Here’s My Secret to Fitting Twice As Much Stuff in My Luggage

I am a disorganized overpacker. I know—the worst of both worlds.

I used to shove clothes into every crevice of my checked bag until it was too heavy for me to lift. I’m the person who panic-packed three sweatshirts to the Caribbean, because my brain said no, but my heart said yes. (They never left my suitcase.)

Everything would emerge wrinkled, rumpled, and wrecked, and upon arrival, I would pull wads of underwear out of shoes, un-ball T-shirts, and shake out dresses in hopes of removing the deep rivers of creases that had been carved into the garments during transit.

Nothing has repeatedly saved me from my worst instincts more than packing cubes. Specifically, the REI Co-op Expandable Packing Cube Set, which is purpose-built for people like me who always butt right up against our limits. But for those of you reading all of this in horror: The joy of these packing cubes is that they work equally well for those who are more buttoned up in both mind and spirit.

Our pick

These three cubes hold the most of any set we tested, in the smallest amount of space. The compression zippers can be tricky to operate, though.

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