Capsule Backpacking: Choosing the Right Wardrobe

For many backpackers, packing light entails having to repeat outfits to fit all the necessary possessions in their bag. Yet, wonderful vacations don’t have to be restricted when it comes to clothing. Just opt for versatility and you can build a set of clothes that you can mix and match and complement each other. Thus, giving countless outfits for your trip. So, keep reaching below and discover more about how to choose the right capsule wardrobe for your backpacking adventure and its incredible benefits as you seize the world.

Travel Backpack

Benefits of Capsule Wardrobe

1. Eliminate decision-making and stress

Traveling requires you to make many decisions, from the planning stage and even on the actual trip itself. It can be picking between visiting backpacker-friendly cities in India or seeing Bulgaria instead. Once you’re at your chosen destination, you also need to decide what activities to do, which attraction to visit next, what mode of transportation is best, or where to take your lunch or dinner.

Be mindful that the brain is only programmed to make a specific number of decisions each day. Bombard it with too much and you’ll get stressed and tired, making your journey less enjoyable. Have a capsule wardrobe instead that consists of fewer clothes but works well. It’s easier to choose and it won’t add woes and decision fatigue!

2. Save time and money

Another perk of having a wardrobe is saving time. When you go shopping whether it’s in a mall or online, you know what works well and what you need to purchase. Thus, making it a quick task sans wasting time searching and digging into piles of clothes mindlessly. Plus, it also helps you save money. A capsule wardrobe is incredibly versatile. That means you just need to interchange them to have a new look without having to buy pieces every now and then.

3. It helps you look great wherever you travel

Having a capsule wardrobe means picking functional pieces that never go out of style. Each piece is multipurpose and harmonizes with each other. All you need to do is mix, layer, or accessorize them in multiple ways. With proper experimentation, you can always have new styles that will help you look great whether you’re backpacking to Asia, Europe, or the United States.

Travel backpack

Tips on Choosing the Right Wardrobe for Capsule Backpacking

With such benefits, you might be enticed to start packing right away. Yet, it’s important to know the rules in building your wardrobe for capsule backpacking to ensure that it’ll do wonders for you. Here are some principles you need to remember:

Pack for a week.

Packing light is one of the main keys for capsule backpacking. That means you only need something enough for a week. Going beyond that is overpacking. Many travelers often bring too much clothing to feel safe but only regret it in the end, wishing they should have packed half as much. Don’t make the same mistake of carrying weeks of clothing. If you’re traveling for over a week, it’s pretty much easier to do laundry than having all that load.

Typically, all you will need are the following:

  • 3 casual tops
  • 2 nice tops when going out
  • 1 fleece or light jacket 
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt
  • 3 bottoms
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of shoes of casual use and everyday strolling
  • 1 pair of nice shoes when visiting high-end places

Depending on the climate of the destination you’re visiting, you can bring specific gear like gloves, scarves, beanie hats, or sunglasses and flip-flops.

Choose thinner and lighter layers.

Are you planning to pack one heavy and bulky layer? Drop that idea! Find a couple of thin and light layers. They are more versatile, occupy less space, and are easier to pack, making them ideal for capsule backpacking.

Pick the easy-to-maintain fabrics.

Opt for low-maintenance fabrics. For instance, wool is perfect for backpacking as it’s naturally antibacterial and excellent in repelling smells, which means it’s suitable for more wears in between washes. While it can be pricey, they’re worth it if you’re traveling a lot.

Silk is lightweight but is very delicate to clean. Often, this fabric needs to be dry cleaned, something you won’t want to do if you’re traveling. Remember, vacation days go too fast. Don’t waste any time on unnecessary extra trips going to the cleaner.

Aim for a simpler color palette.

Adopt a simpler color scheme centering around blacks, grays, blues, greens, whites, or creams. These are neutral colors that work together as well as with any other color. That way, you don’t have to decide or worry which clothes to wear together. If you love vibrant colors and patterns, don’t fret! You can always have one or two accent pieces to give your capsule wardrobe personality.

Find good quality pieces.

As you’d be wearing the pieces multiple times, you need to focus on choosing good-quality pieces that are durable enough for such usage. While quality often comes with a higher price tag, you can have great finds at Uniqlo, ThredUp, and other go-to clothing stores without having to pay much.

Audit your closet.

Sometimes, you don’t even have to spend money buying new clothes. You can go through your closet and check each piece. See which ones fit the standards in terms of durability, color, fabric, and packing needs. You’ll certainly be able to create a capsule wardrobe for your next trip.

Continue experimenting and make updates.

At first, it might be difficult to switch to a capsule wardrobe for your trip. However, as you travel, you will learn the ropes and embrace the concept. Through time, you will also discover new selections. Just don’t be afraid to experiment to see and use everything you learn and make necessary updates so you will get the right set for every trip.


Make your travel easier and more fun by having a capsule wardrobe. Follow these tips and free yourself from the rigors of overpacking and tiring decision-making. At the end of the day, you’ll still look amazing wherever you’re going. Happy travels!