Packing cubes for travel

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michaeljc70
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Packing cubes for travel

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:36 am

I've never used packing cubes when traveling, but I've heard a few people tell me they wouldn't travel without them. I could see how they would be useful if you are traveling with many stops. I can't imagine they will fit the suitcase perfectly though, so what do you do with the wasted empty space? Pack socks or underwear around them? Do people find the packing cubes to be worthwhile?

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Sandtrap
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:41 am

Yes. Inexpensive sets of various sizes can be found online. Try it. :happy

10YearPlan
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by 10YearPlan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:49 am

They're magical. On the front end, from a packing perspective, it keeps things more organized. At the hotel, you just go into the cube you need instead of rummaging, which keeps things more organized. And then packing to leave is easier as a result. I don't ever use drawers at the hotel-I live out of my suitcase-so maybe that is part of the allure for me. And yes, around the cubes there is space and I have no trouble filling that up with shoes. :)

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by protagonist » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:57 am

Packing cubes are worth their weight in gold.

You can live out of them. And your clothes don't get all wrinkly.

Go for it. It is one of the best $15 or $20 investments you can make on travel.

I've bought a few brands and it doesn't seem to make much of a diff....they all seem more or less the same. Color coding is nice.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Jimmie » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:08 am

I just recently bought a set and needed to adjust my AA (attire allocation) accordingly.

My particular set included the following:

Extra Large(17.5 inch x 12.75 inch x 4 inch) for coats and jackets
Large (13.75 inch x 12.75 inch x 4 inch) for jeans and sweatshirts
Medium (13.75 inch x 9.75 inch x 4 inch) for folded sport shirts and T-shirts
Small (11 inch x 6.75 inch x 4 inch) for socks and briefs
Laundry bag (no need to know about my dirty laundry)

Regarding spaces, you can fill those in with whatever: shoes, dopp kit (toiletries), or [(removed) --admin LadyGeek]. The individual cubes can be slightly folded over to fit in your suitcase easier.

I love mine!

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Kosmo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:28 am

Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a single item out. How is this an improvement? So it's extra time required for packing, extra time required for unpacking, less usable space in the suitcase due to the "cubes", and less usable weight capacity due to the "cubes". What am I missing? Where's the benefit?

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by bowest » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:33 am

Highly recommend. Ebags has various sizes and decent prices.

It can help save space, makes packing more efficient, and keeps clothes relatively neat (well-packed shirts and pants will require less ironing on arrival). You can repurpose cubes on way home to sort dirty laundry or keep remaining clean clothes separate.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Jimmie » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:37 am

Kosmo wrote:Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a single item out. How is this an improvement? So it's extra time required for packing, extra time required for unpacking, less usable space in the suitcase due to the "cubes", and less usable weight capacity due to the "cubes". What am I missing? Where's the benefit?
Each cube can be packed tightly with similar items of your choosing. This prevents a lot of wrinkled clothes. The cubes can be arranged efficiently into the bigger suitcase.

One benefit for me is that when my GF and I travel, we use one humongous suitcase and pack everything for the both of us in there. I get a free checked bag on most airlines, so this saves money for us as long as we stay under 50 pounds. When we get to our destination, we unpack our own stuff which is easy because of the separation. We normally stay in one place for a few days, so we allow time to pack and unpack in an organized fashion.

If you either live out of a suitcase or don't care to pack anything in any particular order, then these probably offer no benefit to you.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by EddyB » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:44 am

Kosmo wrote:Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a single item out. How is this an improvement? So it's extra time required for packing, extra time required for unpacking, less usable space in the suitcase due to the "cubes", and less usable weight capacity due to the "cubes". What am I missing? Where's the benefit?
I don't know how others use them, but when my family is traveling, we pack a cube with a day's clothing for all of us, and are then taking out a single cube per day, not hunting through multiple suitcases. Everything stays more organised (and consequently less wrinkled, although three of us don't really care). We don't have "my" suitcase, or "parents' suitcase," we have "days 1-4" suitcase, "days 5-8" suitcase.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by bluebolt » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:47 am

A small packing cube is also really helpful for all of your chargers, cables, USB drives, etc.
Always in a single place, and don't have to rummage through the bottom of the suitcase or bag to find what you need.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:49 am

