Using Packing Cubes In A Duffel Bag – How To

Packing duffel bags can be quite a feat, especially since you'll only have just enough space to pack your items without them being too full. For pro travelers, a great way to keep things organized is by using packing cubes and we're here to let you in the secrets of packing with them.

Duffel bags have a smaller packable space compared to a suitcase. Using packing cubes to segregate different types of clothing and travel necessities can make it easier when packing. Before packing your duffel bag, make sure to get packing cubes in different sizes.

Traveling can be easy if you do organized packing. Keep reading this post because we will share some tips and tricks on how you can maximize the use of your packing cubes. We will also share ways on choosing the best packing cubes for travel and how they can help you save space in your bags.

photo of a man wearing shorts, packing clothes and personal stuffs on the luggage on the bed room, Using Packing Cubes In A Duffel Bag - How To

How To Use Packing Cubes In A Duffel Bag

Weekend trips or short business trips sometimes don't necessitate the need to take out your trusty suitcase. On most occasions, your favorite travel duffel bag can fit all the clothes that you need for travel. The only problem is, that it can get a little messy and disorganized when you have to dig deep in your bag to get stuff.

photo of a blue duffel bag, blue shirts inside the duffel bag

You can fix this problem easily with the use of packing cubes. These cubes are small bags that organize, segregate, and compress clothes and other items to fit luggage better. They can be used in any type of bag, from duffel bags to full-size rolling suitcases.

To use packing cubes in a duffel bag, here are some of the best suggestions from pro travelers and organizer-oriented packers:

1. Pare down the necessities

It can be extra work, but it is always best to start your travel packing by listing down all the things that you need. Due to limited space, paring down your packing to just the essentials is the key to having more space in your bag and not having to carry a heavy load every time you travel.

There are many tips on packing light, and pros always prefer bringing just the "must haves" over the "just in case." Always remember that when you travel, there are more chances of you just buying these "just in case" items instead of bringing them along with you.

2. Lay it flat and categorize

man packing stuffs, neck pillow, luggage, clothes, pouch, personal stuffs

Start packing by laying everything out flat so you can see all the things that you will need. Start categorizing them into similar or like items so that it makes your packing a lot easier. Make sure to include everything in your packing list, right down to the toiletries.

3. Choose a packing style

There are many different ways to pack, especially if you want to organize them accordingly. Some people like to pack by "item categories" meaning they'll separate tops, bottoms, undergarments, etc. Some people prefer packing by "outfit categories" and this is perfect for those who have specific looks in mind.

Families can pack their items by individuals, which is particularly useful if you will be traveling with children and will be sharing luggage. If you will be going through different places, you can also pack items that you will specifically use in these different locations.

4. Pack your cubes

After you've decided your packing style, the real packing begins. There is no hard or fast rule when packing using compression cubes. Some people like to fold their items and stack them inside the cubes neatly. Others like rolling them up to conserve space or simply because it's been their habit.

5. Stack them up

After packing everything inside packing cubes, it's now time to put everything inside the duffel bag. The good thing about packing cubes is that you can adjust them piece by piece to fit the space. Stack them like tetris blocks and start with the bigger cubes at the bottom or by flipping the cubes on their sides to fit the bag.

How To Choose The Best Packing Cubes For Travel

There are a lot of packing cubes that are now available on the market, and the sheer number of choices can be a little overwhelming. If you are planning to use packing cubes for the first time, you'll want to know what kind of packing cubes will be suitable for your travels.


Aside from giving your packing cubes a little cheer and color when packing, picking different colors is important when choosing packing cubes for organizational purposes. Compartmentalizing and making identifiers using color is easy when it comes to packing because you know what is inside a particular cube.

Check out these multi-colored packing cubes on Amazon.

Packing cubes typically come in one color for an entire set, but you may also find some packing cubes that already come in multiple colors. You can also purchase your packing cubes in singles if you prefer to choose one color each.


Some packing cubes are more structured and rigid, especially at the edges to keep their shape when packing inside suitcases. Others, however, are more flexible and pouch-like, which lends to a less shapely clothes-filled packing cube. Ultimately, the choice is yours depending on how you'd like to use them.

Grab this packing cube set on Amazon.


Packing cubes come in many different materials, all differing on the purpose you will be using them. Some packing cubes come with mesh fabric to allow for a more breathable bag. If you are traveling in places where you will most likely have wet clothes, there are water-resistant packing cubes for your use.


A set of packing cubes automatically come in a variety of sizes. Typically, you will get a set with bags ranging from a size small to an extra large that can fit everything from socks to pants. For beginners, a set of packing cubes will be enough to pack items for a week's worth of travel.

Check out this single packing cube on Amazon.

If you are looking into a different kind of packing style, you might want to buy singles to get the same size-packing cubes in multiple quantities. You can also get multiple sets for a more practical approach.


There are different functions for packing cubes. Aside from compartmentalizing and separating specific items inside your bag, there are packing cubes that do more than that. Compression packing cubes are great for those who might need more space even after using their cubes.

Get these compression packing cubes on Amazon.

A compression packing cube comes with an extra set of zippers that cut straight through the middle to further press down on your items. This essentially compresses the packing cube further, which gives you more space in your bag to add items.

Packing Alternatives And Supplements

human preparing clothes and stuffs on the bed room, packing personal stuffs to travel away

Aside from packing cubes, there are alternatives and other supplementary products that will make your packing easy. These items can be used alongside your packing cubes so that all of your items are still organized in your luggage.

Packing folders

Get this packing folder on Amazon.

If you are traveling with articles of clothing that should arrive absolutely wrinkle-free, these packing folders are going to be important to you. They are very rigid, so they will keep your non-negotiable wrinkle-free clothes pristine and pressed when you get to your destination.

Compression bags

Check out these travel compression bags on Amazon.

For travelers who will be bringing bulky items like winter coats and puffy jackets, this is going to be a lifesaver. Compression bags are plastic bags that come with a valve, wherein you vacuum the air out with your trusty vacuum. You might also find a travel version that allows you to roll the air out of the bag to "vacuum-pack" them.

Shoe bags

See these shoe bags on Amazon.

Of course, it shouldn't be just the clothes that are neat and clean inside your bag. Keep your belongings dirt-free by placing your shoes and other footwear in shoe bags. You'll also keep your nice dress shoes or heels scratch-free if you keep them in one.

Wrapping Things Up

photo of a man wearing shorts, packing clothes and personal stuffs on the luggage on the bed room

Packing cubes can definitely help in making your duffel bag organized for travel. Not only will you save space with these cubes, but you'll find that you're not rummaging around for the things you need anymore. Just make sure to stick to your packing list and cubes, and you'll have no problems packing light for your next trip.

Looking to discover more about duffel bags? We have some articles that might interest you:

How To Pack A Suit In A Duffel Bag

Which Carry-on Luggage Holds The Most?