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rollnbandsThe last time I packed for a long trip, size did matter. I had to stuff as much as I could into one suitcase. Thankfully, it was a big suitcase. But this was a 12-day cruise, and I had to pack for a variety of weather and occasions — including formal night. That meant I needed to have as much room as possible at the top of the suitcase so my dresses wouldn’t crease.

Enter these nifty elastic bands called rollnbands, which you can use to wrap rolled pieces of clothing together to make more room. They were very helpful for compressing my T-shirts, workout clothing and PJ’s into a small space, leaving more room to pile in my folded items. (For those more organized than me, you could also use the bands to roll each day’s outfits together, so that all you have to do is grab a bundle before getting dressed in the morning.)

Fearing wrinkles, I didn’t feel comfortable trying to wrap my “nicer” items with the bands. That didn’t matter though, as the extra space provided by the tightly packed rolled items was more than enough to put my folded pieces on top. The larger bands proved more useful than the small ones, as a large band could wrap three to four items and a small band only wrapped two.

The Ultimate Guide to Travel Packing

I didn’t find rollnbands to be as helpful to me as packing cubes, which are more appropriate for clothing that’s easily wrinkled. But they work great for packing mushable items into a tight space in order to make room for clothing that needs a bit more room.

A pack of rollnbands comes with five small and five large bands and retails for $19.95.

Want to try them for yourself? We’re giving away a few of our gently used rollnbands. To win, just leave a comment below by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 15, 2013. We’ll pick one winner at random to win the rollnbands. This giveaway is open only to residents of the lower 48 United States and the District of Columbia. To read the full contest rules, click here.

Editor’s Note: This contest has ended. Reader Linda Conner has won the rollnbands. Stay tuned for further giveaways!

— written by Dori Saltzman

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92 Responses to “Roll with It: A New Packing Strategy”

  1. Kristy McCoy says:

    I’m always trying out new packing solutions. These look great. I’d love to give them a try.

  2. Lesa Underwood says:

    Definitely would love to try these as I am a big fan of rolling and always looking for ways to get a tighter roll. Whether I’m traveling for a weekend or 3 weeks, I will only use my 21″ spinner so these bands may be just what I need. Please oh please, pick me :)

  3. Kelly says:

    Well isn’t that an interesting concept! Might have to give it a try :)

  4. Laurel Nickerson says:

    I always roll my ‘stuff’ when packing so these would be great.

  5. Jo Ann says:

    Going to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji next month with varying weather. On,y carrying 1 checked luggage so need to conserve space for 22 days worth of coordinating clothing.

  6. Jim says:

    Interested in trying since rolling clothes leave less wrinkles.

  7. Sarah says:

    I would love to try. My husband is a chronic overpacker and inefficient, so I’m always looking for ways to make it easier on me.

  8. Murray Sobel says:

    I usually only travel with a carry on bag no matter how long the trip. The one time I checked a bag the flight was delayed for 24 hours and the checked bags remained in the airplane, as were my pj’s, toiletries and change of clothes. Never again. So I am always looking to pack lightly and more efficiently.

  9. Carol Cochrane says:

    I usually use packing cubes, but I would love to give the bands a try. I sounds like a good idea!

  10. Mary says:

    Would love to try it. I always tend to overpack. Maybe this would help.

  11. Gigi says:

    I find that rolling always gives me more room. And I like the idea of putting outfits together with these.

  12. Michele Loper says:

    I’ve tried Space Bags but they really cause wrinkles and the ones I have ended up letting in air. I do roll my clothes but adding the band seems like a good idea.

  13. Mary K says:

    Can’t wait to try it for our next cruise!

  14. Wynne says:

    I’m about to embark on 3+ mos. to Europe with one large and one smaller backpack, so space is of the essence. It seems these rolling bands would take some stress out of the daunting task of packing little for a long period of time!

  15. Jenny J says:

    Even though I have created my own pack lists, for cruising, road trips, and flying, packing is still a job, since I have meds and foods that have to go along, too. I use cubes now, but for those things where wrinkling is not an issue, I’d love to give the bands a try. Even one would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  16. Jane M says:

    I roll T-shirts in drawers to save room too… looks like it’s worth a try.

  17. John H says:

    An interesting solution. I like to roll clothes and feel at times it doesn’t save that much space. So would be willing to try this product.

  18. jackie cope says:

    I now use plastic bags for everything but would love to try rollnbands

  19. E Harrington says:

    Alaska this month, Quebec next-I need these!

  20. Jo Alice Mospan says:

    We travel alot and I always try to keep our suitcases to a minimum (2) since my husband has a very bad back and I’m the one who has to deal with them. This should be of great help to us.

