REVIEW – I’ve got a kind of divisive review for this week, at least for frequent travelers: packing cubes. You see, you’re either a packing cube person or you’re not, I find. I have mixed feelings about them, but lately, I’ve seen packing cubes like the Cambond compression packing cubes all over the internet. They boast that they can take nine t-shirts and shrink them down into a flat little envelope that you can just slide into your luggage using the power of zippers. I knew I had to give these things a try.
What are they?
Cambond compression packing cubes are a set of four nylon packing cubes.
What’s the box?
No box, just an envelope with the packing cubes
2 – 11.8” x 8.6”
1 – 13.7” x 9.4”
1 – 15.3” x 14.2”
All of them had a depth of 3.7” when expanded and 1.4” when empty and compressed.
Features and performance
The Cambond compression packing cubes were really well made, with tight stitching and some features that made them nice to use, like tabbed zippers and a handle in case you wanted to hang them up. The way they work is with a regular zipper that encloses your packed items, and then a separate zip-around that compresses the sides. They work like luggage that has an expansion zipper that you depend on at the end of your trip with all of your stuff has magically grown bulkier, or because you need to fit a souvenir or two that you can’t live without. We’ve all been there. No judgment.
I’ve got a little work trip planned this summer in Dublin. I’ve only been to Dublin in the winter, and it was cold and gray. My husband showed signs of seasonal affective disorder about 48 hours in. In the summer it doesn’t seem a lot different. It might get up into the 70s, but it also rains a bit according to my internet research. I’m planning on being away for six weeks and I will attempt to take everything I need in my Kabuto carry on and a backpack. I’m not skimping on fashion, though. I’ve got a lot of layered looks involving t-shirts, blouses pants and several sweaters, even though I’m going to sweater country. That means I’ll return with more sweaters than when I came…which makes the Cambond compression packing cubes even more important!
So I stacked up a bunch of the clothes I’m planning on taking and I loaded up the cubes. In the biggest one, I put two sweaters, a pair of pants and two blouses. I found it had some gaps, so I popped a couple of tank tops and another sweater. It really made for a bulbous cube, but hey, it’s about testing things and maxing out your packing capabilities, right? So then I compressed. Does the fabric get stuck in the zipper? It wants to, but if you sort of tuck the fabric in as you go it wasn’t that tough to zip without that happening. The Cambond compression packing cube was smaller than it was before I compressed, but mostly along the edges. Overall, it was much smaller.
For my next cube, I tried to just make a normally packed cube, not a bulgy one. This is more along the lines of what they show on their product page. I compressed and my results were much the same. The Cambond compression cube was less bulky, but it wasn’t a game changer.
By the time I had all the cubes filled, my stack of clothes I started with was almost all gone, and I had four neat little rectangles. Now, here’s where you kind of have to be the judge about whether packing cubes are for you, because the Cambond compression packing cubes were not a great fit with my carry-on. I think if I was planning on taking a larger suitcase, these would be great, but all four just didn’t want to fit well in my overhead bag. It was like a game of Tetris that I couldn’t win. I think for my trip I might take a couple of them and save the big ones for when I go away for months and take a big suitcase.
I often use packing cubes for more than just compression – I use them for organization. When I’m changing locations a lot, I often try to open up one cube of clothes for one stay and then leave the rest of my clothes packed up. I find I’m less likely to lose things, and it’s so much easier to pack and move if you don’t disturb everything in your bag. Another great use for Cambond compression packing cubes is using one for dirty laundry. Keeping smelly stuff away from my pristine stuff is important when you don’t always have access to a washing machine.
What I liked
- Well made
- Seemed to make things less bulky
What I’d change
- Nothing really. They worked well.
I think these Cambon compression cubes are overall an improvement on regular cubes. Yes, you can overstuff a regular cube, but these allow you to pack your cube like a normal one and then shrink it, which I think is easier. Overall I liked these!