on June 1, 2014
Summary: Strong initial impression of quality; small sizes overall - plan accordingly; wish EC offered more than four colors, for color-coding.
Just received the 3-cube EC Pack-It set, which I ordered at the same time as a Travelwise 3-cube set. The Eagle Creek set is smaller overall, which works for me as I plan to use it for my 6yo's clothing for an upcoming multi-week, multi-stop trip.
- The largest cube (~10 x 14") is *roughly* the size of a large-format magazine, and 3" deep.
- The middle size (9" x 7") is about the size of a small cereal box, or slightly bigger than a guidebook (DK Eyewitness size, not Rick Steves).
- And the smallest cube (8 x 4") is about the size of a Jambox speaker or three iPhones in a row. (Why is this size info not available on Amazon's product page?? Also, just noticed than one of the Amazon reviews says they received one large and two half-cubes. I actually would've preferred that set.)
ETA: Went over to the Eagle Creek site and the items in this set are classifed as: cube, half-cube, quarter cube.
The interior seams are nicely finished and zippers work smoothly (there are double/two-way zippers for each bag, so you can open or close at any point along the opening). I hope to report back on the durability and stain resistance of the fabric/mesh after we get back from our trip, but for now it seems sturdy enough. The mesh is the same color as the fabric (vs. the Travelwise set which has black mesh). I'm pleased that the cubes did not have a strong plastic smell when I took them out of the package.
For a starter set I like the quality of the items, but wish the cube sizes were larger across the board or that there were two of the largest size and one small cube (rather than XS/S/M). Note that I am planning to use this to pack a (shared) family suitcase; I might find the current combination just perfect if I was trying to do one-bag travel for myself. (The largest EC cube is about the size of the Travelwise medium cube.)
Going forward I may add another cube (largest size in this set) or the double cube, which is available separately.
And just for the wish list, it would be great if Eagle Creek had more colors available for the Pack-It system beyond black, blue, green, red. (I ordered the Travelwise set because EC doesn't offer purple.) With multiple family members sharing a bag, it's nice to be able to color-code to other travel things we already own.
Will try to update once we get back.
on October 16, 2014
Let's be real. A bag is rarely a perfect shape and sticking a bunch of cubes into it will not allow you to put more in the bag. These will, however, allow you to keep a lot more organized and help make sure you get the same items to fit every time with a lot less wrinkles.
There are a lot of complaints that these aren't as big as the eBags ones but to be honest, I think that Eagle Creek is targeting the more mobile traveler. A single large fills about half my Osprey Farpoint 40 pack so it's a much less flexible option for me. When I pack my 100L rolling duffel to check at the counter, I definitely reach for my large eBags cube but for a backpack, they're simply too big and the extra weight from the heavier cubes are just not worth it to me.
I normally travel with 2 full cubes, a half cube, and one or two quarter cubes depending on what I'm taking. I like the small ones for things like my running shorts/top and swim trunks because it keeps them separate from the rest of my clothes. I also use a compression stuff sack for socks and underwear since wrinkles are meaningless and I can get an extra few days' worth in there.
This setup has allowed me to pack a full 10 days into my Farpoint pack without having to wash clothes. I bring small trash bags and pack my clean and dirty clothes into the same cubes they came from by wrapping them in the bags. it's been a very efficient way to travel and I've never found myself needing more.
So if you are packing light and looking to maximize what you can fit into a backpack, get these. If you're packing for multiple people and/or into a huge suitcase, the ebags are more than likely what you need.
on May 12, 2014
The picture is not accurate. What you get are one large cube and two half cubes, not like the picture showing three different sizes.
on June 9, 2014
I liked these so much that I think I just might get another set for myself! I feel so much more organized now that I have these cubes!!! Instead of shoving socks, bras, and undies into random places and having to search the whole suitcase for them they have their own little home now! Same for my shirts and pants- all in one little cube and extremely easy to get to.
The only issue that I saw with this set was that the small cube was just too small to carry my socks and panties for a week, so I got the half cube and it works like a charm! I wear mostly smalls and mediums (I'm 5'4") and all of my clothes fit very well in the cubes.. if I were packing this way for my boyfriend I do NOT think it would work well because he is very tall (6'5") and skinny, so his clothes are HUGE compared to mine. He doesn't even seem interested in the whole travel organization thing anyway, so it works out! :P
I would definitely recommend these lightweight cubes for anyone who travels domestically or internationally. We are going on a week vacation this summer and will be going via plane, so I will be putting my cubes in a normal 21" rollerboard. However, I am sure they would work very well in any luggage you have. The large cube is the hole width of my suitcase, the half-cube is just that and the small is about a quarter of the large.
As a teacher I use these sorts of bags not just for packing, but for organization in my backpack and bags.
These are very well made, although also more expensive, than some other brands I use.
