Best Travel Jackets: How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel

This post may contain affiliate links. Please visit our Disclosure page for details.

Need to find the best travel jackets? You’ve come to the right place. We prefer warm weather for traveling. However, dropping temperatures shouldn’t stop you from exploring new places, right?

It’s important to travel light. This goes double when you’re heading to a warm destination — a jacket may me be the last thing you want to pack. However, sometimes you have no choice. In these situations, having one of the best jackets for travel comes in really handy, regardless of the season.

Best Travel Jackets How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel

It’s best to have a packable jacket no matter where you’re going. For example, we use packable jackets on flights since some airplanes don’t provide blankets anymore.

Another example is travel in Malaysia: you’ll almost never need a jacket outside, but having one of the best light jackets is a must in the country’s movie theaters and shopping malls, where they crank the AC full blast all day. Seriously: we brought a jacket and socks to every movie we went to.

The same could be said for the freezing bus ride to San Miguel de Allende from Mexico city. Or the boat from Penang to Langkawi.

Then there was the time the kids needed to warm up after surfing in the Canary Islands. Or after canyoning in northern Spain.

There are many other examples. In every case, we were glad to have one of the best travel jackets then.

It’s hard to predict when one of the best travel jackets will come handy. If you’re heading into winter, by all means, bring a warm coat. But even when heading to a warm area, pack at least one thin, lightweight packable jacket. In this piece, I talk about a few of the best jackets for travel on the market today.

Save & Share via Pinterest!

Best Travel Jackets: How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel

 

Best Travel Jackets How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel PIN

Best Jackets for Travel

Best Travel Jackets How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel jackets for women

Keiko and I prefer to live in places that are warm all year round (Malaysia, Spain, or Mexico anyone?). That said, we often travel to places once winter’s chill takes full effect. After all, there are lots of fun things to do in Japan during winter. Same goes for Barcelona in winter.

The problem with winter travel for us is that we have to pack so much more clothing. That’s why it’s important to have one of the best travel jackets so that you can minimize luggage space.

What to Look for in the Best Travel Jacket

Most of the best jackets for travel share a number of characteristics. Not all great travel jackets have each and every one of these features. Indeed, some only have a few. That said, these are the types of things you should look for in a travel jacket.

Warmth Level

The best jackets for travel keep you warm, but how warm do you need to be? Where do you plan to go? Most of the best travel jackets listed here are mid-level jackets for fall, spring, and milder winters. They can also be layered with other warm clothes when the temperatures really drop.

If you are traveling to Iceland, Antarctica, or some other place with extreme weather, then look for a more specialized jacket for winter that can keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures.

When looking at travel jackets, keep layering in mind. The warmest jackets are often heavy and bulky. This list of travel jackets was created by considering warmth, the ability to pack down small, and the other factors you’ll see below.

Durability

The best jackets for travel are built to last. Sure they’re comfortable. That’s a given of any good jacket for travel. But the best travel jackets can take some abuse and look no worse for it.

Today’s best jackets for travel use the latest polyester, nylon and other synthetic materials. These materials ensure comfort while remaining rugged. Sturdy, solid zippers should be considered too. Even the best travel jacket in the world won’t keep you warm if you can’t zip them shut!

Quick Drying

Like with durability above, today’s synthetic materials play a large role in why the best travel jackets work so well.

The best jackets for travel will dry quickly when hung properly. They’ll also not succumb to body odors as quickly as natural fabrics like cotton and wool.

Water/Dirt/Odor Resistance

Best Travel Jackets How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel mens jackets

When considering the best travel jacket would be for you, let’s start with the color. Some people like bright colors. That may be your style, but remember that these can stain more easily than a black, brown, or earth tone-colored coat.

At the same time, some families prefer buying bright colors so that you can easily spot each other in a crowd. Sure, the travel jacket may get a stain here or there, but if you want to spot your kids quickly in a crowded airport — or for them to spot you — then consider bright colors.

Here’s the good news: many of the best jackets for travel are designed to keep stains at bay. Many are also water resistant or even waterproof. A few of them can also keep you warm even when wet. Down jackets can’t do that.

Pocket Versatility

When you’re traveling, you’ll be carrying all sorts of things with you. The best travel jackets will give you a place to put everything and secure it all inside zipped pockets.

