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Travel

How To Roll Clothes for Packing

If you want to make the most of your luggage space, rolling your clothes is a must. But how do you roll your clothes without getting a wrinkled mess?

Everyone packs differently. There are overpackers, under packers, last-minute packers, and those who have their clothes laid out weeks in advance. Each approach has its advantages, but regardless of your packing strategy, there’s a golden rule to ensure your pre-trip preparation runs smoothly and stands the test of (travel) time: 

Roll your clothes rather than fold them.

Whether it's a long-standing habit or you’ve simply got a knack for symmetry, we recommend reserving folding for the closet and embracing rolling for your travels. The rolling method is the go-to technique for seasoned travellers and pro-packers. 

Let’s unpack the benefits, so you’re ready to roll, anytime, anywhere. 

 

Folding or Rolling Clothes for Packing?

Even with the best, most well-considered luggage at your disposal, packing space is always a tetris-like conundrum. 

But to break it down simply: if you want to arrive at our destination wrinkle-free and ready to go—the rolling method is for you. It’s space-saving and time-saving. But if you prefer to fold clothes, then lightweight items like T-shirts, bathing suits, pants, skirts, and even dresses, will work best. 

Whether you love the folding method to pack clothes, or the rolling method, organisation is key.

 

Heading Out for a Small Weekend Trip? 

You can still benefit from the rolling method. By rolling your clothes, you can effortlessly fit all your essentials and multiple outfit changes in a convenient Weekender Duffle Bag.  

Rolling certain types of clothes means you’re less likely to unravel outfit-ruining wrinkles, and when done properly, the rolling method can maximise packing space, minimise creases, and get you weekend-ready.

 

Are There Any Clothes You Should Avoid Rolling?

Rolling your clothes is one of our top packing tips. However, there are some situations when rolling might not be the packing method of choice. 

Let’s say you’re packing a suitcase full of T-shirts. In this case, rolling is ideal. It’s a space-saving measure that also decreases the likelihood of pesky creases.

Now let’s switch gears. 

Say you’re heading to a colder climate and your duffel is full of sweaters. You’ll want to stick with the standard way to pack clothes, and fold them. Bulky items like sweaters and jackets are also known to take up more space when rolled.

Another item that's best left out of the rolling frenzy: button-up shirts. They look best when they’re wrinkle-free, so do whatever you can to keep those bad boys in good condition. 

When it comes to formalwear, it might seem convenient to roll your suits, blazers or cocktail dresses before packing them. But PSA: rolling can be a disaster when it comes to wrinkle-resistant types of clothing (and we’d hate to see you arriving in your best-dressed smothered in creases). 

If you’re travelling with formalwear and need to look your best when you get there, get yourself some garment bags and you’ll be looking smooth in no time. Many airlines allow you to bring them as your carry-on or personal item, but check the rules and restrictions before you do so.

 

What’s the Best Way To Roll Your Clothes for Packing?

Getting ready to explore abroad? Pre-travel jitters creeping in? In addition to familiarising yourself with TSA’s travel checklist and government-approved to-dos, preparing for your trip starts at home—with your suitcase.

Whether you’re a spreadsheet-maker or a go with the flow traveller, there are few travel tips as valuable as learning the art of packing. But it’s important to remember, just because you can fit more clothes thanks to the rolling method, doesn’t mean you should

More clothes equals more weight—and if you know you’re going to be carrying your luggage around a lot, or your flight has weight restrictions, be careful not to pack more than neccesary.

Double-Check Your Packing List

Make a list of everything you need to bring with you. List-making keeps you from rummaging through your closet or having a last-minute panic that you’re forgetting something. 

Instead, it gives you a clear idea of what you need, and what you’re looking for. 

 

Order Your Clothes Based on Size and Need

Once you know what you need, lay out all of your items. Then, order them from biggest to smallest, bulkiest to lightest. Your bulkiest items, like sweaters, can go last and be folded rather than rolled. 

You’ll also want to keep in mind what you might need first. Ensure that the outfits you'll need for the first leg of your journey are easily accessible in your bag. This way, you can avoid the hassle of unpacking everything next to the food court and then having to repack it pronto.

If you're utilising both a carry-on and checking in a bag, keep a change of clothes (or at least a change of underwear) in your carry-on in case of emergency or a loss of luggage. 

Travelling is unpredictable, so it’s always best to be prepared. 

 

Layer Delicates With More Substantial Items

Once you’ve put your clothes in order, you can layer smaller, lightweight items like underwear, socks, or tank tops on top of larger items such as T-shirts and dresses before you’ve folded them. They won’t add much bulk and you’ll have the pleasant surprise of unrolling your shirt and finding everything else you need for the day is wrapped up in it. 

 

Fold Your Clothes to Equal Widths

Whether you’re using the folding or rolling packing method, you’re going to want to get similar types of clothes paired with similar widths so that they easily line up and you can create more organised lines in your luggage. 

For example, you can fold in the sleeves on T-shirts and light-knit sweaters to create a rectangle, and fold pants or shorts in half so that one leg rests over top of the other. Shorter dresses and skirts can be folded in half vertically, whereas maxi dresses and skirts can be folded horizontally. 

The idea is to keep everything tidy and set the stage for the easiest, most uniform roll.

 

Roll Them Up Tightly

Place your consolidated, folded clothes on a flat surface and roll them up tightly like you’re rolling a tiny sleeping bag. Some pro-packers swear by fastening their bundles with a rubber band or hair elastic to keep them from unravelling.

 

Place Them in Packing Cells

A concern with rolling your clothes is that you end up just stacking them on top of one another—which is great for fitting as much as possible in your bag—but not so good if you want to be able to easily see everything you’ve brought. 

This is where our Packing Cells come in. It allows you to find everything at a glance. It can help you organise your clothes by type or day depending on your preference, and create visual (and physical) separation in your suitcase, leading to less time sifting through your clothes, and more time for making memories.

 

Bon Voyage

There’s nothing more humbling than stepping onto the plane, headphones on, new horizons ahead, only to realise you’ve forgotten something. To ensure this doesn’t happen on your next trip, prepare your packing list in advance. Even the Notes app on your phone will do.

With your packing techniques down pact, you’re officially ready to tighten your seatbelt, lean back, and enjoy the adventure that awaits.

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