The 10 Best Packing Cubes of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

Enjoy superb compression and durable material with REI Co-op's Packing Cube Set

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The 10 Best Packing Cubes of 2022

TripSavvy / Chloe Jeong

TripSavvy's Picks

REI Co-op’s Expandable Packing Cube Set is our top pick for its affordable price, durable and waterproof fabric, and solid performance. The eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube is our favorite budget pick.

Packing for a trip is no easy feat, yet packing cubes can offer the organization and space we all seek. But with so many packing cubes to choose from, how can we be sure which is the best?

We took on this challenge and had six travelers test 23 different packing cube sets. They stuffed clothes and toiletries into the packing cubes, running them through various tests to determine which worked the best in capacity, design, quality, and value. The result? We found ten excellent packing cubes that are great for compression, durability, families, and more. The REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set was our overall favorite because the two-piece set is decently priced, made of durable material, and holds quite a bit, especially with an innovative compression zipper that winds around the bag twice.

Read on to better understand how we tested these packing cubes and what made each set stand out.

Best Overall: REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set

5
REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set

REI

What We Like
  • Mid-range price

  • Two color options

  • Durable, waterproof fabric

  • See-through mesh pocket

  • Zipper winds around the cube twice for ultra-expansion and compression

What We Don't Like
  • Only two cubes

The REI Co-Op Expandable Packing Cube Set only comes with two cubes, but our tester was astounded by the cubes’ compression capabilities and how the zipper curves around the perimeter of the cube twice for ultimate compression. In fact, the medium cube can go from 13 liters to 8.5 liters, while the large cube’s capacity changes from 21 liters to 14 liters with the compression zipper.

Testers noted that the ripstop nylon fabric was akin to tent fabric and waterproof to boot. Of course, the mesh section won’t do much against water, but it does allow travelers to see what’s in the cube before opening it. The top handle makes pulling these cubes out of your suitcase easy, and the side handle is a bonus. For the price, you get two incredibly effective packing cubes with the kind of durable material and stitching you’d expect from REI Co-op. The set fits comfortably in a carry-on suitcase and allows room for a toiletry bag.

Price at time of publish: $33

Dimensions: Medium: 12 x 8 x 3 inches (expands to 6 inches); Large: 14.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches (expands to 6 inches) | Material: Ripstop nylon (bluesign-approved); polyester mesh (bluesign-approved) | Number of Cubes: 2

REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Overall, Runner-Up: Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

5
Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good price

  • Top handle

  • Four cubes from size small to XL

  • Double zipper for great compression

What We Don't Like
  • Not as water-resistant as advertised

Our testers were surprised by the capabilities of this no-frills packing cube set of four. They stuffed these four packing cubes to the brim and used the double zippers to compress the cubes down. There was no indication that the threaded seams were stressed. This aspect made the testers overlook that the material is not as water-resistant as advertised. You can always double-wrap liquids, but you can’t always find packing cubes with excellent compression capabilities to fit a lot in a little space. Keep in mind, however, that the zippers do not go all the way around the cube. Our tester didn’t have any problem with that, but it is something we thought best to note.

The four pieces range in size from small to extra-large, giving you plenty of cubes to pack all your items. With 14 color options and a phenomenal price point, we had to choose it as our runner-up.

Price at time of publish: $18

Dimensions: Extra-large: 17.3 x 13 x 3.54 inches, Large: 4.5 x 10.6 x 3.54 inches, Medium: 11.8 x 8.9 x 3.54 inches, Small: 9.8 x 7.5 x 3.54 inches | Material: ripstop nylon | Number of Cubes: 4

Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Budget: eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube

4.8
eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube

eBags

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Mesh pocket

  • Top handle strap

  • Great compression zipper

  • Somewhat water-resistant fabric

What We Don't Like
  • Only two pieces

Packing cubes don’t have to be expensive to be of good quality; at least, that’s what the eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube proves. This two-piece set is budget-friendly and spacious enough to fit four to five pieces of clothing, plus a medium-weight winter coat. The compression zipper did an excellent job of removing air and saving space. In fact, they allow a 1.5-inch compression or expansion. Our testers found that the thin fabric of the cube could get caught in the zipper if the cubes were not packed to the brim.