The zippers work well, and I appreciate that there are two zip puls, my cheaper ones have only one zip, so you must open and close from one side.
These are on the small side for clothes, I have attached a photograph with a soda can for scale.
on July 18, 2014
I bought the Eagle Creek Packing cubes at first then purchased this set to compare before I order some more. I thought that this set of eBags were costly than the Eagle Creek but then I have not seen both of the orders yet. When they arrived, the eBags were a better purchase! Here's why--the largest bag for Eagle Creek is actually equivalent to the size and dimension of the medium eBag, while the medium Eagle Creek is equal to the smallest eBag packing cube. The Eagle Creek packing cubes is great just for tiny kids,toddlers or babies but not for Adult use especially if you have bulky clothes. If you roll your clothes up they will fit just fine with both Eagle Creek and eBags. In summary, the eBags are $3++ worth it than Eagle Creek Packing Cubes--both in price and capacity. I can't say much about the quality yet since I just bought them this week but in a few years, whichever lasts longer, I will come back and buy some more and give a feedback on its durability. I hope there are more color choices though. Note: I ironed some iron-on name tags on them with both Eagle Creek and eBags and they both didn't melt, burn or got deformed. P.S. I just cut and paste this review from my eBag review since I am comparing both products.
on August 28, 2014
Took these guys all through Europe for nearly a month. They're stronger than you might think, hold more than you'd guess and keep your bag far more organized than you could ever hope for. If you're going on a trip with only a carry-on like I did I definitely recommend these guys as part of your overall packing!
When looking at packing cubes, there are three questions:
1) Are they worth using?
2) Which brands work best?
3) What sizes of cubes are most useful?
Are they worth using? This depends on what kind of travel you do. If you pack your suitcase, travel to one destination, unpack, stay there for ten days, then repack the dirty clothes are return, I see no real value in packing cubes -- they'll just reduce flexibility and (very slightly) increase weight. But if your typical trip is like mine, where a ten day trip might cover four or five cities/countries, so you're changing hotels every couple of nights, then packing cubes are invaluable. Without packing cubes, you're faced with the bad choice of either living out of your suitcase or unpacking/repacking ever other day. With packing cubes, you can put different items in different cubes (e.g., shirts in one, underwear in another, pants in a third, dirty clothes in a fourth), then unpacking just means removing a handful of cubes from your suitcase, and repacking is just as easy. If you hop between cities, and you haven't used packing cubes, they'll change the way you pack and travel. Also, cubes are great if you need to unpack to help airport security find a particular item they can't identify on the scanner.
Which brands work best? My favorite cubes are the cubes from eBags and those from Eagle Creek, with Rick Steves a more distant third. The Eagle Creak cubes are made of a durable fabric, sort of like a lightweight nylon canvas. The front panel is mesh so you can see what's inside the cube. They have a convenient carry handle and zippers that open around three sides and all four corners, which is essential for easy packing. The zippers open smoothly, and fabric is durable. The eBags cubes have a very similar design (with a solid back, mesh front, carry handle, and all-around zippers), but eBags uses a parachute cloth, similar to that of Eagle Creek's Ultra-Light line. I prefer the eBags cube fabric, since it's a bit lighter and also a bit smoother (as a result, the eBags cubes seem to me to nestle into position better, and it's a bit easier to pull one out from the bottom if needed). The Rick Steves cubes are all mesh. That means they're very light, but it also means they're very prone to snags. My Rick Steves cubes developed holes in the mesh after just a few uses, whereas the other brands look like new after much heavier use. Bottom line: After a few trips around the globe, it's eBags by a half length, followed by Eagle Creek, with Rick Steves a distant third.
What sizes are most useful? Personally, I prefer to pack using cubes of the same size. Assuming your suitcase is rectangular, it's more efficient to have 4-6 cubes that you can stack like bricks (say 2-3 cubes in the lower half of the suitcase and 2-3 in the upper half). This fills up the "box" efficiently and makes it super easy to pack. So, personally, I'd recommend measuring your suitcase and buying multiple cubes of the same size, rather than a set with three different size cubes. Having said that, the cubes in this set will neatly tile a suitcase that's about 15-16" by 19-20" inside, which is roughly the size of many carry-ons. So, if your suitcase has roughly these dimensions, two of these sets will efficiently fill the space (since each cube is about 3" thick when filled). In any case, the sizes of cubes that are most useful are those that "tile" the inside space of your suitcase, neatly fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle with no empty spaces, and that hold the stuff you travel with.
Overall: Packing cubes are awesome if you travel with multiple stops. Eagle Creek and eBags have worked best for me (with a slight preference for eBags due to the parachute cloth fabric, but both are excellent -- good design, good materials, high quality construction). Measure your suitcase to figure out what sizes of cubes make most sense for you -- pick bags that cover the interior space like tiles.
on April 20, 2016
I love the Eagle Creek travel Pack-It Cubes: they help me keep me organized while on a trip.
