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What are the best packing cubes for backpacking and travel in 2021?

How to choose the ideal packing cube set? Do you even need packing cubes?

I’ve been using packing cubes for several years now — while traveling a lot during these years. And, in my opinion, packing cubes are a must for a frequent traveler. Not only they make packing and organization of your stuff so much easier, but they also protect your clothes from getting dirty.

Plus, you don’t have to unpack anything if you don’t want to. Just take out your packing cubes and put them in your hotel wardrobe and drawer.

Read on to learn more about packing cubes.

Best Packing Cubes for Backpacking and Travel

What are the options? And which one to choose?

See our packing cubes reviews to find the best option for yourself!

1. Shacke Pak Packing Cube Set (click for more details)

A set of 4 different sized packing cubes and a laundry bag.

Overall the best packing cubes for backpacking, our favorite.

The Shacke Pak packing cubes are made of high quality water resistant nylon fabric to withstand the wear and tear of backpacking and traveling. They feature a durable, reinforced lid with well-thought X-design which will hold your clothes and prevent the lid to fold upwards in the middle.

The set consists of 4 packing cubes (1 piece – XS, 1 – S, 1 – M, 1 – L) and a laundry bag, making it a great choice both for a solo traveler and a couple.

Packing cubes are a must for a frequent traveler.

Each packing cube is 4 inches / 10.2 cm deep.

Available in several colors.

SIZES: XS, S, M, L + laundry bag

2. Bagail Packing Cube Set (click for more details)

A set of 6 packing cubes of 3 different sizes.

These Bagail organizers are great universal travel and backpacking packing cubes. With double zippers, it’s very easy to open and close the packing cubes. You don’t have to unzip them all the way. Packing cubes are made of high-quality nylon fabric with reinforced interior seams to increase durability. Thanks to the reinforced mesh top panel, the contents of these packing cubes are visible, even when the packing cube is closed.

The mesh top also provides ventilation.

Great choice for a couple (2 – S, 2 – M, 2 – L packing cubes).

Available in several colors.


3. Amazon Basics Packing Cube Set (click for more details)

A set of 4 simple packing cubes with mesh lids.

Made of quality durable and lightweight nylon fabric with reinforced seams, the Amazon Basics cubes are sure to last for a long time. The packing cubes feature a lid partly made of mesh fabric, nylon webbing carry handle and a two way zipper. Mesh design makes it easy to locate items you have packed inside.

Available in several colors.

SIZE: L, M, S, Slim

4. eBags Classic Packing Cube Set (click for more details)

A set of quality packing cubes for backpack. 

The eBags packing cubes are made of Techlite Diamond nylon fabric, which is breathable, durable and very lightweight. These packing cubes feature high quality two way zipper, mesh lid and a side handle. The fabric bound interior seams won’t snag and fray, they are fully finished for durability.

The self-healing YKK zippers with corded pulls are durable and long-lasting.

This 3-piece (S, M, L) set fits easily into most carry on size backpacks.

There are several colors to choose from.


5. Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-it Starter Set (click for more details)

A packing set for business traveler with a backpack.

The Eagle Creek Starter organizer set includes 3 pieces: a garment folder, for keeping your shirts and pants wrinkle free, and 2 different size classic packing cubes to keep your other clothes organized. The lightweight packing cubes feature an extra compression zipper to reduce volume. Perfect for travel and business trips, when you don’t want to travel with a suitcase.

The folder fits in most carry-on bags and compresses up to 12 dress shirts or slacks, minimizing wrinkles. As long as the height of the bag is at least 18″ (46 cm).

Crafted of 300D Poly Micro-Weave, the organizer set is made to last.

Available in 3 colors.

SIZE: Medium folder, full cube and half cube

6. Mossio Packing Cube Set (click for more details)

A cute packing cube set for women.

The Mossio packing cubes are great for travel, backpacking and home use.

These cheap packing cubes come in sets of 7: 3 classic packing cubes of different sizes, 3 laundry bags of different sizes and 1 shoe bag. Use packing cubes for your clothes, swimwear and underwear, and laundry bags — for your delicates, laundry, cosmetics or toiletries. The shoe bag can hold a pair of women’s gym shoes.

The travel organizers are made of quality nylon fabric with elegant pattern.

Available in several colors / patterns.


7. TRANVERS PVC Packing Cube Set

A set of water-resistant packing cubes for traveling.

Made of spill-proof PVC film material, these backpacking organizers are water-resistant, durable and one of the best packing cubes for backpacking. They will help you to keep your clothes dry even during rainy days. The clear panel on top helps you to identify the contents without digging through them.

Despite the PVC material, the packing cubes are rather soft and lightweight.

