Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6030 posts

What I don't like about bundle packing is that you have to disturb the entire bundle to take anything out of it. Fine if you are only going to one place and unpacking. Not so practical if you're on the move. I use packing cubes to stay organized. I never have problems with wrinkles.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2900 posts

Although several people on this forum have commented positively in a couple of previous threads on the subject, I have to agree with Andrea. I tried the bundle packing method once and after the second hotel I unpacked it all and repacked it in a way that made more sense to me. Never did it again. To each his own.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3556 posts

I did this a long time ago on one or two trips... problems as stated above, but also it seems to allow you to fit more stuff in... so not only is your bag heavier, it is difficult not to pack this way for your return trip...stuff doesn't fit.

Posted by cmontroy
36 posts

Ahh, interesting points of view. I got caught up in the "no-wrinkle" thing and did not think about much else.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24207 posts

I've looked at the "bundle packing" method before, but concluded that it wouldn't work for me. It looks very efficient in theory, but not so much in reality. Accessing clothes in the middle of the bundle during the holiday would be a darn nuisance, and I'd probably spend half my holiday re-forming the bundle each time I had to get clothes. I'm not really too concerned about "wrinkles" as my clothes are all permanent press so the wrinkles usually fall-out fairly quickly.

I find that a "modular packing" approach works best for me, using packing cubes or other containers to create different "modules" (ie: underwear & socks, toiletries, chargers & cords or whatever). Larger clothes like pants and shirts can be packed in something like a Packing Folder which will also minimize wrinkles. I sometimes keep modules pre-packed, and then they're ready to place in the Backpack when departure time gets close.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
2667 posts

I'll just add another vote for cubes over bundles. I bundlepacked the first couple of times and found the same thing as others. I like cubes better and if I am careful to pull and smooth my shirts when I roll them for the cubes they dont wrinkle. Taking a few extra seconds when rolling makes a difference with the end result.

If you have time before your trip try both and see what works best. Do a couple of test packs and leave them packed for 24 hours then try to live out of your suitcase for a day or so. If you need to work on another system that will give you time to do so.

The bundle pack also worked better if there was a way I could leave my suitcase open flat to unpeel the outside layers of the bundle. Most European hotel rooms dont give you that kind of room to spread out.

Posted by Donna
Cleveland, OH
755 posts

Agree with others about packing cubes - they're great and have really simplified the way I pack and travel. I roll my clothes and then put them in the cube. I love them and wish I would have invented them!

Posted by Cindy H
San Jose
145 posts

I hate cubes because they are heavy and add weight. I always bundle pack.
Most people hate bundle packing because they take too many clothes. Then it takes a long time to bundle/unbundle at each destination. If you only take a few clothes then it works very well indeed. Bundling and unbundling is performed in a minute or less.
Another technique is to use two bundles of clothing for different parts of the trip. I've never done this. As I said, I take less clothes so I want all my clothing available for my trip.
When I bundle I use a "core" of an ultra-light backpacking stuff sack that has my undies, socks, and scarves. I bundle wrap on the bed and then place the bundle in my suitcase.
BTW, I take 2 pants, 4-5 tops, 2 sweaters, a dress, and a T-shirt dress/pajama. That includes the clothes I wear on the plane so I'm packing 1 pair of pants, 4 tops, 1 sweater, dress, and pajamas. If I have an early morning departure I'll lay out my clothes the night before and bundle up. In the morning I'll add my PJs to the outside of the bundle and off I go.

Posted by Ray
Tigard, OR, USA
565 posts

I totally agree with Andrea. Mostly I roll the big stuff and use about 2 of my .5 oz packing cubes for small things so unpacking and keeping track of items is easy.

Posted by Cindy H
San Jose
145 posts

Hey Ray, I have a question. An Eagle Creek Spectre packing cube weighs 1 oz, and a regular cube weighs 4oz. You mention one that weighs 0.5 oz. Is that a smaller cube, or a different brand? Do you just roll your clothes without a cube and then use a smaller bag as your "junk drawer"?

Posted by Ray
Tigard, OR, USA
565 posts

I have some RS cubes and some LLBean cubes...never weighed them, but the self-description blerb said .5oz. My guess would be it was the smallest cube. I typically roll the bigger stuff and put it in the bag individually. I use the cubes for organization of smaller items such as socks. While I'm at it, I have several pieces of luggage with a large fairly flat pocket on the outside (check the RS line.) I put my fleece/sweaters in a compression bag and then they slide in and out of the flat pocket very easily.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
14142 posts

For me the bundle system only works if you are packing for a single stop where you are totally unpacking. Otherwise you are constantly packing and repacking the bundle regardless of the amount of clothing you are taking. You cannot take one single items out of the bundle without undoing the whole bundle. That is a pain.

