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What’s the best way to pack your clothing: folding or rolling? Some people swear by rolling because it allows them pack more and eliminates unused space and others fold because it’s faster and prevents clothing from wrinkling. If you’re unsure if you should be folding or rolling clothes for packing, here are a few things to consider.
Should You Roll or Fold Clothes When Packing?
Table Of Contents
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
Is it really more space effective to roll your clothes when packing? How many of you roll your clothes and how much space do you actually save with this method?
A common debate between travelers is whether or not one should roll or fold clothing in luggage. Every traveler wants to save space, but not at the cost of wrinkled clothing or too messy of organization.
The video below demonstrates rolling vs. folding methods with actual clothing items and ways to gain space and remain organized while packing. Take a look:
See this video for examples of rolling vs. folding packing methods
Overall, there isn’t one right or wrong answer. It can depend on a few things, including the type of fabrics and what items you’re bringing which we’ll cover more of in greater detail here.
The secret to traveling light is to create a functional but minimalist capsule wardrobe. Learn more in my guide!
Shop Sizes XS-3X: Short-Sleeve Crewneck Pima Cotton Tee
The Clothing Material
Choosing between rolling and folding partly depends on the fabric of the items. Consider folding clothes that are very light (like silk or rayon), very heavy (like wool), or wrinkle easily. Medium weight fabrics, like cotton and polyester, benefit more from the rolling method.
One reader says, “I roll things that are wrinkle-resistant to begin with. I hate wearing wrinkly clothing so I tend to fold those clothes over my rolled clothes in the same packing cube so they only have normal amounts of creasing.”
Make sure to test your clothing out before you pack it to see how it reacts to being rolled.
Discover our readers’ classic picks for the best t-shirts for women!
Compass Rose Compression Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are a great way to keep your stuff organized and compact and determine whether or not you should fold or roll. Rolling allows you to squeeze as much clothing as you can fit into a cube.
I put together a five-part YouTube series showing you the different methods to use packing cubes. If you use this specific packing strategy, they can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carryon only!
One reader says, “Rolled clothes for me work best when packed into a packing cube. Otherwise, they just unroll and create a huge mess.”
If you don’t use packing cubes, folding may be a better way to arrange your clothing, depending on what you are bringing. However, if you plan to use packing cubes and want a more thorough example of how to pack a full capsule wardrobe, see the video below:
Watch this video to see how to use packing cubes with a capsule wardrobe
A rule of thumb when I use packing cubes is to pack bigger, heavier items first and then use smaller, more flexible clothing to fill in any gaps. Depending on the size of the gap, I either fold or roll my clothes in order to keep the items from moving too much. Don’t be afraid to fold your clothes if it works better when you pack.
A reader shares, “I’ve been packing lots of chiffon tops that don’t wrinkle, and rolling works well. I agree with using them in packing cubes. I rolled two sundresses, two chiffon tops, and two cotton tank tops in a cube for a weekend getaway and it was really efficient. I folded my shorts at the bottom of the cube since it wasn’t necessary to roll those.”
Take a look at these luggage accessories that will help you pack light?
FREETOO Portable Digital Luggage Scale
Luggage Weight Restrictions
Rolling clothes for packing is so efficient that it allows you to bring more clothing in less space. One reader says, “I find that rolling smaller items like shirts, tank tops, and other blouses works well, and definitely saves space.”
However, this can create some weight issues. Countries and airlines have different weight restrictions for both carry-on and check-in luggage so make sure to do your research before you pack. Make sure to weigh your baggage with a Digital Scale!
Just because your stuff fits into a carry-on doesn’t mean it doesn’t weigh as much as a regular suitcase.
Lastly, the decision between rolling and folding clothes comes down to how you prefer to organize your luggage. Some readers say it’s much easier to roll their clothing for keeping their suitcase tidy and easy to access. One reader says, “I roll and then put everything in packing cubes. Keeps them rolled and organized.”
Another reader who loves rolling says, “I have started rolling my son’s clothes in his drawers. He has limited drawer space and rolling (then laying the rolled clothes in the drawers in rows) not only saves space, but it also allows him to see and find what he wants at a glance, and helps keep the drawers neat since he’s not rummaging around to find things.”
