Fold, Layer, or Roll? Packing Techniques Put to the Test

Top Packing Tips

Top Packing Tips

Packing is somewhat of an art form. Get it right and you can look forward to an easy, crease-free trip while getting it wrong means you can spend more time away ironing than enjoying yourself. 

Whether you’re setting off on a globetrotting adventure or find yourself away for just a night or two, each trip has its own requirements and considerations. A carry-on case or holdall is perfect for a few nights in a European city, but try and fit skiing or walking gear into it and things will start to get a little tricky.

To save you the hassle of learning the hard way, we’ve put four packing techniques to the test, giving you one less thing to worry about next time you travel and helping you squeeze every last kilogram out of that luggage allowance. Ready, set… pack!

Packing Techniques


Let’s start with the basics, and how many of us choose to store clothes at home and for travel; the classic fold. While this technique is quick and easy, it doesn’t always maximize all available space, with awkward pockets popping up here and there as your case fills up. Folding is best used when you don’t have a lot to take, you won’t be traveling for particularly long and you’ll have a wardrobe (or even an iron!) on-hand during your trip. That way, you can ensure any pesky creases will drop before wear.

Similar to the above, but with a little more order, vertical folding is perfect if you think you might be tight on space or want to take a couple of extra “just-in-case” options. Fold your clothes as normal, but file them away into your case vertically, side-by-side, maximizing all available space while keeping things snug. This will ensure your gear is moving less while in transit, potentially saving you an outfit or two’s worth of creases on the other side.

packing technique


Rolling your clothes will require a little bit of practice to get it right, but once mastered, is a technique that many swear by. It lends itself particularly well to a rucksack or bag that’s not rectangular in shape, as each rolled item can be squeezed into corners and such without fear of crinkles. We’d advise practicing with a few shirts before taking the plunge. This will ensure that the extra time it will take you to pack before your trip is well spent.

packing techniques


Compressing your clothes into vacuum packed bags is a seriously space saving technique that will involve a little bit of outside help. There are a range of compression products out there–which can also be useful for home storage–that will make sure bulky items, such as fleeces and salopettes, are reduced right down to a wafer thin size to help you get the most out of all available space. Be sure to pack items well before compressing; you don’t want to invest in this technique and still be blighted by pesky creases!

packing techniques


This technique might be a little bit more methodical and time-intensive up front, but bundling evangelists swear by this technique for wrinkle-free travels. The result is several bundles of cleverly wrapped clothes, which each neatly slot into your case. If you’ve got time upfront to invest, you could well be waving goodbye to creases all together.

How Do You Pack Yours?

Choosing a packing technique is very much dependent on what you need to take, what kind of bag you’ll be using and how much time you have to pack. A family holiday requires military precision and extra clothes for every eventuality, so you might choose to invest that little bit of time upfront to compress or bundle your way to a stress-free trip. Long-term traveling, however, where it’s not uncommon to pack and repack several times a week, might be better suited to a faster technique, such as rolling, keeping packing time to a minimum while maximizing every last inch of space.

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