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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.
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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!!"
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on September 14, 2016
A well-traveled friend recommended these packing cubes, but I thought: won't they just take up more space in my bag and add weight? Well the truth is they are so thin they won't decrease your suitcase's capacity, and using NINE (9) of them on my last trip only added 1.3 pounds. SO what makes them so great?
1. They organize your clothing, shoes, underwear, socks, outerwear, toiletries, you name it!
2. They simplify packing, and keep your clothes neat and prevent a lot of wrinkles/creases you often get from other packed items.
3. They make it MUCH easier to unpack and repack your suitcase, especially if your trip involves packing and unpacking more than once, like hotel to ship, ship to hotel, etc.
4. Instead of transferring all of your clothing to hangers and drawers which is time consuming, you simply move these cubes from your bag to available drawers, shelves, or wherever. Instead of twenty minutes it will take you less than two!
5. When empty (like at the end of your trip) they flatten out completely, leaving room in your suitcase for your laundry bag.
6. They come in lots of great colors.
7. The picture shows the combination of cubes I used to fill my large (28") suitcase
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on October 26, 2016
My fourth purchase of these packing cubes; my second batch of medium size. These are the most useful size IMHO; if you're only going to buy one set, get these. I'm a very widely travelled person and my husband travels every week for his job (and has done for the last 4 years), so ours get a real work out.

You may wonder why I'm buying more? One of our 12 bags has one zipper broken (but they have two zippers per cube that can zip together in the middle or or zip both around to one side, so we can still use that cube.). The main problem I have is that when we are both travelling together, we always want more medium-sized bags... I love these so much that we decided it was worth getting another set.

Main potential downside of packing cubes is that it makes very efficient use of your packing space so your bag can potentially end up overweight. This is rarely a problem in the US, but everywhere else in the world the baggage limits are smaller, so beware.
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on April 21, 2016
Love my cubes! I travel all the time and used grocery bags to organize my things. These are perfect and my packing is organized. I can see what I packed in each cubes. I want to order the small ones now.
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on April 11, 2016
I was trying to decide whether these were a waste of money or not. Absolutely not! I had to pack 4 days worth of clothes for myself, my husband, my 10 month old, and my 3 yr old in one large suitcase. I designated one bag for each child and one for us parents to use. I was able to pack 4 days worth of children's shirts, pants, socks, underwear in each cube and 4 days worth of socks and underwear for 2 adults in the third cube. They stacked neatly in our luggage and really kept our suitcase organized. My 3 year old would retrieve her own cube by the handle to get clothes out of. They zip easily and the whole cube seemed very sturdy, especially when being tossed around by kids. Completely worth it and I will be purchasing more in larger sizes to organize the rest of our clothes for the next trip.
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on January 16, 2017
These size medium eBags cubes are the same size as the size large Eagle Creek Pack-it cubes. Great for keeping my suitcase organized and quickly packing up. Quality is not as good as Eagle Creek, but price is cheaper and quality is good enough.
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on March 7, 2017
I bought the 4 pack which contained different sizes a while back. I do some travel for work and loved the pouches but always liked the medium the best. Fits my pants or shirts perfect where the small is good for socks and underwear. Anyways bought another bunch of the medium so I could put all my shirts in one and pants in another and then either work clothes or nice clothes in the third. Keeps things separate. Kind of wish they had a variety pack of colors for color coding but who cares. Very useful product.
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on December 18, 2013
These are great for keeping clothes together when you have to pack and unpack often. I was on a 10 day trip, and was switching hotels 5 times, so I used these to organize my clothes (warm clothes, workout wear, short/t-shirts, etc). It was great. I could just open the cold weather bag on rainy days, and just open the shorts bag on hot days. It made re-packing every other day a breeze since the clothes were already folded and easily re-stackable.

I didn't give these 5- stars because they don't condense the clothes at all, which some of the other brands do.

Notably, as far as size, I ordered the large and medium not realizing which would work better in a carry-on size bag. The large eBags took up nearly the full length and width of the suitcase. For the medium, I could place 2 side by side for each "layer" of bags. I preferred the smaller of the two sizes, since they weren't really that small. As a female on the small to medium side, I didn't have to fold the clothes too much to make them fit in the bags (which was my initial concern when ordering).
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on July 22, 2017
Perfect sizes for my Kipling Darcy small rolling case. My Kipling luggage held 4 medium eBag cubes and was able to tuck slippers, shoes in plastic ziploc gallon bagsHolds a lot of clothes. Kept all organized. Over all win win for me. My first order was an assortment then figured I needed the medium ebags more so ordered 2nd time but only medium sizes. Easily fit outfits enough for 2 weeks (if well organized) in 4 medium ebags.
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