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PACKING CUBES: THE BEST WAY TO ORGANISE FAMILY LUGGAGE
I am obsessed with packing cubes, and I can guarantee that you will be as well once you start using them.
As someone who needs to feel totally in control and organised when packing for family holidays, packing cubes were a revelation when I discovered them.
Once you’ve used packing cubes to organise your luggage, you will NEVER NOT use them.
Read on to discover why in my guide to packing cubes and see my recommendations for the best packing cubes for family travel.
- Best overall: Betllemory packing cubes
- Best for durability: Eono packing cubes
- Best for compression: LeanTravel packing cubes
- Best lightweight: Osprey Ultralight packing cubes
- Best budget buy: Amazon Basics packing cubes
- Best for hanging: The Hanger Store hanging packing cube
- Best for hanging toiletries: Narwey hanging toiletry packing cube
- Best for clean/dirty packing: Eagle Creek clean/dirty packing cube
PACKING CUBES PRODUCT REVIEWS
These are the current best-selling packing cubes on Amazon. I bought a set of these cubes and use them regularly. I think they are amazingly good value for money.
The Betllemory packing cubes are brilliant for family packing. The bungee straps inside the main cubes keep clothes compressed and in place. The high-density polyester cube fabric is durable and light.
The set includes eight cubes of various sizes, with handles on the medium and large cubes and waterproof cubes for smaller items. With nine different set colours, these packing cubes are a great investment for any family.
These packing cubes are made from strong but lightweight nylon fabric and have top mesh panels - useful for ventilation and seeing what is in them.
I have a set of these cubes and found they are really durable. I love that the medium and large cubes have handles, which is really useful if you want to take a cube as a carry-on (especially if you need to reduce checked-in luggage weight).
There are 6 cubes in the set:
- 2 x large (45x35x10cm) – great for Jeans, lightweight jackets, mid-weight tops
- 2 x medium (35x25x10cm) – great for T-shirts, tops, shorts and skirts
- 2 x slim cubes (35×12.5x10cm)- great for underwear, socks and swimsuits
There are ten different colour options. You could buy a different colour set for each family member. Alternatively, you could buy a set of six and divide it between two children.
If you want packing cubes to help you fit as much stuff into your suitcase as possible whilst also adding as little extra weight as possible, then the Lean Travel Compression Packing Cubes are for you. One of the best things about the cubes is that they have more packing capacity compared to other leading compression cubes in the market.
The Lean Travel cubes are made of lightweight polyester, which is more flexible than nylon (which is what many packing cubes are made from). This means you can fit more clothing into the cubes.
They have a double zipper, enabling you to compress your clothes to pack more in less space. This is especially useful when you’re travelling with limited luggage space.
There are six cubes in the set:
- 2 x large cubes (40x30x10cm)
- 2 x medium cubes (28x28x10cm)
- 2 x small cubes (28x20x10cm)
The Osprey Ultralight Packing Cubes are an excellent option if you are looking for lightweight and easy-to-carry cubes.
The Osprey cubes are made of high-quality nylon and come in a set of three. They are incredibly lightweight, and the zippers are smooth and sturdy. The cubes also have a compression feature that helps you save space in your luggage.
If you are looking for packing cubes that won't break the bank, the Amazon Basics Packing Cubes are an excellent option.
The Amazon Basics Packing Cubes come in a set of four cubes of different sizes, and the quality is impressive for the price.
The cubes are made of high-quality polyester, and the zippers are sturdy and smooth. They also come with a mesh top that allows you to see the contents of each cube easily.
The Travel Store Hanging Closet Organiser is absolutely brilliant for keeping your clothes organised on a short break.
If you dread unpacking your suitcase only to have to pack it all up again a few days later, you will love that you can take this Travel Store Hanging Closet packing cube out of your suitcase and hang it up as a set of shelves in your hotel wardrobe or on a rail or hook in your Airbnb bedroom.
It’s perfect for weekend breaks either with the family or without, and for business trips without the kids in tow.
The Narwey hanging toiletry cube is a best-seller on Amazon. It comes in both medium and large sizes, so you can choose the size that works for you.
This is the large version (28x25.5x13cm), perfect for those of us who need a little more storage space for our toiletries, including full-sized shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and electric toothbrush.
