It’s no secret that I’m partial to bundle packing, or if the situation or bag I’m using dictates, using packing cubes.  But as reader Michael W. put it so well in a recent comment, “there are many, many ways to skin the travel bag, and there is probably no perfect solution unless you do business travel with virtually the same itinerary (but different cities) every time.”

So I’m always on the lookout for different packing techniques and ideas.  TravelSmith recently posted a 10 step summary of the “perfect” method of packing a bag; here’s an excerpt and link to the original article:

Step 1

1 The primary goal of packing well is to fit everything you want to take in your bag, and have it emerge at your destination looking good.

First, set aside the clothes you’ll wear on the plane—whenever possible, wear the heaviest and bulkiest pieces to save room in your bag. Open a suitcase you think will fit everything you need for your trip. Flip up any compression straps (these will be used in Step #10).

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Step 22 Start by placing the heaviest items on the bottom of the bag (shoes, toiletries, travel alarm, hair dryer, travel books, etc.). Stuff socks and other small items into shoes.

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Step 33 Pack woven shirts and other items that are likely to wrinkle into a Pack-It® Folder, which also functions as a divider, separating heavy items from more delicate items.

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Step 44 Next, lay long items (pants, dresses, etc.) horizontally across the bag, leaving the excess length hanging over the sides. Place the first item so it falls to the left of your bag, the second item to the right, alternating directions with each item.

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Step 55 If you’re bringing a blazer, fold it facedown into the bag, placing the arms on top and making sure not to fold through the shoulder padding. Place the blazer so the excess length hangs over the front edge of the bag.

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Step 66 Roll up knit items (T-shirts, polo shirts, pajamas and other items, such as underwear, that are unlikely to wrinkle) and place them on top.

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Step 77 Tuck any remaining small items (belts, rolled ties and accessory bags) into any unfilled space. Then fold the items hanging over the sides into the center.

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…to see the balance of the steps, visit TravelSmith’s 10 Steps to a Perfectly Packed Bag.  The site also contains links to helpful videos.

And if you have an different viewpoint, please share it by commenting!

The Fine Print:  I have no connection to TravelSmith or Eagle Creek

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1 Comment on 10 Steps to a Perfectly Packed Bag – from TravelSmith

  1. Till says:

    Not bad but not quite optimized. ;)

    They don’t take into account maximum use of space and and “wrinklelessness” (terrible word, no?) in steps 2 and 6. That is true particularly for the rollerbag they used as an example.

    2. Start by filling the cavity created by the telescope handles. You want to create a flat surface and use the space as well as possible. T-shirts, underwear and even rather fragile items or books are all good for this. Socks and very fragile items go in shoes.

    3. Now you put the pants just the way they show it in 4. The waist goes inside the bag, the legs hang out.

    4. In this step I often use a packing cube that is filled with bulky stuff that needs to be compressed, for example sweaters or downjackets, and I’d also insert any hardware like hairdryer or such things, into the cube. In the same step I put a pair of shoes at the bottom of the bag in a 69 position. The sole is facing the bottom of the bag.

    5. If there are any other loose items to fill crevices, I insert them around the perimeter now.

    6. Fold over the pant legs.

    7. Insert belts around the perimeter of the bag. Buckles towards the bottom. This is much better than rolling them.

    8. This is the step where I put in the EC shirt folder that is filled ONLY with shirts and ties. See the discussion of the EC folder on this site.

    9. Very often there is a top compartment in the lid. That’s where the suit jackets go. Use the “Suit-able” technique or the Video technique outlined on OBOW. If there is no such compartment the suit jackets go in as the very last thing. Nothing comes on top. It then helps to put them in silk paper or a dry cleaner plastic bag. The way Travelsmith puts sticky, friction-generating items on top of the suit is counterproductive.

    In general, their method is alright, but my proposal is a bit more refined by experience. Rolling ties for example can ruin them when pressure is put on them as is always the case in a suitcase.

    I’d gladly link to the packing techniques for 22″ roller bags on FT but somehow I can’t get their site to open right now.

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