The small mesh pocket can fit a set of keys or a label the size of a business card that spells out what’s in the cube. Small note: the mesh is not see-through. The top handle strap is a nice feature, as are the two different color options. The fabric is more water resistant than waterproof, so it’ll keep your clothes dry as long as excessive liquids haven’t spilled.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions 14 x 10 x 5.25 inches | Material: nylon | Number of Cubes: 2

eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Value: Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry and Shoe Bag

5
Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry and Shoe Bag

Amazon

What We Like
  • Set of four cubes and two bags

  • Multiple color options

  • Includes laundry and shoe bag

  • Each bag is labeled with clothing item

  • Plastic transparent strip and a mesh pocket

What We Don't Like
  • No compression zipper

You get a lot for a low price when it comes to the Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry and Shoe Bag. Buyers will receive four cubes of various sizes plus two additional bags—a laundry bag and a shoe bag. This set comes in a wide range of colors but lacks a compression zipper, making them more apt for organization than space-saving. See inside the cubes via the transparent strip of fabric and a small mesh section, or just pack the cubes according to the clothing item label found on the bottom right corner of the cube.

Because the packing cubes don’t have compression zippers, this set works best for travelers with large suitcases who want their clothing items to be easy to find.

Price at time of publish: $29

Dimensions: Extra-large Cube: 17.5 x 12.15 x 4 inches, Large Cube: 13.75 x 12.75 x 4 inches, Medium Cube: 13.75 x 9.75 x 4 inches, Small Cube: 11 x 6.75 x 4 inches, Shoe Bag: 16.96 x 9.06 x 4.72 inches, Laundry Bag 20 x 14 inches | Material Nylon, Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, Polyester | Number of Cubes: 4 cubes, 2 bags

Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry and Shoe Bag

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Compression: Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes

4.6
Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes

Well Traveled 

What We Like
  • Pocket for labels

  • Three color options

  • Great compression zipper

  • Three cubes and a drawstring bag

  • Includes a pack of 50 luggage cards

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof or resistant

The Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes is a set of three cubes and one drawstring bag that can be used to store shoes or as a laundry bag. Available in three colors, this set is reasonably affordable and has an excellent compression zipper that maximizes your luggage space. In the larger cube, our tester fit one pair of jeans, two short sleeve shirts, and two long sleeve shirts. The medium cube fit two pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear; we packed the small cube with toiletries. When a traveler utilizes the compression zipper, the cubes go from five inches in width to one inch.

These cubes are not structured as they may appear in photos. And unfortunately, our tester did not find them to protect against liquids. That said, they are machine washable and have tiny pockets that will fit one of the 50 luggage cards included in the packaging.

Price at time of publish: $26

Dimensions: Bag: 11 x 18 inches, Large: 10 x 5 x 14 inches, Medium: 8 x 5 x 11.5 inches, Small: 5.5 x 5 x 7 inches | Material: Twill fabric | Number of Cubes 4

Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best for Families: Shacke 5 Set Packing Cubes

4.6
Shacke Packing Cube Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Mesh cover

  • Many color options

  • Water-resistant fabric

  • Four cubes and one drawstring bag

What We Don't Like
  • No compression zippers

Go with the Shacke Packing Cube Set when packing for a family vacation. This five-piece set comes in nine color options and includes four cubes and one drawstring bag. Although our testers didn’t mention whether the fabric was water resistant or not, Shacke advertises that it is. Of course, that doesn’t include the mesh panels that allow you to look inside the cubes.

The cubes don’t have compression zippers, so they’re better utilized for those who need a lot of space to keep each family member’s clothes organized and separated. You’ll better fit all these cubes in a large suitcase rather than a carry-on bag. With the affordable price, families might want to invest in a few Shacke Packing Cube Sets.

