I've been hearing a lot about packing cubes lately, which are supposed to help you stay organized and save space in your suitcase. I always over pack and end up needing a checked bag and a carry on, so I wanted to see if I could fit everything in one bag with the cubes.
I ordered a set from Amazon that also have a zipper for compression to try to maximize space. I'm planning a three week trip to Europe next year, so I wanted to try to fit three weeks of clothing in a carry on.
First I tried packing without the cubes. I found that by rolling everything I could easily fit 24 different outfits, including 2 pairs of jeans, and 4 pairs of shoes.
Next, I tried using the cubes. I was able to organize everything by country so I cpuld just pull out one cube at a time depending on what I need and keep everything else organized. This seemed like a good plan, except that the cubes barely fit and then I couldn't fit the shoes. Since the cubes take up room themselves, I actually fit less.
I tried using a different suitcase in case mine was just the wrong shape for these cubes, but I still fit less. I barely fit two small pairs of shoes and the larger two were left out.
I also tried the cubes for a shorter weekend trip, and I think this is where they really become useful. I can easily fit one large, medium, and small in my carry on that are not over-packed, as well as boots and hiking shoes. While I didn't save space, it is much easier to stay organized.
My verdict: packing cubes are great for organization, but do not help you fit more compared to rolling clothes.
Does anyone else use packing cubes?? Is there a secret to fitting more with the cubes?