10 Best Compression Packing Cubes: Pack Like a Pro

Maybe you are as obsessed with carry-on only travel as we are, or maybe you are a chronic over-packer. Either way, packing cubes will help you be more organized when you travel, and the compression ones will help you fit more in less space. We researched what’s available and these are our picks for the best compression packing cubes available today. Now you can travel lite, in style, and with great organization.

Our Top Picks

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  • Separate Clean and Dirty Sides

  • Anti-Catch Zippers

  • Flexible Separator

  • Lightweight 

  • Water Repellent

  • Multiple Colors Available

  • Mesh top to see inside

  • Sized to fit in carry on

  • Anti-catch zippers

  • Mesh top to see inside

  • Handle

  • Lifetime Warranty

  • 50% Space Saving

  • Clean/Dirty Sides

  • Waterproof

  • Stackable

  • Able to hold larger items

  • Minimalistic Design

  • Lightweight

  • Durable Material

  • Reinforced Zippers

  • Lightweight

  • Ripstop Seams

  • Comes with Toiletry bag and luggage strap

  • Bags rather than cubes

  • Airtight, waterproof

  • Mutliple Sizes

  • Mesh for visibility

  • Lightweight

  • Handle

What is a Packing Cube and Why Use Them?

Such a small thing, such a big impact. One of the things that drives us nuts when we travel is the mayhem that occurs in our suitcase. After just a day our suitcase can become a jumble of clothing where it is difficult to find anything!

Packing cubes solve this for you, they are lightweight fabric cubes that you pack your clothes into, and by doing so you can:

  • Pack your wardrobe by type, with all the tops, bottoms, dresses, etc together
  • Keep things organized at your destination
  • Unpack easily. You can actually use the cubes as little drawers so you just move the cube with all the clothes in it.
  • Repack easily if you are switching hotels or changing location.
  • Keep dirty clothes separate from clean clothes.
  • Reduce wrinkles and creases because clothing does not shift around in transit

Types of Packing Cubes

Two primary types of packing cubes exist.

First is more of an organizational tool. They are literally lightweight fabric cubes that you can use to organize your clothing and keep your suitcase in order. We have used them for years and love them.

The second is a compression packing cube. This is the type that this article is about. These are also cubes you put your clothing into, but they typically have an additional zipper. Once the cube is packed, you zip it a second time and as the zipper closes, the clothing compresses. This way you can fit more into a smaller space.

How to Choose Your Packing Cubes

We have several sets of packing cubes, some of which are also compression. These are the criteria we used to choose them:

Weight: Cubes are used to organize and even add more clothing to your suitcase, which will add more weight. You want the cubes to be lightweight enough that they don’t add too much weight as well.

Durability: You fill these up and then zip them tight. Make sure you choose materials and construction that will last.

Size: The worst thing is to buy packing cubes, fill them up and then find out that they do not fit nicely in your suitcase. Most are designed for your standard suitcase sizes, but keep this in mind.

Breathability: We don’t want our clothes smelling musty as travels proceed.

Visibility: Using a packing cube that has a mesh top will make getting dressed much easier because you can identify what is in each cube.

How To Use A Packing Cube

Based on many of the reviews we read, rolling your clothing seems to be the best way to pack your clothes in a packing cube. The issue is that you need your clothing to be evenly distributed throughout the cube when you use that compression zipper, and if the clothes are not rolled (ie folded flat), things tend to just bunch up in the middle. When that happens it becomes difficult to pack the cubes because they are not flat.

So, roll those clothes before you compress them!

The 10 Best Packing Cubes We Found

1. Taskin Compression Packing Cubes

SHOP: Amazon

These bags are designed to have a clean side and a dirty side so that as you travel your clean clothes stay fresh. The zipper has a system to keep from getting stuck and mesh makes them breathable while allowing you to see what is inside. We actually own these bags and we love them.

What We Like

  • Clean/Dirty Sides
  • Easy no catch zipper
  • Capacity
  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like

  • A little more expensive (although think its worth it)

2. Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

SHOP: Amazon

Made from a super lightweight material, these will make organization a breeze. The handles are convenient to grab and go, and they are waterproof. Some reviewers that they are great, you simply need to make sure not to overstuff them, others said that the zipper snags quite easily.

What We Like

  • Lightweight material
  • Great sizes for carry on bags
  • Handle makes carrying convenient
  • Compression allows us to pack more
  • Durable and last for many uses

What We Don’t Like

  • Not able to see what is inside
  • Need to zip very carefully to avoid snags

3. LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes 

SHOP: Amazon

They are stylish and sturdy cubes that actually look more “cubey” than some of the others. Reviewers love them and find that they do compress and stack well, especially when you have rolled the clothing inside. A few different sizes are available. We actually own these, and like the compression. We find the big one to be really big, and sometimes skip it in favor of the smaller ones which fit in our carry on nicely. One reviewer uses ONLY the big one for weekend trips and we are going to try that for our next weekend away.

