The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Jackets for Women

With so many travel jackets from different brands, it is difficult to choose the best travel jacket for you and your specific travel needs. In this ultimate guide, we look at the features and benefits of outer travel wear for women. Traveling in a dry or rainy climate? Packing only carry-on luggage? Then you need the best packable jacket. Are you off to Europe where more fashionable travel clothes are in order?

In this ultimate guide to the best travel jackets for women, you’ll find complete information about travel coats, lightweight women’s jackets for travelling, the best travel jacket for Europe,  the perfect travel jacket with pockets and the best rain jacket for hiking.

Travel Coat Comparison Chart: Our Travel Jacket Reviews

NAMEIMAGEWaterproof vs ResistantHoodOur Rating
Marmot Women's Essential Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket w/GORE-TEXWaterproofYES5 STARS
SCOTTeVEST Womens Pocket Jacket Water ResistantYES4.7 STARS
Columbia Women’s Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket w/stylish tie beltWater ResistantYES4.7 STARS
Women's TAG Safari Jacket Lightweight w/pockets for explorers, photographers and journalistsNONO4.4 STARS
BOMBAX Women 10 Pocket Travel Jacket Hoodie - Bomber-styleWater ResistantYES4.3 STARS
ExOfficio FlyQ Jacket for Travelers w/ RFID-lined pocketWater ResistantNO4.2 STARS
London Fog Women’s 3/4 Length Double-Breasted Trench Coat with Belt
Water ResistantNO4.2 STARS

Table of Contents

woman in one of the Best Travel Jackets for Women stands in busy subway pointing her camera at viewer
The best travel jackets for women are versatile and can be dressed up or down | Photo by Darya Tryfanava on Unsplash

Our comprehensive buying guide tells you what to look for when purchasing women travel jackets and coats.  We reviewed the best travel clothing brands for

  • easy care travel clothes,
  • lightweight travel clothes and
  • wrinkle free travel clothes. 

Finding the right travelling clothes for ladies is one of the things that’s made me UNSTOPPABLE over the years. In fact, our favorite saying about packing for a trip is

“There’s no bad weather, just bad gear.”

But before you decide on the best best travel jackets for you, consider  the weather conditions at your upcoming destination. I don’t have one “world’s best travel jacket,” but I have one coat for each of the climates to which I travel. My favorite travel jacket for a trip also depends on my mode of travel. Am I going for business, or will I be carrying a backpack? Do I need clothes for air travel? Or can I throw a heavy coat in the backseat on a road trip? Whatever the mode of travel, you can bet that I go with a travel coat or jacket with lots of pockets.

Let me explain by showing you what I mean…

Introduction to Travel Jackets for Women

pedestrian wears lightweight rain jacket women's for travel in artisitc streetscape photo with reflections of city lights as night falls during rain
The best lightweight rain jacket for travel is also easy to pack | Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

When the weather turns, you’d better have the best travel jacket you can afford. There’s nothing worse than reaching into your travel bag and realizing your coat isn’t appropriate for the environment. I know, because it’s happened to me.

Your travel coat doesn’t breathe when you’re in a humid climate. Your high-style jacket won’t compress into your daypack, so it’s inconvenient to take for the day tour around town. And just when you need it, it’s back in your hotel room. Or, it’s sold as the best light rain jacket, but it’s too short when the rain is pelting down. Worse yet, your light travel jacket is water-resistant, not waterproof, and there’s no cute café insight to duck into. And, oh, don’t you wish you had a hood right now?

Best Backpacking Rain Jacket

Woman in best backpacking rain jacket with high collar and hood stands in the rain next to a Camino de Santiago trail marker
Lisa wears a backpacking rain jacket with high collar and hood on Camino del Norte in northern Spain | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo
It’s all about lightweight when you are backpacking. Heck, I even cut the labels off my clothes to get rid of any extra milligram I might carry. Sturdy construction is also key to the best backpacking rain jacket, so you are going to spend more. But, take it from me, pricey features like GORE-TEX waterproofing and fully taped seams are well worth the investment. The thing about being outdoors is that you are in the elements, which many times includes rain. So then make sure that you have a waterproof travel jacket. You can get by with water-resistant coats in the city, but in the Great Outdoors, you need WATERPROOF. I’ve been through plenty of inexpensive supposedly ‘waterproof’ jackets over the years. The ones that proved to be waterproof after hours of hiking in the rain along Camino de Santiago routes in France and Spain are listed here. Longer jackets are my preference for backpacking–they keep my upper legs dry–and you’ll see that reflected in my review list. Click here to see the latest prices of my favorite lightweight waterproof jacket for travelling.

Your best backpacking rain jacket can double as light rain jacket for travel

I use my backpacking rain jacket for travel to rainy climes even when I am not in a hiking excursion. By adding layers, it is amazing how the light travel jacket keeps warmth in, and so it is a fine lightweight warm jacket for travel.

Further, I find it folds up easily into the small outside pocket of my computer bag and so makes a perfect light rain jacket for travel.  The best backpacking rain jacket is also the best packable rain jacket.  Oh, my, what a good segue…

Best Packable Rain Jacket

Unstoppable Stacey stands at wheel of sailboat with French flag and island in the background
Wearing my best windbreaker jacket while sailing at Côte d'Azur, France | Photo by Jean-Paul Mignon
What makes the best packable rain jacket? First, you don’t want bulky fabric or heavy decorative hardware like an abundance of metal zippers and buckles. If you pack for your trip in a carry-on bag only, you have to pack light. So the best lightweight raincoat for travel is made of thin, foldable fabric. You could get by with a windbreaker, which is very easy to scrunch into a corner of your bag. I found my best windbreaker jacket (pictured above) is also water-resistant and, depending on my destination, will do as a lightweight rain jacket women’s for travel. You should think about how the packable rain jacket can also compliment your travel wardrobe when it is not raining. Could you use it over a sleeveless dress in an air-conditioned restaurant? Each item that is part of my best travel outfits does double duty just like that. Although the lightweight travel jacket pictured above is no longer available, I found a similar packable rain jacket on Amazon. Click here to see the latest prices of the lightweight windbreaker. But note, I bring this one AND another rain jacket when I’m going to a rainy climate. This one packs up light like cotton candy.

