The 4 Best Compression Packing Cubes of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

We love the sturdy Gonex Compression Packing Cubes set.

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Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Filling a suitcase can be a tedious task but compression packing cubes are an extremely useful travel hack to stay organized and maximize space. While traditional packing cubes are great for keeping items sorted, compression cubes can save even more precious room in a carry-on or checked bag.

We tested a variety of packing cubes to find the best compressible, highly durable options to consolidate clothing in an organized, efficient way, and make traveling easier. Our top pick is the Gonex Compression Packing Cubes set with sturdy zippers and water-resistant nylon. We loved that the cube could be packed full and it was still easy to press the air out and zip the cube down to constrict the items with minimal effort. And if you’re not in search of a three- or four-piece cube set, we found an excellent singular cube as well as lightweight options, too.

Here are the best compression packing cubes, according to our tests:

Best Overall: Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

5
Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Capacity
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5

Why We Love It: Both the zippers and nylon material feel sturdy when the bag is packed full and compressed.

What to Consider: The bags weren’t as waterproof as we had hoped.

We love the simple and functional design of our top pick, the Gonex Compression Packing Cubes. These no-frills packing cubes thoroughly impressed us during testing thanks to their extremely tough zippers that easily closed around the packed items. All you have to do is fill the cubes with clothes, close the top zipper, and then squeeze out the air, and compress the bag with the center zipper that wraps around the sides. It didn’t require much effort to quickly close the compression zippers which prevented air from getting back into the bag. The seams remained perfectly stitched and didn’t show any signs of expansion or stress even after we packed it to the brim.

While we would consider the nylon material more water-resistant than waterproof after we splashed the bag with a little bit of water, we still think they would protect clothes from condensation or dampness, especially if they’re also packed away in a suitcase. The four-pack compression bags come in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes so you can compress a variety of clothing from pants to jackets. We love that the bags have handles on the top making it easier to grab the bags whether they’re in a suitcase or a backpack.

Price at time of publish: $33

Number of bags included: 4 | Compressed dimensions: 17.3 x 13 x 3.54 inches (XL), 14.5 x 10.6 x 3.54 inches (L), 11.8 x 8.9 x 3.54 inches (M), 9.8 x 7.5 x 3.54 inches (S)

Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Single Cube: eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube

4.8
eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube

eBags

Our Ratings
  • Capacity
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Quality
    4/5
  • Value
    5/5

Why We Love It: It’s perfect for travelers looking to compress bulky clothing and still have room in a suitcase for shoes or a toiletry bag.

What to Consider: The compression zipper might snag if the bag isn’t full.

Sometimes all you need is one packing cube to organize your suitcase more efficiently and leave enough space for items like shoes or accessories. This single eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube is the perfect option for travelers looking to pack a larger jacket or several pair of jeans without taking up too much space. In testing, the cube appeared to be well-made with self-healing zippers and water-resistant nylon. We were able to pack up to five pieces of clothing and a mid-weight winter jacket into the cube and it easily compressed down thanks to the sturdy stitchwork and easy-to-pull corded compression zipper in the middle of the bag. We found that it was easier to close the compression zipper when the bag was fully packed, otherwise the zipper might snag a bit. Our tester said, “don't be shy, pack it in” to get the compression zipper to close in the smoothest way.

Price at time of publish: $20

Number of bags included: 1 | Compressed dimensions: 14 x 10 x 1.5 inches

eBags Classic Medium Compression Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Value: Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes

4.6
Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes

Well Traveled 

Our Ratings
  • Capacity
    5/5
  • Design
    4/5
  • Quality
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5

Why We Love It: The set includes three compression bags and a sack for laundry or shoes.

What to Consider: The bags aren’t water resistant.

For travelers in search of a budget-friendly pack of travel cubes, the Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes set comes with three different sized compression cubes and a bag for shoes or dirty laundry all for just $26. The set also includes labeling cards for travelers to write the contents of each cube and then place the card into the slot on the back. We think the value is unmatched given the amount of bags in the set combined with their sturdy structure and superb compression ability. We used the cubes to pack an entire suitcase including shoes, pants, tops, undergarments, and toiletries across the varying cube sizes. After splashing some water on the exterior twill fabric, we discovered that the material isn’t water-resistant but it does feel well-made with strong stitchwork. Plus, the cubes are outfitted with metal zippers that glide smoothly to compress the bags, even when they’re packed full of clothes.

Price at time of publish: $26

Number of bags included: 4 | Compressed dimensions: 7 x 5.5 x 1 inches (S), 11.5 x 8 x 1 inches (M), 14 x 10 x 1 inches (L), 18 x 11 inches (laundry/shoe bag)

Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Lightweight: LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes for Travel, Set of 3

4.3
Compression Packing Cubes

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Capacity
    5/5
  • Design
    4/5
  • Quality
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5

Why We Love It: The total weight of all three cubes is just over 1 pound.

