The best packing cubes can make cramming your suitcase and unpacking it on the other side a breeze, and we’ve got a list of them right here for your consideration.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves: why do you need packing cubes, anyway? Well, it’s one of those rare items that actually does make life that much easier.
You don’t have to unpack a squashed-flat pile of clothes only to have to re-roll or re-fold them ready to fit into the hotel chest of drawers – simply pack once and lift the whole thing out.
- Before you go on holiday make sure you read T3's ultimate guide to travelling
- Use your packing cubes in the best suitcases
- Or maybe a backpack or laptop bag
They’re also immensely handy for separating clean clothes from dirty ones halfway through your holiday, and as anyone who’s ever gone the “eh, chuck it in the side pocket” route will tell you, that’s a big bonus.
Finally, by keeping clothes packed snugly and zipped shut, they won’t go flying all over the place as soon as your case is chucked in the hold, meaning fewer creases to contend with on the other side, and being able to put your hand straight to what you’re after.
How to choose the best packing cube
When it comes to our list of the best packing cubes right now, it only takes a casual glance to see that Eagle Creek are the crown princes of packing, with three out of our twelve picks coming from them.
From its starter sets to the slightly pricier Specter collection, the wannabe organised traveller is assured of superior quality. After all, if you want to get decent usage out of your packing cubes, it makes sense to spend a little bit extra.
On the flip side, if you’re just after a packing system for the odd annual business trip where you need to keep your shirts looking slightly sharper than usual, you might be happy to plump for a budget option like that from AmazonBasics, which aren’t as tough or detailed-oriented, but do the job just fine.
Either way, it’s time to get organised with our selection of the best packing cubes for travel.
These are the 12 best packing cubes
We love these sophisticated packing cubes from LeanTravel. Made from premium quality polyester fabric, your clothes are locked inside crease free and odour free thanks to increased breathability.
With the extra zipper for added compression you'll be able to squeeze even more clothes into your suitcase, with the option to reduce the thickness from 4 inches to 1 inch.
This set of 6 pieces includes 2 large cubes for coats or trousers, 2 medium cubes for shirts, and 2 small cubes for underwear and socks.
Comprising two sizes of cube and a medium-sized garment folder, this Eagle Creek packing cube set is, as the name suggests, a great place to start when it comes to upping your organisational ante.
The inclusion of the folder puts this set heads and shoulders above the other offerings on the market: it’s designed to compress eight to twelve shirts or trousers without creasing, making it perfect for business trips or functions where you have to be smartly turned out but can’t guarantee the presence of an iron. Add to that a high quality construction – sturdy materials, fine woven mesh windows – and you have our best packing cubes.
Want to see what you actually have packed inside your packing cubes? These clear PVC packs allow you to easily find what you're looking for.
The four piece set comes with large, medium, small, and mini sized cubes, which can be packed away into each other when not in use. The zip opens on three sides, giving plenty of access to your belongings, and, although not fully-waterproof, the PVC will do a great job at protecting your clothes in the event of a leak from your cosmetics bag.
If the marketing spiel is to be believed, Zero Grid packing cubes are designed by frequent travellers, for frequent travellers, and on examination they certainly seem to know what they’re doing.
The ripstop nylon cubes are designed to be lightweight but durable to stand up to repeated use, the up-top elastic straps intend to make in-bag or in-drawer reorganisation a breeze, and the zips are sturdily built with extra-grippy ties. It all sounds like small stuff, but it really adds up when you’re jet-lagged and faced with a pile of clothes to sort.
If you want something a little more playful than the typical black packing cubes, try these packing set from 90 Points. They allow you to easily pack and unpack your holiday items.
The six piece set includes an underwear bag, cosmetic bag, laundry bag and small, medium and large clothing bags. All are made from high quality durable water resistant 280T fabric, and built to withstand the wear and tears of travel.
Back to Eagle Creek, who’ve done it again with the Clean Dirty Cube. Far from the exercise in contradiction that the name suggests, it’s quite simple: a very handy two-sided cube with one compartment for clean clothes and one for dirty, ideal if you’re heading off on a short haul trip where washing facilities aren’t a given.
The mesh top not only lets you keep sight of what you’ve packed to satisfy last-minute checks, it improves breathability, rather than holding in the whiff of whatever you’ve stowed in the dirty side and leaving you with a horrifying Raiders of the Lost Ark scenario when the time comes to unpack.
The colour-coded nature of this bumper six-piece packing cube set makes it a good bet for families heading off on holiday, as you can assign everyone a colour and put them in charge of their own packing – see, you’re having fun already!
For their weight, which is impressively little, they’re engineered to be fantastically strong with double seams, ripstop nylon and those old favourite YKK zippers, also good news when dealing with excitable kids. Even better, they come with a lifetime guarantee, so go nuts!
If you’re teetering dangerously close to the edge of your maximum baggage allowance or stubbornly stuffing everything into a smaller carry-on, you might want to give this Eagle Creek Specter set a try.
While they come at a premium per cube compared with the company’s lower-end offerings, they pack down to the size of a lone sock and weigh as much as half the amount of their competitors.
Amazon have already taken over most of our lives, commercially speaking, so it was only a matter of time before their own-brand products started making an appearance in our suitcases. These packing cubes are our best budget buy for their excellent value package that sees you get a small, medium, large, and slim cube for under £20, and the choice of colours isn’t too shabby either.
Reviewers said they didn’t feel as considerable as higher-end options, but sturdier than most other cheap offerings, worth a look if you’re not fussed about things like the slightly bulky rubber branding and crinkly fabric.
On first glance, it’s the cheerful colours of these cubes that make them so appealing. It certainly means they stand out in the often dull, dark interiors of suitcases, which in turn means less sleepy rummaging through endless indeterminate black objects when you’ve landed in the dead of night and just want your pyjamas.
They’re not all style though: the finished interior seams add durability and the premium YKK zippers promise “a lifetime of opening and closing”, which to us says serious substance.
Are you taking everything but the bathroom sink? One of the few packing cube sets to include a toiletry bag (which has a hook to hang on the back of a hotel room door, no less, it also adds a dedicated travel document holder and an electronics organiser pouch complete with pouches for cables. Add that to the core packing cubes that can first be packed with clothes before being flattened using compression zips, and the VASCO Travel Packing Cubes Set is nothing if not comprehensive.
Best suited to those trying to travel light, this streamlined six-piece will really help anyone trying to make the best of budget airlines’ restrictive luggage allowance. Comprising one large, three medium and two small-sized packing cubes, the latter of which can also double-up as shoe bags. Ideal for fitting into suitcases, backpacks, totes and duffel bags for trips away, each packing cubes has a grab handle and a zip.