Remember, however, that these are not 100% waterproof packing cubes, as the zipper is not waterproof. They are water-resistant, which means that they don’t get wet easily, but they can’t be submerged. At the same time they will protect your clothes from leaks and spills, as well as keep moisture contained (from wet clothes, swimsuits or towels).

Thanks to the latter, they can be used to store toiletries and cosmetics.

The set includes three packing cubes – S, M, L.


Best Compression Packing Cubes

8. Eagle Creek Pack-it Specter Compression Cube Set (click for more details)

A set of 2 compression packing cubes.

One of the best compression packing cubes you can buy online.

Made of ultra lightweight, rip-stop Silnylon material, these packing cubes are durable and will last long, while not adding weight to your baggage. The material of these packing cubes is water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting wet. They will also keep your clothes clean if your toiletries will spill while you’re on the road.

The packing cubes feature a unique compression zipper which reduces volume of the packing cubes significantly.

Unzip the compression zipper (the cubes expand more than triple their size), put your clothes in the packing cubes, zip them up, then simply close the second zipper to compress the cubes. And you are ready to go!

SIZE: Full cube and half cube

Pro packing cubes

Pro packing cubes – extra small and small

Are Packing Cubes Worth It?

Do packing cubes work? Are they really worth it?

The short answer is — yes!

I mean, I’m so used to them than I use mine even at home. It’s just so convenient. They help you to stay organized. They protect your clothes and other accessories from leaks and spills. They are reusable and washable (see care instructions below). Packing cube set is a must for every frequent traveler.

If you have packing cubes, you don’t need to use those plastic bags anymore.

How do packing cubes work?

It’s really easy to use packing cubes.

Just fold or roll your clothes, put them in packing cubes and zip them up.

If you are using a compression packing cubes, you have to expand them first. After packing the compression cubes, zip them up, then simply close the second zipper to compress the cubes.

Packing for a trip

Photo by OVAN from Pexels

How to Pack Your Backpack?

Packing for backpacking is not that hard.

But how you pack and what you pack is very important. You will be carrying “your home” in your backpack, and it’s crucial you get only the important items, and leave out the unnecessary staff. You need to pack your bag smart and efficiently. And packing cubes can help you to do just that — to pack smarter and to organize your belongings better.

But first, start with making a packing list.

Double check it and cross out the “maybe” items. Have you forgotten anything? Read traveler forums to see what others pack and what they leave at home. Put all the things you need on a sofa, bed or on the floor.

Roll or carefully fold your clothes, put them in your packing cubes.

Put electronics, cables and toiletries in separate packing cubes, or, even better — use special organizers for this purpose: travel toiletry bag, electronics organizer, cable organizer.

Put your footwear in water-resistant packing cubes or shoe bags.

Don’t forget about a laundry bag so you can keep your dirty clothes separate from the rest. Some packing cube sets come with a laundry bag. You can also use a separate packing cube as a laundry bag.

How to Wash Packing Cubes?

How to care for your packing cubes?

Hand wash your packing cubes. It’s the best way to ensure the cubes won’t get damaged while washing and will last long. Do not wash the packing cubes in the washing machine, even on the delicate cycle.

Use only cold water.

Do not apply fabric softener.

Hang dry. Do not use the drier!

Clothes in a suitcase

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

How to Choose Packing Cubes

How to choose the best packing cubes for yourself?

Let’s make this super simple.

Generally speaking mostly it’s about these 3 simple things:

1. Packing Cube Type

There are several types of packing cubes:

Classic packing cubes — rectangular cubes, often with a mesh lid (not always).

Compression packing cubes — packing cubes that can be compressed (feature a compression zipper).

PVC packing cubes — packing cubes made of PVC material, mostly water-resistant and made to contain spills and leaks.

Garment folders — for keeping your pants and shirts wrinkle-free.

Choose the type that works the best for your needs.

Mostly packing cubes are sold in sets. Sets can contain packing cubes of various types. For example — Eagle Creek Pack-it Starter set consists of two packing cubes and a garment folder.

2. Packing Cube Size

Packing cubes come in several sizes: from XS to XL.

And the dimensions for these sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Make sure you check the dimensions of the packing cubes before buying. And make sure you take into account the dimensions of your backpack.

Most packing cubes come in sets, and many sets consist of packing cubes of different sizes. The smallest ones are mostly for socks and underwear, medium packing cubes are for T-shirts, lightweight long sleeves and light summer dresses, and the largest ones are for jeans, sweaters and bulkier denim shorts.

There are also sets of cubes of one size.

3. Your Budget

Decide upon your budget.

And choose the best packing cube set that fits into it.

What is your experience with packing solutions? Do you use packing cubes? What’s the best packing cubes you have tried so far?

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