Best travel jackets on our list have at least two common outer pockets with zippers. Many also have internal pockets. Some have lots and lots of pockets. As a general rule, the more pockets, the less packable the jacket becomes, but that’s not always the case.

Light Weight

When you’re traveling, every gram of weight in your luggage counts. The best travel jackets feel more like a windbreaker than a coat, yet keep you just as warm.

Whether it’s Patagonia’s Nanopuff technology or the North Face’s Thermo Ball, new synthetic materials are as light as air while retaining heat.

Size & Comfort

For the best jackets for travel, comfort should be a given. But here I just wanted to mention that when it comes to size, consider this carefully. Some of the best jackets for travel have a size chart on their sites and their Amazon pages, it is worth looking at this carefully.

For example, some people find that some international brands run a little smaller than some jacket makers from the USA. Moreover, if you choose jackets with specialized pockets (and plan to use them), then consider your size carefully since you will have more electronics inside before you zip up. Some people prefer to buy one size up from their usual jacket size so that they can zip up comfortably with phones, and other devices in their pockets.

Packability

Like weight mentioned above, packability is crucial. In fact, it may be the most important characteristic of the best jackets for travel. The best travel jackets are able to fold, stuff, or compress themselves into a fraction of their actual size. The result: more room in your luggage.

I personally like the packable nature of today’s puffy jackets. Within seconds, a winter coast is scrunched into something smaller than a loaf of bread.

Our List of The Best Travel Jacket [CHART]

Best Packable Travel Jacket

The North Face Thermoball

Keiko and I both got one of these last year. Now we both think that the North Face Thermoball jacket is one of the best travel gifts anyone could receive. We love them. It has been our go-to jacket for travel ever since. Small, light, warm, and packable, these are easily some of the best jackets for travel.

The North Face Thermoball series of jackets use a synthetic material that dries fast and can keep you warm even when wet. I haven’t soaked it in a snowy river and then put it back on, like some gear testers I’ve read.

That said, I have been caught in a winter storm without an umbrella and been soaked in it. Stayed warm.

Thermoball jackets pack into a fraction of their size and weigh next to nothing. That’s why I list the North Face Thermoball as one of the best packable travel jackets. The only downside I have to mine is that it only has the two hand pockets, and I wish I had a chest pocket as well. The newest versions have them.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: The North Face Women’s Thermoball

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: The North Face Men’s Thermoball

Mountain Hardwear Hooded Ghost Whisperer

At less than eight ounces, this is one of the world’s lightest down jackets. It makes our list of best jackets for travel because of its weight-to-warmth ratio and its packability

The Ghost Whisperer is super warm but packs as small as a loaf of bread. Yet it retains all the heat-trapping ability of a down jacket. The only downside is that the hood can’t be tightened.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Women’s Hooded Ghost Whisperer

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Men’s Hooded Ghost Whisperer

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Down Jacket

If you or your partner factor in style into your travel purchases, then the Tommy Hilfiger down jacket may be one of the best travel jackets for you. This is not a travel jacket for extremely cold climates, but rather more for fall to milder winter temperatures.

The price is good for a down jacket like this, and there are lots of colors to choose from. re are color selection is infinite. It’s easy to pack into a small bag or stuff it into your luggage.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Down Jacket

Hawke & Co Men’s Down Puffer Jacket

Another men’s travel jacket for fall and mild winters is from Hawke & Co. This down jacket is good to travel with since it packs into its own pocket. It’s very lightweight as well.

The downside is that there are only two common outer pockets with zippers. The internal pocket has no zipper. If you want to carry more than what this can hold, then you may want to consider a travel jacket with more pockets.

However, at this price, Hawke & Co Men’s Down Puffer Jacket is one of the perfect travel jackets for budget-minded travelers.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Hawke & Co Men’s Down Puffer Jacket

Best Women’s Travel Coat

Calvin Klein Chevron Down Coat

Do you prefer a travel jacket that keeps you warm beyond your waist? Then the Calvin Klein Chevron Down Coat should make your list of the best women’s travel coats. It packs up nicely into the small bag it comes with. Few jackets of this length are regular packable jackets, so this helps makes travel packing easier.