I preferring the packing envelopes with the compression flaps. The clothes emerge winkle free but creased at the folds. But the creases quickly fall out when worn. Using the envelope for shirts and pants only with the other items rolled and packed in large zip lock bags. When finished everything is packed in another bag which makes it easy to find single items and to repack quickly.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
14169 posts

Once you learn to pack really light, neither bundling nor cubes work well. Bundling would be a nuisance if I make multiple stops. Cubes for me are too big. Everything I carry would fit in one cube, so what's the point. However, I do use "packaged" packing (similar to cubes but smaller packages). Shirts(3-5) go folded into a mesh Tide washing bag, underwear(2 sets) in a small mesh bag, toiletries in a case, power supply and plug adapter in a small nylon stuff bag. I find that the couple pairs of slacks I take are fine just laid out flat in the bottom of my bag. The washing bag, small mesh bag, and stuff bag only weigh a few ounces.

When I get to my destination, It takes just seconds to unpack, placing the packages on the shelves in the wardrobe that I find in every room in Germany. If I need anything, I get it out of the package. I wash every night and put the clean clothes back in their packages in the morning. Packing to go consists of just putting the packages back in my carryon bag.

Posted by lisa
akron, ohio
204 posts

I too, have tried the bundle style of packing and did not like it. On this forum people often talk about the cubes but I have never tried those. I go really cheap and really light-weight. I use Hefty "jumbo" zip lock bags. They are great, they weigh next to nothing and are easy to pack. I use three of them, one for bottoms, one for tops and one for undies and pj's. I have tried rolling but usually just fold carefully, put everything in the bags and while zipping it closed, push the air out. You are left with a flat bag that fits nicely in luggage. I have found that if I fold carefully enough that my cloths don't wrinkle too badly (and I only wear all cotton tops as everything else bothers me) I usually throw an extra one in just in case I need a spare for wet things etc. This has worked very well for me on the past 5 or 6 trips.

Posted by Diana
Michigan, United States
359 posts

I used good old & much cheaper zip lock baggies on our recent trip. They worked great to keep things organized & taking much less space. And it was easy to remove anything that was needed without unpacking the entire suitcase. But to each his own. Happy Travels!

Posted by Cindy
Chalfont, PA, USA
50 posts

I bought the packing cubes sold here a few years ago and have loved them. Compared to other cubes I have seen in stores, these are light (but still sturdy). That and a few ziplock bags keeps things organized and wrinkle less.

Posted by Holly
Durham, NC, USA
305 posts

The "bundle" method looks like it would work for long stays in one place but not for shorter stays. I've never used the "cubes" but a friend gave me a set recently so I'll find out if I like them on my next trip. I tried the large Ziploc bags but found that they lose their vacuum ability after a couple of trips. My current packing method is to use Embarq compression bags from the Target travel section (the kind you "roll" the air out of, NOT the ones that need a vacuum cleaner to suck out the air - who travels with a vacuum cleaner!?!). They've worked great for me as long as I'm careful to smooth out wrinkles as I fold or roll my clothes. We'll see if I like the "cubes" better or return to my tried and true Embarq bags.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
8198 posts

Pretty much the same as others here.

Tried bundle packing but didn't like the inability to pull out one shirt if I needed it. Bundle is for complete packing and complete unpacking only - not for reaching in and grabbing something you need.

Never tried packing cubes but didn't want to because of adding extra weight - I go with the lightest bag I can find, why add something that isn't needed?

I roll each item and place it in my convertible carry-on bag to add some vertical structure to my bag. It helps stiffen the bag a little. The selling feature is I can always easily pull one item out of my bag when needed.

Posted by Donna
Cleveland, OH
755 posts

I use the RS packing cubes. They keep my stuff organized and compact and I can repack everything in minutes. Before I bought them I used zip lock bags but the cubes are really more useful because you can roll shirts, socks, etc. and see what you've got. I tested the bundle method at home but don't think it would work if you're unpacking and repacking every few days.

Posted by lorish33
3 posts

As with many posters here, i tried the bundle method once, years ago. Epic fail for me. Did not like having to unpack to get one shirt or dress out. Now I use the cubes and flat packets (hubby's shirts always look great!).

Posted by sambol
22 posts

I have not used the packing cubes, but did find the "bundle packing" quite good. I used it when going on a cruise so there was only "one stop" for unpacking. I liked it quite well. I'm thinking that for our next trip in October, I will use a combination of the two.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8735 posts

I move around a lot when I travel, so bundle packing was a big bust for me. I hated having to reassemble the bundle every time I took something out. I roll my clothes, and use extra large Ziploc bags, in place of packing cubes, for things like underwear and socks.