However, other readers swear by folding. One says, “I fold mine. I bring way too much and don’t wear a few of the things I bring and really don’t need half of it.”
It’s easy to roll your merino wool tops, for example
The Benefits of Rolling Your Clothing
Choosing between rolling and folding partly depends on the fabric of the items you’re packing. Consider folding clothes that are very light (like silk or rayon), very heavy (like wool), or wrinkle easily. Medium weight fabrics, like cotton and polyester, benefit more from the rolling method.
One reader says, “I’ve heard that it’s better to fold bulky items and roll less bulky ones,” while another adds, “I rolled all my clothes for my 16-day Italy trip, and it worked well! I did have access to a wardrobe where the more wrinkle prone were hung.”
Additionally, many travelers say it’s much easier to roll their clothing for keeping their suitcase tidy and easy to access. One reader says, “I roll now, but I used to pack flat. I can get more in my carry-on by rolling. I even roll a lot of my clothes at home.”
Another adds, “I use a hybrid of the Konmari (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) method and roll clothing to put things in my drawers now. It’s nice because it is compact, and I can see everything at a glance.”
Readers say they fold certain items, such as jeans, since they’re a bit thicker to roll
While many of our readers roll their clothing or use packing cubes, an overwhelming number do both. A reader says, “I have always rolled and put in Ziploc travel compression bags. I switched to packing cubes after learning about them from this group. Love them!”
Many readers love rolling and using cubes to save the most space. One reader says, “I tried packing flat in the packing cubes, and it really made no improvement to just packing flat without cubes. Rolling is the key.” Another adds, “The trick is the combo attack of rolling and using packing cubes. Even when I was plus sized I could fit four to five shirts rolled up in one slim cube.”
Rolling really allows you to squeeze as much clothing as you can fit into a cube, yet without causing extreme wrinkling. Packing cubes also help you organize your items better than just packing them all in a suitcase. You can use different cubes for different items, like pants and tops, or use them for each outfit, depending on how organized you like to be.
However, there are occasions when you might have to fold certain items, so often I end up combining rolling and folding, and can fit all I need in either compression bags or packing cubes.
Tip: You can even use a packing cube in your day bag for an outfit change after a long flight or to pack a scarf and cardigan for warm days and chilly nights.
In the never-ending debate of whether you should be folding or rolling clothes for packing, there is no one-size-fits all answer. Remember, the goal is to efficiently use your suitcase space in a way that’s most organized for your needs. After all, the whole point of packing well is to make sure you make the most out of your trip.
What do you prefer: folding or rolling clothes for packing? Comment below!
For more tips on travel gear, please read:
- How to Choose a Suitcase
- How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack
- Top Packing Organizers
- Top 10 Toiletry Bags
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I just read the folding vs rolling article and watched the packing cube video. I can’t wait to try this for my next trip.
Love the rolling method with compression cubes.
Love, LOVE, LOVE this website! Even though I consider myself a fairly seasoned traveler, I continue to learn every single time I read other travelers’ posts. So many wonderful tips are shared each and every day.
So many great tips! I always get lost in your website reading one article and finding another. Great information and I love the testimonials from other travellers.
I have learned so much from this blog. My packing has totally changed and we look forward to traveling light and smart.
I roll virtually everything and use packing cubes – absolute game changer! Can’t believe how much more I can fit in and how organized doing this keeps it all. My husband and I and another couple are going to Italy for 2 weeks in June and using these packing strategies, we are traveling with only carry on bags! Thanks for your travel articles – so helpful!
Have the most amazing time in Italy Diane, and I’m so glad the blog has helped you with your packing ❤
I tried folding Marie Knodo style so my cloths were in a neat row in the packing cubes. I could easily see what I wanted without needing to digging around. Thanks for the tip!
Rolling clothes and using the compass rose packing cubes is my go to method, except for bigger, bulky items. I love how many pieces of clothing I can fit in just one cube, how they compress, and how easy it is to keep things organized during trips. I will never go back.
I tried the rolling method with packing cubes on a 3 week trip to Germany. I packed A LOT!!! I am prone to overpacking so this gives me so much more room to do so!! EEK!
These suggestions have been an absolute game changer for this former over packer! Thank you for helping to simplify my life and my travels!!
