Packing for trips can be a tedious task. No one wants to spend time perfectly folding and organizing clothes, only to have them become a wrinkled mess when opened at your destination. This is where packing cubes can help – they keep clothes neatly contained so you don’t have to worry about your shirts ending up in a tangled mess.
One of the most popular packing cube brands is Peak Design. They are known for their innovative camera bags and accessories, and their packing cubes promise to “revolutionize the way you pack”.
In this in-depth peak design packing cube review, we will take a close look at Peak Design’s packing cube system. We will cover the different cube sizes they offer, the materials and build quality, and most importantly – how well they actually work for organizing your luggage. By the end, you’ll know whether Peak Design’s packing cubes are worth the investment for your next trip.
Peak Design Packing Cube Review
Peak Design offers packing cubes in 4 different sizes – small, medium, large, and extra large. This allows you to customize your packing system based on the length of your trip and how much you need to fit in your bag.
The small cube has a capacity of 3 liters, while the medium is 5 liters. The large cube can hold 10 liters and the extra large has a sizeable capacity of 18 liters.
The cubes are available either as single individual cubes, or as full sets to allow packing for a whole trip. They also sell accessories like laundry bags and compression packs that integrate with the cubes.
One thing that sets Peak Design’s cubes apart is their unique shape. Rather than a simple square design, the cubes are tapered with a wider base that narrows towards the top. According to Peak Design, this tetrahedron shape allows you to easily access contents without undoing any zippers. Explore What to Pack for Camping.
Materials and Build Quality
The Peak Design packing cubes are constructed from resilient 400D nylon canvas shell material. This is a high quality abrasion resistant fabric used in many outdoor equipment and bags. It’s also waterproof and helps the cubes retain their structure.
The seams are reinforced for added durability and the zippers are weatherproof YKK zips. The zipper pulls are Peak Design’s custom slimline cording, which are easy to use while keeping a slim profile.
Overall, the materials and construction are outstanding. These cubes are made to last through years of frequent travel and abuse. The fabric has a nice heft and the reinforced stitching keeps the cubes from losing their shape when stuffed full.
How Well Do Peak Design Packing Cubes Organize Your Luggage?
The true test for any packing cube is how well it actually contains your clothes and keeps them organized. Here’s an overview of how Peak Design’s cubes perform in real world use:
Peak Design offers the packing cubes in sage green or black colors, with a light grey interior. The colored exterior makes it easy to identify cubes, especially if you use different cubes for types of clothing. I preferred the sage green over black as it made spotting the cubes in my suitcase easier.
Great for Compression
The tapered shape and durable nylon canvas material allows you to really compress down clothes inside the cubes. When packing a medium cube in my carry on, I was able to fit in 5 t-shirts, 1 sweater, and 2 pairs of pants easily. The contents stayed relatively wrinkle free and the cube kept its shape.
Accessing Contents On The Go
Just as advertised, you can access items in the cubes through the top without fully unzipping them since the base is wider. I could grab a shirt or a pair of socks without disturbing the rest of the contents.
However, I wouldn’t say everything remains perfectly organized. Items towards the bottom can shift around a bit, but still not too bad. This also depends on how full you pack the cubes.
The canvas fabric holds its form even when the cubes are totally stuffed. I never felt like the cubes would burst open even when packing them to the brim. The zippers run smoothly and sit flush so they take up minimal space.
One Downside – Weight
The only real drawback is that the robust canvas material does add noticeable weight. The large cube weighs 9.6oz and medium 6.6oz.
While not a deal breaker, it is extra weight to account for if you are an ultralight packer. For longer trips, I try to pack lighter clothing that can be compressed down more in the cubes.
– Excellent build quality and durable materials
– Cube shape allows compression and accessing contents without fully opening
– Easy to spot sage green color
– YKK weatherproof zippers open smoothly
– Reinforced seams and durable canvas construction
– Heavy canvas fabric adds noticeable weight
– Contents can shift around a bit towards bottom
– Expensive compared to basic cube sets
Who Are Peak Design Packing Cubes For?
Peak Design’s packing cube system is best suited for frequent travelers who want durability and premium quality. The canvas construction and weatherproofing allow them to stand up to serious use and abuse during trips.
The tapered cube shape makes them especially functional if you need to tightly pack a lot of clothing into a smaller bag or suitcase.
I also think the cubes work nicely for organizing and protecting camera equipment. The small and medium cubes can hold multiple lenses securely.
The packing cubes are not cheap, with prices ranging from $59.95 for a small single cube up to $189.95 for a full set. For the average traveler that may just take 1 or 2 trips per year, there are likely more affordable cube options.
But for serious travelers, photographers, or “one-baggers” trying to optimize limited space, Peak Design packing cubes are a worthwhile investment. The quality and performance is evident the first time you use them.
After thoroughly testing Peak Design’s packing cube system, it’s clear they’ve succeeded in building a superior option compared to basic flimsy cubes. The weatherproof canvas construction and reinforced stitching result in an extremely durable and resilient product.
Despite their simplicity, the innovative tapered shape resulted in cubes that excel at compression and organization. Being able to access contents without fully unzipping them was a nice bonus.
The only real drawback is the weight, as the canvas fabric makes them heavier than other cubes. For extreme ultralight packers this may be an issue, but otherwise the weight is worth the durability.
Overall, Peak Design packing cubes have quickly become my go-to recommendation for frequent travelers and those that expect the best performance for their gear. While expensive, they are an excellent long-term investment that can simplify and optimize the way you pack for years to come.