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When travelling, especially with a backpack, one of the greatest pain points is being able to easily access items within your bag – without having to disrupt and pull everything else out.

There’s nothing worse than when you realise you need to get to something but know that it is right down the bottom of the bag. You have to pull everything out and pack it all up again.

As a backpacker, this can be an extremely tedious process and is often like a game of Tetris more than anything else.

Doing this every time you arrive or go somewhere new can be a HUGE headache and time-suck! That’s why I feel that anything that makes this process that little bit more convenient is totally worth it.

That’s why, you’re going to thank me once I welcome to the world of packing cubes and cells. 

Related:

An Intro to Packing Cubes / Cells for Backpackers 

I found these babies to be an absolute godsend when I quit my job to backpack around the world for a year. 

Not only do they help you to organise your things and separate them between multiple compartments, but they also allow you to get to items in your backpack without destroying the order of everything else.

Backpacking can be chaotic and messy at times, therefore it’s very easy for your bag to get out of control. This can cause added stress, as you struggle to quickly find things during your trip.

Feeling organised when I travel gets a big tick in my books.  However, there is a fine balance between reaping the advantages of a good quality packing cell / cube and paying too much for little added benefit. 

This is particularly true when new to backpacking and you need to buy a ton of other travel gear for your trip.

Travel gear and gadgets can add up very quickly, eating away a BIG chunk of your overall travel budget. Something newbie travellers often fail to plan for.

It is also important to learn how to pack a packing cube properly to save space and fit more into your backpack. 

If you’re planning your first solo trip overseas, then I believe you’ll  find this article extremely valuable – helping you save a ton of time and money.

I’ll provide an overview of 11 different individual packing cubes and sets on the market focusing on:

I’ll then share insight into what I’d personally buy and give you some guidance and recommendations when planning your own gear. 

If you’d like to skip to the winners, you can click the link below.

< Skip to the Winners! > 

 

Related:

Packing Cubes: What they are and how to use them

 

Using Packing Cubes In Your Luggage (Carry-on and Checkin)

In my opinion, packing cubes are truly one of the BEST ways to save space in your travel backpack. 

As mentioned above, packing cubes and cells can be a great way to organise and sort your clothing and other items so that you can easily find and remove them, without disrupting your entire pack.

When I travel, I use packing cubes to:

  • Keep my bag orderly and organised
  • Save space in my bag
  • Separate my winter / bulky clothes from my lighter clothes
  • Protect my clothing from any leaks in my bag
  • Hide and secure identity documents or valuables within my clothes (eg. passport, credit cards, small tech, cash and valuables).
  • Protect my valuables with padding from my clothes

Now that I’ve highlighted some easy space-saving tips for backpackers, let’s look more closely at the different types of packing cubes / cells that are available.

Related:

 

 

The Best Packing Cubes / Cells for Backpackers

Alrighty guys, I’ve done a ton of research online and here’s what I’ve found:

From these, I have narrowed it down to my Top 3 winners based on price, product quality and durability, existing customer reviews and customer service (eg. delivered on time). 

I also explore whether it’s worth spending extra for compression packing cells or whether it’s a waste of money. 

So without further ado, let’s jump into it. 

< Skip to the Winners! > 

 

Single & Double-Sided Packing Cubes

 

1. Target “Made by Design” Double-sided Packing Cubes

The next packing cells that I looked at are available at Target. On first impression, these packing cubes seem EXPENSIVE y’all. Especially given they’re from Target.

Or should I say, “Tar-jay”. Anyone else remember that Ad? 

 I wouldn’t have thought that Target would stock travel packing cubes, however, let’s take a look and see whether they’re anything special to talk about.  

Target Double Sided Packing Cubes

Target Double Sided Packing Cubes | Image source: Target.com.au

Overview:

  • Product: 2 x double sided packing cubes 
    • Large: 45cm x 30cm x 15cm
    • Medium: 30cm x 22cm x 16cm
  • Material: Polyester
  • Colour: Black
  • Price: ~ $32.00 AUD
  • Reviews: 75% 5 star reviews, of 12 reviews

Pros: 

  • These packing cells are double-sided providing greater separation and organising of your clothes. They are also considered to be an appropriately sized cell to fit your main pieces of clothing. 
  • Ventilated mesh on both sides which allows air to circulate preventing that foul smell from dirty clothes seeping into your clean clothes. It also allows you to see into the cell to identify what is in there. 
  • Customers have mentioned that the material seems to be sturdy, good quality and easy to clean 
  • You also get a 1 year warranty with the packing cells which is reassuring 

Cons:

  • Maybe I’m a bit of a travel snob, but I feel like these packing cells are quite expensive given they’re from Target and not a premium travel brand. 
  • They do look quite bulky to me, however this could just be due to the double sided nature of the packing cell
  • The large packing cube is VERY big so might’t be that helpful for backpackers using smaller travel backpacks given room within these packs is already very limited. I fear that it won’t fit or that you won’t get a lot of use out of it. 
  • Reviews are over 2 years old (from what I can find anyway) which makes me wonder if they still stock it in stores. It would be more valuable to see ones that are more recent. 

