Heimplanet Carry Essentials Packing Cubes | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Heimplanet Carry Essentials Packing Cubes | Review

This innovative German outdoor brand’s range of sustainably made packing cubes combine eco-friendly design and materials with space-saving practicality

Why We Chose It: Simple, convenient, recycled fabrics

We’ve all been there… trying to cram all the stuff you need for a week-long adventure into a ridiculously small ‘carry on’-sized bag. Why do we do it? Well, for a number of reasons. Firstly, because nobody really wants to line the pockets of budget airline bosses by paying extra for checked baggage, and secondly because you might be understandably reluctant to entrust your much-loved gear to a gorilla-limbed baggage handler who is seemingly intent on using your luggage to practice his hammer throw. Then there’s the dreaded possibility that your bag gets lost in transit, leaving you in airport limbo, endlessly watching the baggage carousel go round and round like the first circle of hell from Dante’s Inferno.

Anyway, we digress (and yes, if you couldn’t tell from that opening paragraph, we are still a little bitter about what happened the last time we went on holiday). But as it turns out, the solution to ultimate, no-fuss travel efficiency is to invest in a set of packing cubes. These ingenious items are fantastic space savers, helping you to maximise the room inside almost any bag, case or duffel bag, while also keeping your gear highly organised and perfectly compartmentalised.

Our testers using the Carry Essentials Packing Cubes on the Cumbria Way in the Lake District. Photos: Joe Whitmore

By far the coolest examples we’ve encountered come from innovative German outdoor brand Heimplanet, probably best known for their space-age geodesic dome tents, but who, it turns out, also do a nice line in eco-friendly travel bags and everyday carry essentials.

What Are the Heimplanet Packing Cubes Best Suited To?

They’re made for travellers of all breeds, whether you’re going by plane, train or automobile. In terms of volume, they’re best suited to shorter trips of up to a week, being sized to accommodate a few days’ worth of tees and underwear.

Eco Credentials

Heimplanet gear has a distinct aesthetic. Their stuff often looks a bit sci-fi, like the props out of a Ridley Scott film. But it’s not all style over substance – far from it. In fact, this brand has thought very carefully indeed about the sustainability of each and every product, as well as the environmental impacts of their wider business model.

They are fully paid-up members of 1% For The Planet, and their sustainability assessments are impressively rigorous. For example, rather than using ‘off the shelf’ recycled fabrics, they instead decided to develop their own low-impact ‘Dyecoshell’ material. Why? Because after researching the complete lifecycle of recycled fabrics, it became clear that many weren’t as green or as durable as they purported to be.

“Their kit is so tough that they offer lifetime repair support.”

Heimplanet were particularly concerned by the lack of transparency of many recycling methods. For example, recycling PET bottles is energy intensive, and the resulting polyester fabrics do not always offer the same durability as a piece of virgin polyester. Recycling fishing nets, carpets and other waste is similarly arduous and often other plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene are found in the mix. Different fibre lengths and molecular differences make recycling from different sources even more difficult. Some manufacturers also admit that the recycled material is often not as durable as new material from virgin sources. Even though the processes are constantly being improved, the current reality is that recycled materials are often more expensive yet less long-lasting.

Since the fundamental basis of Heimplanet’s approach is sustainability through longevity, that isn’t good enough. Their kit is so tough that they offer lifetime repair support, and if you do manage to wear it out then they’ll give you a partial refund if you send it back to them to be recycled into new products. But that commitment means they’re not prepared to compromise on the quality or performance of fabrics, especially when it comes to qualities like abrasion resistance.

As the fabric recycling process is currently both energy and resource intensive, and ultimately leads to an inferior final product, they instead focused on using less but better-quality virgin fabrics. To mitigate this, Heimplanet looked for other ways to reduce the initial eco footprint of these fabrics.

One area where they could make a major difference was when it came to colouring or dyeing their fabrics. Most fabrics in the textile industry are spin dyed. After weaving, they’re exposed to a liquid solution comprised of chemical dyes and water. It’s massively energy and water intensive, while also being a significant source of CO2 emissions and chemical consumption.

Instead, Heimplanet’s Dyecoshell is dope dyed. Also known as solution dyeing, this basically means that the dye is added at a much earlier stage of production, colouring the polymer before the fibres are actually extruded, rather than afterwards. It’s far more efficient, less wasteful and less harmful to the environment. It also brings a depth of colour to the fabric that cannot be achieved with regularly dyed materials, which in turn makes it more resistant to fading or discolouration from abrasion and UV light.

Construction and Performance

The Heimplanet Packing Cubes are made from a specific type of Dyecoshell fabric that is unique to the brand’s ‘Transit’ line, consisting of a rugged 300D x 150D polyester. Along with the tough fabric, the packing cubes utilise hardwearing components such as heavy-duty YKK zippers and webbing tabs.

They are sold in a set of three, consisting of one larger 4-litre size and two smaller 2-litre cubes. They’re big enough to take five sets of T-shirts, underwear and socks, and are designed as a set to fit neatly alongside each other in your suitcase, duffel or rucksack. Each bag is a different colour too, which helps you stay organised when packing and travelling, as well as when you reach your destination. You’ll never mix up your clean and dirty outdoor gear again!


These packing cubes are eminently practical accessories for all sorts of travels and adventures. Like all Heimplanet goods, they’re also very stylish, with space-age looks that elevate them above the competition. But most impressively, they are sustainably made, and backed with sound product lifecycle assessments that show this brand are thinking more seriously and carefully than most – in a commendably holistic way – about the environmental impacts of the products they make.

Heimplanet Carry Essentials Packing Cubes (set of 3)

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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