What’s the point of packing/travel cubes?

What are Packing Cubes?

Packing cubes are relatively small containers made of fabric, have a rectangular shape, and they are used for packing clothing. They zip closed and are small enough so that you can fit several ones into a carry-on bag, suitcase, or backpack.

With different sizes and shapes, it is possible to find the right packing cubes to fit perfectly into your luggage, just like Tetris!

Packing cubes keep your clothing slightly compressed and your packing well organized. Once you start using them, you won’t look back!

For the longest time I avoided packing cubes.  I really thought they were yet another useless travel gear gimmick aimed at taking my money and taking up space.  Then one day I bought a pack and have not looked back.  I’ve recommended them to everyone I know and it’s gotten to the point where seeing a bag without packing cubes looks strange.
The reason for this is because they really are that useful.

Packing cubes keep your clothing slightly compressed and your packing well organized.


In terms of space saving, though they are not true compression bags, they do create enough compression to notice the difference.  For example, when I travel I only pack one bag, a carry-on sized backpack. After doing some last minute shopping for gifts I had to figure out how to fit 10 large scarves into my carry-on.  I tried laying them flat in my bag, but no matter how I tried I could not get my bag to zip up. After placing them into various packing cubes I wasn’t sure if the zipper would survive, but those suckers are durable.  I was able to pack everything away in my carry-on no problem.

For storing ITEMS you don’t need

Not only are they good for saving space, but they are great for storing items you don’t need for a day trip or longer.  On that same trip I had in my carry-on clothes for cold climates since I went first to Nepal and then headed to India. My friend convinced me to head to Kerala, which is usually hot and humid.  I really didn’t want to bring all my long pants and sweaters with me, so I zipped them up in a packing cube to leave neatly at my friend’s place.  On the other hand I could have just packed what I needed into the packing cube and took that with me.

Great for PARENTS traveling

Recently I gave my packing cubes and carry-on away to my brother for his move to Germany.  He has two small daughters and was frantically packing for their flight.  He had packed the bag I gave him with the packing cubes stuffed inside, not even used.  Of course I had to show him how useful those cubes are.  I was able to pack away 3x what he had originally packed.  I even packed away toys and snacks for my nieces in two separate cube so it was easy for him to just pull a cube out when his girls started getting fussy on the flight. In other words, packing cubes are great for parents traveling long distance or even short car trips with their kids. Much less bulky than diaper bags.

Packing cubes are relatively small containers made of fabric

ONE BAG travel is the way to go

Lastly,  I never like to travel with a normal school backpack, they don’t open up enough and so much precious packing space is lost with the rounded corners. However, I have a tendency to give away my bags because I honestly believe one bag travel is the way to go.  In a month I have my wedding in Italy and a three week trip to Turkey, Italy, and France.  I’m not sure if I want to buy a new carry-on bag.  With packing cubes things are kept so organized, which is tempting me to just take a school backpack with packing cubes and everything I need for three weeks, including my wedding dress. 🙂

Tiffany Hsu