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Space Saving Tips and Road Trip Gear Essentials

Space Saving Tips and Road Trip Gear Essentials

| by Thomas Semow

For those who live for adventures by road, the car pack is a ritual of sacramental proportions. From families to friend groups, there is always one member of the crew who is designated with the esteemed title of ‘gear packer’– who holds the responsibility of designing a tetris-like sequence of bags + bins and who, if asked where something goes, responds, “there is only one place.” To some, this guide is a list of gear recommendations and tips for packing a car, to others this is a road map to space-saving freedom.


The Little Things Matter

Small items have a way of making a big mess. While there are many ways to orchestrate the symphony of miniatures in your adventure vehicle, there is one instrument that will prove harmonious each time– the stuff sack. When properly utilized, these micro bags are a revelation in organization and with no end to how deep one can go with their packing, our recommendation is simple: let no item go un-staff-sacked. 

Our pick: The Sea To Summit Mini Stuff Sack Set at REI.

There is Space Above

Even for car packing experts, the roof often goes underutilized. Luckily this problem can be solved by investing in a cargo carrier that suits your vehicle. From bulky tools, to dirty hiking boots, or even skis and snowboards, these heavy duty boxes will keep your gear secure and your interior uncluttered. 

Our pick: Thule and Yakima are industry leaders with high-quality carriers to choose from, but don’t rule out the newer hitch-mounted designs from companies like Kuat.

When Possible, Go Compact

Not every item in your road trip gear list can be completely compact (just see our Ultimate Car Camping Gear Guide for some examples), but for those that can, compact is a no-brainer. CLIQ Chair was designed to maximize space-saving by collapsing into the size of a water-bottle, making it the perfect comfort item to keep in your vehicle at all times. You never know when inspiration to sit down and kick back might strike. 

Our pick: Shop 2, 4 and 6 chair bundles from CLIQ and keep a comfy chair in your car for each passenger at all times.