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JLMoran

Packing Cubes -- What brand / type do you all use for your longer trips?

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OK, I've never really seen the point of packing cubes before now. But with a 3-week long trip coming up next year (two weeks cruising and just shy of a week in Ireland after that), I'm thinking that it might be time to take the plunge. If nothing else, having some of those things means we have a place to jam dirty laundry to keep it separate, instead of just throwing it pell-mell into one designated "dirty stuff" suitcase at the end of the trip.

I found a good explanation of the different types, recommended brands for each type, and how to work with them. Wanted to see what you good folks here use, and if any of it lines up with the recommendations from that link. I'm leaning towards the compression type of packing cube, since we not only need to pack two weeks worth of clothes (with a plan to use the ship's laundry service at some point after the first week) but also need to pack a variety of things for layers when we're in Greenland and Iceland. Being able to compress that down, even a bit, will make it a lot easier to fit each person's stuff into one checked bag and one carry-on.

I'm a little nervous about going over the 50-pound per-bag limit on checked luggage with two weeks of stuff to pack, but if I do it's not as bad since I only need to fly to get back home (cruise departs from Cape Liberty).

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I am sold on packing cubes.  I have two sets because sometimes I need two of the same size.

I pack like this. Roll everything- 1 packing cube has underwear/socks - 1 has swim suits/swim shirts/shorts & 1 cube is misc.  

When on the ship store the cubes on the shelf in the closet.  It is very convenient.

Also if at the end of your journey and  you are overweight in a bag you can quickly move cubes around to balance the weight.

  I have also included the digital luggage scale I purchased for $9.00.

This is always within a 1/4 lb of the airport scale very impressed for the price of the scale.  Saved me from having to move things around at the airport check in.

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Fosmon Digital Hanging Luggage Scale, LCD Backlight, Tare Function, 110lb/50kg

 
 
Amazon'sChoicefor "recently viewed"
 
 

 
 
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I'm following along.  I love the idea of packing cubes and own so many of them of all shapes and sizes.  However, except the very small ones, I never use them.  I just don't think they pack quite right in my suitcases.  I feel I can get more stuff in by rolling my clothes and placing in my suitcase rather than using my packing cubes.

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3 minutes ago, melski94 said:

I'm following along.  I love the idea of packing cubes and own so many of them of all shapes and sizes.  However, except the very small ones, I never use them.  I just don't think they pack quite right in my suitcases.  I feel I can get more stuff in by rolling my clothes and placing in my suitcase rather than using my packing cubes.

Little ones are good for USB charging cables, small electrical adapters, SD cards and such.

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Packing cubes seem to just make it more complicated than it needs to be.

My wife and I each have a soft sided duffel.  We chose North Face Base Camp model. It has something like 4,000 cubic inches of storage. They are airport tough and last many trips.. They come in a multitude of colors so you can pick something that stands out on the airport carousel.

 

We weight them at home and make sure we are under the travel limit. A carry on bag with what you want close and you are done.

 

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2 minutes ago, twangster said:

Little ones are good for USB charging cables, small electrical adapters, SD cards and such.

Yes, I love the small ones.  Great for stuff like that or just underwear and bathing suits. The medium and large packing cubes are the ones I haven't figured out how to masterfully use.

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

I'm leaning towards the compression type of packing cube, since we not only need to pack two weeks worth of clothes (with a plan to use the ship's laundry service at some point after the first week) but also need to pack a variety of things for layers when we're in Greenland and Iceland. Being able to compress that down, even a bit, will make it a lot easier to fit each person's stuff into one checked bag and one carry-on.

I'm a little nervous about going over the 50-pound per-bag limit on checked luggage with two weeks of stuff to pack, but if I do it's not as bad since I only need to fly to get back home (cruise departs from Cape Liberty).

The 50 pound limit for flights is what has kept me from buying compression backing cubes -- i figure i already end up near the weight limit, don't need to make it even worse.  I have some ultralight ones I use when flying, and some "regular" ones I use for cruises I drive to.  I guess it depends on what size suitcase you are using though.

