Introduction to Packing Cubes
Welcome to the secret world of packing cubes! You're obviously here because someone has let you in on a little secret - packing cubes are the best travel partner you will ever have. You're probably wondering what all the fuss is about - how can these little (and admittedly adorable) fabric cubes have such a cult following?! Well, you've come to the right place. Here, you'll find out all you need to know about packing cubes and how they will revolutionise the way you travel.
There's a lot of ground to cover but we'll explain everything: from what packing cubes are to the different types available and how to use them effectively. Hint: they’re not just for travel!
So, grab a cuppa and get ready to have your mind blown. There's even a quiz at the end! No, not a boring homework assignment… a quiz to help you discover what kind of packer you are and which cubes are best for you.
Now sit back and relax, you'll be a packing cube expert in no time.
Table of Contents
1. What Are Packing Cubes?
Packing cubes are lightweight zippered bags or pouches that help you stay organised when travelling. These nifty cubes make it super easy to transform your luggage from a disorganised mess into a neatly organised suitcase that would make Marie Kondo burst with joy. Packing cubes not only help keep clothes compressed (saving you a ton of space), but they also save you valuable time. When everything has its place in a packing cube, finding a particular item is ridiculously easy.
Packing cubes are not necessarily cube shaped and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Essentially, they are a genial packing system for organising your suitcase. They are also known as packing cells, packing pods, compression cubes or travel organisers.
Some people also call them packing genies because the way they facilitate your packing is simply magical!
1.1 What are packing cubes used for?
Whether you’re a frequent jetsetter, casual holiday maker or backpacker, packing cubes will make your travel-life easier.
Here are the fabulous benefits of using packing cubes:
• Save you space
• Make packing and unpacking easier
• Keep your packing sorted and organised
• Protect your clothes and minimise wrinkles and creases
• Allow you to separate clothing style (gym gear, casual and dressy items can all be in their dedicated cube)
• Durable and reusable
• Keep the contents of your luggage private during customs and TSA inspections
• Make it easy to move items around if your luggage is overweight
1.2 Are packing cubes worth it?
When you pack items individually into a large backpack or suitcase, the resulting in-between gaps means you always end up with a lot of wasted space.
Even if you’re able to fill up every inch of your bag in an orderly way, that’s surely not the way you’ll find it once the suitcase has been tossed and turned in transit. Plus, even if everything is neat on day 1, it won’t stay like that for long. After you’ve been living out of your suitcase for a few days, finding a particular item becomes a torturous chore. Clean clothes get mixed up with dirty ones and it becomes a hassle to find what you need.
Packing cubes will fix all these issues, leaving your suitcase organised for the entire duration of your trip.
1.3 Do packing cubes really work?
They wouldn’t enjoy such a cult following if they didn’t!
If you’re already a packing pro, you will know that rolling (and not folding) can save you a lot of space – yet this clever packing method only works if your bag is tightly packed. Given a tiny bit of extra space, every item will unroll and make a huge mess.
Packing cubes keep those rolled items confined and allow you to utilise every inch of your bag. And you don’t even need to roll your gear if you don’t want to – even folded items will remain organised and in their rightful place. When you take one piece out and the rest is given more space, they’ll still stay neatly in their corner and not explode over everything else.
1.4 Do packing cubes make luggage heavier?
Packing cubes do add a small amount of weight to your luggage but, for most travellers, this isn’t an issue. If, however, you're usually crossing your fingers and toes when you approach the luggage counter, hoping not get charged for excess weight, you may want to choose the lightest packing cubes available.
Avid users attest to packing cubes being worth their weight in gold when used correctly. Moreover, they can actually help you reduce weight in your luggage in other clever ways.
Check out our tips below to find out how they can help reduce weight in your luggage.
1.5 Are packing cubes washable?
Most packing cubes are washable but it’s always wise to check cleaning instructions before tossing them in the washing machine. Some may recommend a quick handwash instead.
1.6 Will packing cubes wear out?
Everything wears out eventually, right? Even diamonds!
Good quality packing cubes should last you many years. Before making your purchase, it's always a good idea to check reviews and warranty conditions.
2. Different Types of Packing Cubes
There are so many different packing cubes on the market that trying to find out what would work best for you can be a little daunting!
Cubes generally fall into 5 categories, with each type having its own pros and cons. It's worth learning about the different types and seeing what suits your situation best.
Most travellers find they need a selection of different packing cubes although some may be able to solve their packing issues using only one type.
2.1 General cubes
General packing cubes are, as the name suggests, fantastic all-rounders. They are usually sold in a ‘set’ of varying sizes, are made of a durable material that keeps its shape, and can hold all manner of items.
Packing cube novices will usually embark on their new travel journey with a set of general cubes, before expanding their set to include more specific types. This is also a great way to get a feel for this packing system and seeing what works best for you. Before you know it, you’ll realise if you need more/bigger/smaller/lighter cubes.