EddyB wrote:
Kosmo wrote:Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a single item out. How is this an improvement? So it's extra time required for packing, extra time required for unpacking, less usable space in the suitcase due to the "cubes", and less usable weight capacity due to the "cubes". What am I missing? Where's the benefit?
I don't know how others use them, but when my family is traveling, we pack a cube with a day's clothing for all of us, and are then taking out a single cube per day, not hunting through multiple suitcases. Everything stays more organised (and consequently less wrinkled, although three of us don't really care). We don't have "my" suitcase, or "parents' suitcase," we have "days 1-4" suitcase, "days 5-8" suitcase.
That's some planning. I consider myself a planner, but I have no clue what I am going to wear when on vacation. Do you know what you are going to do and where you are going to dinner, etc. each day in advance? That usually dictates what I wear. If it is a trip where everyday is going to the beach and eating a casual dinner then it doesn't matter obviously. But I tend to overthink things....

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Jimmie » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:59 am

Another way I use mine: I travel most of the year on extended projects, three months to two years at a time. I live in company-furnished apartments most of the time.

At first, I take a big suitcase with a lot of stuff. Once settled, I travel home every other weekend. Since most of my work clothes are at the work site and most of my other clothes are at home, I often travel extremely light. I can fit one or two smaller packing cubes in my laptop backpack. It's nice to have my clothes separate from my computer stuff, especially if TSA has an inspection issue.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by SheReadsHere719 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:07 am

Another +1 in favor. I have the slim packing cubes from eBags, and was able to pack them for 2 weeks in Europe in the wintertime in a carryon. They fit perfectly length-wise in my carryon. I packed my shoes and toiletries around them to round out the space.

Yes, it does take a little more organization and planning. It also takes a bit more time to pack if you roll each item (which I do), but itā€™s totally worth it based on 1) the sheer volume of clothes you can pack, 2) maximizing your suitcase space, and 3) only lugging a carryon through airports and train stations. Plus no checked bag fees, losing luggage, etc.

There are so great YouTube videos on how to pack them efficiently.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by DoubleClick » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:22 am

Kosmo wrote:Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a single item out. How is this an improvement? So it's extra time required for packing, extra time required for unpacking, less usable space in the suitcase due to the "cubes", and less usable weight capacity due to the "cubes". What am I missing? Where's the benefit?
The savings (time, space, effort) you get back from the far superior organization vastly outweighs the miniscule extra time to pack and unpack into the cubes.

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Hayden
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Hayden » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:55 am

When I purchased mine, I thought I wanted big ones. It turns out the midsize ones hold a surprising amount (I roll my clothes) and the big ones were actually too big for my purposes. You may want to experiment with different sizes for different things. I also use a mesh bag (so I can see through it) for my multitude of computer related accoutrements.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:14 pm

Kosmo wrote:How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? [...] Where's the benefit?
Do you have a dresser in your bedroom? Probably one with multiple drawers, and maybe some or all of those drawers have, in turn, divided sections? Pretty handy, isn't it? You wouldn't dream of replacing that dresser with one giant trunk that you'd just toss all your clothes into.

Or how about your utensil drawer in your kitchen? Do you just put all your forks and knives and such all in one big drawer, or do you use one of those utensil trays that has a spot for forks, a spot for spoons, etc.?

That's the appeal of packing cubes. It gives you an added, flexible level of compartmentalization and organization, as opposed to just putting everything in "one big shared space". That might not be appealing to everyone, but it sure is for me. I swear by them.

Oh, one more advantage: If your bag gets searched by the TSA, packing cubes make things a lot easier to repack. (In fact, if you get the mesh kind, they might not even have to unzip the cube to see what's in it.)
Stay on target...