I too am debating using packing cubes or not. I favor rolling except for things like jeans & shorts- folding seems to work better.
So helpful! I am new to packing cubes so really appreciate the video and explanation of your thought process. I am a die hard roller, but will now give consideration to folding in some cases. Your site is really interesting and SO educational!
I love the roll method along with packing cubes! I can fit so much in my suitcase!
Thanks for teaching me how to pack and roll my clothes!
love rolling my clothes-
i limited myself to the medium and small sized packing cubes; i found myself overpacking the large ones (they got really densy and heavy really fast!)
Best advice I got from this blog was to purchase a digital luggage scale. It has saved me from being overweight on my carry on, especially when traveling on budget airlines in Europe.
Summer 2019 for our trip to Europe. I started rolling my clothes when using the compass rose packing cubes. It makes it much easier to find clothes. I bought two sets of compose rose packing cubes for my family. Assigned each person a # for their clothes. It worked great!
Great advice! I personally use a combination of rolling and KonMari folding in packing cubes. I also try on everything I am packing to ensure I am comfortable in it and will wear it
I learned how to roll my clothes a few years ago and prefer to roll all of my clothes. Now with a family of 5 (3 pre-teen / teenage boys), I typically roll clothes together per individual, this way, when I get to my destination and kids need to put their stuff in their drawers, I can just hand them rolls instead of having to take out piece by piece.
The packing cubes are instrumental on a long trip and you can separate the clean clothes from dirty as the trip continues! I saved so much room rolling and compressing clothes that I had extra room for souvenirs to bring home!
Use your packing cubes all the time…more for my son than for me, but they work very, very well.
Your Compass Rose Packing Cubes are great. Used them to pack for a cruise and will never do it any other way.
Lately I’ve been rolling and compressing into a packing cubes – but I’m definitely more tidy on the outbound than when I return – then it all gets squished, squeezed and compressed into the tiniest crevice available.
If you can’t afford packing cubes, try doing a “ranger roll” with your clothes. I came across a video on YouTube about it, and it has been a game changer.
I use packing cubes and I do both, depending on the shape of the cube. For the long thin ones, I roll (underwater, socks, t shirts). For the small rectangles, I fold and stack shirts and pants.
I roll most clothes for packing cubes. Jeans I lay flat in cube. All great info!
Packing cubes disciple here! Have given cubes & folders as gifts for years. I mix it up with folding & rolling depending on the material. And the debate continues… 😉
I’m a roller all the way!
I’m heading to Europe for 21 days and can’t wait. I’ve gotten down to a roller bag and underseat bag for my other trips, so I’m pretty confident i can stick to it. I’ll be traveling through various countries and temperatures, so getting the wardrobe and pushing down will be very important.
Thanks for all your insights!
Thanks to this wonderful website and all of the great suggestions on how to travel light, I was able to travel through Switzerland for 10 days using a backpack carry-on and under the seat bag. You made is SO easy, and the concept of packing cubes is nothing short of a miracle! Keep up the great tips! More trips are in my future. The capsule wardrobe concept works like a dream. I even convinced my husband to try it! Thanks!
This article has been so helpful when packing for my last few trips! Thank you so much for sharing!
I used similar packing cubes after seeing this blog/video, I didn’t find the Compass Rose brand. I took a carryon with ease for a 5 day trip for the first time. I couldn’t believe how much I was able to fit in my carryon suitcase. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for your continuous useful tips.
My daughter taught me how to roll my clothes and showed me how to maximize the space in a carry on only. There were many tips in this blog that I will be adding to my packing routine. Thank you for the great ideas.
Thanks for sharing I’ve always been a roller! Now I roll them into the compass rose packs!
I try to roll but sometimes do a combo of rolling and folding. Thanks to TFG I’ve recently purchased some compressible packing cubes! Cannot wait to try them out!
Lately I’ve been rolling and compressing into a packing cubes – but I’m definitely more tidy on the outbound than when I return – then it all gets squished, squeezed and compressed into the tiniest crevice available.
Capsule wardrobes, packing cubes, and rolling my clothes changed EVERYTHING about how I pack. The cubes function as “mini-dresser drawers.” Each cube is sorted by item type, so it’s easy to find all my tops, all my bottoms, all my underwear and PJs, and so forth. I SOOO wish I would have known about this method back in the 80s and 90s when I was lugging very heavy luggage (higher weight limit then) up and down metro stations and on trains.
