Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
sbcatcher1

Explain Packing Cubes

Recommended Posts

As more airlines go to weighing and limiting weight of carryons, the compression bags have become a liability for me. I'm going to start using them to store wool yarn instead!

 

The weight of non-EC-Specter cubes, is small, but it adds up when you trying to stay within 10kg/22lb for your roll-aboard and personal item together! So I left them out on our first Norwegian Air flight which I planned down to the ounce. But I missed them for the organization! (And I spent more on ship's laundry than we saved not checking a bag.)

 

Now we have flights on FinnAir with the combined carryon allowance of 8kg/17.5lb!!! They win! We will check one bag, and all bags will be cross-packed "just in case". I will be using new packing cubes where the largest IS big enough for folded men's pants. I bought them on eBay (as I did our last sets without the very large size). They weigh more than Specter, but I got FOUR SETS (of four sizes each) for the cost of two large Specter Tech's. Their weight will still fit in my new system of a packed carryon-sized bag at 35lb and one under-packed to stay within FinnAir's limit, then re-packed for the rest of the bus-trip we'll be taking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ShakyBeef said:

 

Since you asked, I do line the inside of my luggage with an 65 gallon plastic garbage bag.  Everything gets packed inside the bag as a protection from the leaked booze of the jerks that smuggle it in their luggage - in case it leaks onto/into mine.  It is not, however, for the purpose of protecting my clean clothes and items from the inside of my suitcase, or vice versa, because that is all clean.  I never put anything dirty or worn loose in my suitcases.  That's what plastic bags are for.  Shoes are are always wrapped individually in plastic bags.  The outsides of those plastic bags stay clean because they never leave my clean suitcase interior, and the bags get reused for multiple trips.  All dirty laundry from the cruise gets tied up in another 65 gallon trash bag and carried home in one of our suitcases.  The interior of my suitcases stay clean, and the exteriors get just as dirty as anyone else's.  No surface ever comes in contact with both dirty and clean laundry/items.  It is either one or the other: dirty or clean.  And never the twain shall meet, just like my laundry baskets at home.  It's quite simple.

 

I realize you are being snarky with me, but I have taken the time to answer honestly, as if you weren't.  I further realize that not everyone is as concerned with cleanliness as I am, and that my hang-ups are not everyone's hang-ups, and I'm pretty sure I made that clear in my post which you quoted.  I was not being snarky.  I admitted I'm grossed out by the idea and asked out of legitimate curiosity how others were handling this since it was mentioned. 

 

Does this answer your questions to your satisfaction?

Thank you for the answer. 

 

I am not sure why you feel like I was being snarky. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Kevin said:

Thank you for the answer. 

 

I am not sure why you feel like I was being snarky. 

 

Forgive me if I misinterpreted that.  It certainly seemed to have a snarky "tone".  But it is sometimes difficult to accurately judge such nuances in text format, so I may have been mistaken. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, crystalspin said:

As more airlines go to weighing and limiting weight of carryons, the compression bags have become a liability for me. I'm going to start using them to store wool yarn instead!

 

The weight of non-EC-Specter cubes, is small, but it adds up when you trying to stay within 10kg/22lb for your roll-aboard and personal item together! So I left them out on our first Norwegian Air flight which I planned down to the ounce. But I missed them for the organization! (And I spent more on ship's laundry than we saved not checking a bag.)

 

Now we have flights on FinnAir with the combined carryon allowance of 8kg/17.5lb!!! They win! We will check one bag, and all bags will be cross-packed "just in case". I will be using new packing cubes where the largest IS big enough for folded men's pants. I bought them on eBay (as I did our last sets without the very large size). They weigh more than Specter, but I got FOUR SETS (of four sizes each) for the cost of two large Specter Tech's. Their weight will still fit in my new system of a packed carryon-sized bag at 35lb and one under-packed to stay within FinnAir's limit, then re-packed for the rest of the bus-trip we'll be taking.

I can see the compression bags could be an issue and I realized that before I bought them.  The down coat doesn't weigh much but is huge when trying to pack it 🙂  And dirty clothes had already been in the suitcase(s) so this just made it tidier to carry home.  Oh, yeah, and I've used them once or twice for car trips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To each his or her own. My packing cubes are machine washable so even though I don’t use them to pack my dirty clothes, I do wash them after using a few times. I love packing cubes. The compressible ones save space (check out YouTube for more information). There are lots of different brands nowadays. My favorite brands are Eagle Creek and Gonex. Make sure to pick the brand that has ykk zippers. 

 

I almost always travel with my husband and children so like others have mentioned, I use mine to organize and separate clothes for each of us so I don’t have to dig through the suitcases or bags to look for things. I also leave the clothes in the cubes and don’t need to unpack anymore. 

Edited by Biris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, down items would benefit from compression bags and not weigh any more. I could throw one in for dirty clothes as well. 

