Hi Frugalistas! I’ll be the first to admit, I was always dubious about packing cubes. I saw them on websites, I saw them in luggage shops, but I always thought they were a bit of a gimmick. Another way to spend more money on travel accessories I didn’t need. Then I asked my blogger colleagues for their favorite packing tips. Travel blogger after travel blogger raved about packing cubes. I was curious, and decided I really needed to make up my own mind.
Choosing packing cubes
There are almost as many packing cubes out there as there are suitcases and backpacks. Compression packing cubes, packing cubes with rigid sides, packing cubes with soft sides. I ended up buying soft sided packing cubes, largely because they were on sale. I figured if I didn’t like them at least I wouldn’t have wasted much money.
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I chose bright orange deliberately because they clashed brilliantly with my plum coloured suitcase – I was never going to leave them behind by accident.
Next thing to consider when you choose your cubes is size. Make sure the size of the cubes you are buying will fit snuggly into your suitcase or backpack. If your suitcase/backpack brand also sells packing cubes, there’s a good chance they will fit – but still check your measurements. I bought three cubes that would fit together perfectly into my case – one large one and two small.
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Using your packing cubes
I packed my “big” items into the larger of my cubes. I was amazed as more and more of my clothes went into that single cube. In fact, I managed to get all my pants, skirts, tops and knits into one cube. My underwear, guidebook and other odds and ends went into one of the smaller cubes. I ended up not using my second smaller cube. With my toilet bag packed, there was no room, and I actually didn’t need my third cube. My normal packing list seemed to fit even more easily into my bag with my packing cubes. My second pair of shoes and my electrical cords packed around the bags.
I packed my suitcase with the bigger and heavier of my cubes so that it was at the bottom of the bag when my bag was standing up. While I love my suitcase, I’ve found that it does tend to tip over when I have a lot of gear in its front pockets. I was amazed that this problem disappeared when I used my packing cases.
What I think of packing cubes
I loved my packing cubes, and they are now a “must pack” for me. By measuring before I purchased, they fitted perfectly into my suitcase. I was amazed at how much clothing fitted into a single cube. I loved how wrinkle-free my clothes remained. Having my underwear in a single small cube made it easy to find and keep track of my smalls.
For Australian and New Zealand readers, I bought my packing cubes on special at Kathmandu (you can check out the Kathmandu range on this link.) Regardless of where you live I have thoroughly recommended packing cubes as part of your one carry on bag packing strategy. I’m sold!