We love our versatile clothes. Not only does it help us pack light, but since we like a mix of urban and outdoor adventures, it preps us for any activity. Since we’ve lived in all types of climates over the years, we’ve had the chance to test out different jackets, and here are our favorites.
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Last Updated: January 19, 2021
In this post, we check out highly rated and recommended travel jackets and also include our personal favorites.
The Best Travel Jackets for Women and Men 2021
We wouldn’t have made it through our year in NYC without these jackets. They have a clean design and function well. It’s a 3-in-1 because you can wear it 3 different ways as you can detach the insulated layer from the shell layer.
Three ways to wear the jacketWater-proof shellRemovable hood, so it can look dressier.Longer jacket to keep more of you warmSlimmer fitCan be dressed up but also handle outdoor adventures
Bulky to pack if you happen to need to keep it in your suitcaseLimited, mute color optionsThe men’s version is not as long as I would like.
3-In-1 ParkaWomen’s + Men’s
This is our go-to mild weather travel jacket. It’s warm enough for cool evenings and small enough to pack away in a backpack when we don’t need it. We’ve also worn it as a mid-layer on outdoor adventures.
Made from 100% recycled polyester fleeceDoesn’t pill like other fleeceWorks as a jacket or mid-layerOffered in a bunch of colorsComes in a variety of styles if you prefer quarter zip etc
Not waterproofLooks casual, and therefore, not as versatile
Better Sweater Fleece JacketWomen’s + Men’s
This is my favorite mid-weight jacket when I need to dress up in the city. It works well dressed up or down while keeping me warm with the wind resistant and fleece-lined design.
Wind resistant and fleece-linedStretchy but slim fitCollar can be zipped all the way up for extra warmthLightweight and packableWrinkle resistant
Not waterproofNo hood, for when Priciest mid-weight jacket on this list
Anatomie Travel Slick JacketWomen’s – Read More Reviews
This is one of the best overall jackets for warmth and packability. It’s extremely light and comes in many different colors. The jacket also doubled as a pillow on the plane for me, since you can stuff it into the pocket.
We don’t wear the Nano Puff as often anymore, but it has served us well over the years. Now, we either wear the interior of the 3-in-1 Parka or our Nano Storm is our go-to since that one is waterproof without feeling like a raincoat.
Packs into its own pocketBluesign approved fabricExtremely lightComes in a bunch of colorsWater repellent design and windproofUses the most thermally efficient synthetic insulation
Not waterproofVery outdoorsy lookDoesn’t have a hood
Patagonia Nano Puff JacketWomen’s + Men’s
This jacket has a hoodie and non-hoodie version and one we prefer since it has a cleaner look than the waffle knit design. We have the hoodie version but might pick up a non-hoodie version too since we wear them all the time, especially when we’re out climbing. We wear it in mild conditions and have used it as a mid-layer for colder conditions.
Warm and lightweightClean lookSide panels helps with stretch, performance, and breathabilityLow profile hood for wind and light rainWorks on it’s own or for layering
Not waterproofHas an outdoorsy look – although less so if you get one without a hood and in a neutral color
Arc’teryx Atom LTWomen’s + Men’s
This is another jacket that has both a hoodie and non-hoodie version. Since I always run colder than Jacob, I decided to get one and it’s extremely warm. It packs down small as well, although not as small as the Patagonia Nano Puff.
850-fill-power down – certified Responsible Down StandardBreathable and wind-resistantWater repellent fabric
Not waterproofCan’t be dressed upPriciest on this list
Arc’teryx Cerium LTWomen’s + Men’s
This Bomber jacket was built for traveling with every feature imaginable, including a built-in eye mask, inflatable neck pillow, zipper pen, tons of pockets, and more. I love all the features, but on the downside it adds to the weight and bulkiness.
Esther has been waiting for this jacket to be back in stock in her size, but it’s been over a year.
Tons of features built with the traveler in mindComes with removable accessories, like a travel blanket, earplugs, travel bottle etcA bunch of dedicated pocketsStylish bomber-jacket lookWater resistant
Heavy in comparison to the other jacketsBulky if you have all the features inlcudedNot waterproof
More Highly Rated Travel Jackets
Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket – Best for RainColumbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange – Best for SkiingColumbia Watertight II JacketNorth Face Thermoball Scottevest – We ordered these but ended up returning them because they were too baggy / boxy on us. It may look much better on other body types.Uniqlo Ultra Light Down – Best Budget
Things to Look for in Travel Jackets
Versatility – Most of our trips will take us from outdoor activities during the day to fine dining in the evening. Ideally, our jackets can transition between the outdoor and urban environments.Performance – Jackets have different features and we have a handful of them to help us fit those needs. Sometimes we need to bundle up a lot more, other times, we have to worry about rain and wind. It’s important to know what your jacket can handle. Overall, we look at if it’s waterproof or just water-resistant.Water-resistant is good if you will be getting wet but not outside for an extended period of time.Waterproof is necessary if you’ll be outside in rain a lot. It costs more and is generally less breathable.Down Material – Most jackets will use synthetic or goose down. Generally, goose is warmer and more compressible, but less breathable and less water-resistant.Packable – We’re always looking for light and easy to pack jackets, although, that isn’t always possible with larger winter coats so prioritize what you need for each trip.Comfort – Since we’ll be wearing it a lot, we want jackets that are comfy.
Are there any others we should check out that belong on our list of best jackets for travel? What’s your go-to travel jacket?
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Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.
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