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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

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

  1. LINDA BUTLER says:

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

  2. Kelli Strauss says:

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

  3. Lou Dain says:

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

  4. 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.

  5. Marcia Johnson says:

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

  6. Trudy LaDouceur says:

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. Jean Jonker says:

    Would love to try them out.

  13. 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?

  14. Jean Bearrick says:

    I could really use this on our trip to Ireland!

  15. April Reckling says:

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

  16. Barbara Greenwood says:

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

  17. 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.

  18. trish says:

    Anything that helps is a winner.

  19. Eileen Marston says:

    Sounds worth trying!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. Suki says:

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

    Thanks!

  24. Linda Conner says:

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

  25. 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.

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

  27. Laura says:

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

  28. 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.

  29. Mary Fothergill says:

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

  30. Carolyn D says:

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

  31. 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.

  32. Karen H says:

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

  33. Marcella says:

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

  34. Sue Michael says:

    Sounds great for cruise packing, send some my way!

  35. Caroline says:

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

  36. 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.

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

  38. Dorinda says:

    curious!

  39. mary mays says:

    Would be nice to try these for organization.

  40. J P Bedell says:

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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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