Vinyl Records - Shipping, max/min temperatures


I will be shipping my entire vinyl record collection soon, and am researching shipping methods.  It's too much for me to load them in my car or even my pickup truck.  The move will be cross country, about 2500 miles.

We all know that if vinyl is exposed to temperatures too high, they will likely warp.  I am thinking that this being January, excessively high temperatures are not likely to be encountered during shipping.   But what about low temperatures?  What would be the safest minimum temperature the vinyl could be exposed to without damage?


The ideal temperature for vinyl records is between 65°F (18°C) and 70°F (21°C). Any temperatures at or below freezing point (0°C) cause brittleness, which increase the risk of breaking. And thawing afterwards increases risk of mold and mildew.

Canada Post are in the habit of leaving my mail in a "community mailbox" half a mile from my house. Vinyl LPs don't seem to suffer in the winter, but I do make a point of picking them up in the summer, as a hot metal box in +30°C is likely to do harm. And things like vacuum tubes, I leave in their packaging to slowly warm up in case a sudden temperature change breaks something.

I should think LPs packed into boxes and thus supporting each other, would be fine in the cold.

I would think if packed snuggly it would not matter. For fun I asked Bard:


There's not a definitive "safe" minimum temperature for shipping vinyl records, but it's generally better to avoid extreme cold below freezing (0°C or 32°F) for extended periods. While vinyl itself can withstand colder temperatures, potential concerns arise:

1. Brittleness: At very cold temperatures, vinyl can become slightly brittle, increasing the risk of cracks or chips during handling or in transit. This is especially true for older or worn records.

2. Condensation: When records transition from cold to warm environments, condensation can form on their surface,potentially attracting mold or warping the record. This risk increases with colder temperatures and higher humidity.

3. Shipping delays: Extremely cold weather can lead to shipping delays or cancellations due to hazardous conditions for transportation.

Instead of focusing on a strict minimum temperature, consider these guidelines:

  • Ship during milder weather: If possible, opt for shipping when temperatures are closer to room temperature (18°C - 21°C) to avoid both extreme heat and cold.
  • Pack securely: Use proper record mailers made for vinyl with adequate padding and insulation. Secure the records within the packaging to prevent movement during transit.
  • Allow records to acclimate: If your records experience cold temperatures during shipping, let them adjust to the room temperature for a few hours before handling or playing them. This helps prevent condensation and reduces the risk of warping.

By following these recommendations and avoiding excessively cold temperatures, you can safely ship your vinyl records and minimize the risk of damage.

Additional tip: If you're concerned about a specific shipping destination with exceptionally cold weather, consider contacting the recipient to ensure they can receive the package promptly and allow the records to acclimate before handling.

Remember, good packing and handling are crucial for safe shipping at any temperature. By taking proper precautions, you can ensure your records arrive safely and ready to spin.

Thermostatic Controlled Reptile Heat Mats are quite cheap in the US, these are commonly 12V and will comfortably keep a space heated to a Temp Range of 10 Celcius to 25 Celcius.

It would not be too difficult to arrange for these to be used in a vehicle. 

Iam worried my $400 vynil order will be delayed with this extreme temps , Fortunately they showed last Saturday.

Why not call Music Direct and ask them?  They ship records all over the world to many different climates.  They would know best.   Most people here will have their own opinion that may or may not be true. 

I would imagine that records shipped across the US at this time of year are unlikely to be exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees F for an extended period of time. Certainly they are unlikely to  reach a freezing point, whatever that is for vinyl. If gently brought back to room temperature, I cannot imagine they would be harmed.

I don't think you have anything to worry about.  If you're paranoid about condensation forming when you open the boxes at the destination, just line the shipping boxes with plastic bags, fill with LPs, and then tie the bag to seal the records.  When at the new destination, let the records acclimate to the new temp before opening the bags.  Condensation has no chance of forming.

But again, I wouldn't worry about it.  Unless the records are very cold and you open the boxes in a rain forest, no meaningful amount of condensation will form.  I assume you'll be opening the boxes in a climate controlled environment with reasonable relative humidity.  I open boxes of stuff that was shipped to me all the time in the winter (including records) and condensation never forms on anything.

Thermostatic Controlled Reptile Heat Mats are quite cheap in the US, these are commonly 12V and will comfortably keep a space heated to a Temp Range of 10 Celcius to 25 Celcius.

It would not be too difficult to arrange for these to be used in a vehicle.

What?  Do we have AI posting in the forums?

Cold temps probably won't be a problem. I'd say the risk is that the get dropped etc when cold which could damage them when they are brittle.  However, if they are packed tightly into boxes or crates so that they cannot move, the risk is minimal.  

If they aren't packed correctly, the risk is there independent of temp.


The record collection is not that large - perhaps 700-800 albums  They will be packed in 13 inch double-layered corrugated cardboard boxes.  Naturally, they will be stored near vertically in the boxes, but not packed too tight.

There is still some insulation value in the cardboard boxes and truck they are shipped in is probably not going to be much colder than an industrial warehouse, where, I am sure there are lots of new vinyl records stored for distribution.

It has more to do with how they are packed. Uhaul has perfect size boxes for them. Pack vinyl upright and leaving zero gap but not overly tight. 

I would consider strapping them to a pallet, surround them with heavy duty clear plastic wrap and ship them freight. Cold weather should not be a problem, however hot weather might be.


We’re talking about a few days of transit here not 10 years of storage. I cannot imagine anything under controlled conditions across the US is going to cause a problem….like people said retailers ship every day. I understand the concern, but you’re way overthinking this  

Not something I even thought about when we moved and had the records stored by the moving company for 2 weeks.  Records were fine.  Just pack them well.