Packing is the worst part of any trip. The anxiety around forgetting something, the worry that your suitcase will be too heavy and the concern that that flimsy zip might just not make it all the way round once you’ve piled your possessions inside a bag.
Needless to say, packing to come home from a holiday is even worse. But packing cubes make the process so much simpler, allowing you to separate your socks from your sarongs in an efficient fashion while saving a bit of space, too.
Packing cubes are about so much more than organisation, though. While it’s handy to keep your underwear in one place and your t-shirts in another, many packing cubes offer other functionalities, from compression to drastically reduce the amount of space taken up by a pile of jeans or your floaty summer dresses, to those made for specific items such as cameras and shoes.
Packing cubes also solve one of travel’s biggest conundrums: the roll versus fold debate. While many swear by rolling their clothing to save space, others dispute the benefits and simply fold their clothes into the suitcase. This hotly debated topic is put to bed with packing cubes, as it doesn’t really make a difference either way – especially if you’re using the compression type.
How we tested
Our travel writer, Lottie Gross, has spent the last month traipsing around hotels researching her brand-new guidebook for dog owners, and she has used these packing cubes to help separate her clobber from the dog’s bedding in her suitcase. In some cases, she’s packed five days’ worth of clothes into one small backpack, defying the stringent easyJet luggage rules, and has thoroughly tested each zip to ensure its functionality and reliability.
Packing cubes that claim to be water-resistant have been drizzled on by a rainfall shower head, and those with compression capabilities have been filled to bursting before we tested out their shrinkage.
The best packing cubes for 2022 are:
- Best for versatility – Antler Chelsea packing cubes: £59, Antler.co.uk
- Best compression packing cubes – Packmate travel roll storage bags: £15.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for photographers – Tropicfeel camera cube: £49, Tropicfeel.com
- Best for organising your wires – Tropicfeel tech pouch: £39, Tropicfeel.com
- Best for backpacking and outdoor adventures – Ordnance Survey packing cubes: £34.99, Ordnancesurvey.co.uk
- Best lightweight compression cubes – Suited Nomad packing cubes: £43.18, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for mixing and matching – Snugpak: From £5.45, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for business or events travel – La Pochette shoe box: £45, Lapochette.co
- Best for rainy days and watery adventures – Millican Mavericks packing cubes: £55, Homeofmillican.com