2.2 Lightweight cubes
The lightest packing cubes on the market are made of thin but durable materials and are favoured by those who tend to pack heavy when travelling. They also take up a little less space so if that’s an issue for you, these may be the best solution. The ultimate minimalist travel solution, lightweight cubes pack a huge punch for very little weight.
But don’t let the thin material fool you! Top-quality ultra-light cubes are impressively sturdy and are manufactured using a reinforcing technique that makes the material resistant to ripping. They key here is quality fabric – so whatever you buy, make sure that the stitching and material has been thoroughly tested.
2.3 Compression cubes
The wonder kid of the packing cube family, the compression cube is the over-packer’s lifesaver. Pack it the right way and a compression cube will drastically reduce the space you need, leaving you free to pack more (argh!), buy more souvenirs when travelling or simply use a smaller bag or suitcase.
The most useful compression cube come with an added second zipper so you can really squeeze your items to within an inch of their lives. Do know that it’s difficult to compress items and have them emerge unwrinkled so these are not the best solution for delicate fabrics like linen and silk. For puffer jackets and pants, though, these packing cubes are tailor-made.
Other than that, make sure your compression cube is made of top-notch material – these tight hugging travel buddies need to withstand a lot of pressure!
2.4 Budget cubes
A great place for beginners to start, budget cubes give you the chance to try out this new packing system without substantial initial investment.
Usually, budget cubes are made from polyester which is lightweight and inexpensive (yay!) but easier to tear than nylon (nay!). It’s not impossible to find good quality budget cubes that use reinforced materials and zippers, but it is difficult. Because the ‘budget’ criteria needs to come from somewhere!
Will a budget packing cube last as long as others? Probably not but there are ways to make them more durable. Don’t stuff them to the brim and make sure the zippers are not under great tension – use them ‘gently’ and you’ll find they may last a lot longer than you imagine.
Overall and when used with care, these are still awesome value-for-money packing cubes to get you started.
2.5 Special use cubes
Most people travel with a dedicated toiletry bag and who can blame them? It’s SO handy to have all your goodies in one bag that can easily go from suitcase to bathroom in one swift move. Many toiletry bags are made specifically for bathroom use, which means they’ll be waterproof inside and out (because shampoo spills!), have different compartments for small tubs of cream and larger bottles, and will usually have a hook for easy hanging. This is just one example of a specialty cube.
Specialty cubes all boast the same criteria: distinct design features that lend themselves to very specific uses. Say, a garment cube that keeps formal wear nicely folded whilst compressed (from a work suit to an evening dress) or a tech cube that keeps all manner of electronic accessories (from powerbanks to USB drives to tangly cables) protected and organised. Then there’s the all-important shoe cube, which is insanely handy for keeping everything else in your bag clean (and fragrant!) and the medicine cube, which is a godsend for those who travel with a substantial amount of medication.
3. How to Use Your Packing Cubes
The trick to using packing cubes properly is to fill them to capacity – allowing the items to hold each other firmly in place. As long as clothing items aren’t swimming around in a cube, they will not wrinkle nearly as much.
The most basic and fail-safe way to pack your cubes is by item size - using the largest cube for the largest clothes (trousers and jumpers), medium size for next-size down items (t-shirts and shorts), smaller still for things like sleepwear and activewear, and finally the smallest cube for your underwear.
There are other ways you can pack your cubes but this is the ideal way to start.
We'll discuss some of the advanced packing options in a later section.
3.1 Sorting your belongings
Don’t know where to start?
Here’s the 3-step trick to sorting and packing your belongings:
- Lay out the clothes you're planning to take into different size-piles (trousers, tops, underwear, etc)
- Place each pile in its assigned cube
- Zip up the cubes and place them in your suitcase
Simple as that!
3.2 How much fits in a packing cube?
This depends on the size of your cubes and the size & material of your clothing.
Our Zoomlite cubes are made to be generously sized so, as a general rule, you can fit the following:
- Large cube: 3-5 bulky jackets or a combination of 3 pairs of trousers and 3 lighter jumpers
- Medium cube: 4-6 pairs of jeans or a combination of 3-4 dresses and 4-5 pairs of shorts
- Slim-Medium cube: 6-8 T-shirts or a combination of 2-3 shirts and 3-4 tank tops
- Small cube: 3-5 pairs of pyjamas or a combination of 2-3 pairs of leggings and 2 sets of activewear
- X-Small cube: 3-5 scarves or 4-6 belts
- Large tube (a slim version of a packing cube that fits between other cubes): 5-6 sets of swimwear or 6-8 sets of under garments
- Small tube: 6-8 pairs of socks or underpants
3.3 Is rolling or folding best with packing cubes?
To roll or to fold, that is the age-old packing question…
When talking about space-saving in a packing cube, it arguably makes little difference whether you roll or fold. However, rolling has one added and quite priceless benefit: it allows you to instantly see all your items at a glance and this gives it the winning packing-edge.