 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

Are these Target packing cubes worth the price tag?

In my opinion, these packing cells look pretty decent. 

  • They are double-sided (which I prefer) 
  • Parts of them are made of mesh material so you can see into the sections. It also lets your clothes breathe.
  • According to reviews, the material is somewhat durable

However at $32 AUD, I’d probably look at some other options first. This price tag is pretty high compared to some of the other packing cubes and cells I’ve seen.

I believe there are ones out there that would be better value for money. Possibly from some of the more renowned travel brands on Amazon.com.

Side note – Good on Target for providing a double sided packing cube. Highly convenient if you live nearby and want to physically touch it before you buy it. 

View on Target

 

 

2. Eagle Creek “Pack-It Specter” Double-sided Packing Cubes

Let’s now turn our attention to some of the packing cubes available on Amazon.

This packing cube, the “Pack-It Specter”, is double-sided which makes it ideal for separating clean and dirty clothes or warmer clothes (eg. jumpers and pants) from cooler clothes (shorts, skirts and tank tops). 

Eagle Creek Packing Cube

Eagle Creek 2-sided Packing Cube | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product:  1 x double sided packing cube
    • Small: 26cm x 19.7cm x 9.5 cm
  • Material:  30D Silnylon Ripstop
  • Colour: Yellow & white (translucent)
  • Price: ~ $17 AUD | $30 USD
  • Reviews: 79% 5 star reviews of 117 reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

Pros:

  • These packing cubes are marketed as being light-weight, durable and water repellent. This means that even if a bit of water leaks in your bag, your clothes will remain predominantly dry. 
  • The floating LinkSeal Mesh divider helps to keep the two compartments separated which allows you to streamline your packing efforts and organise your clothes better
  • The material is relatively translucent which allows you to see what’s in either side. 
  • Some have said that these parcels are relatively good at compressing your clothes
  • The price is very cheap in Australia compared to the US which is very interesting. Usually it’s the other way around
  • They offer a lifetime warranty so it’s a low risk purchase. 

 

Cons:

  • This packing cell is really small, which makes it only really suitable for smaller items of clothing (eg. underwear and socks) rather than chunkier clothes. 
  • Some customers have complained about the material ripping within the first couple of uses. 
  • Some also state that the quality of these packing cells is not what it used to be 
  • These packing cells are not structured. Ie – they don’t have much shape until you put your clothes into them. 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

For $17 AUD, I think this double-sided packing cell is a good option. Especially, if on a tight budget. It’s not going to break the bank and has all the basic things that make a good packing cube. 

When backpacking, having light-weight and durable packing cubes is a must. Given this packing cell seems to offer both, that’s a good start. 

Given the mix of reviews, I’d suggest just trying it for yourself and making up your own opinion. In general, Eagle Creek is one of the leading brands when it comes to travel packing cubes.  

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

 

 

3. Eagle Creek “Pack-It Clean/Dirty Split” Packing Cube 

Comparing this packing cube to the other Eagle Creek cube above, the main differences I see is the material, the size and the price. This packing cube is made of polyester and is larger than the Nylon “Specter” alternative. 

Both packing cubes are double-sided, so share the benefit of separating dirty clothes from clean clothes, or separating warm clothes from cool clothes.

So, which is better? Let’s take a look. 

Eagle Creek Double Sided Packing cube-min

Eagle Creek 2-sided Packing Cell | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product: 1 x single sided packing cube   
    • Medium: 36cm x 25.5cm x 10cm
  • Material:   300D polyester micro-weave and link-seal mesh
  • Colour:  Blue, Red & Black
  • Price: ~ $35 AUD | $24 USD
  • Reviews: 86% 5 star reviews, of 330+ reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com  

Pros:

  • Similar to the “Specter” double-sided packing cell, this cell also contains one water-repellent compartment for dirty or wet clothes and another that is breathable (best for clean clothes)
  • The water-resistant LinkSeal mesh compartment keeps the two compartments separate so that odours don’t sink into the clean side, and also helps to keep moisture in (for wet items) or out
  • Some customers have raved about the two-way zipper and how it makes it very quick and easy to pack this cell and also helps to compress clothes within the cell
  • This packing cell looks to be made of higher quality and more durable material
  • Eagle Creek offer a Lifetime Warranty and will replace the product in the event of product failure. 