The cube has 8 mesh pockets, 4 zipper pockets (3 internal, 1 external), and 2 open sides with several organized pockets, which make it easy to grab what you need.
The built-in large metal hook allows you to hang the toiletry case from a towel rack, coat hook, or wherever is available, making your toiletries and cosmetics displayed well for easy access, saving bathroom counter space as well.
The cube is water-resistant and it is made from really durable fabric that protects your products from spills whilst keeping them secure.
Not sure you need quite so much space? You can also buy the toiletry cube in a medium size.
If you want to save as much space as possible in your luggage, the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes are an excellent option.
The Eagle Creek Pack-It cubes are made of lightweight nylon, and the compression feature allows you to pack more in less space. The cubes also come in various sizes, making them versatile and easy to use.
I particularly like this clean/dirty cube that has one side for packing clean clothes and another for packing dirty clothes. The cube is water repellant, so it’s also good to take to the beach for kids’ swimming costumes.
The Specter Compression Cubes don’t come in sets, so they aren’t the most budget-friendly. However, they are incredibly useful, and once you have them, you will use them time and again.
FAMILY PACKING CUBES BUYING GUIDE
Packing for a family holiday is one helluva task. Plus, it is annoying that it can be just as hard to pack for a short break as it is for a major summer holiday.
This is where packing cubes come in handy. Packing cubes are small, lightweight containers designed to help you organise your luggage and make packing and unpacking much easier.
They make it much less stressful to quickly find what you need in your luggage without digging through your entire suitcase.
Another big benefit of packing cubes is that they can help you save space in your luggage. By compartmentalising your clothes and other items into cubes, you can fit more into your suitcase or backpack, which is especially useful when travelling with kids.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING PACKING CUBES
I’ve bought quite a few packing cubes over the last few years, so I’ve got a good idea of what makes a good packing cube and the different types of packing cubes to make use of.
There are several different types of packing cubes, ranging from basic mesh top cubes to compression cubes, that can help you fit more stuff into your luggage. And, of course, they come in all manner of shapes and sizes.
No matter what type of packing cubes you choose, they can be a lifesaver for family holidays, making it easier to keep everyone’s clothes and accessories organised and accessible.
Here is a list of some of the main features to consider when looking for the perfect packing cubes for your family travels:
|Compression packing cubes||Designed to compress your clothing by releasing the air inside of the bag to constrict the items down to as flat as possible, allowing you to pack more in less space. They are great for bulky items like sweaters and jackets.|
|Cube packing cubes||Square or rectangular in shape and in various sizes. They are great for organising your clothes by type, such as T-shirts and tops, trousers and shorts, and dresses.|
|Mesh top packing cubes||Cubes with mesh tops that allow you to see what’s inside without opening them.|
|Clean/dirty packing cubes||Cubes with separate compartments for clean and dirty clothes. Particularly useful for kids and for camping trips. Also great for the beach.|
|Waterproof packing cube||These cubes are made of waterproof material, which can be helpful if you’re travelling to a destination with lots of rain or water activities.|
|Pouch packing cubes||Small and lightweight, and are perfect for organising small items like socks, underwear, and toiletries.|
|Hanging packing cubes||These packing cubes are designed to hang in a wardrobe or on a hook, making it easy to access your clothes without having to unpack them.|
BENEFITS OF USING PACKING CUBES
Clearly, I am a huge fan of packing cubes. To help you become equally fanatical, I thought I’d share some of the main benefits to using packing cubes for your family holiday:
- Organisation: Packing cubes help you organise your luggage by separating your clothes and other items into different compartments. This makes it easy to find what you need quickly and efficiently.
- Space-saving: Packing cubes maximise the space in your luggage. Packing cubes fit neatly into your suitcase, so you can pack more items without taking up too much space.
- Easy to pack and unpack: Packing cubes make it easy to pack and unpack your luggage. You can take out the cubes you need and leave the rest. When you arrive at your destination, you can easily unpack your cubes and put them straight in drawers or on shelves.
- Protect your clothes: Packing cubes help protect your clothes from wrinkles, stains, and other damage. The cubes keep your clothes neatly folded and separated so they don’t get crushed or tangled during transit.
- Privacy: Packing cubes provide a degree of privacy and discretion. You can keep your items hidden from view, and you don’t have to worry about stuff falling out of your luggage during airport security checks.
