Travel Mini Series: The Almighty Packing Cells

Travel Mini Series - The Almighty Packing Cell

I’ve never heard of packing cells until I came to Australia. In fact, it was pure chance that I stumbled upon them when I walked into Kathmandu one day when they were having one of their 50% off sales. At that time, I didn’t even know what packing cells were. I figured they were just another pouch to hold “stuff” and given that I’m a sucker for “stuff”-holding pouches, I decided to buy a couple to try out.

Packing cells are much easier to use than regular cosmetic pouches or wash bags. They often have a mesh front and are made out of very light material which allows packing of a lot of items without bursting apart. It was when I decided to give the bigger packing cells a go (the ones that are used to hold clothing) that I realised just how useful packing cells are.

Travel Mini Series - The Almighty Packing Cell

When it comes to packing, I have no trouble packing my beauty products, electronics and other knick-knacks. However, when it comes to clothes, man, that’s a headache. It has been advised to death that one should roll their clothes to open up more space in the suitcase and that it also prevents wrinkles. I’ve tried that method on more than one occasion and all of my clothes end up more wrinkled than my usual way of flat-folding. I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos on clothes rolling to make sure I get it right so … what the heck am I doing wrong?!

Anyway, given that I’m not a fan of clothes rolling, I have to fold my clothes flat and pack them in. However, they tend to take up a lot of room. Here comes packing cells to the rescue. I can stuff many layers into each packing cell and they won’t take up much room. Of course, if you roll your clothes, you can fit even more into a packing cell but given that I’m not a fan of clothes-rolling when it comes to packing, I’m happy to fold them flat and I can still squeeze a lot in without the clothes bulking up in space.

Travel Mini Series - The Almighty Packing Cell

The best part of packing cells is that you can compartmentalise your clothes. I’d pack my tops in one packing, bottoms in another, undies and socks in a packing cell, and accessories in another. When it comes to unpacking, all you have to do is take out the entire packing cell and work with it without disturbing the rest of your clothes.

If you haven’t given packing cells a go and you travel quite often, I highly recommend you checking them out. IKEA sells packing cells too and they work just as well. My favourite packing cells are still from Kathmandu (they do Buy-One-Get-One-Free offers on packing cells often) as they come in a variety of shapes and colours. I reckon I’ve collected at least 10 packing cells. 😛

Do you use packing cells for your travels too? If so, which ones do you use?

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16 comments… add one
  1. LeGeeque

    Remember I stole yours for my Japan trip? GOD SEND! I will never travel without them ever again. It makes packing and unpacking SO easy. And because hotels in Japan were tiny, I’d just take the cells out and dump them into the wardrobe without fully unpacking and I can tuck my suitcase away in a little corner. LOVE. You’re a genius 🙂

    1. Tine

      It’s so good, right? So easy to pack and unpack too when at hotels. Can’t believe I haven’t used them sooner. 😛

  2. Ms Jelena

    Interesting concept! I might have to give it a go. I’ll be honest here and admit that I am terrible at packing clothes, so my husband dearest does that bit 🙂
    Ms Jelena recently posted..Happy Valentine’s Day!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Lucky you! Unfortunately, it’s the other way round for me. I have to pack Tim’s. I gave him some packing cells and all he did was shove clothing (not folded, not rolled, just crumpled) into each cell. And then he complains about how packing cells crumpled his clothes. Ish. 😛

  3. Allison

    I’ve never heard of packing cells before. I guess I have used lingerie pouches before, but I’ve never seen anything like this. Very cool. My business has been slow over the past several months so I haven’t been flying as much as I used to. But if things pick up, I will look into these. Cool!
    Allison recently posted..Uncovering My Red Carpet Ready New Skin with Skin Inc “Get Ready Like A Star” Brightening KitMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Eagle Creek has very good packing cells. They aren’t available in Australia but they’re widely available in the US (I think the Container Store stocks them) so do check them out when you can! 🙂

  4. Beauty Box

    Gosh I’d been looking at discounted packing cells at travel shops here in Singapore and have been wondering if they could help me pack better. I don’t really get how rolling your clothes can save space because I’ve tried it and found it the same as folding them flat. I’ve tried stuffing things into “empty spaces” i.e. empty bottles, shoes, etc. which do help maximizing nooks and crannies. For some of my travel stints, I didn’t have the luxury of transferring clothes to a wardrobe so packing cells could help organize clothes in the suitcase *light bulb moment*. I’m in Singapore right now and my suitcase looks like it’s been bombed out and I can’t find a thing – lol!
    Beauty Box recently posted..Sydney Summer HaulMy Profile

    1. Tine

      That’s what I thought! I tried the whole clothes-folding thing and to me, they took up the same amount of space as folding them flat. I guess by folding some of the them, you can fit them into nooks and crannies of the bag. I definitely recommend packing cells; it takes away the “where the hell did I put it??” situations. 😛

  5. Andrea @ Sublime Finds

    This is a super clever idea – haven’t seen them before! We’re headed off on an adventure in a couple of months and I have been going over and over in my head how on earth I’m going to make it all work in my suitcase! Genius. Off to read the rest of your travel series now Tine! x
    Andrea @ Sublime Finds recently posted..Stylish at every age: Iris Apfel for kate spadeMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I can’t wait to hear more about your adventure! All these teasers are killing me! 😛 How long will you be away for? Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you’re away for a short while or a long, long break; packing cells = VERY useful. Check them out at Kathmandu; they do BOGOF sales often. IKEA ones are pretty cheap too!

  6. Nikki

    I love these! XIN loves them too! I love using these for travel and they make a HUGE difference !!! 😀 Now now, I felt envious seeing your IG photos with PB, Xin and Bee, I missed the girls and I haven’t met you!!!!!

    1. Tine

      I KNOW! How the heck is it that we haven’t yet met? It’s just wrong, WE HAVE TO MEET ONE DAY!

      PS: Happy belated birthday lovely. Hope you had a great one. xx

  7. Dustyn

    I adore packing cells! I purchased a few when panicking for my two week November trip last year – having to pack for being a bridesmaid at a wedding, a family member’s 80th birthday dinner, and the numerous days in between meant I was stressing hardcore until I walked into a Kathmandu and was shortly made feel much calmer. I see there are some very pretty patterns now, I think I’ll have to look at some more later on this Spring before my next trip!
    Dustyn recently posted..A good readMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Packing cells are AWESOME. Most of mine were from Kathmandu and some from IKEA. The ones from Kathmandu are more expensive but they’re sturdier than IKEA’s. They’re looking fancier these days. My oldest packing cells are just in block colours. 😛

  8. Lisa Durran

    Our family LOVE packing cells – they are invaluable! We did an eleven week stint travelling Europe and used the Kathmandu packing cells. My husband and I and two kids aged 8 and 11 at the time had two packing cells each (with our own color theme). Each apartment we went to we just took each kids packing cells to their room (one for clothes and one for undergarments). My husband had black cells, me green, our son blue and daughter red – no confusion and easy to repack when moving location. We have used them so many times since that first trip!

    1. Tine

      I love Kathmandu packing cells! I have, what, ten of them now? Packing cells are amazing when traveling. I found a cheaper alternative that’s just as good though, and that’s packing cells from IKEA. Worth giving a go!

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