The art of capsule packing
The art of capsule packing

The art of capsule packing

If, like us, you’ve got the travel bug, you’ll no sooner be back from one holiday and you’ll be thinking of your next adventure.

Whether that's a two week trip to Thailand or a 3-day city break to Seville, mastering the art of capsule packing will help lighten load of holiday preparations and give you more time to enjoy the trip. We’ve mastered the art of packing everything you need for your getaway, all packed in a 10kg cabin case allowance. All you need is a lightweight suitcase to get started, plus some of of our packing cubes, and our top tips...

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Pack a Few Days Ahead

Avoid any last minute stress by packing a few days ahead. This leaves plenty of time to edit out your “just in case” items, buy any missing essentials, and avoid last minute panic buys at the airport.

Decide on a colour palette

The key to looking stylishly dressed with just a 10kg baggage allowance is capsule packing and step one is choosing your colour palette. This is easier than it sounds (honestly) and makes packing easier and faster, whatever the trip. Simply decide one neutral “base” and one or two “accent” colours for your trip. Base colours are usually black, brown, grey, navy or taupe.

Pick one and use it for all your staples i.e. a dress, pair of shorts, one pair of trousers and a skirt. Accent colours are usually lighter and coordinate with your base colour. Choose one or two colours and use for all items to go with your staples...i.e.. jumpers, t-shirts and tops. Not only is your wardrobe guaranteed to work together, you’ll also minimise the shoes, bags and accessories you need to take, saving valuable space and kilograms in your luggage.

Plan…but don’t over plan

Part of the stress of packing is working out what to wear at every moment of your trip—no mean feat. Simplify this by working out what are the key things you’re going to do, such as dinner in a smart or casual restaurant, day time sight-seeing, lounging by the pool… Then, plan what kind of things you’ll want to wear, and roughly how many items you’ll need. In no time you’ll have a short list of the key essentials, for instance…

1 x casual evening outfit

3 x casual day time outfits

2 x swimwear

Top Tip: Comfort is key. Plan something to relax in when you return from your day's activities, as well as what you wear when you’re out for the evening.

The Big Layout

Lay out the key staples in your chosen neutral colour, then add tops and t-shirts in your accent colour to create different outfits. Aim for two or three different outfits from each staple, and your holiday wardrobe will quickly come to life.

And remember—planning to wear something different every day is the fastest way to an overloaded suitcase. Well-chosen staples mix and match with different accessories to give you different looks from the same few items.

The art of capsule packing with Antler

Think Multi-Functional

Items that 'double up' for day or night wear are vital to keeping things simple and lightweight. A pair of shorts will go with 2 or 3 different tops on different days, adding a belt and switching footwear will change the look.


Capsule packing is a game changer when it comes to shoes —two, well-chosen pairs is all you’ll need. Travelling in on-trend pumps or trainers keeps your suitcase lightweight, and is a great capsule extra for both day and night time looks. For a beach break, pop in your favourite sandals or flip flops. And don't forget to pack them in our neat shoe bags, obviously.

Outfit Creation and Editing

With everything laid out, play about with different combinations and looks, and think through how it will all work together to see you through the holiday. Now’s the time to lose any items you’re unsure about, or that don’t fit with the mix-and-match holiday wardrobe you’re creating.

A capsule-packed cabin suitcase contains the smallest number of items that work together and multi task to create all the looks you need, and no more. Remind yourself of all the times you’ve wasted on return from your holiday laundering clothes you never wore. Complete the process by selecting underwear and socks. Make a short list of any key essentials you need to buy, if any, but stay focused!

Top Tip: Take photos of some key combinations you really like. It can make getting ready on holiday even easier.

Toiletries and Techie Stuff

Avoid security check stress by investing in some refillable 100ml plastic toiletry bottles and tubs. By decanting all your regular toiletries into these handy bottles, you can take all your regular personal items in your hand baggage, without the worry of a mistakenly-packed, over 100ml item being confiscated. You’ll sail through security with your hand baggage with ease.

Top Tip: Keep a wash bag at home, filled with all the personal and techie items you only use on holiday – including your 100ml refillable bottles, travel plug, luggage scale, etc. – so everything you need is in one go-to place when you need it.

Save any toiletry samples or travel sized items, and just pick your favourites when you’re ready to go on another adventure.

Crease–Free Packing

Now you’ve decided what to pack, the secret to arriving with a crease-free case is knowing how to pack. It’s all in the rolling and folding. We suggest folding trousers, jeans and shorts. As these items are heaviest, place these items in your suitcase first.

Then roll t-shirts, vests and tops. Lay one on top of the other, in a pile, ensuring the most likely to crease item is on the bottom, then roll up carefully into one big roll, which will have the mostly easily creased items on the outside. Place the roll in the suitcase alongside the folded items.

Hang dresses, blouses and shirts are the most likely to crease until the last minute, then fold them all together in two or three folds, and transfer to the top of the suitcase. Take them out and hang them up as soon as you arrive at your destination.

Pack socks and underwear into our packing cubes, which keep like-items together, making it easy to find these small items when you arrive.

Pack your two carefully-chosen pairs of shoes into show bags to protect clean clothes.

A block-bottomed wash bag is useful as items stand upright, and are easy to find, and our wash bag comes with a wipe-clean lining and top carry handle, so it lifts easily out of your suitcase. It comes in small or large and a choice of grey or black.

Top Tip: If you're taking a jacket or delicate dress, use our garment carriers to cover hanging items for your holiday packing. Hanging items in the bathroom as soon as you arrive is also hassle-free way to remove any creases. Let the steam do the work!

Now you know the art of capsule packing, you’ll be ready to go on your next trip in less time, with less stress and ready for more holiday adventures! Need some new luggage to kick start your trip? Shop our collection here.