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Are you a traveler who likes to keep things in order? Or on the contrary, someone who is a bit too messy and is looking for a solution to save and optimize space in your luggage?
Whatever your situation, having packing cubes at your disposal will revolutionize the task of packing your belongings making it much less boring and a lot easier.
In this blog post, we will see what a packing cube really is, the different characteristics of these and the advantages and disadvantages of several models to guide you in this tricky choice and make your life easier!
Let's dive into it !
I. What are packing cubes?
Packing cubes are compartments made of synthetic or natural fabric, of variable size, with a zip closure allowing you to store your various travel items in a functional way.
They can be waterproof, cut-resistant and sometimes feature labelling so that travelers can easily identify the items they contain. They can be stored in suitcases, travel bags or simply backpacks. I told you that these accessories are a must for travelers!
The packing cubes are not recent inventions but the public's attraction for these little marvels is quite new.
The growing desire for optimization of travelers with increasingly compact suitcases but above all with more and more objects has brought back to the forefront these travel accessories, indispensable, to say the least.
In fact, these storage units allow you to store (but also to empty) your suitcase in an efficient, orderly and quick way by compartmentalizing your suitcase into different sections.
Once you arrive at your hotel, all you have to do is take out the packing cubes and store them directly in the cupboard or drawers at your disposal. Quite practical, isn't it?
Many contemporary suitcases only have a large interior space, sometimes with simple clip straps and a few side zip pockets. Nothing very handy after all!
Thanks to the packing cubes, you can organise your storage space as you wish, making it extremely functional and versatile.
No more small objects that get lost between clothes and pairs of socks scattered around the four corners of your suitcase. With luggage packing cubes, everything now has its own place.
What's more, and this is not to be overlooked, having packing cubes allows you to keep your belongings hidden from curious eyes, in case of customs or airport controls for example. You will be able to say goodbye to the stress of seeing the agent searching through your underwear and personal belongings!
II. What are the Benefits of Travel Cubes?
Let's face it, packing in an orderly fashion does not necessarily require the use of packing cubes.
But it goes without saying that they make our job a lot easier. If you're like me, a last-minute packer, then these accessories are for you, believe me.
Here are some of the advantages that make it impossible for me to do without them (even for a simple walk in the mountains).
Available in different sizes: despite the fact that the majority of the packing cubes that can be found on the market are rectangular in size (if you look hard enough, you will find alternatives), they are available in a wide range of sizes. Usually, in a kit, you will have different sizes to store your different accessories (from your dress to your computer cables). This is very handy as you can either use the complete kit when you pack your suitcase, or you can choose the ones you need if you are only planning a camping trip or a mountain walk.
Save Time & Space: as we said before, the packing cubes are excellent to make your life easier when you pack your suitcase but also when you empty it. Saving time, optimizing space and no more hassle when you have to empty your suitcase while you only think about one thing: jumping in the pool after a long and tiring trip.
Versatile and Creative: The first time I used packings cubes, I had a lot of fun packing (yes yes really!). It's almost educational and you feel like you're playing a game by organizing your clothes, placing the cubes and organizing your suitcase. That's how you make a chore fun! You can select just a few, add as many as you like and use them in all your bags and suitcases. What more could you ask for? A friend of mine even diverts the basic use to make a toilet bag and even a pillow with the sock packing cube.
Functional & Handy: I used to search hours looking for things that I had slipped into my suitcase when I packed my suitcase when I left. All this is now a distant memory. With the inscriptions (already available or that you can add yourself) or the mesh compartments, I find everything in a second and I avoid wasting time, patience and energy searching in my suitcase. It may sound silly, but when your whole group is waiting for you in the lobby to leave on an expedition and you're busy looking for your sunscreen, believe me, it's worth it.
III. How to Use Packing Pods?
There is not really an ideal way to use packing cubes, nor is there any misuse. The important thing is to use them in a way that makes your life easier.
Personally, before placing my clothes and travel accessories in the packing cubes, I make a checklist, spread my objects on the floor, separate the essential from the superfluous and then put the different objects away according to their nature but also to their use (if I'm only going to use an object once, I'll put it at the bottom of the packing cube).
Another important piece of advice, you should measure the size of your suitcase or backpack before buying a packing cube kit to make sure you have the right packing cubes for you. This will help you avoid oversized cubes and maximise space.
If you don't have writing on your packing cubes and if the fabric is opaque, it can be wise to stick labels to indicate the contents of your packing cubes, it will save you time, believe me.
