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Here’s How To Stay Warm on a Plane

Whether you’re headed to Los Angeles or across the pond, we’ve got you — ahem — covered.

We all know the realities of plane travel, especially the battle against icy cabin temperatures. Should you pack a lightweight jacket? An entire winter wardrobe? Or just risk it? 

Our editors know the annoyance of getting cold firsthand and share their favorite tried-and-true air travel solutions that work. Hint: it’s more than just dressing in layers. 

Our favorite part? All of these products are made with consideration for people and the planet. 

We even include each company’s sustainability story under each product we recommend. 

1. It’s all about the feet: socks + booties

Staying warm on a flight starts with what you have on your feet. We looked to the most extreme cold weather sports — built to keep the worst snow, cold air, and winter weather conditions at bay — for inspiration.

Smartwool Extra Heavy (Mountaineering) Socks

Smartwool Extra Heavy (Mountaineering) Socks

Our antidote to cold airplanes? Smartwool’s Extra Heavy Mountaineering Socks. They’re the first thing we pack for every trip. Designed for mountaineers in extreme cold, they’re just as indispensable in the air. Their smart construction, featuring a flat knit toe seam and the Smartwool® fit system, along with the insulating power of ZQ-Certified Merino wool, make them our secret weapon, no matter how cold the cabin gets. 

They’re quite bulky for a sock (and we recommend getting a size bigger than you think), which you’ll be happy about while asleep on an international flight. Pack a pair in your carry-on, then change into them once seated. Want less bulk? Check out their over-the-calf compression socks

Read Smartwool’s Sustainability Story 

Shop: $26 on Amazon  

The North Face ThermoBall™ Traction Booties

The North Face ThermoBall™ Traction Booties

You may be second-guessing your packing space allocation for a pair of The North Face’s ThermoBall™ Traction Booties. They’re quick to slip on/off and made from 100% recycled materials, including a water-repellent P.E.T. ripstop upper, and a sole with 20% recycled rubber. We love the higher cut for ankle coverage—there’s no chance cold air is coming in contact with your feet with these. Recommended for the times when you’ll be able to use them beyond the flight, especially as a comfy end-of-day lightweight adventure (think: après ski) bootie. 

Read The North Face’s Sustainability Story 

Shop: $69 at The North Face | $69 at Amazon

2. Cover your neck

Covering your neck is key to staying warm on a plane at cruising altitude. A scarf, neck wrap, or even a neck pillow can make a big difference in keeping you comfortable and cozy.

White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap

White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap 

For over two decades, White + Warren’s best-selling Cashmere Travel Wrap has offered unparalleled softness and versatility. Whether you’re wrapping up against cabin chill or accenting an outfit, its responsibly sourced cashmere provides extra warmth and chic style. For a lightweight scarf, choose their silk version. What makes it truly special is the option for monogramming, adding a personal touch to an already exquisite accessory. An essential piece for any traveler’s wardrobe. 

Read White + Warren’s Sustainability Story 

Shop: $350 at White + Warren

Huzi Infinity Pillow

Huzi Infinity Pillow

Sure, many neck pillows claim versatility, but the Huzi Infinity Pillow truly delivers. Crafted from eco-friendly, breathable, thermo-regulating bamboo, it offers not just breathability but also adaptability in just about any seat on the plane — whether it’s a window seat or the dreaded middle. With its innovative Möbius strip design, this pillow transforms into neck support, a lumbar pillow, a desk pillow, noise reduction, or an eye mask with ease. It’s as personalized as you can get when it comes to getting restful sleep on a long flight.  

Shop: $50 on Amazon | $45 at Infinity Pillow

3. Bring in some extra heating support with hand warmers

Hand warmers aren’t just for cold weather outside or skiing—they’re perfect for planes too. Small and quick to heat, they keep you cozy up in the air. Just slip one into your carry-on for a snug flight. 

Ignik Hand Warmers

Ignik Hand Warmers  

Ignik Hand Warmers have become our trusted companion for warmth on long flights. What we love most is their commitment to sustainability, with 98% biodegradable contents and recyclable packaging. Offering up to 10 hours of high-performance heat per pair, these easily air-activated warmers have a special feature: seal them back in their AirBarrier pouch for use across multiple days. 

Read Ignik’s Sustainability Story 

Shop: $13 for a 10 Pack on Amazon

Occopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Occopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer

The Occopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer is our favorite reusable solution for staying warm during flights. Featuring a 5200mAh lithium battery, it provides hours of heat on demand, with the added utility of a USB-C charging port for electronic devices. Its three adjustable temperature levels cater to individual comfort preferences, all encased in a durable, aircraft-grade aluminum and ABS material body for longevity and ease of use. 

Read Occopa’s Sustainability Story

Shop: $28 on Amazon

4. Pack a travel blanket 

Today’s travel blankets, remarkably compact yet incredibly warm, make the decision to use precious packing space a no-brainer.