 

I was all on board (see what I did there?) with the compression bags and have a small drawer full, but then the airlines moved the target! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, crzndeb said:

Also, no matter how tight I pull the straps across to hold things in place, things would always be smushed together at the bottom of the suitcase. It stays neater in cubes. Also, I haven’t had a jumbled mess if TSA decides to inspect bag at the airport. 

I agree totally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use the packing cubes because it allows us to go through the entire cruise without unpacking the luggage (other than the toiletries and a couple of items that are hung on hangers). 

 

Each morning, I slide the luggage out from under the bed, and quickly locate and pull out what I need for the day. Everything else remains neatly folded and organized until needed. We used to use giant zip lock bags for this, but they tear and it’s sometimes difficult to just pull out one thing neatly.

 

Dirty clothes just gets put into a giant plastic lawn and leaf bag that is also under the bed. At the end of the cruise when the packing cubes are empty, the bag of dirty laundry is just stuffed back into the suitcase. 

 

Easy peasy. We no longer spend a lot of vacay time unpacking and packing like we used to do.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my daughter goes off to sleepaway summer camp, I use plastic grocery bags for each day's outfit for her. Similar concept, hillbilly (or green, or frugal, or recycle, or upcycle) method. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently started using them.  They're so simple for keeping things organized.

 

On my last cruise, I put all socks/undies in one, all swimsuits in another, all pajamas in another, all t-shirts in another, etc.  

Unpacking involved unzipping each one and placing it in a drawer or on a shelf.  Took maybe two minutes to unpack.  

Each day, dirty clothes go into the suitcase under the bed.  At the end of the cruise, the cubes get zipped up and put back in the suitcase.  Takes maybe two minutes to repack. 

Returning home, anything in a cube is clean and can be put away.  The suitcase of dirty clothes then goes to the laundry room to be dumped out, and the now-empty suitcase proceeds to the storage area.   Done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in the camp of not using packing cubes.

 

I do use the Eagle Creek Fold-It to fold and hold shirts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, crystalspin said:

As more airlines go to weighing and limiting weight of carryons, the compression bags have become a liability for me. I'm going to start using them to store wool yarn instead!

 

The weight of non-EC-Specter cubes, is small, but it adds up when you trying to stay within 10kg/22lb for your roll-aboard and personal item together! So I left them out on our first Norwegian Air flight which I planned down to the ounce. But I missed them for the organization! (And I spent more on ship's laundry than we saved not checking a bag.)

 

Now we have flights on FinnAir with the combined carryon allowance of 8kg/17.5lb!!! They win! We will check one bag, and all bags will be cross-packed "just in case". I will be using new packing cubes where the largest IS big enough for folded men's pants. I bought them on eBay (as I did our last sets without the very large size). They weigh more than Specter, but I got FOUR SETS (of four sizes each) for the cost of two large Specter Tech's. Their weight will still fit in my new system of a packed carryon-sized bag at 35lb and one under-packed to stay within FinnAir's limit, then re-packed for the rest of the bus-trip we'll be taking.

 

I'm glad that I'm flying British Airways. I never have to weight my carryon because it's impossible to pack 23 kg in it! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, ShakyBeef said:

 

 

Are the packing cubes washable?   May I ask: Do those of you who put your dirty laundry into the packing cubes then wash the packing cubes, or do you just reuse them on the next trip for clean clothes without washing them first?  I'm just so grossed out by the idea of dirty laundry shoved into a packing cube that then holds clean laundry. 

 

I realize this is a me thing.  I have designated "clean laundry" baskets for clothes out of the dryer, and "dirty laundry" baskets lined up on my laundry room floor for sorting colours of dirty laundry before washing.  And never the twain shall meet.  But I'm just curious (and kinda icked out🤢), do you wash the packing cubes?:classic_blush:

 

Yes, they are washable and yes, I wash them before the next trip.  I love them - not to save space, as I agree with the poster who stated that clothes take up a fixed volume of space regardless of how you fold, roll, or pack them.  But I find that the cubes keep my suitcase and myself organized.   I pack a change of clothes and a change of underwear in one of the cubes for my carry-on backpack, in case my big bag is waylaid for some reason.   In the big bag, I roughly plan outfits for each day based on expected activities and then pack the cubes accordingly.  I pack socks, underwear, elegant night outfit, workout clothes, and bathing suits and cover-up in individual cubes.  It worked out well on my recent Carnival cruise in which our cabin didn't have the expected number of drawers or shelves;  I put the cubes with the underwear, sock, and bathing suits on the one available shelf, and things were easier to access than if those items were loose on the shelf.

 

If I have a pre- or post-cruise hotel stay, I pack the clothes for those days in a separate cube.  And yes, when repacking to go home, I keep clean and dirty clothes in separate cubes.  That is less icky to me than putting dirty and clean together loose in a suitcase.   

 

Another benefit is that if TSA has to open my suitcase for some reason, it is easy for them to unpack and repack it, plus their grubby gloves are less likely to touch my clothes.  Major potential ick there! 

