Packing Light: Tips for Streamlining Your Travel Wardrobe

a man on a hike in Death Valley wearing a Ridge Merino Solstice Sun Hoodie, a great clothing piece for traveling

Whether you’re on an international vacation, a road trip or a big expedition out of town, it’s no fun lugging around an overstuffed bag.

One of our favorite benefits of Merino wool is how much easier it makes packing clothes for traveling. Since Merino wool is naturally odor resistant, you can wear what you pack multiple times before washing. Merino wool clothing tends to pack down small to take up less space, and we intentionally design our clothes to be versatile enough to wear out to drinks or a casual dinner after a long, active day.

Here are some tips for packing light and using Merino wool clothes to build a simple travel wardrobe.

Our Favorite Merino Wool Clothes for Traveling

The best way to pack light is to pack versatile travel clothes that can be interchangeably paired and worn multiple ways. Our clothes are all designed to accompany you on outdoor adventures and be dressed up when needed, and our neutral color options make coordinating outfits easy.

Men’s High Country Button Down

a man wearing the High Country Button Down leans on a railing looking out
Not sure what to wear when traveling? Founder Jeff Russell's suitcase has a High Country Button Down, Minaret Socks and Natural Tee packed

Our new favorite travel item is our High Country Button Down, a long sleeve shirt made with Cordura Combat Wool. This shirt is unbelievably lightweight and packs down super small. It's naturally wrinkle resistant — fold it before putting it in your bag and it'll still look great for a night out at the end of your trip. It’s breathable and moisture-wicking too, so it can also be worn on hikes or warm sightseeing days.

Women’s Bralette, Cami and Sports Bra

a woman on a trip wearing a Send-It Merino Wool Sports Bra looking out over cloudy mountains

Being able to add and remove layers is key to staying comfortable when cold in the airplane or hot at the gas station stop. Our favorite layering pieces for women are our camis and bralettes. If you like a cropped cut, our bralette can be worn as a standalone tank, but both are thin and simple enough to work well layered under tees and hoodies.

Our seamless sports bra (pictured above) offers both support and comfort. It holds you in place during exercise, but it doesn’t constrict you like many sports bras do. Customers have told us they like to wear it for air travel since they can move quickly through airports but still feel comfortable on long flights.

Men’s Journey Tees and Women’s Wander Tees

When we hear “travel” we immediately think of our Journey and Wander tees. Customer reviews praise these shirts for travel because of their natural odor resistance and style that can be dressed up or down. For an elevated look, men love our Journey Polo.

One reviewer said about the Journey tee, “I travel a lot for work and these are my go-to shirts as they look good, feel great, and stay fresh for long periods (useful for long flight delays).”

Another said about the Wander V-Neck, “I love Merino for hiking and backpacking, but wanted some tops that I can wear in the evenings, in an attempt to reduce my packing and bag size when traveling. The two v-necks and two tanks I bought fit the bill.”

Joggers for Men and Women

Hyde Joggers make great clothing for traveling and long walks on the beach

Whether you're packing for an early season beach trip or a winter vacation, rather than packing bulky sweatpants, pack a comfy pair of Merino joggers. You can easily wear a pair of leggings (like our Aspect or Inversion base layers) under them for extra warmth. Our leggings and joggers make great sleep attire too.

Our Hyde Jogger (pictured above) for men or Natural Jogger for women are great travel pieces. Both have zippered pockets that keep everything safe when you're on the move, and they pack down pretty small. 

Merino Wool Socks

We all know the trick to wear your bulkiest shoes and clothes on the flight to save room in your bag. Another space saving tip is packing Merino wool socks. You’ll only need to pack a couple pairs since they’re moisture-wicking and odor resistant.

Merino Wool Underwear

Ridge Merino underwear hanging on a clothes line after being hand-washed after being worn traveling

Re-wearing underwear isn’t for everyone, but it’s totally possible with Merino wool. As one reviewer of our boxers said:

“I got these specifically for adventure travel - not to workout, but in camp after sweating all day, in damp conditions, and in places where laundry and proper showers are few and far between.”

Even if you don’t want to re-wear, Merino wool underwear (men’s and women’s) are easy to refresh with a rinse in a creek when camping or in a hotel sink. When wrung out and hung to dry, our underwear typically dries overnight or within 24 hours.

Honorable Mentions

The hardest part of packing is choosing what clothes to leave at home, but here are a few other customer favorite travel clothes:

More Tips for Packing Light

Bring Accessories

Instead of packing a beanie, consider a thin Merino wool neck tube to provide warmth, protect from the sun or wear as a headband. Pack jewelry and/or a nice pair of shoes to dress up the more casual clothes you bring. A large scarf or Turkish towel can be wrapped around you like a blanket when cold or used to sit on at the beach.

Consider Doing Laundry

For longer trips, doing laundry may be easier than hauling around a huge suitcase. Merino wool clothing is simple to care for – wash on cold then hang to dry. If you want to avoid the laundromat, pack a little laundry detergent and you can quickly hand wash things in a hotel or Airbnb sink. Merino wool gear is particularly easy to wash and dries pretty quickly.

Use Packing Cubes and Stuff Sacks

There’s only so much you can pare down your travel wardrobe. Once you have the essentials dialed, packing cubes are a great way to stay organized and pack a lot into your bags. If you own stuff sacks, these can help compress your clothing even smaller. They work great for items like puffy coats, sweatpants and sleeping bags.

World traveler Khai Johannes knows exactly what to wear traveling - he's wearing the Solstice Hoodie in front of a flight departures board at an airport

We love to travel but we’re no match for our frequent flyer friend Khai Johannes, who loves to wear his Solstice Sun Hoodie traveling. Check out his tips on what to wear traveling.


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"Wore this for 12 days straight on a backpacking trip, and immediately ordered another one after getting back. Never washed it and it never smelled (and I was sweating a lot). Highly recommend- my best trail purchase."
"I love wearing this shirt. It reduced my packing volume by 2-3 tee shirts on bike packing and other camping trips. Also purchased the boxer briefs - so comfortable; recommend them for travel of any kind."
"I took three of these shirts for a full month backpacking trip to Spain. They fit great, washed by hand, dries in a flash. Stink free for days, versatile as you can wear them all day and still looks great for dinner."