Out of all the packing tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years, there’s one travel accessory that holds a special place in my heart when it comes to making the entire process a total breeze, and for me, it’s packing cubes. Yes, the actual suitcase you’re using to tote around all your belongings is important, so choose wisely, but packing cubes are a total game changer when you get to the step of actually putting all your things in your luggage. I pride myself on my ability to pretty much always pack everything in a single carry-on suitcase (to be fair, I prefer a particular one with an expansion zipper), but I don’t think I’d be able to cram all my necessities into my carry-on of choice without the help of my beloved packing cubes.
Packing cubes help maximize the space in your suitcase, whether you’re packing light in a carry-on or bringing along the majority of your closet in a massive checked bag, as they compress your clothes to create a bit more room. While there are no wrinkle-free guarantees, using packing cubes does help minimize the risk of opening your bag to find your favorite shirt in an unacceptably rumpled state.
The right packing cubes will also keep you organized, as you can divide your clothing, shoes and accessories between the different compartments within your suitcase. Aside from the organizational and spatial situations, I also like to bring along an extra that I’ll use for my dirty clothes, as well as keep my shoes in one, so that they won’t touch the rest of my belongings. They’re also incredibly helpful when you get home from a trip, since all your belongings will already be in a somewhat organized state as you begin the dreaded process of unpacking.
The best packing cubes come in a variety sizes and shapes, so you can use them for different items, and there are also plenty of options that are not only functional, but very cute, too. I prefer to buy them in sets that include a variety of sizes, because who doesn’t love a matching moment, but there are tons of choices out there for every type of traveler. Once you pack using these cubes, you won’t ever be able to travel without them. Below, see the best packing cubes for your next adventures.
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Away Packing Cubes Set of 6
Away is one of my go-to travel brands, as they have you covered for any type of accessory or suitcase to make the journey that much easier. I’m partial to the six-piece set of packing cubes, which includes a few different sizes for every possible packing situation. They’re made of washable, water-resistant nylon with a mesh panel that reveals a peek into what’s inside. They also compress down to give a bit more space, which is always crucial, and come in a variety of colorways.
Calpak Packing Cubes 5-Piece Set
Calpak’s five-piece set includes four packing cubes that each have a carrying handle and an organizing label, which you can customize to show what’s inside, as well as a water-resistant envelope pouch that’s perfect for your wet bathing suit or dirty clothes.
Briggs & Riley Large Travel Packing Cubes 3-Piece Set
This three-piece set includes one large cube, one medium cube and one medium double-sided cube, the last of which is perfect for separating dry and wet clothing or clean and dirty clothing. They’re made of nylon and mesh, so you can get an idea of what’s inside each cube.
Rimowa Packing Cube L
Rimowa’s packing cubes are a definite splurge; they’re sold separately, but there’s no denying that they’re stylish and also very well-made. The bright red shade is fun and unexpected, and is made out of water-resistant, recycled materials. These also store entirely flat, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up extra space at home.
State Bags Packing Cube Set
These colorful packing cubes (which come in a two-piece set) have a mesh front panel and zip-around seam.
July Packing Cells 4-Piece
I’m partial to a multi-piece, multi-size packing cube set, so I’m very into July’s four-cell set, all in different sizes. They’re washable and stain-proof, with side carry handles and a durable mesh overlay. They’re not too structured, which is ideal for fitting into different types of suitcases.
Herschel Travel Organizers
Keep it simple with this three-cube set from Herschel; all the cells are different sizes, which is great for individual needs, and all have a zippered mesh top.
Paravel Compression Cubes
Add a stylish flair to your packing gear with Paravel’s chic cubes; while the brand does make different types of packing cells, this compression set is perfect for bulkier items, like sweaters or even coats. These have a second compression zipper that will flatten the bags even more, saving you so much space. They’re sustainably made, and they happen to be customizable if you want a monogram moment—and who wouldn’t?
Stoney Clover Lane High Tea Packing Cube Set Pack of 7
Embrace the floral vibes with this seven-piece set, which includes two small, two medium and two large cubes, plus a flat pouch.
Tumi Large Packing Cube
Tumi’s classic packing cubes are durable, functional and lightweight; these were actually the first packing cubes I ever tried years ago. The only downside is that they’re sold individually, and they’re on the pricier side.
Peak Design Packing Cube
These compressible packing cubes have a tear-away zipper and internal divider, so you can use each compartment for different items.
Zero Halliburton ZH Packing System Trio
If you want to splurge on a quality three-piece packing cube set, consider Zero Halliburton. It comes with a small, medium and large cube, all of which are super lightweight.