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After 25 years of international business travel, I only recently discovered packing cubes. Honestly, I thought they were a gimmick until I tried them. If you take trips where you're moving to a different city/hotel every couple of days, packing cubes are terrific, as they let you "unpack without unpacking" -- i.e., you can remove the cubes to get at your stuff, but still repack your suitcase in under a minute the next morning just by popping all the cubes back in place. They also keep items (especially business shirts) neater, and they're very handy when a security screener needs to go through your bag. My packing cubes paid for themselves the first time I had to go through a secondary security screening at the airport.

In terms of specific brands and models of packing cubes, I prefer the eBags medium-sized cubes over the Rick Steves cubes. Two of the eBags medium cubes fit perfectly side-by-side in a typical 21" carry-on roller-style suitcase (e.g., the eBags TLS mini or the Rick Steves 21" carry-on roller, both of which I use), whereas the Rick Steves smaller cubes leave a lot of extra space on the sides. Also, the eBags cubes are shorter (about 3" vs. 5" for the Rick Steves cubes). Personally, I prefer to use more of the shorter cubes, with different types of items in each cube (e.g., shirts in one cube, underwear in another, etc.), rather than stuffing a lot of different stuff into a larger cube.

Having said that, packing style is a matter of personal preference, and others may prefer the deeper and smaller Rick Steves cubes, so the real question is quality and durability. Both the eBags and the Rick Steves cubes are well made, and the zippers on both work well. I think the eBags cubes will be more durable over time, though. The Rick Steves cubes are mesh on all sides. The eBags cubes use a very light, solid fabric (like parachute clothe) on the sides and bottom, with mesh on the top so you can see what's in the cube. I think the parachute cloth (which is reinforced with mesh) will last much better than pure mesh, and it doesn't get snagged on things as easily. The fabric doesn't add any discernible weight relative to all mesh, as far as I can tell. I also like the handles on the eBags cubes -- nice feature.

Whichever brand you get, it's worth the investment. Packing cubes really do make travel easier. My only wish is that they weren't so expensive.

UPDATE 4 July 2012: When I wrote the above review, I speculated that the eBags cubes would be more durable. Sure enough, the mesh of the Rick Steves packing cube has torn around one of the seams, but the eBags cubes (which I've used more heavily) are still going strong with no signs of wear.
1010 comments588 of 591 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 4, 2013
"Fabulous!!! I used these packing cubes (in addition to other sizes) to pack my 13 y/o son for a 9 day international school trip. I was able to pack the following into a 24" hardside suitcase in just 6 cubes! (1 large, 2 med, 2 small, 1 slim) -7 pairs of jeans, 1 pr khakis, 3 sweatpants, 8 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve t's, 1 button down oxford, 3 pairs gym shorts, 3 undershirts, 8 boxers, 8 pr socks, 2 hoodies, 1 windbreaker and 1 pr shoes! My son said it was great not having to dig through the suitcase to find stuff! With the exception of one dress outfit (I used one cube for it), I had them organized by like items so he knew exactly which cube to go to for what. I also packed 1 small cube with a complete outfit and toiletries to go in his carry on so even if his bag was lost he'd have everything he needed to get through the next day. The small 3x11x7 cube held a a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, boxers, socks and toiletries and fit neatly in the bottom of his backpack. Fyi, he wears a men's med shirt, 27" x 32" pants and a sz 9.5 shoe so we're not talking kid size clothes either! And these cubes make it so much easier if TSA searches your bag-He said they just lifted the cubes up/out and put them back, so there was no "handling" of his stuff, nor was it on display for the world to see! My husband saw his packed suitcase and said "looks good but you know he's not going to be able to re-pack it like that to come home don't you?" Of course I knew he was prob right! I solved that by also sending (and recommend!) compression bags for his dirty clothes. Yes, we did compression bag "drills" before he left;) and he had no problem using them! Lastly, a hint for others that might have a child traveling without them. I typed up an "inventory list" and placed it in a ziploc bag in the bottom of his suitcase so when it was time to change hotels or repack for home he could check the list to make sure he had everything! Im happy to report he didn't leave a single item behind!!"
88 comments85 of 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 30, 2011
It really makes a difference to get the right size to fit your bag. If you have the largest Carry-on roller bag (22x14x9 typical)- then these fit great!you can get two across - use the 3rd to stack, or give it to your partner/friend. I travel a lot and clothes stay much fresher and you can get quite a bit more in, even the best packers can do better - I still use the space between rails for socks, underwear or small items to make it level, then these on top. I also have a couple of the bags 1/2 this size - so one big & two small fit the same (toilet & misc items in one, underware and misc small stuff in th other) - these particular items are sturdier than many on the market and less risk of the mesh tearing.... Highly recommend - written by the other half! (aka, bag packer)
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on July 16, 2009
I bought these packing cubes for our trip to Switzerland. In the past, my huband would rummage through the suitcase to find something and I'd end up re-folding and re-packing everything. I packed 2 cubes for him and he liked that he had his own 2 packages with his clothes. Also, I found that I could squeeze more into the cubes that just packing loose. These are great-- I'm glad I bought them!
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on July 16, 2010
I really found these packing cubes useful. I'd also purchased packing folders Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Folder 15 and I liked them even more. More clothing fits in the folder and it keeps your clothes wrinkle-free. These cubes were great for pajamas, underwear, etc that weren't effected by wrinkles. Both of these gadgets kept my travel clothes easy accessible. Just take them out of the luggage and put them in hotel drawer for a clean way to unpack and repack.
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on December 20, 2014
Great for packing clothes. In terms of size, Medium is about the right size to stuff your shirts, berms and underwear. I would seriously recommend getting a large packing cube for bigger items like jackets, sweaters, jeans or long trousers.