  21. Pam C says:

    Wow. this really looks easy and could save some space. Of course, that doesn’t help the weight, but space is nice.

  22. Betty Zamost says:

    Definitely worth a second look. I am always looking at innovative travel items, and this looks like it might do the trick. Particularly as it will keep the clothes separated.

  23. Barbie says:

    Finally I won’t have to use big rubber bands anymore!

  24. richard kadash says:

    This looks like a fantastic idea. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to win

  25. bobbie says:

    Anything that save room is worth trying

  26. Anita Goldberg says:

    This product looks great. As a travel agent, cannot wait to recommend to my clients!

  27. Isabel Menendez says:

    my husband used rubber bands on our last trip. This would be an upgrade!!

  28. Rachel Arrowood says:

    I agree that packing cubes are very helpful but I also roll clothes. I use rubber bands so these would be perfect in order to roll more than one at a time.

  29. Mya says:

    ONE person will “win” a collection of USED rubber bands. I’d give it a try.

  30. Patrick Cates says:

    I’ve rolled my clothes for years and always secured them with numerous rubber bands. When I arrive at my destination and unpack, I have quite a large collection of rubber bands, and I never know what to do with them: do I hang onto them for the return trip or toss them? Rollnbands look like the perfect invention to my dilemma — I’d gladly give them a tryout!

  31. Lyn says:

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to try these on my next trip.

  32. Barbara Makransky says:

    I think rolling in general cuts down on wrinkling. In any event, anything to get more space is a plus!!!

  33. Carolyn says:

    For years I’ve used cubes, giant elastic bands, and grocery store velcro bands that I save from broccoli and other produce. I’d be delighted to use Rollnbands! (And I’d love to be able to get rid of all the big elastic bands that I “store” on doorknobs when I’m not travelling!)

  34. Mary says:

    Love the idea!! I roll almost all of my stuff when I pack. I have tried cubes; they are ok, but I think these wraps would be much more efficient. PLEASE send me some!!

  35. Linda S. says:

    These look as if they’re worth trying. I’ve used packing cubes, but have folded the clothes in them, not rolled them, so these might convert me to rolling some items.

  36. Katika says:

    Sounds interesting. I like the idea of rolling outfits together.

  37. Norine Long says:

    We normaly use packing cubes and fold over packs but these bands sound interesting.

  38. Bands will definitely keep clothes organized.
    I would love to try as I travel a lot.

  39. Maggi says:

    I have used packing cubes but being able to roll the small stuff and cottons, sounds great. I would like to give them a try.

  40. Loretta says:

    I want, I need…

  41. Lisa Boruff says:

    I traveled to the Middle East without packing cubes, and to Cuba/Southeast Asia with packing cubes..I have mixed feeling about packing cubes. I am planning my 1st Trip to South America in the Spring 2013– possibly Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua.. Decisions-Decisions.. I am ready to venture to South America with the RollNBands !!

  42. Marie Abrams says:

    the bands sound wonderful, colorcoded for clean and dirty, different sizes. To have everything in one carry on bag so that you avoid luggage loss, long wait in baggage claim and too much baggage and weight to travel with and worry about is ideal. It is great to bundle like items together for easy reach. I would love to get organized with a supply of these .

  43. Sara says:

    would love to try them!

  44. BILLY says:

    Wow! What a neat idea. I always pack more than I really need when I cruise, just in case. This would be a life saver and help to increase my luggage space. I want to get a chance to give them a try.

  45. Karen Ray says:

    I have a “travel gadget” addiction. I love packing cubes. The bands seems promising for rolled tee shirts, underwear, swimsuits, etc. Looks to be yet another product that makes me say “I wish I had thought of THAT!”.

  46. Lisa Evans says:

    What a great idea! I always have trouble packing for long trips. We have an 18 day trip to China planned and my ONE bag can weigh only 44 lbs. – how is this possible? I would love to try the travel bands and get the most use out of them as possible. Thank you for the information and opportunity – you guys are the best!

  47. Robert Kane says:

    After long trips with weather changes a need to increase space is always appreciated and my wife then will be able to use mine. RollNbands are a option to help with packing.

  48. Lois says:

    Oh pick me, pick me! My husband tries to roll things and always makes a mess. If I can’t win….where can I purchase them?

  49. Breeze says:

    I like the idea! I would love to win them!

  50. Breeze says:

    I like the idea! Would love to win them!!

  51. LINDA BUTLER says:

    Anything that helps me keep everything better organized and tightly packs mushable items sounds like a winner to me!

  52. Kelli Strauss says:

    I usually roll a few items but have never used bands. Interesting concept!

  53. Lou Dain says:

    Sounds like a great idea. Would love to have some.

