap. The durable material is made with 30D Nylon and comes in 4 different colors to choose from. These three ultra-light cubes will save you space while keeping your clothes organized.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 30D Silnylon Ripstop
  • Number of cubes: 3
  • Dimensions: 9.84 x 3.15 x 14.17 inches
  • Weight: M: 1 oz | S: 0.6 oz | XS: 0.5 oz
What we like:
  • The fabric is extremely durable
  • The zippers are high quality and won’t break
  • Saves a lot of space in your bag
What we don’t like:
  • The shape of these packing cubes makes it hard to stack them inside your bag.

These eBags packing cubes come with not one, not two, but 5 ultralight cubes for all your belongings. The mesh tops allow your clothes to breathe and prevent mold but it also helps you see your items to find things easier. They come in 3 fun colors you can choose from and works wonders to keep you organized without adding extra weight to your backpack.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the eBags Ultra Light:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 30D siliconized Cordura
  • Number of cubes: 5
  • Dimensions: 1 Slim (13" x 6.5" x 3.5"), 2 Small (6.5" x 6.5" x 3.5"), and 2 Large (13" x 13" x 3.5")
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
What we like:
  • The mesh top is breathable and allows you to see your items.
  • Comes with 5 cubes which is great value for money
  • Is lightweight and won’t add additional weight to your backpack.
What we don’t like:
  • The cubes don’t stand up by themselves if they are not fully packed.
  • May come across as flimsy.

These Osprey Ultralight packing cubes come in a set of three. S, M, and L. The different sizes are perfect to keep underwear, shirts, and pants separate inside your luggage. The PU material is extremely durable and stands out from other cubes by adding a touch of luxury. Use these packing cubes to keep your clothes separate or use them as a bag to carry small items to the beach. Your options are limitless.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Osprey Ultralight:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: PU
  • Number of cubes: 3
  • Dimensions: Small: 1L - 7.5 X 5 X 2 in, Medium: 2L - 10 X 7 X 2 in, Large: 5L - 14 X 10 X 2 in
  • Weight: 2.2 ounces for all three
What we like:
  • They are very small but can fit A LOT of clothes inside.
  • Durable material
  • Strong zippers that won’t easily break
What we don’t like:
  • A bit more expensive than other cubes in the same range

These premium cubes are definitely made for a rugged outdoor adventure. They are completely waterproof making them ideal for protecting gear or items that could get wet when camping. Their round shape fits surprisingly a lot of items and leaves no inch unused. The clamshell opening also makes it easier to pack and find items you need.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Hyperlite Mountain Gear:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: DCF11
  • Number of cubes: 2
  • Dimensions: 6.5" x 12.9" x 4.5" (S) | 6.5" x 12.9" x 6.5" (L)
  • Weight: 1.20oz (S) | 1.31oz (L)
What we like:
  • Lightweight material won't add extra weight to your bag.
  • Its minimalistic style keeps your bag organized.
  • Great for rounded duffel bags
  • Price-point suits most budgets.
What we don’t like:
  • Its roundish shape makes it hard to stack on top of one another in travel luggage, though they work well in rounded duffel bags.

Best Compression Packing Cubes

Peak Design Packing Cubes are compressible and easy to access. Not only are they functional but, the 70D nylon/poly blend shell is aesthetically pleasing. These cubes also feature an internal divider to separate clean and dirty clothes that we haven’t seen in other cubes yet. These cubes are ideal for business trips or weekends away.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Peak Design:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: So-called self healing exterior material: 70D (denier) Nylon/poly mix with a woven nylon webbing and synthetic rubber (hypalon).
  • Number of cubes: 2
  • Dimensions: Small Min: 12.6" x 6.7" x 3.1" Medium Min: 12.6" x 12.6" x 3.1"
  • Weight: Small: 3.99 ounces, Medium: 5.1 ounces
What we like:
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Durable material and zippers that compresses your clothes down
  • An internal divider to keep items separate
What we don’t like:
  • This set only comes with one cube. We would have liked to see at least two.

