How To Roll Clothes For Packing: A Simple Yet Life-Changing Method

Packing as many clothes as possible into your suitcase while keeping them relatively wrinkle-free is the stuff of dreams. But that dream can be realised when you learn how to roll clothes for packing.

Most folks would fold their clothes on a trip the same way they do at home. But that’s not the optimal way. Rolling your clothes is the better alternative, as any seasoned traveller would tell you.

Scroll down to see how that is possible thanks to our simple yet thorough guide on making the most use of your space. It’s one trick that works everybody must know about in their life!

Genius Packing Hack: Why You Should Roll Clothes For Packing?

Rolling is always featured on the do’s and don’ts of packing. Of course, it falls into the former category. Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

How can turning your clothes into sausages help you fit your wardrobe of Instagramable clothes into the suitcase? The answer is simple: rolling squeezes air out between layers and condenses the fabric, thus saving more space.

It also changes how you pack: the whole compartment turns into a Tetris game, one where you consciously keep things more organised. As a result, you put more thought into packing instead of randomly stacking things on top of one another.

When you can visualise what things go where, you gain more control over what to bring and what to leave behind. Overpacking, or underpacking, will no longer be a problem. Plus, things are easier to unpack when you need them.

The collection of neatly tight “sausages” provides another benefit. Unlike being folded in a pile, tightly-packed “rolls” eliminate almost every potential fold line. There are fewer wrinkles and creases on your outfits.

On almost every travel packing hack list, rolling is also always featured. What’s more, it is often on top of the list, too. For the reasons we stated above, it’s no wonder that this is the case. Start changing how you pack with this method, and you will understand the magic.

How To Roll Clothes For Packing: Doing Things Right From The Get-Go

The detailed steps for how to roll clothes for packing couldn’t be simpler.

Things sound simple enough; simply lay your clothes on a flat surface, then roll them up. Here’s the trick that changes it all: fold one end of your clothes first. This is sometimes known as Ranger Rolling, a technique supposedly that came from the U.S. army.

Here’s the step-by-step guide for your convenience:

  1. After laying the piece of clothing out flat, flip the bottom part inside out about two or three inches.
  2. Next, fold your sleeves in, and then the whole piece in half
  3. Do the same for the other half
  4. Flip the clothes around
  5. Start rolling tightly from the top to the bottom
  6. Lastly, wrap the scrolls with a little “pouch” from the flipped part. And there you have it, your own “burritos”.

Tip: Remember to smooth your seams before rolling to prevent wrinkles or creases.

Do it right, and the rolls won’t easily come undone. The whole piece should be covered inside the “pouch”. Some clothing pieces require extra steps, but that is the general way of rolling clothes for packing.

All that’s left is tucking everything into its rightful section of the suitcase or backpack. When you want to take them out, just slide your rolls out of the section. They won’t look sad and tired when they emerge from your suitcase.

How To Roll Each Type Of Garment

Who’s the rolling method for? The answer is for everyone. Although you will spend more minutes turning your clothes into a more compact form, it’s worth it for the space-saving benefit alone.

Similar to how to fold any piece of clothing, the steps to roll clothes for packing are straightforward and almost the same anywhere you go. It’s almost one-size-fits-all. That said, there’s a slight variation or little extra step for different types of garments.

How To Roll Pants

  1. Fold the part on the waist inside out a few inches (remember to do the buttons and zippers, if any)
  2. Overlap the legs
  3. Fold each leg in half (into the centre)
  4. Start rolling from the feet to the waist
  5. Upon reaching the flipped waist, wrap that part around the pants.

Tip: You can wrap your belt around any completed rolls, this way 

How To Roll Sweaters/Jumpers/hoodies

  1. Turn up the bottom part for a few inches
  2. Criss Cross sleeves - fold the sleeve inward toward the opposite side and do the same for the other sleeve
  3. Fold the sweaters/jumpers in half
  4. Start rolling and put the turn-up part around the rolls.

Tips: You can use an elastic band to secure the rolls in place, which is especially useful for chunky clothes.

How To Roll Socks

  1. Lay the two socks on top of each other
  2. Make sure that one is in a lower position than the other
  3. As usual, roll from the toes/bottom to the upper part
  4. Wrap the sock that lays on a higher position to the whole piece.

How To Roll Underwear:

  1. Roll about two-thirds of the underwear
  2. Bring both sides to the centre
  3. Fold and push the crotch part to wrap the whole thing.

How To Roll Winter Jackets

The steps are the same for sweaters; the only difference is how you deal with the sleeves.

  1.  Zip it all the way up.
  2. Fold the sleeve across the front to lay parallel to the waistline
  3. Next, take and fold one-third of the body
  4. Then fold the remaining side
  5. Roll and tuck it all into the coat when you are finished.

