High Speed, Low Drag Packing

Pack your suitcase like a boss... well like a military professional

If you are like most other people, when it comes to packing it’s a last minute ordeal with mom’s sage advice running through your memory, “remember to pack clean underwear and socks.” Followed by cramming everything you need and think you might need for those “just in case” moments into a suitcase bursting at the zipper. All of this leaves you on your way to the destination wondering if you remembered a phone charger or if you actually packed clean socks.

Members of the military have learned the fine art of packing efficiently, creating a high speed, low drag style of travel. We have pulled key tips and tricks from these well traveled professionals to ensure you no longer need to suffer the headache of packing.


Selecting the proper suitcase is more than about style, it’s about functionality and weight too. You want to select luggage that suits your packing needs with ample space and a lightweight sturdy frame. Don’t underestimate the weight of a suitcase. You will be adding more to the weight which can make it more challenging to lift when needed and can impede travel on some airlines who choose to enforce the weight limits on carry-ons and check-in luggage alike.


Proper strategy is the primary way you will prevent a headache during your holiday. It is the first step in efficient packing.

Strategize outfits

Set up a staging area in your room and lay out potential outfits for each day of your trip. Selecting basic wardrobe items which can be paired with other items creating a new outfit will immediately scale down a tremendous amount of your packing. Remember, shoes and trendy accessories can alter outfits enough to seem like an entirely different fashion statement.

Shoes First!

Shoes tend to pack on the most weight, therefore they go into the suitcase first. Distribute the weight evenly by placing any shoes in the center of your luggage and packing around them. When using a backpack, this alleviates the pull on your neck and shoulders, placing an even distribution of the weight on your spine.


Maximizing the space you have is a key feature of military style packing. Soldiers are fine-art masters of compressing articles of clothing into small, seemingly unusable, spaces.

Roll ‘em up

Forget folding; folding is for amateurs and laundry day. Folding clothes when packing is time consuming and space absorbing. Opt instead to roll up your items into compact articles and wedge them into your suitcase. Tuck smaller compressed items into shoes or awkward spaces left open. Maximize your suitcase properly and you can manage 3 weeks with just a carry-on! If rolling isn’t your thing, invest in a set of high quality compression bags which can make 6 sweaters look like 3.

If it doesn’t fit, wear it

We all know that traveling for winter holidays can be a tricky feat with coats, boots and the like. A good rule of thumb to follow when packing these items is, “if it doesn’t fit in the suitcase, wear it.”. No need to break the zipper on your luggage trying to shovel that enormous down coat in or to break out in tears from frustration.


No member of our military is ever without necessary supplies for emergencies and neither should you.

First aid/overnight needs

Pack a clear or ziplock bag with over night and emergency necessities such as a phone charger, toothbrush, band-aids, etc… and keep near the opening of your suitcase for easy access. If you are carrying on, make sure to follow all of the TSA guidelines for liquids

Following the four “S” rules: suitcase, strategy, space, and supplies, and you will find militant success in high speed, low drag travel and rest easy knowing that you have everything you need packed neatly away.

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