Moreover, the best packing cubes incorporate a mesh top, allowing you to see your items without the need to even unzip your cube. Not only does this make it easier to pick an outfit every day but it also means nothing is forgotten at the bottom of a folded pile. Because what’s the point of packing it if you forget about it and never wear it?!
3.4 Packing cubes help limit overpacking
Did you know that you can also use packing cubes to help curb overpacking?
Savvy travellers know that the key to packing a minimalist and functional wardrobe is to ensure everything can be mixed and matched, so that 3 pairs of pants and 3 tops offer 9 outfits that are great for daytime activities and evenings out. Usually, this involves choosing colours that complement each other well.
Laying out your belongings into piles (ready to be cubed!) gives you a fantastic overview of all you plan to take and also allows you to quickly identify that one item that is a little ‘special’. You know, those lovely bright orange pants that really only look good with that one top you have. Leave those items at home and, for travelling, take only tops that suit every bottom, and bottoms that suit every top. Overpacking be gone!
Another genius way your packing cubes can curb your overpacking is by limiting how much you can take along. The only trick here is to set your own rule: simply decide to take only as many items as will fit in your packing cube set. Have one medium cube for your tops? Then fill it and stop there. Do not be tempted to shove a few random items in-between your cubes or you’ll be undoing all your great work!
3.5 Packing cubes help reduce baggage weight
While using packing cubes will help save you some suitcase space, it will not reduce the weight of your clothes. That’s kinda obvious, right? 20kg of clothing will always weight 20kg, no matter how you pack it.
However, carefully compressing your items with the right packing cubes should allow you to go down a suitcase size and this is what can save you valuable weight. When you go from large suitcase to a medium or even carry-on luggage, the whole ‘convenient and minimalist’ travel-hack is much easier to pull off. Less bulk, less weight, less hassle and more adventure!
4. Case Study - Packing Light for a Two Month Trip
When travel writer & blogger Brenda Pomponio told her friends she wanted to pack light for her two-month overseas holiday, with her husband and 2 two kids, no-one believed it was possible.
She was thrilled to prove them all wrong, and she did it with Zoomlite packing cubes. “We did pack light, especially when you consider we travelled to three completely different countries, with three varying weather conditions. However, with careful planning and some considerations, we managed to pack three medium sized suitcases for all four of us. Our two-month adventure to Italy, Scotland and Denmark included a total of six flights, ten train rides and more taxi and bus rides that I can count. It was important to travel light.”
“Just prior to our adventure, I invested in two sets of packing cubes from Zoomlite. I am so glad I did. Not only did they make the actual initial packing so much easier but, once we were on holiday, the daily unpacking and re-packing was so much easier.”
Her key tips?
Carefully choose what you are bringing
“Clothes should be packed with outfits in mind. Don’t pack an item if you have nothing to wear it with. I also suggest limiting each family member to 2 pairs of shoes. Choose comfortable shoes that match your type of holiday adventure. The next step is to separate these items into categories of when you will need them. I placed our winter garments in a separate cube that we only opened once we were in Scotland. This was a great way to pack efficiently and reduce time searching through items.”
Limit bulky items
“I chose to roll our items when packing them in cubes: not only did this prevent creasing but it made them a breeze to find. Choose natural fibre clothing as this will keep you warmer in the cooler climates, but also breathe in the warmer climates, and will help reduce packing of bulky sweaters and jackets.”
Use your cubes for micro needs
“We began to use our packing cubes for micro needs. For example, I had packed medicine in one of the smaller cubes, so we knew exactly where all our first aid needs were. It was also handy to carry toiletry items like shampoo to the bathrooms when camping. The handles are great for hooking onto the back of the door.”
Think outside the suitcase
“When we were travelling through Scotland in a motorhome, the packing cubes were perfect for storing in the cabin, and the empty suitcases were packed away in the outer storage for the whole duration of the trip. Each member of the family had their own cube for their clothes and we shared cubes for daily essential items like phone cables, spare batteries, toiletries and we even allocated one to memorabilia like maps and tickets that we wanted to keep. This is where the practicality of our Zoomlite packing cubes really came into use.”
Brenda’s experience shows us that anything is possible with enough planning and the right packing cubes!
5. The Biggest Mistakes Using Packing Cubes
Packing cubes really can make your travel life so much easier but there are a few pitfalls you should know about.
Here’s what not to do when using packing cubes:
1. Use too many
Yes, packing cubes can curb your overpacking but that doesn’t actually work if you plan on taking 25 cubes for a two-week holiday. Settle down, intrepid packer and curb your cube frenzy! If you find yourself needing to UPsize your usual suitcase because not all your packing cubes fit… you’re using way too many.
2. Using only large cubes
Packing cubes are like houses – the bigger they are, the more things you’ll stuff in them. Don’t only use large packing cubes – remember, these should be only for your largest clothing items like jackets and jeans. In order to separate your items, medium and small cubes do work best, so utilize your whole set and don’t only favour large cubes because they’re easier to fill.
