5 Ways Packing Cubes Help You Pack Better
Can’t resist putting your entire closet into a suitcase when preparing for a trip? Consider the many benefits of using packing cubes—a more sustainable, stylish alternative to plastic bags.
As you consider traveling, it’s time to think about the benefits of packing cubes. While packing cubes have always been an essential part of the luggage arsenal of frequent globe-trotters, they’re an even smarter investment in the reality that is our current environment: In addition to helping you have a positive impact on the environment by reducing your reliance on plastic bags, they also offer protection against germs, dirt, and grime, says Anne McAlpin, packing expert and author of “Pack It Up: The Essential Guide To Smart Travel” (who also completed an impressive 21 day adventure with a 21 inch carry-on!)
Here’s why you should pick up a few cubes before your next getaway—and the key benefits of adding a range of shapes and sizes.
1. Packing Cubes are Space-Savers
Tube cubes are a great option for maximizing space in your checked bag or carry-on. Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Isolate Slim Cube compresses all of your socks and underwear into one compact compartment, making it easy to nestle in with the rest of your luggage. And if you’re traveling for business and pleasure, purchasing a garment folder ensures your dress clothes look presentable, even off the trails. McAlpin recommends placing a tube cube on the bottom of your suitcase, then fitting smaller cubes into each other, Tetris-style, around them, a great way to keep your professional and activewear separate.
2. Packing Cubes are Better for the Environment
You’ve already made the switch to fabric bags for your grocery trips, so it makes sense to carry that attitude into the rest of your activities, too: According to a 2017 study in the Science Advances journal (if current production trends continue), roughly 13 tons of plastic will be produced worldwide by 2050 … and most of it will accumulate in landfills or the natural environment. Eagle Creek offers a lifetime No Matter What™ Warranty on all products, which includes packing cubes! Also: “Plastic bags have a tendency to slip and slide in your bag, since they aren’t structured like packing cubes,” McAlpin says. Opt for Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Reveal Pro Set, which is translucent, allowing you to easily see your belongings. A bonus, especially if you're headed to the beach or a trek where you might encounter moisture: Unlike plastic bags, the mesh allows items to breathe.
3. Packing Cubes Save You Time at the Airport
We've all left home with more than we need, only to be told at the airport that we need to pay to check our bags before boarding. Some items that make your carry-on bag overweight: shoes, guidebooks, toiletries, and gifts. Along with toiletries—which are usually the first items to be stored in cubes—it pays to keep these items in travel cubes—one of the many benefits of well-organized packing cubes is easily transferring them between your checked bag, carry-on, or personal item, if needed.
4. Packing Cubes Protect Against Germs
Even if you’re not the type of traveler who unpacks their luggage in-room, putting your possessions in cubes can offer a layer of protection against the dirt and grime often found in hotel dresser drawers and lodging offered for more remote vacations. Isolate packing sacs and clean/dirty cubes are treated with Protx2®, an antimicrobial agent formulated to combat harmful, odor-causing bacteria. “Cubes are great for road trips, hotels, cruise, or home rentals where you often want to put something in a drawer and don’t want to worry about possible dirt or things sliding to the back of the drawer,” McAlpin says, who often uses cubes for this purpose. “They also stack well on a counter."
5. Packing Cubes Make You Prepared for the Worst
Packing cubes aren’t just for clothes, McAlpin says: "I always travel with my Comfort Kit: a medium size compression cube (Eagle Creek’s Isolate Compression Cube), filled with comfort items like an inflatable neck pillow, eye shades, ear plugs, a large scarf, and a face mask and sanitizer wipes. Because it’s compression, all these essentials fit in my personal bag, fitting under the seat in front of me for easy in-flight access on planes, on a train, or in a car." While there are many benefits to using compression cubes, she also recommends Eagle Creek’s original set, which has grab handles, so you can carry on important items.
There are so many benefits to organizing your bag with packing cubes—whether you’re a family traveler, packing a day trip bag, or trying to #KonMari your suitcase, packing cubes are the most sustainable way to take a stand against disorganization on the road.