I prefer rolling most items and stuffing them into packing cubes to fit the most garments into the least amount of space. I learned how from Alex’s videos!
I am so impressed with Travel Fashion Girl and the always timely tips for taking to the skies and traveling in style. I downloaded the Ultimate Travel Packing List and relied on it to pack a streamlined rolling carry-on bag that brought me through a week in Switzerland and a week in New York City with just one laundry stop!
A set of packing cubes have long been my go-to “secret” to traveling light, but many tips on clothing choices and fabrics that I’ve gleaned from Travel Fashion Girl have been time-savers while on the road.
Please keep the great ideas coming. In these post-pandemic times, the lure of travel is upon us all and it’s reassuring to have a knowledgable, sensible guide along the way.
Over the years I have used both methods. Before the invention of packing cubes, I would use the plastic that you get a the drycleaners, cut it to fit the size of the clothing and I would roll my clothes in it. My clothes never wrinkled and it also helped keep my clean clothes separated from my dirty clothes. It was a lot of work, thank goodness for packing cubes!
I have been following Travel Fashion Girl travel tips and packing lists for more than four years and the packing tips as well as the recommended bra wallet, Anatomie pants and other wardrobe suggestions are AMAZING; providing for stress-free travel all over the world. Thank you so much for making my travel easy and relaxed!
Always a source for great packing tips! I’m sold on packing cubes and I mostly roll, but fold button-up shirts so they don’t wrinkle too much and lay them on top of the rolled clothes. I find rolling allows me to see everything in the cube at a glance so I’m not moving things around so much.
I am definitely a rolling packer! I lover your packing cubes and roll like items together – undies in one, tops, bottoms, dresses etc. larger outerwear if needed is folded to lay on top of the cubes. Thanks Alex & TFG crew for all the tips over the years!!!
I’ve always rolled. In addition, I use rubber bands, and packing cubes.
Thanks for.all the great advice! I learn so much from this site!
Really love your packing cubes!! I mainly roll my clothes and have used the technique of pushing down from one end to get more in. Bought them one Christmas as gifts and family has used them ever since. Allows us to keep luggage much more organized, and if you have to open up anything in the airport, you know everything won’t fall out. Thanks for the tips! 🙂
I like the idea of rolling clothes and have used packing cubes. I’m going to look into compression cubes. Thanks for all the helpful info on the site!
Thanks for the always-helpful tips! I tend to roll most items and compress them in packing cubes. I’m intrigued by some of the folding strategies, though, and may try a new approach for an upcoming work trip that involves more business clothing than my usual travel.
I tend to roll most of my clothes and pack in packing cubes. I find that pants, shorts and maxi dresses are more efficiently packed flat and also put into packing cubes. Then I tuck a few items in the corners that are empty. When I discovered this, it was life-changing. Now I only travel with a carryon size suitcase, even if I’m checking it! Thanks for the videos.
I roll the clothes, then put in packing cubes fit my suitcase like a glove. I save a few smaller items to place between the extra space created by the handles. Good advice!
This is such a great question. I tend to roll but if it’s an outfit that wrinkles easy I’ll fold it on top of the rolled. But Everything always go into a packing cube for ease.
Love your tips. Very helpful.
I am a huge fan of packing cubes! I fold mostly but will have to give rolling a try.
I use my packing cubes and either roll or fold depending on the fabric and size of the garment. Love all the advice and ideas!
I am 70 and am preparing for a 6 week European trip with a number of independent segments where my husband and I will be taking short flights or a train. First time ever we are going with carry-on only. This group and all the helpful information are making this possible ! Thanks!
This will really help with an upcoming 70-day trip!
Packing cubes definitely make traveling more organized!
Since following your blogs and Facebook page, I have been able to define a system that works for utilizing both rolling and folding. Compass rose packing cubes for the win!
I need suggestions for a Paris trip on 2 weeks, what and how to pack
I need to think outside of the box, I never thought to roll with my cubes! Thanks for the great idea!