3. Filling your cubes incorrectly
Packing cubes work best when they are filled ‘just right’ – this means everything’s packed snug – not too loose and definitely not too tight. Items shouldn’t have too much space to swim around and, conversely, zippers shouldn’t be hanging on to one another for dear life. Both underfilling and overfilling packing cubes will cause problems so find the right balance.
4. Filling your cubes with all manner of random stuff
Of course, your electronics and cables will fit into a clothing cube, as will almost anything else in a large packing cube. Your shoes fit into a small cube? Great. Except when the heel rips the fabric or dirt falls through the mesh onto the contents of your suitcase. Planning to pack your toiletries in a clothing cube? Way to get your body moisturiser all over your suitcase!
Naturally, packing cubes can hold more than mere travel clothing yet when you use a cube for something it wasn’t intended to be filled with, and shove it in your suitcase, you won’t be making the most of it. This is where specialty cubes really come into their own – so keep clothing cubes for clothing and look for specific-needs cubes for everything else you want to pack.
5. Using packing cubes to pack more stuff
Capitalising on the space-saving attributes of packing cubes by bringing even more stuff than you normally would isn’t the win you think it is. The benefit of packing cubes will fly out the window if, by consequence, you end up packing twice as much as you’d normally do.
6. Everything You Need to Know About Compression Cubes
So far, you've learnt about packing cubes and how they can be used to keep you organised when travelling and save some always-needed suitcase space.
It's time to take it to the next level with compression cubes!
6.1 What are compression cubes?
Compression packing cubes are similar to the regular packing cubes mentioned above, but they provide extra compression through an additional zipper or straps.
They’re particularly great when storing bulky items, like jumpers or jackets, and light clothing like shirts, shorts and dresses. Dense materials, like denim, will compress less but light bulky items, like puffer jackets, can compress a lot.
Compression cubes can generally shrink your packing to about 30% of its original size and are fantastic tools for minimising what you take along. With compression cubes, you can fit more for less and seriously downsize your suitcase – if you’re aiming to travel with a carry-on only, compression cubes can get you there.
6.2 How do compression cubes work?
If space saving is your priority, compression packing cubes are definitely the right solution for you.
Although every packing cube technically ‘compresses’ your clothing, these nifty cubes take that squeeze up a notch with the addition of a second zipper or strap. This allows you to expel excess air, resulting in a more compact (and much smaller) packing solution. If you’ve ever packed a sleeping bag, you’ll know exactly how compression cubes work.
These cubes are quite remarkable and can save you a lot of precious packing space.
6.3 Are compression cubes worth it?
Compression packing cubes are absolutely worth it when space is of a premium. As mentioned before, however, you need to fight the urge to pack more just because they are so space efficient. That will totally defeat their purpose.
Just remember, the weight of your clothes doesn't reduce even though their bulk does. Make sure you weigh your luggage before leaving home and bring a travel scale if you’re a big shopper, to ensure you don’t go over your baggage limits.
The best packing solution is to use a combination of compression and regular packing cubes. Why? Because compression cubes, much like that sleeping bag, tend to pack rounded so they don’t fit as snuggly in a (usually rectangular) suitcase. The way to overcome this issue is to use them sparingly, alongside regular cubes of varying sizes, so you can maximise the in-between space with smaller cubes.
6.4 Case Study - travelling with puffer jackets
Compression cubes work exceptionally well with items that are bulky and trap a lot of air. This is why denim doesn’t compress much but items like puffer jackets, jumpers and ski pants do.
Want to see which items are best for a compression cube? Take one item of choice, fold it flat and then roll it to see how much smaller it becomes. Then let go. Does the item reinflate? If yes, it will work well in a compression cube – if not, then a regular packing cube will do.
7. How to Choose the Best Packing Cubes for You
Here are some tips that will help you choose the best travel cubes for you and/or your entire family.
7.1 What to look for in a packing cube
When choosing packing cubes, durability is ultimately the most important attribute – you want a strong material with good quality zips, so that you can fill them to the brim without fearing that they may tear.
Choosing cubes with a good range of colours and sizes is also of benefit to help you sort your items – buying cubes in different sizes and colours will help you to easily identify the contents. This is great for families sharing a suitcase, as each family member can have their own cube, easily identified by colour.
Look for features that are super useful – such as mesh for breathability, tags for identifying the contents and handles for easy carrying.
It’s also worth remembering that sizes are not universal – a small, medium and large cube will differ by brand. Look at the specific dimensions so you have a better idea of how big or small each cube is.
Our Zoomlite cubes are generous and our large packing cubes, for example, can often pack as much as three large cubes from other brands.
7.2 Choose cubes that suit your destination & travel plan
If you're buying your cubes with a specific trip in mind, this can help guide your choices.
