Family Winter Packing Guide

Alexandria
Travel
February 9, 2023
Everything you need to pack for your family for your next winter snow trip!

Winter travel is one of my favorites. Everything is covered in a blanket of fresh snow and the air smells so crisp and fresh. Now, packing for winter travel is another story. Packing for myself can be tough, then add in four kids, and well dang! We legitimately need 1 suitcase per person, when normally we can get away with a couple carry-ons or maybe two suitcases for our entire family. There’s a lot of extras that you need to truly be comfortable in the cold weather. This isn’t a time to pack “lightly”.

Each year it gets easier for us since the kids are growing and can kind of figure out their own suitcases, and like most moms, I’ve created somewhat of a system. I know what works and what doesn’t work. So, let me help you out!

Download the Guide Here

Before You Start

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Tip 1: Buy Neutral Colors

If you have multiple kids, buy neutral colors so you can hand them down. All our base layers and ski bibs are neutral colors, while I let them pick their own jackets.

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Tip 2: Shop Sales

Shop sales on Black Friday and other holidays. Almost all my snow gear has been purchased on sale.
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Tip 3: Splurge on the Jacket

If you’re going to splurge on one thing, splurge on the jacket. Stick with the name brand items (on sale, of course). The North Face, Sorel, Columbia, Helly Hansen, Patagonia, REI, and Arctix off Amazon. My kids usually get 2 years out of their jackets before handing them down to the next in line.
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Tip 4: Fleece Lined and Wool is your Best Friend.

Winter Packing Guide - Before You Start

The Main Layers

Warm Base Layers

Warm, soft base layers are the true heroes for winter time and what I called layer one. If you aren’t comfortable in these, your entire day will be ruined, so it is very important to try these on before packing!

Snow Bib or Snow Pants

Personally I prefer snow bibs, especially for kids. Snow bibs tend to have more pockets and are more comfortable when you’re skiing or snowboarding.

Warm Shell or Base Coat/Sweater

This is technically layer 3, after your snow bib. I love our Patagonia sweaters and we’ve been using them for years. If you have a great jacket, any comfortable sweater as layer 3 will do! This is what you’ll be wearing at restaurants when you take off your snow jacket, so I like it to be cute and presentable, ya know? 😉

Waterproof Ski/Snow Jacket

I love Helly Hansen because they aren’t big and bulky but are so warm! This is what you see all the ski instructors wear, and they’re outside all day, so you know it’s keeping them warm. This is a total splurge item, but well worth it if you plan to take multiple snow trips over the years.
Winter Packing Guide - The Main Layers

The Accessories

Wool Socks

Beanies

We love the Carhartt brand beanies for the whole family.

Waterproof Gloves

You can get snow gloves almost anywhere. Make sure they are waterproof and insulated! I like these, these, and these were very popular in Jackson Hole! These are great for the men.

Sunscreen & Chapstick

Don’t forget your sunscreen and chapstick! The sun and wind can be brutal on the slopes!

Waterproof Snow Boots

The best brands for snow boots are Sorel, Sperry, Columbia, Merrell.

Wool Socks

Hand Warmers

Bulk up on hand warmers for you and the family! We always buy this box of hand warmers from amazon and separate them between the suitcases.
** All the products listed can be found much cheaper at several retailers and Amazon.If you plan to use them more than once, I suggest spending a little extra so they last. For example, we have gone through several pairs of cheap goggles and should have splurge at the beginning. Just my two cents on the subject.
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