Bandana newsletter

Bandana Is
Launching Thursday

Japanese magazines are so F*#king cool. The only problem? They're all in Japanese. We have a solution.

Holiday Survival Guide

The Secret to
Packing Like a Pro

Best packing cubes for travel Best packing cubes for travel

Holiday Survival Guide

The Secret
to Packing
Like a Pro

The best packing cubes for all types of travelers

It might seem counterproductive or adding more work to the already tedious chore of packing, but these little organizational wonders are going to change your travel routine for the better. You want to stay organized while on the road? Want to unpack in less than a minute? Interested in keeping your clothes in peak condition so you don't have to iron or steam your shirts once you land? Perhaps you'd just like the option to pack as much as you can physically fit into your bag. Whatever your travel need, these packing cubes are the solution.

Especially this time of year, when travel means bringing along plenty of clothes and outerwear in order to stay warm and look presentable for holiday occasions. You might even be toting a few gifts back and forth. These lightweight nylon bags let you efficiently roll up puffy jackets, compress thick sweaters and pack up pants into a compact cube that fits neatly into your suitcase. Use each cube for a different clothing type (sweaters, underwear, pants) and peek through the mesh top to quickly identify what's in each bag. Whether you're packing a hard-sided roller or just a simple duffel, these essential packs keep you streamlined and organized.


Best All Around

If you've got one of Away's beloved suitcases, these packing cubes are pretty much a no-brainer. They come in six different shapes and are made from waterproof nylon with a soft mesh top to easily see what's inside. And unlike some mesh-topped packs, these won't get caught or snag other items. Not only are they sized to fit perfectly within the brand's suitcases, you can color coordinate them with your bag's interior.

$65 (for a set of six),
by Away

For Overpackers

Once you've packed these innovative cubes, you can actually compress them from four inches to just one inch—allowing for both flatter packing and more optimized space in your suitcase. Worried about creasing? Don't be. The reinforced walls and durable fabric help to reduce the risk of wrinkles during transit. Here's how we used it: packed them for departure without compressing and then used the compression on the return flight to make room for the clothes we bought at our destination.

$43.99 (for a set of six),
by LeanTravel


Despite being ultra-light (the entire set weighs just 8 ounces), the soft cubes are incredibly durable thanks to the siliconized Cordura nylon. They come in two sizes, which configure nicely in a range of different bags (including backpacks and duffels). Because they're so light, the spring-loaded frame design, which holds the shape while you're filling them, comes in handy. It's also nice to help compress them down for easy storage.

$44.99 / $29.99 (for a set of four),
by eBags

For a Deal

You know Ikea is where to go to get a deal. And this is true even for travel gear. This set of six different travel bags will only cost you ten bucks. The bags themselves are thinner, but that can be an attribute for light travelers and the longer, leaner bags are great for organizing underwear and accessories. For those who want a no-frills packing cube solution, this set will do the trick.

$4.99 (for a set of three),
by Ikea

The Sturdiest Set

Eagle Creek is a well-respected travel brand that makes some pretty serious bags for adventure travelers. Their packing cubes are sturdy enough to keep clothes crisp in transit and move from suitcase to hotel drawer without flopping around. They're made of 300-denier polyester lined with nylon and stay upright when empty, which makes for easy packing and unpacking.

$39.90 (for a set of three),
by Eagle Creek


According to AAA, travel during the 2021 year-end holiday period will rebound significantly from last year with 109.5 million travelers, a 33.9% increase.

The Smart Way
to Start Your Day

The Daily Valet. is your cheat sheet to what's happening, what's cool and what's making headlines. It's your secret to being the most interesting man in the room.

More on
Traveling Smarter