How to Fold Shorts for Travel to Save Space [Latest Methods]

Perhaps the most daunting part of traveling is setting up your luggage, packing and unpacking your wardrobe with you. There are a million and one ways to fold your clothes in many different bags. It’s not difficult to imagine how overwhelming the act of packing is for the average person. While learning how to fold every single article of clothing properly is beyond the scope of this article, we can help you start with How to Fold Shorts for Travel to save space.

Most people don’t think about how to fold Shorts for travel since they already consider them compact. We’ll have you know folding Shorts correctly or suited to your needs makes a huge difference. Whether you need to learn how to fold Women’s Shorts for travel or any other kind, we’ve got you covered.

Also, check out How to Fold a Polo Shirt For Travel Like a Pro?

How To Fold Shorts For Travel

We’ll be going over a few methods down below to help you fold your Shorts. Keep in mind that everyone’s needs are different, so it’s better to experiment with all methods. This way, you get to try everything out and settle on the best method for you.

Traditional/Flat Fold

The Flat Folding method is the most common and arguably the easiest out of the bunch. This method requires little to no practice and is also naturally what the average person inclines towards. If your goal is to pack as quickly as possible and not to save as much space, then the Flat Fold is your new best friend.

The Flat Fold
The Flat Fold

This method works best for those wanting to learn how to fold jeans shorts for travel or any other casual shorts. The best thing about the Flat Fold is that it’s efficient in saving space and quick to do. While it doesn’t create as much space as the other methods, it is the most effortless. See below for detailed steps:

1: Place The Shorts Flat On A Surface With The Front Towards You

With the Shorts frontside up, ensure there are no creases along the surface and even them out before moving on. Cargo and Jean Shorts must be correctly buttoned and zipped up, and the pockets should also be clear.

2: Fold The Shorts In Half From Either Side

After folding in half, it is essential to align the corners and to ensure that both halves are lined up. If any side is shorter or longer, the fold may lead to creases and occupy more space than necessary.

3: Fold In The Crotch Area On Casual Shorts

Not Folding the Crotch Area leads to a squarer fold that may be uneven. Folding it in on casual Shorts has little to no adverse effect; however, formal Shorts may suffer from creases. We recommend folding the crotch area in casual Shorts such as Jean and Cargo Shorts.

4: From The Top, Fold The Shorts In Half

You may need to fold the Shorts in thirds depending on the length. After this step, you’re practically done and should start packing stacked Shorts for your travels.

KonMari Fold

Marie Kondo’s famous Komari Folding method has managed to gain traction in recent years, and for a good reason. The KonMari Folding practice focuses on neatly folding clothes, with the final form closer to looking like a Burrito. The entire method is satisfying to do and very efficient in saving space for traveling.

The Konmari Fold
The Konmari Fold

This method is mainly suited to casual and flexible shorts and Is ideal if you need to learn how to fold athletic shorts for travel. It isn’t the easiest, yet it isn’t as complicated as it looks; once you get the basics down, it makes folding pleasing. Those who want to learn how to fold Shorts for travel with an emphasis on cleanliness and neatness should try the Konmari Fold. Detailed steps are given below.

1: Place The Shorts Flat On A Surface With The Frontside Up

Like the Flat Fold, you’ll be placing the Shorts stretched on a surface with the frontside towards you. Straighten the Shorts’ entire length and make sure they are buttoned or zipped up.

2: Fold The Shorts In Half From Either Side

Ensure both halves are lined up correctly with no edges intruding on either side. Any lines or creases on the Shorts should also be straightened out gently.

3: Fold The Crotch Area In

Since this method will mainly be used on casual Shorts, the crotch area must be folded. This is because, after the folding, the Shorts need to support themselves to stay up. Leaving the Crotch Area unfolded may interfere with that while also resulting in an untidy fold.

4: Fold From The Top Down In Thirds Or Half But Leave A Small Gap

Depending on the length of the Shorts, you may need to fold from the top down into thirds or a half. Leaving a small gap at the end of the fold is crucial to the method. The gap should be around 2 Inches from the bottom of the shorts. Without the gap, the Shorts wouldn’t be as solid or supported as they need to stand up.

5: Fold The Shorts In Half From The Top

The already compact size should be folded from the top to the bottom where the gap is. The result is a circular burrito-like form that can stand upright. This form is perfect for carrying Shorts in organizing boxes or placing them in bags.

Military Fold

The Military Fold sets the standard for making the most efficient use of space in boxes and traveling bags. The method involves a bit of practice to perfect but is well worth the effort. The Military Fold should be the number one choice for those learning how to fold Cargo Shorts for travel as it is their definitive method.

The Military Fold
The Military Fold

It should be noted that since this method gives way to creases and lines in Shorts, formal attire should be avoided. The Miltary Fold does wonders for those with a bunch of casual Shorts and limited space. The end result is a line of compact rolled-up Shorts fit for packing. If you want to know how to fold Shorts for travel with as much saved space as possible, read the steps below.

