Do you always find yourself in a situation where your belongings don’t fit into your suitcase? If so, one of the best space-saving aids you can get are compression packing cubes like those made by Gonex.
Besides helping you save space, these packing cubes will also help you keep your clothes organized, dry, and clean. They will not only be useful on longer trips, but might help you increase the number of days on the road you can go without having to take a larger checked suitcase with you.
In this article, I’ll talk about what some of the best compression packing cubes are, as well as how to choose the right set for you. Before jumping into reviews of the products, though, here’s a quick overview of my top picks.
TOP PICK: Gonex Compression Cubes
Durable yet breathable construction. Comes with a laundry bag. Available in multiple colors.
Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Set
Lightweight construction. Translucent exterior allows to see inside easily.
LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes
Mesh window on the lid for ventilation. Very versatile because it includes six cubes.
6 Best Compression Packing Cube Sets
While there are dozens of different products on the market, the below six should provide you with a good starting point in your search for the right set of compression cubes for your needs. Keep in mind that they are in no particular order.
1. Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set
The Pack-It Specter set of compression cubes is more or less an ultra-lightweight version of the original, sturdier Eagle Creek packing cubes. Apart from their featherlight weight, this set is also smaller in dimensions and its top zipper only opens halfway.
These packing cubes are translucent, allowing you to roughly see their contents without the need to open or unpack them. They are made from silnylon ripstop material which – considering how light it is – is very durable.
The Specter cubes have the ability to expand to three-times their compressed size, allowing you to reach your belongings with ease. They are water-resistant to protect your belongings and keep your clothes dry at all times.
One downside of these cubes is that their zipper only opens halfway. Also, while they can be filled to the brim, they don’t offer as much compression as normal plastic compression bags for example.
Overall, though, this product by Eagle Creek can be a great addition to any traveler’s luggage kit.
- Super lightweight and extremely durable
- Can expand to three times their actual size
- Features a water-resistant nylon exterior
- Main zipper only opens halfway
2. BAGAIL Expandable Compression Packing Cubes
The BAGAIL expandable compression packing cubes are currently very popular, and for a good reason. They are affordable and effective. They will definitely make your packing a breeze.
The set – which comes in many different colors – contains four cubes as follows: an extra large one (17.5 x 12.7 x 4.0 inches), a large one (13.7 x 12.7 x 4.0 inches), a medium one (13.7 x 9.7 x 4.0 inches), and a small one (11.0 x 6.7 x 4.0 inches).
The cubes have a water-resistant nylon exterior that protects your clothes from stains and wrinkles. Their thick fabric is quite resistant to wear and tear, and so the cubes last you a long time
They also feature sturdy double-way zippers that are smooth and provide easy access to the content of the cubes. Overall, these compression packing cubes are very well built..
While the compression these cubes provide is decent, it – of course – cannot be compared with suction-style packing aids. Also, be careful when collapsing them, as the zipper might get stuck in the fabric.
- Durable and lightweight design
- Water-resistant material
- Smooth double-way zippers
- Exterior isn’t translucent
3. Nomadz Compression Packing Cube Set
The Nomadz compression packing cubes are arguably the best looking ones from this list. You can choose to use them as compression cubes when going on a lengthy journey or as regular packing cubes when you are not short on space.
Should you decide to use them in the compressed mode, they will not only keep your suitcase organized, but they will also save you space and keep your clothes from getting wrinkled.
The cubes are fitted with sturdy, no-snag zippers and high-quality draw tags that work well both when the cubes are compressed and when they are not.
Overall, the cubes are built well – both in terms of the materials used and the quality of stitching. At the same time, they maintain relatively low weight. And, as an added bonus, they come with a shoe bag that fits two to three pairs.
- Stylish design
- Comes with a shoe bag
- Handle located in a strange place
4. Shacke Pak Packing Cubes with a Laundry Bag
While they are not “compression packing cubes” per se, I still decided to include this product by Shacke Pak. The main reason for that is that each cube features an X-shaped lid that helps hold your clothes in place better than standard packing cubes.
The package consists of an extra-large cube (17.5 x 12.75 inches), a large cube (13.75 x 12.75 inches), a medium cube (13.75 x 9.75 inches), and a small cube (11 x 6.75 inches). Each of these is, at 4 inches, fairly deep and provides more than enough storage.
As a nice bonus, this set of packing cubes comes with a laundry bag. This will come in handy to separate your dirty clothes from the clean ones that you haven’t worn yet.
