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Slow Traveler
posted
I can't decide if using packing cubes would work for me. Confused I'm an over packer and stuff as much as I can into my 26" checked bag. Could I cram even more in with packing cubes? If so, which size is best? E-bags has them on sale.

Carole
 
Posts: 2114 | Location: Laguna Beach, CA | Registered: 09 February 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
Picture of Christine in Australia
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Hi Carole -
Packing cubes are maily handy for organising items together. They can save some space if you use them to compress items, but be aware that they also add some weight (the quantum depends on the variety that you get). As for what size to buy, it depends on the types of items you will want to group together. Smaller ones are good for underwear, socks etc. Larger ones for multiple t-shirts/shirts etc.

Other alternatives are "stuff bags" (light material bags with drawstring that you put items in and then pull closed - you can even whip these up yourself with a sewing machine if so inclined). I tend to use these more when travelling with a backpack as packing cubes don't always fit as neatly in a backpack.

Another option that has worked well for me on occassion is plastic ziplock bags. I use these for items of clothing that I won't be using that often. For example, on my last trip I needed a really warm polar-fleece jacket for my first few destinations - approx 2-3 weeks) but then rolled it up tightly and placed it in a large ziplock bag for most of the rest of the trip, apart from the old chilly day in Budapest and Switzerland. The ziplock approach meant that I got it down to the smallest size possible (no air trapped in there) and it was protected from spills etc.

Hope this helps.

Christine
 
Posts: 158 | Location: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: 19 November 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of Saint_Bambi
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As Christine said, packing cubes are more for organising than saving space. If you want to save space, I have had great success with Travel Space Bags.

They're heavy duty ziploc bags with a vacuum seal at one end. You put your clothes in, close the top, then roll the bag up to get the excess air out. The air leaves through the vacuum seal at the other end of the bag and can't get back in.

I backpacked with some for a year, and they lasted the whole trip! They were a godsend!


Perusing Perugia
Travel notes for Perugia
 
Posts: 993 | Location: Adelaide, Australia | Registered: 06 March 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of JDeQ
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They save space all right - we use them for all longer trips where I have no interest in doing laundry. As mentioned above, they add weight because you are compressing more items into a smaller space.


Jerry

The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. ~G.K. Chesterton

Blog: A Life, Lived
Taste of the Windy City Trip Report
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Gelato, Ceramics, Art, Pasta, Ruins, Oh My!
 
Posts: 3833 | Location: Burlington, ON, Canada | Registered: 12 April 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
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I bought the cheap ones at Target about 2-3 years ago and only one broke so far! Going to Europe, I just use them for things that I don't mind getting a little wrinkled. But on the way home they're a God-send for all of my clothes and laundry! Let's me check more and just carryon my purchases.
 
Posts: 887 | Registered: 19 July 2005Report This Post

Gathering Hero

Slow Traveler
Picture of MarciaB
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Carole,

I have yet to invest in packing cubes, but I have used the larger (2 gallon) zip-lock bags on several recent trips. I find that they work quite well in separating "types" of clothing in the suitcase; in fact on our last trip I felt like I had "drawers" in the suitcase. And at the end, they are a useful way of storing dirty clothes.

Marcia


Marcia

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Saint Augustine
Happy Trails to Us: My Reluctant Blog
 
Posts: 5498 | Location: South Pasadena, California | Registered: 06 April 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
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I didn't think about the weight factor so it sounds like the large zip locks are a good idea. In fact, recently, instead of using a toiletry case, I've been using zip lock bags but I hadn't thought about them for other items. We are taking an Air One flight from Genoa to Naples and their weight limitation is 44 lbs. for a checked bag. That's going to be a challenge! Mad

Carole
 
Posts: 2114 | Location: Laguna Beach, CA | Registered: 09 February 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
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Sorry - correction - I bought the vacuum bags at Target - don't know if that's the same thing as packing cubes.
 
Posts: 887 | Registered: 19 July 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of Fibonacci
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If these are what you are asking about.... No, they don't save space but they add their own weight and take up space.

Bill


Bill


Packing cubes
 
Posts: 2920 | Location: Texas | Registered: 18 March 2006Report This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of Fibonacci
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On the other hand, if these are what you are asking about, they do save space and allow you to get more into your luggage (which will make your luggage weigh more) but the weight of the compression bags is almost inconsequential.

I think they are great for underwear and socks, and good for sweaters....the issue is how much wrinkling you're willing to tolerate.