DRAWBACKS OF USING PACKING CUBES
While packing cubes have many benefits and, in my experience, they always make packing easier, there are a few potential drawbacks that it is worth me flagging:
- Added weight: Packing cubes add extra weight to your luggage, which can be a concern if you travel with a weight limit. You can get around this by buying super lightweight packing cubes.
- Cost: Packing cubes can be expensive, especially if you need to buy several sets for your family. Though there are some great budget buys out there, once you have a set, you will use them repeatedly.
- Not suitable for all items: Some items, such as bulky sweaters or shoes, may not fit well in packing cubes and may take up more space than necessary. Choosing the right packing cubes goes a long way towards removing this as an issue.
ARE PACKING CUBES WORTH IT
If you are wondering whether or not packing cubes are worth it for your family holiday, in my experience of using them on numerous family holidays, the answer is a resounding yes!
Packing cubes are a game-changer for organising and packing your family’s luggage. They make it easy to find what you need and help ensure your holiday is stress-free. I really don’t ever travel without using at least a couple of packing cubes.
WHY PACKING CUBES ARE USEFUL FOR FAMILY TRAVEL
Here are five ways in which packing cubes are useful for family travel:
- Using different packing cubes for each child: If you have more than one child, you know how important it is to separate their items. Using different packing cubes for each child, you can easily find their items without digging through a shared suitcase.
- Using packing cubes for carry-on: When flying with kids, it’s important to have all their essentials easily accessible. By using packing cubes in your carry-on bag, you can keep everything organised and within reach.
- Maximising luggage space: Packing cubes can help you make the most of your luggage space. You can fit more into your suitcase by compressing your clothes and other items into packing cubes.
- Keeping items clean: When travelling with kids, spills and messes are bound to happen. By using packing cubes, you can keep their clean clothes separate from their dirty ones and prevent any messes from spreading to other items in your luggage.
- Easier packing and unpacking: Packing cubes make packing and unpacking your luggage easy. By keeping items organised and separated, you can quickly find what you need without having to dig through a messy suitcase.
HOW TO USE PACKING CUBES FOR FAMILY TRAVEL
Using packing cubes in a suitcase is easy and can help you stay organised on your family travels. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your packing cubes:
- Choose the right size: Make sure you choose packing cubes that fit your suitcase and the items you want to pack. You can use larger cubes for bigger items like clothes and smaller cubes for toiletries and accessories.
- Roll or fold your clothes: Rolling can help save space while folding can help keep your clothes wrinkle-free.
- Organise by category: Assign a category for each packing cube to create a packing system that works for you. For example, use one cube for tops, one for bottoms, one for underwear, and one for accessories.
- Maximise space: Use the space in your packing cubes efficiently by filling them up to the top and using compression cubes to save even more space. You can also use packing cubes to fill in gaps in your suitcase and prevent items from shifting during travel.
- Label your cubes: Use labels or colour-coded cubes to help you quickly identify what’s inside each cube. This can save you time and hassle when you need to find something specific.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING PACKING CUBES
1. COMPRESSION VERSUS REGULAR PACKING CUBES
Compression packing cubes use a compression zipper to squeeze the air out of the cube and its contents to reduce them to the smallest size. Opt for compression cubes if you want to maximise the amount of clothes you can fit in your luggage.
Regular packing cubes are mainly for organising clothes and other things you pack efficiently. Even though they don’t compress, they help you maximise the space in your suitcase or bag.
2. THINK ABOUT THE TYPE OF LUGGAGE YOU USE
If you plan to check luggage into the hold when travelling by air, consider buying a set of five or six cubes to organise your suitcase well.
If you plan to use carry-on luggage, you might only need two or three packing cubes per carry-on suitcase.
Going camping? You should get just one or two compression or regular cubes to put in your backpack or travel bag.
3. SETS OF PACKING CUBES ARE GREAT VALUE
If you travel regularly or have many family members you travel with, it is worth looking for sets with multiple sizes and packing cubes. This is a cost-effective way to ensure you always have the right packing cubes to hand. You can mix and match for your needs each time you travel.
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, she has used her experience as a mum to create useful guides to organising family life. During that time, she has found the most joy in creating lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.