Have you seen have seen travel experts talking about the best travel packing cubes? You might have wondered what all the fuss was about, and that would be a fair call! The thing is – travel packing cubes are awesome and make family travel so much easier!
The first thing to know is that not all packing cubes are created equal. There is a large range of packing cubes, each offering you different benefits.
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Our Trials With Different Lightweight Packing Cubes- The Best Travel Packing Cubes
We had to buy new packing cubes and I asked myself: which are the best packing cubes? You will likely ask yourself the same question if you want to buy a new travel cube. I bought a range of different cubes to compare!
Cheap Travel Packing Cubes
For our exercise, we bought several Daiso Travel Cubes, which cost only $2.80AU. You can find other cheap travel cubes are from Kmart. You get many of the same benefits from packing cubes from a $2.80 Daiso travel cube.
These packing cubes, while not very sturdy, offer many of the benefits of separating your clothes. While the top named brands are a bit spendier, if you are on a budget, don’t pass up the cheaper, lightweight packing cubes.
Medium Price Range Travel Packing Cubes
We purchased these cubes from American Tourister on Amazon.
As a 5 in 1 kit, they cost about $4 each – though it should be noted that they come in a lot of different sizes, which is very useful. These are sturdier and higher quality than the Daiso ones. Although they are not transparent, so you can’t see what’s inside each cube. In terms of getting a useful set of cubes, these offer good value for money as they are well-made.
Better Quality Travel Packing Cubes
We also invested in high-quality Eagle Creek packing cubes which get great reviews online. It is very sturdy and has a semi-firm case as well as the see-through mesh at the front. This is a highly durable good quality packing case brand, and we can recommend it without reservation.
Pro Tip: A mesh front of a cube means you can instantly identify what is the cube and many people find this to be very useful!
Eagle Creek offers different sizes and styles, see some of our favorites below.
Compression Packing Cubes
Lightweight packing cubes with a compression quality are the top end of the packing cubes on offer around the world. Not only are they ergonomically designed, but they are made of a very light material and have high-quality zippers. Once you have packed your clothes in these packing cubes you can then use a second zipper to compress the travel cube even smaller.
Wet Bag Packing Cubes
Another useful packing cube to add to your suitcase is one with wet bag qualities – either for wet underwear or in our case, almost always wet swimsuits.
These waterproof travel packing cubes would work great for all your wet garments.
Benefits of Packing Cubes for Travel
1. Keep Each Individual’s Clothes Separate
Pro Tip: Get a different color cube (or set of cubes) for each person in the family, so it’s easy to identify which cube belongs to each person.
The main benefit of packing cubes is that, for family travelers, you can pack different members of your family’s clothes into one suitcase. When you arrive at your destination, you remove each of the packing cubes and instantly, you have each person’s clothes nicely separated from the next person’s clothes. You can get this benefit from the cheaper packing cubes.
2. More Efficient Packing
Another benefit of packing cubes is that you can pack more efficiently because you have to get each person’s clothes into a very clear, defined space. Before packing cubes I’d lay all my clothes on the bed and try to limit them by asking ‘what can I leave behind”. With packing cubes, I ask, “what can I fit in it”. If I can’t fit everything in one cube then it has to stay home. This makes me much better at mix n match.
For my daughter and I, we use a “medium” sized packing cube. My son uses a smaller packing cube because his clothes are less voluminous. This benefit can also be achieved with any of the packing cubes, although the Daiso packing cubes are bigger than the Eagle Creek medium size packing cubes and I think they allow you to overpack.
3. Compression Qualities
Another benefit of the high end packing cubes is their compression qualities. With a compression packing cube, you can roll your clothes in there very neatly, and then you use the zippers to press them down. These work an absolute treat in reducing the size of your clothing by half.
Now, we’re starting to talk about the budget here. A more expensive packing cube is going to give you better compression qualities than the cheap travel cubes. The cheap packing cubes offer none and that’s one of the major disadvantages of a cheap travel cube.
Cons Of Travel Packing Cubes
1. They Are A Square Shape, Sometimes Quite Rigid
If you are traveling with a backpack versus a suitcase, you’ll find that packing cubes don’t work as well in a backpack as in a suitcase. Packing cubes, being rectangles, work well in suitcases, but they don’t work so well in backpacks or strange shape suitcases. In this case, you will need to have spare clothes to pack around the travel cubes.
2. They Are Expensive
Honestly, packing cubes are an expensive way of organizing your backpack. I should note that before using packing cubes we used Ziploc bags of varying sizes. If you are traveling solo with small children and wish to pack each day’s clothes in separate bags we have packed in Ziploc bags on several occasions. We don’t like all the plastic it uses but it is an efficient way of packing. If you are interested, check out our post, Packing Kids Clothes Into Ziploc Bags for more information.
Packing cubes are more environmentally sustainable, and we particularly like these packing cubes by Evolve, which donate 10% of their profits to environmental charities.
3. The Compression Cube Can Be Difficult To Repack
If you pack the compression cube as tight as you can and then leave home, every time you pack up you have to get everything back in it. Given that they are tight, it can mean a full repack; which no one likes to do!
Conclusion – Which Is The Best Travel Packing Cubes For Your Family
Pro Tip: Which packing cube is best for my family? It’s going to depend on how frequently you travel, and of course, whether you have money to burn.
For us, it comes down to budget and frequency of travel. If you travel frequently, then it would be worth investing in quality packing cubes. They’re going to have greater longevity and are more durable, zippers don’t break, and you also get compression quality. However, if you’re not a frequent traveler then I’d question whether it is necessary to spend $100 on packing cubes when you aren’t going to travel that much.
In the end, which packing cube is best to buy is going to depend on personal taste. Our preferred one at the moment is the Eagle Creek with the non-compression element and the open screen at the front. We like this one best because it’s high quality, it’s durable, it’s a small shape and it doesn’t have the compression facilities that cost more money.
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