Save Extra Space In Your Suitcase With This Military-Grade Packing Technique

Packing your clothes is an art form in the travel world. If you're a frequent traveler (or even not so much), your ability to pack effectively will probably dictate what you take and how much you squeeze into your luggage. While a lack of packing know-how may not be a big deal when planning a weekend getaway, backpackers planning a three-month adventure should explore as many packing hacks as possible. When you're trying to pack clothes for every occasion and climate for three months, you'll start to consider all kinds of approaches.

From packing cubes and compression bags to rolling techniques and traditional folding to minimize wrinkles, there are plenty of ways to pack your bag. But when you need to pack a lot of clothes in limited space, you may want to consider a relatively unknown strategy — the Ranger Roll. While this technique may be familiar among service members, the military-grade approach to space efficiency is relatively unknown to civilians.

Save space with the Ranger Roll

While not widely known, the Ranger Roll technique has grown in popularity due to social media. A former U.S. Army service member, who goes by Armygringo, demonstrated the Ranger Roll for viewers on his YouTube channel. In the video, he takes you through a step-by-step tutorial of the Ranger Roll with a T-shirt, and it may be the most efficient and space-saving technique for packing any individual garment.

If you're a visual learner, then you're probably better off watching the video tutorial, but the method isn't too hard to grasp. In short, the Ranger Roll is similar to a regular clothes-rolling technique, with a little military-level precision that creates a "clothes burrito" when done correctly.

First, lay your T-shirt on a flat surface and flip 2-3 inches of the shirt's bottom inside out to create a cuff. Next, fold one-third of the shirt over, but fold the sleeve back over itself. Then, fold the remaining side over the already folded side, folding the sleeve back over itself again. Now roll the T-shirt as tightly as possible from the collar toward the cuff. Finally, pull the cuff around the T-shirt. If done correctly, you should now have a tightly rolled, self-contained shirt burrito. Not only does the method save space, but the Ranger Roll also ensures your rolled clothes won't loosen in transit.

On-the-go clothes burrito

While T-shirts offer the easiest demonstration for Ranger Rolling, you can apply this method to most articles of clothing. As long as you can create a "cuff" at the end of the clothes, you should be able to roll the garment into itself. There are also a few tips to consider when Ranger Rolling something. You should zip or button everything to ensure a tighter roll, and the better you smooth everything out before and during rolling, the fewer wrinkles you'll create.

Although it may take some time and practice to perfect the technique, especially when applying it to different types of clothes, the method is pretty great for saving space, as well as keeping your clothes accessible and relatively wrinkle-free. Packing cubes and compression bags are great, but you may need to do a little digging around to unpack the right piece of clothing. In other words, these approaches aren't as simple as grabbing an on-the-go clothes burrito.