What to Consider: The cubes are made of polyester which is generally less durable than nylon.

If you’re looking for packing cubes to stay organized but not to add more weight to an already packed suitcase, consider the lightweight polyester Lean Travel Premium Compression Packing Cubes. Although polyester is a little less durable than nylon (typically used for packing cubes), the material has more give making it easier to squeeze a few more clothing items into the cubes. We had no issues with zippers getting snagged or stuck and the fabric feels thick enough that, if there was a spill in a suitcase, it could soak it up before reaching the clothes packed inside.

This set comes with two large and one medium-sized cube so you can easily pack clothes like jackets or jeans. While it depends on the size of your suitcase, we found that it might be easier to only pack one or two cubes in a suitcase at a time, due to the fact that the large cubes are incredibly spacious on the inside and can fit plenty of clothes, but take up a good amount of space once full. However, if you’re looking for more sizes, the brand also carries a 6-piece set that has small, medium, and large sizes, but we think the 3-piece is the perfect number so you don’t have too many bags to manage.

Price at time of publish: $43

Number of bags included: 3 | Compressed dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 1 inches (L), 11 x 11 x 1 inches (M)

Lean Travel Premium Compression Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Other Compression Packing Cubes We Tested

While we tried several sets of compression packing cubes, the two highlighted below almost made our list for the best compression packing cubes but they fell short due to a few flaws during testing.

Bagail Compression Packing Cubes: The material felt soft and the bags boasted spacious capacities, but the quality was questionable due to flimsy zippers and stressed stitchwork when the bag was packed.

Tripped Compression Packing Cubes for Travel: The set of cubes have water-resistant exteriors and solid storage capacities, but the $50 price seems a bit too high considering the zippers and stitching felt weak.

Our Testing Process

Compression Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

We tested 23 sets of packing cubes in our New York City lab and found there were several sets of compression-specific packing cubes that had stellar performances during our tests where we rated the cubes on a scale of one to five based on capacity, design, and quality.

After unboxing the packing cubes, we thoroughly examined the quality of each bag by twisting and pulling on the cubes with it zipped and open to see how the material and stitchwork held up with some pressure. The cubes scoring highest for quality appeared to be made with durable materials and stitching, and had smooth and tough zippers. Then, we packed the cubes full of clothes, undergarments, shoes, and toiletries to judge the capacity of the varying-sized cubes. It was during this test that we evaluated the consolidation ability of the compression cubes by pressing the air out of each bag and closing the compression zipper before we placed the cubes into a standard carry-on suitcase. Our favorite compression cubes for capacity were able to fit a solid amount of items and zipped down easily.

Compression Packing Cubes Test

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

All of our top-performing compression cubes had sleek designs that helped our testers pack in an organized and efficient way, and saved a noticeable amount of space in the carry-on with room leftover for other items, if desired. We splashed water on the outside of each cube to see how protective the material was, since many of the brands we tested claimed the bags were waterproof or water-resistant. Lastly, our testers were unaware of the cost of each set of compression packing cubes and were only made aware of the price after testing was completed to judge the value based on its performance.

Tips for Buying Compression Packing Cubes

Consider how many you want

There are plenty of packing cube sets ranging from one to six (or more!) cubes included. For travelers looking to fill a carry-on or checked bag with cubes, we recommend getting a set with multiple bags in varying sizes to get the best value. If you’re planning to pack a bulky jacket or boots, a single compression cube could do the trick without having to buy a whole set.

Look for high-quality materials

Most of the compression cubes we tested were made of nylon which is known for being an ultra-durable material for soft goods like sports bags and suitcases. Polyester is lighter in weight than nylon but it’s a little less durable than nylon.

Check the dimensions

Before you purchase a set of compression packing cubes or a single one, double-check the dimensions of each bag to ensure that they will fit in your preferred suitcase. Some large or extra-large packing cubes could work great in a checked bag but they might take up a lot of room in a carry-on or not fit in a duffel bag at all.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should I clean packing cubes?

    Depending on the type of packing cube, some are machine-washable. If it’s not listed in the product description before or after you purchase it, you can always spot clean the fabric with soap and water, and then let it air dry before using the cube or storing it for your next trip.

  • What is the difference between packing cubes and compression packing cubes?

    Both regular and compression packing cubes are designed to organize the items you need to pack in a suitcase, but compression packing cubes are designed to release the air inside of the bag to consolidate the items down to a flattened packing cube. Compression cubes are best suited for travelers looking to save space in a suitcase, especially for packing jackets, jeans, or other larger items that take up a lot of space.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Anna Popp is a Commerce Writer at Travel + Leisure, where she writes and reviews travel products. She has been travel writing since 2018 and product testing since 2021. Anna worked with travel editors to determine the results for the best compression packing cubes based on a series of tests completed by our testers in our New York City lab.

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