On my last trip, I used the combination of folding and rolling. I folded like-items together and then rolled them. I had read about this technique on the FB group. It did create more room in my carry-on, however, everything was so wrinkled. I loved the extra space but not the wrinkles.
I have become a roller. I still worry about wrinkles, but there are wrinkles either way.
Just got back from a 10 day Europe trip. Absolutely loved the tips from travel fashion girl! I traveled carry on only for the first time because of the clothing capsule information, cubes and rolling my clothes. I had more than enough clothes for a multi destination trip. I am hooked on carry on only after the much needed flexibility with canceled and rebooked flights. I was so glad that I didn’t need to worry about my luggage! Thank You Travel Fashion Girl!!!
I’m a huge fan of rolling and packing cubes! They’ve both changed my habits forever. Now I’m usually the traveler in the group with the least “baggage”. But I’m also the one who has everything I need.
Thanks for this info. I also use a combo.
I’m going to try packing cubes for the first time as I get ready to go to Ireland for the first time using carryon only — also for the first time! 16 days in October! Cannot wait!!
Thank you for all the tips! I have been sharing them with both of my daughters who are avid travelers. I have sold them both on using packing cubes. Now to learn how to pack carry on only. 🙂
I really thought the various pros and cons of rolling vs folding were very helpful. I am glad that I can actually combine the two for the most effective and organized carry on luggage for an upcoming trip to Italy! Thank you!
I’ve always been a “folder”, but in light of all of the comments in favor of rolling, I’m finally going to give it a try!
Absolutely a convert to rolling clothes. I don’t know itlf it saves space but it does save on wrinkles.
I’m going to try rolling and folding both into my cubes!
I have been rolling my clothes recently and find it works much better for me. I also love the packing cubes that you recommended. Thank you for all the wonderful info!!!
Thank you for all the travel and packing info. I purchased the packing cubes you first recommeneded a long time a go and love them!!! Also I have started rolling my clothes and have found it to be much better than folding. Thank you!
I have been using Compass Rose packing cubes ever since I learned about them! The video demonstrating how to use them helped so much! I was able to use 3 packing cubes with enough clothes for a long 5- day weekend in a personal underseat bag on Spirit Airline, so I had No additional luggage fees!!! Your packing advise has really helped me pack lighter and still be fashionable!! Thanks Alex!!!
I’m team roll all the way! 🙂
Love my cubes. I roll my clothes then put into the cubes. They come out with few wrinkles.
I am a true believer in rolling now! I just got back from a 16-day trip in two different climates. I packed my warmer, dressier clothes in one packing cube by rolling them, and my cold climate clothes in another packing cube and rolled those also. I had so much room I actually packed too much. I never thought I’d say that while just taking a carry-on bag. I guess that saved me from buying too many extra clothes while there.
I’ve used the roll method for years. Now I’m going to start using packing cubes to make even more room in my luggage. Love these tips!!
Thanks for all the great tips, I’m always looking for ways to pack more efficiently.
I really appreciated this post! I’ve gone back and forth on packing and rolling without ever coming to a decision. I loved how you explained how each can work for different fabrics. As for packing cubes, I love them and can’t imagine not using them. It’s so easy to unpack at my destination now – I just place each cube into drawers. When packing to come home, I zip up my cubes and put them back in my suitcase. My dirties are in a compression bag (another TFG tip!). Your blog and Facebook group have become my favorite read each morning. You’ve helped me so much in my travels. Thank you!
We are going to Italy for my daughters wedding. I’m hoping this will help me make it carry on only!
Need this badly. Never fold or roll correctly – lol!
I’m a converted folder. I use packing cubes for my underwear only. Everything else I hang up!
Love using the cubes and rolling!! Worked well for me going to Europe for 12 days. Thanks TFG!!
I’m a roller and love that it makes every piece easy to identify and select. I always use packing cubes. The are like having drawers in your suitcase and easily transfer to actual drawers during hotel stays.
I’ve been a “roller” for years. New to packing cubes, though, so excited to try them!
I am a huge fan of packing cubes and love my compass rose cubes. I have become team carryon not only from these cubes but from all the great tips and tricks on your blog! Thank you for the wealth of information. Great blog!
I have learned so much from TFG! I am still experimenting with the best way to pack, but the Compass Rose packing cubes have been very helpful. Thank you TFG!