Cons:

  • There have been some complaints of the handles not being very strong. I don’t think this is the be-all-end-all, however it can make it harder to pull the cubes out of your backpack when packed tightly. More inconvenient than anything. 
  • Some have also claimed that these packing cells don’t have a lot of structure and rigidity. However, I feel that these look like they have a lot more structure than the “Pack-it Specter” Packing cubes they offer
  • One other negative of these travel packing cubes is that delivery seems to be inconsistent. Some claim that they arrived on time, others say that their orders were late. Given there were only a select few of these, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it unless you need them to arrive urgently. 

 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

It’s a tricky one. Compared to the “pack-it Specter”, these cubes do look to be more durable and larger in size. However, the jump in cost is pretty significant.

I’m not sure that I’d be happy to pay $35 AUD for one packing cell. There are packing cube sets that you can get that are much better value than this.

I’ll share more about these below. 

If you really want an Eagle Creek packing cube, and money isn’t an issue, then this could be a great option for you to check out. It’s also very likely to outlast one use, which is more than I can say for the K-mart packing cube set (below). 

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com  

 

 

 

4. Kathmandu Packing Cell (Classic)

Kathmandu Packing Cell

Kathmandu Packing Cell | Image source: Kathmandu 

Overview:

  • Product: 1 x single sided packing cube 
    • Medium: 35cm x W 25cm x H 12cm
  • Material: Polyester
  • Colour: Black and grey
  • Price: ~ $30 AUD
  • Reviews: 91% 5 star reviews, of 80 reviews

View on Kathmandu AUS

Pros:

  • These packing cubes are made from a durable outer fabric, “REPREVE™, which is a polyester created from recycled plastic bottles. I actually love that Kathmandu are supporting recycling and eco-conscious travel by using one recycled bottle within the materials of each packing cube. That’s awesome, and no other companies seem to be doing that.
  • Packing cubes contain a mesh front panel which allows for greater visibility and breathability of your clothes
  • These packing cubes are made to pack into their own pocket, helping to save you space when travelling or when storing back home
  • 91% of the reviews are 5 star which suggests this is a quality product with very few negative reviews
  • Good quality zippers
  • Has a degree of structure to the bag but still flexible enough to be manoeuvred and squashed into your bag. This makes these cubes easier to pack then completely unstructured bags, but not too rigid to make it hard to pack things around it.
  • They offer a 60 days return policy 

Cons:

  • At expected from Kathmandu products, these packing cells don’t come with a cheap price tag. At $30 AUD each, you’re going to want to feel reassured that they are quality items and won’t break after the first use.
  • If you don’t pick up in store, shipping is around $10 depending on where you’re located in Australia. However, they do offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount.

 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

Yes. Kathmandu products are generally known for their quality and being built to last. I personally own a similar product to this, which is a double sided packing cube and it survived my entire trip.

It did however, seem to grow some weird mouldy coloured near the mesh material, however the overall quality of the bag is great.

However, in saying that, I did also buy two other cheaper Kathmandu packing cells, and both fell apart by the end of my trip. I had to keep them together with staples and sticky tape which was not ideal.

My Kathmandu packing cells that almost died

My Kathmandu packing cells that almost died

I therefore think it depends on the product and material you get. From what I know, these ones will do the job if you’re happy to pay the extra money for the prestigious travel brand.

View on Kathmandu AUS

 

 

 

5. MACPAC Packing Cell

MacPac packing cell

Macpac Packing Cell | Image Source: Macpac

Overview:

  • Product: 1 x single sided packing cube 
    • Medium: 34cm x 25cm x 14.5cm
  • Material: Polyester
  • Colour: Red, yellow, blue & patterned
  • Price: ~ $35 AUD
  • Reviews: No reviews

View on MACPAC

 

Pros:

  • These packing cells are made from light and durable polyester fabric with a PU coating. Initially, I didn’t know what a PU coating was, however after researching, it seems to be a polyurethane coating which has water-repellant qualities. 
  • They contain a top mesh panel which helps you see what is packed into each cell and let’s your clothes breathe
  • These cells contain full perimeter zippers, which allows you to open the packing cell fully (easier for packing).

Cons:

  • No particular negatives given the lack of reviews, however I don’t feel there are many stand out features either, especially at a price of $35 AUD per cube. I think this is quite expensive for the basic design of the cube.
  • Little information available about product
  • Is also approx. $10 for shipping depending on how much you spend and where you’re located. However, they do offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount.

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

Given there is very little information about this product on Macpac’s website and few reviews, it’s hard to tell. I do feel that the price is up there with the more expensive packing cubes, yet I don’t see a lot more of extra value to justify it.

If you’d like to read more about this packing cube, click the link below:

View on MACPAC

< Skip to the Winners! > 

Related:

Backpacker with backpack

Compression Packing Cubes

 

1. Tripped Compression Packing Cubes 

Tripped is a brand of packing cubes that is marketed as being created by travellers for travellers. However, in my opinion, they kind of look like an identical copy of Eagle Creek’s compression cubes (I’ll share more about these ones below).

