You may be thinking it’s high time to head out on an exciting getaway. We can’t agree more! But before you pack your bags, make sure you pick up a few packing cubes. Take it from us: Organizing your suitcase or backpack is a whole lot easier when you enlist the help of packing cubes. "Packing cubes are space-savers and keep your items in place during travel," explains pro organizer Katherine Picott, founder of Tidy Milso and a member of The Spruce's Cleaning and Organizing Review Board. When used properly, these travel companions help you sort and separate your items and make the most of the space in your suitcase, backpack, or carry-on.
"Look for a packing cube with a good zipper," advises Picott. "A packing cube that has a reputable brand's name on the zipper is usually a good indicator that the zipper is of good quality." Picott suggests that packing cubes equipped with handles are the best. "While a handle may not be essential, it makes things a lot easier when you unpack your luggage," she explains. In fact, one of her favorite things to do is hang her packing cube filled with toiletries on the shower hook in the bathroom. "It keeps the counter clutter free, and you don't have to worry about your items getting wet."
Along with Picott's advice and a few dreams of our own vacation time, we've spent hours researching the best packing cubes available, assessing durability, versatility, and price. We interviewed experts to gain plenty of insight on what to look for when choosing the best packing cubes.
After evaluating a long list of available packing cubes, our favorite is from Briggs & Riley Packing Cubes, because they’re durable and moisture-proof, and they use a PVC lining to keep clothes totally wrinkle-free.
Here are the best packing cubes that'll help you stay organized and looking good, even when you’re far away.
Briggs & Riley Packing Cube Set
Double-sided and moisture-proof cube
Lacks sturdy structure
Durable, sleek, and game-changing are just some of the words we’d used to describe Briggs & Riley’s packing cubes. The polyester material ensures the cubes’ longevity, even during the most turbulent travel, and the PVC lining reduces the wrinkles your clothes may have when rolled or folded.
The mesh window makes clothes visible and increases breathability to keep them smelling fresh. Each set also contains one double-sided, moisture-proof cube, which is perfect for toiletries or damp items. If your cube starts to smell after a few trips, the Briggs & Riley sets can be thrown in the washing machine for a quick revival.
While the packing cubes lack some structure and won’t hold their rectangle shape if they aren’t packed to the max, that’s just more reason to tuck in another stunning outfit!
Price at time of publish: $59
Amount: 3 cubes | Dimensions: 3 x 8.5 x 6.5 inches; 3 x 13 x 8.5 inches; 4 x 13 x 8.5 inches; 3 x 17 x 13 inches | Weight: 8.8 ounces | Material: Polyester with PVC-lining | Color: Black | Waterproof: Not listed | Warranty: Lifetime guarantee
TravelWise Packing Cubes
Wrap-around zipper for quick packing and easy access
Stretch mesh top
Multiple sizes available
Cubes might not stand up to washing machine
TravelWise’s packing cubes would be perfect for multi-traveler households or solo heavy packers. Each set comes with five nylon cubes—one small, two medium, and two large—to help you organize everything from tiny toiletries to sizable sweaters.
Available in seven colors and three patterns, the cubes have a two-way, wrap-around zipper for quicker, easier access to your items. They also have a full mesh window so you can see what’s inside each cube without opening them. With these two features, you won’t even have to unpack when you reach your destination. Just place the cubes in your drawer, and unzip them when you need an item.
Though TravelWise’s cubes are made of durable fabric, former customers advise against washing them in a machine, as it may distress the fabric over time.
