I find myself packing a suitcase at least once a month, and have long been a clothes folder rather than a clothes roller.
But when a nice young man from the Pacific Northwest contacted me and asked me to try out his stretchy, two-sided packing bands called Rollnband, I figured I’d give this whole rolling thing a try.
Now that I’ve tried them out on two very different trips, I find myself a roll-up-your-clothes-and-secure-them-with-a-band convert — and here’s why.
In the singular sense, a Rollnband is a heavy duty elastic band with a two-sided, two-color silicone label; simply flip the band to signify a garment as soiled or clean. For this one neat trick, I like to think of these bands as aspirational packing aids: they make you think that someday, you could be a person with enough vacation time on your hands to be traveling around with dirty laundry.
My two most recent trips required vastly different wardrobes in opposing temperatures. The Philippines’ sweltering summer meant sweat on top of sweat, requiring at least two changes of clothes per day for a week; on this trip, Rollnbands helped me see in a glance what was still wearable and what wasn’t. It was chilly in Chile’s late fall, and I visited the desert, wineries and a hilly city; Rollnbands helped me quickly stay organized for this trip’s three different types of terrain.
In both cases, these large and small bands helped me to fit more in my suitcase, keep clothes from wrinkling, and speed up my packing time between locations. I clocked one packing session in Chile at 15 minutes for my entire 22″ suitcase — a task that normally takes me a half-hour.
I’m packing yet again today, bound for Toronto and the annual TBEX travel bloggers’ conference, and the bands are out in full effect. It’ll be a warm and relatively casual adventure, but I’ll also need some layering pieces to offset the air-conditioned conference center and party clothes for a couple of big events. My one dress and skirt will be gently rolled and banded together, and a large band will keep them secure without leaving a crease. Then all my clothing will be set in neat bundles above my shoe-bagged shoes, making twice-daily outfit changes a breeze.
Now, do I need Rollnband in order to roll up my clothes and pack my bags? Obviously not. But for ease and organization while on the road, I now want them; without them, I face potential chaos when packing, re-packing and packing yet again.
And trust me, there’s enough potential chaos in traveling — you don’t need to go around tempting fate.
A re-sealable package of Rollnbands contains 10 bands, 5 large and 5 small
Cost is $19.45 (including shipping)
Purchase is available through the Rollnband website