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Trapper » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:21 pm

I use ziplock bags of various sizes. I am a casual traveler and not too concerned about wrinkles.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by EddyB » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:27 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
EddyB wrote:
Kosmo wrote:Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a single item out. How is this an improvement? So it's extra time required for packing, extra time required for unpacking, less usable space in the suitcase due to the "cubes", and less usable weight capacity due to the "cubes". What am I missing? Where's the benefit?
I don't know how others use them, but when my family is traveling, we pack a cube with a day's clothing for all of us, and are then taking out a single cube per day, not hunting through multiple suitcases. Everything stays more organised (and consequently less wrinkled, although three of us don't really care). We don't have "my" suitcase, or "parents' suitcase," we have "days 1-4" suitcase, "days 5-8" suitcase.
That's some planning. I consider myself a planner, but I have no clue what I am going to wear when on vacation. Do you know what you are going to do and where you are going to dinner, etc. each day in advance? That usually dictates what I wear. If it is a trip where everyday is going to the beach and eating a casual dinner then it doesn't matter obviously. But I tend to overthink things....
We may not know what we're going to do on which day, but we generally do go into a trip knowing that we expect, for example, one day to be a zoo day, one day to be a city day, one day to be a boat day, or whatever, and so one day's cube would have clothing appropriate for that. The kids also just have extra cubes, since the may sometimes need to change clothes. But most days, our base clothing is pretty similar, and different layering of something like a sweater (from the sweater cube!) or a raincoat addresses that. We're traveling with little kids, so it's not like we're traveling with clothes for a range of dressier occasions (but if we expected to go the opera, that would be a change of clothes at the end of the day anyway, and probably gets its own cube).

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Jimmie » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:29 pm

Packing "cubes" could be a misleading term. None of the zippered containers are anything close to measuring equally on all sides: length, width, and depth. The assorted dimensions are very versatile.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Kosmo » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:28 am

JupiterJones wrote:
Kosmo wrote:How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? [...] Where's the benefit?
Do you have a dresser in your bedroom? Probably one with multiple drawers, and maybe some or all of those drawers have, in turn, divided sections? Pretty handy, isn't it? You wouldn't dream of replacing that dresser with one giant trunk that you'd just toss all your clothes into.
...
That's the appeal of packing cubes. It gives you an added, flexible level of compartmentalization and organization, as opposed to just putting everything in "one big shared space". That might not be appealing to everyone, but it sure is for me. I swear by them.
You're correct in the sense that keeping the clothes organized is the goal. In addition to a dresser I have a closet. In that closet I keep suits, pants, shirts, t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, shoes, belts, and ties. I don't have a separated slot for each of those types of clothes. Yet I have no trouble finding what I want because all the shirts are together, the pants are together, etc. It's organized, but not compartmentalized. It's not as if I just throw all my clothes in there haphazardly (see my wife's closet).

To each his own. I'm usually 100% in favor of methods to increase organization, but I haven't drunk the Kool Aid on this one yet. Although...
EddyB wrote:I don't know how others use them, but when my family is traveling, we pack a cube with a day's clothing for all of us, and are then taking out a single cube per day, not hunting through multiple suitcases. Everything stays more organised (and consequently less wrinkled, although three of us don't really care). We don't have "my" suitcase, or "parents' suitcase," we have "days 1-4" suitcase, "days 5-8" suitcase.
I think could get on board with this usage.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by aredhel » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:39 am

I love my packing cubes! I find they're most useful when I'm either traveling carryon-only or when I'm doing a trip which entails a lot of frequent changes in location. If I'm going to a single destination where I'll be staying for a week or so and completely unpacking my suitcase is practical, that's when I'll forego the cubes.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by snackdog » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:07 am

Seems like more junk we never knew we "needed". Have traveled extensively and never had a problem organizing my suitcase or finding anything. I can pack for any trip in under 20 minutes. Key is to pack light and take the least amount possible. And do a look-back when you get home on the crap you schlepped around the world without using. If periodically you find yourself "stuck" while traveling because you didn't forecasting needing something, you have about the right balance.

On the other hand, if you are one of those people who drags two massive hard-sided suitcases out of the closet a full week before travel to start the Packing Process, you probably need all the help you can get. If packing and travel freak you out and it's hard to plan and organize, then by all means order a few dozen of these cubes and figure out how to Tetris them into your Samsonites.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Watty » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:34 am

Kosmo wrote:Never heard of these so I had to look them up. How is any better than just packing the clothes into the suitcase? Seems like it's an extra step to pack the clothes into the little container and the put that into the suitcase. Now to get dressed you have to open up each individual container to get a single item out. How is this an improvement? So it's extra time required for packing, extra time required for unpacking, less usable space in the suitcase due to the "cubes", and less usable weight capacity due to the "cubes". What am I missing? Where's the benefit?
It may be a bit different but the ones I use are more like huge zip-lock bags that have a valve in them to let the air out. Once your stuff is in them you squeeze them to get the air out so they take up a lot less space in your suitcase. For example a fluffy sweeter will be compressed flat and take up less space. Some cloths, like socks, will do this without getting badly wrinkled so you need to take that into consideration. Using these allows up to go on multi week trips to Europe with just a carry on bag.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by JDCarpenter » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:22 pm

snackdog wrote:...

