Packing warm and packing light might sound like a contradiction in terms. How are you supposed to stock up on woolens and thermals when you only have a carry-on in your baggage allowance? Whether you’re embarking on an Arctic adventure or a cross-country jaunt to see the family, packing light always has its advantages – and the savvy traveler will know how to prepare for torturous temperatures without going overboard on the luggage. Here are a few top tips to point you in the right direction.
Table of Contents
- 1. Think Like an Onion
- 2. Condense Your Cosmetics
- 3. Go for Merino
- 4. These Boots Were Made for Walking (in Winter)
- 5. Vacuum Pack
- 6. Economize When You Accessorize
- Share Your Thoughts…
1. Think Like an Onion
It might be the oldest trick in the book, but there’s a reason why packing lots of thinner layers as opposed to packing fewer bulky items has been received wisdom among the travel community for decades. Wearing more layers is key to trapping air between different items of clothing, creating insulation much like that found in double or triple glazing in your home.
Go for two or three breathable base layers, one or two middle layers and just a single, weatherproof outer one.
2. Condense Your Cosmetics
Just because you’re planning on traveling lightly, that doesn’t mean you have to forego your cosmetics and toiletries. In fact, the damage that the colder temperatures can do to your skin during winter means you definitely shouldn’t go away without your creams and moisturizers. On the other hand, you shouldn’t take everything in your bathroom cabinet with you.
Consider getting hold of a Mini Makeup Train Case and limiting yourself to only what fits inside to condense your cosmetics.
3. Go for Merino
Haven’t you heard? Merino wool is the travel fabric when you’re looking to maximize warmth without taking up too much space in your suitcase. Given that it’s breathable yet thermal, you won’t sweat too much when the thermostat rises, but you will retain body heat when it drops.
It’s also odor-resistant, meaning you can wear it more times without having to wash it – which means you can bring fewer items of clothing and wear them for longer.
Another great choice would be an alpaca or cashmere sweater.
4. These Boots Were Made for Walking (in Winter)
You’ll want to pay close attention to your footwear, since no one likes cold and wet feet when sight-seeing (or just seeing the in-laws). Waterproof trainers are the bare minimum you’ll require, but for a really comfortable and stylish alternative, insulated boots are guaranteed to keep your toes toasty. To save space in your luggage, it’s best to wear these whenever you’re moving from place to place.
If you really do have to pack them, don’t forget to stuff the insides with socks, underwear or other smaller items to maximize available storage room.
5. Vacuum Pack
Folding clothes is so last century. The best way to save space and avoid unsightly creases in your garments is to roll them up nice and tight, then place them inside a vacuum compressor bag. Once zipped up, all you need to do is squeeze the excess air out and your clothes will take up less space and stay in pristine condition.
The bag also provides protection from moisture, moths, dirt, dust and any other unwanted nasties that might infiltrate your bag. What’s not to like?
Another version of the vacuum pack would be these zippered storage bags for clothes.
6. Economize When You Accessorize
Accessories are a great way of tweaking outfits to achieve a different aesthetic with the same base ingredients, which is an important superpower to have when traveling light. However, you should also make sure that the accessories you take with you serve a practical purpose as well.
Like warm but lightweight hats, scarves and gloves instead of jewelry or sunglasses and pashminas.
Check out our post on best air travel accessories as well!
Share Your Thoughts…
So that’s how you pack warm without packing weighty. What have we missed? Do you have any more top tips on how to keep yourself insulated without overburdening your backpack?
Let us all in on the secret in the comments section below.