It could be a coincidence, but I doubt it… 

Let’s have a look at whether these compression packing cubes add a lot more value compared to your standard packing cubes. 

Tripped Compression Packing Cubes

Tripped Compression Cubes | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product: Set of 2 packing cubes 
    • Medium:  36cm x 25cm x 3cm-10cm
    • Small: 25cm x 18cm x 3-10cm 
  • Material:   Water resistant, ripstop Nylon
  • Colour:  Translucent white and Green
  • Price: ~ $35 AUD | $20 USD
  • Reviews: 79% 5 star reviews, of 3000+ reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com  

Pros: 

  • Made from smooth rip-stop Nylon which is light-weight, translucent, water resistant and strong. The translucent features allows you to vaguely see what is inside each cube, rather than having to open it every time. 
  • Advertised to have strong snag-free zippers and an easy to grab handle which makes it easier to pull it out of your backpack

Cons: 

  • Some customers mentioned that the handle broke at first use, which isn’t ideal.
  • Similar to some of the other cells mentioned above, these packing cubes don’t have much structure. 
  • Additionally, some have mentioned that when compressed, a bulge tends to form in the middle of the cube which defies the whole point of compression.
  • Although advertised as having “snag free” zippers, some customers have mentioned that they experienced it catching on the bag’s fabric. It’s hard to know whether they just got a dodgy cube…or if this is a common trend. 

 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

Based on the reviews for these cubes, I’m not fully convinced that compression packing cubes make that much of a difference versus your standard cubes. I will be interested to test this theory.

Given that you get two packing cubes in this set, one for smaller clothes and the other for larger items, I think the price is reasonable though. And in general, the reviews are very good – almost 80% of 3,000 reviews being 5 stars.

I do also like the material that these are made off, given they are easy to squeeze into your backpack when you are tight on space. 

Before I say yes to this one, I’d prefer to look at some other alternatives as well. If you’d like to take a lot at them yourself, you can click the link below. 

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

2. Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes 

As mentioned above, Eagle Creek is definitely a favoured brand for packing cubes, also offering a range of compression cubes. However, are they worth the extra money? I’ll share my thoughts with you below. 

Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes

Eagle Creek Compression Cubes | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product: Set of 2 packing cubes 
    • Small: 25.5cm x 18cm x 8cm 
    • Medium: 36cm x 25.5 cm x 8 cm 
  • Material:   Nylon 
  • Colour:  White and Green, Blue or patterned 
  • Price: ~ $52 AUD | $40 USD
  • Reviews: 81% 5 star reviews, of 1400+ reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com  

Pros:

  • These cubes are made from strong non-rip Nylon material and are said to be light-weight, water-resistant, washable and contain anti-staining properties
  • These packing cubes have a less than 1% return rate
  • They are advertised as making it easier to compress clothing and save space in your luggage
  • Eagle Creek offer a Lifetime Warranty and will replace the product in the event of product failure. 

Cons:

  • Expensive. These packing cells are a lot more expensive than other packing cubes on the market
  • Given the double zipping, it’s harder to see what’s inside each cube
  • To make the cells lighter, the zipper only opens on two sides. This makes packing more difficult compared to other cells that open completely / on 3-4 sides. 
  • There have been some complaints of the compression zipper getting caught on the internal lining of the packing cubes. Therefore, although the material feels durable, you will want to take care when zipping to ensure the material doesn’t rip. 
  • Some customers have claimed that there’s not much benefit of using these compression cubes compared to standard packing cubes for the additional price – the compression doesn’t seem to make a HUGE difference. 

 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

Given the mixed reviews on these packing cells stating that the compression functionality of these packing cells doesn’t make much difference, I’d probably prefer to save my pennies for a rainy day.

However, with 81% of their 2400 reviews being 5 Star and a low return rate, I definitely believe these packing cubes are a quality product. If you’re simply after quality and don’t mind too much about compression then these compression cubes could be a good option to check out.

Given my focus is always on value for money, I’d prefer to look at some other products before I decide that this is the one for me. 

If you’d like to learn more about these packing cubes, you can check it out below. 

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com  

 

 

 

3. Gonex Compression Packing Cubes 

Gonex is another popular packing cube brand on Amazon, with a pretty solid reputation. In this section, I’ll be reviewing their compression packing cube set, which consists of three different-sized packing cubes.  

Gonex Compression Packing Cubes

Gonex Compression Cubes | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product: Set of 3 packing cubes
    • Large: 37cm x 27 cm x 9cm
    • Medium: 30cm x 22.5 x 9 cm
    • Small: 25cm x 19cm x 8cm
  • Material:    Nylon  
  • Colour:  Black, Grey & other 
  • Price: ~ $45 AUD | $23 USD
  • Reviews: 70% 5 star reviews, of 1300+ reviews

View on Amazon (AUS) | View on Amazon.com

Pros:

  • Gonex products are generally well-made, good quality and lightweight.
  • The compression functionality of these packing cells does seem to create more space within your luggage. 
  • Product is typically delivered on time 
  • Gonex offer a 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year warranty which is good. This allows you to easily return the product if there are any issues with it. 

