How To Pack Light For Winter Travel

Gear and Packing
February 19, 2018

Winter shouldn’t get in the way of travel, and it shouldn’t mean that you have to lug a bulky case around with you either. You think it’s bad rolling a suitcase around in the summer – it’s exponentially worse having to do it in the snow and slush. But you can enjoy all the ease and freedom of a light-packed summer trip even in the dead of winter, with a few choice items of merino wool clothing and a few wise packing moves.

Wear As Much As Possible On the Plane

You don’t need to look fashionable on the plane; you just need to get to your destination with as light a bag as possible. Wearing your coat, scarf and hat on the plane will spare a lot of bag space, and they can double as a pillow, provided that you try and snag a window seat.

Pick One Pair of Multifunctional Boots

The temptation might be there to pack multiple pairs of shoes for multiple occasions: runners for leisure time, nice shoes for hitting the town, hiking boots for muddy days, etc. But even bringing two pairs of shoes (wearing one and packing one) is going to cost you a lot of bag space. It’s best to pick a multifunctional pair of simple and stylish low-cut boots, as they’ll keep your feet warm and can be dressed up or down.

Roll Up A Waterproof Shell

This is heavily dependent on where you’re going over the winter, but if it’s anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s probably best to assume you’re going to meet some wet weather. If your coat is waterproof, all the better, but if you’re packing something like a fleece jacket as your warm layer, you’ll also want to pack a waterproof shell, which you can do without sacrificing too much space.

Layer up, don't bulk up.

You could pack five or six cotton shirts and a bulky sweater, and have to make treks out to the Laundromat in the cold, or you could pack some merino wool clothing – one or two pairs of socks and underwear, and a t-shirt. Add an Unbound Merino long sleeve as it makes for an excellent and very light base layer. Keeping your base layers light and sparse is going to save you a lot of bag space, and you won’t have to worry about cramming the clothes in, as Merino wool is very wrinkle resistant. 

Wear One Pair Of Jeans, Pack Multiple Pairs Of Underwear.

Jeans – especially dark jeans – are probably the most versatile style of pants out there, so it makes sense that if you’re saving on space, you bring a single pair of quality dark jeans. Along with the jeans, it’s advisable to a couple pairs of underwear, like our black boxer brief and – if the destination climate drops below zero – a pair of Merino wool long underwear will be your friend.

Aside from these tips, you’ll need to prioritize your packing. If you love photography, make ample space for camera gear; or if you love the feel of physical books, make room for those. Winter traveling doesn’t need to entail a lot of luggage, just a bit of planning, some strategic layering, a few sacrifices and some choice clothing.

              Col Forbin
Col Forbin