The 8 Best Packing Cubes of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

We love the space-saving set of five Gonex Compression Packing Cubes.

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Packing Cubes Test

Travel + Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Packing cubes are hands down one the best travel hacks out there. Whether you’re a meticulous list-maker or planning procrastinator, investing in a set of packing cubes is a game changer for staying organized and saving space without having to put in too much effort. 

At Travel + Leisure, we take our travel hacks seriously so we put 23 sets of regular and compression packing cubes to the test in our New York City lab to find the best ones on the market. Our top pick is a set of five Gonex Compression Packing Cubes that thoroughly impressed us with the space saved thanks to the compression zippers on each cube. We understand that everyone has unique preferences so we also found picks for travelers embarking on long trips, outdoor adventurers, and minimalist packers looking for one single cube to do the trick. 

Here are the best 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: The cubes easily compress clothing down to save space in a suitcase. 

What to Consider: They repel some water but are not waterproof. 

We love the Gonex Compression Packing Cubes thanks to their impressive space-saving ability. During testing, we found these cubes to be monumentally helpful when it comes to consolidating and organizing clothing items between the four different-sized cubes. The sturdy zippers made it easy to compress the packed cubes down, leading us to believe that these cubes will last over time with the durable zippers and stitchwork. 

Although the nylon material isn’t waterproof, we splashed a little water on the outside and found that the material repels some water (but the clothing should remain dry with the extra protection of a suitcase, too). Our tester added, “these four bags are of superior quality than most others. After being totally stuffed, the zippers and seams showed no signs of wear or stress. The primary material appears resistant to tearing.” Plus, the handles on the top of each cube make it easy to grab the bags for packing and unpacking, and we love that the set includes an extra-large, large, medium, and small bag for variety.

Price at time of publish: $33

Number of bags included: 4 | 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 Value: Shacke 5 Set Packing Cubes

4.6
Shacke Packing Cube Set

Amazon

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

Why We Love It: The set includes four cubes and a laundry bag all for just $22. 

What to Consider: The mesh tops aren’t waterproof or resistant.

Whether you’re traveling with family or heading on a solo trip, these Shacke packing cubes are a steal of a deal. The set includes extra-large, large, medium, and small packing cubes, as well as a laundry bag for dirty clothes. Designed for up to 14 days of traveling, we found that the cubes lived up to their promise of providing plenty of space for a variety of types of clothing like pants, toiletries, shirts, and jackets. The cubes easily fit in the carry-on suitcase we used and with the various sizes, you can customize how many cubes you want to pack depending on the type of suitcase you have. 

While the cubes likely won’t prevent water from seeping through due to the mesh tops, you can easily see what you packed inside so you won’t have to unpack everything to find a piece of clothing. We felt like the bags were made with durable nylon material and zippers that will hold up well with prolonged use. And, for $22, you can’t beat that price for a set of five top-performing packing cubes, according to our tests. 

Price at time of publish: $22

Number of bags included: 5 | Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.75 x 4 inches (XL), 13.75 x 12.75 x 4 inches (L), 13.75 x 9.75 x 4 inches (M), 11 x 6.75 x 4 inches (S), 20.5 x 15.75 inches (laundry bag)

Shacke Packing Cube Set

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best for Long Trips: Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry and Shoe Bag

5
Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry and Shoe Bag

Amazon

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

Why We Love It: The set includes four packing cubes, a shoe bag, and a laundry bag. 

What to Consider: The material of the cubes feels a little thick which could add weight to a suitcase. 

If you’re traveling internationally or taking an extended vacation, consider picking up a set of these Velken packing cubes from Amazon. The four packing cubes are thoughtfully designed with a clear strip on the top so travelers can easily see what they packed, and there are small graphics printed onto each cube recommending what type of clothing item could be stored inside. This set also includes a shoe bag and a laundry bag so you can keep your items separated and organized. 

We think these nylon and polyester packing cubes are made to last with a thick fabric exterior and sturdy zippers and stitchwork. Although, we found the cubes to be slightly heavier than others we tested so keep that in mind if you’re an overpacker or striving to stay under the standard 50-pound limit for checked luggage. 

Price at time of publish: $29

Number of bags included: 6 | Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.15 x 4 (XL), 13.75 x 12.75 x 4 inches (L), 13.75 x 9.75 x 4 inches (M), 11 x 6.75 x 4 inches (S), 16.96 x 9.06 x 4.72 (shoe bag), 20 x 14 inches (laundry bag)

Veken Packing Cubes with Laundry and Shoe Bag

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 a compression packing cube that makes room for other items like shoes or a toiletry bag. 