If you are planning a packing cube for dirty laundry, you can put a bag of herbs soaked in essential oil to neutralize potential bad smells.
IV. How to Choose the Best Luggage Cubes?
If you've read all our tips carefully, you should now be more than willing to get your first packing cubes. There's a first time for everything!
Before you start a tedious search (we'll show you our top 3 at the bottom of the article because we're nice people), you can start by looking to see if the brand of your suitcase or travel bag does already offer packing cubes. They will be perfectly adapted to the size of your suitcase and we can only advise you to choose them.
If your brand doesn't offer any, you will have to make a choice in a rather large market. The main big difference that is tearing the net and travelers around the world apart is based on the quality of your packing cubes.
Some people strongly recommend cheap and medium quality packing cubes. They provide the minimum service and some travelers have been using them for years, showing that these packing cubes stand the test of time and travel.
Others opt for packing cubes from well-known brands, which are much more expensive but often offer different features and additional benefits (longer warranty, waterproof packing cube, zip that can be closed with a code or padlock etc). It's up to you to see what suits you best.
The other big difference concerns the structure of the packing cubes: hard or soft. Here again, opinions differ. While hard suitcase packing cubes protect your objects better, they are less malleable but also a bit heavier.
On the other hand, lighter pack cubes are often made of thinner fabric but can be compressed easily. If you carry little but valuable material, choose solid packing cubes, otherwise I recommend soft packing cubes.
IV. How Many Packing Cells do I Need?
You will have the choice between many travel packing cube kits. Some have almost 10 elements while others are sold individually. The important thing is that you can efficiently store your stuff without falling into the superfluous.
Personally, I opted for a rather large kit (6 packing cubes of different sizes) but many travelers recommend taking between 3 and 4.
In fact, I rarely take the 6 packing cubes with me but I like to have the choice between the sizes, knowing that I often change my travel bag model depending on the type of my trip. If you travel with only one suitcase, your choice will be easier.
Generally speaking, you need a cube pack for your t-shirts and sweatshirts, one for your underwear and one for your pants. You can add more if you're bringing shoes, computer accessories or sports stuff for example.
V. What are the Best Suitcase Cubes ?
After many years of traveling and a rather rich experience in the use of these travel accessories, we decided to present 3 models that we like because of their characteristics. We are in no way affiliated with these brands and therefore offer a recommendation devoid of any commercial interest (which is not the case for many blogs).
Here is our selection of the 3 best packing cubes according to us !
1. Trakke Packing Cubes (65€)
Trakke is a brand that we love (even if we are competitors). They offer waterproof compression packing cubes made of high quality oilcloth, manufactured in Scotland. They offer a lifetime warranty on all their products and also offer a free repair service.
You can choose to take the whole pack (at £60) or the packing cubes individually (from £18 to £30 for the largest).
2. TRTL Packing Pods (60€)
TRTL is also a brand that is appreciated for its originality and inventiveness. After dominating the travel neck pillow market by offering innovative products, TRTL now offers packing cubes dedicated to round or curved bags.
Made from recycled plastic bottles, these packing cubes offer many functionalities: you can hang them in a wardrobe thanks to their hook system and you can also use them as a shoulder bag thanks to a detachable strap.
TRTL offers a set of 3 pods of different sizes for 60€. Not bad!
3. Away Packing Cubes (65€)
Our last choice of this limited selection was the AWAY brand packing cubes. I have been using them personally for a few years now and they are extremely practical. They are made of water resistant nylon and have a mesh panel so you can quickly identify the contents of your packing cubes.
The pack contains 6 packing cubes (large packing cubes and small packing cubes) of different sizes making it the most affordable of our selection.
Travelling with peace of mind does not depend solely on whether or not you have packing cubes. If you are used to travelling without them and don't feel the need to acquire them, it's because you belong to the clan of orderly and organized people. If, on the other hand, packing your suitcase is a real nightmare for you and you spend your time looking for your stuff in your suitcase, then these packing cubes represent a real opportunity to make your life easier.
On our side, we often use them, especially to store our computer and camera accessories when we go on shooting tour. You can use your packing cubes in everyday life as storage. It's up to you to be creative.
At EIKEN, we provide a wide selection of canvas bags, travel backpacks and shoulder bags. Why buying packing cubes if you don't have a reliable travel bag? Have a look at our selection folks.
We are curious to know your advice in terms of storage? Do you use packing cubes yourself and if so, what do you think? Tell us all about it!