We Tested 12 Compression Packing Cubes — These Are the Ones That Can Fit the Most
I first became aware of compression bags when I was preparing to spend a semester abroad in London a few years ago. The thought of packing six months worth of clothes inside two suitcases seemed downright impossible until my mother came home with Ziploc Space Bags (amazon.com, $8). These handy bags removed all excess air and left my clothes totally compressed and easier to pack.
Related: You Can Finally Organize Your Suitcase Like a Pro With These Packing Cubes
They worked perfectly for my flight over, allowing me to pack most of my wardrobe, and came in handy when I packed for weekend getaways. But after a while, the cheap bags stopped holding the vacuum seal as tightly as they used to. Thankfully, compression travel bags have come a long way since then.
Brands are now producing innovative packing cubes that not only help keep your belongings organized, but they also feature airtight compression, allowing you to save space and fit more in your suitcase. These cubes are more durable than plastic compression bags of the past, and they also come in various shapes and sizes, making them super easy to stack in your luggage.
Just remember that even though these compression cubes help you fit more items in your suitcase, it doesn’t affect the weight of your belongings. So you should always make sure to weigh your bag with a luggage scale to avoid paying for overweight bags at check-in.
To help you find the best options for your next trip, we’ve tested out multiple compression packing cubes. From six-piece sets to roomy expandable cubes and super compact options, these compression packing cubes will help you pack like a pro.
Best Lightweight Cubes: Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cube (Set of Two)
Eagle Creek has been making traveler-loved packing organizers for more than 20 years, and the Specter line is one of the brand's newest innovations. The zippers unzip three-quarters of the way around the cube, which makes it easy for you to load in a lot, and then, a second set of zippers compresses the cube's size by up to 50 percent if you packed it with flexible materials. I'm usually able to fit a full week's worth of warm-weather clothing — mostly dresses — into this medium-sized packing cube, and the smaller one is perfect for stowing for socks and undergarments.
Also, the material they're made of is incredibly lightweight and it's water-repellent, too, so your clothes won't get ruined if your toiletry bag happens to spring a leak.
To buy: ebags.com, $40
Best for Backpacking: Suited Nomad Compression Packing Cubes (Set of Three)
Backpacking through Europe and need to fit all your stuff in one rucksack? Be sure to use these compact compression cubes from Suited Nomad when packing. Each set comes with three packing cubes in varying sizes. They're made from a water-resistant, ripstop material that won’t snag or tear during your travels. The cubes also have convenient top handles to make it easier to pull them in and out of your pack.
The double-zipper compression system makes them super compact and small enough to fit inside a backpack while still being roomy enough to pack all the essentials. While testing out the set, I was able to fit all three fully packed cubes into my L.L.Bean backpack (llbean.com, $50) and still had enough room to pack other items like shoes and travel accessories.
To buy: amazon.com, $26
Best for Long-haul Trips: eBags Large Compression Cube
If you’re traveling abroad for more than a week at a time, invest in one or two of these oversized compression cubes. The spacious packing cube has a hidden zipper that allows for a 1.5-inch expansion and compression. It is made with self-healing zippers so you never have to worry about them coming off the tracks.
The cube’s roomy size was big enough for me to pack a week’s worth of lightweight clothes like jeans, thinly knit sweaters, and dresses. When I tried packing heavier items, I was able to fit in two sweatshirts, a chunky sweater, and a jacket. The best part? It’s made from an incredibly lightweight material, so it will barely any extra weight to your bags.
To buy: ebags.com, $25
Best for Traveling Couples or Families: Lean Travel Compression Packing Cubes
If you are packing for more than one person, invest in this sleek six-piece set by Lean Travel. Each set comes with two large, two medium, and two small compression packing cubes. I found the small cubes were perfect for lightweight items like undergarments and cotton t-shirts. The medium-sized cubes fit my sweaters and jeans nicely, and the large cubes allowed me to pack jackets and heavy sweatshirts with ease.
Each cube features a mesh panel for added breathability and visibility so you can see the contents of the cube, which comes in handy when you’re unpacking. The cubes are designed with an added zipper that extends the size of the cube. Once you’ve placed the items you want to pack inside, simply re-zip the double zipper and it will compress the cube from four inches down to one inch. The zippers are made with anti-catch technology so you don’t have to worry about snagging or ripping.
To buy: amazon.com, $43
Best for Camping: Gonex Compression Packing Cubes
Looking for a way to pack extra items for a camping trip? Check out these compression packing cubes from Gonex. Each set comes with four different-sized compression cubes that look small but actually hold a lot. In the smallest cube, I was able to fit a week’s worth of undergarments as well as four lightweight T-shirts. The medium-size cube housed seven different tops ranging from chunky sweaters to lighter knits, while the large cube held three pairs of jeans and two pairs of sweatpants, and the extra-large size compressed two heavy jackets.
Similar to other cubes on this list, the packing cubes are compressed with a second zipper, which shrinks down the size of the cube when zipped. What’s more, each cube comes with a convenient handle so you can easily carry the cubes from one tent to another or carry your essentials to the campsite’s showers and restrooms. They are also made with a water-resistant material so your clothing will be protected from the elements.
To buy: amazon.com, $26
Best All-in-one Option: RuMe Bags Large Compressible Cube
Travel brand RuMe Bags may be best known for its best-selling Garment Travel Organizer, but we think its compressible cubes should get just as much attention. These useful accessories make saving space super easy. Just fill them up with whatever items you want packed, clamp the clips, and then pull down on the adjustable straps to compress the cubes into a more compact size.
The cubes come in two sizes. I tested the larger size, which fit perfectly inside my carry-on suitcase, and I’ve read that the smaller option (ebags.com, $19) is great for backpacks and overnight bags. The best part? Unlike other packing cubes that are mostly boring solid colors, RuMe’s options come in cute prints you’ll actually want to show off.
To buy: amazon.com, $19