Price at time of publish: $22

Dimensions Extra-large: 17.5 x 12.75 x 4 inches, Large: 13.75 x 12.75 x 4 inches, Medium: 13.75 x 9.75 x 4 inches, Small: 11 x 6.75 x 4 inches, Laundry Bag: 20.5 x15.75 inches | Material: Unknown | Number of Cubes: 4 cubes, 1 bag

Shacke Packing Cube Set

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best for Over-Packers: eBags Light Packing Cubes 5pc

eBags Light 5pc Packing Cubes

Amazon

What We Like
  • Three color options

  • Great capacity

  • Has some structure

  • The fabric part is water resistant

  • Five packing cubes with mesh panels

What We Don't Like
  • A bit pricey

  • It lacks a compression zipper

This light and airy packing cube set is for the traveler who always seems to pack too much. Designed without a compression zipper, you’ll be able to fit many clothes in this set of two small cubes, two large cubes, and one slim cube. Our testers could fit three pairs of sweatpants or two shoes in the large cubes, four pairs of boxers or four pairs of socks in the small cubes, and a long-sleeve shirt, two short-sleeve shirts, and a dress in the slim medium cube. They noted that thanks to the mesh top and the thin fabric, they could have fit far more into the cubes than they packed. And just as important—the cubes fit nicely in a carry-on suitcase with room for an additional toiletry case.

Our testers appreciated that the tubing around the edges of the cubes offered some structure and that the non-mesh fabric was water-resistant. The price is a little higher than others on this list, but our tester was happy to ignore the cost in favor of the durability and space these cubes provided.

Price at time of publish: $60

Dimensions: Slim: 13x 6.5 x 3.5 inches, Small: 6.5 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches, and Large (two included): 13 x 13 x 3.5 inches | Material: Cordura nylon fabric and mesh panel | Number of Cubes: 5

eBags Light Packing Cubes

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Durability: Peak Design Packing Cubes Set

4.5
Peak Design Packing Cubes Set

Peak Design

What We Like
  • Two handles, waterproof fabric, and three color options

  • Two compartments

  • Sustainably built

  • Double compression zippers

  • Choice of single cubes or sets of 3, 6, or 8

What We Don't Like
  • Sets are expensive

  • Slight gap near the zipper

  • You must use both zippers at the same time to open the main pocket

You can buy the Peak Design Packing Cube as a single small or medium cube, shoe pouch, or in a set of three, six, and eight. The way our testers raved about the small packing cube they tested, we suggest going for the three-set. But keep in mind, the sets are expensive.

These packing cubes come in three color options, are designed with two handles, and have a moveable internal divider that lets you separate clothes however you see fit. Thanks to the double compression zippers, you get two packing cubes in the space of one. In fact, the cubes are about 17 centimeters wide when fully expanded and have the capability of compressing to 8 centimeters. It's important to note that you'll have to use both zippers simultaneously when you want to open the main zipper.

These durable cubes are waterproof, though there is a slight gap near the zipper that, theoretically, water could get into. The likelihood of that happening is low. As we said, the price of the packing cube set will cost a pretty penny, but with the superb craftsmanship and a lifetime guarantee warranty, you'll likely be satisfied with your buy.

Price at time of publish: $30

Dimensions: 12.6 x 6.7 x 6.7 inches | Material: Ripstop 70D nylon/poly shell | Number of Cubes: 1 to 8

Peak Design Packing Cubes Set

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Personalized: Paravel Packing Cube Quad

4.6
Paravel Packing Cube Quad

Paravel

What We Like
  • Two-way zippers

  • Water-resistant fabric

  • Clear window to see inside cube

  • Made from 16 upcycled water bottles

  • Optional custom embroidered monogram

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • No handles

  • No compression feature

We can see the Paravel Packing Cube Quad being a phenomenal gift for the traveler in your life, mainly because it offers excellent colors and the opportunity to have the cubes embroidered with custom monograms.

Of the four cubes, we used the larger one to pack three pairs of shoes and the medium cube with a couple of sweatpants, two long-sleeve shirts, two short-sleeve shirts, two pairs of underwear, and two pairs of socks. Basically, you can get a lot of clothes in the larger cubes and use the small cube for extra socks, underwear, or toiletries. Our tester noted that there was still some space left for them to pack more items in the cubes.

Although the cubes have two-way zippers, these aren’t compression zippers, and there isn’t a compression feature. We were surprised that the cubes didn’t have handles but liked that the cubes had clear windows to see inside. Environmentally friendly travelers will appreciate that the fabric features 16 upcycled water bottles—and it’s water resistant too. Just keep in mind that these cubes are a bit expensive.

