Packing Cubes

Back when I had no money, I used giant zip top bags which basically functioned like packing cubes. They compressed their contents which saved space in my suitcase. Well, now that I'm older, somewhat richer, and maybe just a smidge wiser, I decided to invest in some packing cubes. I travel enough (for leisure and for business) that I concluded that it would be a worthwhile investment. I bought mine through ebags with a nifty 15% off coupon.

This Italy trip, which I am embarking on in two days (follow along on Instagram, if you please), will be the true test run because my sister and I will be fitting two people's wardrobes (for a 9-day trip) into one piece of luggage. It's not like we haven't done it before - we shared luggage when we went to Hawaii a few winters ago, to T&C, to France for 9 days last year - but we've never tried using packing helpers. Not only will the packing cubes help us pack more into the suitcase, I think the convenience factor will skyrocket because the packing cubes will help us keep our clothing segregated.

I've purchased one set of the medium cubes (3 in  the set), two sets of the small cubes (3 in each set, 6 total), and one set of the slim cubes (3 in the set). I didn't buy any large cubes because according to the photos on ebags' website, only two large cubes will fit into a standard carry on. While the large cubes will still do their job as far as compressing their contents and maximizing space, they don't offer much in the way of organization or separation. With smaller cubes, there are fewer items in each that you have to rifle through to find what you are looking for and that was my logic behind my purchase.
I thought it would be worthwhile to share some examples of what I might pack into these cubes and how I might arrange them in my luggage so that you too can decide if cube packing is a lifestyle change you'd like to make.

One benefit of packing cubes is the compressibility factor. Take these two chunky sweaters, for example. They're super fluffy so when you put them in a suitcase, they take up a ton of room. Put them into a packing cube, and they take up half the space.

Packing cubes are also awesome for smaller items that tend to get lost in luggage, like underwear and socks. You can keep them organized in a cube and pack a second cube for storing the laundry you create on holiday.

Another awkward item to pack is pants. I like to roll my items when I'm packing them because it saves space but pants tend to be bulky and even though they're easy to roll, they sort of unroll themselves in my luggage. So, packing cubes are great because I can just fold my pants but they're compressed inside the cube.

Dresses and skirts are also easily stored in a packing cube. In this particular case, I rolled each piece, lined them up, and zipped up the cube. Again, the compressive trait is helpful here because I've packed a few poofy items that can be squished and fit a little neater into my luggage.

And even though rolling already saves space, rolling and cube-packing saves a lot of space. And that's what I've done with these tops. They're rolled and tucked.
The packing cubes neatly fit into my luggage too. It's like a perfect game of Tetris. Also, the cubes weren't filled to the brim - there was still a little wiggle room which means that I can add a few pairs of shoes and an umbrella and a few other pieces that I don't want to put in my under-seat carry on bag. Plus, the packing cubes are protecting the clothes so I don't have to worry about shoes dirtying anything up.

By the way, this isn't what I'm bringing to Italy. I was just putting together a few random pieces to demonstrate the functionality of the packing cubes. But it's pretty impressive, right? I've probably got 25 outfits in here.
Just as a reminder, here's what's in this luggage:
  • 2 chunky knit sweaters
  • 10 pairs underwear
  • 10 pairs socks
  • 2 bras
  • 2 bralettes
  • 1 pair jeans
  • 1 pair joggers
  • 1 pair leggings
  • 3 dresses
  • 3 skirts
  • 5 long sleeve T's
  • 5 short sleeve T's
That's 21 pieces of clothing plus undergarments and socks. Not bad, right? Plus, like I said, none of the packing cubes were packed to the brim. They zipped up easily and there was room for more.

I love these packing cubes so much. They're durable, they've got the double zips which will come in handy when I'm trying to squish way too much into each cube, they come in fun colors, and they have that little bit of mesh panel which makes it easy to see the contents and allows the clothes to breathe. They're awesome and I'm really excited to be a cube-packer now.

By the way, this isn't an advert for ebags. I bought everything myself and just wanted to share the art of cube-packing. However, if you are interested, hit up their site and do a quick search for promo codes because they always have one or two deals that will get you at least 10% off of your purchase.
Ah, the easy luggage zip-up is so satisfying; no sitting-on-top-of-the-bag was necessary. And the other great thing about the packing cubes is that it gives my mushy bag some structure. I love this Brics carry on because it's soft and squishy, which makes it easy to load into the overhead compartment, and it's incredibly light. The downside is that it can get a little misshapen and lopsided, based on the organization of its contents, which makes it tip over. Not anymore!


  1. I really like this idea because I could color code outfit groupings instead of rifling through my whole bag to find the item I'm looking for... I wonder how they would work in my backpack. Did you buy single pieces to get different colors? I'm looking at one of the big sets and it has 98% rating with like 6800 reviews which is an amazing statistic. But they are all one color (I like peony!) but I kind of want to mix colors! Maybe if I just get a few small ones to try them out -- they will definitely fit in my backpack !

    1. I bought a few different sets of 3, but each set only comes in a single color. I wish they'd do some color combinations but you could also slap a sticker on the front or something to distinguish them haha. I think they would totally work in a backpack. I used one of the small blue ones in my tote this past weekend in DC and it was SO convenient and kept my tote super neat.

  2. A very good and informative article indeed. It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like this..


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