Are you going to a cold climate where bulky clothes are required? Make sure you include some compression cubes. Are you headed to a sunny destination? You can probably get away with few or smaller cubes as your clothes are lighter. Heading to the humid tropics? Make sure your cubes have breathable mesh so the humidity doesn't trap moisture through your clothes.
7.3 Packing cubes are not just for suitcases!
If your upcoming adventure will see you donning a backpack rather than lugging a suitcase, or if you're one of the clever people who can travel carry-on only, this can also affect the cubes you'll need.
To manage your limited packing space, it's better to get a variety of smaller cubes. Your Tetris game is made easier this way, rather than if you're trying to squeeze a few large cubes into one small bag.
Packing cubes can be a fantastic way to manage backpack or carry-on only travel. Check out our advanced tips below to learn some packing cubes hacks that benefit this kind of travel.
7.4 Packing by colour – travelling alone, as a couple or in a family
Sharing suitcases and packing for a family are a joy and a nightmare all at once!
A shared suitcase can be a great way to save on baggage fees, but it can also lead to a mess of clothes that wastes your time and tests your sanity. Unless you pack by colour!
Assigning each family member their own coloured cubes is a great way to know at a glance what belongs to whom. It's also a great way to get kids involved in the packing process.
A solo traveller may also prefer to get a range of coloured cubes to help identify the contents, particularly on a long trip with different stages and/or different climates.
Remember to use the #TagIt label windows to help identify the contents as well!
Insider tip: if you’re using multiple suitcases for more than 1 person, put a few cubes from each person into each case. If one case goes walkabouts, everyone will still have some of their own clothes available. Better still - pack an outfit for each person in one cube and take that in your hand-luggage. As long as you have a change of clothes at hand, a lost suitcase or substantial delay after a long flight won’t be a colossal disaster.
8. Packing Cube Buying Guide
Once you work out what types of cubes suit you best, you’ll need to figure out how many to get – and you may also want to have a couple of extra cubes to help you cover all the bases.
Here are our tips for buying packing cubes…
8.1 How many packing cubes do I need?
This is undoubtedly the most important question, but one that we cannot easily answer for you.
The number of cubes you need will depend on the type of packer you are (do you only take the basics, or do you pack lots of extra items, just in case?), where you're headed (hot and cold climates will have different requirements) and how long you'll be travelling (a 3-day holiday will need less clothes & therefore fewer cubes than a 3-month epic adventure!).
A good way to decide is to look at the bag you're going to take. If your go-to baggage item is a 100L wheeled suitcase, look at a cube set that will cover around 80% of that, to allow room for toiletry bags and shoes etc. If you're travelling with a 50L backpack, you can use the same formula and aim to get packing cubes to cover 80% of that capacity.
8.2 Buying in bundles vs individual cubes
Buying your cubes in pre-set bundles can be a more economical way of ordering your packing cubes.
Most companies will have pre-set bundles in their most popular configurations. Unfortunately, these will often all be in the same colour, meaning you can't use different colours to help identify the contents, unless you're purchasing a whole set or bundle per person.
Buying individually means you can determine the size and colour of each cube you pack and can help you to create your own unique packing system.
Want the best of both worlds?
Check out our Multi bundles in the Elite 4 piece set and the 6- and 10-piece Globetrotter bundles.
8.3 Compression & other specialty cubes
Once you’ve covered 80% of your packing space with clothing cubes, the remaining 20% will be filled with shoes, books, tech accessories, toiletries, jewellery and other personal items.
First up: it's worth investing in some shoe bags to ensure that road dirt doesn't contaminate everything in your suitcase.
Other specialty cubes you may need will be determined by your own travel habits - are you travelling with formalwear or business shirts and ties that need to look their best? Do you need to take medications that require regulated temperatures? Are you sick of headphone and charging cables breaking because they're constantly getting tangled? There are specialty cubes that address each of these needs.
8.4 How many cubes fit in a suitcase?
As we've mentioned previously, packing with cubes, or other suitcase organisers, is like playing a game of Tetris. You fit the larger blocks first and then squeeze the smaller blocks around them.
The smaller the bag, the trickier it is to pack it with cubes. A large cube might just take up almost all the space available in a backpack, for example, limiting your options for squeezing other cubes around it. Ideally, for carry-on only travel, you might want to pack a selection of medium, small and extra small cubes instead. Medium and space compression cubes are also beneficial for making the most of the available space.
You can check out our fit guide for a general overview of how many cubes fit into which size case.
Insider tip: most of us go on a variety of different holidays - some long, some short, some with large suitcases and some with just a duffle bag. Buying a bundle with a variety of sizes that will cover you for the long-haul trips should also cover most shorter trips too.
If you're trying to cut back on luggage size, look for options aimed at carry-on only, such as our Carryon Compression bundle and 8-piece Staycation set.
9. Advanced Packing Tips
Now that you've mastered packing by item type, you can look into some advanced ways to pack your cubes.
