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Rolling vs. Folding Your Clothes for Travel. Which is better?

July 27, 2015 4 min read 1 Comment

Rolling vs Folding Clothes

Which is Better for Travel?

 

Packing Tips for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.

 

A very common travel question when packing for a trip is, "Should I roll or fold my clothes to optimize my suitcase?"

 

Often the genesis of the rolling clothes vs folding clothes question is a desire to reduce wrinkling, and mostly to maximize your space when filling up a suitcase or bag for an upcoming adventure.

 

So, what are the pros and cons of rolling vs folding? 

From an initial birds eye view, there appears to be little advantage to rolling vs. folding in terms of additional space.

 

{As an FYI, these are six of our Chrysalis Cardis (a great travel piece that can be worn 8+ ways!) folded / rolled in the suitcase} 

 

Packing Tips for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.

 

However, upon a closer inspection, you can notice a subtle space difference between the two.

Rolling your Clothes

Both the rolled and folded piles of Chrysalis Cardis are almost taking up the same width, but not quite. There is a slight space advantage to the rolled side. 

 

Rolling your clothing when packing also makes it easier to stuff and store within the suitcase, therefore saving MORE space. For example, you can roll socks, and stuff them into pairs of shoes, or roll something and squeeze it into an awkward space where a folded top would not fit.

 

Also, by smoothly rolling your clothes, there’s less chance of wrinkling and creasing. However, the reduction in wrinkling hinges upon rolling clothes tightly and neatly. One common method is the “Ranger Roll” - a method for neatly rolling clothes in a crease free way that also stays rolled, making it easy for you to rummage through your suitcase while keeping your rolled clothing intact.

 

Lastly, it's easier to see what you're packing when you roll your clothes. Your clothing will look more distinct and separate. As mentioned above, when rolled well, it’s easier to sift through your suitcase without turning it into an unruly pile of clothing. As opposed to folding, where pulling a piece from the bottom of the pile could turn your neatly stacked clothing into a mess. 

 

Packing Tips for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.

 

Folding Clothes

Folding is more 'stackable', and does feel more intuitive. 

 

We fold clothing in drawers, and in our closets. At Encircled, we fold our inventory because it is easier to stack on our shelves. Because so many of us have folded clothing hundreds or thousands of times and it’s so intuitive, you may find it faster folding clothes for a suitcase than you would rolling clothes. So, there could be a time-saving advantage to this method.

 

It just feels natural. Nothing is weirder than trying to roll button-up shirts or underwear. 

 

Though, we should also mention that certain types of clothing just fold better than roll and some fold better than they roll. For our designs, which are typically made from super-soft stretchy and sustainable fabrics like Modal or Bamboo, rolling is a definite must do. But for more stiff fabrics like a traditional blazer, pair of dress pants or denim, you’ll probably want to consider folding them.

 

Packing Tips for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.

 

 As you can probably tell, we're not huge fans of folding clothing.

 

When traveling, clothing tends to get super compressed, and even slightly damp from the changes in moisture when flying. It's best to pack to minimize this wrinkling, and we feeling rolling does the best job on that aspect. Rolling your clothing is also generally preferred by most frequent fliers.

 

So, for us at Encircled, we're fans of rolling.  

 

Watch this fun video below for how to pack for weeks in a carry-on. They use a super-advanced traveller technique of the multi-layer roll.

 

 

At the end of the day, how you pack your luggage is all down to personal preference. So, if your sticking to team folding in the great rolling clothes vs folding clothes debate because it works for you, then that’s great too! 

 

 

Additional Packing Tips

  • Wear your bulkiest clothing on the plane, you’ll also be grateful to have a hoodie on with how cold planes can be.
  • Pack multiway or versatile styles that allow you to create many outfits with less pieces.
  • Have multiple packing lists for different types of trips that you update after your travels. There’s no sense in creating a new list for every trip and updating them as you go will get you to your optimal lists!
  • Try and stick to a colour pallet with the clothes you pack for more opportunities to mix and match your pieces.
  • If you’re packing your own shampoo and conditioner, try them out in a bar form. There are some great shampoo and conditioner bars available these days that are not only better for travel, but ditching the plastic bottle is so much better for the environment.

 

What about you? Do you roll or fold clothes? Why or why not?

Leave us a comment below. We'd love to hear your tips and tricks for traveling lighter. 

 

Looking for clothing that makes packing easy? Shop our collection of Multiway Travel Clothing, with multiple ways to wear these pieces, packing light will be a breeze. Our Carry On Kit is also great for travelling light, this kit will have your outfits building themselves while you're away.

 

With wanderlust,

Founder/CEO, Encircled (and former 100k/year traveller!) / Instagram

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

All photos are copyright Encircled. Contact us for permissions/rights to re-use or repost images.

 

1 Response

Hilary Taylor
Hilary Taylor

November 16, 2019

I have just returned from three weeks in the uk. I rolled everything. I packed the rolls close together. Result, no wrinkles. I was surprised. I even had room to add items for the return. I say roll away! It worked well for me.

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