Bill


Bill


Compression bag
 
Posts: 2920 | Location: Texas | Registered: 18 March 2006Report This Post

Moderator Emeritus

Slow Traveler
Picture of Colleen
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quote:
Originally posted by Fibonacci:
If these are what you are asking about.... No, they don't save space but they add their own weight and take up space.
Any added weight is so tiny (a few ounces), IMO it's inconsequential. I use the Eagle Creek 13" cubes, which have a mesh top.

I couldn't do without my packing cubes! For me it's not so much trying to save space - I really don't want to try to cram *more* stuff into my suitcase. I like them because they're perfect for organizing my clothes, and keeping them that way when on the road. Big ziplocs would do the same, I'm sure ... When I use my 22" rollaboard for week-long trips, two 13" packing cubes hold all my clothes except pants and blazers (which I fold on top).
 
Posts: 16402 | Location: The Beautiful San Francisco Bay Area | Registered: 06 August 2001Report This Post

Slow Traveler
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Bill, those are the cubes I was talking about. As for the compression bags, wrinkles would be a problem because I take some linen clothes for the warm weather. Also, we are going from northern to southern Italy and I'll need some cooler weather items.

I always have too many "just in case" items and just can't seem to master the art of packing whether it be for a weekend or three weeks.

Carole
 
Posts: 2114 | Location: Laguna Beach, CA | Registered: 09 February 2006Report This Post


Slow Traveler
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I am a huge fan of packing cubes. I travel virtually every week for work, and the cubes make it very easy for me to find things in the suitcase. Another plus...my bag is "examined by TSA" almost every trip...why? I fly from a very small airport, and I think the TSA agents know that my bag (which is a bright color) is always easy to check! No one is pawing through my clothes, messing things up. They can simply pick up cubes and move them around to see everything.

For Christmas this year I got the padded cubes, which are fantastic for packing my gadgets. I use two of them in my computer bag for all the gizmos...much better than the ziplocs I used to use.

Anne
 
Posts: 869 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: 02 May 2005Report This Post
Slow Traveler
Picture of Tracey Traveller
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We both wouldn't be without our packing cubes and the set of three are as light as a feather so I can't see that they would add any weight whatsoever. Putting all three on my bathroom scale it doesn't even register, and it's digital Smile Love the organization that they provide and no one is going through my clothes at airports.

Just found the set I have on the Heys website, the set of three weigh 10 oz.
 
Posts: 319 | Location: Vancouver, Canada | Registered: 09 February 2007Report This Post
Slow Traveler
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big shout out for the pack-it folder - great for organising shirts, pants and skirts with minimal creasing. When i get it right things come out of the luggage freshly ironed!!
 
Posts: 228 | Location: Rocklyn Australia | Registered: 19 June 2005Report This Post


Slow Traveler
Picture of chachalaca
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Before the idea of big ziplocks hit me, I tried using my Foodsaver vacuum packer Blushing It worked great! One way only...there was no way to "seal a meal" on the way home!
 
Posts: 1571 | Location: Edmonds, WA | Registered: 01 April 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
Picture of mholzgrefe
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Anneo,
Can I ask where you found the padded cubes for gizmos? That sounds like just the thing we need for all the computer, camera, cell phone & book reader paraphernalia.
Martha
 
Posts: 251 | Location: God's 1/2 acre | Registered: 28 October 2006Report This Post


Slow Traveler
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Mine are Eagle Creek..I'm pretty sure I found them on the magellan's website (Xmas gift, but I think that's where I told them to find it!)

I love it...1/4 cubes, so fairly small. I keep my GPS in the car in one...much better than getting smashed around in the glove compartment!

Anne
 
Posts: 869 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: 02 May 2005Report This Post

Slow Traveler
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We use the space saver bags and love them!

Before using them for the first time, I packed a bag with the clothes we were taking and left them in a suitcase for one week just to see how wrinkled they would become.

I was quite surprised to find very little wrinkling, even after a week. So, I was sold on them and use them all the time when saving space is required.

Denise
 
Posts: 517 | Location: Central California | Registered: 12 February 2006Report This Post
Slow Traveler
Picture of mholzgrefe
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FYI
Thanks for the info on the padded cubes Anne.
ALSO
we use space saver bags you pack & roll to remove all the air.
We don't have a problem with wrinkles & they are the best for bringing back loads of dirty clothes.
My Grandson uses the cubes in his 42" rolling duffle bag that holds everything but the kitchen sink!
Martha
 
Posts: 251 | Location: God's 1/2 acre | Registered: 28 October 2006Report This Post
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