To Roll or Not To Roll

January 12, 2017


The Art Of Packing A Suitcase 101



I never start off on my travels with a whole lot to carry. I have a 60L backpack which fits pretty much my whole life (bar the girlfriend) plus another padded bag for my laptop. All in all, I’d like say that I’m relatively efficient.


But I’d be lying.


The reality is somewhat different. While I do start out most of my trips with minimal baggage it seems that I’m pretty epic at accumulating those useless things you buy in the spur of the moment when rustling around old markets, street vendor stalls, gypsy caravans etc.


You know the things I’m talking about. If you’ve been to Bali pretty much everything you can buy off the street falls into this category. An A4 print off a famous landmark, babushka dolls for grandma; even Mexican wrestling masks have all made their way into my backpack at one point or another.



Roll or die


So this begs the question. Since I know that I’m going to be picking up a few gifts (for myself) during my journeys, what’s the best way to pack my clothes before I venture out?


Enter the age old debate of whether rolling your clothes or folding them saves more space. In one corner we have diehard rollers like myself, proud of our ability to roll even the wooliest jumper into the size of a foot long sub.


In the opposing corner are the folders. A tribe of shirt, underwear and sock packing purists. Unwilling to attempt a roll and content to stick with the status quo.


So what’s really better?



Rolling, Folding and… Parfait???


Well, according to Leslie Willmott, a packing expert (yes they exist), the answer is somewhere in the middle. Even though she rolls her knits, nightgowns and workout wear then tucks smaller items into the nooks and crannies of her luggage - pants and shirts are layered like a parfait.


 Packing is hard


What’s the feck is a parfait you ask? Think layers… like onions.  Essentially she places all of her shirts and pants on top of each other and then folds them to create a bundle. What a world!



The Verdict


But we can’t just take the advice of a so called “packing expert” as gospel right? Right!


Our friends at Conde Nast Traveler conducted an experiment and the results blew the lid off the debate. Folding in 7 pairs of pants, 7 tops, a pair of pajamas and all the other unmentionables still left more room in the suitcase as opposed to rolling!


How am I feeling after travelling around the world spruiking my technique to anyone that listened only to find out it was rubbish?  In one word, shattered.


But I guess now I know I’ll have room for more useless junk that’s sure to send quarantine into lockdown.


Still… I think I’m going to have to call bullshit on folding.


Roll on amigos!





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