IF you haven't heard of the packing hack taking the travel world by storm, read on.
Whether you do a lot of business travel, go on big family holidays or just love getting organised, packing cubes can take the time and hassle out of packing up for your next trip.
What are packing cubes?
Packing cubes are different sized compartments that help you separate and organise your belongings in your suitcase or backpack.
They allow you to group your clothes in many different ways, whether you want to separate items for a stop-over to save time, or are travelling with a family and want to ensure everyone's items are separate and easy to find.
They also help to keep clothes crease-free by rolling clothes up or neatly folding them into different compartments. This also allows you to maximise the space and fit more in your suitcase.
Best packing cubes at a glance:
- Best designer packing cubes: Antler Chelsea 4 packing cubes
- Best compression cubes: Cipway Compression Packing Cubes
- Best value packing cubes: Meowoo 8Pcs Packing Cubes
- Best first buy: Go Travel Packing Cubes
- Best packing cubes for families: BAGAIL 6 Set Packing Cubes
- Best for backpacking: Eagle Creek Original Packing Cube Set
- Best for kids: LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes Luggage Organizers
1. Best designer packing cubes: Antler Chelsea 4 packing cubes in mineral
- Chelsea 4 packing cubes in mineral, £49 at Antler – buy here
They're a little on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for with these Chelsea packing cubes from designer luggage brand Antler.
These four cubes are great quality with strong compression zips so you can pack more in without worrying that the zip will break.
The set includes one large, one medium and two small cubes, each with a mesh window so you can see what's inside.
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You can separate your clothes and belongings with ease and lift them straight out when you arrive on your holiday. They come in a wide choice of colours, from taupe or blush to mineral and navy.
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2. Best compression packing cubes: Cipway Compression Packing Cubes
- Cipway Compression Packing Cubes Set, Ultralight Expandable Travel Packing Organizers for Carry on Luggage (Grey 6pcs), £30.59 at Amazon – buy here
These clever compression packing cubes are a great space saver as once you've packed each cube, you simply use the double zip to compress the cube and reduce the space in your suitcase.
Available in three colours, this six-piece set includes two large and two medium cubes plus a laundry bag and small pouch.
They're made from a water resistant, hardwearing nylon as well as double-stitching and a reinforced zipper so the seam won't split when the cubes are compressed.
3. Best value packing cubes: Meowoo 8Pcs Packing Cubes
- Meowoo 8pcs Packing Cubes, £14.07 at Amazon – buy here
This great value eight-piece packing cubes set includes five clothing cubes of varying sizes, as well as a shoe bag and two drawstring bags.
The cubes have mesh tops so you can easily see what's inside and to keep your belongings well ventilated – plus, each has a handle so they're easy to transport.
They're lightweight so won't add any extra baggage weight and they fold flat when not in use.
4. Osprey Ultralight packing cube set
- Osprey Ultralight packing cube set S/M/L, £24.50 at Osprey Europe – buy here
These Osprey packing cubes are well reviewed and popular. They're also currently on offer and only available in the Lunar Grey colour.
This set includes a small, medium and large cube that are made from a sturdy siliconised nylon material that will slip in and out of your case easily. Plus, they have a wide opening zip so you can pack plenty in, without putting too much pressure on the seam.
5. Best first buy: Go Travel Packing Cubes
- Go Travel Clothes / Garment Suitcase Packing Cubes, £13.99 at Amazon – buy here
If you're new to packing cubes and don't want to make a big investment, these well-priced cubes are a great start and you can always buy more.
This Go Travel three-piece set includes large, medium and small cubes – each with a mesh window so you can see what's inside at a glance.
The full-length zip is also super handy so you can pack and unpack the cubes with ease.
6. Best for families: BAGAIL 6 Set Packing Cubes
- BAGAIL 6 Set Packing Cubes, £28.80 at Amazon – buy here
These stylish packing cubes are available in a huge range of colours and designs, including striped, mosaic and strawberry prints, which little ones are sure to love.
With six cubes included (two large, two medium and two small), this versatile set is ideal for families; you can even choose a multicolour set so everyone can pick their favourite-coloured cube.
Plus, they're made from a lightweight, easy-to-clean nylon, each with a handle, sturdy stitching and pull-cord zippers.
7. The Insider Packing Cubes
- The Insider Packing Cubes (Set of 4) £45 at Away – buy here
If your luggage is always designer, these chic cubes from Away come in seven different colours and are designed to fit perfectly inside Away suitcases.
The set includes four cubes to compress and organise your things – each is made from a quality, water-resistant nylon to protect your clothes and with a mesh top so you easily see what's where.
