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Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube Review

The Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube stretches to accommodate bulkier clothing on a trip, though you sacrifice compression to keep it in check.

Our Verdict

7.6 /10
Good info






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  • Stretch nylon mesh allows you to put a ton of gear in the cube
  • Each cube condenses down fairly small
  • Top zipper makes them easier to fill than other designs


  • The stretchy material doesn’t contain any bulk, so they’re easy to overpack
  • It can be hard to start packing them since the sides have no structure
  • Nylon mesh is see-through

Technical Details

  • Capacity


    XX-Small (expands to 3L) | X-Small: 3L (expands to 8L) | Small: 12L (expands to 22L)

  • Weight (oz)

    1.09 oz (30.9 g)

    XX-Small | X-Small: 1.59 oz (45 g) | Small: 2.72 oz (77 g)

  • Dimensions

    3.15 in x 7.08 in x 2.36 in (8 x 18 x 6 cm)

    (Dimensions when full; Exceed these dimensions when expanded) XX-Small | X-Small: 4.33" x 9.05" x 3.54" (11cm x 23cm x 9cm) | Small: 6.69" x 11.81" x 5.12" (17cm x 30cm x 13cm)

  • Notable Materials

    Nylon, Meets bluesign® Criteria, Unbranded Zippers

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Warranty Information

    Peak Design Lifetime Product Warranty

Full Review

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Peak Design makes some of our favorite packing cubes. We dig the self-healing materials, compression, and unique zippers that open with a tug of the Hypalon tab. But while we think they’re awesome, as evidenced by the fact that they’re often missing from Pack Hacker HQ because a team member is using them on a trip, they have a few limitations. They’re a tiny bit heavier than some other packing cubes due to that durable material, and their size makes it a little harder to pack bulkier gear inside, depending on the item in question.

Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube 2
Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube | Do you want see-through cubes?

Enter the Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cubes. These stretchy packing tools differ from most of the more than 60 other packing cubes we’ve reviewed to date, mostly because they’re fairly see-through and stretch. But is that a change we’ll be happy with? We took them camping to find out!

External Components

We’re testing the X-Small and Small Ultralight Mesh Packing Cubes, which have capacities of 3L and 12L, respectively. You can also get them in XX-Small. They’re made with PFAS-free, bluesign® approved stretch nylon mesh, which is lightweight, breathable, and fairly translucent. Plus, it won’t keep your damp swimsuit from getting everything else in your travel backpack wet. The silver lining is that your wet gear will dry out when packed inside one of these cubes, as opposed to mildewing, but you’ll need to keep it outside your bag for that to happen.

Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube Close
Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube | The stretchy mesh nylon is breathable.

Luckily, there are six attachment points on the Small (three on each side) and four on the X-Small (two on each side), which allows you to do just that! They’re small nylon cord loops, but we have no issues getting a carabiner through them if you want to clip them outside your travel daypack. You can also get a strap, sold separately by Peak Design, which would let you turn one of these cubes into a sling. Remember, they’re mesh, so they won’t keep your minimalist wallet or point-and-shoot camera dry, nor will they keep everyone from knowing what’s inside. On the other hand, you can probably carry them through an American high school and some stadiums without issue.

In a nod to the Hypalon tabs on the Peak Design Packing Cubes, a similar tab is centered next to each cube’s zipper. This time around, it doesn’t provide any functionality; it just serves as a place for the Peak Design PD logo.

Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube Zipper
Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube | There’s elastic cord on the zipper to hold them when rolled.

Speaking of the zipper, it’s unbranded yet works fine. We’re not sure why Peak Design stopped using YKK, but they have, and as long as the zippers they place on their products work, who are we to judge?

This zipper has a metal ring through its pull on which a stretchy elastic cord is threaded. This makes the zipper easy to grasp, and you can hold the attachment loops on each side of the track for easier opening and closing of the cube, especially over big, bulky gear. The elastic also acts like a little holder if you roll up the cube, sort of like a packable travel tote. The Small is, obviously, larger than the X-Small when rolled up, but they’re each about the same size or a bit smaller than a rolled pair of socks, depending on the size of your feet.

Inside The Packing Cube

When researching a packing cube, though, you probably care less about what’s happening outside than what you can fit inside. We’re here to tell you—it’s quite a lot!

Heading out on the first camping trip of the spring season, we didn’t think X-Small and Small packing cubes would really be useful. We’re in the Midwest, where shoulder season translates into “pack everything” season. It could be 50 F (10 C); it could be 80 F (26.6 C); it could rain or snow. So, even though we like to pack a minimalist travel capsule wardrobe, it’s not always possible under those circumstances. We were also putting the best travel backpacks for women to the test that same week, though, so we had a different set of gear to try and wedge into the Ultralight Mesh Packing Cubes and, dear reader, let us tell you—no wedging was necessary!

Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube Filling
Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube | It’s easy to pack.

For the camp-out, we fit two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, a tank, and two T-shirts into the X-Small, and we frankly could have brought more, but it was only a weekend trip. The Small fit all our bottoms and bulkier gear: one pair each of shorts, capri pants, and jeans, two belts, a flannel shirt, and a denim shirt. Truly, these cubes grow so easily that it’s easy to overpack if you’re just going by the space left in the cube.

For the backpack test, we were packing for a 5-day trip and fit five shirts and one dress in the X-Small cube, and two pairs each of pants and shorts, one pullover sweater, and one long cardigan in the 12L Small cube, which is really not very small once you pack it full.

Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube Empty
Peak Design Ultralight Mesh Packing Cube | The cubes look the same inside and out.

Now, there are some things to note when filling these mesh packing cubes. First, it’s a little hard to begin putting things inside because the sides have no structure. However, many packing cubes have this issue, and these were easier to fill than the slightly more structured but much more slippery Pack-It Isolate Packing Cubes from Eagle Creek. Once you start to place rolled clothing inside, everything stays in place because the zipper is on top instead of around the edge.

Because of the stretchy, flexible nature of the material, it’s just as easy to get your gear out again since you can pull the opening wide to get what you need without your gear slipping out. We had no issue living out of the cubes through our weekend adventure and never had anything fall out of the cube and to the ground (which is something you never want to happen on a camping trip, especially a rainy one).

We won’t lie: we had some concerns when placing jeans (with jagged zippers) and belts (with pokey prongs) inside something made of mesh. But there are no tears, rips, or runs to show for it, so we don’t think you have to be especially careful with these cubes, even though the material seems more delicate. It’s not.

So, if you’re looking for packing cubes to keep your gear locked down tight so you can fit more in your travel backpack, check out Peak Design’s original packing cubes. But if space isn’t an issue and you plan to bring a lot of bulky gear anyway, why not pick a cube that gives you room to shove it all inside so you can at least stay organized? If you’re going to bring three hoodies, you might as well keep them in the same place, right?

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Super stretchy
  • Interesting colorways
  • Excited to see what fits inside
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • You can fit a lot in these cubes
  • Nice to have elastic on the zippers when you roll it up
  • Super easy to fill
By Kristyne Defever
Created June 20, 2024 • Updated June 20, 2024
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