On the other hand, if you are one of those people who drags two massive hard-sided suitcases out of the closet a full week before travel to start the Packing Process, you probably need all the help you can get. ...
Actually, I have been surprised to find how highly recommended cubes are on the minimalist travel blogs. We are gearing up for multimonth carry-on trips post-July retirement, and based on the reading we've done, we'll likely spend the little bit on cubes. Price is minimal--especially after seemingly draining our bank account for outdoor research and similar clothing ....
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by nisiprius » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:22 pm

I find them distinctly helpful. My wife does not. I bought some of the early Pack-It cubes from Eagle Creek and like them a lot. Some of them wore out (they were double-sided cubes with two zippers and a sealed and a mesh side, and the sealing material on the sealed side wore out) and I couldn't stand paying those prices and bought some cheap-o off-brand cubes, and they are mysteriously not as good. Eagle Creek has somehow been clever in their choice of the actual dimensions for the things.

There's no issue with wasted space in the luggage because the Eagle Creek cubes are soft-sided and form-fitting and they, themselves, stuff in to fill space in the main bag. Also keep in mind that the cubes when empty take up very little space.

The advantage is that all of the small stuff (stocks, underpants, undershirts, handkerchiefs, etc.) doesn't get all twisted up and tangled together. A disadvantage is that to get dressed you need to unzip and re-zip four or five cubes... and after you do your laundry you have to resort everything into cubes again.

A problem they don't really solve is how to manage dirty laundry.

I haven't explored the possibility of using larger and heavier zip-lock bags as a cheaper alternative.

I hate it hate it hate it that they are called "cubes" when they are not, but I can see that "packing rectangular parallelepipeds" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by MattE » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:46 pm

I travel frequently for work, and several times a year provide engineering support for field tests that last up to a month. During that time I might be staying in field quarters where the space provided for personal items is at an absolute minimum (think: a single drawer under a bed) for up to two weeks at a time. I've gotten quite adept at fitting 3 weeks+ worth of clothing into a single carry-on bag on my own (you'd be shocked at how little space a shirt can take up when you roll it into a tiny cylinder), but after having used packing cubes for my last trip I wouldn't go back to packing everything loosely into a bag for anything.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by bluebolt » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:19 pm

Jimmie wrote:Packing "cubes" could be a misleading term. None of the zippered containers are anything close to measuring equally on all sides: length, width, and depth. The assorted dimensions are very versatile.
Packing "surface of a rectangular prism" doesn't have the same ring.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Jimmie » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:04 pm

MattE wrote:I've gotten quite adept at fitting 3 weeks+ worth of clothing into a single carry-on bag on my own (you'd be shocked at how little space a shirt can take up when you roll it into a tiny cylinder), but after having used packing cubes for my last trip I wouldn't go back to packing everything loosely into a bag for anything.
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by janiebegood » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:00 pm

For more than a decade, we packed our family of three in one XL LLBean rolling duffel,including two multi-week trips to China. The mesh packing cubes came in very handy then. I would also pack an extra set of clothes for each of us and put it in one medium-sized cube in our carry-on.

Now I use L and XL ziploc bags, which have the benefit of being more see-through than the mesh or solid cubes and are waterproof. You can buy them on Amazon, and Target often has them as well. The XL is BIG, but two fit side by side on the floor of the duffel.

The bags are inexpensive and surprisingly durable. When we get home from a trip, I spray them out with rubbing alcohol, let them dry, and use them over and over.

