The best travel jacket: what should it have?

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6 min

November 9, 2021

The best travel jacket: what should it have?

A good travel gear is not an option, but rather a necessity for smart traveling. Who would want to carry around too many clothes in their luggage? It’s a waste of your time, money and energy. It’s better to choose as light as possible. One of the answers to this popular customers‘ demand is a travel jacket. It’s a special type of outerwear, designed specifically with long and short-distance travel in mind. No matter if you’re planning an intercontinental flight or just a few hours of bicycle ride — it’s always good to have one with you.

There are several main characteristics of good travel gear which can relieve you of some everyday duties not convenient to perform on the go. The most important of them are:

  • Ease of cleaning — during travel, you’re exposed to a variety of external factors like dirt and food stains. If the clothing is easy to clean, they won’t be much of a problem.
  • Lightweight design — there is a popular misconception about the weight of clothes. Although they usually don’t seem to be too heavy, they can nevertheless be a burden when stacked up in your suitcase.
  • Wrinkle free materials — this is a very convenient feature, designed especially with travel in mind. Stacked up clothes tend to rumple easily in luggage. But with wrinkle-resistant materials you’re no longer obliged to iron your travel jackets every day during a trip.

Various travel gear models have different features, usually emphasizing a particular activity (sports) or design concept (like low weight). Let’s examine them all in more detail.

How to keep your travel jacket clean?

First of all, plan your trip really well. You should know in advance what kind of activities you’re going to perform. If you’re a food fan, it’s best to choose a jacket made from stain-resistant fabric like polyester, microfiber or a mix of cotton and synthetics. Usually, pure cotton is the least resistant to any stains (but at the same time has other advantages — it’s breathable and does not cause any skin irritation).

A good choice is to consider wisely the color of your gear, especially if it’s a woman travel vest or jacket. Remember that stains on any type always will be more visible on white and generally bright fabric colors, and the available color palette is usually wider in clothes for women. Also, cleaning and washing a jacket made from stain-resistant materials won’t damage the color quality. So, even if you’ll somehow manage to make a deep and big stain, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Go light on your clothes

Lightweight design is a trend not only in travel gear, but in many famous fashion houses. The world is becoming more and more globalized, decentralized and accessible. Big travels are no longer a privilege of the chosen, most wealthy people — they have become accessible basically for everyone. Thus, a market demand for elegant, lightweight travel jacket womens and men has emerged.

There are no strict rules in choosing lightweight clothes, but it’s good to consider a few factors. First of all: how spacious is your suitcase? How many other clothes are you planning to take with you? Are you willing to go for a sports jacket, or a more elegant one? Ask yourself these questions and the purchase will be a piece of cake. It’s always better to know your demands in detail and to buy a particular desired product than to flip through dozens of travel jackets, get tired and not choose anything.

Another important factor in considering the gear weight is the number of things that you’re going to keep in your pockets. Passport? Smartphone? Wallet? Tablet? Or maybe you prefer contactless payment and don’t carry your wallet at all? When you try on a jacket, always do a little experiment: put the things that you usually have with you in its pockets. With this method you’ll always know the “real weight” of the clothing with your personal belongings inside.

Wrinkle-free travel vests and jackets

Who doesn’t like to spare himself the heavy duty of ironing? When traveling, there are more important things to do: sightseeing, visiting museums, theaters or bars and restaurants. Wrinkle-free fabric saves your time, money and effort. There is a very wide range of fabrics which do not wrinkle. Some of them are:

  • Wool — very warm and natural material. At the same time, it tends to raise ethical questions among the vegan community. The final choice is, obviously, up to the customer.
  • Polyester — a modern classic, on the market since the 30s. Production quality of polyester gear is rising over the years. It’s a very durable, lightweight and wrinkle-resistant fabric.
  • Cashmere — a very strong and at the same time soft material. Conveniently lightweight and wrinkle proof.
  • Other options: spandex, knit and lyocell. It’s worth carefully checking out materials used in the travel jacket which you intend to buy.

Not only will they relieve you of ironing, but also make folding the clothes to be put in your luggage much easier and faster.

Now that the three main criteria are explained, let’s proceed to other factors which you might consider important. There are two: number of pockets (and weight distribution) and, last but not least, the style.

Is it good to have as many pockets as possible?

There is no particular answer to this question. One thing is certain: if you follow the above-mentioned advice and put some of your belongings into your pockets while trying on clothing, the matter will become clear. It’s worth noting that some lightweight travel jackets for women have a lot less pockets than their counterparts for men. It’s a global and long-established trend for women’s clothes to have less functional pockets. Hopefully, this is going to change in the future.

An important aspect of any outerwear is weight distribution. Many vests and jackets have a balanced, symmetrical pocket structure. This allows the wearer to put his belongings in a comfortable manner with equal distribution of weight over the whole clothing, without having to put too many things in a single pocket. It’s also worth remembering about zipped pockets, which are a reliable way of protecting valuable things during urban trips. Pickpockets are having a hard time getting something from pockets with tight zips.

Last, but not least: the style

Best travel jackets for men and women come in a variety of different and versatile forms. There are following types of them which are worth to check out:

  • down jackets,
  • fleece jackets,
  • rainwear ones.

Down jackets are one of the most popular models of the market — they sustain body warmth by keeping large amounts of it close to the body — from the neck to the thighs. This factor is measured by fill power. The sleeve usually has an indicated number of it, ranging from 300 to 900. The higher this number is, the better the jacket’s insulation.

Fleece vests are the best choice for outdoor sports activity like jogging or cycling. They are usually very lightweight, flexible and also breathable. They allow for unrestrained full body movement, which is a necessary feature during outdoor workouts.

Rainwear jackets are usually very compact and wrinkle resistant. They have an extra layer of synthetic surface, which prevents any liquids from soaking into the fabric. They come in a variety of forms — some of them are focused mostly on the waterproof feature and not style, while others combine these two factors.

Conclusion — the most important characteristics of a good travel jacket

The vital one is that it should fit the kind of activities that you’re planning to perform. It’s not worth buying a waterproof vest if you’re traveling to a cold, but not particularly rainy area. Also, a rigid and thick gear won’t fit for jogging, cycling or basically any sport that requires free body movement.

On a final note: always check for any additional functions of the travel jacket which you’re considering to buy. Some of them might possess special pockets for smartphones, holes designed to fit camera lenses or a unique design, e.g. resembling a video game style. They might not only perform their basic functions, but also be state-of-the-art, aesthetic clothes.

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