1: Place The Shorts Flat On A Surface With The Front Towards You

Even out the Shorts’ length and ensure there are no creases present. Also, take note of the length as this method works better for Shorts lacking in size. Longer Shorts may need more than one fold in later stages.

2: Fold The Waistband Inside Out And Even Out The Sides

The Waistband should be turned inside out, resulting in a bunch of lines and creases on the Shorts. Make sure to straighten all of the lines and even them out. It is also essential to do the same for the back of the Shorts as that part is often neglected. The Miltary Fold works best on Shorts with minimal creases and lines.

3: Fold The Shorts In Half From Left To Right And Fold The Crotch Area

With the Waistband folded in, fold the left side to the right. The halves must line up with no edges or corners protruding elsewhere. Fold the Crotch Area in and even out any resulting creases or lines on the Shorts.

4:  Roll The Shorts Tightly From Bottom To Top

This is the most critical step in the Military Fold and involves tightly rolling the shorts from the bottom to the top. Depending on the length, it may take you any number of rolls until you reach the very top. At this stage, hold the rolled-up Shorts tightly to avoid breaking the form.

5:  Turn The Rolled-Up Shorts Upside Down and Wrap Them In The Waistband

After turning the Shorts, upside down, the exposed Waistband will become visible to you. Wrap the Shorts into the Waistband to create a rolled-up and secured form. The result looks similar to the Konmari Fold, albeit in a tighter, more minor, and more stable structure. Make sure to practice several times, as the Military Method is one of the most complicated folding techniques.

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Flat Roll

The Flat Roll is similar to the Military Folding method but emphasizes fewer wrinkles. This method is suited to formal attire and shorts. It is simple and saves more space than the Traditional and Konmari Fold. Anyone who wants to understand how to fold dress shorts for travel should consider the Flat Roll their priority.

The Flat Roll
The Flat Roll

The Flat Roll is our favorite method because it is simple to do and saves vast amounts of space. It is balanced and is the definitive folding method for traveling. While most other techniques cater to one specific goal, the Flat Roll is designed to be an all-in-one. Detailed steps are given below if you want to comprehend how to fold Shorts for travel using the Flat Roll.

1: Lay The Shorts Flat With The Frontside Up

Evening out the Shorts and straightening the lines is standard practice for each folding method, especially the Flat Roll. Since this is designed for formal Shorts, pay extra attention to make sure there are no creases or lines.

2: Fold The Shorts In Half From Either Side

The halves should be aligned nearly perfectly with no edges out of form. Formal Shorts are more susceptible to lines and creases and, as such, need extra care when folding in halves. We won’t be folding the crease this time, as our primary goal is to avoid wrinkles and creases.

3: Roll The Shorts From The Bottom To The Top

Instead of a tighter role, try and be calmer when rolling this time. This method focuses on ensuring your Shorts are packed gently and in good condition. The rolled-up Shorts can then be placed in traveling bags or boxes like the Military Folded ones. The only difference is that these are less stable and need to be packed closer to avoid losing the form.

Which Folding Method Is Best For You?

Now that we’ve outlined four folding methods for you, it’s essential to judge which one you should use. We still stand by our initial statement to try out each method to learn the ropes, but we do have recommendations.

Jean and Cargo Shorts would be better suited for the Military Fold. This is because these Shorts are less likely to develop wrinkles, and the Military Fold results in an unmoving and compact form of Shorts. An alternative would be the easier and quicker Traditional Fold.

Formal Shorts such as Dress Shorts will serve well with the Flat Roll. The last thing you want on Formal attire are creases and lines, which the Flat Roll ensures there are none of. If you aim to pack your clothes neatly, a close second is the KonMari Fold.

Must Read: How to carry your Suit on a Plane: No Wrinkles and Shrinking


We understand how stressful packing can be and how infuriating it can be to try and make more space for essentials. That is why we focused on explaining detailed and ideal folding techniques as well as time-saving and quick ones.

After trying the techniques above, we are confident it will take you little to no time to apprehend how to fold Shorts for travel. Practice makes perfect, and it’s important not to lose heart if you don’t get the hang of a method the first time. Consistency and dedication will help you learn these new techniques and perfect them relatively soon.

As always, we wish you the best and hope you have much more space in your bags than initially present. Remember, a little folding goes a long way in creating space.

Sara Anwar
Sara Anwar is hopdes' US director and a globetrotter. She joined the Hopdes team in July 2022. She has done more than 300,000 miles back and forth. She's been to more than 80% of the world, and her passion for understanding different cultures has only grown stronger with time. A traveler at heart, she loves to experience new cultures and learn new languages. Sara's wealth of travel experience makes her the perfect person to oversee a travel website – after all, who knows better what travelers want and need than she does?