Love packing cubes! They are great for organizing, as well as saving space. I have multiple sizes, but find the smaller sizes work best for most items.
Great information! I tend to fold mine but I really think I’ll have to try rolling next time!
I have slowly become a roller but still a folder for items that easily wrinkle! I also like to pack my bag with outfits organized together. I’m definitely going to invest in some packing cubes.
I recently tried the “bundle” method. It’s working well together with some small packing cubes. Works and treat!
I’m turning into a roller. Found TFG recently and there’s so much helpful info here—thank you!
Love packing cubes! I need cubes to keep things organized and easy to find.
I’ve been rolling for years, but there’s some great ideas in here. Thanks for doing all the hard work and letting us benefit from your experience.
I’ve been a roller ever since watching Alex’s videos on using packing cubes. I love the ranger roll style where the ends are tucked in like a burrito so nothing unrolls until I want it to.
I roll clothes for the packing cubes. But sometimes there is room to put something folded on top of them. I use both methods.
I find that rolling takes more time than folding, so I’m torn between these two methods. I did an experiment once, folding and rolling the same items and there didn’t seem to be much of a difference. I like folding for compression cubes and rolling for non.
I am new to packing cubes and on the two trips we’ve taken so far, rolling has been my friend!
Always great packing tips! I prefer to roll very tightly then use my compass rose packing clothes.
Starting another packing project today and your advice is always helpful! This trip has lots of linen that I usually layer with dry cleaning bags and soft items before folding to minimize creases. Thinking about rolling with dry cleaning bags to see what happens. We’ll see!
I started rolling my clothes after seeing how organized everyone seemed to be as well as how much more fit in my luggage. I’m sold!
I’ve tried packing a few different ways, but rolling has been the clear winner for me. I’m able to roll quite tightly and have even come up with a “sweep” as I roll, using my fingers to rid the roll of any wrinkles.
I have rolled my clothes on every trip for years. Keeps clothes in place better than folding. I’ll roll item together for organizing.
We have used packing cubes and the roll method. Helps keeps everything organized at our destination. My husband has been won over and always uses them
Team Roll all the way!!
I’ve never used packing cubes, but after watching your video and reading your blog I’m sold. I’ll be heading back here for my next vacation 🙂 thank you! I’ll be trying both methods while packing to see what works best. I’ve always just folded into a suitcase.
I’ve rolled for years and am excited to try some packing cubes to make the space hold even more!!
I typically roll into a packing cube, but I honestly get a ton of wrinkles whether I roll or fold – haven’t found a good way to avoid it.
I just stared using packing cubes and it is a life changer
I have been using packing cubes for several years. I started using them for international travel and now use every time I pack!
I had always folded my clothes for travel, until I found this blog and now I rolled my clothes and I even bought the packing cubes.
Really appreciate all the packing and other travel tips!
Love these tips! I only travel with a carry on so this will help a lot with packing.
I a big believer in packing cubes! I do a combo of folding and rolling!
I’ve always like packing cubes but I also can’t always fit everything inside my suitcase if I solely use them. I use both the folding and rolling methods depending on what I have to pack.
Great article! I have learned using packing cubes and rolling my clothes to be the best.
I’ve rolled. I’ve folded. I’ve burritoed. I’ve interlaced. With packing cubes and without. For me, a tall somewhat plus-sized person, the best seems to be a combo of rolling and folding, using packing cubes for most things and laying bigger items (like fleeces or sweaters) folded in the suitcase.
I prefer to roll most of my items & put in packing cubes.
A luggage scale is a staple in my travel supply kit.
I think both are good options. For me it depends on what I’m packing but for sure packing cubes is the only way. I been using them for over 10 years. But thank you for your great tips.
These are great tip as I tend to travel with a carry on and need to maximize my space!
Rolling my clothes has been a lifesaving tip for me. With your help I’ve also learned I don’t need as much as I think! I will never check a bag again!
Thanks for this post. I love packing cubes and use them every time I travel.
I’ve never really given much thought to packing. I’ve now gone down a rabbit hole! Hope to get to Italy in the next year, and will definitely be changing the way I pack!!
This tips were super helpful on my last trip! Thanks for sharing!
