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The Six-pack: Six ways of packing

The Six-pack: Six ways of packing

Old Dec 20, 09, 7:23 pm
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Cool The Six-pack: Six ways of packing

After a recent discussion on how to pack a single compartment satchel/holdall/weekender I think there are six ways of packing a case. They can be combined as suitable and necessary.

So here is a little run down of the techniques:

1. Layering
2. Rolling
3. Bundling
4. Cubing
5. Stacking
6. Centering

1. Layering
Best suited for suitcases and rectangular bags. Compartments make layering more efficient and easily accessible. This is basically the classic technique where you fold your clothes and layer them on top of each other flat on the bottom of the case.

2. Rolling
A military technique. Can be space saving. Is good for casual clothes and irregularly shaped bags. Good to use for filling corners not filled by other techniques. A rolled garment will take less wrinkles than a garment that has been folded but is then stuffed. Fold the items first to a rectangular base shape with fold lines in those places where they would usually fall anywhere, e.g. shoulders and elbows. Smooth out any wrinkle. Then roll up tightly. Waistband and collar should be on the outside of the roll.

3. Bundling
This is the most space saving method. Great for the trip back. Done right you can save perhaps 20% of volume compared to normal folding.
You start with a core, for example a packing cube or even a stack of t-shirts. Then you lay out your clothes in a cross-shape and wrap the around the core. This will get you one rather solid bundle that you can then put in the bag. Here are the instructions:
http://www.onebag.com/pack.html

And here is a discussion of the pros and cons of that technique:
http://www.1bag1world.com/obow-light...um/post/878417

4. Cubing
This involves folders and cubes, so called packing aids. These can be great to avoid wrinkles and organize your items. They can also help give structure to an otherwise soft bag. Some people even like to pack all the contents of a bag in thess things. That makes organization very easy but in the end effect it adds work, bulk, weight and cost. Thus packing aids should be used judiciously to get the most mileage out of them. For certain bag types however cubes and folders can be quite essential if you want to keep easy access to your things, as the next two techniques will show.

5. Stacking
Stacking is best used with duffel bags that are long and have a deep, squarish profile, for example a duffle that is 24" long and 12x12" in section. If you use the layering technique it will not be so easy to get stuff in and out. You can use the bundle technique but then you have to always undo the entire bundle. Stacking means using some cubes and folders and inserting them perpendicularly to the bottom of the bag. Imagine a chest of drawers that is 24" high and has drawers that are 12x12x3 (example only). These drawers can then slide out of the bag like drawers in a chest of drawers. You can either group for items (underwear and socks in one drawer, sweaters in another, pants in a third, toiletries in a fourth) or you can group for outfits (one outfit per cube). Depending on the measure of the duffel, a shirt folder will still be necessary and will go in sideways but it's still the same principle. This can be combined with layering and bundling. The Zuca roller is based on that principle. Stacking in little cubes is obviously not so great for bigger and bulkier items and for suit jackets.

6. Centering
This is best suited for non-rectangular single compartment bags like satchels and holdalls. Gadgetfreak came up with this idea here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/13021776-post41.html
It works essentially by using a cube and/or folder and inserting it perpendicular to the bags bottom and parallel with its long side to the bag's long side in the center of the bag. That's because the holdall will be highest there. So this is where laptops, shirt folders and file folders will go. Access will be easy, too. The central divider thus compartmentalizes the bag. On each side, where the bag slopes down, you can still use cubes, bundles or rolling techniques according to what is best in your case.
Here is a picture of a bag packed like this:
http://www.glaserdesigns.com/Pages/D...agInt22DB.html

With this six-pack of packing techniques everyone should be able to pack efficiently depending on the items you need to take and on the bag they need to be stowed in. You can tell that certain bags are better for certain techniques and certain items. A satchel will be a prime candidate for Centering. A duffle will be good for stacking and cubes. A big suitcase will do fine with layering and formal clothes.

I didn't mention garment bags but they are discussed elsewhere in the packing tip master thread. And who has a seven-pack anyway?