Price at time of publish: $65

Dimensions: Large: 18 x 3.75 x 12 inches, Medium: 12.75 x 3.75 x 10 inches, Small (two included): 8.2 x. 3.75 x 6.25 inches | Material: Oeko-Tex and Global Recycle Standard certified water-resistant Negative Nylon | Number of Cubes: 4

Paravel Packing Cube Quad

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Splurge: Calpak Packing Cubes 5-piece Set

4.8
Calpak Packing Cubes 5-Piece Set

Calpak

What We Like
  • Fun designs and colors

  • Carrying handle

  • Organizing label

  • Breathable mesh panel

  • Five cubes, including a water-resistant envelope pouch

What We Don't Like
  • Only the pouch is water resistant

  • No compression zippers

Packing cubes can be so bland in style, but not the Calpak Packing Cubes 5-Piece Set. Styles range from astrologically inspired to groovy wavy designs and even a few that have solid colors like hazel, olive, or black. Our tester found the four cubes and envelope pouch to be very durable. All the cubes (not the pouch) have mesh panels, organizing labels, and handles. While these cubes don’t have compression zippers and the price is a bit high, the durability of the material and the design options might be worth it.

Price at time of publish: $68

Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 1.5 inches, Small12 x 8.8 x 3 inches, Medium: 15 x 11 x 3 inches, Large: 17 x 12 x 3 inches | Material: polyester | Number of Cubes: 5

Calpak Packing Cubes 5-Piece Set

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Other Packing Cubes We Tested

We tested so many packing cubes, and unfortunately, we couldn't include every single one on this list. Read on to see how these packing cubes fell a bit short in our testing.

Béis The Packing Cubes: While we loved the label that came with these bags, we didn't think that the price reflected the space or quality of the material.

Herschel Travel Organizers: This set's small and medium cubes were wonderful, but we found the large cube awkwardly huge. It made packing a carry-on difficult and didn't seem to offer the kind of space-saving we desired.

Briggs & Riley Packing Cubes: These cubes fit a decent amount of clothes, seemed durable, and had an excellent extender, but there wasn't anything that particularly wowed us. The only drawback is one side of the packing cubes is mesh, which won't protect your clothes if a spill occurs.

Away The Insider Packing Cubes: Mesh is great for breathability, but the mesh cover of these packing cubes isn't going to do much against spilled liquids. Not to mention, they're a bit expensive, which seems mainly because of the brand name.

Eagle Creek Pack-it Starter Set: If you only need two cubes and a folder-style cube, the Eagle Creek Pack-it Starter Set isn't too shabby, mainly because it held up to our water test. If you haven't used a folder type of cube, it can be confusing to pack.

L.L.Bean Packing Cube Set: The price point seems accurate for L.L.Bean but may seem expensive for what you get—cubes with a little stretch and a partly mesh top. Our tester wanted the cube to have a bit more structure.

Baggu 3D Packing Cube Set: Not a bad set of cubes if you're comfortable with them not being water-resistant and having some funky colors and designs.

Bagail Compression Packing Cubes: The price is right, and the design is pretty standard, but we were a little worried about the seam work, mainly when the compression feature was utilized. These may not last as long as others.

YAMIU Packing Cubes 7-Pcs: These packing cubes are standard, but does one need seven packing cubes? And you'll have to be okay with see-through toiletry bags.

Lean Travel Premium Compression Packing Cubes: These no-frills packing cubes may work for the newbie traveler but fitting all three in a carry-on was a challenge for our tester.

EZPacking Clear Packing Cubes: These may work if you're comfortable with see-through packing cubes. The small cube is small and will only fit a few toiletry items.

OEE Luggage Packing Organizers Packing: Who doesn't love a bargain? Unfortunately, the price reflects super thin material that doesn't do well with thick clothing and flimsy zippers that get caught in the mesh.

TRIPPED Compression Packing Cubes for Travel: These cubes were a bit expensive, especially since they didn't feel sturdy and the zipper didn't go all the way around the cube, making it a little harder to pack.

How We Tested

After removing the packing cubes from their packaging, we quickly assessed the materials, checking aspects such as the stitching and zippers for durability. Our next step involved packing the cubes with apparel, shoes, and accessories like toiletries and cosmetics before zipping them up and placing them in carry-on luggage to see how much space they took up. We also splashed them with a bit of water to test the water resistance of the packing cube material.