If your thighs are covered, it feels much warmer than wearing a jacket that ends at the belt line. We like how the cut of this jacket fits the female form. It looks stylish whether you’re climbing ancient ruins or walking into a nice restaurant.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Calvin Klein Women’s Chevron Down Coat

Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Mid Length Packable Down

Another one of the best women’s travel coats from Tommy Hilfiger. This women’s mid-length coat is another packable down jacket with a detachable hood. Once you arrive at a warm-weather destination, just pack it up and leave it in your luggage.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Mid Length Down

Best Lightweight Travel Jacket

Patagonia Nano Puff

Patagonia has been making some of the best travel jackets on the planet for decades. Their nano puff technology is the latest iteration of this. Warm, water-resistant and lightweight, Nano Puff jackets for travel are a must for some people.

An additional benefit that Patagonia jackets have over the Thermoball from North Face is better wind resistance.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Patagonia Men’s Nano Puff

Check Price: Patagonia Women’s Nano Puff

Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite III Jacket

Another great jacket for travel is the Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite III. As the name suggests, it is very light. That said, it’s also warm and packable. It may not be for sub-zero temperatures, but with layers inside, it’s plenty for fall and mild winters.

The Mighty Lite has two outer pockets and one inner pocket with zippers. You can secure your valuables inside without worrying about dropping them or having them snatched by skilled pick-pockets. We also like the thumb holes to help cover the hands and keep any cold air from creeping in from the sleeves.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite III

Columbia Sportswear Men’s Mighty Lite Hybrid Jacket

The Columbia Mighty Lite line also has jackets for men, and this model is a perfect jacket for travel. It’s very light and packs down small. It also has Omni-Heat thermal reflective insulation to keep you warm.

With both outer pockets and inner pockets secured by zippers, you can confidently carry small valuables such as a wallet, phone, and passports.

Unlike the women’s line, there are few colors to choose from. If the color of the travel jacket is very important for you, you may want to look for others.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Columbia Men’s Mighty Lite Hybrid

The North Face Aconcagua Jacket

The North Face Aconcagua Jacket is snug, warm and lightweight. With internal elastic cuffs, you can keep cold air from coming up the sleeves. The pockets zip up too, so you can carry small items without needing a handbag. The men’s Aconcagua has a small zippered chest pocket as well.

The downside? You can’t pack it away like some of the best packable jackets listed in this post. If you plan to travel wearing it and keep using it while you travel, then the North Face Aconcagua is certainly one of the best lightweight travel jackets. Just don’t plan to squeeze it into a small space.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: The North Face Women’s Aconcagua

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: The North Face Men’s Aconcagua

Best Travel Jacket with Many Pockets

SCOTTeVEST OTG Jacket

Scottievest specializes in jackets for travel. Their patented travel pocket designs make them stand out among jacket makers in many ways.

Their OTG Jacket has 29 (!) pockets, with specialized storage for everything from passports to iPads. There’s even a pocket for a laptop! Among the pockets is an RFID-blocking pocket to thwart anyone trying to skim your credit cards.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check the Price of SCOTTeVEST OTG Men’s

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check the Price of SCOTTeVEST OTG Women’s 

SCOTTeVEST Revolution

This may be the best jacket for travel ever. Like the OTG above, the SCOTTeVEST Revolution has loads of specialized pockets (26) and specialized features. One of the things I like about the Revolution is that one of the specially designed pockets is clear and you can operate the phone or tablet without removing it.

The jacket is water & wind resistant, and the sleeves can zip off when the weather warms up. I actually like wearing a vest when it’s not extremely cold since I can use my arms more freely. The ScotteVest Revolution may be my next jacket for travel when my current one gives up. Easily one of the best travel jackets ever made.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check the Price of Men’s SCOTTeVEST Revolution

XY37 Men Travel Jacket Hoodie

In the vein of SCOTTeVEST, the XY37 makes our list of best travel jackets thanks to travel-specific functionality. For example, the XY37 had a built-in travel neck pillow, eye mask, and gloves. It also has specialized pockets for devices, passports, and other travel essentials.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check the Price of XY37 Men Travel Jacket Hoodie

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check the Price of XY37 Women Travel Jacket Hoodie

Best Travel Jackets for Kids

Columbia Powder Lite Puffer Jacket

For active kids who want to stay outside and play in cold weather, the Colombia Powder Lite Puffer Jacket is the perfect jacket to travel with kids. It’s made with water-resistant fabric, so a little drizzle or a drink spill will not affect it at all.

