I used to be the kind of packer that packed too many things “just in case”. As a result, I always ended up with a suitcase I could easily fit into myself for just a 2-week trip. Lately, I’ve been trying to cut down on what I take with me each trip and searching for ways to pack efficiently.
So I started browsing the web and I kept stumbling upon two things. The first was the tip to roll your clothes instead of folding them; the second was the use of EagleCreek cubes for travel packing.
Eagle Creek is a company specializing in all kinds of travel gear. They have a wide range of products designed to make travel packing easier, from luggage to toiletry bags and everything in between. Their Pack-It cubes are packing cubes, a kind of box or bags that you can use to organize your items.
These things are amazing and have changed the way I travel. Not only do Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes help to avoid clutter, but they also make unpacking a breeze. And because everything has its place, you end up using less space in your bag or suitcase.
But just using the cubes on their own isn't going to solve your luggage space issues. Packing can be madness, but there should be a method to it. The size, weight, bulkiness, and materials of the items in your bag will determine how you should pack them. So tossing all your stuff in the cubes won't do all that much.
Luckily, learning how to use Eagle Creek packing cubes is super easy. Let’s have a look.
How to pack with Eagle Creek packing cubes
First things first — you have your destination, your hotel booking, and a list of the items you'll need. And now you're staring at your luggage or travel bag and all the stuff you need to put in it.
Decide how many cubes you'll need
The idea is that the cubes should fit snugly in your bag. They should be easy to put in and take out when full. They shouldn't move around too much or take up a lot of space.
You can start with one large cube for storing bulkier items like jeans, sweatshirts, and jackets. Also, a medium-sized cube for shirts and dresses. And then a few small cubes for underwear, socks, swimsuits, accessories, and toiletries.
Once you've figured that out, packing with Eagle Creek will feel much easier.
Shirts and pants
Folding or rolling? There is a bit of a debate about the best way to pack clothes. Both have their benefits – it will depend on how much you’re packing, how much space you have, and how you’re traveling. Rolling works best for me, but if you prefer folding, go for it!
Rolling your clothes takes up less space and keeps your clothes organized. You can do this with shirts, jeans, dresses, and even jackets.
You can perfectly just fold your t-shirts in half and then roll them. But if you want to become a packing pro, give the army roll a try. This method is particularly useful if you're pressed for space, like backpacking or traveling only with a carry-on bag.
But if you’re packing clothes prone to stretching or in light fabrics or shirts with stiff collars, it’s better to fold them. Folding fans will be right at home with the KonMari method.
One tip to get rid of unnecessary items — as you're folding or rolling, pay attention to the item and ask yourself if you need it. Do you really need to bring that extra t-shirt? This is a good time to leave a few items out of your bag.
Shoes and accessories
Cubes will keep your bigger items organized, but you'll also want to get sacs for things like shoes, dirty or wet clothes, and accessories.
You want to pack these last, once all your cubes are in place. Just pop them in the remaining spaces between your Eagle Creek Pack It bags, like the corners or spaces between the cubes.
To save even more space and keep some shoes from getting crushed in your bag, roll your socks and pop in a pair or two inside a shoe.
You can also use a sac to store your toiletries and other liquids when going through airport security. Make sure to pack these last – having easy access to small bottles will make it easier and faster to get through security without having to unpack everything.
Underwear and bathing suits
The smaller items can be the trickier ones sometimes. To pack underwear efficiently, use one Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube specially for undies. Consider getting smaller, slimmer, more rigid cubes to protect bras and other padded tops like bathing suits.
Stack the bras on top of each other and pad the cups with socks or undies to avoid crushing them. And don’t forget an extra bag or two for dirty undies and wet bathing suits!
My experience with the EagleCreek cubes
Eagle Creek was kind enough to provide me with two complimentary Specter Pack-it Cubes, each with a volume of 10,5l.
What I immediately loved about these EagleCreek Cubes is that they are so light. They only weigh 27g so they add no weight to your luggage. They simply do their job: organize.
On my Portugal trip I used one of these Pack-It Cubes for Boyfriend’s underwear. About 14 boxers (rolled, not folded) and even more pairs of socks went into one of these. This way they formed a compact package that I could easily stuff into one of the small backpacks we were taking as carry-on.
I first wanted to use the second Eagle Creek packing cube for my own underwear, but noticed that I wasn’t even taking enough with me to fill it up completely (*pat on the back*), so instead I decided to pack it as a bag for dirty laundry.
That turned out to be a great idea. The Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes are made out of a much lighter fabric than regular linen bags and thus don’t take up that much space. On top of that, the packing cubes are stain and water-resistant, which isn't a bad thing when they’re supposed to hold the clothes you've spilled on and sweated in.
When we came back from Portugal after 12 days we had filled up both Eagle Creek Pack It cubes with dirty laundry. We fitted one nicely in a small backpack and the other in our suitcase.
Overall I was very pleased with the packing cubes Eagle Creek provided. Time will have to reveal the quality of the material when they’re extensively used, but I don’t think these things will rip. Ever.
If there is one tiny remark I can make, it’s that one of the little strings attached to the zipper to handle it more easily fell off during our trip, but that’s not a problem as you can always just pull the zipper itself.
After having used my EagleCreek cubes for nine (!) years, they're still going strong and look as good as new. Needless to say, I can still highly recommend them.
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered every trip I go on.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
PIN FOR LATER
Agree! The packing cubes are AWESOME! They make it so much easier to pack and unpack a backpack. Also, smart idea using them for laundry. :)
Sofie Couwenbergh says
I actually loved them for laundry. Before I had them I used those linen bags that you often get with shoes (don’t ask me why you get them with shoes…) but they’re a lot thicker and in coton, so they’re dirty pretty quickly and yes, they take over the smell of your dirty clothes:D
No problem with that with the packing cubes!
John Unger says
I’ll definitely have to look into these Pack-It Cubes. I’m also a big fan of rolling clothes instead of folding, especially as I tend to travel extremely light when I fly, with a carry-on bag that’s always small enough to stow under the seat.
Sofie Couwenbergh says
That’s a small bag!
I’m traveling lighter and lighter each time, but I admit I still haven’t done laundry on a trip.
What I do know is that from now on I’ll be using those Pack-It Cubes a lot. Especially when I don’t plan on doing any laundry;-)
I could see these cubes being handy even for hikers and backpackers. Sometimes organization suffers a bit on multi-day excursions.
Sofie Couwenbergh says
I put one of them in a small packpack and although it took up some space in there, there was still room left for other things as well. I’m sure they would come in really handy to organize a bigger backpack. What’s great is that you fill them up with one or two specific things (underwear, t-shirts…) and you need one of those things, you just have to pull out the Pack-It Cube to get to them. No need for searching and getting everything out!
I just use large freezer bags, which are clear and allows you to see through them. Squeeze the air out of them and they pack really tight. Plus when you get home you can re-use them to store food… LOL
Even if you’ve put your dirty laundry in them?:D