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 (I do tend to use carry-on luggage with an expansion zipper, to be fair), but I don’t think I’d be able to cram all my necessities into my carry-on bag 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 you’re an unapologetic overpacker bringing along the majority of your closet in a massive piece of checked luggage, 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 one to keep my shoes in, so that they won’t touch the rest of my belongings. Packing cubes are 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 of 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 to add to your travel gear collection, for your upcoming adventures.
All products featured are independently selected by Observer editors. When you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission that supports our work.
The Best Packing Cubes to Shop Now
Away Insider 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 have a minimalist aesthetic, and are made of washable, water-resistant nylon with a breathable 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 categorize what’s inside, as well as a water-resistant envelope pouch that’s perfect for your wet bathing suit or as a laundry bag for your 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. These are made out of water-resistant, recycled materials, and 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 organizer 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. You can use the small packing cube for cosmetics in place of toiletry bag if you’re so inclined, while the medium works well as a shoe bag, so you footwear doesn’t touch the rest of your clothing. The large travel cube is great for t-shirts and other essentials, and the extra large is perfect for special items that you don’t want to wrinkle.
These are 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. They also come in a a few different colors, plus there’s a five-year warranty.
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 compression cube set; 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 cells even more, saving you so much space in your travel bag. They’re sustainably-made, and they happen to be customizable if you want a monogram moment—and who wouldn’t?
Bagail 8-Set Packing Cubes
This Bagail eight-piece set is a best-seller on Amazon, with four classic packing cubes in addition to a sock bag, shoe bag, drawstring pouch (you could use it as a laundry bag!) and cosmetics case.
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 end.
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.
Samsonite Foldable Packing Cubes
This four-piece travel set includes three classic packing cubes as well as a small pouch. These are great if you’re short on storage space, as they fold up so you can keep them nested inside one larger cube.
Monos Compressible Packing Cubes
This four-piece packing cube set from Monos is thoughtfully made in every way. The exterior is composed of a tear-resistant nylon twill, while the interior is made of an anti-microbial fabric, with a breathable mesh top, as well as anti-catch zippers, to minimize any snagging issues.