Packing Challenge : Which is Better? Space Bags or Packing Cubes

Last Updated on November 18, 2014 by Jody Halsted

It’s fair to say I’m pretty adept at packing. And, while I tend toward over-packing (especially when we are driving to destinations), I do try to keep my packing lighter when I am flying.

Our most recent trip, however, had a mix of activities – from outdoor pursuits which required warm gear, to city evenings with friends, to a luxurious dinner in a castle. Which left me packing quite a few more clothes than I normally would. As I thought about the best way to pack, I began to wonder, which is best: Space Bags or Packing Cubes?

So I gave myself a little challenge, a head-to-head, apples-to-apples comparison of Space Bags and Packing Cubes. And I put it all on video.

The video is about 21 minutes in length, as I pack my suitcase 3 times, first demonstrating Packing Cubes, followed by Space Bags, and finishing with a mixture of the two.

What I Packed:

2 jackets

3 jeans

4 tops

1 button-down flannel shirt

1 tank top

1 scarf

1 pair heels

1 dress & shrug

undergarments and socks

Spoiler : Winner – Space Bags vs Packing Cubes

If you’re just looking for the short version of the video, here’s where you’ll find it.

I was able to fit the same amount of clothing into my carry on bag using Space Bags as I was into Packing Cubes.

BUT, I found that a mixture of the two worked best for me.

If you don’t want to watch the packing, see the final moments for each process at these times:

Packing Cubes: 7:11

Space Bags: 14: 02

Combination of the two: 19:27

Be aware: When you use any type of packing condensation item, always be sure to watch the weight of your bag! Check your airline’s limits and don’t exceed them – overweight bags are an expensive inconvenience!

Quick Tip if You’re Packing Boots!

Don’t let that space go to waste! Stuff them! Socks in the toes, tops, leggings, scarves rolled into the upper. Not only does it fill “wasted” space, but it will help your tall boots keep their shape! And don’t forget to use shoe bags
to protect your other items from snags and dirt!

Packing Tip: Roll items into your boots to maximize space!

Do you have a favorite packing method? Do your prefer Space Bags or Packing Cubes?

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  1. Here’s my question about space bags – when you pack them at home and use your vacuum to suck the air out, what do you do when you re-pack them at your destination? There usually isn’t a vacuum available. Is there a trick I’m not aware of?

    1. Great questions, Shannon! The travel specific bags don’t have a vacuum spot, but a one-way air release at the end. So you just roll all the air out of them. That said, when I use the bags that do have the vacuum spot, I just leave them slightly open at the top and push out as much air as I can before sealing. It works nearly as well.

  2. Good to know! Thanks for doing that experiment! I’m thinking I need to invest in some packing cubes to help keep things better organized–we’ve got a big road trip coming up in a few months–good Christmas gift idea!

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