I love the Eagle Creek travel Pack-It Cubes: they help keep me organized while on a trip.
It’s debatable to me whether the cubes actually help put more clothing into a suitcase. I can pack pretty tightly, and it is conceivable that I’d be able to use more nooks and crannies without the cubes. However, the massive increase in organization is worth the slight sacrifice of space to me. Staying organized during a trip greatly reduces my stress and makes staying in hotels and traveling from place to place much, much easier.
What I own: I have a variety of Eagle Creek cubes, sets like this one (cube, half cube, and quarter cube) in four different colors, plus several additional regular and half-sized cubes in those colors, and a set of two compression cubes.
Here’s what I like about them:
* Durability: The bags are very sturdy and the zippers are strong. I have owned them for ten months and taken them on quite a few trips where they’ve been squashed into suitcases or backpacks, zipped up when almost bursting with clothing, and used by children who aren’t particularly gentle with them. The cubes have been dropped and flung and stepped on and they still are still going strong.
* Improved personal organization: The cubes have greatly increased my ability to stay organized on a trip. Before the cubes, my suitcase would be neat and tidy on our outbound trip, but as soon as I arrived and opened it, the contents would explode into the room as I dug through everything looking for a pair of pants that I’d placed on the bottom, or a shirt I wanted to wear that was halfway down. It was like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. After a couple days the suitcase and area around it would be cluttered with clothing. Finding anything was a pain. Clean clothing would end up on the floor, and when it came time to go it was difficult to get everything back in it.
With the cubes, clothing can be sorted into cubes by function, e.g. a cube of T-shirts, a cube of long-sleeved shirts, a cube of underclothing, etc. With the cubes I no longer have to dig through the layers of clothing, disrupting everything in my search for the one item I want. Now I can remove just one or two cubes, locate the one I want (thanks to the mesh on the side which lets me see the contents), open it, remove the item, zip it back up, and replace all the cubes. The suitcase stays nice and tidy through the entire trip, and repacking is a cinch.
* Improved organization for families: These are great for families as well. I use them to stay organized on different-length trips:
(1) Short trips. On a weekend trip, we can put each person’s clothing (two changes of clothing) into one regular cube each. Each person gets a different color. All the cubes (five) fit into a small, rolling 21” suitcase. Upon our arrival, I hand out a color-coded cube to each person. Each cube now acts like a mini-suitcase, keeping each person’s weekend clothing together. Simple and neat.
(2) Function-specific cubes. It is possible to put four or five compressible rain jackets plus a couple compact umbrellas into a single regular-sized cube. This means it’s easy to load up a backpack for a rainy day outing for five people: just grab the rain gear cube. No more stuffing everyone’s jackets loose into a backpack. On the outing itself, the cube keeps the jackets and umbrella under control. Without the cube the jackets would burst outwards every time the backpack was opened up, with the cube they all stay neat and contained. We can also fill a cube with swimsuits, goggles, lotion etc. for a trip to the pool or the beach.
(3) Long trips with multiple stops. These are invaluable on long trips. In this case, each person gets their own 21” rolling suitcase and a set of cubes. For a two-week trip to Europe, each person got two regular-sized cubes and two half-sized cubes for their clothing. The two regulars fit snugly together on the bottom of the suitcase with no wasted space, and the half-size cubes fit sideways on top of one of the regulars. The remaining space was used for other items like a toiletries bag, first aid kit, extra jacket, boots, etc. which didn’t go into cubes.
During the trip, the cubes worked beautifully. They kept all our clean clothing sorted and easy to move around when we were searching for particular items. If we wanted to unpack, we could just place the cubes themselves into drawers or onto shelves. No need to unpack the contents. Re-packing was easy: just load the cubes back into the suitcase. This made keeping track of multiple people’s clothing MUCH easier. We stayed in five places over two weeks and the cubes kept us organized the whole time.