A few weeks ago a friend and I were talking about her upcoming business travel. “You always talk about packing cubes!” she said. “What’s the deal? Are they really that awesome?” And thirty minutes later when I was still espousing the wonders of packing cubes she may have been sorry she asked…..
Here are the questions I am most frequently asked about packing cubes. Do you have a question I missed? Leave it in the comments and I’ll add it!
How do they work? Do they really keep things organized? They work by compressing the air out of a stack of clothes. I can fit a whole week’s worth of clothes into one cube (pictured, right). Sometimes I need to travel with a giant polyester tablecloth that, when not in a cube, takes up literally half of my suitcase. It fits perfectly into a half-sized packing cube, and will then even fit into my purse. The cubes do definitely keep things separated, and if that helps you be organized on a trip then great–that’s just the secondary function to me for work trips. For personal trips, I will often put my baby girl’s clothes in one cube and baby boy’s in another, then drop both cubes into a suitcase.
Do your clothes wrinkle? Most of the clothes I bring are wrinkle-resistant, so no. Occasionally something will have a few wrinkles so I will hang it up the night before I’m supposed to wear it. Rarely does anything get really wrinkled, but on those occasions I hang up my outfit in the bathroom while I shower to steam out the wrinkles. I avoid using hotel irons at all costs–I’ve had too many mishaps!
Do they last? I have had my Eagle Creek packing cubes for almost ten years and have used them on hundreds of trips. One of the cubes has a small tear in the front but is still fully functional. I think I spent $30 back then, and have made that back over and over every time I don’t have to pay to check a bag!
Are there alternatives? Definitely! Travel Fashion Girl uses gallon Ziploc bags. Plenty of suitcases come with compression straps, which have a similar purpose. My preference is still the packing cubes, as they are high quality, long lasting, and don’t have to stay with any particular suitcase.
I love, love, love my packing cubes and recommend them to everyone! They are a key component to my carry-on strategy.
Readers, do you use packing cubes? Do you have a favorite brand?
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