It’s debatable to me whether the cubes actually help put more clothing into a suitcase. I can pack pretty tightly, and it is conceivable that I’d be able to use more nooks and crannies without the cubes. However, the massive increase in organization is worth the slight sacrifice of space to me. Staying organized during a trip greatly reduces my stress and makes staying in hotels and traveling from place to place much, much easier.
What I own: I have a variety of Eagle Creek cubes, sets like this one (cube, half cube, and quarter cube) in four different colors, plus several additional regular and half-sized cubes in those colors, and a set of two compression cubes.
Durability: The bags are very sturdy and the zippers are strong. I have owned them for ten months and taken them on quite a few trips where they’ve been squashed into suitcases or backpacks, zipped up when almost bursting with clothing, and used by children who aren’t particularly gentle with them. The cubes have been dropped and flung and stepped on and they still are still going strong.
Improved personal organization: The cubes have greatly increased my ability to stay organized on a trip. Before the cubes, my suitcase would be neat and tidy on our outbound trip, but as soon as I arrived and opened it, the contents would explode into the room as I dug through everything looking for a pair of pants that I’d placed on the bottom, or a shirt I wanted to wear that was halfway down. It was like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. After a couple days the suitcase and area around it would be cluttered with clothing. Finding anything was a pain. Clean clothing would end up on the floor, and when it came time to go it was difficult to get everything back in it.
With the cubes, clothing can be sorted into cubes by function, e.g. a cube of T-shirts, a cube of long-sleeved shirts, a cube of underclothing, etc. With the cubes I no longer have to dig through the layers of clothing, disrupting everything in my search for the one item I want. Now I can remove just one or two cubes, locate the one I want (thanks to the mesh on the side which lets me see the contents), open it, remove the item, zip it back up, and replace all the cubes. The suitcase stays nice and tidy through the entire trip, and repacking is a cinch.
Improved organization for families: These are great for families as well. I use them to stay organized on different-length trips:
(1) Short trips. On a weekend trip, we can put each person’s clothing (two changes of clothing) into one regular cube each. Each person gets a different color. All the cubes (five) fit into a small, rolling 21” suitcase. Upon our arrival, I hand out a color-coded cube to each person. Each cube now acts like a mini-suitcase, keeping each person's weekend clothing together. Simple and neat.
(2) Function-specific cubes. It is possible to put four or five compressible rain jackets plus a couple compact umbrellas into a single regular-sized cube. This means it’s easy to load up a backpack for a rainy day outing for five people: just grab the rain gear cube. No more stuffing everyone’s jackets loose into a backpack. On the outing itself, the cube keeps the jackets and umbrella under control. Without the cube the jackets would burst outwards every time the backpack was opened up, with the cube they all stay neat and contained. We can also fill a cube with swimsuits, lotion etc.
(3) Long trips with multiple stops. These are invaluable on long trips. In this case, each person gets their own 21” rolling suitcase and a set of cubes. For a two-week trip to Europe, each person got two regular-sized cubes and two half-sized cubes for their clothing. The two regulars fit snugly together on the bottom of the suitcase with no wasted space, and the half-size cubes fit sideways on top of one of the regulars. The remaining space was used for other items like a toiletries bag, first aid kit, extra jacket, boots, etc. which didn’t go into cubes.
During the trip, the cubes worked beautifully. They kept all our clean clothing sorted and easy to move around when we were searching for particular items. If we wanted to unpack, we could just place the cubes themselves into drawers or shelves. No need to unpack their contents. Re-packing was easy: just load the cubes back into the suitcase. This made keeping track of multiple people’s clothing MUCH easier. We stayed in five places over two weeks and the cubes kept us organized the whole time.
Note: I use the cubes in conjunction with a laundry management system, because as clothing gets dirty we no longer wanted it in the cubes with the clean clothing. I brought some thin, nylon, drawstring laundry bags to collect the dirty laundry in each day. As the laundry accumulated I transferred it into a succession of plastic vacuum bags with one-way air valves. For these, just load the vacuum bag with dirty clothing, squeeze out the air by kneeling on it or rolling it up, then unroll it and you’re left with a solid brick of vacuum-sealed, plastic-wrapped clothing. Removing the air is important because dirty laundry, unless folded, takes up more space than clean clothing. I’d pack these flat slabs of dirty clothing on top of the cubes of clean clothing. The result was that by the end of the trip the packing cubes were nearly empty while the vacuum-sealed laundry bags were quite full. But between these two systems we were able to stay very organized on a two-week trip with five people and five different stops.
on June 3, 2014
This set helps me stay organized. No more digging through my luggage trying to find things. I use the smallest one to store all my cables and chargers for my electronic gear. I use the second biggest one for my socks and boxers. I use the largest one for my T-shirts.