Press "Enter" to skip to content

How to Pack for a Cold Weather Trip

How to Pack for a Cold Weather Trip

Traveling in the off-season, when weather may be colder, is also an excellent way to save bucks.

If cold weather travel is necessary, what do you pack? And how will you pack all the stuff in a carry bag? All those layers, coats and sweaters take up a lot of space.

Let’s begin with two essential principles then cover the details.

First, do not pack in bulk, pack in layers. Bulky sweaters and sweatshirts take a lot of space in your bags.

Dress in thinner, insulating layers. The single layers will take up less space in your backpack and provide you with more apparel options.

The second thing is that, wear wool, when picking clothes. Wool is versatile and natural. A wool layer will maintain your body temperature in any weather.

If the temperature warms up, you can still wear a light wool shirt. It will help keep you fresh and cool. If you had carried a heavy sweater, it would be sitting uselessly in your bag.

Of course, the bag you choose is essential. The Outbreaker 45 is excellent for a cold weather trip. Because it’s the best allowable carry on size, there is a lot of space for heavy winter clothing.

If you follow these rules, you can pack your bag easily for a cold weather tour in a carry-on. Yes, even with bulky snow boots. Remember: wear, don’t pack them.

Now, let’s talk specifics.

Base Layers

Despite being thin, a functional base layer can add as much warmth as a sweater for cold weather. Paired with a shirt or pants, a bottom layer will insulate you from the cold without putting much volume to your luggage.

Shirts which you wear inside of your outwear can be short or long-sleeved, it all depends on the climate of your destination and what works great with your wardrobe.

Under a button down shirt, you can also wear a short-sleeved shirt or a long-sleeved layer under your outwear.

Inner-shirt is the essential thing you should pack when traveling to cold regions.

Merino wool is the perfect fabric for an inner layer but can be very pricey. For longer winter tours, invest in a wool base layer.

For inner wool layers, I suggest Patagonia or Icebreaker. Both are expensive but very high quality.

For an affordable option, check out Under Armour Cold Gear. Under Armour’s layers are made of up polyester. It is designed for athletes playing in cold weather, an Under Armour layer will do an excellent job of keeping you warm.


In cold weather, you should wear big thick socks to keep your toes warm.

The best thing is to keep thinner socks that can still keep you warm. Thinner socks will take up minimal space in your bag and dry faster. When space is a primary issue, you can pack three pairs of socks or less.

Smartwool is one of the best brands in the market for traveling and hunting purpose, as I previously discussed on the blog.

Smartwool hiking socks are lighter than most of the winter socks, made of wool to keep you toasty, and reinforced in all the appropriate positions to stay snug and not slouch.


It is also important to choose the best boots for cold weather as well. Choose the shoes that have a relatively soft outsole with maximum tread for minimum slippage.

In different words, no leather-soled shoes in cold weather.

Whether you wear shoes or boots, purchase footwear that will be comfortable for the activities you want to enjoy on your trip.

My opinion is better to go for boots because hiking boots are often the warmest choice. Hiking boots can perform an excellent job if you’ll be doing a lot of hiking or walking.

Never pack your boots always try to wear them while in transit. Even a small pair of boots can take one-third of your carry on luggage.

You can use travel slippers also for plane and for hotel rooms.

Jackets And Coat

The similar rule applies to jackets and coats. Wear them, don’t pack them.

If you feel hot on the plane, just wrap your jacket and use it as a pillow or put it in an overhead bin or under the seat.

Dressing in layers can keep you warm without wearing a coat.

Other outdoor brands just like North Face make jackets with a high warmth to weight ratio. If you don’t know what to buy, go to the local store and tell them that you want something light and warm as possible.

For the cold weather, you’ll need accessories like a scarf, gloves and a hat. Don’t pack these in your bags. Fill them in your jacket to save space in your luggage without sweating through your flight. If you follow these rules, you can pack your bag easily for a cold weather tour in a carry-on. Yes, even with bulky snow boots. Remember: wear, don’t pack them.

Now it’s your time to tell that what do you pack for winter trips? What are your favorite brands? Let us know in the comments.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *