Packing a carry-on can be a challenge, especially when preparing for cold weather. Accommodating bulky items like winter coats and sweaters while keeping your suitcase organized can be tough. It’s essential to strike a balance between staying warm and not overpacking. Whether you’re traveling home for the holidays or going on a winter trip, these tips will help you pack efficiently for cold weather without compromising on style or comfort.

1. Wear your bulkiest items in transit.

Opt for wearing your heaviest clothing items like winter coats and boots while traveling rather than packing them. This not only saves space in your suitcase but also keeps you warm. Layer your clothing so you can adjust to different temperatures during your journey. Also, don’t overlook the versatility of a knit sweater or puffer coat, which can double as a travel pillow if needed.

2. Pack lightweight layers.

Instead of packing bulky sweaters, focus on thin, lightweight layers that offer warmth without adding bulk. Include base layers like long-sleeve shirts, bodysuits, and tights for insulation. Opt for materials like faux leather, velvet, cashmere, and corduroy for your outer layers. Layering effectively will keep you warm without the need for thick clothing.

5. Use space-saving bags to compress bulky items.

To maximize space in your suitcase, consider using compression bags. Place your clothes in these bags, remove excess air by hand, and compress them to a fraction of their original size. Compression bags are particularly useful for packing bulky items such as sweaters and jeans efficiently.

Compression Bag Set
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Travel Compression Bags
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4. Bring a down coat and leave your wool one at home.

When packing a coat, opt for a down-insulated one over heavy materials like wool or sherpa. Down coats are lightweight and can be compacted easily without losing warmth. Their design allows you to fold or roll them into a more manageable size for packing.

5. Don’t forget cold-weather accessories.

Include cold-weather accessories like hats, scarves, and gloves to stay warm without adding bulk to your luggage. These accessories are compact and versatile, allowing you to mix and match while staying cozy in your primary coat.

6. Re-think what’s really “essential.”

Prioritize essential items when packing for cold weather to make the most of limited space. Consider skipping non-essential items like personal toiletries or excessive styling tools. You can also explore borrowing clothes from family or revisiting your wardrobe at home to cut down on unnecessary items and make room for necessities.


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