9.1 Packing by destination
Packing for a multi-country trip is always a challenge, especially if the destinations are quite different and you need specific clothes at each stop-over. Whether you're travelling to a country where you need to cover up due to religious beliefs, or simply because the weather requires it, your long sleeves or warm woollens may only be required for part of the trip. Similarly, if you're going to a fancy event as part of a longer trip (such as a destination wedding) your formalwear might only be needed for one leg of the trip.
Packing by destination means you can separate your clothing and put aside the cubes you don't need for any specific point of your trip. Label them clearly (eg. wedding, beach, snow) and you’ll have less clothing to look through on a daily basis. This way, you’ll also limit the chances your ‘special’ clothes will get wrinkled or dirty for any reason.
9.2 Capsule wardrobes
Rather than grabbing your trousers and jumpers from your large cube, your shirt from your medium cube and your underwear from your small cube, you can pack whole outfits together and simply grab an entire outfit from one cube.
Entire outfits in a cube? We love your style!
This kind of packing requires a little pre-planning, not to mention the fact that you’re likely to wear trousers and jumpers more than once with various other items. Yet packing complete outfits together can save you time and space.
The great thing is that you should be able to fit multiple outfits in a single cube (depending on the cube size, of course). YouTube has some nifty videos that’ll show you how to lay out entire outfits and roll them up together so that you can pull out one "capsule" and have your complete outfit ready to go.
Insider tip: if you're going somewhere with unpredictable weather patterns and you can't be sure that each day will be sunny, or each day chilly, you can further sort your capsule wardrobe by cube colour. Simply put all your warm weather outfits in a red cube, and cold weather outfits in a blue cube and you'll know at a glance where to look for the appropriate clothing each day.
9.3 What to do with dirty laundry?
Wondering how you can pack your dirty laundry bag when travelling? No need to stress – simply add a couple of extra cubes to pack your dirty clothing, or grab one of our Drawstring Mesh Laundry Bags. These fabulous bags keep your dirty gear separate from your clean ones, allow air to penetrate so damp stuff doesn’t get mouldy and they also make unpacking easy once you get home – or to a laundromat.
10. Using Packing Cubes for Camping
Whether you’re hiking to a remote campsite with just the pack on your back, or camping near your car with easy access to more space for storage, packing cubes will revolutionise your camping experience.
They provide you with portable storage and help to keep similar items together so you can find everything fast! This is especially important in a cramped space, such as your tent, or in the dark, like getting ready for an early morning adventure.
Here are our top tips for cubes to bring on your next camping trip:
- Medium cube for wardrobe – just this one cube can hold 3-4 entire outfits plus sleepwear, allowing you easy access to the clothes you need without keeping a bulky bag in your tent
- Small cube for tent extras – keep a warm jacket on hand, or specialty gear like your swimwear in a separate cube so they’re easy to find when needed
- Slim-Medium cube for activities – keep your book, torch, crossword puzzle & pens together & in easy access for when you have spare time
- 2 Medium cubes for worn clothes – bringing an empty cube for dirty laundry is a must, and many people find another empty cube for clothes to be reworn handy – these are the things that aren’t clean so you don’t want them back in with your clean clothes, but not ready for the laundry just yet
- Slim tube set – it’s a good idea to have a few extra pairs of socks and underwear in case of a stray mud puddle or unexpected downpour! Use the small slim tube for these, then use the large tube for tea towels and microfibre cloths & towels
- Pouch set – super handy for the miscellaneous things you need when camping – such as storing a multi-tool, matches or lighter, portable charger, and cords; keeping a mini first-aid kit or toiletries kit; or even to organise kitchen cutlery and utensils.
11. Using Packing Cubes When Caravanning
Travelling in a caravan or campervan means you have more storage space when compared with flying or even camping but it also means you need a lot more stuff. Everything from pots and pans to groceries, bedding, and a whole lot of extras that one normally does not take along on vacation – all of it needs to be packed along for the ride.
Despite the extra available space, you still will not want to pull a suitcase out every time you need an item of clothing. With packing cubes, however, you can unpack directly into your camper/caravan wardrobe space and then safely store your empty suitcase in in the exterior cargo space.
Packing cubes stack well and are great for filling up awkward spaces that may be difficult to reach and/or use.
Cubes with handles are also very handy when caravanning – just grab your toiletries and clean change of clothes and head to the shower block. The handle can be used as a hanging hook so that your clothes are not left sitting on seats or the wet ground!
Insider tip: heading off on an epic caravan trip? You don’t even need a suitcase at all – simply pack your cubes straight into your caravan and off you go!
12. Using Packing Cubes for Train and Bus Travel
Travelling by train:
Long distance train travel is quite an experience in itself! Not only do you go from one place to another but you also soak up the scenery along the way.