I've been very happy with using packing cubes.  I find it makes unpacking my suitcase when I got on the cruise ship much quicker and easier.  It's something I want to get finished with ASAP, so I can start enjoying my cruise vacation.  Just place them in a drawer and unzip.  Or, if my wife and kids use up all the drawer space, then they get put on the top shelf of the closet.

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I love packing cubes for the following reasons:

- It organizes all the clothes into sections for the family.  Each person gets an allotted amount of cubes and it's whatever you can fit in there and that is what you bring.  Great when it's 3 girls and Hubby and that keeps the over packing from getting out of control.

- Packing cubes allow us to sort our clothes into "pre-cruise hotel clothes", "embarkation day clothes", "going home clothes".  This ensures that we do not have to open all our luggage at the night before or rummage through things to find an outfit.  We get to the hotel and the "Hotel cube" comes and and we are on our way.  This also ensures that we don't forget to leave an outfit for going home.  When we get to our cabin, the "going home cube" goes into a drawer or closet and we don't touch it until the morning we leave.

- We save tons of time unpacking once on the cruise.  We can unpack and get settled in under an hour.  Like @karl_nj, each person's cube comes out of the suitcase and placed into a drawer, unzip and were are done.  We also live out our own cubes for the week so that no one's clothes get mixed up with anyone else.

We just use the standard ones from Amazon.  I never even knew that there were compression ones.  These are the ones we have.  I think the brand is Hynes.

 91n%2BlJOAMCL._SL1500_.jpg

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1 hour ago, karl_nj said:

The 50 pound limit for flights is what has kept me from buying compression backing cubes -- i figure i already end up near the weight limit, don't need to make it even worse. 

We do have a luggage scale I bought before our sailing on Freedom last year. Packing for 10 nights, we had one suitcase come in around 48 lbs IIRC, the rest around 45 or so.

I’m kind of resigned to going over the limit with two weeks of stuff to pack that has to allow for a variety of weather conditions. Fortunately I only have one flight to deal with, and I’m hoping it’ll be on a European line that either has a higher limit or allows two checked bags per person.

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57 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

We do have a luggage scale I bought before our sailing on Freedom last year. Packing for 10 nights, we had one suitcase come in around 48 lbs IIRC, the rest around 45 or so.

I’m kind of resigned to going over the limit with two weeks of stuff to pack that has to allow for a variety of weather conditions. Fortunately I only have one flight to deal with, and I’m hoping it’ll be on a European line that either has a higher limit or allows two checked bags per person.

International sometimes has 70lb limits.   Check each carrier.  

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I love our packing cubes. We have all sorts of sizes and packing envelopes made by Eagle Creek. Love the simplicity of unpacking on the ship. It just a matter of removing the packing cubes and putting them in drawers.

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39 minutes ago, mom2mybugs said:

The amazon basics non compression ones are very good.  Jane

This is one of the ones I'm contemplating if I don't go compression style. That link gave them a favorable review and said they have held up well even after a year of travel, despite polyester construction instead of nylon and cheap-feeling zippers.

Just now, F1guynz said:

I love our packing cubes. We have all sorts of sizes and packing envelopes made by Eagle Creek.

That's the other brand that got well-reviewed by that link I gave. Glad to hear that both of those have secondary endorsements from folks I've gotten to know here! 😊

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Just now, JLMoran said:

OK, I've never really seen the point of packing cubes before now. But with a 3-week long trip coming up next year (two weeks cruising and just shy of a week in Ireland after that), I'm thinking that it might be time to take the plunge. If nothing else, having some of those things means we have a place to jam dirty laundry to keep it separate, instead of just throwing it pell-mell into one designated "dirty stuff" suitcase at the end of the trip.

