How to Properly Pack Many Coats and Jackets Without Taking Up Too Much Space in Your Suitcases

How to Properly Pack Many Coats and Jackets Without Taking Up Too Much Space in Your Suitcases

How to properly pack for a trip—what a fun “problem” to solve! If you will be traveling and need to bring a variety of coats and jackets with you, no worries. Here are some great ideas for how to bring all your favorites to keep you cozy and stylish without overpacking.

Where Are You Traveling?

You’ll want to consider the climate from your starting point, through all intermediate points, to your destination when packing outerwear. Will you be flying to one destination or visiting several different ones? Are there any locations en route that are likely to be underheated or over-air-conditioned? If you are always colder than everyone else, be sure to have a wrap handy to keep you comfy. Check out the expected weather for each location and if possible, ask the locals what they wear to stay comfortable.

What Activities Will You Enjoy?

Now for the fun part! Will there be walking, hiking, skiing, or playing in the snow? What about enjoying spectator sports outside or shopping and walking through city streets? You’ll want to be prepared for all the fun with the proper jackets and coats to stay comfortable and fashionable regardless of the weather (or the climate control).

For fun involving snow or ice, make sure to stay both dry and warm. A waterproof down jacket can keep the fun going for hours. And don’t forget snow pants, boots, hats, and gloves! If your jacket has pockets, pack the left glove in the left pocket and the right glove in the right pocket for easy access. You can also stash a hat or earmuffs in a sleeve in your suitcase. If you are traveling with little ones, double-check current sizes as well as precisely where you are packing all outerwear. You’ll want to have everything ready to go when the crew heads out into the wintery white. Children (of all ages!) will want to get out and play as soon as they can.

Packable Down

There is nothing quite like a packable down coat to take you through different climates with ease. You can take a coat that will keep you cozy down to zero degrees Fahrenheit and carry it as easily as a medium-sized makeup bag. When buying a packable down jacket or coat, make sure to consider layering and climate when choosing a size, as well as how easily it folds up (does it come with its own handy “pocket”?) and can be stashed in a tote bag or carry-on. You want your packable down to be as flexible as possible. Once you are home, make sure to hang up your packable down jackets and coats on sturdy hangers, just like you would any other jacket or coat. If you leave down compressed for long periods of time, it can lose its loft (i.e., fluffiness) which is how it keeps you cozy by trapping warm air.


Fleece is just a great choice all around, but especially for traveling. It is warm, practically wrinkle-proof, and in a pinch can even be used as soft packing material around more delicate objects in a carry-on or as a make-shift pillow. Consider a women’s fleece jacket and a women’s fleece vest if you anticipate a variety of temperatures. They can easily be rolled up and stashed in your suitcase, a carry-on, or a tote bag for ease of use. They are also great “emergency jackets” to loan to a friend or family member who didn’t check the weather predictions as you did.


Ah, layering. The wardrobe technique not only looks stylish but can take us through all kinds of changes in the weather. Make sure to have some warm long-sleeved shirts and lightweight jackets that can be layered under coats for extra insulation.

This will also give you options if the weather is warmer than anticipated. To avoid rooting through your luggage for multiple items, pack the layers you anticipate wearing together (i.e., a long-sleeved flannel shirt right next to a down jacket, etc.). Other than getting everything to your destination and back undamaged and being able to find everything when you want to do so, there aren’t “rules” for packing.

Garment Bags

For more structured garments, like wool coats, consider carrying them in a garment bag. This will allow you to keep them (mostly) hung up on a good quality hanger and will prevent unnecessary crushing or twisting of the fabric. Your best coats deserve a garment bag. Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions with respect to storing, transporting, or laundering/dry-cleaning your coats. Often garment bags have designated places for shoes. These are great for heels. Special occasion dresses also travel well in garment bags (and keeping them with the heels you plan to wear with them will save you time).

With a bit of strategy, packing your favorite coats and jackets can be a breeze. Enjoy your trip!

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