The ultimate guide to packing cubes

Packing cubes have gained widespread popularity, as a way of organising and fitting more in your suitcases.

This guide will give you a complete overview to these suitcase organizer cubes: how to use them, the types of packing cubes available and some high-quality packing cubes to buy.

In a hurry? Fortunately, there is a wide range of great quality packing cubes on Amazon Prime. We’ve scoured the options to find the best packing cubes available for next day delivery and listed them alongside our other top recommendations — so your last-minute packing can get organized!


What are packing cubes for suitcases?

Packing cubes refer to a set of internal dividers that you can neatly organize your garments into before packing them in your main bag.

Many large suitcases or rucksacks have a main compartment with no little or no internal division. Packing cubes help to provide structure to this space, and ensure that you can easily find all of your belongings.

When used correctly, some packing cubes — like compression cubes — can also help you fit more in your bags.


How to use packing cubes for suitcases

away the insider packing cube set and clothes
  • How many cubes?
  • How to use them?
  • Top packing cube tips

How many packing cubes do I need?

Depending on the size of your luggage, you will need a variety of sizes of packing cubes:

  • For carry on luggage you will require 2 large cubes, or 3-4 cubes if you are using a set comprising multiple sizes
  • For larger checked luggage you will need 4-6 cubes

How to use compression cubes?

Compression clothes work by using a double zip system:

  1. Expand the compression cube fully
  2. Pack your clothes in the cube until it is full
  3. Zip the packing cube closed with the first zipper
  4. Compress the cube to roughly half its original size by sitting / standing on it
  5. Zip the second compression zip closed to maintain the small size
peak design best compression packing cube set — how to pack a packing cube

This great gif by our preferred compression cubes — Peak Design‘s — details the process:


3 packing cube tips

Use compression cubes for underwear and dirty clothes

While these cubes are brilliant for saving space, some people prefer organiser cubes rather than compression cubes for their luggage, due to clothing creases.

However, taking at least one compression cube — and maybe a spare — can be a great option:

  • You can use it to pack garments that you don’t need to worry about creasing — such as underwear or cotton t-shirts.
  • At the end of your trip use it to compactly store your dirty clothes, freeing up room for souvenirs

Section your luggage with colour

Travel cubes for suitcases come in multiple shapes, sizes, and colours. Dividing by colours is a great way of quickly partitioning your luggage — like these stylish cubes from Rimowa.

rimowa packing cube set of three
  • Casual clothes in one section
  • Beach clothes in another
  • Then smart clothes etc

This can also be achieved by buying packing cubes with see-through mesh tops — like our best buy from Away — so that you can easily identify everything you’ve packed!

Maximise your packing techniques

Just because you’re using packing cubes doesn’t mean you should neglect the basics.

Combine cubes with other packing techniques like rolling clothes for maximising organisation and space.

Here’s a great video displaying how to pack your clothes compactly!


3 types of packing cubes

There are multiple types of packing cubes to cater for a variety of situations. These range from backpackers: to professionals on short work trips, and holidaymakers with large checked suitcases.

Here is an overview of 3 common categories of packing cube, and our top picks in each category.

We’ve included at least one Amazon Prime packing cube option in each section for the last-minute packing crew!


1. Lightweight packing cubes

Key features of lightweight packing cubes:

  • Waterproof
  • Brightly coloured
  • Ultra-lightweight

Often associated with camping and hiking, lightweight packing cubes are a great way of organising rucksacks and are popular with backpackers.

For this reason, they are commonly made from lightweight and waterproof material like nylon, to keep your belongings dry in all weathers. Tear-resistant fabric keeps them rugged despite their flimsy appearance!

Less about stylish looks and more about ease of use, lightweight or outdoor packing cubes are frequently brightly coloured or glow-in-the-dark so that you can separate and find gear easily. As an example, they are great for packing all your wet clothes in one brightly coloured section, warm gear in another, and undergarments in a third.

The Best lightweight packing cube

Osprey Ultralight

This set of packing cubes from outdoor manufacturer Osprey are our top pick.

Super tough nylon ensures they will last — at 40D it’s a great improvement over some of the cheaper cubes that are a much lighter denier — but these packing cubes are also very lightweight. The entire set of three weighs 65 grams, and easily squash into backpacks.


  • Amazon prime ready
  • Grab handles and Neon colours for ease of finding
  • Waterproof and ultralight


2. Compression cubes for luggage

Key features of compression packing cubes

  • Sturdy
  • Expandable
  • Double-zip closing

Compression packing cubes — sometimes called space-saving packing cubes — are a type of packing cube that doesn’t just organise but compresses your belongings to take up less space.

