17 Must-Haves for Overpackers

These are our favorite travel products that will help you pack light on your next adventure.

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No matter how big suitcases are, they are seemingly always stuffed to the brim. It must be something in the human brain that makes us always want to have as much stuff with us as possible. We’ve all been there–whether it’s those 12 pairs of emergency underwear or the four pairs of heels you can’t decide on, we could all use some tips for packing more efficiently. Here are some of our favorite travel products that will help you pack light on your next adventure.


One of the main reasons people overpack is simply because they don’t have the right tools to pack light and stay organized. You can actually fit a lot in a small suitcase if you know what tools to work with. Here are some luggage and organization products that make packing light a breeze. 

Packing cubes

These compression packing cubes were a DFC reader favorite in 2022. Most packing cubes are great for staying organized but the variety of shapes and the compression feature on these Gonex Packing Cubes gives you a little extra space in your suitcase, too. The mesh component also makes it easier to see what’s inside so you don’t have to play the guessing game of which cube has your shirts or pants. 

If you really need to save big on space, opt for these vacuum-less space-saver bags.

Foldable backpack

This foldable backpack has a 4.6 rating and more than 17,400 reviews. This daypack holds 35L but you’d never believe it by how small it folds down. It’s the perfect bag if you need to toss in a hiking bag for the weekend or to use as a carry-on.

Foldable travel water bottle

Would you believe me if I told you that you can fit a 1-liter water bottle in your bag and it only takes up a few inches of space? Well, this foldable travel water bottle does just that. It also comes with a carabiner so you can keep it handy by hooking it onto your carry-on.

Foldable reusable bag

I always pack a foldable reusable bag with me when I travel. Not only do they barely take up any space, but they’ve also often saved me while traveling. I love the roominess of a travel tote but hate to travel with one, so I’ll carry a small purse or fanny pack and then hook one of these bags on there. Then, if I’m shopping I can unfold the bag and stuff any goodies in there. The bag has also saved me on flights when the personal item allowance is not very big and I’ve stuffed my belongings into a large reusable bag and used that as my personal item.


Tech products are supposed to make our lives a little easier but sometimes it can feel like there is a gadget for every little thing. By the time you pack all your electronics, half your luggage space is gone, so here are some products to help you save space. 

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

We don’t have to tell you that Apple makes some of the best tech products out there but the real plus of the Apple AirPods is that they hold a lot in a small case. Instead of traveling with bulky over-the-ear BlueTooth headphones, opt for the Apple Airpods Pro. They silicone feature on the 2nd Gen model makes them extra comfy and guarantee they won’t fall out–regardless of if you’re walking through the airport or running on the sandy beaches of your next vacation.

Phone camera lens attachments

If you don’t want to or simply can’t lug a bulky camera along with you on your next trip, consider getting a phone camera lens. You can buy a single lens or a small 3-pack of lenses. You can even bring as many as 14 different lenses for less than the size of a bag of chips.

Kindle Paperwhite

If you’re a bookworm who loves to travel, pack the Kindle Paperwhite with you on your next trip. Bring thousands of books with you on your next adventure while taking up less than seven inches in your luggage.


Toiletries and beauty products are two of the most difficult things to implement light packing practices on. If you’re like me and prefer to travel with just a carry-on, liquids rules can ruin that plan. Because of that, I’ve learned how to pack light while still having all my essentials. 

Solid perfume

I wear perfume every day, even if I’m alone at home, but perfume can take up a lot of room in the very little space in a liquids pouch. My trick is to either pack these mini perfumes or travel with a solid perfume–they don’t count against you as a liquid and honestly, they make me feel fancy. My favorite scent is the Nirvana perfume by Elizabeth and James and my favorite men’s scent is by Duke Cannon.

If you already have a scent you love, a perfume atomizer will help you get your favorite scent into a tinier bottle. This set of four refillable bottles lets you bring along multiple scents.

Solid face wash

I use a solid face wash instead of a liquid one, even when I’m not traveling. The solid bars by Ethique are free of plastic packaging and last way longer.

Solid body wash

Getting a solid body wash is essentially the same idea as a solid face wash–more solid products mean less stress about following liquid rules. Another tip: If I’m going on a short trip, I cut the bars in half so that I’m not wasting precious space.

Cadence bottles

A DFC reader favorite happens to also be a great product for packing light. The Cadence Capsules are compact, leak-proof, magnetic, and customizable. Now you won’t be wasting space by packing full-size products or hard-to-squeeze TSA-sized toiletry bottles. 

Tarte makeup palettes

If you’re a makeup aficionado, you know how hard it can be to pare down your makeup essentials. The Tarte makeup palettes are great because you can get palettes with eyeshadow and blush or eyeshadow and highlighter all in one compact – all of excellent quality and pigment.

2-in-1 Hair Curler + Straightener

This styling wand is both a hair curler and a straightener. Now you can pack in more styling tools for less space. An honorable mention is this compact, cordless 2-in-1 styler

Gillette Venus Mini Travel Razor

This mini travel razor by Gillette is so compact without losing any quality on the razor. The grip and blades are even good enough to make it usable for an everyday razor. It even comes with a handy travel case so you don’t accidentally cut yourself. 

FlatPak Liquids Pouches

Once you try these FlatPak liquids pouches, you’ll never want to use those bulky plastic toiletry bottles–plus these leak-proof pouches are way easier to squeeze product out of.


I don’t know about you, but I often fall into the trap of packing like I’m living a completely different life. While I regularly wear a t-shirt and jeans, I somehow think I’ll wear four ball gowns on a three-day trip. Save yourself the fantasy and consider a few of these more practical items to help you pack light. 

Multi-functional clothing

Get more outfits out of fewer articles of clothing. These reversible tops by Marine layer give you two different looks–stripes and dots so you can mix and match while maximizing your travel looks. If you want even more bang for your buck, opt for the Everything Top by Hackwith can be worn six different ways. You can rock a v-neck just as easily as a boat-neck wrap top.

Packable puffer jacket

Cotopaxi is a beloved brand by many outdoor enthusiasts and travelers and for a good reason. Their packable down jackets fold down into a convenient little compact cube but don’t be fooled, they are warm enough for even the coldest climates. Shop for her or him.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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