What to Consider: The compression zipper could snag a bit.

For travelers looking for a simple hack to make room in a suitcase, a single compression packing cube is the best bet. This option from eBags will save you nearly 4 inches of height thanks to a compression zipper that condenses the clothing packed inside the cube. In testing, we were thoroughly impressed with the cube’s ability to fit five clothing items and a bulky winter jacket. 

We noticed that the zipper might snag a bit if the cube isn’t packed full so you might find it easier to zip if you pack the cube to its maximum capacity. Our tester said, “don't be shy, pack it in” to maximize space and zip it the smoothest. While most of the packing cubes we tested didn’t repel water, this one is made with a nylon material that proved to be water resistant after splashing a bit of water on it. This single packing cube is ideal for frequent fliers or travelers simply looking to save space without investing in a set of packing cubes.

Price at time of publish: $20

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

eBags Classic Medium Compression Cube

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best for Camping: REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set

5
REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set

REI

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

Why We Love It: The tent-like material is lightweight and has a rugged look.

What to Consider: The mesh top doesn’t feel as durable as we hoped.

Outdoor enthusiasts should consider REI Co-op’s lightweight packing cubes for upcoming camping trips. The set of two comes with large and medium packing cubes that remain at the standard 3-inch height or they can be expanded another 3 inches to double the capacity. In testing, the tent-like nylon proved to be water-resistant as advertised, however, the top of the cubes are made of a breathable mesh that doesn’t repel water and felt a little less sturdy than the nylon portion. Though the mesh top isn’t ideal for waterproofness, we like how easy it is to see what we packed through the little mesh holes. Plus, the lightweight materials are ideal for campers or backpackers looking to stay organized without sacrificing weight. 

Price at time of publish: $33

Number of bags included: 2 | Dimensions: 14.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches (L), 12 x 8 x 3 inches (M)

REI Coop Expandable Packing Cube Set

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Sustainable : Peak Design Packing Cubes Set

4.5
Peak Design Packing Cubes Set

Peak Design

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

Why We Love It: Peak Design uses 100 percent recycled materials to make the cubes.

What to Consider: The easy access zippers were finicky to use.

San Francisco-based Peak Design is known for its slew of sustainable outdoor gear made with carbon neutral and recycled materials, including their expandable packing cubes. We tried the small- and medium-sized cubes and found the cubes to be spacious, well-built, and resistant to water after splashing a bit on the exterior. We especially love that the cubes are made from 100 percent recycled nylon that is solution-dyed to prevent excessive water use following the brand’s carbon neutral footprint. Our tester raved about the packing cube, saying that “this cube felt very well thought out in its design and was created with high-quality materials that I believe will hold up over repeated use without breaking.” 

The cubes can compress down to a height of 3.1 inches, but we found that they function best as an expandable packing cube that can increase in size, rather than a compression cube that is designed to heavily consolidate clothes. Additionally, the cubes feature an “easy access” zipper so travelers can reach inside the bag without opening the whole thing, but we think this feature is unnecessary to use due to the zipper getting snagged. 

Price at time of publish: 30

Number of bags included: | Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.6 x 6.7 inches (M), 12.6 x 6.7 x 6.7 inches (S)

Peak Design Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Personalized: Paravel Packing Cube Quad

4.6
Paravel Packing Cube Quad

Paravel

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

Why We Love It: The cubes can be monogrammed with up to three letters for an additional $25. 

What to Consider: The set might be better for a checked bag rather than a carry-on.

If you’re looking for a gift for the traveler in your life, a set of personalized packing cubes from Paravel are a thoughtful idea. Although it costs an extra $25, you can get up to three letters embroidered onto the set of four packing cubes with 11 color options. The set comes with one large, one medium, and two small-sized packing cubes that can hold an impressive amount of clothing. Because of the large capacities of each bag, we think this set might be better suited for a checked bag rather than a carry-on since the large cube takes up most of the space of a carry-on. However, these cubes provide exceptional organization with room to pack bulkier items in the larger bags and toiletries or undergarments between the two smaller cubes. Plus, the recycled nylon material proved to be water resistant after we sprayed water on the cubes. Our tester said, “I think these cubes are useful for any type of traveler, especially those looking for water resistant cubes for checked bags that will be handled outside in different weather conditions.”

Price at time of publish: $65

Number of bags included: 4 | Dimensions: 18 x 3.75 x 12 inches (L), 12.75 x 3.75 x 10 inches (M), 8.2 x. 3.75 x 6.25 inches (S)

Paravel Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Style: Calpak Packing Cubes 5-piece Set

4.8
Calpak Packing Cubes 5-Piece Set

Calpak

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

Why We Love It: There are 14 designs to choose from including groovy blue, retro sunset, and cheetah prints. 

