As the saying goes, “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.” However, the process can often feel overwhelming for even the most seasoned traveler when it comes to packing. I have a love-hate relationship with packing, and few things give me more anxiety than a disorganized suitcase.
That’s where packing and compression cubes come in – simple yet effective tools to help organize and optimize luggage space. We put together a quick Away packing cubes review so that you can get a first-hand look at one of our favorite brands.
Packing cubes have become a popular way to keep your bag organized and maximize space. By dividing clothing, accessories, and other items in their carry-on suitcase into separate compartments, travelers can easily find what they need in their luggage.
This saves time when you pack and is particularly helpful when staying in multiple hotels or accommodations. They also prevent clothing from wrinkling, making unpacking and getting ready easier. Additionally, packing cubes make TSA inspections and customs checks less hassle by keeping everything in place.
Top-tier luggage company Away makes a range of packing cubes that have received near-perfect reviews, the Insider Packing Cubes.
These are especially popular for summer travel because they come in various colors, are lightweight, and are specifically designed to work with the Away system, a real pro for people who already use Away luggage (like me).
In this Away Packing Cubes review, we’ll look closer at the features for when buying any packing cubes and the pros and cons of Away’s new Insider Packing Cubes to help you decide if they’re right for you.
See Related: Away vs BÉIS: Which is Best for You?
Show Table of Contents
- Unboxing the Insider Packing Cubes by Away
- Away Packing Cubes Review: Notable Features
- Materials and Aesthetics
- Large vs. Small
- Other Considerations
- How the Away Packing Cubes Hold Up Over Time
- Size, Versatility, and Functionality
- Final Verdict
- Away Packing Cubes
Unboxing the Insider Packing Cubes by Away
I recently got new Insider Packing Cubes from Away, specifically for my Away Carry On. This set of four packing cubes includes varying sizes, making it easy to pack items of different shapes, sizes, and purposes.
The packaging was minimalistic and easy to open, leaving less waste (it’s the little things). When we opened the box, we immediately knew this was the real deal from the sleek design and excellent craftsmanship I’ve come to appreciate from Away. I was impressed by the quality of the material used.
The Insiders are water-resistant, durable, and feel great to the touch. The zippers are strong and reliable, with chunky toggles, and the mesh top is a useful addition, allowing you to identify the contents quickly.
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Away Packing Cubes Review: Notable Features
The true test of the Insider Packing Cubes came when we embarked on a recent trip. To cut a long story short, they significantly simplified the process. I’ll recommend packing cubes to anyone, but I really like these Away ones.
Instead of rummaging through a disorganized pile of clothes and a curious toddler’s essentials, they allowed for easy identification and access. This level of organization saved time and reduced my stress levels to no end.
Materials and Aesthetics
Available in nine different colorways, these fit perfectly in my Carry On and come thoughtfully packaged in four sets. Each pack includes a small slim, small wide, medium slim, and medium wide option, with dimensions ranging from 6.9″ x 4.1″ x 4.3″ to 13″ x 4.1″ x 10″. They’re also lightweight, with the largest cube weighing only 0.7 lbs. They can be stored flat when not used, saving space in suitcases.
The soft nylon bodies of the Away Insider Packing Cubes are durable and generally tear-resistant. They’re made from water-resistant nylon that protects contents from moisture and stains.
They feature mesh panels that allow air to circulate, keep clothes fresh, and provide visibility, making it easy to find what you need without entirely unpacking your bag. True, the mesh negates some of the usefulness of that water-resistant nylon, but every little helps, right?
Other packing cubes use this mesh system, but others also tackle the visibility issue with clear plastic windows. This definitely enhances the waterproofing capabilities of the cube, but these also tend to be more fragile than tough nylon mesh and don’t let clothes breathe.
The Away Packing Cubes come in two sets, providing carry-on and checked-bag options. The set of four is designed to fit perfectly in the Carry-On and Bigger Carry-On cases from Away Travel, and large cubes can be used as a laundry bag. As mentioned, each set includes sizes ranging from small wide to large slim.
The small wide option is perfect for rolled shirts or trousers, while the medium wide is excellent for flat-packed button-up shirts. The large slim one is ideal for stacking t-shirts or lightweight jackets, and the medium slim one is perfect for smaller items like socks or underwear.