Rumpl NanoLoft® Travel Blanket

Rumpl NanoLoft® Travel Blanket

There are travel blankets, and then there are Travel Blankets: Rumpl NanoLoft® Travel Blanket is the in-flight game-changer. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester and from 20 recycled plastic bottles per blanket, it packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle, making it a cinch to carry. With NanoLoft® insulation mimicking down, a 100% post-consumer recycled polyester shell, The Cape Clip® for hands-free use, and a DWR water and stain-resistant finish, it’s ready to fold out to at a 38 x 52-inch fluffy blanket at a moment’s notice. Did we mention that Rumpl is a certified B Corp? 

Read Rumpl’s Sustainability Story 

Shop: From $85 at Amazon | From $85 at Rumpl

5. Get full-on cozy with your layers

When it gets cold, you’ll be happy you brought that extra layer. For tops, you’ll need lots of fabric to cover up and stay cozy (like a cocoon cardigan)—the more oversized, the better. For the bottoms, stick with comfortable long pants (like joggers or stretchy leggings) that are meant for warmth, and stay close to the skin. 

A word to the wise: As comfortable as they are, keep the jumpsuit in your luggage for a long-haul flight. Airport and plane bathrooms are already a pain, and a jumpsuit only complicates things further. 

frankie and eileen effie sweater

Frank & Eileen EFFIE Long-Sleeve Funnel Neck Capelet

Frank & Eileen’s EFFIE Capelet is the travel companion you didn’t know you needed. Upgrading the classic turtleneck to a stylish, funnel neck capelet, it’s perfect for warding off air vent chill. Its triple fleece, 100% cotton fabric offers luxurious warmth, while the relaxed fit and signature side slit makes it ideal for layering. It’s our go-to for staying stylishly warm on the plane, especially on a short flight. Hand-cut with a raw hem and edges, with a continuous seam sleeve, this may just be your go-to when you’re not traveling. Woman-owned and Certified B Corp. 

Read Frank & Eileen’s Sustainability Story 

Shop: $228 at Frankie & Eileen 

Icebreaker Merino Crush Pants

Icebreaker Merino Crush Pants

Icebreaker’s Merino Crush Pants are a game-changer for those who live for comfort but still want to look put together. These pants are the ultimate cozy companion, especially for overnight flight comfort. Made from the softest Merino Wool, they’re not just warm; they’re smart, adapting to your body temperature to keep you just right, no matter the temperature. The relaxed fit, stretchy fabric, and convenient pockets make them versatile for everything from walking through security to sleeping in a semi-reclined position. 

Read Icebreaker’s Sustainability Story 

Shop: $150 at Icebreaker Store (on Amazon)

Athleta Pranayama Restore Long Wrap

Athleta Pranayama Restore Long Wrap

Crafted from TENCEL Modal™ and Spandex, Athleta’s Pranayama Restore Long Wrap features a low-impact material (TENCEL™ is harvested from responsibly managed forests) that offers breathability and all-around stretch for ultimate travel comfort. What sets it apart for us is its practicality; it folds compactly, making it ideal for the minimalist packer. Perfect for layering up, its soft Nirvana fabric and thoughtful features like side pockets and thumbholes elevate it from a simple wrap to a travel staple. 

Read Athleta’s Sustainability Story

Shop: $99 at Athleta 

Quince Mongolian full-zip hoodie and sweatpants set

Quince Mongolian full-zip hoodie and sweatpants set

The Quince Mongolian Cashmere Set redefines travel luxury with its full-zip hoodie and matching sweatpants. Made from ethically sourced, 100% Grade-A Mongolian cashmere, this set combines unparalleled softness with a timeless design, featuring classic fit and raglan sleeves for a nod to vintage sportswear. Bonus: it is truly made for warmth (almost three times that of wool). It’s a staple of everyday luxury we find indispensable for both travel and leisure. Purchase hoodie and sweatpants separately. 

Read Quince’s Sustainability Story 

Shop Hoodie: $100 at Quince

Shop Sweatpants: $100 at Quince

6. More tips for staying warm on a plane

It’s easy to forget about the basics, but they matter. Here are some standards among flight attendants for your best chance at keeping warm on a plane. 

  • Select your seat wisely: Stay away from the exit rows. As tempting as they might be for more legroom, they’re the coldest in the aircraft. Window seats may also be a little colder than an aisle, but it may be worth it for some passengers.   
  • Dress in layers: Warm clothing in layers is a known solution for good reason. Remember to wear a base layer and warm outer layers, (even in summer). You never know when you’ll be stuck on the tarmac with no air conditioning. 
  • Hydration matters: Stay hydrated to improve circulation, regulate body temperature, and warm up with a hot tea. It also helps curb jet lag. 
  • Choose clothing materials wisely: Wear ultra-soft natural fibers that help regulate body temperate in hot air or cold air. We love merino wool, bamboo, and cashmere.

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