These could be the best compression packing cubes for camping based on the sturdy, water-resistant material (DWR) and the compatible design that works well with all kinds of bags. Not strictly compression models, all 3 cubes in this organizer shrink to ⅔ their size, making them smart when transferring clothes from the clean cube into the laundry cube when sullied.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the REI Expandable:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
  • Number of cubes: 3
  • Dimensions: Small: 7.75’’x6’’x6.25’’ & medium: 11.75’’x’’7.75’’x6.25’’ & large: 14’’x10’’x6.25’’
  • Weight: 9.9 ounces
What we like:
  • Great for camping--both waterproof and tear-resistant
  • Expandable means compression by zipper
  • Doesn’t feel like it’s going to tear or rip
  • Seems to fit both duffel bags and a suitcase
  • The 3 sizes hit that sweet spot for a week’s touring
What we don’t like:
  • 2 mediums instead of the small would have been ideal for us

If you are looking for packing cubes that allow you to travel light and maximize the space inside your luggage look no further. Simply pack all the items you need and then use the durable second zipper to compress your clothes down into a small compact bundle. The antimicrobial treated material makes these cubes ideal to store wet or dirty clothes keeping the moisture and odors locked away from the rest of your belongings.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Eagle Creek Pack-It Isolate:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Antimicrobial 50D HT Diamond Ripstop Poly
  • Number of cubes: 1
  • Dimensions: Small: 5.5 L 7.25 x 10.25 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 ounces
What we like:
  • Save room inside your bag by compressing your clothes down to half their size
  • Lightweight material won't add extra weight to your bag
  • Can be used compressed and uncompressed
What we don’t like:
  • The compression causes creases to your clothes
  • More expensive than non-compression cubes

These organizers are probably the most popular Walmart compression cubes sold. Probably because, as far as the best compression cubes go, these ones have features that count. Included in the 6 mesh bags is a hidden pocket to throw off would-be thieves or the prying eyes of your partner. Pack your clothes, stash your toiletries in the included 4 ziplock bags and keep your laundry separate too.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Gonex Compression:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Nylon
  • Number of cubes: 5 (2small/2medium/1large)
  • Dimensions: Small: 9.8’’x7.5’’x3.54’ & Medium: 11.8’’x9.1’’x3.54’’ & Large: 15.4’’x15’’x3.54
  • Weight: 1.9 ounces
What we like:
  • The hidden bag is great for cash and keys or secret documents
  • The handles make them useful as tote bags
  • With ziplock bags, these are suddenly camping friendly
  • Compression works well
What we don’t like:
  • Contrary to their description, they are not chic-looking

Best Budget Packing Cubes

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the AmazonBasics:
Where to buy:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Polyester
  • Number of cubes: 4
  • Dimensions: 2 medium-sized cubes (13.75x9.75x3 inches) and 2 large-sized cubes
  • (17.5x12.75x3.25 inches)
  • Weight: 1.06 pounds
What we like:
  • Mesh top provides better ventilation and makes it easier to see your items.
  • It’s very affordable.
  • The cube shapes are easy to stack onto each other inside your bag.
What we don’t like:
  • Takes up more space than compression cubes.
  • Not the most durable option.
  • Does not come with a warranty.

Amazon basic is a brand we have come to love. Not only are their packing cubes durable, but they are also really cheap. This makes them more accessible to the average traveler that has a limited budget they are working with. These four cubes come in 6 fun colors to choose from and are designed with a mesh top lid to easier see items you would like to access and to provide ventilation to your items.