The hood is adjustable so it won’t completely cover your child’s face even if the hood is too big at first.

Inside of the jacket, you have a place to write your child’s name so you know which jacket belongs to which child even if you have the same colored jacket. That said, I highly recommend having different color jackets for each kid. Then, you can tell who’s where right away — even from a distance. Boys have 5+ colors to choose from, while girls have 10+.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Columbia Boys’ Powder Lite Puffer Jacket

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Columbia Girls’ Powder Lite Puffer Jacket

The North Face Reversible Jacket

One jacket, two styles. This one easily makes the list of best travel jackets for kids. With soft fleece on one side and wind-resistant polyester fabric on the other, your child gets to choose which side they would like to wear every time. This reversible jacket will keep your kid warm even though it’s quite lightweight.

The girls’ jacket model has zippered pockets on the taffeta side and welt pockets on the fleece side, and it comes with more than 15 colors to choose from.

The boys’ model has welt hands pockets on either side, and more than 10 colors to choose from. Be reminded not to hand your kids any valuables to keep in these pockets. It may fall out of a zipper-less pocket and never be seen again.

Best Travel Jackets How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel jackets for women

Check Price: Girls Reversible Mossbud Swirl Jacket

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Boys Reversible True Or False Jacket

U.S. Polo Assn. Bubble Jacket

Last but not the least on the list of the best travel jacket for kids, we have the U.S. Polo Assn. Bubble Jacket for both boys and girls. These bubble jackets are fairly thick and will keep your child warm when traveling to cold destinations.

For both girls and boys, the U.S. Polo Assn. Bubble Jacket offers many different designs, colors, and shapes. It’s best to look at the details of each jacket to see which one would be the best travel jacket for your kids. Some have detachable hoods, while others are completely attached. Another has no hood at all.

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Girls’ Bubble Jacket

Best Jackets for Travel : Choosing the Best Travel Jacket to Pack

Check Price: Boys’ Bubble Jacket

Conclusion: Best Travel Jackets

What kind of travel jacket do you need? Where do you plan to go? Will this list of some of the best jackets for travel be helpful? I hope so! Do you prefer a jacket that packs small or a jacket with specialized pockets for travel? Why?

PIN THIS!

Best Travel Jackets: How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel. Our list may be able to help you make smart shopping decisions choosing the best travel jackets for you and your family. That includes the best travel jackets for men, the best travel jackets for women, the best travel jackets for kids, the best packable jackets for travel and the best jackets with specialized pockets for travel. What's the best travel jacket for you? Read our post to find out!

Best Travel Jackets: How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel. Cold weather is coming for many travelers out there. Are you ready? I hope that this list will help you make smart shopping decisions choosing the best travel jackets for your family. That includes the best travel jackets for men, the best travel jackets for women, the best travel jackets for kids, the best packable jackets for travel and the best jackets with specialized pockets for travel. What's the best travel jacket for you? I hope this post helps you find it. 

Best Travel Jackets: How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel PIN 6

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means that if you buy one of the best jackets for travel after clicking one of my links, we might get a small commission. You pay nothing extra, so don’t worry. Also, everything you see here is just my personal opinion. I only recommend places, activities, and gear like the best travel jackets that I believe will genuinely help my readers. I hope that this list will help you make smart shopping decisions choosing the best travel jackets for your family. That includes the best travel jackets for men, the best travel jackets for women, the best travel jackets for kids, the best packable jackets for travel and the best jackets with specialized pockets for travel. What’s the best travel jacket for you? I hope this post helps you find it. 

Comments

  1. All look like rocking jackets Jason and the reasons are spot on. I have frozen my rear end off in Malaysia, in a KL movie theater. Ditto for some chilly theaters in Phuket before management finally turned things down; had to be the number of complaints. Having a jacket and thick socks helps some, and when they are light and super easy to pack, all the better. Of course I am lugging a huge, heavy reflective coat around here in NYC. Gotta wear it for my Central Park runs at night during the winter 😉

    Ryan

Speak Your Mind

*

css.php

Like this post? Please spread the word! Thanks :)