Cons

  • Only 70% of the 1300+ reviews are 5 star which is quite low compared to the other products mentioned 
  • Some customers have mentioned that despite appearances, these compression packing cubes don’t have as solid a structure as you’d think from the images. However, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Not having a rigid structure means that you can more easily stuff the cubes into your back and into varying shapes. 
  • The zipper doesn’t open entirely, which can impact how you stuff the packing cell. I do, however, feel that this seems to be a shared issue of most compression cells.
  • The expanding zipper can occasionally clamp your clothing, however this is easily fixed by pausing and pulling the zip back slowly. 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

Yeah, I think these compression packing cubes are a good option. They are cheaper than the Eagle Creek alternative and you get 3 in the pack compared to 2-set you get with Tripped. 

Although only 70% of the reviews are 5 Star, I think this is still relatively good given that they have over 1300 reviews. 

I also like that they offer a 30-day money back guarantee and a 1 year warranty, making it a low risk purchase. 

View on Amazon (AUS) | View on Amazon.com

 

< Skip to the Winners! > 

 

Related:

Packing Cube Sets for Backpackers

Packing Cube Sets 

 

One of the toughest things you’ll discover when packing your bags for a long trip is fitting everything in. This is where packing cube sets can provide a great advantage.

Within a packing cube set, you will get multiple packing cubes of different shapes and sizes. This helps you to better organise your clothing and save space in your backpacks.

The advantage of a pack is that you also tend to save money buying multiple at once, than buying individual packing cubes. But is it worth buying a set of multiple packing cubes or just 1 or 2?

Let’s take a look.

 

1. Kmart Packing Cubes (3 Set)

To kick off this section, I’m going to look first at some of the super cheap options. Kmart is a classic example of this.

Truth be told, I didn’t even realise that they stocked packing cubes. So, I had to find out for myself. I actually ordered these to see what all the hype was about and whether they would live up to my critique.

On first impression, I thought that these babies looked like a bargain. However, the question remains – Are they really worth the cheap price?

Overview:

  • Product: 3 pack of packing cubes of different sizes 
    • Large: 45cm x 34cm x 9cm 
    • Medium: 34cm x 25cm x 8.5cm 
    • Small: 28cm x 16cm x 8cm 
  • Material: Polyester 
  • Colour: Black
  • Price: ~ $7.50 AUD
  • Reviews: 90% 5 star reviews of 20+ reviews

View on Kmart

A comparison of K-mart packing cubes to my own

Pros:

  • These packing cells are ridiculously cheap. 
  • You get a set of 3 packing cubes of different sizes for less than $10 AUD. Um wow… that’s practically unheard of. 
  • They are easy to get your hands on (if you’re in Australia)
  • The mesh material allows clothing to breathe and for you to easily see the insides of the packing cell. 
  • According to the reviews, they stack well (which isn’t rocket science to be honest)

Cons: 

  • Very mixed reviews on Kmart’s website (examples below)
  • No water-repellant compartments to prevent your clothes getting wet in the event of a leak
  • It is regularly stated that these packing cells are of poor quality – with zips and material that feels flimsy, thin and weak
  • Reviews have mentioned that the material would tear easily and could come undone from the seems

 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

All I can say is you get what you pay for. Guys, these cells are cheap for a reason. 

I bought them myself, just so I could test them out as a possible option but I’m telling you now, they won’t last very long. Especially if planning a big backpacking trip. 

When backpacking, you pull packing cells in and out of your backpack regularly and rather roughly. They need to be durable. 

The material of these packing cells is very cheap, soft and flimsy. They have no structure and the zips don’t last. I tried zipping up a reasonable amount of clothes into the cube and it broke straight away (see below)

I wasn’t rough with it or anything…

A Review of K-Mart Packing Cubes

The only time I would recommend these packing cells is if:

  • You have a very minimal budget and just don’t have the money to afford anything more expensive
  • You’re doing a short, light-weight trip and don’t have to pack and repack a lot.  

If you’d like to give them a go, you can view them on their website below.

View on Kmart

 

 

 

2. Shacke Pak Packing Cubes + Laundry Bag (4 Set)

Shacke Pak is another popular brand of packing cubes, especially when it comes to packing sets. They have a TON of positive reviews, with almost 12,000 reviews in total!

However,  for the purpose of this review, I’m focused on value for money and durability, not popularity.

Of course, lots of positive reviews are a handy guide to the quality of a product to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck and can feel confident in your decision. 

