Folded, Flat or Rolled...

Photo by Jon Pack

Photo by Jon Pack


Packing has become a bit of a sport: How much can you fit in your bag? Can you squeeze a whole month's worth of items into one carry-on? And what's the best way to get your clothes to your destination with the fewest wrinkles? As frequent fliers and packers, the Condé Nast Traveler editors love nothing more than a (very serious) debate on the fine art of suitcase stuffing. This one gets heated: Do you save more space by lying clothing folded and flat in a bag, or by rolling everything (from sweaters to pants) like tidy logs? Read our takes below, and then decide: Which side are you on?


"I talk about flat packing so much, I feel like it should be in my epitaph—which is fitting, since I will, in a sense, be flat packed myself at that point. I’m such an advocate, I made an entire video to disprove you rabid rollers out there—you can watch it below—so I feel like I have science on my side. Rolling takes more time, doesn’t work with certain items (I dare you to try rolling your warmest, heaviest cable knit sweater), and in my experience, doesn’t take up less space in your suitcase. Flat packing feels intuitive, doesn’t require too much effort, and crucially, it helps me always find a little extra space in my luggage to squeeze in another T-shirt or pair of socks. Rollers of the world, I’m begging you to stop promising me more space and fewer wrinkles, and to face the cold, flat truth: Flat packing rules!" —Jayna Maleri