9 Best Compression Bags & Packing Cubes for Travel

9 Best Compression Bags & Packing Cubes for Travel

Compression bags and packing cubes are a real lifesaver when you’re traveling, since they’re the epitome of organization and can create a lot more space within your suitcase. These accessories help reduce clothing bulk by removing air from inside the bag itself; by constricting your items to the smallest space possible, you’ll open up more room to bring another outfit or maybe an extra pair of shoes. Read on to learn about our top picks for compression bags and packing cubes you can use on all your upcoming travels!

9 Best Compression Bags & Packing Cubes

1. Best compression bag for backpacking: Sea to Summit Compression Dry Sack

This dry sack from Sea to Summit comes highly recommended for all kinds of outdoor ventures, but especially if you’ll be hiking or backpacking. That’s because it’s ideal for sleeping bags and other bulky, yet compressible gear you might need to pack for your trip. In fact, this bag compresses to one third of the original volume, thanks to its ability to be rolled, buckled, and fitted by a secondary lid — i.e. your items are compressed twice (for an even greater impact).

Price range: starting at $32.95

2. Best compression bag for carry-ons: TRIPPED Compression Packing Cubes

While all packing cubes are great for getting organized, not all styles are made for condensing your belongings. Luckily, this set from TRIPPED will help you do both! If you need to compress and stash a few essentials in your carry-on, the smaller sizes are a terrific option for your in-flight bag (while the larger three can be tossed in your full suitcase). The smallest of the set is the perfect choice for storing your phone charger, sleep mask, or a fresh pair of socks.

Price range: starting at $49.95

3. Best compression bag for waterproofing: Earth Pak Roll Top Dry Compression Sack

Whether you enjoy biking, boating, camping, or kayaking, there’s tons of opportunities to use this compression sack from Earth Pak. These dry bags last for years and provide unbeatable waterproof protection for your most rugged and off-road outings. Our favorite part of this design has to be the IPX8 Certified waterproof phone case, which has snap and lock closure plus dual-sided clear windows so you can take pictures while your phone is still inside the case. 

Price range: starting at $19.99

4. Best compression bag for durability: Granite Gear Rock Solid Compression Sack

Granite Gear’s compression bag is specially made to compress lofty items (like sleeping bags and heavy jackets) to a nearly solid state. This original and inventive design evenly distributes the stress of compression and prevents any bulging or twisting that can make these bags difficult to carry. In addition, the ripstop nylon fabric has incredible strength to endure years of wear and tear — though it’s still lightweight enough to satisfy the most minimalist of travelers.

Price range: starting at $26.95

5. Best compression bag for long-term trips: Monos Compressible Packing Cubes

When you’re headed out for several weeks or months at a time, you'll likely have a considerable amount to pack. These well-structured packing cubes from Monos will help you avoid a messy, overstuffed suitcase, so you can keep your clothes neat and tidy for the duration of your travels. Highlights include the built-in compression zippers, antimicrobial interior fabric, and water-resistant, nylon twill exterior (with a mesh top for enhanced visibility and ventilation).

Price range: starting at $85.00

6. Best compression bag for easy access: Osprey StraightJacket Compression Sack

This compression sack from Osprey has a unique design that sets it apart from similar bags on the market. Rather than being loaded from the top, this bag comes with a wide side zipper to help you add or remove items in a much quicker fashion. What’s more, the rectangular shape makes better use of the available space in your backpack, while the nylon wings and buckles can be utilized for maximum compression to fit any extras you can’t live without.

Price range: starting at $24.94

7. Best compression bag for sustainability: Paravel Compression Cubes

Sustainable travel isn’t just about where you stay or how you get there, it also relates to the way you pack. These compression cubes from Paravel do a great job of incorporating sustainable practices and eco-friendly materials; each set is made from upcycled plastic water bottles that have earned a stamp of approval from both the Global Recycled Standard and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX. Plus, you can even personalize your bags with a cute embroidered monogram!

Price range: starting at $55.00

8. Best compression bag for couples or families: LeanTravel Compression Packing Cubes

If you’re traveling with your partner or some family members in tow, a set of multi-size packing cubes can help to streamline your shared luggage. This design from LeanTravel is made from a premium polyester fabric and is constructed with a durable mesh top (which allows for improved breathability and minimized odors). On top of that, these cubes have a special zipper feature for added compression and anti-catch technology to prevent unwanted clothing snags.

Price range: starting at $43.99

9. Best clear compression bag: Travelon Compression Packing Bags

Travelon is a leading travel accessories brand, with a range of products that make packing and exploring a breeze. These see-through, security-friendly compression bags will help you pack more in a lot less space, and let you view your items at a glance without having to pull things out. All you have to do is hand roll each bag to remove excess air, and you’ll save up to 80% of your packing volume to make room for supplementary outfits or some fun souvenirs. 

Price range: starting at $12.68 

Common FAQs About Compression Bags

Are compression travel bags worth it?

When you’re packing sweaters, puffy jackets, and/or other hefty clothing items, using a compression bag will definitely be to your benefit. While these bags won’t make much of a difference for solid or structured objects (like shoes and electronics), the compression for soft garments is pretty significant — shrinking your clothing anywhere from 60 to 80% in volume. 

Do compression bags really save space?

Not only do compression bags save you a ton of space, but the larger the item, the greater the potential payoff. With that said, compressing things like shorts and swimsuits can still work to your advantage, since this creates more negative space to stash your travel purchases. Keep in mind, however, that while compression bags cut back on volume, they won’t reduce weight.

How much should I spend on compression bags?

The amount you spend on a compression bag will largely depend on your travel budget, as well as the specific features your bag must include. The good news is, there are plenty of quality, durable compression bags and packing cubes you can find between $15 and $50.

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