Shacke Pak Set of Packing Cubes

Shacke Pak Set of Packing Cubes | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product:  Set of 4 packing cubes
    • Extra Large – 44.5cm x 32cm x 10cm
    • Large – 35cm x 32cm x 10cm
    • Medium – 35cm x 25cm x 10cm
    • Small – 28cm x 17cm x 10cm
  • Material: Nylon
  • Colour:  Various    
  • Price: ~ $42 AUD | $25 USD 
  • Reviews: 87% 5 star reviews, of 11,600+ reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

Pros:

  • These packing cubes are renowned for their high quality, durable and water resistant nylon material. They contain double stitching, so are built to last and withstand general wear and tear from travel.
  • Each cube is reinforced with a X-Design web stitching made specifically to prevent the fabric from folding/bulging in the middle or tearing
  • The mesh material allows clothing to breathe and for you to easily see the insides of the packing cell. 
  • These packing cubes are 4 inches deep which allows you to fit in more items. 
  • High quality, sturdy zippers for smooth opening and closing 
  • This pack includes a laundry bag to help separate your dirty clothes from your clean clothes to prevent odours seeping into your clean clothes

Cons:

  • Given a lot of the pack is mesh, it can be easy to poke holes into the cubes if you’re not careful when packing.
  • Some customers have mentioned that the material is heavier than that of other packing cubes they’ve used. However, of the packing cubes I’ve reviewed, most seem to be made of Nylon or a similar material so I don’t feel this is a big deal.  
  • Two customers rated this product poorly because they found some hairs in their cubes, causing them to believe that they were sent a used and returned product. The photos make me wonder if it is even human hair. Maybe the suppliers just have a pet onsite haha – who knows? Either way, it’s kind of gross.

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

At a price point of $42 AUD for 4 packing cubes, these cubes sound great and good value for money – with double stitching and a reinforced X-Design for added durability.

To me, being able to see what’s inside my packing cubes is important (mesh tops) as it saves me time having to look for things in my bag. I also like that the structure of the packing cubes isn’t entirely rigid, so I can squish and compress them based on the bag I’m packing them into.

I feel that the negative comments made are pretty minor. I think that all packing cubes made of a mesh material are susceptible to having holes poked into them. Additionally, cubes made of similar materials are likely to be a similar weight, so I don’t think this is a “make or break” issue.

Overall, I feel like these Shacke Pack cubes are a solid option.

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

 

 

3. Gonex Packing Cubes  + Laundry Bag (6 Set)

Gonex Packing cube Set-min (1)

Gonex Packing Cubes | Image Source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product:  Set of 6 packing cubes 
    • 1 x Large – 44cm x 33cm x 9cm
    • 1 x Medium – 35cm x 25cm x 9cm
    • 3 x Small – 23cm x 10cm x 9cm
    • 1 x Laundry bag – 46cm x33cm
  • Material:  Rip-stop Nylon fabric
  • Colour:  Black
  • Price: ~  $36 AUD / $22 USD
  • Reviews: 80% 5 star reviews, of 2100+ reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

Pros:

  • These packing cubes are made from lightweight and durable honeycomb RipStop nylon fabric and mesh material top panels. This fabric is designed to reduce the likelihood of tearing, allow your clothes to breathe and give you the ability to see what’s packed inside your packing cubes without having to open them. 
  • Similar to Eagle Creek, Gonex offers a 1 Year Warranty which is always a nice cherry on top
  • The parcels are said to have a double-way zipper and a strong handle 
  • Similar to Shacke Pak, this set also comes with a laundry bag 

Cons:

  • There are quite a few customer reviews that state that the advertising is misleading. The images make you believe that these packing cubes are Gonex branded. However, they are apparently not genuine Gonex products. Instead they are believed to be a Chinese replica. I highly dislike copy-cats, so in my eyes this is not good. 
  • Some customers have complained that the product took a long time to arrive. However, there are mixed reviews on this with others stating that they haven’t had any issues.
  • Some have claimed that the interior stitching of the packing cell is poor quality

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

The comments from customers on this product seem to be pretty mixed. In general (of 2100+ reviews) the sentiment is positive, with 80% of the reviews being 5 stars.

I think that’s a great indication that the product does what it says it will do.

However, if it is true that these products are a copy of the Gonex brand, then they lose my vote. I like to support businesses that are authentic and honest. However, I can’t fully confirm or deny the truth of this as I don’t own the product.

If you’re after a cheap set of packing cubes, and the brand doesn’t bother you, then these cubes could be a good option to check out.

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

 

4. BAGAIL Compression Packing Cube (4 Set)

Of course, I need to include a set of compression packing cubes into the mix. I think it’s good to compare a variety of packing cube sets to ensure you’re choosing the right one for you.

