Learning how to layer is essential, regardless of whether you are packing like a minimalist so that you can travel with only one bag or exploring multiple seasons and climates in one trip.
When you layer your clothes, you are prepared for whatever weather you are forced to deal with during your journey.
It is quite easy to experience diverse climates when traveling to Peru, Chile, or Argentina, from the hot, humid coastal areas to the cold and rainy mountains.
Slow travelers need to be prepared for winter, summer, and everything in between if they plan to spend months on the road.
There is no doubt that layering is a necessity that I am well acquainted with. A remarkably cold winter greeted me in Hanoi one December after the eternal sunshine of south Vietnam. Several such regions have a fast-changing climate, so you must be prepared. There is a solution to this problem by layering.
Dressing in layers when you travel can help you pack much less since it can reduce the amount of clothing you need to bring. The less luggage you need to carry, the less you have to pack. There is no reason why you should not be able to fly with only a carry-on.
My experience indicates that the Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack is unrivaled for travelers traveling with only one bag. It is the only bag that provides maximum comfort and all-weather readiness while accommodating so much into airline carry-on limitations.
You can take on whatever the trip throws your way with the Outbreaker, since its exterior is made of durable, waterproof sailcloth. As comfortable as a backpack can be, the Outbreaker has fully adjustable, heavily padded shoulder straps.
How to Dress in Layers
Please make sure you do not bring clothes that are designed for one type of climate only. You would have to spend a lot of money and take up a lot of space in your pack if you did so.
It is important to bring clothing that can be worn in any weather condition. There will be a lot of frustration on the road if you wear winter-weight fabrics.
If you need specialized items, like gloves, you can purchase them locally and pass them along. Make sure your clothes are versatile and layerable.
Make them perfect for any climate by layering them with other options. The key to looking good and dressing efficiently is to use layers.
Base Layers for Travel
You will quickly become your best friend with base layers as they make up the foundation of a versatile wardrobe. Make wise choices when it comes to your base layers.
Make sure you have a few high-quality, breathable base layers you can wear all day long. It is recommended to pack two pairs of underwear (plus long underwear or tights for a cold trip), two pairs of undershirts, two pairs of socks, and one pair of t-shirts.
Merino wool or synthetic microfiber is a good choice for these base layers. There is no difference between the two in terms of breathability.
The moisture that surrounds you when you are hot is wicking away by wool and microfiber. The more you wear them, the warmer you will be when you are cold. The advantage of merino is that it doesn’t stink like cotton.
They also dry very quickly, which is another important characteristic of these fabrics. There is no way to overstate the importance of fabrics that dry quickly.
You can wear your base layers again after a few hours of air drying if they get wet or sweaty. Your hotel room has a washing machine for hand washing and a drying rack for hanging up your socks and underwear. Bringing a few pairs of base layers is not as difficult as it sounds because you can wash and dry them easily.
For a long-term trip, you only need two or three pairs of socks and underwear. You will only need one set of long underwear (top and bottom). Even in the most frigid conditions, pants and long sleeve shirts are an ideal outfit when added with a set of long underwear.
T-shirts designed for base layers can be found in a huge variety. It has been my pleasure to wear UnderArmour, North Face, and store-branded microfiber t-shirts. If you are looking for something that fits your budget and style needs, then go for it. If you are serious about layering, however, you should stay away from cotton.
Unlike other travel pants, Tortuga’s travel pants feature smart features like wrinkle resistance and water resistance. Moreover, they should provide a bit of stretch so that you can move more freely.
Consider packing pants that are looser fitting so that you can wear them over long underwear if you typically wear slim or skinny pants.
Both the Western Rise Evolution Pant and Outlier Slim Dungaree are perfect for layering.
It’s your chance to express yourself creatively and show off your personal style, but it’s still important to make sure the item is durable.
In almost every environment, you are going to wear your base layer t-shirts almost every day. I wear grey, black, and blue because my style is pretty classical. Khaki bottoms and a gray t-shirt are always a good combination. Wear base layer t-shirts that are louder and more colorful if you have a louder or more colorful style.
If you aren’t planning to socialize, bring two shirts with you. Again, don’t let efficiency get in the way of your personal style. Two button-down shirts are probably the best choice for guys.
If you wish, you may bring a button-down shirt as well as a polo shirt. Bringing two blouses that make you happy that you’re not wearing your base layer tee anymore would be the best idea for ladies.
Don’t worry about whether your clothes are wrinkle-resistant. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. It is important to keep in mind that only one or two options are necessary.
My recommendation is to invest in a very durable and versatile sweater or fleece pullover. Black fleece pullovers or gray wool sweaters are what I pack. Any semi-formal event like a dinner party in a cold climate is appropriate with a nice sweater.
In addition to being great to wear over your base layer tees on freezing nights, this heavier-weight top can also be layered under your jackets on those cold days. A sweater worn multiple times in a week won’t be noticed if you’re moving from one city to another.
One and a half pieces of outerwear are all you need: a waterproof, windproof shell jacket and a fleece jacket.
Because I don’t consider the fleece jacket just outerwear, I say one-and-a-half. After your base layers, it’s also one of the most important pieces of layering.
During the frigid Scandinavian winter, you’ll wear your fleece jacket under your shell on chilly summer nights in the Mediterranean. If you have a set of shell and fleece jackets (zippers, snaps, Velcro), it’s great, but not essential.
Waterproof and windproof shell jackets are great investments because they can be worn year-round, no matter what the weather conditions. Since these jackets are stylish, they are suitable for almost any occasion except formal ones.
You’ll soon realize that a shell jacket is a more practical solution than a heavy “winter” jacket that allows wind and rain to pass through. In order to keep themselves warm, skiers wear these jackets only under base layers.
It is a North Face fleece and shell set that I wear. In my opinion, North Face is one of the best brands out there. On eBay or Craigslist, you can find a number of used jackets that are very affordable.
Make your layering accessories happy by bringing them. Scarves are almost as versatile as clothes, taking up almost no space and adding an element of individuality to almost any look. Possibly it’s just a hat that makes you feel whole, even if it’s not absolutely necessary.
It’s not a good idea to give up your individuality just because a travel blogger recommends all utilitarian outfits. Don’t dress like a hunting guide if you want to look cool or be happy.
If you want to bring a few accessories that make you happy, don’t feel guilty about it. You can throw them out if they become too much of a burden.
How to Pack for a Trip Anywhere and Everywhere
When traveling through multiple climates over a long period of time, you only need one piece of luggage. On the road, anything more would be inconvenient.
You should make sure that the bag fits your airline’s carry-on limits, typically 45 linear inches (length + width + height). Specifically designed for long-term travelers, the Tortuga Outbreaker fits these dimensions.
We recommend rolling your clothes when packing your bag. When you roll your clothes, you save space and prevent wrinkles. Wet or dirty clothes should be stored in plastic bags.
If you follow my packing tips and bring one extra pair of shoes along with your usual footwear, your travel backpack will fit everything perfectly. Additionally, you’ll have plenty of room for a small computer or iPad, a few books, and a water bottle.