My husband and I each have a Rick Steves rolling carryon. It's a great bag, and I'm hoping to find packing cubes that work with it. I have the ebags small cubes, but these don't line up with the suitcase - they fit but leave plenty of oddly shaped wasted space. I'd like a set of cubes (various size or same size) that fit neatly in the bag, with little wasted space. Anyone have a good system? Or a picture of filled cubes in this bag?
I use the ebags slim packing cubes. These fit great in those "gaps"
It's going to take a combination of sizes to fill a bag. If you like the eBags cubes, take a look at their new line of ultralightweight cubes.
I mostly use a combination of cubes, half cubes and long/tube/slim cubes to fill a bag. Since they are not that rigid, they can be made to fill in smaller sizes. (As an example, a lightweight or ultralightweight cube that measures 14" can me made to fit the 13.5 inches of the RS roller. Just squeeze a little.)
Theoretically, a cube and two half cubes should fit in the bag in one layer. Again, theoretically, the bag could take two layers depending on how you pack.
The three most popular lines of ultralighweight cubes are Eagle Creek Specter, Lewis N Clark Electrolight/Featherlight and eBags Ultralightweight. (L & C just introduced smaller sized mini and micro cubes to help fill some of the very small empty areas. )
eBags line of Ultralightweight cubes are different sizes than everyone else's, including their own regular packing cubes, so be aware that mixing and matching with other lines may not work as well. However, I really like these.
In case you're wondering, I have them all.
My Rick Steves packing cubes fit in my RS rolling carry on perfectly. Imagine that! I have the new 20" roller bag but my packing cubes are 10 years old. They have been used many times and are still like new.
I have the Eagle Creek Specter sil-nylon cubes Frank is referring to. In the RS Rolling bag I usually use the large one for shirts and then 1 or 2 of the small ones and find they work well. 2 of the 3 that I usually use are their "compression" bags which just have an extra zipper to snug them down. (To me they are not real compression bags because they don't take the air out.) There is extra room which I use for my 3-1-1 and my extra non-liquid toiletries plus a zip lock bag of scarves.
Those gaps can be useful for bringing a few goodies home!
I've been happy using Rick's packing cube set and right now they're on sale. They fit perfectly into my classic back door bag and keep all my items neat and tidy. The dimensions of my bag and the rolling carry on are basically the same though the width of the roller is 1/2" less. The cubes are flexible enough that they should easily fit.
Do the RS packing cubes fit in the Appenzell daybag? The Appenzell is what I use as my main piece of luggage. I usually use zip-loc type bags to compress my clothing items. I've been curious about the packing cubes, but have never tried them. However, I now have $100 credit to spend at the RS shop; this might be the time to experiment with the cubes. But if they don't fit my bag, there's no sense in getting them.
Kathy, I like the way you think! I, too, use a variety of different sizes and together they fit perfectly well inside my new-ish RS carryon roller bag. I find two half sizes, one full size and one long, skinny cube across the bottom (where the wheels are) fit well. As someone upthread said, they are squishy and when packed, can be squeezed into small spaces.
We use one packing envelope for folded shirts, pants, etc. After that we use a combination of gallon and 2 gal, zip lock bags. They compress nicely and fit just about any configuration. Cheap solution and flexible.
I put the clothes wrapped in dry cleaning bags in first, and then put the Rick Steves packing cubes on top. Then I wrap the clothes up and over the cubes to avoid wrinkles.
I too use zip lock bags in packing cubes for specific items--with the air squeezed out when possible.
I don't pack enough to need packing cubes. The total volume in my bag is about 1400 ci (14"x20"x5").
I take along a couple pair of slacks, which lie flat on the bottom of the bag (I have thought of rolling them), 4 shirts folded flat in a Tide® mesh wash bag, 2 sets of underwear in a small mesh bag, an RS toiletry bag, and a small nylon stuff bag for miscellaneous gear (charger, plug adapter).
I throw a sweater on top for an extra on cold day. Other than that, that's it. Packing cubes would be overkill for me.
The internal straps hold everything together.
Rick's packing cubes are essentially mesh bags with a 3-sided zipper. The mesh is sewn in a way that forms a rectangle when items are added. You can pack the cubes tightly to compress your clothes (which I usually roll). Or you can pack a cube more loosely to fit whatever space you have. They weigh just ounces and the Rick Steves cubes are extremely durable. I have used them for 16 years without a snag or tear. They still look new. I also have Eagle Creek & Eddie Bauer packing cubes but prefer the RS version as they fit my 22" RS bag perfectly. You can see through the mesh to see what's inside but they are not clear.
