Herschel Supply Co. Travel Organizers Review
They’re not the smallest or lightest, yet the Herschel Supply Co. Travel Organizers keep more than just clothing in place as you travel.
- Works well for more than clothing
- Easy to see gear through mesh top
- Different sizes provide options for packing
- Dark colored zippers can be hard to find
- Large is very big for all but the biggest bags
- Zippers occasionally stick around corners
1.55 oz (43.9 g)
2 oz (56.7 g)
3.2 oz (90.7 g)
12.75 in x 16.75 in x 4.5 in (32.4 x 42.5 x 11.4 cm)
(large) | 9 in x 12 in x 3.65 in (medium) | 7 in x 10.5 in x 3 in (small)
If you’re packing in a travel backpack, keeping your clothing in place can be tricky. Even when you stuff the bag full, there can be a tendency for everything to slide to the bottom when you pick it up because, well, gravity. That’s where packing cubes come in handy. They help keep your clothing tightly rolled or folded, provided you’re using the correct size for the gear you bring along.
Yet there are almost as many types of packing cubes out there as there are different daypacks, slings, backpacks … you get the idea. It seems every company is trying to build a better mousetrap, or in this case, packing cube. Some go the ultralight route, some for durability, and some for variety, creating cubes and pouches to hold everything from shoes to bulky sweaters and hoodies.
Herschel Supply Co. is a Canadian brand focusing on classic products that combine style, quality, and purpose with a focus on sustainability. We’ve found other Herschel Supply Co. products to be capable workhorses, and are interested to see how their Travel Organizers hold up on a trip, so let’s dive in.
You don’t have to pick which size you need when you pick up the Herschel Supply Co. Travel Organizers. The set comes with three sizes: small, medium, and large. However, those monikers belie the actual size of these cubes, which are significantly larger than packing cubes from other brands we’ve tested. For example, the medium Travel Organizer is roughly the size of the large Osprey Ultralight Packing Cube, and the small Osprey is a couple of inches smaller than the Herschel small.
It may seem superfluous, but size matters when buying a set that includes all three cubes. For example, if your travel backpack is smaller, you may never find a need for the large Travel Organizer. On the other hand, if you travel with rolling luggage or a maximum-size carry on bag, you could find it a perfect fit.
The Travel Organizers are polyester, with a mesh top and ripstop material on the remaining sides. The edges feature a double thickness of fabric for durability, and we have no worries about it tearing if we overstuff the cubes. That does add weight to your bag, with the three cubes more than 6 ounces altogether. While that could be heavy for a packing cube—all three Osprey Ultralight cubes weigh about the same as the medium Travel Organizer, for example—it’s unlikely to make much of a difference in your pack unless you’re already teetering on the edge of your airline’s weight limit.
An unbranded zipper encircles three of the four sides of each cube, and they have double-headed metal pulls so you can open them from anywhere along the track if you only need to pull out a pair of socks or a hairbrush. The zippers function well, although they occasionally get caught rounding the corners. If they do, just back them up and try again. We never encountered any problems with them getting stuck.
However, if you have the Black colorway, as we do, finding the zipper in a dark travel backpack can be challenging. It’s probably not an issue with the zipper itself, but having black pulls on a black zipper on a black packing cube in a black bag seems like the black hole of travel. Luckily, you can get the Travel Organizers in a couple of other colorways if you think this could be an issue. The options are always changing, but at the time of this review, you could get Mineral Burst, which also includes a black zipper but has a mottled pattern of brighter colors to help it stand out, or Ash Rose, a dusty pink. The zipper on that colorway is also pink, but the zipper pulls are silver and stand out from the crowd.
Other external features include the Herschel Supply Co. logo printed in white on the front right corner of each cube and, in the case of the small and medium Travel Organizers, a carry handle on the left side. That makes them easy to pull out of your suitcase or backpack and allows you to carry your clothing or toiletries to the restroom for a quick change. And yes, we meant to mention toiletries. Keep reading to find out why.
Inside The Organizers
Inside each of the organizers, there’s a large printed label letting you know which one you’ve grabbed. You know, in case it’s not obvious that you’re holding the Large Organizer as you fill it with your shoes.
Speaking of which, the size, shape, and sturdiness of these cubes make them perfect candidates for more than just clothing. While you can use the small organizer to good effect to hold your socks, underwear, and swimsuit, it also works well to keep all of your toiletries together if you like to travel with a small toiletry bag for soap, medication, and makeup, and a separate 3-1-1 bag for your liquid lotions, shampoos, and sunscreen. Doing so also allows us to bring a full-size hairbrush while preventing it from snagging our shirts—nice!
Depending on the size of your clothing, the season, and how long you plan to travel, the medium can hold several outfits or at least all your shirts. If you carefully roll each item, you can fit quite a bit inside. Plus, the mesh lid gives you the flexibility to pack layers of clothing, so you can fit more in this Travel Organizer than you may in other packing cubes.
And then there’s the large. At first glance, we’ll admit that we thought it might be just too big. After all, if everything fits in one cube, you’re going to lack organization, and then what’s the point? While it may not come in handy for a smaller capsule wardrobe, after playing around with all the gear we wanted to bring on a trip to Walt Disney World, it actually turned out to be great. Using this oversized organizer allows you to pack outfits together instead of putting different components in different cubes, which is better for trips where you may need a completely new set every day, whether it’s due to dirt, sweat, or snack spills.
Using the large organizer in a 40L travel backpack like the tomtoc Navigator-A82 Travel Laptop Backpack lets you create one layer of all of your clothing—and potentially even include your second set of shoes or sandals wrapped a separate pouch—without worrying about anything sliding around while in transit. It leaves room at one end of your bag (we went with the top) for a second organizer and a toiletry kit.
You could get the same effect using the small and medium cubes and leaving the large behind if you prefer, or you could use all three, depending on the size of your bag.
These aren’t the fanciest, lightest, or most high-tech cubes out there, and they lack compression zippers and water resistance. Still, if you’re looking for basic cubes that get the job done—especially if you travel with a larger travel backpack or rolling luggage—these could help you get organized for your next trip.
- Nice to get three sizes in one set
- Large is really big
- Looking forward to seeing how much fits in each cube
- Large is handy for packing outfits together
- Bigger sizes give you options for shoes and toiletries, as well as clothing
- No issues with durability