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How to Fold Sweatpants: To Save Space (Video and photos)

Sweatpants are the most fun type of clothing to fold. They’re both big and stretchy which opens up a world of possibilities.

In this step-by-step guide, I’m going to teach you 3 ways you can use to fold all your sweatpants. One way is fast and neat, one way is perfect for travel, and the last one is fantastic for saving space in your pants drawer.

I have added a video where I go through how to do the folding steps in practice. If you have time to watch it, I recommend taking a few minutes to check it out.

If you’re in a hurry, feel free to refer back to it if you get stuck at any of the steps in the illustrations below.

3 Clever Ways to Fold Sweatpants (and Save Space)
Relevant timestamps: File fold: 1:26, Travel roll: 2:59, Ranger roll: 4:25

How to Fold Sweatpants Neatly

The file fold is a really fast way to neatly fold your sweatpants. In short, we fold the sweatpants so that you can store them with the long side facing up and stack the pants next to each other instead of laying the pants down flat on top of each other.

The folding style was popularized by the famous organizer Marie Kondo in the past decade. It is a great place for us to start today.

  1. Lay the pants down flat with the front side facing up.
  2. Fold the pants in half from side to side.
  3. Fold in the crotch area to create an even line going down the sweatpants.
  4. Fold the pants in half from top to bottom.
  5. From the end with the leg openings and waist, fold the pants down 1/3 of the remaining length.
  6. Fold the pants over one more time so that the ends line up.
  7. Place the pants with the tall side with a single fold facing up.
  8. Stack multiple file folded pants next to each other so that they can support each other.

I also recommend investing in an organizing system for your dresser if you have the coin. Personally, I use these simple boxes from IKEA (amazon paid link), and I feel comfortable recommending them.

Otherwise, you can always use some cardboard boxes or anything else you have laying around the house.

By the way, I also have a guide on how to file fold all of your clothes in case you’re interested in reorganizing your wardrobe.

How to Fold Sweatpants to Save Space

This rose fold is the most space-saving way to fold your sweatpants. It is excellent for travel, and it will save you tons of room in the pants drawer too.

This fold is a little more difficult than the file fold above, but if you take the time to learn it you will never want to fold your pants any other way again.

  1. Start by laying your pants down flat with the front side facing up.
  2. Fold the pants in half from side to side.
  3. Fold the top leg out 90° at the knee.
  4. From the leg opening of the bottom leg, roll the pants up over the knee with the folded out leg.
  5. Consider folding in the crotch area to create an even line, and keep rolling the pants up to the waist.
  6. Lift the roll up with one hand, and with the other wrap the free leg inside-out over the rolled up pants.
  7. Pull the inside-out leg further down to secure the leg.

This will work just as well for thick sweatpants as it will for thin ones. But you need to roll the sweatpants up tighter for the thicker sweatpants.

Also, consider folding the top leg out 90° further up than the knee if you need more room to work with when you wrap the leg inside-out over the rest of the roll.

This fold takes a bit of practice to master.

And of course, If you enjoy this way of folding clothes, I have a whole guide on how to fold your other clothes in a similar style to this as well. Feel free to check it out.

How to Fold Thick Sweatpants

I made this section specifically for thick sweatpants as they can be tricky to wrap the leg over in the previous folding style I showed you.

But you can also use this for other sweatpants in case you struggle to wrap the leg over for any other reason (too tight leg opening, no stretch, etc.).

This style is commonly known as the classic ranger roll.

Yield: Tightly rolled up sweatpants

How to Fold Sweatpants

How to Fold Sweatpants

Here is a fantastic way to fold your sweatpants to save space in your dresser or luggage.

Active Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Difficulty Medium


  • Sweatpants


  • Table or flat surface


  1. Place your sweatpants on a flat surface and flip the waistband inside-out. It should be pulled down 5 inches.
  2. Turn the top of the sweatpants over to check that the waistband is flipped over evenly on the backside too.
  3. Fold the pants over in half from side to side. Half of the backside should now face up.
  4. Fold in the crotch area fabric that is sticking out to create an even line all the way down your sweatpants.
  5. From the bottom, roll your pants all the way up to the top. The tighter you roll, the more space will you save.
  6. Flip the inside-out waistband back over the rolled-up fabric to secure the roll in place.
  7. Make sure that the waistband is properly sitting on top of the roll on both sides. If it is not, the roll can unravel very easily.
  8. Stick your thumbs or index fingers inside the waistband near the edges on both sides of the roll to make adjustments to the roll. This way you will get an even distribution of the fabric inside.


This roll can be a bit tricky in the beginning. But after you have done it a few times you will start to get the hang of it.

You can pull the waistband further down in step 1 if you have very thick sweatpants, or you can make it smaller if you have very thin/small sweatpants.

I also made a guide on how to fold your hoodies and other sweaters that you can check out next.

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