 

It's personal preference.  My sister, who cruises with me, has no interest in them and swears by using dry cleaner bags instead.  

 

Edited by Joanne G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/6/2019 at 9:23 AM, sbcatcher1 said:

I don't understand how they help

I've used them, and I don't understand how they help either!

I guess some people like compartmentalizing their luggage; I found no benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, calliopecruiser said:

I've used them, and I don't understand how they help either!

I guess some people like compartmentalizing their luggage; I found no benefit.

I find them pointless for a cruise, a week at Disney or any other destination where I unpack and organize my clothing by draw location.

 

I find them invaluable for a multi-hotel trip in which I don’t unpack because I move every other day or so, use one as a sock draw, another as my underwater draw, etc.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, crystalspin said:

As more airlines go to weighing and limiting weight of carryons, the compression bags have become a liability for me. I'm going to start using them to store wool yarn instead!

 

The weight of non-EC-Specter cubes, is small, but it adds up when you trying to stay within 10kg/22lb for your roll-aboard and personal item together! So I left them out on our first Norwegian Air flight which I planned down to the ounce. But I missed them for the organization! (And I spent more on ship's laundry than we saved not checking a bag.)

 

Now we have flights on FinnAir with the combined carryon allowance of 8kg/17.5lb!!! They win! We will check one bag, and all bags will be cross-packed "just in case". I will be using new packing cubes where the largest IS big enough for folded men's pants. I bought them on eBay (as I did our last sets without the very large size). They weigh more than Specter, but I got FOUR SETS (of four sizes each) for the cost of two large Specter Tech's. Their weight will still fit in my new system of a packed carryon-sized bag at 35lb and one under-packed to stay within FinnAir's limit, then re-packed for the rest of the bus-trip we'll be taking.

I guess I'm lucky.  I usually don't go over 34 lbs when I pack (I need to be able to lift anything I travel with to put in an overhead).  17.5 lb is a bit draconian, but, then, I sometimes don't "carry on" my carryon.  No biggie.  There are times when you just have to say "OK, you win" with the weight limit.  But, just because I'm going to check a bag, I don't take a big bag - maybe I'll go up to my old Osprey Sojourn convertible bag (wheels and backpack) - it's 26x15x13, so not huge (and I keep it at 34 lbs or lighter), as I will still need to be able to lift that thing overhead in a train or bus!   

Oh - when I use the cubes, I am less likely to leave something behind because it got stuck in some nook or cranny in the room/cabin - easy to see that I have everything when I leave!

 

Edited by slidergirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before our move to Lisbon, we traveled for 2 months from Key West (our home) to Boston for our flight overseas, with multiple stops in adjacent states. We packed and unpacked at least three times each week. The cubes made it so easy to travel with multiple stops, allowing us to pack and unpack a small suitcase each in a few minutes. The compression allowed us to use only a carry on size suitcase and leave the giant suitcases with the rest of our clothing, etc. in the car. Won't travel without them anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weird, there are two topics on this with the same title, but vastly different responses. :classic_rolleyes:

 

I have actually done side-by-side packing using bags and not using them and I get more in my suitcase without them. However, I don't actually fill the bags to the point of compression as that can cause wrinkles. I am picky about my clothes. I pack on the lighter side, but I pack nice clothing and I take care of it. Almost everything I pack gets hung up, if it's clothing. Truthfully I can't see how tossing a handful of underwear in a drawer takes any more time than placing a cube in a drawer.....but that's just me.

 

The key things for me are 1) pick the right sized suitcase and fill it. Do not leave empty space. 2) pack efficiently (e.g., tuck socks into your shoes, stuff odd-shaped items into corners or along the sides and 3) use the fewest folds possible when packing clothing. Also, it's amazing how much "compression" you can do yourself if you periodically tamp down the clothes you've already put in before adding more....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We bought packing cubes for our second cruise.  We never used them again.  We just pack fewer clothes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just do a search on youtube for "packing cubes for travel" and watch a few videos - then decide if they work for you. Personally, we wouldn't travel without them. As you have read, they are not for everyone. What is important is to do your own research, pack however suits you, and not worry or care about what anyone else does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

I'm glad that I'm flying British Airways. I never have to weight my carryon because it's impossible to pack 23 kg in it! 

Here's what's crazy: Gate1 has us on FinnAir (most restrictive we've ever flown) to Central Europe, and BA home. FinnAir's checked bag will be $55 for up to 23kg/50lb. Still working out what will pack where!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

until I joined this forum, I never realised packing was a skill, an event, a sport of sorts.

 

I just treat it like something I need to do quickly to get stuff from A to B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And yes I know....................creases etc.

 

I dont see the creases once I have a few beers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DarrenM said:

I dont see the creases once I have a few beers.

If you're wearing cotton, the heat of your body and gravity will get rid of the creases in a few hours anyway -- while you're enjoying those beers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...