What to Consider: The set might be better suited for frequent fliers.

If you travel often and are looking to invest in a splurge-worthy set of packing cubes, you can’t go wrong with these ones from Calpak. We love the unique design options with 14 colors and patterns to choose from including classics like solid pink and gold marble, or limited-edition prints like a wavy retro sunset and groovy blue picks. The set includes one large, one medium, and two small cubes, as well as a water-resistant envelope for cosmetics. We found that all the bags were spacious enough to fit a variety of clothing options for organized and efficient packing. The polyester material feels well-made and built to last, and the zippers zipped without any issues which helps justify the higher price point for this set. And, if you’re traveling with your family, we think the set would be great for separating and organizing clothing for several travelers thanks to the removable identification tags where you can write what clothing went into each cube. 

Price at time of publish: $68

Number of bags included: 5 | Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 3 inches (L), 15 x 11 x 3 inches (M), 12 x 8.8 x 3 inches (S), 13 x 10 x 1.5 inches (Envelope)

Calpak Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Other Packing Cubes We Tested

There were several sets of packing cubes we highlighted below that almost made our list of best packing cubes, but they fell short during testing due some minor flaws we noticed. 

Well Traveled Compression Packing Cubes: This set of compression packing cubes is great for budget-friendly travelers but our top pick is also a compression set that had a better overall performance in testing. 

Lean Travel Premium Compression Packing Cubes: The set of three cubes is made with thick polyester that still feels lightweight, but besides that, there weren’t any standout features compared to our other top performers. 

Briggs & Riley Packing Cubes: These cubes were spacious and water-resistant, but for $59, we expected a higher performance to match the price for three standard packing cubes.

Our Testing Process

away the insider packing cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Our testing experts spent a day in our New York City lab evaluating 23 sets of both compression and regular packings cubes based on traits like capacity, design, quality, and value using a rating scale of one to five.

First, we unpackaged the sets of packing cubes and examined the quality of the bags by twisting and pulling them to check the stitchwork, and using the zippers to see if they snagged or glided smoothly. The cubes with the highest quality ratings left us confident that the materials and stitching are built to last and withstand use over time. After packing the cubes with a variety of clothing items like pants, jackets, undergarments, and shirts, we placed the cubes in a carry-on suitcase to see how well they fit in a piece of luggage. Our top contenders for capacity and design provided plenty of space for a range of clothing items with useful and thoughtful features that made packing easier and more organized.

Paravel packing cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

For compression-specific packing cubes, we paid close attention to how much space the packing cube saved once we zipped the compression zippers. And for all cubes, we splashed a bit of water on the exterior and felt the inside to see if any of the packed contents were damp or wet. Lastly, our testers were unaware of the price and only saw after testing was complete where they judged the value of each packing cube set. The sets with the highest values performed as advertised or better, and left our testers satisfied with the cost or willingness to pay even more for the cubes. 

yamiu packing cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Tips for Buying Packing Cubes

Compression Packing Cubes

Travel+Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Compression versus regular packing cubes

Compression packing cubes are designed to condense clothing by using the compression zipper to pack down the clothes in order to save space in a suitcase. Regular packing cubes are mainly for organizing clothes efficiently rather than consolidating clothing to make more room in a piece of luggage. Compression packing cubes can usually be expanded or compressed which gives travelers the best of both worlds.

Consider the type of luggage you use

For travelers who usually use checked luggage, consider purchasing a set with five or six cubes included so you can maximize space in each suitcase. And, if you’re a carry-on-only type of traveler, one or two packing cubes in small or medium sizes could be better suited for your needs, and you won’t have to worry about storing of a large set either. Backpackers or campers should consider getting just one or two compression or regular cubes that can fit in a backpack or weekender bag for lighter packing.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Should I roll or fold my clothes to save space?

    When it comes to saving space, experts say you can either fold or roll clothes, it ultimately doesn’t matter. The most important thing is maximizing your space and packing cubes are great for doing just that. Besides saving space, packing cubes can help you stay organized before and during your trip making them a must-have packing hack. 

  • How many packing cubes should I get?

    To choose the right amount of packing cubes in a set, consider several factors like how often you travel, what kind of suitcase you use, and how organized you prefer to be. Some travelers might like having a set that includes four packing cubes with laundry and shoe bags for variety while packing and others might prefer just one or two for a carry-on or weekender bag. 

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 packing cubes based on a series of tests completed by our testers in our New York City lab and she is currently participating in long-term testing a set of packing cubes included in this roundup. 

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