How to Pack and Roll Clothes to fit in a Duffel Bag?

Learn how to pack and roll clothes to fit in a duffel bag.

A duffle bag is a top-notch option to use as a carry-on, while you go for long or short-haul flights. As they are durable, spacious, and flexible.

So, consider taking a duffle on the plane as your carry-on for a weekend air-bound travel or for an extended holiday, while not wanting to be exhausted from the boring boarding.

Check also: Best Budget Packable Backpacks for Travel

13 Tips to fold Clothes and Pack items in a Duffel the Right Way!

Below are the tips & tricks on how to fold clothes to fit in a duffel bag like a pro and how to make the duffel bag more spacious.

Choose a Right Duffel

Duffle bags come in various sizes. Choose one that lies within the airline’s size requirements for carry-on luggage, and overall measures up to 9″ x 14″ x 22″ (for most flights). Further, a duffle of about 35L and weight up to 7 kg is ideal to use as a carry-on. So be careful not to overpack!

Go for a duffle that’s specifically designed for travel as it should have a bit of structure to make packing easier, and features a cross-body strap for making it hands-free.

Also, don’t opt for roller duffles, as they are weightier than a regular duffle. It is quite important because if you have to be under strict weight restrictions—especially on economy airlines such as Norwegian, RyanAir, EasyJet, TigerAir, or JetStar—and even can use those extra two pounds for your mini laptop, not your wheels.

Identify the Must-Have Items

If you are not a frequent flyer, you might end up stuffing more travel gear just because ‘more essentials’ feels somehow more comforting and safe. So, it is good to use this trick by placing all your gear in front of you. Then, choose wisely to pack the must-haves, and leave behind the nice-to-haves.

Fold-Down Edges Before Start to Pack

Firstly, fold down the upper edges of your duffle bag before starting to pack your stuff. It will make you reach the pitch of the bag, much easier. However, when you fill the bag then unfold the edges. It will make packing, a breeze!

Placing the Low-priority Stuff

First, choose less important stuff and place them at the bottom of the bag. Then place your high-priority and frequent-use items in an easily accessible space near the zipper to avoid frequent digging. This will keep your travel gear organized and give you a stress-free traveling experience.

Roll the Clothes & Use Packing Cubes

Now, let’s dive into the following steps on how to pack your clothes in a duffel bag.

  • Roll your clothes in a cylindrical shape
  • To minimize wrinkles, roll slowly
  • Keep each one in place with the help of a rubber band
  • Place each item neatly in a row
  • Stand them up in packing cubes
  • Now, you can easily access and see everything you have in a single cube
  • Classify cubes to further organize your travel gear such as one cube for hiking gear, a second for toiletries, the third one for casual wear, the next for nightwear, and so on.

No more rummage, simply locate the respective mesh bag. This saves time and keeps your duffle, well-composed.

Place Shoes in Separate Compartment

Shoes are usually counted as filthy travel gear. So, place your shoes in a separate compartment of your duffle bag, to keep the rest of your items clean.

Most of the duffles or weekenders have a separate space for shoes. If your duffle does not, use a separate mesh packing cube.

Shoes can be Stuffed with Small Items

Shoes often engage a lot of room, so try to utilize them by stuffing tiny lightweight gear such as socks, undergarments, gloves, thin singlets, and so on. Besides saving space, it also helps the shoes intact their shape and you can also this space to keep your tiny delicate items, from breaking such as small jewelry items.

Place Documents in an Exterior Pocket

Moreover, place all of your important documents — passport, boarding pass, notebook — in a quick-access exterior pocket (with a zipper). This will keep your document in place, and safe.

Some of the travel duffles come with these pockets to keep your important items in order like pen holders and small pockets, etc. If your duffel bag doesn’t, you can use a pouch or an accessory bag to keep your important paperwork, safe and well-composed.

Place Tech Gear in a Dedicated Sleeve

If you’re wandering with a laptop, tablet, or Kindle, put them in a dedicated exterior pocket. Most of the duffles come with a laptop sleeve, put your laptop or another large device into it also with the chargers.

If your duffle doesn’t have this space, put it in a separate mesh sleeve and place it on top of your clothes in the main room. This will keep it safe.

Give it a Shake

Once you have done with your packing, shake the bag by holding its handles. This keeps the stuff settling down and creates more room for packing.

TSA lock

Before boarding, save your duffle bag with a TSA lock. Although, this is specially made to secure your items from potential theft, however, it can also be opened by security officials without damaging the common locks, to check your bag’s contents.

Make sure the Packing Order

  • Place heavier and sturdy items (like shoes) at the bottom of the bag
  • Next, place clothing packing cubes compactly on top of the shoes
  • Finally, place your jacket or fragile items (tech gear, important paperwork) over your rolled clothing packing cubes.

By following the above order, you can create a sturdy base for your bag and can pack your duffel like a pro. Although, to protect your posture and spine, try to skip heavier items.

Surround the Stuff with books

Travelling will lose its soul by skipping books. So, pack them in by sliding them along the outside of the duffle, around your packed items.

This will form a hard outer shell, making the bag sturdier and protecting your travel gear.

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