Bagail Compression Packing Cube Set

Bagail Compression Packing Cube Set | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product: Set of 4 packing cubes
    • 1 x Extra Large – 44.5cm x 32cm x 10cm)
    • 1 x Large – 35cm x 32cm x 10cm
    • 1 x Medium – 35cm x 24cm x 10cm
    • 1 x Small – 28cm x 17cm x 10cm
  • Material: Nylon
  • Colour:  Various  
  • Price: ~ $50 AUD | $27 USD
  • Reviews: 74% 5 star reviews, of 2700+ reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com 

Pros:

  • The material that these compression packing cubes are made our of is light-weight, durable and water-repellant. This helps to prevent tearing and also protect your clothes from spills or leaks in your bag.
  • The pack includes packing cubes of varying sizes to suit different packing shapes and purposes
  • They also contain a smooth and sturdy double way zipper
  • Contains a double stitched zipper to provide enhanced durability

Cons:

  • Although advertised as being able to save up to 60% more space in your bag, some customers have claimed that the effectiveness these cubes to compress is questionable 
  • They also tend to be heavier than some of the other ultra light packing cubes. Therefore, some have mentioned that these cubes may not be the best option for backpackers. 
  • For some, the compressor zipper broke or came off shortly after receiving the packing cubes (ie. the first time they were being used)  

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

Based on what I’ve read, I’m not convinced. Personally, I just can’t confidently say that I’m the compression cubes offer a ton more value than traditional packing cubes. And at a higher price point, I’d probably choose another option.

However, I am still to test our some compression cubes, so maybe my opinion will change once I do.

If you’re keen to try compression cubes, then you can always test them out and see if they’re advantageous for you.

Having 4 compression cubes at a price of $50 AUD is still reasonable value. Especially when you compare it to Target’s double-sided 2 set which is $32 AUD. You’re getting 2 extra cubes for $18 AUD.

If you’d like to learn more about this pack, you can read more via the links below:

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com 

 

 

 

5. BAGAIL Packing Cubes (6 Set)

BAGAIL set of packing cells

BAGAIL set of packing cells | Image source: Amazon.com.au

Overview:

  • Product:  6 set of packing cube
    • 2 x Large – 44.5cm x 35cm x 10cm 
    • 2 x Medium – 35cm x 25cm x 10cm
    • 2 x Small –  35cm x 15.5cm x 10cm
  • Material:  Nylon
  • Colour Various    
  • Price: ~ $29  AUD | $29 USD 
  • Reviews: 84% 5 star reviews, of 12,800+ reviews

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

Pros:

  • These packing cubes are made from good quality Nylon material and have a mesh top panel which provides easy identification of what’s inside and allows your clothes to breathe 
  • Strong and reliable double zippers and stitching that make opening/closing the cubes simple and fast
  • This pack comes with a variety of cube sizes to fit into a daypacks, backpacks and suitcases or different shapes
  • Lots of different colours to choose from

Cons:

  • Although BAGAIL advertise the zipper to be reliable (as above), there are some customer reviews that mention the fraying of material near the zip. This can cause the mesh to eventually pull away from the zipper after one use
  • Similar to some of the other packing cubes, these cubes have little structure to the bag. 

Are these packing cubes good value for money?

I’d say yes. With 84% of the 12,800 reviews being 5 stars and the price being $29 AUD for a 6 pack, I think it’d be hard to go wrong here.

I also appreciate that the cubes come in a variety of different sizes and that they provide more options in terms of colour. This give you more versatility and opportunity to have fun with the cubes you buy.

I also like that you get 2 of each size. When I travelled I had 1 double sided medium cube, 1 single sided medium cube and a small cube. I think it’s great that you can pick and choose which cubes you use depending on where and how long you’re planning to travel for.

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

Related:

 

The winners: The Best Packing Cubes for Backpackers

The Winners! – The 4 Best Packing Cubes for Backpackers 

 

 

1) Best Single/Double Sided Packing Cube

When comparing packing cubes under this section, I actually found it really hard to choose a winner. Each of them have benefits as well as some big flaws.

If I had to choose… I’d go for the:

Kathmandu Packing Cell (Classic)

Best Standard Packing Cell - Kathmandu

Kathmandu Packing Cell | Image source: Kathmandu 

 

Here’s why: 

  • Although Kathmandu’s packing cells are often more expensive than comparable cells, they are one of the most renowned travel brands globally, and particularly in Australia. This means that you know that what you’re getting is going to be reasonable quality and they are a trustworthy brand.  
  • The cells are made from mesh material and polyester created from recycled plastic bottles which is awesome. I, myself, am an eco-conscious traveller and support companies that make an effort to make travel more sustainable and have a positive impact on the environment
  • These packing cubes pack into their own pocket which is handy to save space when you’re not using them.
  • 91% of the reviews are 5 star which indicates that the product is high quality, with no customers complaining about the quality of the zips or stitching which is a positive
  • I like it when packing cells have some degree of structure before packing your clothes into them. However, I dislike rigidity. These cells look to be flexible enough to be squashed into your bag and re-shaped.
  • They have a 60 days return policy which makes the purchase risk-free if there is something wrong with the product or it is not to your liking.