What We Like

  • More structure than some of the others
  • Durable and sturdy look and feel
  • Zippers are easy
  • Elegant look

What We Don’t Like

  • Not as lightweight as other options
  • Big sizes do not fit as well in our small carry on
  • Not a lot of visibility

4. eagle creek Pack-it Compression Cubes

SHOP: Amazon

The first packing cubes we ever purchased were eagle creek, although they were not compression. We can attest to the quality of the eagle creek brand! This cube set is has a mesh top and handle for easy use.

What We Like

  • Great addition to other eagle creek products
  • Handle
  • Mesh
  • Quality

What We Don’t Like

  • Potential for zipper snag

5. BeeNesting Waterproof Compression Packing Cubes

SHOP: Amazon

Many of the compression packing cubes claim a 40% gain of space. These BeeNesting Cubes claim 50%! Like most of the others, they use a zippered compression system but have larger capacity than most. They have a clean/dirty side which we always appreciate and the larger ones actually have a luggage handle so can be treated as their own carry-on. You could use it as an extra bag to bring home goodies!

What We Like

  • Clean/Dirty Sides
  • Higher Compressibility
  • Luggage Handles on larger cubes

What We Don’t Like

  • Not as lightweight as others

6. BENTO Compression Packing Cubes

SHOP: Amazon

We like the look of these bags. They are clean and minimalist. They are meant to be stackable once packed and boast of a stick free zipper.

What We Like

  • Simple Design
  • Good Customer Service
  • Zipper

What We Don’t Like

  • Some reviews reported quality issues

7. TRIPPED Compression Packing Cubes

SHOP: Amazon

These lightweight compression travel cubes hold a large amount of clothing and are extremely well priced. In general reviews really liked them. Even the ones who had issues were pleased with how the company resolved the issue.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Some Cute Style Options
  • Good Value for Price
  • Customer Service

What We Don’t Like

  • Zipper snags if you overstuff

8. SUITEDNOMAD Compression Packing Cubes 

SHOP: Amazon

Lightweight durable compression cubes that are designed to hold up to the wear and tear of travel. The also come with a clear toiletries bag and luggage strap. Reviewers commented that the zippers are durable and that the set sturdy, lasting through many cities over long trips.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Less Expensive than some brands
  • Additional Accessories

What We Don’t Like

  • Cannot see what is in them

9. Samsonite Compression Packing Bags

SHOP: Amazon

Ok, so these are not technically packing cubes, but these packing bags ARE used for compression. You put your item in the bag, roll the air out and voila! extra space. We have a couple of bags like this and will pack them when we are headed to a beach vacation. For us, they are used them to bring home damp items. We find that it prevents the items from getting musty, even on long flights, and keeps the moisture away from the rest of our items.

What We Like

  • Waterproof
  • Pack Flat
  • Clear
  • Good for damp packing

What We Don’t Like

  • Not all bags in set are vacuum sealed

10. Lewis N. Clark ElectroLight Expandable Compression-Packing Cubes

SHOP: Amazon

Finally, these super lightweight cubes have a mesh top for visibility, and are water resistant. They have a grab handle and come in fun colors. Many reviewers love these bags. And, in the spirit of thorough research, we did find some who were not 100% happy with the quality, but it was only a few reviews that said that.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Mesh top
  • Handle
  • Colors

What We Don’t Like

  • Not sure about durability

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do compression packing cubes really work?

Yes, they do! We have used them for years and our packing is more organized than ever before and we can almost always fit our whole travel capsule in our carry on. The only exception is when we are going on a trip where lots of gear is required. In that case we sometimes need to up our suitcase size, but still use packing cubes to keep things organized.

(And pssst… you can get our FREE Travel Capsule Packing Guide HERE.)

Q: How do you pack with compression cubes?

We separate our travel capsule wardrobe into categories: Bottoms, tops, dresses, etc… Then we pack the categories into individual cubes. Sometimes, two categories fit into one cube. You can use your best judgement here.

Q: Are Packing cubes better than rolling?

We combine packing cubes and rolling, as we find that rolling is a great way to fill the cubes neatly.

Q: Do packing cubes actually save space?

Packing cubes help you stay more organized. That said, if you use compression packing cubes you do save more space. Our favorite compression packing cubes are all listed above.

Q: What can I use instead of packing cubes?

For organization you can use any number of things: canvas bags, shoe bags, ziplocks. For the compression part of it we did list one plastic vacuum bag in the post and others are available.

Q: What is the point of packing cubes?

The primary point of packing cubes is organization. Further, if you are looking for compression so that you can pack more in less space, you can see the list above for our favorites.

 

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