Packing light for hot countries and summer holidays is a piece of cake; clothes are smaller and lighter, and it’s easy to pick up fairly decent quality stuff quite cheaply. Less so with packing for cold weather. Winter clothes tend to be thicker, which means they’re also bulkier and heavier, meaning you can fit a lot less of them into your backpack, carry-on, or suitcase. Also, it’s often much more expensive to pick up good quality winter wear, yet quality and durability is so much more important in cold weather clothes.
Fortunately, with a little sensible packing, it’s still possible to save money and luggage space when packing for the cold, whether it’s a backpacking trip around Europe, a skiing holiday or a winter city break. I’ve teamed up with Trespass and their fab range of decent quality outdoor winter wear, to create this quick and easy guide to packing for winter.
Layers, Layers, Layers
The key to packing for cold weather is simple: layers. Several t-shirts and long sleeved tops will take up a lot less space than multiple jumpers, and if you layer it up right you will be just as warm. Start with a base layer of thermals, which will instantly make any outfit so much more winter-proof. Example: I have a pair of very thin, patterned cotton trousers bought in Vietnam and perfect for the warm evenings there, yet I’ve been wearing them around a freezing cold Rotterdam (even in the snow) over a pair of thermal leggings, and I’m warm as can be! I can fit about five pairs of those trousers in the space that one thick pair of winter trousers would take up, so that one pair of thermals makes a huge difference to the space in my luggage – and it means I don’t have to wear the same pair of trousers everyday.
On top of those layers, one or two good quality winter staples will be more than enough. One jumper, one sensible pair of shoes, one pair of trekking trousers, and a winter coat or decent rain jacket, should be plenty to keep you warm. Add to that a nice set of hat, gloves and scarf, and you should be ready to face any climate.
Here’s what I’ve been using to tackle January in frosty Rotterdam…
Trespass Louisa Women’s Hoodie
The Louisa Women’s Faux-Fur Hoodie is my new favourite item of clothing, simply because it’s so fantastically warm! On the outside, it’s a simple, good-quality hoodie in a nice, neutral grey colour which goes with everything. Maybe not all that exciting to look at, but come on, it’s a hoodie. And in this case it’s what’s inside that counts! The Louisa hoodie has a super-soft faux fur lining which I absolutely love; it feels lovely and snuggly against my skin, and it’s an added layer of warmth in an already thick hoodie.
The Louisa Hoodie is so warm that I’ve even been able to wear it out without a coat on milder days, so it’s perfect for Autumn in Europe, and teamed with a coat or light rain jacket it’s fabulously winterproof. For winter, the thick, fur-lined hood is ideal; it blocks off the cold winds and keeps my ears nice and warm – plus it keeps my hair in place!
I also love that the jumper is elasticated at the waist, creating a nice, snug fit without looking too baggy or shapeless. But the real highlight has to be that faux-fur lining; it’s so soft and lovely!
Trespass Pepper Women’s Winter Boots
If you’re touring European cities, whether on a mini break or a longer backpacking trip, you’re probably going to find yourself doing a lot of walking. I know I do: walking tours, shopping, exploring the old town, hunting down that tiny secret bistro recommended on Trip Advisor, or just getting hopelessly lost in the backstreets… it all takes it’s toll. For my month-long trip in The Netherlands, I knew I needed a decent pair of hard-wearing, sturdy, and most importantly comfortable shoes to make exploring as many Dutch cities as I can easier on my feet.
The Pepper Women’s Winter Boots from Trespass have proven the perfect solution. With a chunky, durable rubber outsole they definitely have a long lifespan no matter how many museums, parks, and landmarks I march around. It’s also a very supportive sole, minimising impact and keeping my feet comfortable – ideal for exploring city centres without taking constant breaks for aching feet.
The outer material of the boots themselves is suede, which is fantastically hardwearing and a great choice for winter. It’s also pretty stylish, so if you prefer to look fashionable while travelling these are a good, solid choice. My favourite feature, though, is the super-warm faux fur lining which looks really cool, feels lovely and soft, and keeps my feet protected from the cold weather.
My Pepper Winter Boots have survived everything I’ve thrown at them so far, including a four hour walking tour of Dordrecht and a trip out in the snow, and still look beautiful. Plus they go with almost everything – meaning I haven’t needed another pair of shoes the whole time I’ve been in The Netherlands. Perfect for travelling light! Sturdy and super comfy, these boots are my ideal winter travelling companion.
Do you have any tips for packing for cold climates and winter holidays? Let us know in the comments!