If you have a luggage bag about the size of 29 inches, you will be able to put a medium packing cube next to a shoe bag. Also, in terms of depth, you will be able to put two medium packing cubes one on top of the other. Look at the photo I have attached for reference.
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on January 21, 2014
I love to pack light for trips, almost view it as a challenge! Used with a packing list you can go anywhere with just a carry on bag.
These cubes make it so much easier to fit everything into a carry on bag and organize what I have already packed.
The best thing about them, other than they allow me to fit more, is that when I am rifling through my suitcase looking for something it doesnt look like a tornado has ripped through the luggage. Also when a hotel dresser drawer is a little sketchy I can keep my clothes in the cubes... and ready for a quick getaway.
I am also going to buy a smaller, slimmer set for small items.
These bags hold more than you think and I can easily fit the medium size into my 21" Samsonite spinner. The cubes are flexible and end up being less cube shape and more bumpy when tightly packed. They also are quite breathable.
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on January 18, 2012
I purchased these for an upcoming fishing trip to Patagonia, where we will be changing lodging every 2-3 days. This is a repeat trip and I was searching for an alternative to the constant packing and unpacking, which results in all the clothing ending up in a mess. Each of the medium size is sufficient to hold 2 days of fishing clothing, underwear, and socks (mostly nylon) and appears to be a perfect solution. They appear well made and are very light weight. I now have everything pre-packed by location (numbered 1-3 on the outside). Wish I'd discovered them a few years ago. The medium size is perfect for this, but if you have bulkier clothing such as jeans and heavy cotton shirts, you would probably need the large size. To give you a perspective on the medium size, four of these will nicely fill a roll-on suitcase.
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on May 12, 2013
The dimensions, as per the label, for the 3 piece set are:
Small cube - 11" x 6.75" x 3";
Medium cube - 13.75" x 9.75" x 3";
Large cube - 17.5" x 12.75" x 3.25".
The color I got - tangerine - is a bright yellow-orange. Really vibrant. Haven't used them yet but I think they will work out well.
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on November 23, 2010
These are fantastic! We had to pack 2 suitcases for a 14 day Land excursion and Cruise. We had to pack one for the land portion and one for the cruise portion. These really helped organize our clothes into His and Hers cubes. No more digging for what we needed. I was able to pack 10 shirts, 3 pants, 5 underwear, and 5 socks all into one large cube. Of course it did not look anything like a cube after we were done with it. It was very stuffed. I had red she had green. When we got to our destination (Alaskan cruise) we had to send our stuff out to be pressed because we had to roll everything but It worked out great. Very Pleased! We had to laugh when we came back to this listing on amazon and saw the picture of the cube as a perfect rectangle. Trust me after your done stuffing it, it will look more like a dome than a rectangle. We also used the Travelon Set of 7 Packing Envelopes, Assorted Sizes also available here at amazon and they also were a big help.
0Comment28 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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