Packing for travel can be tough.
Regardless of the destination, whether it’s a beach vacation or a business meeting,
I like to make sure I have options to make sure I look my best.
I often find it easier to just bring multiple options, but space is an issue.
You might think you need to upsize your bag or even buy a second one, but I’ll let you in on the secret: Garment folders.
You’ll be shocked at how much more you can fit in your bag when it’s all folded absolutely perfectly every single time, and compressed down to size.
Plus, you’ll save a lot of time getting that bag packed when you’re working with the right tools.
If you’re not sure what to look for in a garment folder, I’ve got a few top products to get you started. Be warned though, once you start using these you’ll never want to pack the old way again.
Best Travel Garment Folders (2023)
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Garment Folder Packing Organizer
- Slate Travel Garment Folder
- Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-it Starter Set
- PRO Packing Professional Travel Garment Folder
- Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Garment Sleeve Packing Organizer
- Osprey Ultralight Garment Folder
Eagle Creek’s original model garment folder now has compression wings to really maximize the space. It comes with an instructional board that you use to get the perfect fold, and then the organizer does the rest of the work for you to compress your garments and keep them ready for you.
The organizer then fits easily into a carry-on, or you can just use the built-in handle. But what I really love about Eagle Creek is its commitment to the environment. They’re committed to sustainability and minimizing planetary impact, so I feel good about using their products without having to sacrifice quality.
If you travel often you’ll want something that will last. Slate Travel Garment Folder provides a to-notch garment folder made of polyester to keep durable while staying light-weight. The included folding board will not only make packing easier but can be included in your clothes to provide added stability to the luggage when needed.
This garment folder is so lightweight that it can double as a great way to pack a change of clothes, so if you’re the type to hit the gym at lunch it can make a great addition to your daily work bag. If you’re not convinced yet, their customer satisfaction guarantee means you can try it out risk-free.
If you’re already interested in packing folders and want to level up your game, Eagle Creek’s starter set is definitely worth considering. It comes with one medium-size packing folder and two compression cubes (one half-size, one full-size) so you can compress and store so much more.
I personally like this set because I can maximize space with everything I need to bring, and each piece matches, making it all feel like one cohesive unit. Factor in their lifetime warranty and you’ll definitely be asking yourself why you didn’t start packing like this sooner.
I obviously value substance over style but this PRO brand packing folder has both. Durable nylon prevents rips and keeps clothes wrinkle-free, and their lifetime warranty backs that up.
You actually get up to 60% compression, which is huge when you consider how many shirts work out to be. If you or your family tend to pack heavy, you’ll need that space and durability for your trip.
These come in multiple color options, which is great if you’re particular about looks, but I like to use this to color-coordinate my packing. It’s so much easier to find what you’re looking for when you’re planned and organized.
Here’s an organizer that’s ideal for business travel or formal garments. If you’re on your way to a wedding and need to keep a suit freshly pressed and ready to go then this is the way to go. It uses a trifold design to reduce pressure points, which keeps your delicate garments wrinkle-free.
The Eagle Creek Pack-It Sleeve Packing Organizer still works for when you’re just packing the basics but it’s ideally shaped for things you’d usually hang, like suits or some dresses. It’s a bit longer to better suit these more delicate garments, so make sure it’s the right size to fit your bag before you buy, but it fits fine in mine.
As a bonus, it looks really sleek. The product pictures don’t do it justice. When you’ve got a suit tucked into it and it’s folded into your suitcase and ready to go, you’ll see what I mean. It will make you feel good just to open your suitcase up.
Osprey’s packing folders are so easy on the eyes that I’d want one on the visuals alone. It’s dual-zippered with hook and loop closures so once your clothes are in, they’re staying in place.
It’s durable, functional, and would look just as good on a trip to the top of a mountain as it does in a suitcase on a business trip. The folding card they provide will help get you packed up, but it’s also made of tough plastic to withstand the rigors of travel.
If you’re heading out on a backpacking trip then this is a great packing folder to have on board. The company has good sustainability standards as well, restricting its use of harmful substances and using recycled materials when possible, and has made a serious commitment to socially responsible manufacturing. When it’s possible I always choose to support those kinds of initiatives.
Travel Garment Folder Buying Guide and FAQs
Traveling is already stressful and busy, I really can’t believe I didn’t start using packing folders sooner. Once I started I couldn’t stop! They became a necessity for all my trips, and now I have multiples to choose from depending on where I’m going and what I’m bringing.
I’ve actually bought a few as gifts for friends as well, and they’ve been super well-received. So before you head out on your next trek or fly out on your next business trip, pick up the right garment packing equipment and save yourself some space, time, and stress.
Are packing folders useful?
When moving from hotel to hotel on a long trip, you will find that your shirts get wrinkled from repeated digging into your suitcase. With a packing folder, you could keep your shirts free of wrinkles and easily accessible.
Packing garments or folders are excellent for shirts and pants. For the rest of your things, you should use zip-lock baggies.
Is it better to roll or fold clothes in a suitcase?
Most people are folding their clothes when packing their baggage. It feels natural. It’s fast and easy and works well for pants, jeans, and button-down shirts.
Rolling your clothes can take an extra time, but you can fit more pieces of clothes in your suitcase. Rolling is ideal for t-shirts, pants, dresses, pajamas, or swimsuits.
However, if you want to organize your clothes and outfits, you should use packing cubes or packing folders. They come in different sizes and can compress your clothes which will allow you to bring more pieces with you.
Packing Cubes vs Packing Folders
Packing organizers have risen in popularity over the past years, but packing folders (packing envelopes, or garment folders) and packing cubes are the two most popular options.
You have a long trip before you and want to take a lot of clothes with you. So, what is better for you… packing folder or packing cube?
If you are trying to decide between packing folders and packing cubes, the style you are using to fold your clothes would be the main decisive factor.
For those, who prefer rolling their clothes, packing cubes will be definitely better. Such travel organizers are rectangular and square-shaped, so you can roll the clothing to fit more in the cube. Packing cubes are great for rolled things, like t-shirts, pants, socks, underwear, etc.
Packing folders are great for packing jackets, shirts, jeans, or pants. For things that take up a lot of space. With a packing folder, you could keep your clothes free of wrinkles and easily accessible.
However, the best way to organize your clothes for travel is a combination of both – packing cube and folders. You should pack huge things in packing garment folders (envelope) and small things like socks or underwear into packing cubes.