Best Lightweight Travel Jacket

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey wears her KÜHL brand jacket on the Beartooth Highway outside of Red Lodge, Montana
My KÜHL travel jacket was perfect for a media trip that took us up the Beartooth Highway outside of Red Lodge, Montana.

When you don’t need the best travel rain jacket, because it’s not going to rain where you’re headed, then consider the other best lightweight travel jacket options. Many travel clothing brands like KÜHL, BauBax and Chico’s offer lightweight women’s jackets for travelling. I love my KÜHL ladies travel jacket pictured above because its cut is slimming, but I wish it had more pockets. Its few pockets fasten with buttons, which are not as handy as zippered pockets.

Much of the lightweight women’s clothing for travel today has many pockets, but be mindful of the pocket closure systems, such as Velcro, zippers or buttons. I look for zippers and hand-warmer pockets.

Best Travel Jacket for Europe

Woman in knee-length travel coat stands at crosswalk waiting for light to change in European city at night
The best travel coat for Europe is one that is smart as well as practical. | Photo by Steven Lasry on Unsplash

In the big cities of Europe, style is as important as function. Therefore, the best travel coat for Europe is one that is smart as well as practical. You don’t necessarily need a waterproof travel rain jacket because chances are you’ll find your way into a café for a cappuccino or museum to duck the raindrops.

A jacket with lots of inside pockets is suitable for large European cities and airports where there are higher propensities of pickpockets. A travel jacket with pockets, especially with hidden zippered pockets, will keep your documents and Euros safe. Learn more about staying safe while traveling

Jacket and Clothes for Air Travel

Interior of dark jumbo jet with a few in-seat monitors playing movies during overnight flight
Comfortable travel clothes are essential for long flights | Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Another thing to consider while packing jackets and travel clothes for Europe is how they will wear on the airplane. Clothes for air travel should be a blend of cotton, so you don’t get sweaty, the fabric should have some stretch in it so you can get comfortable during your transatlantic flight, and I always wear a shirt with a pattern, in case I spill food—or worse yet, red wine—down the front of me.

Comfortable travel clothes are essential for long flights. And don’t even get me started talking about the necessity of comfy footwear in case you have to run through the airport to catch your next flight.

As for the travel jacket, I like one that compresses so I can put it in the small of my back for lumbar support in the airplane seat. My Patagonia Nano Puff and Down Sweater jackets work so well for that. My safari jacket, on the other hand, is best laid out over my carry-on suitcase in the overhead bin.

Best Pocket Jacket

Woman with long hair models SCOTTeVEST , a travel jacket with hidden pockets
SCOTTeVEST travel jackets have hidden pockets and can be wired as your "Personal Area Network" | courtesy photo
Extra pockets are a fun and practical feature of travel gear for women. But, as I described earlier, not all pockets are created equally. More pockets does not a better jacket make. Sometimes too many pockets are just dang confusing. However, convenient, easy pockets coupled with secure secret compartments in travel jackets with inside pockets can make traveling a breeze. You’ll feel safe with your passport and money zipped inside your travel jacket with hidden pockets. The best travel jacket with pockets has gadget-friendly compartments big enough for today’s smartphones. The jacket with lots of pockets that I like best is Travelsmith’s safari jacket because the pockets are large and the fit is roomy so I can carry a lot in my coat. Things like my smartphone, passport, sunglasses and journals. The stone-colored jacket feels like a tent shading me from the hot sun, so I typically wear it to hot, humid climates like Africa or the USA South. Wear a safari travel jacket with pockets when a purse isn’t convenient The safari travel jacket with pockets makes a statement and is perfect for travel writers and journalists who want to conjure Ernest Hemingway. I love to wear my breathable cotton safari jacket to travel writing conventions when a purse isn’t convenient. My business cards, wallet, pens and notepads all fit neatly in the large pockets. The multi pocket travel jacket is not lightweight, so, unfortunately, it is not appropriate for backpacking trips or hiking Camino de Santiago. Your pocket jacket doesn’t have to be safari-style. There are many types of travel jackets with inside pockets. You can choose a women’s jacket with hidden pockets from travel clothing companies like SCOTTeVEST.

Conclusion: The Best Travel Coat Womens

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey rolls a small computer bag into MSP airport wearing jacket with lots of pockets.
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey wears pocket jacket stuffed full since her ticket allows underseat bag only

The best travel jacket for you depends on where you are going and when. The world’s best travel jacket for you is one that fits right, looks good and protects you from the elements which you’ll find at your chosen destination. In our comprehensive buying guide above, you’ll find the perfect travel jacket for your next trip. Whether it’s a coat with lots of pockets, a travel windbreaker, or the best rain jacket for hiking, you’ll be glad you made the investment when the weather turns sour.

Please use the Comparison Chart above to shop for your next UNSTOPPABLE travel jacket. When you make a purchase through one of the links in the chart, I earn a small commision at no extra cost to you. Thanks for shopping on my travel site.

As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey may have been provided with accommodations, meals or other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Jackets for Women”

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Kelly. I miss seeing you as we “social distance” apart. It’s good to stay connected here on my travel blog. Have you been walking in the forest?

      Reply

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