If you’d like to save yourself some cash, I would suggest picking these up in-store to save on shipping fees (if you live in Australia). I’d also suggest just buying one large/medium high quality cell from Kathmandu, and then buying 1-2 cheaper packing cells online for smaller items (eg. socks and undies).

If you’d like to read more about this packing cube, or get one for yourself, you can do so via the links below. 

View on Kathmandu AUS

 

2) Best Compression Packing Cube

As mentioned above, I’m not 100% convinced that compression packing cubes offer a lot of benefit compared to standard packing cubes. However, I do think it comes down to expectation, as there is obviously going to be limitations in how much a packing cell can compress based on what you have inside the cube. 

So I do feel like that options are very perceptive.

After comparing the packing cubes under this section, I would lean towards:

Tripped Compression Packing Cubes 

Best Compression Packing Cell: Tripped

Tripped Compression Cubes | Image source: Amazon.com.au

 

Here’s why:

  • They market themselves as being made for travellers by travellers. I feel that because of this, they have a good understanding of what works and is needed, versus what isn’t.
  • They are not as expensive as the Eagle Creek or Gonex alternatives despite offering some compression
  • The sizes of the 2 packing cubes are ideal – one medium size for standard clothing, and a smaller option for your underwear, socks etc.
  • The material they are made of is durable, light-weight and water resistant to protect your clothes from the elements, and if there is a leak in your bag.
  • The translucent features of the material also allow for you to have an idea of what’s within each parcel, without having to necessarily open it every time.
  • 79% of their 3000+ reviews are 5 star. I think this is a very good achievement and signifies that despite some negative reviews, it is overall a quality product. 
  • I also don’t feel that the bulging in the centre is a huge issue, if you’re going to be squeezing them into your bag anyway. I am keen to test this though myself to see if it does make them harder to pack / less likely to save any space.

If you’d like to read more about this packing cube, or get one for yourself, you can do so via the links below. 

View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

3) Best Packing Cube Set

For this section, I found it really hard to choose between two sets. So I’m going to count it as a draw because I think the decision depends on if you’re planning to travel solo or with a partner/friend. 

Shacke Pak 4-Set of Packing Cubes (For Solo Travellers)

& BAGAIL 6-Set of Packing Cubes (For Couples/Friends)

Best Set of Packing Cubes - BAGAIL & SHACKE PACK

Best Sets of Packing Cubes | Images sourced from: Amazon.com.au

 

Here’s why:

  • They both come with a mixture of shapes and sizes that allow you to pick and choose which packing cells you’d like to use, depending on your trip. You won’t be limited with what you can pack
  • They are made from quality Nylon and have 2-way zippers for easy opening and closing
  • They are between $40-45 AUD which is an incredible price for this many packing cells. In my eyes this is great value for money. For the Shacke Pak you are getting the equivalent of 4 packing cubes for $10 and for BAGAIL, 6 packing cubes for $7 each.   
  • They average around 84%-87% 5 star reviews, of total of 11,500-13,000 customer reviews. That’s a huge feat and gives a good indication that overall the products are good value for money.
  • The packing cubes come in a variety of colours and patterns giving you a ton of choice to find something that you like and that is also functional

Differences between the two:

  • You get 6 packing cubes within the BAGAIL pack and 4 within the Shacke Pak.
  • BAGAIL’s set offers a lifetime warranty. I can’t see whether Shacke Pak offers this too.
  • BAGAIL’s set provides 3 entirely different shapes of cube. Shacke Pak’s set are the same shape despite different sizes.
  • Shacke Pak’s packing cubes have double stitching and the material is water-repellent to keep your clothes dry in the event of a leak in your bag.
  • Shacke Pak’s set also comes with a free laundry bag. BAGAIL’s doesn’t.

If a solo traveller, I feel that getting a set of 6 packing cubes is overkill (BAGAIL), especially given you’d be getting two of each size. However, this is extremely valuable if travelling with someone else because you can go halvies on these packing cubes and save a ton of money between you both.

If you’d like to read more about these packing cube sets, or get one for yourself, you can do so via the links below. 

BAGAIL 6-Set:          View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

Shacke Pak 4-Set:    View on Amazon AUS | View on Amazon.com

 

In Summary:

I hope that you have found this article on the best packing cubes and cells for backpackers useful.

I know I definitely found researching all of these products helpful. I’d never really understood the difference between standard packing cubes and compression packing cubes, but now I do.

If you would like more packing cube tips or info about travel gear you can check out our other articles below:

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Hey guys, I’m Ash & welcome to Adventure Travel Pro!

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