Packing Cubes: space saver or hassle?

One of my favorite things about traveling is packing.

Is that weird or are you with me??? There’s something really exciting about planning out what you’ll wear and do while you dream of the impending bliss of your next trip. I enjoy fantasizing about the fun I’ll have on travels. I spend time making lists (fyi I love lists) of things I will bring with me, not only because it’s enjoyable, but because the packing list becomes the checklist I use to repack when returning home. I love packing so much I even wrote a list of what to pack for two weeks in Europe during the winter, all in a carry-on.

My bags are usually packed the night before any trip I go on because I want to take time in the morning or during the day to relax and enjoy my day of travel, without the panic of wondering if I forgot to pack my tooth brush. I feel so savvy when I plan ahead!

So, wanting to stay on the saavy train, I thought the next step would be to buy some packing cubes. Packing cubes are cube-shaped fabric bags that are meant to help make packing easier by separating and compressing clothes and other items together. I bought this pack of three from Eagle Creek. I’ve been a long time Eagle Creek customer and what I like about Eagle Creek’s packing cubes is their lightness and durability.

Here’s what I could fit into each cube:

Largest cube: five long-sleeved shirts

Middle:  a workout outfit and pajamas

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Smallest: five underwear bottoms, two pairs of of socks

Then I ran into a small snag. I still had several more items of clothing to pack, so only half of my stuff was in a packing cube which made the packing cubes seem kind of useless. So I took the shirts out of the largest one and just brought the two smaller cubes on my trip. I did pack the largest one by rolling it up and stuffing it into a compartment of my carry on.

So did the packing cubes make things easier or did it seem to overcomplicate my packing?

I liked having my pajamas and work out gear separate from my other clothes. They were much easier to spot and once I wore my gear I could put them in a  cube that was separate from my other fresh clothes. I ended up pulling the large-sized cube out to use as a dirty clothes bag. The cube really held it’s shape, even after I recklessly stuffed more clothes than I would recommend inside.

 

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Basically, if you’re traveling with a bag lacking in compartments, packing cubes might be a great solution to organization. However, if you have a bag that has a few compartments, like a bottom part to keep shoes and clothes separate from fresh garments or small pockets to store your undies, it can be kind of a hassle.

I fall somewhere in between. I often travel with this bag that has a great under compartment (and it’s on sale through Memorial Day weekend!), so large packing cubes seem unnecessary. Also, I like to see my clothes in my bag rather than taking clothes out of the cube and repacking them. But I did really like the small packing cubes and plan to use them again. They are almost like specialized toiletry bags.

Hope you found this helpful and let me know your thoughts on packing cubes!

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