- Good build quality
- Available in multiple colors
- Comes with a laundry bag
- Not offering true compression
5. Gonex Compression Packing Cubes
The set made by Gonex is one of the most popular compression packing cubes sets currently being sold.
While they are available for sale both individually as well as in smaller sets, the full set consists of a large cube (15.4 x 15 x 3.5 inches), a medium cube (11.8 x 9.1 x 3.5 inches), a small cube (9.8 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches), an extra small cube (7.9 x 5.9 x 3.5 inches), a slim cube (13 x 3.9 x 3.5 inches), and a laundry bag (18.1×13.0 inches).
All of the cubes are constructed from a combination of durable nylon and breathable mesh which allows for proper ventilation. Each of them is also equipped with a carrying handle that is useful in the rare instances where you don’t put the cube into a suitcase or a backpack.
They are fairly lightweight and mostly white. However, they feature some colored parts. Because of that, they are available in ten different colors including yellow, red, pink, grey, and the pictured green.
While they are – just like all of the other sets – mainly meant for packing clothes, you can also use the smaller ones for items like pens and notebooks.
The one downside of this set is that it does not include an extra large cube like some others do. That said, the higher number of cubes makes up for that and the set should be more than sufficient for even longer trips.
- Very versatile set
- Features a handle
- Lightweight and breathable material
- Doesn’t come in extra-large size
- Zippers catch the fabric fairly easily
6. LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes
The stylish LeanTravel compression packing cubes are made of a high-quality polyester fabric and a durable mesh. That provides a good balance between durability and ventilation, and the mesh makes it possible to see what is inside each cube without the need to open it.
These compression cubes are 4 inches thick when uncompressed. However, by closing their zipper, you can reduce their thickness to just 1 inch. Worth noting here is the fact that these cubes are equipped with good quality “anti-catch” zippers.
This set includes six cubes and so is one of the largest ones on this list. Included in it are two large cubes (15.5 x 11.5 inches), two medium cubes (11.0 x 11.0 inches), and two small cubes (11.0 x 7.5 inches).
Thanks to that, you can always find a combination of these cubes that will be perfect for your trip – whether it’s a solo two-day business trip or a two-week vacation with your entire family.
- Equipped with “anti-catch” zippers
- Solid compression
- Includes six cubes
- Not as budget-friendly as some of the other options
What to Consider When Picking the Right Compression Packing Cube Set for You
As you can see above, while there are some differences between the individual products, broadly speaking all of the compression packing cube sets are fairly similar to each other. As such, it can get challenging to pick the right set for your needs.
To help you with that, below are some of the criteria that you should consider before hitting the “buy” button.
The last thing you want is to get excited about your new set of packing cubes just for them to break apart in a couple of weeks. As such, durability should be the number one factor to consider – if you pick the right set, it will last you for years.
Most of these packing cubes tend to be made out of nylon which serves the purpose well.
Another material-related thing to consider is whether it is water-resistant or not. While this will not be too important if you are traveling for business for example, it will be crucial for a “rougher” travel-style like backpacking.
Compression packing cubes are available in a large variety of sizes (and to a certain extent shapes) that you can either mix-and-match or get in a fixed set.
If you have a specific use in mind, then you can definitely go with an individual cube. However, for most situations, I recommend picking one of the sets that I talk about earlier in this article. This will not only ensure that you have the necessary cubes for your current trip, but also for any trips you might take in the future.
Just as with suitcases and many other pieces of luggage, the quality of a zipper can mean the difference between a mediocre and an excellent product. While zippers may look alike, there can be significant differences between their quality and durability.
The ultimate test of a zipper comes when a packing cube is fully packed. As such, you will want to look for reviews on Amazon and other stores by users that successfully used the cubes even after they packed them to the brim multiple times.
Since compression cubes are generally stored within a suitcase or a backpack, it is not too important that they have handles. In fact, many of them don’t.
However, if you can’t decide between two different models – and if everything other than the fact that one does and another doesn’t have a handle is the same – just go with the one with the handle. You never know when you will find it useful.
When packing for a trip, you can certainly go the simplest way and simply throw your clothes into a suitcase and take a plastic bag for dirty clothes with you.
However, it’s more convenient to organize your belongings into packing cubes. That way, you will easily know where to search for a certain item. Additionally, to save space, it is even better to go with compression packing cubes.
Those have extra zippers that allow you to reduce the size of the cube once it’s packed with clothes.
While there are many on the market, I recommend starting your search with one of the six sets above. More specifically, I recommend looking at the Gonex compression packing cube set first.