Price at time of publish: $33
Amount: 5 cubes | Dimensions: 11.8 x 6.9 x 3.1 inches, 13.8 x 9.8 x 3.3 inches, 18.11 x 12.6 x 3.7 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Material: Nylon | Color: Blue, black, lavender, lime green, pink, silver, teal, white dots, navy stripes, navy airplanes | Waterproof: Not listed | Warranty: Not listed
Monos Compressible Packing Cubes
Durable fabric to withstand wear and tear
Waterproof and antibacterial lining
Larger cube may be difficult to compress
While you might scoff at buying packing cubes that cost over $100, Monos Compressible Packing Cubes are worth every penny. To start, Monos’ packing cubes are made from premium nylon twill and TPU-reinforced (thermoplastic polyurethane) mesh, both of which can withstand wear and tear. But the exterior material isn’t the only fabric of note. The cubes’ interiors are made of rugged denier polyester, which furthers the cubes’ durability and provides water-resistant and antibacterial protection.
Each cube can be compressed up to 60 percent, freeing up more space in your suitcase. It’s worth noting, however, that the larger cube may be difficult to compress. But compressed or not, these cubes maintain their shape so you can avoid playing Tetris while you pack.
If a set of six cubes feels like too much, or if you want all the features at a lower cost, you can always opt for the smaller four-cube set.
Price at time of publish: $110
Amount: 6 | Dimensions: 4.5 x 16.9 x 12.2 inches; 4.5 x 13 x 9.8 inches; 4.5 x 13 x 7.1 inches; 4.5 x 10.2 x 8.3 inches; 4.5 x 9.8 x 4.3 inches; 4.5 x 7.1 x 4.3 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Nylon twill exterior and antimicrobial interior | Color: Gray, tan, black | Waterproof: No, water resistant | Warranty: One-year warranty covers product repair or replacement
Baggallini Compression Packing Cubes
Clear panel top for finding items without unpacking
Easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth
Come in two sizes
Cubes may not be large enough for bulky items
Compression packing cubes use a two-zipper system to eliminate the extra bulk, giving you even more space in your suitcase for last-minute additions or travel souvenirs. Baggallini’s Compression Packing Cubes include two medium and one large compression cube that’ll keep you organized once you’ve arrived at your travel destination, thanks to clear panel tops that make it super-easy to find essentials at a glance. In addition to optimizing space, the cubes are water resistant and include ventilated mesh to keep items fresh—no matter how long you’ve been on the road.
While this system is missing a larger cube option for bulkier items, all three cubes can easily fit into a carry-on without adding much weight.
Price at time of publish: $35
Amount: 3 | Dimensions: 9.5 x 13.75 x 2.5 inches | Weight: 9.92 ounces | Material: Polyester | Color: Black. eggplant, midnight blossom, blush | Waterproof: No | Warranty: One-year warranty covers manufacturer's defects
EZPacking Starter Set
Durable, yet flexible material
8 color options
Heavier than other clear packing cubes
The EZPacking Starter Set is a major upgrade from the transparent sets you see in drugstores, hence the higher price tag. Made of a flexible vinyl that stretches without losing its shape, these clear cubes are perfect for easy, organized packing. The durable material also keeps any spills contained, keeping your items safe from damage.
Though they may not look large, EZPacking promises that one four-piece set can hold a week-or-so's worth of clothing. Plus, the set is available in eight different colors, so you can buy a different color for each family member. Or better yet, depending on whether you’re a total fashionista, buy two different colors for yourself, and divvy up your outfits by color—say, evening attire in black, and sporty day clothes in red.
Price at time of publish: $57
Amount: 4 | Dimensions: 2.5 x 6 x 6 inches; 4 x 10.3 x 6 inches; 4 x 12 x 10.3 inches; 4 x 16 x 10.3 inches | Weight: 1.25 pounds | Material: Polyvinyl chloride | Color: Black, burgundy, gray, green, lilac, pink, rose, royal blue, turquoise blue | Waterproof: No, water resistant | Warranty: 30-day refund policy
Best for Carry-On
Away The Insider Packing Cubes
Can be stored flat when not in use
Easy to clean
Limited variety of size options
Although these packing cubes are designed around the Away Carry-On, any suitcase would benefit from the Insider Packing Cubes set.