  54. toni sullivan says:

    Sounds like a great way to keep rolled up clothes together especially when you need to get something out of your suitcase.

  55. Marcia Johnson says:

    Sounds like something worth trying for my “3 weeks in a 20 inch suitcase”.

  56. Trudy LaDouceur says:

    Sounds like a great idea, I would love to try them on my next trip.

  57. Janice Zorn says:

    Traveling by train on a trip to Europe, I was looking for every idea for making the most of the space in my one bag. These sound like a great idea.

  58. Elaine Fiveland says:

    I like to roll as many things as I can in my bag. These sound like they would keep things in order. Would try them for sure.

  59. As I always travel with just a carry on and a small under seat bag these bands sound like something I could totally use. The concept is very interesting and if they work as good as you say (I’ll be telling everyone about them.

  60. joy fowler says:

    Taking a trip to Europe in September and I am committed to just a carry-on this time. Sounds like the bands might be just what I need.

  61. Sounds like a winner to keep you organized and packing Light

  62. Jean Jonker says:

    Would love to try them out.

  63. Reina says:

    I do my best to pack tight and these seem like a really good system. But do you not get a huge wrinkle in the center of the bundle? How does one compensate for that?

  64. Jean Bearrick says:

    I could really use this on our trip to Ireland!

  65. April Reckling says:

    Sound like a great idea, anything that will help me find what I packed is helpful.

  66. Barbara Greenwood says:

    Sounds great, afraid that they will leave wrinkles around the band site, but would love to try them.

  67. Joey G says:

    I’d buy these…..on sale any day. But give me a chance to get them for free……
    I love it. If I win they.are going cruising with me and to all our Caribbean islands.

  68. trish says:

    Anything that helps is a winner.

  69. Eileen Marston says:

    Sounds worth trying!

  70. Dale Laskey says:

    Another tool to try and compress more and more into less and less … I like cubes too they help at the destination (I never unpack cubes). I would like to try these, every little bit helps.

  71. Jane Long says:

    I use cubes simply to keep like items together and organized, especially when I use my large rolling duffel bag. I wonder if the bands could be used in combination with the cubes so that more could be fitted into each cube.

  72. I would like to try this. I try to keep # of pieces of luggage down since I carry for my 91 yr old mother and only have two hands.

  73. Suki says:

    I would be thrilled to have these lovely cubes! I often take looooong trips and they would be SO handy and helpful.


  74. Linda Conner says:

    Any help I can have with packing would be greatly appreciated!!!!

  75. Stanley Sizeler says:

    When I was more active, I backpacked in the Sierra Nevada, and learned to use small net bags with drawstring closure to keep underwear, socks, other clothing items segregated and accessible, and a different colored net bag for dirty clothes. I still pack that way for all travel, and would like to try the elastic compression bands on the net bags to see if I can use a smaller suitcase.

  76. The cubes look to be better than the rollerbands,,,but might give them a try.

  77. Laura says:

    Anything that makes fitting more into my luggage would be a great help.

  78. Marilyn says:

    I am a travel junkie- and always like to try new packing ideas. Going to eastern Europe this fall. This would certainly help with the packing issues.

  79. Mary Fothergill says:

    It’s just not obvious to me how this makes more room. I guess I’ll just have to try them.

  80. Carolyn D says:

    As a frequent cruiser, this sounds like a great addition to my trip “must-haves”,

  81. Armida S. says:

    We’re going on a ten-day cruise in two months. It would be great to find more room in my suitcase! Thanks.

  82. Karen H says:

    What a wonderful solution. I am really interesting in seeing these new rollnbands in action.

  83. Marcella says:

    Please enter me to the Rollnband giveaway contest. Thank you!

  84. Sue Michael says:

    Sounds great for cruise packing, send some my way!

  85. Caroline says:

    anything to help with my travels would be great! and I loveto test out new items.

  86. Paul says:

    I already roll many of my clothes when I pack. It’s a great way to minimize wrinkles, especially in slacks. These bands would help me compress my clothing rolls so they don’t take up so much space.

  87. I really like the packing cubes and would like to try the rollnbands to fill in the spaces around the cubes.

  88. Dorinda says:


  89. mary mays says:

    Would be nice to try these for organization.

  90. J P Bedell says:

    With rolling I get at least 30% more in my suitcase. Would love to try the bands.

  91. maureen says:

    I love using packing envelopes but they do take up room (and weight) in my small suitcase. Maybe rollinbands may be a solution to a space problem.

  92. Ann Antoon says:

    Visiting my family and always taking presents etc. takes more of my suitcase room than my own stuff takes. I would be interested in trying these to see if it give me more room in my suitcase.

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