Tip: To save more space, the key here is to make the scrolls as tight as possible when you roll them.

Is It Better To Fold Or Roll Clothes?

Rolling your clothes is easy, and the benefits it brings are amazing.

It’s not that folding doesn’t work. It’s just that each style has its pros and cons. If you opt for one method or the other (or even a little mix of both), you will gain advantages differently.

In general, you should roll your clothes when they are made of soft fabric: t-shirts, casual dresses, pants, underwear, socks, and light sleepwear. If your clothes are thick and bulky, you should fold them.

For instance, it’s a good idea to fold items made from cotton, linen, and wool. They can take up more space when rolled due to the natural fabric being used.

Regardless, both methods will save space in your suitcase. If you want to travel light or travel with only a carry-on, you should incorporate both rolling and folding into your packing techniques.

If you are using packing cubes, either method works. Now let’s glance at fold vs roll, the age-old debate of every wanderlust—the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.


How you pack will determine your way of travel. Do you want to pack light and go on a worry-free adventure?


  • Save space as everything is compressed and neatly organised. Instead of a pile of clothes, you get a pleasing display of distinctive and easy-to-grab rolls.
  • Suitable for stretchy materials such as clothes that contain lycra or polyester. Also ideal for socks, underwear, and scarves
  • Works great for both suitcases and backpacks. Unpacking would be a breeze.
  • Rolling is the way to go if you want to travel light (just take your bag and go whenever).


  • Take more time to do all the rolling, especially when you must repeat the steps for every piece of garment.
  • You may struggle rolling T-shirts, jeans, trousers, formal attire, dresses and swimsuits.



  • Little effort is required, especially when you just take everything out of the drawer and get them straight into the suitcase.
  • Packing and unpacking are faster. Thus, it works best for outfits you will wear upon arrival at your destination.
  • Bulky clothes are suitable for folding. For instance, formal wear such as business suits or button-up shirts is likely to wrinkle when rolled up, but they can hold their forms well when folded.


  • Folded clothes are prone to more wrinkles and creases. This is because of the hard edges that come with it.
  • Harder to dig around to find the pieces you need. If your luggage jugs around, chances are everything will move from its original position.

The takeaway here is that you should use each method in different situations. Certain items are better to hang, fold or roll. You just need to pay attention to the material and your needs.

If you want fast packing, opt for folding. On the other hand, if you prefer staying organised and saving more space, start making those rolls now.


1. Do Rolling Clothes Stop Creases?

Landing and showing up in a wrinkled outfit is everyone’s worst nightmare. Rolling does help you avoid that scenario. Remember to make the rolls very tight to make as few bends and creases as possible.

That said, rolling doesn’t guarantee a 100% rate of wrinkle-free. You should hang up your clothes as soon as you arrive at the hotel or consider bringing along a mini travel steam iron.

2. Do Rolled Clothes Weigh More?

No, they don’t. Any technique, roll or fold, can’t change the weight of your loads. What it does, on the other hand, is keep things neat and allow more room. This means you can fit more stuff into the space left by the compressed items.

3. Is It Better To Roll Or Fold Jeans In A Suitcase?

Jeans and denim clothes are bulky and thus are tricker to pack. But you can still pack them as rolls, just like any other garments. You can refer to the rolling instructions above.

However, there is more than one way to pack jeans. We CabinZero will introduce another method that is a mix of folding and rolling:

  • First, lay your denim onto a flat surface
  • Secondly, fold the leg to the side diagonally
  • Next, roll the jeans from the waist
  • Afterwards, tuck the side leg inside out to form a pouch
  • Lastly, wrap the “pouch” around the rolls.

4. Is Rolling Your Clothes Good?

Yes, especially if you want to save more space. They are the best way to go for T-shirts, pants, casual dresses, and light pyjamas. For bulkier garments, this technique won’t save as much space.

If you are still not convinced, try packing in two ways: with and without the rolling method. Take a picture then compare. The results may surprise you. If so, don’t hesitate to share that with us in the comments section.

How To Roll Clothes For Packing: Less Hassle More Fun

Whether it’s preparing for a long-duration trip or a shorter one, rolling is among the most popular tips. Try it once, and you will see why it's so. Rolling helps with saving space and staying organised.

But do you know what takes them to the next level? Use a packing cube or a compression bag! It’s the ultimate combo every traveller dreams of. But rolling doesn’t limit to just on the road. Why not do the same to everything in your drawers?

Furthermore, please remember to share the article with your travelling friends so they can learn about this fantastic trick. Your travelling has been changed for the better, now it’s your turn to change others’.

Bao Tieu

1 comment

  • Jeromy Masters

    Good advice

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