Away’s cubes compress to give you extra room in your suitcase without compromising on the structure. The water-resistant nylon material provides your clothes with extra protection from potential spills and makes it easier to clean after each use. If that weren’t enough, the mesh panel makes it easy to see what’s in each cube. Available in eight classic colors, the Away packing cubes are built to last.
Price at time of publish: $45
Amount: 4 | Dimensions: 4.1 x 10 x 8.25 inches; 4.1 x 10 x 4.3 inches; 4.1 x 13 x 10 inches; 4.1 x 13 x 6.9 inches | Weight: 0.7 pounds | Material: Nylon | Color: Black, navy, blue-gray, green, gray, tan, pink | Waterproof: No, water resistant | Warranty: One-year warranty covers repairs or replacements
Best for Large Suitcase
OEE Luggage Packing Cubes
Cubes compress to maximize space
Set includes a variety of sizes
Interior buckle and double zippers
Planning a big trip? Then, you’ll definitely want to buy OEE’s Luggage Packing Cubes, which come in an eight-piece set. Get a load of this: You’ll get three clothing cubes, as well as designated storage for shoes, underwear, toiletries, makeup, and laundry! And although the packing cubes are a bit large, the clothing cubes won’t take up that much space, thanks to an interior buckle and exterior double zippers that compress everything.
While these nylon cubes may be less durable than other brands, you’ll get plenty of use from these packing cubes. If your travels don’t take you away long enough to require eight cubes, OEE also sells a six-piece set that doesn’t include the makeup or laundry cubes.
Price at time of publish: $21
Amount: 8 | Dimensions: 11 x 6 inches; 14 x 10 inches; 14 x 11 inches; 3 x 10 x 6 inches; 5 x 12 x 8 inches; 5 x 13 x 9 inches; 5 x 13 x 11 inches; 5 x 16 x 13 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Nylon | Color: Navy, beige, black, gray, light blue, pink, pink striped | Waterproof: Yes | Warranty: Not listed
Best for Backpacking
Eagle Creek Pack-It Isolate Cube XS
Made of durable, lightweight ripstop poly fabric
Uses technology to prevent odor from spreading
Compresses clothes to maximize storage space
Expensive for a small size
Made of ultra-lightweight ripstop polyester fabric, Pack-It’s Isolate Cube XS keeps your backpack organized without weighing you down. But don’t confuse lightweight for flimsy, as the fabric is durable enough to withstand the roughest travel. The cube also features a compression zipper to help you fit more clothes in your small pack.
What makes Pack-It’s cube perfect for backpacking—or really, any travel that has limited shower access—is the antimicrobial treatment. Each pack uses the latest wizardry to ward off and prevent any odor-causing bacteria from escaping the cube. Quality fabric and bacteria-attacking technology do come at a cost, though, but we think it’s worth it if you often find yourself navigating the great outdoors.
Price at time of publish: $16
Amount: 1 | Dimensions: 2.5 x 7.5 x 4.5 inches | Weight: 0.6 ounces | Material: Ripstop polyester | Color: Black, yellow, green, gray | Waterproof: No, water resistant | Warranty: Lifetime warranty covers defects, repairs, and replacements
Best for Camera
WANDRD Essential Camera Cube
Velcro-lined dividers allow for customized organization
Straps add extra security
Made by pro photographers
Hard to access once packed
Professional photographers created the Wandrd Essential Camera Cube, so it’s sure to meet your camera’s storing needs. Made of a weather-resistant robic nylon, rest assured that your camera equipment will be safe from all of the elements. As an added safety measure, each cube comes with three straps to hold your equipment in place while you hike or travel via bumpy bus. You’ll also receive five Velcro-lined foam dividers—two long and three short—that can be moved to suit your storage needs.
One thing to note is that it may be difficult to access your gear once the camera cube is tucked in your bag. The one-way zipper and lid hinge make it difficult to open the cube while it’s all packed up, requiring you to remove the whole thing every time.