I too have used the Rick Steves packing cubes for ~6 years and they have worked very well. This year on my trip to Italy I am going to experiment with something new, I'm going to use a Eagle Creek Packing Folder. I have already packed my Patagonia Transport 26L shoulder bag (20"x14"x6") and I am able to take a pair of pants(1), shorts(1), 5 shirts, 4 pairs of underwear, pajamas, RS toiletry bag, 4 pairs of socks, a microfiber towel, liquids bag, and a very compact umbrella and day pack. The reason I am trying something new is my wife has severe back pain and this way I can place my bag on top of her carry-on with wheels and I can move through airports and crowds and my wife will have her hands free.
I just looked at my packing cubes and need to make a small correction: the sides and top of the RS cubes are mesh, the bottom is a black fabric. For a carry-on size wheeled suitcase, you can fit one large packing cube and 2 small.
I roll all my shirts, pants etc and place in the large cube, so I can unzip the top and easily find whatever I'm looking for without disrupting everything. I put socks, underwear, swimsuit etc in a small cube. That leaves me a corner of the suitcase for shoes, my 3-1-1 bag, and a small cube or stuff sack with miscellaneous travel gear (clothesline, first aid kit, etc.) I fold my rain jacket in half and slide it into the large zippered pocket on the outside of the suitcase, so it takes very little space. And I'm done!
Not everyone may love packing cubes but I personally couldn't travel without them.
I'm a big fan of use-what-you-have-and-improvise: if your current cubes leave spaces, consider the dollar-store-mesh-bag solution and pack smaller bags of odds and ends into the spaces.
I also like the packing folder for shirts that need to pack flat; I put the folder on top of the cubes on my last trip, pushed it down and zipped the suitcase for compression.
My husband swears by zip-loc bags, but I think they slide around too much. Great for compressing a down jacket, though.
I fiind it hard to pass by a sale, and the RS packing cubes are on sale this week, but Lee has a good point -- the RS cubes are 5" deep, which just encourages you to overpack, as do the packing folders that say you can get a dozen articles bundled inside.
But I can't resist a bargain, so I just rooted around on that page named after the river and found a set of 3 cubes and a size 19 folder which together were just under $20 shipped. The cubes are a little over 3" deep, so the discipline is built in.
This is a straying away from my miserly use of dollar-store storage bags, but you forum regular posters have worn me down. I hope it isn't too slippery of a slope. If in another year I end up in safari jackets and zip-off pants, I'm blaming you all :-)
I use RS packing cubes inside the RS 20" rolling carryon, and then roll other items to fill in gaps, if there are any. I use one large cube, one medium cube, and two small ones - not much room left after they get packed (none are stuffed).
I like the cubes because they are easier to pack/unpack for a two-night (or heaven forbid a one-night) stay, rather than reorganizing an entire suitcase.
MrsEB, your logic escape me. The shipping fee of $6.00 would have been applied whether you bought at full price or discounted price. You in fact did get the cube set at a reduced price.
This is a straying away from my miserly use of dollar-store storage
bags, but you forum regular posters have worn me down.
There have been some really creative suggestions on the forums for cheap packing containers. One of the better ones I've seen was to recycle those clear, zippered pouches that sheets and pillowcases come in.
Kathy, yes, that's a good tip, and I've also used sweater storage bags and dry cleaner's film and the laundry bag in the hotel room closet. and supermarket bags and ziplock bags and twine around a used pillowcase and and and
but a little searching found me a 3-set of Travelwise cubes for under $10 and a folding packer also under $10 so I decided to indulge. The peer pressure here in the RS Packing forum got the better of me.
If I continue along this route I might end up paying attention to clean clothes and personal hygiene, too. Don't know how I'll be able to show my face back in the neighborhood next time I go to sing harmony around the fire in the trash barrel...
I like the cubes and envelopes because they keep me organized. I have both the RS and Eagle Creek versions, assorted sizes and colours. Take your bag with you when you shop for those cubes. That way you can try the configurations out at the store. Some of the Eagle Creek bags have the configuration of packing cubes already done. I think you can also see it on line. I also use big ziplocks when needed. Great for dirty laundy or things not quite dry. Another tip, line your suitcase with a big dry cleaning bag. those soft sided bags can really soak up the water in a downpour. Not fun to have to dry everything you brought!