Best Packing Cubes 2017

Best Packing Cubes 2017

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This summer I went on a wonderful trip with my 15-year old daughter. We were away for two weeks. The first week we stayed in the same place, a small property in California where we took care of two horses and three dogs. We enjoyed every minute! But wait a minute, what does this wonderful experience have to do with any kind of best packing cubes? 

During the last week we stayed in three different places, and that’s when it became apparent that my suitcase organization was not, shall we say, optimized? I grew so tired of searching for clean underwear (and not getting hold of the dirty instead), socks, T-shirts and toiletries not to mention how crumpled up everything got.

The truth of it all is that I only had myself to blame. I did know about packing organizers of course, but somehow didn’t think it was something that I would actually need. I mean, how hard can it be to keep your suitcase tidy and your belongings organized? Well, as it turned out, very hard! Even the best luggage has its limits when it comes keeping tiny socks and charger cables in place.

Once home and summer gone I decided that it was time for Travel Gear Depot to take a step out of the carry-ons and suitcases. So without further ado, let us present a buying guide and our reviews of the Best Packing Cubes for 2017!

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Quick Comparison Table Packing Cubes

Buying Guide Packing Cubes

Now then, what do you need to consider when looking for packing cubes that will be a good choice for your traveling needs? 

First of all, we all have different tastes and look for different qualities. While one wants sturdy travelcubes, another one is looking for ultra lightweight travel bag organizers and couldn't care less if they "stand up" when not packed. Having said this there are some features you do want to look out for when it comes to quality.

Material/Fabric

The Techlite Diamond Nylon is common in packing cubes, and for a good reason. It's very durable! It's also fairly lightweight but still stands up pretty well when unpacked. 

Rip-Stop Nylon is as durable and even more lightweight than the Diamond Nylon, which makes packing cubes made from this material ultralight. The backside to this is that the luggage cubes collapses when unpacked. An issue for some, a non-issue for others.

There are also travelcubes in other types of nylon as well as polyester, usually not all that lightweight but all the more sturdy. Which kind of fabric you prefer depends on your needs and taste. Is ligthweight more important to you than sturdy, go for Diamond or Rip-Stop Nylon. On the other hand, if you go nuts over a cube that doesn't keep its shape while unpacked, you need a heavier kind of fabric.

Almost all packing cubes have a mesh part. The purpose of this is to make it possible to easily see what's inside, but also making the cubes airy in case items inside are damp.

The mesh can be a weak spot, especially where the mesh is stitched to the zipper or fabric. You do not want it to be too thin, or loosely knitted. This can cause it to break when the organizer is fully packed and there is strain on the seam.

Zippers

Zippers that get stuck or get separated make the cube useless. A zipper that is hard to close and makes every opening and closing a fight is extremely frustrating. 

There are two components of the zipper that are important: the zipper itself and the zipper pulls. Even if the zipper is of good quality, too small or low quality pulls that break makes it unusable. Ever tried to close a zipper that has lost its pull string with your bare fingers? Then you know.

YKK is an old and reputable brand, and zippers from this manufacturer are very reliable. Our recommendation is to only go for packing cubes with YKK zippers.

Compression?

Several of the manufacturers claim that their cubes can also be used as compression bags. We think that this is a statement to be taken with a grain of salt. The cubes do not compress in the true meaning of the word, for this you need actual compression bags. 

That being said, since the cubes do keep your clothes in place and at least more tightly folded, they are no doubt space savers, as well as time savers.

Most of the cubes tend to become quite bulky when you attempt to really squeeze in your items and then zipper up. We believe that the cubes are best looked upon as packing organizers, and for this purpose they are excellent!

Carrying

Although the cubes are meant to be used for organization in a larger bag of some kind, you may occasionally want to carry them by themselves. No problem, all cubes we've reviewed have a carry handle for easy transport to the bathroom for example.

Reviews

eBags Packing Cubes - 4pc Classic Plus Set


Sizes: Large 17.5 x 12.75 x 3.25, Medium 13.75 x 9.75 x 3, Small 11 x 6.75 x 3,

         Slim 14" x 5" x 2.75"

Material: TechLite Diamond Nylon

Zippers: YKK with cords

Number of colors:

Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

This is a great quality set of packing cubes, no doubt about that. And we do like the option of buying this 4-piece set with the Slim sized cube. This is a nice size that few other brands offer.

The cubes are made from Diamond Nylon and equipped with YKK reinforced zippers, ensuring you can rely on them for the lifetime of the travelcube.

A nice feature of the eBags cubes is that the inside seams are fully lined. This means they will never snag or fray.

The cubes are machine washable, which we love. You need to drip dry them though, but since they are made of nylon they will dry quickly.

We have nothing bad to say about these eBags cubes, but they are perhaps not a budget choice.

Shacke Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag


Sizes: Extra Large 17.5" x 12.75" x 4", Large 13.75" x 12.75" x 4, 

          Medium 13.75" x 9.75" x 4", Small 11" x 6.75" x 4"

Material: Smooth Nylon

Zippers: YKK with cords

Number of colors:

Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee

Shacke Pak Packing Cubes

The Shacke Pak cubes are made from a somewhat different fabric than the rest of the cubes here. It's a very smooth (as the name states!) nylon and also rather thick. This means the cube keeps its shape and stands up well while you are packing. But, it also adds to the weight, making these organizer cubes among the "heavier" ones. Not that any cubes are what you'd normally call heavy though! But if you're going backpacking every ounce counts for sure.

