Those of us in the northern hemisphere are starting to bundle up as fall turns into winter and we switch our t-shirts for jackets and sweaters. Packing cold weather clothes can be a pain because they take up so much room in your bag, but if you pick the right layers it makes the process much easier. Even if it’s not quite cold where you are yet, you can use our picks for cold weather clothing for a trip to somewhere chillier. These are basic items to have in your wardrobe just in case.
For most trips you won’t need a full length wool coat, but rather a down or fleece jacket that you can layer will keep you just as warm without taking up as much precious space.
- ExOfficio Storm Logic Sweater Jacket: I love this lightweight jacket with fleece lining and a hood. It can also be turned into a travel pillow, which can be latched onto your backpack and keep you comfortable on long haul flights.
- North Face Women’s Triclimate Jacket: Heather raved about her North Face jacket that has been brought on her travels for the last few years. It’s waterproof and warm but won’t make you sweat. It also includes an inner shell that can be removed depending on your needs.
There is no worse feeling than cold feet. It can take your day from great to miserable very quickly, so invest in a few pairs of good socks, no matter where you are traveling to. I especially need them on airplanes so they can keep my feet warm and I don’t have to worry about putting on my shoes to go to the bathroom.
- Smart Wool socks: I cannot say enough good things about Smartwool socks. I’ve gone through many pairs over the years and all are still wearable. The appeal is that they adapt to the temperature. If your feet are cold they will stay warm. Likewise, if your feet are hot, they will keep them cool. Get these socks on Amazon.
I bring scarves on every trip whether it’s to keep me warm in London or to double as a sarong in Thailand. They are versatile items to pack! Beverley and Sarah swear by theirs as their One Little Things.
- Paisley Pashmina scarf: Sometimes the most simple scarves are the best, since they can go with nearly any outfit. Get this pashmina on Amazon.
While I wouldn’t typically recommend boots for most trips, they are often the most comfortable and the best at keeping out cold and moisture. It’s up to you what shoes you pack for your trip, but boots may be the best way to go. Alternatively, you could wear athletic shoes with waterproofing and thick socks.
- The North Face Adapta Dual-Climate Boots: These boots have a rubber sole to keep moisture out as well as an insulated toe area. Get these boots on Zappos.
You need your hands to be warm so you can capture all those beautiful images of your destination in the snow. A nice pair of waterproof gloves should be added to your packing list.
- Isotoner Women’s Smartouch Matrix Nylon Gloves: These gloves are water resistant and also have special pads on the fingers which allow you to use your smartphone with them on. Get these gloves on Amazon.
Top off your warm clothing with a wool hat, since most heat is lost through your head. I didn’t bring one on my trip to Europe and I had to stop by H&M in Vienna to pick up a hat and gloves. Save yourself the trouble and bring one along!
- Cable Knit Winter Ski Beret: If you aren’t big on hats with tassels or big pom poms on top, look no further than this stylish beret, which could be worn for fashion or for warmth. Get this beret on Amazon.
Don’t forget to layer, layer, layer!
I’m loving the boots! They actually looks tyilish!
Thank you do much for this list! As someone heading from Queensland, Australia (where it is Summer and 35 to 40 degree heat) to Canada (in time for winter) I am quite stuck on what to buy. As always this site has been so helpful- I recommend it to everyone!
Couldn’t agree more on the Smartwool socks… they are pricey but they last forever! I’ve had them for over 7 years and not worn one pair out yet.
I recently scored a pair of their compression socks and YES they do work! I had no swelling during my flights. YAAAAY! Yes, they’re hard to get off, they are supposed to be that way.
Ear Bags! These gems take up no room in your pack, but are great for keeping ears warm and protected from the wind. Great for when a hat might be overkill but warmth still appreciated, perfect under a bike helmet, and inconspicuous warmth when you’d prefer not to crush your hair with a hat.