Till

Last edited by tfar; Dec 20, 09 at 7:32 pm
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Old Dec 21, 09, 8:33 am
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Can this became a Sticky? Very good information and very well presented.
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Old Dec 21, 09, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by oldpenny16 View Post
Can this became a Sticky? Very good information and very well presented.
Seconded.
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Old Dec 21, 09, 11:45 am
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Just my opinion but I disagree that bundling will save space over layering, with good layering technique and folding know how. Bundling does offer the advantage of reduced wrinkling over layering. IHMO of course and just my observations having tried both in my 22" rollaboard. YMMV.
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Old Dec 21, 09, 1:17 pm
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Thanks for the sticky request. Glad you like the post. I have already included it as a link in the very first Sticky Packing post. Not sure if it's necessary to give it its own sticky slot.

DeoreDX, that is an interesting observation, indeed. You must be an excellent folder and packer in both techniques. Because for me it is really just the other way around. My folding gives me good results in the wrinkle department but I do need some space for it. Whereas my bundling gives me good results in the space department but my shirts will be badly wrinkled. For most other stuff bundling works alright (little wrinkles) but it's just too much hassle when I don't really need the space saving.

Is it possible that you fold things smaller and not along the natural crease lines? And that you bundle looser? This would explain the different results we get. Which method is your go-to method for the 22" rollaboard? Do you bundle dress shirts, too? How are your results with them in a bundle?

As you said and as I said in my post, the technique has to be adapted to the clothes and situation and one should do whatever gives one the best results after trying out a couple of approaches. That's why I made the post, as a starting point with the main methods clearly listed.

Cheers,

Till
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Old Dec 21, 09, 3:03 pm
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Seven ways.

Stuffing, and dealing with it when you get to where you are going. Back before the packing envelopes, I found it way easier to carry a almost empty can of starch and just iron when I got to where I was going then to bother trying to pack when I would probably have to iron it anyways.
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Old Dec 21, 09, 9:31 pm
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Or you can pack like my daughter and just throw things in, it looks like a wad festival. It drives me totally nuts to look in her suitcase.

Depending on the trip I pack in cubes, 2 gallon ziplocks, and layers - in combination. I'm convinced the ziplocks allow me to pack more, due to being able to squash the air out of each bag.

I tried bundle packing - once. I found it to be too time-consuming, it didn't save space, and it's really only usable for trips where you go someplace and unpack once. I usually change hotels multiple times on a trip, so have to pack and unpack multiple times. On those types of trips cubes and ziplocks rule.

Great thread.
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Old Dec 22, 09, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Seven ways.

Stuffing, and dealing with it when you get to where you are going. Back before the packing envelopes, I found it way easier to carry a almost empty can of starch and just iron when I got to where I was going then to bother trying to pack when I would probably have to iron it anyways.
Mike, funny you mention that and thanks for that. I actually thought of the seventh, too. But I wanted to keep the six-pack pun in the title. So it's great you read my mind.

Talking about packing. I once saw a video art piece that was projected from the ceiling to the floor of the gallery. You'd see in birdseye perspective a suitcase being packed or rather crammed hastily within three minutes. Then the next suitcase. You'd never see the person packing, only their arms or sometimes the back. No face, no words spoken. The artist gave people the task to pack whatever they wanted if they had leave within three minutes to run for their lives. Imagine the holocaust scenario. Very strong piece. I don't look at packing the same way after that.

Till
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Old Dec 22, 09, 5:50 am
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I appreciate this topic. I have the eBags weekender and I'm trying to fit clothes for a 5 day stay to Paris the first week of March. I have a couple of those spacebags where you push the air out. I have to find a way to pack five days worth of clothes in this carryon. Wish me luck!