This set of 6 packing cubes are more like rectangular boxes made of fairly sturdy nylon. For traveling with a suitcase or even relying on the compression capacity of a duffel bag, these budget organizers come in different sizes for different items. An amazon packing cube favorite doesn’t mean that they are horrible products, it just means they’re cheap.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Veken :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 290D Nylon
  • Number of cubes: 6:
  • Dimensions: XLarge (17.5"x12.15"x4"), Large (13.75"x12.75"x4"), Medium (13.75"x9.75"x4"), Small (11"x6.75"x4"), Laundry bag (20"x14"), Shoe Bag (16.96"x9.06"x4.72")
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
What we like:
  • 6 bags for every item of everything you need
  • Finally a shoe bag
  • Seethrough plastic window to find your stuff
  • Useful at home too
What we don’t like:
  • Zippers aren’t rugged enough to withstand camping

These Ikea packing cubes are smaller than their competitors making them multifunctional. Use them on an overnight trip to store an extra set of clothes or, use them to keep your accessories, make-up, and jewelry organized in your closet. Your options are limitless.

The fun colors stand out in your bag making it easy to find them. They are budget-friendly and made with recycled material bringing us one step closer to a cleaner environment.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the IKEA FORFINA :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 100% polyester (min. 90% recycled), Polyurethane
  • Number of cubes: 3
  • Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 ounces
What we like:
  • Fun colors and patterns
  • Budget-Friendly
  • The smaller sizing gives you more options and fits easily into smaller bags.
What we don’t like:
  • The material may come across as a bit thin and flimsy
  • Won’t help much if you have to pack for a big trip

When we think of packing cubes, we don’t necessarily think of ziplock bags, but these plastic bags left me pleasantly surprised. You won’t be taking these on your business trip but, they are perfect for any camping or outdoor hiking trips where your items. You don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain or falling out of a canoe with your backpack. These ziplock bags are completely waterproof keeping clothes, food, and accessories perfectly dry.

Not only do they keep the water out, but they also keep it in. Separate your smelly wet clothes from the rest of your items, keeping all odors and water safely locked inside. We also love that it’s completely see-through so you instantly know where all your items are.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Ziploc Quart Sized:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Plastic
  • Number of cubes: 104
  • Dimensions: 5 x 11.5 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.3 ounces
What we like:
  • They come with a very low price tag
  • Readily available in most stores
  • The plastic is completely waterproof to protect your items.
What we don’t like:
  • Takes up a lot of space in your bag.
  • Can only be used for small amounts of time
  • Not the most durable

Guide to Finding the Best Packing Cubes

To cube or not to cube? Cubes mean organization and easier travel, making it essential to all travelers. A quick recap: you can organize items in your bag for easier access. Cut down on weight with ultralight packing cubes, save space with compression cubes, or get budget cubes to suit your limited budget.

A lot of people do a combination that suits their duffel bag or travel bag. No matter what they’re not really that expensive but it pays to know a little more about them.

Ultralight Packing Cubes

Ultralight packing cubes are exactly what the name suggests. They are minimalistic and the lightest cubes on the market. These cubes allow you to stay organized without adding additional weight to your bag.

This makes it ideal to use with a hiking backpack where your back has to support the extra weight.

Materials

The weight of a packing cube is directly correlated to the material used. There are no rules however, there are a few standards you should look out for. Ultralight packing cubes are usually made with 30D or 40D Nylon that is lightweight, durable, and tear-resistant.

While some brands use low denier polyester we suggest sticking to Nylon since it’s stronger. Ultra-light packing cubes are reinforced with ripstop to prevent tears from forming or expanding.

Durability

There is a common misconception that thin materials aren’t that durable, but it all depends on the stitching. No matter how thick and durable the material is if you have bad stitching your packing cube won’t last.

Keep an eye out for clean lines and thorough stitching. This may be hard when you are shopping online so it’s important to read the respected reviews and do research on the brand before you make your purchase.

Packability

Ultralight Packing Cubes’ minimalistic style and lightweight feature ensure that they won’t take up to much space or add weight to your bag. This makes them extremely easy to pack and ideal for any bags you carry around like a duffle or a backpack.

Compression Packing Cubes

Compression packing cubes save you space by compressing your items twice as much as a regular packing cube would.

These packing cubes feature an extra zipper around the outside that can be zipped up to compress the space inside similar to a vacuum sealer. It’s incredible to see the difference these cubes make when you have a small bag and a lot of clothes!

Materials

Compression packing cubes come in a variety of materials. The material however needs to be flexible since it needs to stretch and compress. That’s why most brands tend to use a low denier Nylon or polyester.