One more tip: For kids, pack a whole change of clothes in a gallon-size ziploc. Put all the outfits in their bags inside a bigger ziploc. Every morning pull one bag out.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Pajamas » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:45 pm

I don't find packing cubes useful because I usually travel to one place and then stay put for a while and unpack. In that case, they don't do anything but take up space and add weight to my suitcase while I'm actually traveling. I use plastic freezer bags for small items or liquids that might leak and plastic grocery bags for shoes and dirty laundry. I can get more stuff in a suitcase without the cubes by rolling clothing if need be.

Packing cubes are more useful when staying in a different place each night or nearly every night or for people who travel often and keep various cubes packed and ready to go so they can just grab the ones they need and put them in the suitcase. The cubes can also prevent items like shirts and ties from wrinkling. I even know someone who uses packing cubes to organize clothing in her drawers and closets at home.

Stuff sacks are the equivalent to packing cubes when backpacking and they are useful because the backpack has to be repacked every morning and there is also a need to access items such as food and food prep items, water filters, and sometimes clothing during the day. Plastic freezer bags can still be a good alternative for some of the stuff sacks in a backpack.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by kramer » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:46 pm

I use cubes for clothes and ziploc bags for smaller things (mostly quart bags). I tried rolling clothing before putting it into the cubes but it just didn't work for me, I just fold them in approximately the same rectangular shape of the cube. I use the bigger cubes mostly for pants and shorts.

If anyone has links to videos suggesting better techniques, I am open to that.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by WallStreetPhysician » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:45 am

michaeljc70 wrote:I've never used packing cubes when traveling, but I've heard a few people tell me they wouldn't travel without them. I could see how they would be useful if you are traveling with many stops. I can't imagine they will fit the suitcase perfectly though, so what do you do with the wasted empty space? Pack socks or underwear around them? Do people find the packing cubes to be worthwhile?
I use packing cubes when I travel. Helps separate each traveler's stuff and keeps things more organized so the suitcase isn't just a pile of clothes two days into a trip.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by climber2020 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:00 am

michaeljc70 wrote:I've never used packing cubes when traveling, but I've heard a few people tell me they wouldn't travel without them. I could see how they would be useful if you are traveling with many stops. I can't imagine they will fit the suitcase perfectly though, so what do you do with the wasted empty space? Pack socks or underwear around them? Do people find the packing cubes to be worthwhile?
I'm going to vote in the minority and say no, but that's just due to the way I travel, which is very light and with clothes made of materials that don't wrinkle. For people who pack a big bag (a carry-on size roller bag or larger), I can see the utility. However I've traveled internationally for a month with nothing more than a regular sized backpack (which is what I take 95% of the time), and with such a small bag these things wouldn't really provide any added benefit.

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by spectec » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:26 am

I like packing cubes and garment folders immensely. When I travel, these organizers are essential for living out of my rolling duffel bag. They are versatile and usable in numerous ways. The smart way to use them is to have a variety of sizes, depending upon whether you are using them in a backpack or suitcase/duffel bag. There are always odds and ends that can be rolled to stuff in the vacant spaces between the cubes.

The best place to buy them is on eBay. Ignore the people who are selling them new at retail prices. There are often great deals on used packing cubes and folders.
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by jodydavis » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:14 am

Kosmo wrote:
To each his own. I'm usually 100% in favor of methods to increase organization, but I haven't drunk the Kool Aid on this one yet.
Agreed. This is a classic YMMV thing, depending on how you travel and how you pack. I find them useful. Organizationally, they help, as many have noted. Less noted is that, at least for me, they actually allow me to pack much more into my suitcase because the cubes allow a lot of compression (like a stuff sack).

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Jimmie » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:21 am

spectec wrote:The best place to buy them is on eBay. Ignore the people who are selling them new at retail prices. There are often great deals on used packing cubes and folders.
You have got to be kidding me. I bought my new set of packing cubes on Amazon Prime for $19.99 shipped free to my doorstep.

Just the thought of potentially having bedbugs or lice in a used garment bag from a stranger disgusts me. You might as well buy used underwear at a garage sale...

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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by spectec » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:05 am

Jimmie wrote:
spectec wrote:The best place to buy them is on eBay. Ignore the people who are selling them new at retail prices. There are often great deals on used packing cubes and folders.
You have got to be kidding me. I bought my new set of packing cubes on Amazon Prime for $19.99 shipped free to my doorstep.