5 pair lightweight black pants
1 black skirt?
anti-static fleece pullover (Lands End)
5/6 tops
1 sleepshirt
5 pair socks
5 undies
1 pair of shoes
a few neck scarves
personal grooming items (very limited)
liquids in a ziplock
diabetic meds/testing stuff
small Nikon Coolpix camera

on me:
SR Squared cross-body purse
coat
gloves

I'm not sure about rolling or using the spacebags...I'll have to do a trial pack.
The hotel provides personal grooming items, but not sure if I will like them, I am picky.
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Old Dec 22, 09, 7:17 am
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happymom2008.....too many pairs of pants. I assume you mean slacks and not underwear. I cannot think of a circumstance where I would need so many of one clothing item.
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Old Dec 22, 09, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by happymom2008 View Post
I appreciate this topic. I have the eBags weekender and I'm trying to fit clothes for a 5 day stay to Paris the first week of March. I have a couple of those spacebags where you push the air out. I have to find a way to pack five days worth of clothes in this carryon. Wish me luck!

5 pair lightweight black pants
1 black skirt?
anti-static fleece pullover (Lands End)
5/6 tops
1 sleepshirt
5 pair socks
5 undies
1 pair of shoes
a few neck scarves
personal grooming items (very limited)
liquids in a ziplock
diabetic meds/testing stuff
small Nikon Coolpix camera

on me:
SR Squared cross-body purse
coat
gloves

I'm not sure about rolling or using the spacebags...I'll have to do a trial pack.
The hotel provides personal grooming items, but not sure if I will like them, I am picky.
Easily the biggest space saver is being able to find one pair of shoes that you can wear for a week and work for all of your outfits. But even with your shoes I could easily fit all of that into my 22" Roll a board. My last trip to India I had on my rollaboard:

5 pants
5 Polo shirts
5 PLain white tee shirts
1 pair of shorts
2 other tee shirts
1 Long sleeved tee shirt
2 Golf pullovers
1 pair of shoes
1 zip lock toiletries bag
1 Belt
1 Zip up hooded sweatshirt (wore on the plane but would shoce it in the rollaboard on occasion).

All of this came up to the top of the bottom section of the bag, I didn't have to expand it or even use the thin "upper" compartment.
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Old Dec 22, 09, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by oldpenny16 View Post
happymom2008.....too many pairs of pants. I assume you mean slacks and not underwear. I cannot think of a circumstance where I would need so many of one clothing item.
Yes, slacks. I can cut back one pair, maybe.
I am a diabetic so, an extra pair of shoes is necessary. One pair will be Merrills, black in color. They are the heaviest, so I'll wear them on the plane. I haven't decided on the second pair.
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Old Dec 22, 09, 11:09 am
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former roller, converted to bundler here. love the technique. the only con is that one needs to unbundle and rebundle to get access to specific items.

so what i do is both - bundle most clothes, and roll the ones i think i will need access to...and the roll fills up empty spaces
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Old Dec 22, 09, 2:40 pm
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Happymom,

one pair of extra shoes is totally ok in my book. But, out of curiosity, what does that have to do with diabetes, if you don't mind telling?

Now, five pairs of pants and a skirt for five days? What's that for? And all pants in black? Paris is not that dirty. You really can do with two pairs of pants over a five day trip plus one skirt. Wear one on the plane pack the other two.

It will fit alright but why would you want to schlepp this?

Use the compression bags for the knits and underwear, and for the dirty laundry on the way back. Don't use them for the pants, no benefit to be had. Wrap pants around the compression bag. This will prevent wrinkles. Fleece pullover could go in packing cube together with some fragile items and the neck scarves (take two max).

Also, think of it this way: If you find a great pair of black pants in Paris your suitcase is already filled with them. You won't be able to buy another pair of black pants. Just pulling your black pant legs a little here!

Till
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Old Dec 22, 09, 2:50 pm
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Put the diabetic meds/testing device, the camera, and any other medicines you have in a separate small carrybag--if they can't fit in your purse.

Just in case you are forced to check the Weekender, you want those items to go with you. The Weekender could be lost. Do you want to spend time in Paris trying to replace those things.

One idea might be a foldable tote or backpack (like the ones made by Kiva) that are about the size of your hand when folded, but could easily carry everything mentioned above when unfolded.

It's best to check with your airline to make sure you know their carry-on rules.
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