I tend to roll most of my stuff into packing cubes. Especially with knit fabrics, it really keeps stuff from getting wrinkled!
I have been reading your posts since we went on a cruise in 2018. I have found many posts so very helpful! I did buy some packing cubes and that helped keep me organized!
As a plus sized traveler, I’ve been using the rolling method and packing cubes for years to help me stay carry on only. It’s a great way to fit all your clothing, see what you have when you pack, and save some of the wrinkles.
I’ve tried rolling but it always seems to introduce more wrinkles than I care to deal with for sone things so combo is the way to go for me.
Thanks Travel Fashion Girl for this very helpful article!
I’ve been a compression cube packer for many years. One more advantage I like to tell my non packing cube friends is that you can take them straight from your suitcase to your hotel/AirBnB drawers to keep things organized. They act like mini drawers within a drawer so that I can find whatever I am looking for in a snap.
I used to roll but now I have tended to fold. I think because I changed suitcases and now that I use the Away Luggage, the compression piece that goes over all my packing, folding actually seems to work much better. I use their (non) compression cubes as well so the whole system seems to have worked the best for me and how I pack. I will roll things like a dress/skirt/pr of jeans and place those in the empty space after I put in my cubes with the other items I’m taking and that has worked really well too.
I roll and use packing cubes. I am always amazed at how unwrinkled the clothes are when I take them out. I am working on a ways to label the bags so I don’t have to open them all to find one item!
I agree – your carry-on can be as heavy as a regular suitcase, which defeats the purpose of “packing light”. The same w packing cubes or vacuum bags – yes, you can fit more clothes – but that isn’t packing light.
I have always folded my clothes. This article has me rethinking how I should roll my clothes on my next trip. Thank you!
The never ending debate. I’m a folder-my son is a roller. The videos were super useful. Definitely going to up my packing game doing it your way. Thanks for the insight!
Thank you for clearing up and helping us understand the roll vs. fold debate. Will take this insight with me on my next travels.
I’ve been a roller for years. Even as a plus sized curly haired gal I’ve been able to get over a weeks worth of clothing,shoes, hair needs, and more in a carry on suitcase thanks to rolling and packing cubes.
Such great tips here! I’ve totally revamped/created my capsule wardrobe(s) since I’ve begun following this blog! I’ve always shopped Eddie Bauer, but your reminder that this is the last day of their “up to 60% off” sale, I found 3 items, including 2 blouses, that I really needed ! 🙄
I lay dresses flat in the bottom of the suitcase, then put my packing cubes with rolled t-shirts, underwear, pj’s, bathing suits on the dresses and fold the tops of the dresses over the cubes. Pants and jackets go on top to weigh the pile down and shoes and toiletry bags go in awkward corners or between the ridges for the handles. My dresses hardly get wrinkled at all this way.
Hi Joanna, thank you for sharing how you like to pack your suitcase with us, sounds awesome!! Happy travels!
Love the great tips. Trying to go carry on only to Europe so need all the tips.
Thanks, this is something I always debate when packing. Great tips.
I’m glad you found it useful!
You’ve pretty much said it all. The only thing I’d add is that knits – regardless of fabric, including wool, often work best rolled. Some wovens tend to work better either folded or bundle wrapped. This latter is neither folded nor rolled, but wrapped around packing cubes, undies etc (but not shoes). It’s quite a good way for trousers and skirts.
Thanks for the tips Jennifer!
I rolled my clothes for a trip to Europe but instead of horizontally I stood the clothes up (vertically). It worked out really well because I had the heaviest at the bottom (Jeans etc) and worked my way up to shorts, long sleeved tops to singlet tops. I could see what each item was without taking it out.
Thanks for sharing Anne!
Just learned the Ranger roll technique and found it very helpful!
I roll some clothes like night shirts and t shirts in packing cubes to save space for items that I don’t want to roll. Some heavier pants I fold and lighter pants I roll. I play it by ear, with the goal being to travel as lightly as possible.
I’m on a 6 week trip with carry on right now and finding the ranger roll is the way to go. It makes my clothes smaller and means I can dig through my suitcase without all of my clothes unrolling and ruining my bag. When I’m too lazy to ranger roll, my clothes definitely don’t fit as well