There's also a six-piece set if you need more cubes.
8. Samsonite 4-in-1 Packing Cubes
- Samsonite 4-in-1 Packing Cubes, Graphite, One Size, £31.27 at Amazon – buy here
If you get packing cubes from an established luggage brand, you can expect good quality.
This Samsonite set includes one large and two medium cubes, plus a small travel pouch – and they can all be stored together in one travel bag.
Each has a strong zipper and mesh sides, ensuring your things stay fresh and that you can easily see what's packed in each one.
9. Herschel Travel Organizers
- Herschel Travel Organizers, £45 at Herschel – buy here
This three-cube set from Herschel comes in back, dye-wash black and ash rose.
As you'd expect from Herschel, these cubes are simple and stylish – each one is made from ripstop fabric with a mesh top and side carry-handle.
10. Best for backpacking: Eagle Creek Original Packing Cube Set
- Eagle Creek Original Packing Cube Set, £29.99 at the Gap Year Travel Store – buy here
Travel cubes can be just as handy for backpackers — if not more so — as it's often even trickier to burrow through your belongings in a large backpack to find what you're looking for.
This Eagle Creek set will help you get your backpack in order with a medium, small and XS cube, designed to save space by keeping your clothes as compact as possible.
It's recommended to roll your clothes to fit as much in each cube as possible. Each cube has mesh panels so you can see what's inside and grab handles so you can pull them out of your backpack with ease.
11. Mountain Warehouse Patterned Travel Organiser
- Patterned Travel Organiser – 3 Pack, £19.99 at Mountain Warehouse – buy here
These kitsch cubes from mountain warehouse are compact and lightweight, ensuring they won't add any extra weight to your baggage allowance.
The set includes 2 larger and one small cube and each has a mesh upper so you can easily see what's inside.
12. BillyBath Packing cubes Suitcase Organiser Set
- BillyBath Packing cubes Suitcase Organiser Set, £12.99 at Amazon – buy here
Another great value set that's ideal for a packing cube beginner, this eight-piece set includes three clothes pockets, a bra bag, a shoe bag, two bundle pockets and a flat pocket.
The cubes are lightweight and breathable with mesh uppers, handles and double zips. Plus, the large cubes have straps inside to keep everything in place.
They are made from a hardwearing nylon that's also waterproof so any toiletry spills will be isolated to that cube and not damage your clothes.
13. TropicfeelPacking Cube
- Packing Cube 5L, £39 at Tropicfeel – buy here
If you can't go anywhere without your Tropicfeel Nest backpack, you really need this matching packing cube in your life.
The 5L cube is ideal for towels, underwear and more – and compresses your belongings to give you extra space in your bag.
14. Best for kids: LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes Luggage Organizers
- LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes Luggage Organizers for Kids, £45.99 at Amazon – buy here
Packing cubes can be really handy for larger families and these six compression packing cubes are great for kids.
A fun way to get kids to pack their own belongings, they are sure to love the bright design and that they can each have a cube for their own stuff.
The set includes two large, two medium and two small cubes – each made from a durable nylon material and with a mesh window so you can see what's inside.
Each cube has a double zip so the contents can be compressed and save space in your suitcase.
Are packing cubes worth it?
This is really a personal choice but many who have tried them have claimed they can never go back!
There are many instances in which packing cubes could save you time and hassle when travelling.
If you travel frequently for work, for example, packing cubes can save you space so you can just take a carry-on suitcase.
Or if you share a suitcase with a family for holidays, packing cubes feel like a game-changer in terms of saving time when you arrive at your destination and don't want to spend ages locating everyone's things.
How to use packing cubes
There's a certain element of trial and error here to find the perfect balance. You don't want so many different cubes and compartments that it all becomes a lot of work.
We would recommend categorising your clothes either based on when you'll wear them on the trip or into types; for example swimwear and beachwear, underwear, tops etc.
Use an assortment of sizes to ensure you're making the best use of the space in your bag. Also, rolling clothes can keep them wrinkle-free and mean you can fit more in each cube.
Do packing cubes save space?
Absolutely. One of the main advantages of using packing cubes is to save space in your suitcase or backpack.
By using packing cubes, you'll pack your belongings more neatly and be more mindful of how things go in your bag.
The best space-saving packing cubes are compression cubes. Once you have filled these, there is an extra zip that allows you to flatten and compress your belongings further so it takes up less space in your luggage.
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Where to buy packing cubes
Amazon has a great range of packing cubes. You can find plenty of different sized sets for a great price.
Head to department stores such as John Lewis or Argos – plus, luggage brand's own sites as many designer luggage brands are now making packing cubes too.
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