Just the thought of potentially having bedbugs or lice in a used garment bag from a stranger disgusts me. You might as well buy used underwear at a garage sale...
I think that smacks of paranoia. Nope, it isn't underwear - nowhere near. And the bedbug/lice problem is easily resolved if one knows the basics regarding how to detect them. ( Necessary info for any experienced traveler). I have about a dozen folders of various sizes. Probably spent no more than $50 for all of them.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

michaeljc70
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:10 am

I picked up a 3 pack from Amazon of their own branded packing cubes. I figured I'll try them on my next trip and if I find them useful I can pick up some more. They were only around $12 delivered.

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CardinalRule
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by CardinalRule » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:32 am

The AmazonBasics line of packing cubes has been really useful for us - and inexpensive. Reading the reviews helped us figure out which size(s) to get.

We never saw a need for them before, but the cubes have proven to be handy. :happy
michaeljc70 wrote:I picked up a 3 pack from Amazon of their own branded packing cubes. I figured I'll try them on my next trip and if I find them useful I can pick up some more. They were only around $12 delivered.

FraggleRock
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Get the air out!

Post by FraggleRock » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:22 pm

Trapper wrote:I use ziplock bags of various sizes. I am a casual traveler and not too concerned about wrinkles.
I welcome wrinkles.
I use my http://www.foodsaver.com/vacuum-sealers ... 00-series/ to vacuum pack. Smaller is better.

michaeljc70
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Re: Get the air out!

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:34 pm

FraggleRock wrote:
Trapper wrote:I use ziplock bags of various sizes. I am a casual traveler and not too concerned about wrinkles.
I welcome wrinkles.
I use my http://www.foodsaver.com/vacuum-sealers ... 00-series/ to vacuum pack. Smaller is better.
How do you get the stuff home? I am assuming you don't travel with a vacuum food sealer.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:56 pm

I don't use the cubes personally. I have a very organized structure to my 21" travel bag using layers and zones for specific purposes. I even sort the layers and zones by days of the trip (e.g. last day pants are on the bottom of the pant zone). I could see the use for keeping rolled shirts in place, but I've found that my current carry-on works beautifully with the bottom compression strap to keep the shirts in place. My bag also has zippered compartments along the sides that are just perfect for about a week days of socks and undergarments (any longer than that and it's time to find a laundry facility).

I could also see the use for the sealed ones that allow you to compress out any wasted "air fluff" in certain types of clothing, but I don't travel with that type of clothing. And if your suitcase didn't have the zippered compartments or compression straps like mine does, I could see using smaller ones for socks and undergarments or the medium ones for shirts. I also see the use for the multi-person travel scenario. But I don't really see the appeal for me, since I've found a carry-on sized bag and organizational structure that works great for me.

Jimmie
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Jimmie » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:08 pm

spectec wrote:I think that smacks of paranoia.
I respect your opinion. However, calling me paranoid? No. Am I realistic? Yes.

Being in along term relationship with a clinical microbiologist, I am well aware of both the common, relatively healthy exposures to common flora and the reckless exposure to potentially harmful diseases.. I am also smart enough NOT to expose myself to someone else's e coli or other crazy diseases because I bought some personal effects used on Ebay to save a few bucks.

I will gladly spend the extra ten bucks to buy personal effects NEW. You have my congratulations on reaching two commas, a day or two before me because your chose to buy someone else's potential disgusting personal effects at a bargain price.

Enjoy!

michaeljc70
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:12 pm

Jimmie wrote:
spectec wrote:I think that smacks of paranoia.
I respect your opinion. However, calling me paranoid? No. Am I realistic? Yes.

Being in along term relationship with a clinical microbiologist, I am well aware of both the common, relatively healthy exposures to common flora and the reckless exposure to potentially harmful diseases.. I am also smart enough NOT to expose myself to someone else's e coli or other crazy diseases because I bought some personal effects used on Ebay to save a few bucks.

I will gladly spend the extra ten bucks to buy personal effects NEW. You have my congratulations on reaching two commas, a day or two before me because your chose to buy someone else's potential disgusting personal effects at a bargain price.

