From Chilly To Freezing: How To Pack For Different Temperatures


Nursyazana Kahardy •  Sep 06, 2019

With the long holidays coming up, it seems like everyone is super excited to plan out their perfect vacation ? For those living in the more tropical parts of the world, choosing a cool, possibly snowy destination is always a good idea. Between not having to worry about sunburns, unpleasant stickiness from sweat and the almost dizzying smell of too much deodorant intermixed with B.O. (body odour), a visit to a place with a cooler climate definitely ranks high on the vacation list ?

Credit: @capsulesuitcase on Instagram

But with the promise of powdery soft snow, the invigorating cool breeze and the chance to show off that stylish winter OOTD comes the problem of packing your bags. The general rule of thumb when it comes to packing for a different climate is to bring things that you can layer. But sometimes it can get a bit difficult to determine if you’ve packed the right amount of thing or if you’ve over or under packed ?

But not to worry! With this guide on How to Pack for Different Temperatures, we’ll be able to help you determine just which pieces you need to bring with you and which you should just leave at home ?

Credits: Giphy

The Basics

For Temperatures between 16 – 23 °C

Credit: @segipebrian07 on Instagram

If you’re planning to visit a holiday destination whereby the temperatures are cool (pretty much standard air conditioning temperatures – like Bandung, Indonesia for example, then you don’t really need to worry about packing thermals or heavy down jackets.

Instead, what you should really be packing is a sturdy pair of jeans or pants (preferably in a dark colour as they can easily be paired up with any kind of top), some t-shirts (for a more casual look), or if you’re planning to visit specific places whereby you would need to look a bit more put together, a couple of nice blouses or buttons down shirts ?.

Credit: @rullynurazis on Instagram

If you’re the type to get chilly really easily, you could also layer the whole look with a lightweight, wind-resistant jacket (like Uniqo’s blocktech parka), a cardigan or even a stylish trench coat (for that Instagram worthy OOTD look ?).

Credit: @msnaddie on Instagram

As for hijabs, you’re going to want to pack something that doesn’t wrinkle very easily and is still pretty breathable. So something like TudungPeople’s Najwa Sport Shawl or TAKVA’s Instant Hijab would be your best bet. If not, anything made from a light cotton or jersey material is an A-Okay too ?

For Temperatures between 6 – 16 °C

Credits: @katzylicious on Instagram

If you’re planning to visit a place or country that’s guaranteed to be cold throughout your whole trip (but not necessarily freezing – say like Japan during the wintertime) then you might want to consider packing at least one pair of thermal leggings and one long-sleeved thermal shirt.  If possible, try to get your hands on Uniqlo’s famous heat tech line. They’re relatively inexpensive and the best parts about them is that they’re designed with heat-retaining fabric, are super lightweight, stretchable and most importantly comfortable ?

As for outerwear, the layering concept also applies here. For bottoms, you can layer a pair of jeans over your thermal pants to keep you warm without looking too bulky. Additionally, you can also opt to pack a pair of fleece-lined leggings or pants ?

Credits: Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

As for tops, since it’s going to be pretty chilly, be sure to pack a light down jacket that you can layer over the rest of your outfit along with some sweaters or sweatshirts and a few cotton shirts that are easy to layer over (t-shirts or button-downs ).

Credits: @simple.blanc on Instagram

Now as we all know sweaters and sweatshirts, while cosy and chic, tend to take up a lot of space in your bag in comparison to your other tops. So, to prevent yourself from overpacking, you can actually opt to swap out three or four of the tops you would have normally packed for two sweaters or sweatshirts.

If you’re prone to the cold, you can layer the down jacket over your sweater and thermal top to keep you warm and call it a day. Additionally, since Uniqlo’s thermal tops are quick-drying and also self-deodorizing, you can either wash or re-wear them without worry – thus eliminating the need to bring extra tops ?