I found a good explanation of the different types, recommended brands for each type, and how to work with them. Wanted to see what you good folks here use, and if any of it lines up with the recommendations from that link. I'm leaning towards the compression type of packing cube, since we not only need to pack two weeks worth of clothes (with a plan to use the ship's laundry service at some point after the first week) but also need to pack a variety of things for layers when we're in Greenland and Iceland. Being able to compress that down, even a bit, will make it a lot easier to fit each person's stuff into one checked bag and one carry-on.

I'm a little nervous about going over the 50-pound per-bag limit on checked luggage with two weeks of stuff to pack, but if I do it's not as bad since I only need to fly to get back home (cruise departs from Cape Liberty).

I love packing cubes especially the compression ones.  It has allowed be to use a smaller suitcase, especially in Europe.  Having smaller luggage makes a big difference when you rent a car as rentals in Europe are usually smaller than in North America.  Also if you have to walk to get to your hotel from the car park smaller cases are much easier to maneuver in the small alleyways, and sometimes the many stairs you might have to climb or go down. Still carry my 50lbs though!

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5 minutes ago, KenCP said:

I love packing cubes especially the compression ones.  It has allowed be to use a smaller suitcase, especially in Europe.  Having smaller luggage makes a big difference when you rent a car as rentals in Europe are usually smaller than in North America.  Also if you have to walk to get to your hotel from the car park smaller cases are much easier to maneuver in the small alleyways, and sometimes the many stairs you might have to climb or go down. Still carry my 50lbs though!

Oooh, smaller suitcase requirement was something I hadn't even considered. I had been debating buying a 29" suitcase as my second piece of luggage to go with the 22" carry-on I already bought, though I have read comments that it exceeds current airline restrictions on max total linear inches and have been keeping the 25" model as a possible backup option. Given what you said, and that we'll be traveling around Ireland for several days after the cruise ends and needing to use car service / taxi to get around (I don't trust myself to drive well on the "wrong side"), I think that 25" option with compression cubes is going to be the way to go.

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Just now, JLMoran said:

Oooh, smaller suitcase requirement was something I hadn't even considered. I had been debating buying a 29" suitcase as my second piece of luggage to go with the 22" carry-on I already bought, though I have read comments that it exceeds current airline restrictions on max total linear inches and have been keeping the 25" model as a possible backup option. Given what you said, and that we'll be traveling around Ireland for several days after the cruise ends and needing to use car service / taxi to get around (I don't trust myself to drive well on the "wrong side"), I think that 25" option with compression cubes is going to be the way to go.

I have the 25" suitcase and the 22" carry on sometimes a small backpack depending on the length of trip.  I am considering getting a back style carry on or a small duffle instead of having a wheeled carry on. 

I have paid more for my suitcases on flights than the actual cost of the ticket.  I can not travel with just a carry on for a month, not possible.  That is why now some airlines in Europe charge for carry on because everyone is trying to fly with 2 carry ons.

I was ok with the driving in Ireland but had a very close encounter with a car because I looked the wrong way once.  Did not do that again.

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I ordered some from kickstarter that we used on our last cruise that were great.  Qubix is the brand.  They are double compression cubes.  Having used non-compression, I definitely recommend compression variants.  It saves a lot of room, just have to be careful with weight.  

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Just now, Cruisegirl1976 said:

Question about the packing cubes ... how wrinkled do your clothes get?.. 

Mine don't get any more wrinkled than they do in a regular suitcase.  I roll my clothes to get them as compact as possible.  I like the cubes for the easy organization..just pull out and throw into a drawer or on a shelf.  Then I can pull the whole cube down as needed and pull out what I want.

However, I don't really pack things that are prone to extreme wrinkles..I don't even own an iron at home.

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8 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

Mine don't get any more wrinkled than they do in a regular suitcase.  I roll my clothes to get them as compact as possible.  I like the cubes for the easy organization..just pull out and throw into a drawer or on a shelf.  Then I can pull the whole cube down as needed and pull out what I want.

However, I don't really pack things that are prone to extreme wrinkles..I don't even own an iron at home.

hmm..  I can't roll my dresses., they would def get wrinkled... but they might work for smaller things.. like t-shirts.. still on the fence about them.. 😞

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