Away Packing Cubes Are Best for Travel


Travel + Leisure / Madison Woiten

If I’m being honest, I’ve always turned my nose up at packing cubes. I thought, sure, they must work well at keeping items organized and separated, but there’s no way a mesh pouch could actually help compress the manifestation of my compulsive overpacking. But on a recent trip where I needed all the help I could get, I turned to The Insider Packing Cubes by Away as a last resort. And let me tell you, these four relatively inconspicuous and lightweight pouches put me in my place in mere minutes.

Allow me to set the scene: I’m packing for a work trip; I find myself in a bind. My itinerary includes pool time, a yoga session, dinner, and a Lizzo concert, so there will be many activities that call for very different looks — and as an overpacker, I can’t decide on just a few outfits. Instead, I pack all the options and then some — and I even rent a handful of items that may work and have them shipped to the hotel. Needless to say, my suitcase was going to be more than full, especially since my master rental plan meant I’d be traveling home with significantly more cargo than I left with. 


To buy:, $45

I bust out the Away packing cube set, which features four water-resistant nylon cubes in varying sizes, and quickly start filling them with everything I’ll need for the trip. The order goes like this: Underwear, socks, and bras go in the smallest cube. Yoga pants, T-shirts, bathing suits, cover-ups, shapewear, pajamas, and sports bras go in the medium-sized cubes. And finally, I stuff the large cube with a few dress options (one bulky cotton sundress and a couple super lightweight slip-type dresses). 

My strategy is pretty simple, too: I start by folding clothes as smooth and compact as possible before placing them in their perspective cubes. When my tower of clothes starts to fall over, I hold it down, and inch by inch, zip up each packing cube, compressing my overflowing pile into a solid brick like a trash compactor. Color me impressed. 

But, it isn’t until I configure the cubes into my Away Bigger Carry-On Suitcase that I really grasp how much I’ve managed to squeeze into such a small space; I’ve packed all of my clothes — undergarments, socks, pajamas, dinner outfits, a backup concert dress, and everything else — into just one half of my suitcase. I’m stunned at the fact that I’m left with half of a suitcase to fit a toiletry bag and a couple pairs of shoes, and that there should still be plenty of space left to bring my rentals home with me on the plane. 


To buy:, $45

My package makes it safely to my hotel, and at the end of the trip, I have no choice but to place all my trust in Away’s magical set of mesh bags, again. Even with the extra space they bought me on the way here, I still have to figure out how to fit an additional sundress, two evening dresses, a colorful maxi dress, and a sequin miniskirt, plus the stiff, thick polypropylene shipping bag these new outfits came in (this is also the return bag, so it must make it back with the clothes). 

I start shoving my rented items into the large packing cube, and to my surprise, they still manage to zip, even with an entire second wardrobe forced inside. I’m thinking the zipper will bust at any second, but it feels notably sturdy and holds everything securely until I get home. If I had a say, I’d request that the packing cubes come with interior straps for additional compression, but the lacking detail is by no means a deal breaker. The Away packing cubes did their job better than I could’ve ever expected and got me out of a bind when I needed it the most. Who’d’ve thought something so compact and lightweight could be such an enabler to my overpacking compulsion?

Away Travel

To buy:, $45

So, it’s safe to say that The Insider Packing Cubes have made a believer out of this avid traveler, and that I’ll definitely be recruiting their help on my next trip. Still not sold on their magic? Well, grab yourself a set at Away and see for yourself just how useful they are. 

If you’re looking for more packing cubes that ensure you can fit everything you need (and some things you don’t) into any size suitcase, peruse these top-rated picks from Amazon that won’t let you down: 

Belsmi 8-Piece Packing Cube Set


To buy:, $18

OlarHike 6-Piece Packing Cube Set


To buy:, $19 (originally $25)

Easortm 11-Piece Packing Cube Set


To buy:, $20 (originally $22)

Amazon Basics Small 4-Piece Packing Cube Set 


To buy:, $23 (originally $25)

Bagsmart 6-Piece Packing Cube Set


To buy:, $30 (originally $38) 

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