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How to Use Travel Cubes for Backpacks (2023)

Posted by Jel Navarro on
Using travel cubes for backpack

Is a backpack your travel BFF? Would you rather have all your necessities in a backpack? If you answered yes to both questions, you might be familiar with the struggles of disorganized backpacking.

Stuffing everything you need inside your backpack? It’s a big no-no, especially if you're running from one city to another!

That’s why packing cubes are heaven sent when organizing your backpack. Find out how you can effectively use these travel goodies for backpack organization.

Best cube sizes for backpacks

Travel cubes for backpacks

Before purchasing packing cubes, find out the dimensions of your backpack. While a majority of large packing cubes fit well in suitcases, we can’t say the same for backpacks. Once you know the dimensions of your backpack, you can match the appropriate size of packing cubes to it.

Extra Small Packing CubeOur tiniest cube is definitely a must have for backpackers. It's best known as the TSA Approved Quart Size Bag! Fits up to 10 travel size (3 oz) toiletry bottles. Also works as a cord, scrunchies or makeup organizer!

Small Packing Cube - Our next size cube is the Small Packing Cube. It can hold your undies, socks, boxers and pajamas. You could fit 3 to 4 of this size in a smaller backpack or organize 5 to 7 of these cubes in a larger travel backpack. 

Medium Packing Cube - The Medium Cube is your safest bet if you're looking for a bigger-size cube, especially for normal size travel backpacks. This size is great for organizing outfits for your trip, separating by season OR packing like items together. For a larger travel backpack, we recommend using 2 to 3 Medium Cubes. Check out how Becky from Organizing Made Fun organized more than 10 shirts into 1 Medium Cube!  

Large Packing Cube - This is the largest packing cube we offer, so you have to be careful. This size can usually fit in most travel backpacks, but the question is if you should use it. You could use 1 large packing cube and a few other small cubes, but you’ll end up using less cubes. Do you want your items separated into more cubes or less cubes? For the ultimate organized backpack, we recommend more cubes in smaller sizes.  

Remember: There’s no one ideal size packing cube for all backpacks. Measure the dimensions of your backpack to find out how many cubes can fit. It’s all about trial and error!

How to use packing cubes in a backpack

Confused on how to use travel cubes for backpacking? We’re here to help! The process is practically the same when using packing cubes for suitcases. Below are some tips and tricks you can try when using packing cubes for backpacks.

1. First things first, measure the dimensions of your backpack! 

Get your measuring tape and start counting! Don't forget to include the height + the width of the backpack. Then take those measurements against our packing cubes so you'll know which ones will work best for you. Here's a quick rundown of our cube sizes below:

Different packing cube sizes

Our recommendation: 2 Medium Cubes, 2 Small Cubes and 1 Extra Small Cube. You can always add more cubes to your stash as needed.

2. Invest in a packing cube set. 

You will save money with the Starter Set or Complete Bundle. So if you’re planning on re-using these cubes for future travels, then it’s worth it to invest in a set. But only take the necessary cubes for your backpacking trip! Also, why wouldn’t you use these in the future? If you really don’t need the whole set, then you can purchase the individual cubes you need separately.  

Travel cubes for backpacking

3. Lay items on bed & separate by category. 

Categorize the cubes by outfit or by type of item. For example, all t-shirts and blouses in one small cube. All pants, jeans, shorts in another. It’s up to you how you want to separate your items! If you know your outfits ahead of time, then separate by outfits. If it’s a longer trip and you’ll be mixing and matching items, then pack like items together.

Pack like items together or pack by outfit

4. Pack specific cubes with certain items! 

Use the rolling method for wrinkle-resistant clothes and the folding method for wrinkle-easy clothes. Medium cubes are best for packing casual shirts, leggings, and shorts. Small cubes are good for packing underwear, socks, bras and sleepwear. Extra small cubes can be used for storing toiletries, cosmetics or even your carry-on bag valuables.

5. Organize from Largest to Smallest

EzPacking cubes can be stored vertically or horizontally (unlike other brands). We recommend you store heavier items that you don’t need as much during your trip (or flight) at the bottom of the backpack. Fitting each cube into your backpack might take some time, it’s like a game of Tetris! But once you figure out the right puzzle pieces for your specific backpack, you’re done. Take a picture for the way home!

You’ll most likely have random spaces left over in your backpack too! Don’t forget to utilize these in-between spaces with shoes, toiletries and other travel organizers like the ones below.  

Other backpack organizers you can use

Other backpack organizers

EzPacking Cubes let you stay organized while also maximizing your backpack space.

Utilize other backpack organizers to help better organization the rest of your backpack. Below are some other types of backpack organizers you can use:

Shoe Bag - Keep your dirty shoes separate from the rest of your backpack! This shoe bag can hold up to 2 Medium Size women's shoes.

