Does Rolling Your Clothes Reduce Suitcase Weight?


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While traveling can be exciting, I always find myself dreading the packing process. It can be daunting between not knowing what to bring and not knowing how to fit everything in my suitcase, especially when you try to make your luggage lighter. If you roll your clothes, does it make your luggage lighter?

Rolling your clothes doesn’t reduce suitcase weight. However, you’ll likely have more space in your luggage with this packing method. This can allow you to distribute your things in a way that makes it feel like your suitcase isn’t as heavy, even though the weight is the same.

In the rest of this article, I’ll go through how rolling your clothes can affect your packing, as well as a few tricks you can try to make your suitcase lighter.

Why You Might Want To Roll Your Clothes

Rolling your clothes while you pack or store them takes longer than folding and even longer than just throwing everything in your suitcase and calling it a day. However, rolling your clothes does have its merits which have caused this packing method to gain popularity over the years. 

It Saves Storage

You may not think how you pack your clothes can make much of a difference in how much space they take up, but that’s not the case. While folding your clothes makes them flat, rolling them, particularly in tight rolls, actually takes up less space in your bag. 

Rolling your clothes won’t make your luggage any lighter, but it might allow you to distribute your luggage weight in a more efficient way that feels lighter. You’ll also be less likely to pack your back until it’s bursting at the zipper because you’ll be able to save room.

Unfortunately, giving yourself more suitcase space might have the opposite effect on your luggage weight. 

You might be more prone to packing extra things you don’t need if you find you have extra room in your bag. On the bright side, if you can pack all you need and have space to spare, you can even opt for a smaller suitcase which will cut down on weight. 

Rolling Compared To Other Packing Methods

There are, however, multiple packing methods you can use when you’re getting your clothes together for a trip. Aside from rolling, there are also folding and packing cubes. That’s not counting the method of just haphazardly shoving your clothes into your luggage however it seems to fit, which we’ve all been guilty of occasionally.

Each packing method has its pros and cons. Depending on your needs, you’ll want to pick the packing option that’s right for you. 

Folding

Folding your clothes is perhaps the most popular packing method. You fold your laundry, and it just seems natural to fold your clothes to put in your suitcase as well. 

While folding takes up more space than rolling your clothes, this is a positive side. By folding your clothes, assuming you fold them nicely, so there are no creases in the fabric, you’ll be able to reduce the number of wrinkles your clothing will develop during your travels. 

Rolling your clothes isn’t necessarily going to increase wrinkles if you were to roll them in a way that the fabric doesn’t crease, but it is more likely to occur this way.

Folding is also typically faster than rolling your clothes. This is partly because you’re used to folding and putting away laundry, but also because you’re not compacting your clothing as much. 

Packing Cubes

Using packing cubes is perhaps one of the lesser-used packing methods because it involves purchasing extra items that you might not think about. However, if you fold your clothes to prevent wrinkles, using packing cubes maybe help even more. 

By using packing cubes, you can neatly store your clothing in little plastic or fabric pouches which can help them to maintain their shape.

Packing cubes are also a go-to packing method for people who enjoy keeping everything organized while traveling because they allow you to easily sort your clothing however you like. Socks, tops, bottoms, and undergarments can all have their own cube if you want, so you know where everything is. 

How To Make Your Suitcase Lighter

Rolling your clothes may not be a good solution if you wish to make your luggage lighter. However, there are a few things you can do if you’re having trouble staying below the dreaded travel weight limits or if you’re just tired of carrying a heavy suitcase on the go. 

1. Choose Your Suitcase Wisely

The material of your suitcase will significantly impact how much your luggage weighs. If your suitcase is, for example, 10 lbs (4.5 kg) when empty, then, of course, you’ll have heavy luggage when you’re done packing. 

Opt for a lighter material suitcase, so your starting weight is lower.

2. Don’t Overpack

Overpacking is a sure way to have a heavy suitcase, but you don’t have to do it anymore.

The best way you can avoid overpacking is to plan. Make sure you have a basic itinerary of everything you’ll be doing on your trip, so you can pack everything you need without having to worry about forgetting something. 

Planning out your wardrobe is a great way to do this, so is packing a lot of neutral colors so you can mix and match your clothing. Think long and hard about if you’ll need something before packing it. 

If you generally don’t use it in your daily life, then you probably won’t need it while you travel.

3. Check If You Can Do Laundry

If your accommodations will have a washing machine, laundry service, or laundromat available, consider packing fewer clothes and opt to take advantage of these amenities. You can save a lot of space and weight by packing a week’s worth of clothes for a three-week trip by just doing laundry while you’re traveling.

4. Travel in Your Heavy Clothes

If your luggage weight issue is related to airline weight limits, consider traveling in your heaviest shoes and clothing. While you’ll still be carrying around the same amount of weight, this will allow your suitcase to weigh a little less than it would if you wore your lightest clothing on your flight. 

5. Use a Backpack or Personal Bag

This method is a weight saver both for airline weight limits and allows you to distribute your luggage weight more efficiently.

If you use a backpack or personal bag while you travel, you can pack some of your heaviest items that way. That way, your suitcase will weigh less, and you’ll be able to carry your overall luggage weight in a few different ways rather than having it all concentrated in one spot.

In Conclusion

Rolling your clothes won’t make your suitcase lighter than just folding them. However, it will save space in your suitcase and may even allow you to bring a smaller bag on your trip. If your main goal for rolling your clothes is to have lighter baggage, however, you can follow numerous other tips. 

Here’s the bottom line:

  • Try not to overpack.
  • Distribute the weight of your items in different ways, so they feel lighter.
  • Opt for lightweight packing materials.

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