My carry-on only packing  challenge was easy when I was traveling during warm weather. Summer clothes are a cinch to pack. But what about packing for cold weather? Can it be done with bulky winter clothes? Can it be done without wearing the same clothes every other day?

I decided to see if my beloved Tortuga backpack was up for the challenge. First I laid out what I wanted to wear and what I visualized would fit into the pack.

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0400
A variety of tops + a very warm thermal top which turns any blouse into winter-ready attire.

For this challenge I needed 2 weeks worth of outfits (which really is over a month’s worth), workout clothes, and winter accessories. Above is:

  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 2 thin sweaters
  • 1 wrap top
  • 2 shells
  • 2 button-down blouses
  • 1 thermal top from REI

Below is:

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0403
A variety of pants for traveling

In addition to the standard undergarments, PJs, robe, and compression socks, I added thin but warm thermal underwear from Lands End:

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0404
Undergarments, sleepwear, and thermals.

 

Because I like to stay fit when traveling, I packed one set of workout gear. I would probably trade these trainers for my black leather cross trainers because those can double as casual shoes and are very warm.

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0409
Gotta be prepared for a workout.

The shoes are Inov8 cross training shoes, workout leggings and sports bra by Victoria Secret Sport, tee by Livesore, socks and bandana are from wherever.

I saved my heavy duty coat for wearing on the plane and packed a lighter down jacket for everyday use. Missing are the gloves. There are more packable scarves than the Burberry, but it’s my luxury item that I’ve had for many years. And it’s very, very warm.

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0416
Packable cold-weather outerwear

Here’s what everything looks like packed inside of the bag. The outerwear is packed outside of the bag.

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0414
A carry-on bag full of winter clothes.
Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0431
Extra pockets are empty. There’s space for flat items only.
Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0418
Outerwear (including down jacket) in the outer pocket
Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0421
All zipped up and ready to go.

One outer pocket holds the baggie of liquids while the other holds my 12-oz Klean Canteen.

As for my makeup, jewelry, and other toiletries, they will have to go into my personal item, a gorgeous B&D bag that I got at a consignment shop. I threw my full makeup bag into my tote as a space filler. In a real packing situation, I would use travel-sized toiletries and a much smaller, more flexible bag. I love my newest purse which holds quite a bit and has a detachable bag which can be a small crossbody purse or waist pack. Other items going into the tote: iPad, camera, phone, snacks, and last-minute things I always insist on adding.

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0426
Things that will go into my tote.
Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0428
Inside the tote
Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0430
Tortuga Backpack and B&D leather tote: ready for winter travel

Following the rule of wearing the bulkiest items, here’s what I’d wear while traveling:

Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0436
Travel clothes. Wearing the bulkiest.
Tortuga Winter Packing DSCF0437
Winter outerwear

The UGG boots and the Lands End parka will keep me very warm in all kinds of frigid temperatures. If the climate is not going to be terribly cold or rainy, I’d trade this and the packable down jacket with a longer packable down coat that I have. When in doubt, though, I’d go with this parka because it provides protection against cold, snow, and rain.

So, the verdict is-

YES! I can do carry-on only year round.  Winter weather does not mean having to check a bag.

Advertisements