Price at time of publish: $64
Amount: 1 | Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.5 x 4.5 inches | Weight: 12.75 ounces | Material: Robic nylon | Color: Black | Waterproof: No | Warranty: Lifetime warranty covers product defects and failures
Best for Shoes
Mossio Shoe Bag
Durable, waterproof material
Zipper pocket stores accessories
Not meant for large-sized shoes
If you’re interested in a way to organize your shoes and keep the grime from getting on clean clothes in a suitcase, take a look at Mossio’s Shoe Bag. The polyester organizer has three compartments: a front mesh bag for slippers or sandals; a middle compartment for sneakers or heels; and an interior mesh pocket for flat footwear. The cube’s compact size does come at a cost, however, as it can only store up to size 13 shoes.
In addition to room for three pairs of footwear, a zipper pocket on the back can hold socks, blister pads, and other shoe-related accessories. Built with space-saving in mind, it can easily fit into a carry-on suitcase.
Price at time of publish: $23
Amount: 1 | Dimensions: 11.81 x 8.66 x 5.51 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Polyester | Color: Light blue, beige, blue floral, dark blue, gray, light pink, pink leopard, pink striped, white cactus | Waterproof: No, water resistant | Warranty: Not listed
Best for Toiletries
L.L.Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Kit
Maintains kit’s shape and helps it stand on its own
Can be monogrammed
Not suited for multi-person storage
Unpacked toiletries can easily create clutter by the bathroom sink, but L.L.Bean’s countertop-style Personal Organizer Toiletry Kit keeps everything tidy. This pack’s structure and material are a big boost. The nylon packcloth is sturdy enough to maintain its shape and stand on its own. The fabric is also water resistant, so you won’t have to worry about splashing next to the sink.
The interior is just as impressive, with four mesh pockets, including one on the lid, to keep toiletries organized during travel, and a sturdy two-way zipper for easy access. This L.L. Bean option isn’t the largest toiletry kit on the market, which means it’s better suited for solo travelers. However, if you want to get one kit for each member of your family, you can personalize them with monograms.
Price at time of publish: $20
Amount: 1 | Dimensions: 5.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Nylon packcloth | Color: Black, bright blue, navy, or red | Waterproof: No, water resistant | Warranty: Full refund within a year; possible returns on defective items after one year
Best for Families
Shacke Pak Packing Cube Set
X-shaped reinforcement prevents squishing
May be too large for carry-ons
Keeping a family organized during a trip is difficult at best, but Shacke Pak’s Packing Cube Set make the task a little easier—and without breaking the bank. This budget-friendly pack comes with four cubes of various sizes and one laundry bag to store dirty clothes. The packs are available in nine colors, so each family member can have a unique set.
In addition to the affordability and color coding that make Shacke Pak’s cubes a must-have for families, the cubes’ mesh panels make it easy to see inside without unzipping. This feature is great for younger children who usually want to pull out everything to decide what to wear. The panel also features X-shaped reinforcement that helps the cubes maintain their structure during travel.
Price at time of publish: $22
Amount: 5 | Dimensions: 20.5 x15.75 inches; 4 x 6.75 x 11 inches; 4 x 9.75 x 13.75 inches; 4 x 12.75 x 13.75 inches; 4 x 12.75 x 17.5 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Nylon | Color: Black, black/blue, dark gray, teal, bright blue, green, purple, pink, red, cream | Waterproof: No, water resistant | Warranty: Lifetime if registered
For our best overall pick, we chose Briggs & Riley Packing Cube Set, which is made of a durable, polyester material that helps the cubes maintain their shape when traveling. The PVC lining also reduces wrinkles, so your clothes are ready to wear. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, TravelWise’s Packing Organization Cubes provide quality and quantity without forcing you to break the bank.
