Whether you’re backpacking through a gorgeous wilderness setting or traipsing through a new city, the best packing cubes for backpacking can really come in handy. Because, there are few experiences more frustrating than having to empty the entire contents of your bag and engage in an hour-long game of backpack Tetris just to find what you're looking for. There goes 20 minutes of your life (and your precious vacation) you’ll never get back again.
But what makes a set of packing cubes specifically great for a backpacking trip? When you’re spending all day walking around with your bag on your back there are certain features you'll want in a cube.
First of all, you want them to be lightweight. When you’re already carrying 20 pounds of weight on your back, every extra ounce counts. Secondly, you'll want them to be durable. After all, most backpacking trips involve slightly less glamorous locals at one point or another. And whether that means you have to drag your luggage onto dirty camp floors, grungy city sidewalks, or through hostels, you'll want tough, well-built designs. Lastly, look for extra features like compressibility, waterproofing, and breathability to complement your specific packing needs.
But, you have enough researching to do for your trip. So I've made a list of the absolute best packing cubes for backpacking to help you get ready for your next adventure.
1The Most Durable Packing Cubes
Constructed with nylon and sturdy, top-grade YKK zippers, these durable packing cubes are extra tough so you don't have to worry about destroying them at your campground or in your hostel. The fabric-bound interior seams are fully finished and snag-free so they won't start unweaving if you throw them on a dusty picnic table or tent floor. The mesh panels at the top make it easy to see what you're looking for and they have corded double-zipper pulls which makes them a breeze to open and close. These packing cubes come in a set of three, and while the largest might not fit quite as easily in your bag as the smaller two, it'll be great for the next time you have to pack a full-sized suitcase. With nearly 2,000 Amazon reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars, these are tried and true cubes you can rely on.
2The Best Lightweight Packing Cubes
The last thing you want on a four-day backpacking trip is to lug around extra weight. These ultra-light packing cubes weigh less than an ounce, making them some of the thinnest, lightest packing cubes on the market. The thin silnylon ripstop fabric, which is the same material used in high-quality camping tents, feels silky and smooth to touch. It's even water- and stain-resistant so it'll stand up to the dirtiest outdoor backpacking trip. And made with a translucent exterior fabric, this cube is see-through so you'll easily be able to tell what's inside. You can purchase the cubes (which come in three colors choices) separately or as multi-pack sets.
3The Best Waterproof Packing Cubes
Whether you're backpacking in a wet, rainy climate, or trekking through a foreign country prone to precipitation, these fully waterproof packing cubes will keep your belongings dry and organized. The roll-top bags function more like sacks than packing cubes; however, they feature flat sides specifically designed to pack tightly together. They even compress your gear up to 20 percent more efficiently than typical stuff sacks, saving space in your backpack so you can fit everything you need. The 70-denier polyurethane-coated nylon works together with the fully-welded seams to make the bags waterproof and fully submersible for short periods of time. "Well made, extremely light weight, easy to use," said one happy Amazon customer. "Clothes stayed dry on backpacking trip. We used six of these in various sizes and all held up really well."
4The Packing Cubes With The Most Compression Power
These powerful packing cubes offer 50 percent more compression than your standard backpacking pack, making it easy for you to bring all the essentials with you on your next trip. They feature super breathable mesh ventilating panels at the top, along with polyester-coated mesh on the sides to let air in and out of your cubes, making them truly breathable. And, on top of that, the fabric is durable and water-resistant. Available in a pack of three varying sizes, these cubes serve dual purposes: pack the smaller ones for your backpacking trip, and save the largest cube for the next time you have to travel with a suitcase. "They are packed and ready for a three week trip through Asia," said one satisfied Amazon reviewer. "I bought these because I wanted something light weight, flexible ... . I really like that I can fully unzip the lid and just place it into a drawer without having to unpack anything."
5The Most Stylish Packing Cubes
These compressible packing cubes are not only super rugged and lightweight but they look attractive too — which is truly rare (and probably wholly unnecessary, but they're actually high quality, too). Built with premium rip-stop polyester and durable double zippers, the cubes are durable enough to withstand tough adventures off the grid while looking good in your bag. The material is lightweight and water-resistant so if you get hit with a light rain shower, you won't ruin all of your clothes or souvenirs. Each set comes in a three-pack with assorted sizes featuring landscapes inspired by backpacking trips through Iceland, Cuba, Patagonia, Thailand, and others. "Love these packing cubes!" said one enthusiastic Amazon user. "Not only are the designs unique and awesome, but I was able to fit way more layers into my backpack for a snowy hiking trip than ever before. I'm sold!"
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