Unfortunately, the space you're allocated on a train is quite small, and you usually won't have access to your suitcase for the duration of your journey. Having packing cubes specially designated for the train portion of your holiday is a great way to be prepared. They'll keep your carry-on sorted so that you're not pulling apart the whole bag to find a change of clothes.
In fact, it's a great time to pack a capsule wardrobe so that you have whole outfits pre-planned and easy to access in your limited compartment.
Travelling by bus:
When travelling by bus, you'll have similarly restricted access to your checked baggage, although you generally won't be on a bus for as long. Indeed, if you're doing a multi-day bus trip, you’ll be unloading (and unpacking) every night.
Having a change of clothes, your toothbrush, hairbrush and a few wipes packed into a cube in your hand luggage is a great way to alleviate the distinctly uncharming icky feeling of long-haul bus travel.
13. Using Packing Cubes for Cruise Ship Travel
Cabin sizes vary greatly on cruise liners, as does the amount of storage space for your belongings.
The great thing about cruise travel is that you're moving from place to place but keeping the same stateroom for the duration. This means that you can unpack once and enjoy your journey with all the comforts of home, without the need to pack and unpack daily.
Unless you want to be spending time sorting your clothes after embarking on your journey, packing them in cubes is a great way to have everything at the ready. Open your suitcase, move your cubes from the case into your drawers and shelves and you're all done.
When it's time to pack up and go home, just zip up the cubes and you’ll have your suitcase repacked in a flash!
Make sure you check your cruise’s daily itinerary and note any formal or fancy-dress requirements.
Having a designated cube for formalwear is a great way to keep it separated from your other clothing so you're not rummaging through it when you're looking for your loungewear. Dirty hands or a spilled drink on your formal gear can cause unnecessary stress and waste precious travel time if you need to get it dry-cleaned.
Insider tip: garment folders are a great way of keeping formal shirts, pants and jackets neatly stored, reducing the need to iron.
14. What Type of Packer Are You?
Being aware of your usual packing habits is a good way to work out what you need. Do you tend to overpack? Are you a shopper who returns with double the suitcase contents? Are you happy to throw a few things in a carry-on and wing it?
We’ve identified 4 main types of packer – knowing which one you are can help you narrow down your needs:
14.1 The Carry-on Packer
When you don’t want to be weighed down with checked luggage and want to be out that airport door faster than you can say ‘The Eagle has Landed”!
The Carry-on Packer is the ultimate minimalist and appreciates the convenience and space-saving benefits of packing cubes. They love items with multiple-uses and aren’t so fussy about the toiletries they use – the complimentary hotel kind will do just fine!
For carry-on travel, you’ll want a selection of medium, small and extra-small cubes as these will allow you to utilise every centimetre of your limited packing space.
14.2 The Last-Minute Packer
Spontaneous travellers who prefer to spend their time researching their destination, rather than packing, are the ultimate last-minute packers.
Although we do love spur-of-the-moment trips, spur-of-the-moment packing can be a bit hit and miss. It’s so easy to leave something important behind! Combat this mishap by having a comprehensive packing list handy at all times and perfect your packing technique – set aside specific cubes for specific items and, when it comes down to the crunch, you’ll automatically know where everything goes. More importantly, a list and practiced routine will also ensure you leave nothing essential behind.
Having a selection of specialty cubes (like a travel toiletry bag, tech bag, laundry bag and shoe bag) included in your packing cube bundle means all the important things will always be ready to follow you on an adventure.
Insider tip: if you’re a last-minute packer and tend to travel often, it’s worthwhile using packing cubes at home on a daily basis. That way, when wanderlust calls, you can simply zip up the ready-packed toiletry bag, grab your shoes and your most used clothing cubes and you’re ready to go in a matter of minutes. BOOM!
14.3 The Overpacker
Everyone knows an overpacker and, more importantly, everyone loves to travel with one – these are the travellers who consider every travel eventuality and then pack for every single one of them. Need some random thing on your trip? If you’re an overpacker, you will probably have it!
Unless you don’t mind forking out obscene amounts for excess baggage fees (and porters to lug your suitcases everywhere you go!), you may want to try curbing the overpacking tendencies. Aside from everything else, it’s an absolute (and literal) drag to travel with so much luggage.
Using a packing list - and sticking to it - is a great way to limit your excessive tendencies. You can also set out your packing cubes and agree that when they're full, there's no more to be added - just make sure you have balanced piles of clothing. Overpackers tend to be complacent at times because they usually pack so many extras that they find it hard to downsize.
Some travellers don’t leave home as an overpacker but they invariably return as overshoppers. Is this you? No worries, just make sure you have a foldable bag, ready to whipped out and used as a second luggage item.
Compression cubes are also fantastic for overpackers (take more for less space!) but don't forget to weigh your luggage before leaving home.
14.4 The Hacker-Packer
The hacker-packer knows all the packing hacks that get the job done and go absolutely nuts for any nifty item that has multiple uses.
