Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for an honest review.
As mentioned in this recent post showcasing my lack of packing skills (even with years in the travel industry and a variety of trips made) my ability to pack for vacation has been less than stellar. Lack of proper gear has been partly to blame, for sure, but I could also use some lessons in strategic vacation prep.
All of that changes now.
I have been arming myself with new and improved travel gear in 2018, so that this travel mom can more easily prepare everyone for vacation. My goal is to eliminate checked bags from our repertoire, so we can both avoid airline fees and move through airports with greater efficiency and ease. Proper gear is essential to this transition, I have learned, as is practice and list-making.
My first bit of advice is to start from the inside out and invest in packing cubes - highlighted here, this set from eBags. Available in four colors (black, blue, green, and grey) these packing cubes come in a variety of sizes to allow you to pack more, and pack better. This set includes two large, one slim (medium), and two small packing cubes, and they all nestle perfectly into a variety of the eBags carry-on luggage. (More on this later.)
Product features for the eBags Ultralight Packing Cubes Super Packer 5-pc Set
(from the eBags website)
What Can You Fit in a Packing Cube?
I did some experimenting before officially packing with my new cubes because I wanted to see how I could pack most efficiently while still including everything I thought I would need.
Here is an idea of a few combinations that the cubes held, for size small/medium/4-6 female.
#1 four pairs of jeans, one pair of dress pants
#2 three long-sleeved shirts, two thin sweatshirts, two tank tops, pajama pants
#3 one pair of jeans, one pair of leggings, one lightweight cardigan, one long-sleeved shirt, two heavier long-sleeved shirts
#4 three dresses (two that are maxi length), three tank tops, swimsuit, cover up
#1 six short-sleeved shirts
#2 seven tank tops
#1 eleven pairs of narrow rolled underwear
#2 twelve pairs of wide rolled underwear
#3 twelve pairs of underwear folded in half, one bra, one pair of no-show socks
#4 pajama set (pants and tank top)
Pros and Cons
Easily organize your items, especially if this is something you struggle with when packing.
Help prevent overpacking, which has been my biggest issue when travelling.
Color-code your family when traveling together by selecting a set for each member of the group.
View the contents of each bag without opening, thanks to the mesh cover.
Feel very lightweight and durable.
Repurpose for other tasks and storage needs when not travelling.
Pricey, even when on sale.
When filled, the cubes lose their shape (can bulge) so this can create other packing issues. (But if you were to make these a harder-shell product, they would be heavy and bulky thus defeating their original purpose.) I found I was still able to nicely fit even bulging cubes into my carry-on, but I still want to note this.
Cannot compress clothing like some packing cubes on the market.
All in all, I am very happy with my first packing cubes experience and I would recommend them to others. If your vacation needs require a wide variety of clothing options, I encourage experimenting beforehand to see what you might be able to take with you. My type-A personality loved the organization of the cubes, and it was so nice to not have items directly placed inside the luggage.
I will definitely be purchasing another set for my toddler before she begins travelling with us next spring.