The idea behind them is not just to organise your luggage neatly, but to be able to fit more in, achieving a similar effect to common space-saving packing techniques like rolling clothes.

Compression clothes work by using a double zipper system. There is a primary zipper to close the cube at its expanded state, and a secondary zipper to seal the cube closed once it has been compressed. This double zipper system and sturdy material required to hold compressed clothes mean that typically compression cubes weigh more than other types of cubes.

Compression packing cubes are often the best packing cubes for carry on luggage, where space is at a premium.

Best compression packing cubes

Both tough, high-quality compression cubes, these two brands have highly-reviewed sturdy compression cubes that will stand up to the most rigorous clothes stuffing!

  • LeanTravel
  • Peak Design

LeanTravel Packing cube

This set of compression packing cubes from LeanTravel are our top pick and Amazon Prime ready.

These compression cubes are great, and by using high quality fabric and tough zippers, you can really squeeze these LeanTravel cubes down — hence they actually outperform other compression cubes significantly.

These squash from 4 inches down to 1 inches — taking up 75% less space — saving you a huge amount of space where most cheaper cubes only squash by 50%.


  • Including mesh tops to see clothes easily
  • Top quality with market leading compression
  • Slimline cubes fit in backpacks, hand bags too

Peak Design packing cube

peak design compression packing cubes in grey

This set of packing cubes from top manufacturer Peak Design are arguably our favourite compression cube.

These packing cubes compress in size by 53%! With Peak Design’s premium silicon coated internal pockets, a tough high-denier nylon based material — meaning they are waterproof — and self healing means these are the only compression cubes you’ll ever need to buy.

As a result they have an unmatched lifetime guarantee.


  • Super-tough self-healing construction
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Internal divider pocket


3. Luxury suitcase organizer cubes

Key features of luxury suitcase organizer cubes

  • Sleek design
  • Soft interior / covered zips
  • Dividers and organisers

Designer or high-end packing cubes place more of a focus on organisation or your luggage than compressing it, and are designed to keep your work clothes or garments looking great for your holidays.

These cubes often have internal dividers, and can be bought in matching sets that scale with the size of your luggage, e.g. hand luggage or checked luggage size. As travel cubes for suitcases are for use in luggage and not rucksacks, they are often thicker and have rigid sides to fit with flat sides of suitcases.

High-quality packing cubes place more focus on softer fabrics and ensuring that zips are internally lined to prevent any clothes catching or tearing. In addition, weight is less of an issue than cubes designed for backpacking and outdoors; therefore these cubes are usually slightly sturdier.

Best high-end packing cubes

With a wide range of high-end cubes on the market, here are 3 of our top picks from top brands.

  • Antler
  • Away
  • Rimowa

Antler Chelsea Set

This set of packing cubes from Antler are available in a set of 4 or 6 — depending on whether you are using a carry-on sized bag or a larger checked bag.

The soft material looks and feels premium, and their light weight won’t affect your baggage allowance — the whole set is less than 400 grams.


  • Amazon prime ready
  • Stylish minimal look in black or grey
  • Mesh tops to easily see your organised clothes

Away The Insider Set

away the insider packing cube set and clothes

Available in a huge range of colours, these packing cubes are stylish but also great quality — hence their unanimous 5 star rating.

We would recommend sticking with Away’s set of 4 packing cubes for medium-sized and carry on bags or for those that check in larger suitcases or split your luggage over two suitcases opting for Away’s set of 6 luggage cubes is a great option.


  • Sturdy, premium construction
  • Assortment of stylish colours
  • See-through mesh tops to easily view clothes

Rimowa individual packing cubes

rimowa packing cube pink

For the ultimate luxury packing cubes our pick is definitely Rimowa. Rimowa’s range offers high-end luxury with a sustainable edge — all their packing cubes are a mixture of 100% recycled nylon and polyester.

The interior of the zips are fully lined, to stop any snags on clothes, and the material is sturdy but relatively lightweight. Available in 3 on trend colours, Rimowa’s luggage cubes are a must-have!


  • High-end luxury from a quality brand
  • Sustainable materials
  • Premium double-lined zippers


Summary

Packing cubes are a great addition to any luggage set, and a must-have for serious travellers. They help you add structure and organisation to suitcases, enabling you to find everything quickly.

Depending on your needs — backpacking adventurer or carry-on city breaker — there are a wealth of options tailored to fit. As a recap, we would recommend 3 cubes for a rucksack, 4 for a carry-on size suitcase and up to 6 cubes for a large checked case.

Consider whether you will be using these cubes to maximise your luggage space, or simply to provide more structure and organisation to often bare suitcase interiors!

Regardless of your choice, packing cubes have revolutionised suitcase packing. We’ve never looked back!