If you are one such clever packer, you’ve probably watched a bunch of YouTube videos, read 100+ packing hack articles and know all the tricks of the trade.
It's now time to put all your knowledge into action!
Roll your clothes into perfect parcels, then zip them securely in your packing cubes. Organise your tech accessories, shoes and toiletries (with glad wrap helping to seal your travel size bottles, of course!). Pack your bulkiest jacket neatly in a compression cube (ready to be used as a pillow) and you're good to go!
15. Using Packing Cubes for Home Organisation
We all have lots of stuff at home that, even if used daily, is still best stored away. Packing cubes are also an awesome way to organise your non-travel life, quickly & easily.
Check out these handy suggestions for using your packing cubes around the home:
- Kids’ arts & crafts - keep items together and separate half-finished projects so the kids can just pick up where they left off
- Toys - great for making a game out of cleaning up
- Adult craft room - organise by project or by craft
- Portable baby bag - even the shortest trip away needs an armful of stuff!
- Out of season clothing storage - to free up space in your wardrobe
- Linen closet - wonderful for sorting by item, size or purpose
- Organising open shelves - because not every item is display-worthy!
- Outgrown kids & baby clothes - the perfect way to pack them away for the next in line
- Accessories - keep hair ties, scarves & accessories together
- Hair & makeup tools & accessories - to free up bench space
- Drawer organisers - subdividing drawers is a great way to find things faster
- Pet essentials - doggie go-bag for adventures to the park or further afield
- Car emergency kit - keep everything from a change of clothes to a first aid kid
- Organising car trip toys – bring the fun along on the drive at a moment’s notice
- Seasonal decoration storage - to avoid a box of tangled lights and tinsel
- Garage organisation - save time when you're ready to work around the house by sorting painting, gardening and other items
- Handbag organisers - to stop the bottom of your bag becoming a cluttered mess
- School bag & locker organisers – because if you think adults can create a cluttered mess, wait till you see what kids can do!
- Sports gear – having all the gear ready, for kids and adults alike
16. Using Packing Cubes at Work
Packing cubes are a great way to organise your work desk, shelves, briefcase or even a work van!
Check out these cool suggestions:
- Hot-desking – have your personal items packed into cubes so that you have everything ready the moment you arrive at your desk for the day.
- Working from home – storing your work-related items in cubes is a great way to quickly clear away the signs of work at the end of the day, and return your home to relaxation mode. Particularly handy if your home-office desk is your kitchen bench or dining table.
- Hybrid working from home and office – when you’re sharing your time between the actual office and home office, have everything you need stored in cubes for easy transport, and reduce the risk of leaving something important behind.
- Teacher’s classroom organiser – a great way to have everything sorted and stored for the right class is to colour-code the items in a packing cube. This also helps if you’re in different rooms for different classes, teach a variety of different levels, or even different subjects altogether.
- On the road workers – if you travel to clients or worksites, you can quickly clutter up your car or van. Why not dedicate a cube to each client you’re seeing that day? You can also have cubes for each type of service you offer (perfect for travelling beauticians & groomers), or just keep the everyday necessities.
- Uniform bag – keeping a spare uniform in a cube can be a lifesaver. If your uniform gets dirty during a shift, whether you’re a hospital worker, security guard or police officer, you’ll have a clean spare at hand. A spare change of clothes is also wonderful if you wish to change for the commute, and then you’ll have your uniform in a cube, ready for the laundry.
17. Other Genius Uses for Packing Cubes
There are so many more practical uses for packing cubes!
- Gym bag – you know what stops so many people from squeezing in a workout at the last minute? The lack of a packed bag! Pack a large cube with everything you need for a great sweat-fest (both workout gear AND a clean change of clothes) and head to the gym before or after work. No more excuses!
- Pyjama party essentials – it’s so easy to drop the kids off at their grandparents’ (or a friend’s) house when their overnight bag is always ready
- Winter gear essentials – once the winter cold hits, your hall closet is likely to get messy with an array of different beanies, scarves and gloves. Get a packing cube for every member of the family and make sure everyone sticks to their packing/unpacking routine!
- Pantry Tupperware storage – keep containers in one cube, lids in the other, and keep both neatly stored in your kitchen cupboards
- Car nappy change bag – keep a full set of nappy change essentials in the car and you’ll never be left wanting for wet ones or a spare onesie. Just make sure you replace what you use!
- Beach day bag – store a small packed cube in your beach bag and keep together the most essential items like your keys, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm. There’s nothing worse than having to rummage through a huge beach bag to find the zinc stick!
Ready to revolutionise the way you travel and live? There’s never been a better time to embark on your new packing cube journey!
Take our handy quiz to discover what kind of packer you are – and which cube style would suit your needs best.
Are you a packing cube addict? Tell us in the comments… what clever uses have you found for these packing pouches of pure awesomeness? Do you have any awesome tips you’d like to share?
We’d love to hear from you!