I am using 40/45 liter backpacks with front-loading.

What I did so far was the following: I put 2-3 shirt and sweaters, fold vertically and then roll. Then I stuff such rolled batches next to each other in the backpack.

I wonder why is this more efficient than just laying my clothes flat on top of each other?

  • Efficient in what sense? Could you please clarify? – JoErNanO Mar 16 '19 at 10:04

Depends what you mean by efficient.

I don't think it is more space efficient. It will result in fewer creases, but is likely to take more space than folding to fit your rucksack.

It could well be more time efficient, as you can access daily clothing more easily without having to empty your rucksack.

  • I do not agree with the fewer creases, in my experience rolling will give more creases. – Willeke Feb 13 '19 at 16:25
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    @Willeke Interesting - I used to always fold, until I saw a few recommendations for rolling on lifehacks sites etc. Now my shirts are much better when I get to the hotel. No creases at all. – Rory Alsop Feb 13 '19 at 16:41
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    I think the rolling vs folding depends how densely you pack the shirts in. I gave up trying to figure it out years ago and just expect to spend a couple of minutes ironing. – Calchas Mar 16 '19 at 11:12

Because rolling squeezes some air out. One of the reasons packing cubes can also be very efficient because if you pack it very tight then the cube does the squeezing. Eagle Creek has packing cubes with an added zipper for more squeezing. For extreme results you could use a space bag. I tried to use the roll up ones, some people report success but I didn't quite like the results. I hope this is not going to be taken as spam -- here are the results of the new Aroo travel vacuum on one of my pillows, the other included for comparison

flattened pillow


I do this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtCH6KLdfBs (without the toiletries) for a "one day pack": underwear and shirt. It' time efficient (quick to grab a new one each day) and space efficient, if you size the rolls to your luggage. The socks keep the rest of the cloth in compression, so there is less air squeezing required.

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