Packing Cubes vs Compression Bags

Last Updated on April 15, 2020

It never ceases to amaze me how complex a simple subject like packing a suitcase can become.

First you have the endless debates about what to pack and how to plan a packing list.

Then you have the tricky question of how to find the perfect travel suitcase.
And the intricacy don’t stop there…

Today’s topic is packing cubes vs compression bags or compression sacks or vacuum bags or whatever you want to call them.

Let’s geek out and go deep!

The Packing Cube

Packing Cubes are great for helping you organize the contents of your luggage.

You can easily find all the toiletries or all the socks or all the t-shirts just by taking out the right packing cube.

They work best when you are not worried about space but just want to keep things neat and tidy.

They are lightweight so they don’t add much weight to your case. They work really well in suitcases, especially checked suitcases where space isn’t as much of a concern.

Packing cubes tend to be made with mesh fabric on the top so you can see what is inside the cube without opening it.

They are usually square or rectangular and you can pack them on top of each other like building bricks. You can buy color coded sets too so you’ll finally get the chance to use all that pre-school toy brick knowledge.

Packing cubes can help you compress your things a little but the space savings are not great.

If you want to shrink down that wooly sweater you need something that will put pressure on it.

Hello Travel Compression Bag

You know those plastic storage bags that you use to magically shrink down a duvet using your vacuum cleaner?

Travel compression bags are plastic bags that work using a similar idea. But instead of using a vacuum cleaner you roll the clothes to force the air out.
The result can be rolled up clothes that take up significantly less space in your suitcase.

The problem with these bags is that it’s a lot harder to roll and pack your clothes in these bags than it looks!

And if you quickly want to take 1 item out the compression bag you need to go through the chore of compressing again.

If you are moving every few days like a backpacker this can get old fast. You don’t want to need to pack these things every day or every few days.

Also they don’t always stay sealed.

Now and then you arrive at your destination and your big puffy jacket has inflated again.

Basically they work but they can just be a bit too much hassle for some people.

So here are the crib notes on Packing Cubes vs Compression Bags:

  • If you want to organize your things get a packing cube.
  • If you want to compress your things get a compression bag.

But wait…

What if there was a product that combined the ease of use and organization qualities of the packing cube with the space-saving and compression abilities of the compression bag…

Step Forward Compression Packing Cubes

Packing cubes have been around for a while. But it wasn’t until some bright spark thought of putting a 2nd zip on them that they really started to get useful!

I’ll admit you can achieve superior compression with compression bags. But compression packing cubes really do help you save space and they are MUCH less hassle than the plastic vacuum bags.

Compression packing cubes can be used exactly like regular packing cubes.
But suppose you’ve bought too many clothes and suddenly find you can’t close your bag. You can use the 2nd zip on a compression packing cube to squash down your clothes by about 33%.

Compression Packing Cubes like the Gonex can cut down the volume your clothes occupy by about 33%

Or suppose your airline has a new rule where you can only take a carryon on board if you give them one of your kidneys.

You can use your personal item allowance to take all your things if all your things are squished and squashed really tiny.

Compression packing cubes give you options that regular packing cubes don’t.

They save space like compression bags. But the remain easy to use and are better quality than those flimsy plastic bags that can leak.

So the winner in the compression bags vs packing cubes debate is neither of them!

Try compression cubes instead. They really are a step up.