One of the main questions I get asked is how to pack a suit in a backpack? I understand the dilemma people have and the fear of the consequences. Will doing this ruin my new, expensive suit?
I promise that at the end of this article, you will be confident about how to do it using the step by step images. Safe in the knowledge that your suit will come out fine.
At the end of this post, you will learn how to pack a suit in a backpack and how to do it so it achieves the following;
- The suit is compact
- Reduces risk of creases and wrinkles
- Protects the suit
Step by Step – How to pack a suit in a backpack
Grab your suit and follow this guide on packing your suit…it is simple so don’t worry!
Watch the video
Step 1 – folding the suit jacket
Step 2 – Fold one shoulder over the other
Step 3 – Turn the shoulder inside out on the other side
Step 4 – Fold the jacket in half length ways
Step 5 – Fold the jacket in half the other way
Step 6 – Place trousers length ways and place folded jacket on top
Step 7 – Wrap the suit jacket with the trousers
Step 8 – Ready to place your suit in your backpack
Step 9 – If you want to add a shirt & tie in your backpack – lay over your suit jacket and fold trousers over
Where do I put my shoes?
When using a backpack, I always place my shoes heel to toe in the bottom of the bag. I always stuff the insides with socks and underwear to use the space and to keep the shape of the shoe intact.
This way, I protect the shoes and maximize the space in the backpack.
The suit sits on top of the bag. You may want to wrap each shoe in a plastic bag to ensure the suit does not get marked.
Why would you want to use a backpack instead of a garment bag?
- It is smaller
- Easier to carry
- No stigma these days – casual is business acceptable
- No check-in or carry-on baggage issues
- Versatility when away from home
There are a number of reasons why it may be beneficial to take a back pack with you containing your suit rather than a large garment bag.
Let’s face it, garment bags are large, unwieldy and quite frankly, they are a pain to travel with. If you can avoid taking it with you, why wouldn’t you?
Using a backpack, even on a business trip is so much more versatile and ultimately, convenient.
Gone are the days where you were judged by your luggage, it’s just not a thing anymore. With casual business attire becoming common in workplaces, this less stuffy approach means you can travel in comfort and style.
No more checking in your luggage just because you need your suit…and no more worrying if your airline will allow you to carry on your garment bag. Asking the hostess to hang your suit is a thing of the past.
It also means that you can use alternative transport methods. Why not take your motorbike if you know that your suit will be perfectly fine?
What are the risks of using a backpack to pack a suit?
The truth is that the risks are pretty limited.
The issue may come if you mistreat your backpack while carrying the suit. If you throw it around or ‘squash’ it, inevitability you will face issues.
If you are travelling with your suit in your backpack, handle it with care.
The other main risk is not taking the time to pack your suit properly. It is important that you take your time and follow the process properly. Shortcutting it, winging it or doing it sloppily will result in a wrinkled suit.
This means a potential headache at the other end when you need your suit.
That is not the fault of the packing method, the responsibility lands with your initial efforts.
What if my suit does get wrinkled or creased?
You have a couple of options.
- Use the steam from your shower
- Use an iron
If I am traveling, when I arrive at my hotel, I normally take a shower. Simply remove the suit from your backpack and hang it up in your bathroom. The steam from the shower will cause the suit wrinkles to drop out.
Since I have a shower in the morning too, this is two opportunities to help remove wrinkles.
The other option is to use an iron. I never place the iron directly onto the suit.
Use a towel and place it over the area you want to iron. Then iron over that.
Ironing a suit directly can damage it, especially if you don’t really know what you are doing.
What causes the wrinkles and creases?
Wrinkles and creases are normally caused by pressure being placed on the clothes. These are the deep creases.
General creases or wrinkles are normally caused by the fabric rubbing against each other.
That is why I recommend that you pack the suit tightly without it being overly tight.
Are there any products I can use to protect the suit?
Generally, the use of additional products is not necessary if you do it properly.
However, if you want the reassurance, you can buy a packing cube that will take your folded suit. This puts a semi rigid protective layer around your suit thus protecting it further.
Again, if you treat your backpack well, it is not necessary but the option is there.
Can I use this method for my suitcase or carry on?
This is exactly the same method that I use to pack my suit in my carry on. Obviously, I have more room to play with but essentially, the technique and process remains the same.
Have a look at the following article on how to fold a suit for a carry on. If you want some general information on the best way to pack a suitcase which maximizes space, this article is definitely worth 5 minutes of your time.
Now you know how to pack a suit in a backpack, it may completely change how you do things or how you approach things.
Learning this method was a game changer for me. I now travel more lightly using smaller bags. I no longer feel the need to always use a carry on and baggage reclaim is a thing of the past for me.
For reassurance, this method is used by professionals all over the world. It is a proven method that works…try for yourself.
If you have tried it already, let us all know how you got on. Was it a success? Has it changed how you do things? Leave a comment below and share your experience.
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