Laundry Bag - Likewise with your dirty clothes, keep them separate from the clean ones using this laundry bag. It's foldable so you can easily stow it in your backpack when not in use.

Key Lanyard - Always losing your keys? Grab this wrist lanyard so you can keep track of them whether you're out and about or just doing errands in the city.

✓ Molle Pocket Organizer - This type of organizer can be attached in the external part of your backpack. You can then use it as additional storage for smaller items like pens or a first aid kit.

✓ Shirt Insert / Safety Wallet  -. If you want to keep your money, cards and passport extra safe when traveling (and not in a clear cube), a passport holder with RFID blocking is useful for the safekeeping all your important items.


Best packing cubes for different backpacks

Recommended packing cubes for backpacks

Backpacking across Europe? Hiking in the mountains of Nepal? Having the right backpack (or rucksack as some call it) really matters! There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a backpack. If you’re planning on city sightseeing, your backpack needs might be different from a trip trekking the mountains. Other important things to consider are your body size, duration of travel and your planned activities.

Here’s our top 5 recommended backpacks:

1. Osprey Farpoint - Osprey is considered the holy grail rucksack for backpackers who love packing cubes! Their best-selling version is the Farpoint which comes in various sizes. We’re a fan of their 40 liter backpack which fits within airlines’ carry-on standards! The backpack exterior is made from ripstop material, making it extremely resistant to tears.

Another reason we love this bag is the front panel opening (it opens just like a suitcase and is perfect for pulling out packing cubes). They come in different sizes (match to your torso height) so it can work for both men and women. But Osprey recently launched a version for women called the Osprey Fairview.

Packing Cubes we recommend for this backpack:

2 Small Cubes, 2 Extra Small Cubes

2. Osprey Aether - Planning on doing lots of hiking with your backpack? You’ll need a larger and more high capacity backpack like the Osprey Aether. This version comes in 65 liter and 70 liter versions. Again, you should choose a size according to your torso height to make sure it fits you. This one’s geared towards outdoor travelers and features a traditional top loading opening. The good news is, you do have bottom and side access to the inside. This rucksack also has anti-gravity technology so the heavy load is transferred to your hips. It also has a mesh panel in the back for breathability. Here’s a similar version specifically for women!

Packing Cubes we recommend for this backpack:

2 Medium Cubes, 2 Small Cubes, 1 Extra Small Cube

3. Kelty 40 L Redwing - Another great option for a carry-on backpacks. First off, the backpack is aesthetically beautiful. It comes in 3 colors (we recommend the twilight blue). Aside from the clam-shell opening, this bag also has top loading access. You’ll also get lots of pockets to fit your knick knacks in. The large size allows even our largest packing cube to fit inside. For comfort, you’ll have mesh back panels and a lumbar pad to transfer the weight to your hips. It’s also the cheapest option (under $130) on this list so a good option for those on a budget!

Packing Cubes we recommend for this backpack:

1 Medium Cube, 2 Small Cubes, 1 Extra Small Cube

4. Deuter ACT Trail - The Deuter ACT Trail Pro 40 Backpack is a traditional hiking backpack. It comes with the classic top loading drawstring feature. You’ll also get lots of pockets and an additional rain cover. It doesn’t necessarily fit within carry-on standards (it possibly could when not packed to the brim). But if you’re looking for a larger backpack for hiking or trekking, it’s a great option. The padded back panel, hip belt and straps helps retain comfort during treks.

Packing Cubes we recommend for this backpack:

2 Medium Cubes, 2 Small Cubes, 2 Extra Small Cube.

5. Gregory Baltoro - For those who just can’t travel light, the Gregory Baltoro 65 Liter Backpack is for you. It is perhaps one of the best backpacks for hiking. It has the technology that allows the bag to adjust to the body’s angle. So even when you’re on the move, the weight of the bag is evenly distributed to your hips! You also have top loading access and a U-zipper in front (so you can access things in the middle without going through the top). Other nice features are a detachable day pack and added rain cover. Gregory backpacks come at a higher price but for the quality, you can’t complain!

Packing Cubes we recommend for this backpack:

2 Medium Cubes, 2 Small Cubes, 1 Extra Small Cube.

Now it’s time to figure out how many cubes you’ll need for your backpack! Remember, using travel cubes for backpacks is essentially the same as using travel cubes for your suitcase.

Check out the various sizes and colors of EzPacking Cubes here.

We would LOVE to see your backpacking photos using EzPacking. Send us your travel photos to to be featured.

Happy Backpacking!

P.S. Want to learn more about packing cubes? Click here for a more detailed guide - including their different types, the best brands and tips on how to use travel cubes!


Travel Cubes for Backpacks


Best packing cubes for backpacks
Packing cubes for backpacks

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