What to Look for in a Packing Cube
Amount and Size
Purchasing a whole packing cube set can be a smarter way to buy. Unless you’re backpacking, one packing cube won’t do much to minimize space and maximize organization. You may also want to opt for a set that offers a variety of sizes, as it can further your organizing efforts. Amanda Wiss, founder of organizing company Urban Clarity, tells The Spruce that she uses different-sized cubes to “separate my clothing into different categories that make sense to pack together.”
For example, you can use one cube for loungewear and another for that cute cocktail dress. You can also use the cubes to separate outfits by day. Keep in mind that the size of the cube will determine the type and number of items you can pack in it.
Wiss’s rule of thumb: Smaller rectangular cubes (5 x 14 inches) for underwear, socks, and bathing suits; medium cubes (10 x 14 inches) for pajamas, workout clothing, and shirts; larger cubes (14 x 17 inches) for jeans/pants, sweaters, stacks of shirts, or that cable knit sweater for cold nights.
A packing cube’s durability is directly related to the material, but it shouldn’t add too much extra weight to your suitcase. Wiss says her favorite cubes are made of nylon, as they are durable and water resistant, and maintain their structure in transit. As an added bonus, look for a cube made from reinforced ripstop nylon for extra protection. If you’re on a tight budget, opt for a less-expensive polyester packing cube, but know that it might not last as long. Travel expert and author Anne McAlpin, who runs her website, Pack It Up: The Art of Organized Travel, advises against using cubes made of cotton, as they tend to wear down and absorb smells easily.
As we all know that accidents happen, especially while traveling. Whether it’s your neighbor’s bulging suitcase or a faulty airplane conveyor belt, plenty of things on your trip can cause damage to even the most durable packing cube. Consider brands that provide a lifetime replacement or repair warranty or accept returns within the first 100 days of purchasing.
Packing cubes come in many colors and even printed designs, making it easy to find one that suits your style. Wiss says options can be helpful for big families or multi-person homes; each person can get their own color cube to stay totally organized.
A mesh fabric lid can be a plus if you're traveling to a humid region. It also allows you to see what’s inside your cube without unpacking the whole thing. Selecting a packing cube that uses water-resistant fabric can also be handy for storing items, like a damp bikini and wet flip flops. You’ll also want one with antimicrobial properties, so you can keep clothes smelling fresh.
Do packing cubes save space?
The main purpose of using packing cubes is to keep your suitcase organized. If used correctly, they can also free up space. “If you use compression packing cubes, they’ll definitely save space as they compress the air out and can provide up to two times more space, depending on what you’re packing,” says McAlpin. Packing cubes won’t, however, minimize the weight of your luggage and in some cases may make your suitcase even heavier. If flying, weigh your luggage before heading to the airport.
How should you pack packing cubes?
There are a few steps to properly packing your cube. First, you have to determine which items can fit in which cubes. McAlpin says a good rule of thumb is to put items in cubes based on size. Small items, like underwear and socks, should go in the smaller cube, while larger items, such as jeans and sweaters, should go in the larger cube. Next, take care to properly fold your clothes or roll them to maximize your packing and minimize the chance of wrinkles. This process may take some trial and error, but eventually you will have a system that works for you.
How do you clean packing cubes?
Though some packing cubes can be put in the washing machine, both McAlpin and Wiss tell The Spruce that the best way to clean a packing cube is to shake out any debris, hand-wash, and then air-dry.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Leah Rocketto, a lifestyle writer and editor for The Spruce. Her articles have appeared on sites such as INSIDER, Romper, Bustle, WomansDay.com, and POPSUGAR.
To select the best picks, Leah sorted through dozens of reviews and consulted experts Amanda Wiss, Anne McAlpin, and Katherine Picott. As the founder of Urban Clarity, an organizing and moving-management company, Wiss is a master of purposeful packing and helps others do the same through her company. McAlpin is a travel writer and has learned how to pack efficiently over the years. She shares those tips and more on her website, Pack It Up. Picott is the founder of Tidy Milso and member of The Spruce's Cleaning and Organizing Review Board.