The small slim and large wide are additional options in the six-set. They also come in various colors for a stylish and organized travel experience.
These Away Packing Cubes are incredibly lightweight, and neither set will barely add any extra overall weight to your luggage. Even better, their design lets you easily see what’s inside each cube, eliminating the need to search your luggage.
The Away Insider Packing Cubes mesh panels help with visibility. The panels offer several advantages, including quickly seeing into the cube without opening it. This makes it easier to locate specific items without digging through the whole pack.
My one complaint about visibility with this black Away set is that the interior is also pretty dark, making it slightly harder to find items at a glance, especially in low-light conditions.
Other packing cubes (such as the packing cubes from Peak Design) feature lighter-colored interiors, presenting a brighter backdrop for the contents, making it easier to spot items. That said, the ones from Peak Design don’t have any windows, so there are pros and cons to each.
See Related: ViaTravelers’ Favorite Travel Backpacks
Large vs. Small
Choosing between large cubes, medium cubes, and small can depend on a few factors, including length of trip and type of clothing being packed. Large packing cubes are best for bulkier items like sweaters or jackets, while smaller ones are great for organizing things like socks and underwear.
Using one large cube makes it easier to find specific items without digging. However, using too many small packing cubes can take up more space in a suitcase than necessary and can be just as frustrating as just throwing things in there.
While some cubes repel water, not all cubes are made fully waterproof – including these Away ones. It is vital to check that all liquids in the same case or bag are properly sealed to prevent the contents inside from getting wet.
Another consideration is storage. Some packing cubes come with extra features like pockets or compartments that may be useful for keeping smaller items organized. This may be for you or not – I’m honestly on the fence. But remember, these extra features may add bulk and limit space.
Lastly, weight restrictions should be considered, especially for budget airlines with strict baggage limits. If you’re worried about weight limits, find lightweight cubes, like the Insider Cubes from Away.
How the Away Packing Cubes Hold Up Over Time
Away’s Insider Packing Cubes are a great addition to any traveler’s bags. However, customer reviews reveal there are some concerns regarding their long-term durability. While the nylon is generally tear-resistant, the mesh tops can apparently snag and rip if yanked hard enough.
Although I haven’t run into this myself with this set, I’ve had it happen to me with a different brand that had mesh windows.
Size, Versatility, and Functionality
The largest cube in the set of four is perfect for storing bulkier clothing items like bulky sweaters and even shoes, while other packing cubes in the smaller sizes are great for underwear, toiletries, socks, and kids’ shoes.
However, it is important to note that they do not expand much – a durability price. Don’t try to over-fill them; otherwise, it gets tricky to pull stuff out.
And remember, they are merely water-resistant, not waterproof. This is the Away cube’s biggest drawback. Before choosing these cubes, consider your trip and decide whether your bags need more than water resistance.
I’m sold. They’re certainly some of the best packing cubes I’ve used (and am still using). These Away Packing Cubes are a great addition to any traveler’s go bag or checked cases, especially if you own some Away luggage. They come in numerous sizes to accommodate a range of clothing items.
They are lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for airport packing efficiency and weight restrictions. Yet, concerns have been raised regarding their long-term durability, and the biggest is way too large for some users who need something smaller for their bags.
Additionally, if you need something more water-resistant for your bag (i.e., something without a mesh window), this set of four won’t satisfy, and you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you are considering purchasing this set of four Insider Packing Cubes, I highly recommend it. They’re hardy, lightweight, in useful sizes, and perfect for most travel scenarios. And for a better look at these nifty cubes, check out our original video review!
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Away Packing Cubes45USD
- The Away Packing Cubes are water-resistant nylon that protects clothes from moisture and stains
- The Away Packing Cubes come in two sets, providing carry-on and checked-bag options
- The Away Packing Cubes are incredibly lightweight
- The Away Packing Cubes feature a design made with nylon and mesh panels for visibility.
- Using one large cube makes it easier to find specific items without digging.
- Using too many Away small packing cubes can take up more space in a suitcase than necessary.
- While some cubes repel water, not all cubes are made fully waterproof
- Away packing cubes extra features may add bulk and limit space
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.