Enjoy!
Though I wouldn't buy them used, the ones I bought are machine washable.

reisner
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by reisner » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:13 pm

I find a couple useful for socks and underwear in a roll-aboard. My weekend and car-travel bag had one big compartment, and nothing seemed to help me deal with that big black hole guarded by an abrasive zipper. I traded that in for a Red Oxx Safari Bag (winner of Outside magazine's Gear of the Year Award). The end compartments hold socks, underwear, and handkerchiefs (we could start a thread on how many Bogleheads use real handkerchiefs). There are enough other small compartments to hold even smaller odds and ends. For the big center compartment anything besides folding or rolling shirts, shorts, pants seems to involve unnecessary zippering and unzippering.

spectec
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by spectec » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:17 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:I don't use the cubes personally. I have a very organized structure to my 21" travel bag using layers and zones for specific purposes. I even sort the layers and zones by days of the trip (e.g. last day pants are on the bottom of the pant zone). I could see the use for keeping rolled shirts in place, but I've found that my current carry-on works beautifully with the bottom compression strap to keep the shirts in place. My bag also has zippered compartments along the sides that are just perfect for about a week days of socks and undergarments (any longer than that and it's time to find a laundry facility).

I could also see the use for the sealed ones that allow you to compress out any wasted "air fluff" in certain types of clothing, but I don't travel with that type of clothing. And if your suitcase didn't have the zippered compartments or compression straps like mine does, I could see using smaller ones for socks and undergarments or the medium ones for shirts. I also see the use for the multi-person travel scenario. But I don't really see the appeal for me, since I've found a carry-on sized bag and organizational structure that works great for me.
There are numerous packing techniques, of course. Before I began using the cubes & folders, I used the "bundle wrap" method. You lay out the items to be packed in a specified pattern, with the items most susceptible to wringing on the bottom. Next you place a core item (such as a filled rectangular or square packing cube) in the center. You then begin folding the shirts, trousers, etc around the core, building it up until the items most susceptible to wrinkling are wrapped around the outside with the most gentle curves & angles. It takes a little practice, but it's very effective in avoiding wrinkles. The downside is that you must unwrap the bundle in order to get to the items inside. It's great when you aren't living out of your suitcase, but it requires more packing/unpacking time. It's possible to use a variation of this method with the folders, but it isn't as effective. And of course TSA can sometimes undo all your efforts.
Last edited by spectec on Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

Dottie57
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:18 pm

jodydavis wrote:
Kosmo wrote:
To each his own. I'm usually 100% in favor of methods to increase organization, but I haven't drunk the Kool Aid on this one yet.
Agreed. This is a classic YMMV thing, depending on how you travel and how you pack. I find them useful. Organizationally, they help, as many have noted. Less noted is that, at least for me, they actually allow me to pack much more into my suitcase because the cubes allow a lot of compression (like a stuff sack).

What do you put in each size ?

Dottie57
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Re: Packing cubes for travel

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:23 pm

climber2020 wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I've never used packing cubes when traveling, but I've heard a few people tell me they wouldn't travel without them. I could see how they would be useful if you are traveling with many stops. I can't imagine they will fit the suitcase perfectly though, so what do you do with the wasted empty space? Pack socks or underwear around them? Do people find the packing cubes to be worthwhile?
I'm going to vote in the minority and say no, but that's just due to the way I travel, which is very light and with clothes made of materials that don't wrinkle. For people who pack a big bag (a carry-on size roller bag or larger), I can see the utility. However I've traveled internationally for a month with nothing more than a regular sized backpack (which is what I take 95% of the time), and with such a small bag these things wouldn't really provide any added benefit.

What did you bring in your back pack? And how big was it?

FraggleRock
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Fill a trash bin in another country

Post by FraggleRock » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:00 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:How do you get the stuff home? I am assuming you don't travel with a vacuum food sealer.
"International Travel" clothes. I abandon them.
Wear. Wash. Wear. Trash.

michaeljc70
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Re: Fill a trash bin in another country

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:06 pm

FraggleRock wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:How do you get the stuff home? I am assuming you don't travel with a vacuum food sealer.
"International Travel" clothes. I abandon them.
Wear. Wash. Wear. Trash.
I do keep a bag of old underwear. I typically once year travel somewhere for a month. I try to stay at a rental with laundry facilites, but they don't always have them. The old underwear helps in that I wear them and toss them.

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