Whether it’s a business trip or a family holiday you’re jetting off to, you’ll first need to pack a suitcase. Naturally, the number of things you bring and how much it all weighs will be on your mind. You might try to fold or roll your clothes to avoid exceeding your baggage allowance—but will this technique work?
Clothes don’t weigh more when folded or rolled. Their weight remains the same regardless of how you fold or roll them. Rolling or folding your clothes will not make your suitcase lighter. However, it may help you save space in your suitcase.
No one could blame you for thinking so. It does seem that way, doesn’t it? But allow me to discuss why it isn’t so and tips on staying within your baggage limit.
Folding or Rolling Has No Effect on a Garment’s Weight
At the end of the day, science will always have the final say. Yes, even when it comes to packing a suitcase.
Folded or rolled clothes and baggage allowances were probably not the examples your teacher used in the classroom when you had your lesson on matter. But the same principles apply.
Much in the same way a 3.5 oz (100 g) tub of Play-Doh weighs the same regardless of whatever shape you mold it into, the mass of a 4.5 oz (127.5 g) t-shirt is constant whether it’s folded, rolled, or just rumpled on the scale.
Folded vs. Rolled: It’s All About Preference
Everyone has a preference when it comes to packing their suitcases. Some may opt for the more space-efficient and less-wrinkled rolls of clothes, while others would rather have their garments in the more conventional neatly-folded style.
So, let’s be clear about a few things.
While rolled clothes may take up less space in your luggage, they do not weigh any less than the folded clothes that typically take up more space. That said, the folded vs. rolled debate has no practical applications where baggage allowance is concerned.
It merely comes down to your preference. But you might also want to consider your space needs and the wrinkles and creases on your clothes when you unpack them.
Rolling Your Clothes Doesn’t Always Save You Space
It is important to note that while rolled clothes generally take up less space, the same cannot be said for all types of garments.
Take, for example, the bulkier items like sweaters or jeans. When rolled up, these would definitely take up more space than they would if they were folded.
Consequently, blending both packing methods would be the most efficient way to get things done. So, if you happen to be a “roller” or a “folder,” what you probably need to be is versatile.
Tips To Reduce the Weight of Your Baggage
With the right strategies, you can avoid overweight baggage. Keep the following tips in mind to help you reduce your baggage’s weight:
Pack Only What You Need
If you’ve ever returned home from a trip and unpacked your suitcase to find a couple of clothing items you didn’t use, then congratulations. You’re a bona fide human being.
It’s something we all do, isn’t it? We pack a few things we might use and end up not using them after all.
Yes, in some cases, it’s prudent to pack an extra shirt or pair of jeans. You never know what could happen. Spilled drinks and rips or tears are never out of the question.
What I specifically mean, however, are those items that are not a necessity, like one of your favorite outfits you might find an occasion to wear while on your trip.
Perhaps the stars aligned for you before, and such an outfit was perfect for an unexpected dinner party invitation.
But if the weight of your luggage is an important consideration, then you’ll want to stick to the items you’ll need and that you’ll really be using.
Pack Clothes You Can Wear in Different Ways
Packing a few clothes that can make up a number of different outfits is probably the ultimate traveler’s hack. There’ll be plenty more room in your suitcase. Your suitcase will also weigh less.
Take, for instance, one pair of pants that goes with three different shirts. It’s perfectly normal to wear the same color of pants consecutively, whether it’s that exact same pair or other ones.
The varying tops, ties, and footwear give the impression of a completely different outfit, not to mention other accessories like jewelry and eyewear.
With creativity, the possibilities are endless. If done right, you could be headed to your destination with the right number of outfits for your stay but with fewer items in your bag.
Wear Heavier Garments Instead of Packing Them
This tip is especially handy when you’re traveling during the winter, but it could also apply to clothing items such as jeans that take up space and weigh considerably more.
If you aren’t participating in a rodeo or attending a denim festival of sorts, one pair of jeans should suffice for your trip. And you should be wearing it en route to your destination.
As for the thicker coats required towards the end of the year, you should have one on your back while traveling.
You don’t need to have several items of specific clothing such as pants, jeans (specifically), coats, or jackets. One of each kind is usually enough to last you the duration of your trip. Perhaps, you could have two at the most.
So, it would make sense to wear one during travel. It won’t take up space in your luggage, and you can later match it with the other clothes in your bag.
The amount of space in a suitcase and how much it will weigh in the end are considerations always on one’s mind while packing. Many have pitched several tips and hacks to ease that anxiety to help their fellow travelers.
But while some of these apply to both the space and weight of the luggage, how you pack your clothes does absolutely nothing to lower the digits on the scale.
- Insider: 10 common packing mistakes and how to fix them
- CNET: This Is the Best Way to Pack a Suitcase
- Eagle Creek: PACKING SHOWDOWN: FOLDING VS. ROLLING CLOTHES
- U.S.NRC: What Is Matter?