13 Lightweight Layers That Will Solve Your Winter Packing Woes
Traveling light is not easy; traveling light in the winter is almost impossible. It’s hard enough trying to whittle down your travel wardrobe to fit in a carry-on during summer months, but winter months — and winter vacations — bring the added challenge of extra layers, larger clothing options, and clunky footwear.
So, what’s a traveler to do when you want to stick to that carry-on but head out on a great ski vacation or go winter hiking? Choose smart, practical items that not only do double duty, but also provide serious warmth and layering options while taking up minimal space.
Some key fabrics to look for include: packable down, merino wool, cashmere, and fleece.
Below we’ve chosen a few of our favorite pieces that will get you from the slopes to après ski in comfort — all without those extra baggage fees.
Columbia Women’s Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tight
Columbia Women’s Omni-Heat 3D Knit Crew Top
Putting this long-sleeved performance shirt on, you'll feel instantly more cozy. Did we mention it's also got two-way stretch and moisture-wicking built in for total comfort?
To buy: columbia.com, $90
Columbia Women's Snow Country Hooded Jacket
You can't get much warmer than this in a packable down jacket. It's super lightweight, but employs the same Omni-Heat 3D tech to keep cold out and heat locked in. There's also an interior security pocket to zip your valuables into.
To buy: columbia.com, $150
Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket
Kari Traa Tikse Baselayer Top
Kari Traa Tikse Baselayer Pants
Incredibly soft and stylish, this 100 percent merino wool base layer will keep you warm and dry. The highly breathable fabric is naturally odor resistant and has a 4-way stretch for extra comfort.
To buy: amazon.com, $75
Eddie Bauer Expedition Flannel
This moisture-wicking flannel gives you warmth, style and comfort. Wear it on a hike, or with jeans to lunch. The loose fit and subtle stretch will keep you comfortable all day long.
To buy: eddiebauer.com, $80
Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Jacket
This new jacket features down sheets over traditional down clusters giving it maximum warmth without the bulk or quilting usually found in even lightweight down jackets.
To buy: eddiebauer.com, $279
Eddie Bauer Lightweight Freedry Long Sleeve Crew
This long sleeve was made to be versatile. With a merino wool and performance polyester blend it keeps you dry, warm, and odor free — meaning you only need one of these in your suitcase.
To buy: eddiebauer.com, $60
The North Face Purist Triclimate Jacket
Like its name suggests, this breathable, lightweight shell has options. Use over other mid-layers to keep out water and arctic winds, and customize for extra warmth with its removable insulation.
To buy: thenorthface.com, $549
The North Face Purist Pants
These pants weigh in at a staggering 22.93 oz. and feature jacket integration, which means the snow stays out and the warmth stays in.
To buy: thenorthface.com, $449
REI Lightweight Base Layer Half Zip Top
This thin, half zip top is the perfect base layer for those not-too-cold days on the mountain. Made with a soft polyester fabric, this top is moisture-wicking, quick-drying and has technology to stay odor free.
To buy: rei.com, $40
REI Lightweight Base Layer Tights
The bottom counterpart to the above, these lightweight tights are the perfect base layer — you'll barely feel them under your clothing. Made with a soft polyester fabric, these tights are moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and they'll stay odor-free.
To buy: rei.com, $35