Packing tips for all your cold weather trips!

The cold weather's coming which means… winter getaways & visits with family!! Sometimes packing for these kinds of trips (especially when you’re coming from a warm climate like me) can be super difficult because you add 3 things and suddenly your bag is WAY too bulky. So today I’m breaking down all my best cold weather packing tips, PLUS the essentials you can’t afford to forget! As always, my code “MINTARROW15” gives you 15% off your first order (some exclusions apply)!

packing tips for cold weather
sherpa jacket
Sherpa Jacket
Fleece Leggings
Wedge Lace Boot
Pom Beanie
Fingerless Mittens

I LOVEEE shopping at Backcountry because it’s my one-stop-shop for literally everything I need for anything that has to do with the outdoors.

Oh, and huge hint!! If you’re shopping any of the pieces in this post, don’t forget you can get 20% OFF of one full-price item if you sign up for Backcountry’s loyalty program – Expedition Perks. (Exclusions apply in all instances!) And trust me, I KNOW you’ll find something super useful and cute from Backcountry for this winter! 

Pro tip: how to pack a winter coat in a carry-on

Let’s start with one of the most important packing tips: how to travel with winter COATS!

Last week I traveled from Southern California to visit my sister Brooke and nephews in Portland. I knew I wanted to bring a good coat for my time there since it was going to be in the 50s and rainy!! Here’s how I pulled it off…

First of all, make sure you’re packing a serioulsy warm coat. Don’t skip this because you’re afraid of how much room it'll take up in your bag!

Once you've got your good coat, strategize and plan ahead. I KNEW I would end up buying a few things on this trip (hello NO SALES TAX in Oregon!), and I did buy each of my kids a Christmas book from the iconic Powell's City of Books.

I created room in my carry-on by packing my big puffy coat inside of my suitcase on the way there, and then I WORE it on my way home. This left plenty of room for the books I bought!!

I wore a THICK teddy coat from Backcountry that was definitely a splurge, but here’s a link to other options that are way cute and more affordable!!

This teddy coat from Backcountry has awesome features like vents on the side for insulation, zips on the sleeves, thumbholes that actually keep the sleeves DOWN, a pop-out hood that came in handy when it was raining, and it’s overall super warm and comfy!!

(**PS if you’re wanting to splurge, whether it’s this coat from Backcountry or this e-bike that we bought and LOVE at my house, you can get 20% OFF of one item by signing up for Backcountry’s loyalty program, Expedition Perks, with your email for free!! Exclusions apply in all instances)

packing tips for winter trips
cute winter outer wear

Think big, pack small

DON’T skip on packing layers, just choose wisely!! When you saw “packing tips” as the title of this post, you probably thought right away about how challenging it is to pack enough layers for a cold weather trip because layers can feel bulky real fast and weigh you down. Overpacking is NOT what we're going for, but here are the items you don’t want to miss when choosing warm outfits!!

  1. Grab one or two of your favorite neutral long sleeves, thermal tops, or sweaters to LAYER as an outfit! For a few days in Portland I just wore a thermal top with a scarf and it kept me SO warm! You can also grab a few base layers from Backcountry if you’re going to be doing something super active like hiking, snowboarding, or skiing. You want to wear base layers under your ski pants or coat for those activities, but Brooke and I were mostly eating and shopping in Portland so I didn’t wear any this trip. However, base layers are MUST-HAVE items for our ski trips!!
  2. Wear fleece-lined leggings for pants! If you’ve never worn these in the cold, stop what you’re doing and grab a pair right now. They're a MAJOR game changer that look like leggings on the outside and feel like HEAVEN on the inside. If you’re going somewhere cold I promise you'll LOVE a pair of fleece leggingshere’s a link to the pair I brought to Portland!! I also wore a pair of jeans in the airport both ways.

BONUS tip: one of the ways you can pack efficiently is to REUSE some of your pants! If you can wear the same pair of jeans both ways flying and 1-2 pairs of leggings while you’re there, it will make a HUGE difference in keeping your bag light and laundry post-trip small! 

packing tips for winter trips
cold weather packing tips

Don't skimp on accessories

The right accessories in the cold like gloves, hats, and scarves can make SUCH a big difference in staying warm!

I wore a tan beanie with white gloves and a white scarf with my teddy coat from Backcountry! This is the BEST way to take away or add accessories based on the temp changing throughout the day.

If I had to pick ONE accessory for the cold it would be a scarf because it’s soooo easy to wear on the plane, at home, or out and about when you need just a little extra layer of warmth. So when it comes to packing tips, if you have to just choose ONE accessory, let it be a scarf!

However, I do have to say, hats keep your head warm which keeps the rest of your body super warm, so that'd be the next thing I'd throw in my bag for sure!!

cute winter beanie
packing tips for winter
cute winter outerwear accessories

Don't forget about your FEET

Sometimes you don’t realize until you go somewhere cold how important it is to keep your feet warm and DRY!!! I brought one pair of UGG slippers to wear to travel to Portland and a pair of Sorel boots that I KNEW would keep my feet nice and dry!

If you’re going on a super quick weekend trip and can get away with one pair of shoes, make sure they’re the pair that will keep your feet warm and dry even if there’s a slight chance there will be rain. The Sorel boots I brought were a little bit of a splurge, but remember you can get 20% off one full-price item if you want to add those to your wardrobe!

Something I always underestimate since living in California: bringing extra socks!!! When you forget enough socks it’s the worst feeling. I brought wool socks to Portland thinking they’d be perfect, but they ended up separating a little between the top of my boot and ankle so I had to grab more socks while we were out! Definitely throw a few extra pairs in your luggage, don’t make my mistake, these are ESSENTIAL in the cold weather! 

packing tips for cold weather
cold weather outerwear
Sherpa Jacket
Fleece Leggings
Wedge Lace Boot
Pom Beanie
Fingerless Mittens

Bundle up & travel safely!

I had SUCH a good time visiting Portland and especially LOVED Laurelhurst Park which seriously gave Central Park a run for its money. I can’t wait to go back next year and will be taking all of these packing tips with me!!

DON’T FORGET that you can get 20% OFF one single full-priced item at Backcountry by signing up for their loyalty program – Expedition Perks (exclusions apply in all instances)!! Tag me on Instagram @mintarrow if you get any of these items or pack like a pro for the holidays. I'm excited to hear where you'll be headed!

Corrine Stokoe

Corrine Stokoe is a blogger, podcaster and content creator behind the brand Mint Arrow. She and her husband Neil live in South Orange County with their 5 kids, she runs her blog and business with 7 team members, where they find the best daily deals and share favorite finds in fashion and beauty. They also run a podcast called Mint Arrow Messages. Mint Arrow has been featured in Forbes, Women's Wear Daily, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, AdWeek and Allure. Corrine is passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as often as she can and teaching others to use social media for good.

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Hi, I’m Corrine and it’s pretty simple. I think you deserve to buy the things you want at a price you can afford. Here you can find the best deals and steals on high end fashion, as well as beauty and wellness tutorials.

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