Our staff of minimalists will assert that there is really only one right way to pack a carry-on bag. Just like our EDC, our carry-on bag has to be sleek and extremely versatile. Therefore, there is one travel accessory that many of us Gear Patrol staffers won’t travel without: packing cubes. These mini organizational tools are a low-lift way to keep your bag tidy. Whether you’re packing a hard-sided bag, a duffel or a rugged backpack, these cubes streamline that process, so you never have to worry if you packed your extra pair of socks, underwear or favorite jacket.
Here are eight recommended packing cubes that will keep your gear organized and easy to access no matter how long your trip is.
Eagle Creek Pack It Specter Cube Set
Editor’s Choice: The water-repellant ripstop nylon bags come in three sizes — one for your jeans, one for tees and another for socks. Each lightweight (2.2oz total for all three) bag has a top handle making it a breeze to move everything from your suitcase to a drawer. The compressive packs also make a stellar choice for any long backpacking trips or hiking excursions.
Arc’teryx Index 5
If you’re hiking in the Great Smokeys, but have to jump off midtrip to hit up a friend’s wedding, keep your nice outfit in this 5-liter bag so it stays fresh. It has mesh on one side, so you can remember what’s in each sub-pack, and it rolls up small if you end up taking home a bag full of dirty laundry.
North St. Packing Cubes
These useful packing cubes from North St. are extremely durable and are handmade in five sizes ranging from 1.6-ounces up to 4.5-ounces. The 500D Cordura fabric blends well with the X-21 sailcloth, and a mesh face gives your gear a breath of fresh air. All of North St. bags are made in Portland, Oregon, so you’re bringing a bit of home with you, wherever you go.
AmazonBasics 4-Piece Packing Cube Set
AmazonBasics is the in-house line of goods sold at rock bottom prices from Amazon, and the packing cubes are one of the better products (we’re also partial to the rechargeable batteries). Fit all of your clothing into these small, medium, large and slim bags, so that if you have to take everything out for a security check, you don’t have to worry about fitting everything back in your suitcase. The bags are machine washable and help reduce wrinkles so you don’t look like you just stepped off a plane — even if you did.
eBags Packing Cubes
These packing cubes come in three sizes and are made from techlite diamond nylon. Each has a self-healing zipper, so the bag is guaranteed for its lifetime. That lifetime guarantee is pretty hard to beat and the ten color options allow you to color coordinate.
Flight 001 Spacepak Set Plus
While on the higher side of the price spectrum, Flight 001 gear tends to last forever. Pretty much all of your travel needs can be addressed with a bag or accessory from Flight 001. The Spacepak line compresses up to two weeks of clothes into small compartments that then easily fit into your bag. With this set, you get a bag for clothes, one for underwear and a mini toiletry bag. The bags weigh in at a whopping 1 pound all together and come in this bright camo to spice up the interior of your suitcase.
Osprey Ultralight Zip Organizer
This ultralight hanging organizer from Osprey comes in two colors and is as tough as the brand’s backpacks. The three-tiered bag will fit all of your little items — from underwear to socks to watches and cufflinks. Tuck your chargers into the two middle mesh pockets and zip up anything important, like your passport or credit cards. Best of all, it’s just 4.1-ounces.
GoRuck Field Pockets
Made in America, GoRuck’s field pockets are ideal for any traveler. They are built to work with GoRuck’s backpacks and bags, and attach with the same MOLLE webbing system that’s used by the US Armed Forces. The bundle pack works for cameras, cords or even beers. The pockets come in three colors (black, grey or tan) and have a lifetime guarantee.
What we pack is as varied as the adventures we call “work.” Read the Story