Have you ever boarded a plane in Southern California in a T-shirt and disembarked in Northern Minnesota…in December? I have many times and it can be a jarring experience. Luckily, there are many ways to avoid the shock of a massive change in temperature when traveling to a cold climate.

What to Pack for Cold Weather

Whether you’re leaving the warm weather to see family for the holidays or taking advantage of a cheap flight in the off-peak winter season, you’ll want to pack these 10 items to beat the cold.

Tough Headwear Cable Knit Beanie

Covering your head is the most effective way to stay warm when it’s cold outside. This affordable beanie will do the trick and has the style to go with just about anything for both men and women. It’s made from premium acrylic yarn that stretches to fit no matter how big your head is. Choose from a variety of colors to match your favorite outerwear.

Amazon User Review: I love my new hat! It is warm AND looks good! Coming from someone who isn't a "hat person", call me converted.”

Price: Starting at $8.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.7

Thermajohn / Thermajane Long Underwear

The first thing you should put on for a cold day is long underwear. This two-piece thermal set is made from ultra-soft polyester and spandex, which will stretch to fit close to your body and keep you feeling toasty even when there’s a blizzard outside.

Amazon User Review: Bought a set of these thermals in each color for my trip to Alaska over the Thanksgiving holiday. Wore them under jeans, leggings, snow pants, depending on the activity of the day. At -14 degrees they kept me warm and they are super soft and comfortable.”

Price: Starting at $18.99 for men’s and $21.99 for women’s on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.2

Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves

These multi-use gloves are easy to pack and will keep your hands warm without adding bulk to your hands. The slim design has a snug fit so you can still easily use your hands as if you weren’t wearing any gloves at all. The gloves have an excellent grip and also allow you to use your smartphone without removing them, which means no more frozen hands when you need to send that important text message.

Amazon User Review:These kept my hands warm in temperatures down to 10 degrees (F) and in winds up to a sustained 15 miles per hour. They aren't too bulky and allow for touchscreen use. I HIGHLY recommend!”

Price: Starting at $28.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.2

Hot Hands Hand, Foot, and Toe Warmers

Another great way to keep your hands warm is to use these air activated hand warmers from Hot Hands. It’s a very easy-to-use product. Simply open the package and the little pouches will heat up giving you instant satisfaction when it’s cold outside. These are small enough to slip inside your gloves or just place them in your pocket to warm your hands as needed. They also come in special shapes to fit inside your shoe to use as foot and toe warmers.

Amazon User Review: The HotHand warmers are just great. Easy to use, lasts for up to 8 hours, and works as designed. We use it to warm hands when we walk the dog in the snow.”

Price: Starting at $6.65 for hands$6.84 for toes, and $11.95 for feet on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Smartwool Socks

Keep your feet toasty without adding a ton of bulk with a pair of Smartwool socks. The merino wool used to make these socks is the best material to allow your feet to breathe, wick away moisture, and resist odors. Whether you want a thinner pair to fit under your stylish shoes or a nice thick pair of socks to wear around the fireplace, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for with hundreds of styles and colors to choose from for both men and women.

Amazon User Review: Who gets excited about new socks? Me. These socks are the best value ever. They are comfortable and very cozy.”

Price: Starting at $11.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5


There’s nothing better to pack than a hoodie to keep warm on your flight. It’s also an easy to pack extra layer to take with you in your day pack if you need a little extra warmth while exploring a new place. I prefer a zippered hoodie like this Global Heavyweight Sherpa Lined Zip-Up Fleece Hoodie so I can easily put it on or take it off with changing temperatures. For ladies looking for a little more style, check out these Alelly Minipeach Women’s Pullovers.

Amazon User Review: Purchased for someone who stated it was the "best Hoodie they ever owned." Soft, true to size and they liked that the Sherpa lined the sleeves.”

Price: Starting at $39.99 Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Fleece Neck Warmer

When the wind chill drops to freezing temperatures, you’ll be glad you packed this handy fleece neck warmer. It’s wind resistant, reversible, and quick to dry. The material will stretch to fit tight against your face, which will keep your neck and face feeling cozy with the extremely soft plush fleece. This is a versatile piece of winter clothing that can also be used as an ear warmer headband. The affordable price and light weight make this an easy choice to stash away in your bag.

Amazon User Review: “I was really impressed with the quality. The fit is so comfortable; cozy not too snug. It keeps the cold out perfectly but it's still easy to breathe through.”

Price: Starting at $9.95 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Wander Agio Women’s Fashion Winter Scarf

If you want a little more style to keep your neck warm, check out the variety of scarves from Wander Agio. They will pack small and come through when you need to stay warm. The material is soft to the skin and the styles available will go with multiple different outfits.

Amazon User Review: I bought this scarf because I am an every day scarf wearer in the cooler weather. I think this scarf compliments every outfit I put it with.”

Price: Starting at $13.99 on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.4

Arctix Insulated Snow Pants

If you want to play in the snow this winter, you’ll want a good pair of snow pants to keep your legs warm and dry. Artix makes quality gear for both men and women. These are lightweight pants that work great for skiing or just building a snowman. The multi-layered construction includes a unique breathable inner liner that will wick away moisture and keep you flexible by not adding a lot of bulk. The men’s style comes with roomy leg pockets that can store anything you want quick access to such as your phone or wallet.

Amazon User Review: I was using this pants for skiing and they served they purpose 100%. With weather fluctuating between sunny, no wind 37 degrees and blizzard with 10-14 degrees I never felt too hot or too cold.”

Price: Starting at $25.80 for men’s and $24.99 for women’s on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 3.8

Winter Coat

Of course, to enjoy the outdoors in cold weather, you’re going to need a winter coat. Caterpillar makes a great heavy insulated parka for men complete with a removable hood and plenty of exterior pockets to carry all your gear. For women, ILoveSIA makes a hooded parka with faux fur that is lightweight and has two big front hand-warmer pockets. There’s also a waist drawstring to keep the wind from blowing up underneath, which will keep you nice and warm in wintry conditions.

Amazon User Review: Great everyday winter jacket, and the price can't be beat.”

Price: Starting at $62.52 for women’s and $67.00 for men’s on Amazon

Average Star Rating: 4.5

Featured image by Jinga via Shutterstock; Product images courtesy of Amazon.

All products and services mentioned on Airfarewatchdog are independently selected by our team of expert travelers. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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