Keep in mind that Nylon is much stronger than polyester and when it comes to compressing you need the extra strength and durability. Some compression cube fabrics can go as low as 30D or 40D, making them an ultralight and compression cube.

Most compression cubes make use of some form of ripstop, to reinforce the stitching. If you’re unsure if your packing cubes have Ripstop lookout for small hexagonal or cubed lines in the material.

Durability

The craftsmanship for compression cubes is extremely important. When you compress your cube you put the stitching under a lot of strain so one loose strand can affect your cube significantly. It’s also important to double-check that the zipper is from a high-quality brand.

Packability

When it comes to space, compression packing cubes take up the least! (It’s kinda the whole point.) This makes packing easier than ever. However, these packs are slightly rounded making them hard to stack on one another while compressing your clothes this much may cause wrinkles.

This won’t be an issue if you are packing for a beach vacation where your clothes consist of bikinis and board shorts. We don’t however recommend using it for your collared shirts when you are going on a business trip.

Budget Packing Cubes

Budget packing cubes are great simply for the fact that they are really cheap and you can get them anywhere usually sold in sets for around $20. These cubes are great if you are on a limited budget or you’re only traveling for a month and don’t need cubes that will last a lifetime.

Brands like IKEA and Target are now making their own budget packing cubes making them easy and convenient to find. Not even to mention the millions of packing cubes on Amazon. Budget items aren’t necessarily bad as long as you’re mindful of what you’re buying and you’re careful with how you use them.

Materials

The low price tag on budget packing cubes all comes down to the low-quality material they use. After all, a packing cube is just a small container for your clothes, it doesn’t have to be indestructible, but it should still work.

Budget packing cubes are typically made with polyester, it’s lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, and semi-durable. On the plus side, it’s abrasion-resistant and quicker dry than Nylon. Ripstop technology isn’t common in budget cubes so if a rip does appear it will inevitably get larger.

Durability

Budget packing cubes aren’t the most durable packing cubes you can get, but it also doesn’t mean they will break within a week. By handling them with care and not overpacking them they can definitely last you throughout your travels.

Keep in mind that when something does go wrong with your budget cubes they rarely come with guarantees like more technical brands would.

Packability

Budget packing cubes usually come in a basic rectangular shape that holds their form and structure well. This makes it easy to stack while your packing. However, they do take up more space and weigh more than compression or ultra-light cubes would.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Packing Cubes

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    🙋‍♂️How useful are packing cubes?

    Packing cubes is a must-have if you need to keep your clothes organized in your bag. If your bag is a duffle bag it will come in handy since duffle bags are known for their minimal organization pockets.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    🤔Do packing cubes really save space?

    Yes! Packing cubes ensure that your clothes stay organized in separate cubes. To save more space opt for compression packing cubes to maximize the space you have available. Compression cubes have two zippers that compress and flatten your clothes.

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    🧐Do packing cubes wrinkle clothes?

    Clothes come out of your suitcase wrinkled because they shifted during your trip. It also may occur when you dig around your bag to find a specific item and you end up crumbling your clothes. Packing cubes keep your clothes still, so it’s less likely to wrinkle. Keep in mind that some fabrics like linen will wrinkle no matter what.

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    🤨What to Look for in Packing Cubes?

    When purchasing packing cubes try to look out for the following:

    • Weight – opt for lighter cubes to keep you organized without adding weight to your luggage.
    • Material – Nylon is durable, washable, and lightweight. This is your best option.
    • Breathability – mesh is your friend. You need air to prevent dampness causing mold on your clothes
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    🙋🏻How to Use Packing Cubes

    It’s pretty simple, put your clothes in and zip them up. Most sets come with different-sized cubes. Small cubes for your underwear and larger cubes for shirts and pants. Rolling your clothes before packing them in your cubes will help them wrinkle less.

Do you have a favorite Packing Cubes?

What do you love about it?

Let us know in the comments below what you think makes the perfect Packing Cubes.

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