For Temperatures between 6°C and below

Credits: @yomelia on Instagram

Now if you’re the kind of person who laughs at the face of the cold and would like to experience a true winter holiday at sub-zero temperatures (which can be an experience in itself – just check out this article on 8 Magical Reasons Why Switzerland’s The Ultimate Winter Wonderland Destination to find out more) then you’re going to want to make like an onion and layer up ?!

Be sure to pack 2-3 sets of thermal shirts and long johns. As you’re going to be wearing these all the time, you’re going to want to have extra sets for rotation. As for layering options, you can forget all about bringing your cotton t-shirts and scarves as even the tiniest bit of cotton fabric can absorb moisture and make you feel like a snowman ⛄!

Credits: Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

Instead, opt for pure wool or synthetic fabrics as they can actually keep you warm – which means you can go ahead and break out those cute chunky knits, jumpers and sweaters to layer over your thermal wear.

Credits: @ale_beahero on Instagram

For bottoms, you should definitely bring along a couple of pairs of waterproof ski pants – like Decathalon’s SKI-P PA series. Not only are they water-proof – thus keeping you nice and dry when you go frolicking in the snow, but they’re very durable and able to give you more freedom of movement (so you won’t have to waddle around like a penguin in bulky pants ?).


Credits: @ihsnzlkfle on Instagram

Now that we got our basics sorted out, let’s talk about accessories. Depending on how well you can handle the cold, you can choose to either bring along some accessories for added warmth or just to complete your whole winter look ?


Credits: Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels

Besides the fact that they add an extra-layer of protection from the chilly winter breeze, beanies are a great style piece to match or complete your outfits. So, if you’re the type that gets chilly really easily, having a beanie on will definitely help – especially if the jacket you’ve brought along doesn’t come with its own hood ?


Credits: Oleg Magni from Pexels

Another quintessential winter accessory is, of course, the scarf. These unisex style pieces come in various lengths, styles, colours, patterns and materials to suit various temperature ranges. They’re a great way to showcase your personal style while still keeping you nice and cosy! When it comes to picking your scarves for your winter trip, be sure to choose some that are made with more thermal-resistant fabrics, like acrylics and wool ?


Credits: Anastasia Zhenina from Pexels

Keep your fingers nice and warm by packing along at least one pair of gloves ? As our hands are usually left mostly exposed, we tend to lose a quite a bit of heat from them – thus leading to uncomfortably cold and numb fingers. To prevent this from happening, be sure to opt for a pair of gloves with an inner lining – ones with fleece for extra warmth or if you’re a fan of Uniqlo, grab their gloves that’s lined with the same heat tech fabric as their thermal wear.


Credits: @fallismyaesthetic on Instagram

Once again, this is solely based on your own temperature resistance, but bringing along a few pairs of comfortable and warm socks might do you some good in the cold weather. Nobody likes planting heir feet on cold floors – much less in the morning during winter! So, if you’re planning to visit somewhere with a good chance of snowfall, be sure to pack some thick, woollen socks to keep your feet nice and cosy ?


Credits: Hannah Nelson from Pexels

When it comes to shoes, a pair of slip-on boots should be the only thing you should consider bringing – and even then, you should be wearing them from the get-go instead of packing them in with your check-in or carry-on luggage. The reason is, you’re already packing a lot of bulky clothing in your suitcase. Do you really need to add shoes to that list ??

Credits: @nori120012 on Instagram

Instead, why not invest in a good pair of comfortable, water-proof hiking boots. Something that would be easy to slip on or off, can handle any terrain and would dry easily when it gets wet from melted snow – like the Adidas Outdoor Terrex series.

Credits: @redandal on Instagram

Of course, if you don’t plan on being out in the snow at all times, you can also opt to wear a pair of sneakers while bringing along a pair of water-proof, fleece-lined winter boots for when you need them ?

Credits: Giphy.com

And there you have it. From thermal wear to down jackets and beanies to boots, you’ve now got a pretty decent outline on how to pack for different temperatures. We hope that this guide will come in useful for when you’re getting ready on your cold-weather escape. Hopefully, this article will allow you to pack in peace without any of the usual drama that comes with packing for a different climate ?