Should You Roll Clothes When Packing?

For most people, packing and unpacking are definitely their least favorite of the traveling part.

Just imagine, you spend hours and hours trying to fold them properly only to find out that not everything can fit in your luggage.

Bonus point if you arrived at your destination and everything is absolutely wrinkled!

Plus, with airlines looking forward to charging you with extra baggage fees and your ever-increasing anxiety that your checked luggage will go to another country than you’re in, there’s so much more in packing than shoving your clothes in a bag.

We’ve all read about those tips and tricks when packing.

There are so many things that the Internet tells us to do that we don’t even know what to actually follow.

One of them is rolling your clothes instead of folding them. But the question is, do they actually work?

To Roll, Or Not To Roll?

There are definitely benefits of rolling your clothes when packing.

Many people swear by this — it takes more time, but the results are 100% worth it.

When rolling your clothes, everything becomes compact and versatile. Meaning, that small overnighter backpack you own?

You can definitely fit more when you roll your clothes.

You can also avoid that annoying creases on your shirts that you usually get when folding your clothes and stuffing them into a suitcase. Plus, you can see your clothes more easily.

If you’re folding it (or using other packing methods), your garments would stack on top of each other and it’s a nightmare locating your favorite shirt that’s buried underneath.

This is important especially if you don’t want to spend your morning at your hotel reorganizing your whole suitcase.

Because let’s get real, no one actually unpacks their bag unless absolutely necessary.

Also, if you’re traveling for quite a period now, you’ll know that sometimes, there are odd spaces and air pockets left on your backpack.

It can be quite annoying since you can feel that it isn’t balanced and it’s such a waste of precious space.

But with rolling, you can snugly fit everything and even fold some other items to a smaller size to fit the odd space.

Rolling is great for a variety of your wardrobe staples.

You can roll your pants, t-shirts, casual dresses, swimsuits, and pajamas without wrinkling it and taking up too much space.

Cons of Packing by Rolling

Like any other packing techniques, not everything can be rolled up to fit your suitcase.

Sure, rolling is definitely the way to go if you’re going to a tropical destination where all you need are shorts, a couple of shirts, and swimsuits but if you’re going on a ski trip, then you might encounter a packing problem because of rolling.

Bulky clothes like coats and winter jackets don’t do so well when rolled. In fact, they take up more space when rolled than folded.

It’s not also good to roll button-up shirts because chances are, you’ll end up with a creased mess because the fabric gets bunched up as it rolls.

Which is fine if you’re trying to pack a lot of formal shirts on a business trip and there’s iron at your hotel, but if not, maybe don’t roll your button-up shirts.

Also, formal wear like a gown or a suit doesn’t do well with rolling.

Chances are, you’ll ruin the fabric if the gown is made out of delicate materials and you bunched it up to squeeze it on a suitcase.

It’s going to be a nightmare ironing a suit too when it gets creased up from rolling.

Other Methods of Packing

Rolling your clothes is a great way to pack but you should know other methods of packing that are appropriate for your wardrobe choices.

Here are other methods of packing that will definitely be useful for your next trip:


This is most people’s default way of packing.

Folding your clothes just feels natural and chances are if your wardrobe is already folded and organized, it’s much easier to grab a shirt and just put it in your suitcase.

Folding also works well with structured clothes like button-down shirts and coats.

Manufacturers and dressmakers usually take into consideration the manner of folding when making tailed clothing so you can easily replicate it.

But, folding might not be a great option for thin, soft clothing items like t-shirts. It’ll definitely crease and wrinkle especially if you stack them on top of each other in a suitcase.

Plus, it’s hard to locate clothes as well if they’re all buried in the same pile.

Space-wise, folding is not that efficient because it leaves small gaps in between and will definitely take up more room in your suitcase.

If you’re using a backpack or a carry-on, that would be even worse.

Packing cubes

A lot of people who are obsessed with organization swear by packing cubes.

By using a packing cube, you’ll get to organize your outfits, compress your clothes, and separate your dirty clothes from clean ones.

You can also move your items around with packing cubes without the fear of spilling everything.

Ever had to get a sweater out of your bag inside the overhead compartment in the middle of the flight then have your socks and underwear fall out?

Well, if you used a packing cube, apparently, that wouldn’t happen.

But let’s be real here, packing cubes cost a lot for something that you’ll occasionally use.

Plus, you’ll also have to either fold or roll your clothes inside it. You can get by without having to buy a $20 set.

The Best Way to Pack

So what’s the verdict? Honestly, it all depends on your travel style, destination, and wardrobe choices.

The best way to pack is by using the combination of rolling, folding, and even the packing cubes.

Roll up your shirts and other thin items like shorts and pants to save up space and prevent them from getting wrinkled.

If you’re bringing coats or jackets, it’s better to fold them and put them at the bottom of your suitcase especially only if you’re not bringing them out mid-flight.

Finally, use a packing cube to organize your socks, underwear, and other small things. You can even bring an extra one to put your dirty laundry in.

Foolproof Packing Tips

There’s so much more in packing than deciding whether to roll, fold, or compartmentalize your clothes.

It’s an important thing to do before you leave for your vacation. No one really wants to find out that you’ve left an essential item home when you’re miles away from it.

More so, no one wants to pay a hefty fee if you packed too much.

So here are some handy, foolproof packing tips for a fuss-free vacation:

1. Make a checklist

Don’t rely on your mental checklist because chances are, you’ll forget something.

So do it the old school way and write it on a piece of paper. Or just your notes app.

By making a checklist, you won’t have the tendency to just chuck everything on your suitcase as well.

You don’t want to forget something, but you don’t want to overpack either.

If you take some time making a checklist, you’ll know whether an item is really important or not.

2. Check with your airline first

Before packing, review the airline’s policy when it comes to baggage.

If you’re planning to just bring a carry-on which is usually a standard package with any flight, check the weight limit on how much you can pack.

Not a lot of people do this, and you shouldn’t make this mistake as well but check your airline’s designated dimension for carry-on baggage.

A lot of first-time travelers think that if their carry-on is well under the weight limit, then they won’t be charged more but if your bag is too big, then airlines would require you to check it in.

3. Make use of dual-purpose clothes

When packing, bring clothes that are versatile and not day-specific.

For example, if you’re going to a tropical country but you get cold easily in airconditioned areas, then don’t bring a lumpy jacket with you that will take so much space in your luggage.

Instead, bring a light cardigan or even a shawl that can be easily stored in your handbag.

If you want to go hardcore, invest in some crazy wardrobe pieces like pants that turn into shorts or a jacket that turned into a travel pillow.

Amazon and the rest of the Internet will have a lot of crazy things for traveling!

4. Bring travel-friendly fabrics

If you absolutely hate wearing clothes that look like it’s been dug out of a hole because of its creases and wrinkles, then get yourself some shirts that are wrinkle-free.

Woven fabrics like linen or cotton twill wrinkle much faster than some other knitted and stretchy fabrics.

There are a lot of clothing companies that incorporate an anti-wrinkle feature to their clothes so definitely check them out.