Béis The Packing Cubes

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

For each packing cube set, we took extensive notes on the capacity, design, material quality, and value in terms of price. As with any carry-on luggage, space is limited, and we wanted to ensure we chose packing cubes that not only allowed us to fit as many items as possible but had the kind of material and design that would be durable for frequent travel use. To round it out, we wanted the price to reflect the features presented.

What to Look for in Packing Cubes

Weight

If you check your suitcase, you need to know how much it weighs. To that effect, it can be helpful to utilize lightweight packing cubes. For the most part, packing cubes are not particularly heavy, though we’ve seen some structured cubes that may add a few pounds to your bag. 

Materials

Packing cubes are typically made of nylon, though some are designed with better nylon than others. Ripstop nylon, for instance, is less likely to tear than other types of nylon. Although we love to see a water-resistant or waterproof packing cube, many of our testers found that the water resistance or proof-ness wasn’t as effective as expected. Subsequently, there are packing cubes with mesh panels which almost defeats the purpose of water-resistant fabric. Of course, mesh panels let you see inside the bag and are more breathable than plastic panels, but at least cubes with plastic panels will be more water-resistant in the end.

Size

Packing cubes come in various sizes. The small size of one packing cube may not be the same size as the small packing cube of another. Look at the dimensions for the packing cubes before buying. Most packing cubes will fit in a carry-on suitcase, though we’ve seen some large or x-large packing cubes that are too big, take up too much space, or are an awkward size. The same thing can happen with small packing cubes—some are just too small to really fit anything inside. While not everyone likes packing cubes with compression features, they can remove air and save you space which is a nice feature to consider.

Number of cubes

Do you need more than five cubes? That all depends on the size of your family if you like buying cubes for you and your partner, and if you prefer checking a bag or bringing only a carry-on. Packing cube sets can range from two cubes to as many as eight. It never hurts to have a backup cube in case you rip one, lose one, or it just wears out, though if you want to limit how much you pack, it might be a good idea to buy a two or three-cube set.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should I use packing cubes in my carry-on luggage?

    How you pack your cubes in a carry-on suitcase will depend on the type of luggage you’re using. No matter what type of carry-on bag you have, you’ll most likely have to play Tetris to figure out the best method for fitting the packing cubes in the luggage. Those with carry-on suitcases might find that positioning the cubes vertically rather than horizontally provides more space, but again, this can only happen if the suitcase is deep enough to allow such a packing strategy.

  • How do I keep my clothes from getting wrinkled in packing cubes?

    While you can find many tips and tricks for packing clothes in packing cubes, it’s likely that when you remove your clothing, it will have some wrinkles. Rolling your clothes—once you’ve buttoned and zipped all tops and bottoms—may reduce wrinkles. This is because there are fewer folds in the fabric. That said, there might be a few folds that occur, and if that happens, you want to limit the amount of compression on the fold so a wrinkle doesn’t develop. To do that, you don’t want to overpack a cube or put too much pressure on the outside of a cube that would compress the fold and form a wrinkle. It will be tricky to figure out how much pressure is too much. Try your hand at packing clothes made of fabrics resistant to wrinkling, or bring along a travel steamer—we have the perfect listicle for you!

  • How do you care for and clean your packing cubes?

    Most packing cubes can be put in the washing machine on cold, but you'll need to double-check the tag to see if they need to be hand-washed. If you put them in the washing machine, zip them up, so the zipper doesn't snag on anything. Most people suggest air drying the packing cubes as the material tends to do poorly against the heat of a dryer. A hand-sanitizing wipe can clean away germs or small spills if you're in a bind. Although some suggest using Febreze or essential oils to refresh packing cubes, be mindful of how oily the product may be, as it could cause the packing cube to get sticky or stain your clothing. Putting a dryer sheet in the cube may be a better option.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Author Alex Temblador is an outdoor and travel journalist who lives in Texas. In addition to working out–running, lifting, hiking, kayaking, and more—at least five days a week, Alex seeks out adventurous travels all around the world. Throughout her career as an outdoor and travel journalist, she has rappelled in Mexico, kayaked in Puerto Rico and Thailand, skied in Telluride and Montana, surfed in Zihuatanejo, scuba dived in Bonaire, hiked in Peru and Switzerland, and completed a one-day, 100-mile cycling event in 100-degree weather in North Texas.

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