We don't like the laundry bag, which might surprsie you. How come? Well, we don't really see the point of it. If you pack all your clothes in the cubes, you will also pack the dirty items in the cubes. The laundry bag becomes a "dead weight" in your packing.

The cubes come with YKK zippers. A feature we like a little extra is that at the corners the zipper connects with the nylon fabric and not the mesh, which at least in our minds should make the seams more resistant to strain when the cubes are stuffed. 

You do best to carefully hand wash these cubes with soap, and of course drip dry them completely. If you attempt to machine wash them there have been several reports of the inside lining disintegrating. 

So, these cubes are on the heavier side, and fairly rigid because of the thicker (in comparison) fabric. A descent quality choice if you're happy with that!

We have one word of warning though: when reading reviews there has been one, or actually two, reoccuring issues in a few instances: customers have not received as many cubes as they ordered, and in severel cases the cubes have clearly been used. How about paint stains, dirt marks or short shaved hair? We hope that these instances are merely mistakes when packing orders, and you should easily be able to get compensation for this should you be unfortunate enough to have it happen to you.

PRO Packing Cubes Travel Packing Organizers & Compression Pouches


Sizes: Large 17.5" x 12.75" x 3.25", Medium 13.75" x 9.75" x 3, 

          Small 11" x 6.75" x 3", XSmall 9" x 3.75" x 3"

Material: Ultra Lightweight Rip-Stop Nylon

Zippers: YKK with cords

Number of colors: 12 + mixed sets  

Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee

Pro Packing Cubes

Pro Packing cubes are the only ones here made from the ultra lightweight but durable rip-stop nylon. This makes them one of the two most lightweight options (the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter cubes being the other) in our comparison.

We have made these cubes our Top pick. Why?

Our opinion is that they deliver excellent quality at a very competitive price point. The rip-stop nylon is extremely durable, and the mesh part is made from extra thick and soft mesh that withstands the strain from a stuffed cube very well and doesn't snag easily. And of course they come with YKK zippers.

We love that they come in no less than 12 colors! You can also get sets with mixed colors, perfect if you want to color code your packing. This is also the only brand offering a 10 piece set. And, we also love the extra small cube, that is perfect for cables, adapters and other small stuff!

They are machine washable on cool cycle, and preferably in delicates laundry bag.

So is there nothing bad to say about Pro Packing cubes? In our opinion, no. Having said that, if you do not like that the thin rip-stop nylon makes them completely collapse when unpacked, these are perhaps not the cubes for you. But bear in mind that this also means they take up virtually no extra space in your suitcase or backpack. You can bring a couple of empty ones for your souvenirs!

Dot&Dot 6pc Travel Packing Cubes


Sizes: Large 17.5" x 12.75" x 3.25", Medium 13.75" x 9.75" x 3", Small 11" x 6.75" x 3", 

           Slim 14" x 5" x 2.75"

Material: Honeycomb Polyester

Zippers: Unknown brand with cords

Number of colors: Only black for 6-piece set. Same sized sets 6-8 + 2 mixed color sets 

Warranty: 30 day Limited Warranty​​​​

We like the Dot&Dot cubes a lot, except for one thing (well, two to be honest): They apply a measly 30 day limited warranty. This surprises us since the quality seems to be, actually, excellent. So why choose to only take responsibility for 30 days after a customer has purchased? Makes no sense to us!

What we do also not like is that the 6-piece set only comes in black. However, if one buys a set of 4 cubes all the same size, there are severel lovely colors to choose from, and even a couple of mixed sets. Again, why? 

Well then, what about the cubes? They are made from a material we haven't encountered yet in our quest for finding the best packing cubes out there. It's called honeycomb polyester, which appears to be both lightweight and durable.

Like all lightweight cubes these are completely collapsible, and hence take up very little space in your suitcase should you bring a few extra for storing shopping findings in.

Zippers also, according to the hundreds of reviews we have found, seem to hold up well, even though they are not YKK. 

Our conclusion is that the Dot&Dot packing cubes are a good quality buy at a fairly competitive price point, but the lousy warranty somewhat deters us. We made the choice to include them here nevertheless, because our research has made us reject A LOT of brands. These stood out from the crowd.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube Set - 3pc Set


Sizes: Full Cube 14" x 10" x 3", Half Cube 10" x 7" x 3", Quarter Cube 7.5" x 4.5" x 2.5" 

Material: Silnylon Ripstop

Zippers: Unknown brand with cords

Number of colors: 5 + 1 mix  

Warranty: Eagle Creek Lifetime Warranty

This set is from Eagle Creek's Pack-It Specter™ collection. The material is silnylon ripstop, an extremely lightweight yet durable fabric, making these packing cubes great for backpacking.

For some reason Eagle Creek has chosen not to use YKK zippers. We have no idea why, but have not found any evidence the zippers do not hold up, so presumably they have found a good replacemant brand.

Durable and lightweight as they are we still have some objections to these cubes. The first is the placement of the zipper. It doesn't even extend half way around the cube, making it really hard to pack the cube but even more difficult to grab that thing you want at the bottom. Poor accessibility leading to a lot of unpacking and repacking, which also has been pointed out by many users. Design flaw!

The other is the size of the cubes. They are small. The largest one is the size of the next largest one in all of the packing organizers reviewed here. 

These two objections make these cubes not as priceworthy as we would have wished for, but there's no denying they are very light and made of good quality fabric.

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