Thanks to discount airlines and short-term rental options like Airbnb, traveling has never been more affordable. However, while it may be more affordable, it’s getting harder and harder to travel in comfort and style, especially during cold-weather months. Airlines used to allow you to check two full-size suitcases for most domestic flights, which meant you could pack with impunity. Now, thanks to exorbitant baggage fees, shrinking overhead bins, and arduous security procedures, travelers have to make a lot of difficult choices when packing for a trip. Do I need this extra pair of shoes? Should I pack three pairs of pants? Can I maybe go without toothpaste?
Fortunately, one thing you don’t have to sacrifice when traveling is warmth. Long gone are the days of lugging around heavy coats that either weigh down your suitcase or take up every cubic inch of the overhead bin. This, friends, is the future. And the future is full of thin, high-tech fabrics that are warm, waterproof, breathable, and light as a feather. That means you can now buy a versatile travel jacket that weighs less than a pound and folds up to the size of a large burrito. What a time to be alive!
Are you in the market for a high-quality, versatile travel jacket? Yeah you are! And that’s good, because in the following article we’re going to walk you through some truly excellent options at a variety of price-points that will fit almost any budget.
If your sightseeing style necessitates nothing but the absolute best when it comes to protection from the elements, and you’re willing to make a significant investment in travel gear, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Arc’Teryx Jackets. Their versatile, slim-fitting Atom LT Hoody, just to name one example, features lightweight water-resistant nylon on the outside and 60 grams of ultra light, water-resistant, moisture-wicking Coreloft insulation. It also has stretch polartec fleece side panels for ventilation, plus an adjustable storm hood that’s compatible with bike helmets. Best of all, the Atom LT weighs in at just 11.6 ounces, and is insanely compact when packed.
For travelers looking for something a bit more affordable, but something that can still withstand all (or most) of the elements, be sure you check out the [LoftTek Adventure Jacket](https://cc1ba248.kckb.st), the latest Kickstarter launch from the folks at Outdoor Vitals. Boasting the “warmth and performance of a synthetic jacket” with the “lightness and packability of a down jacket,” the LoftTek Adventure Jacket is windproof and waterproof. It features a low-profile insulated hood, underarm vents, insulated pockets, elastic cuffs with thumb holes. Best of all, the whole thing packs into its own pocket. Outdoor Vitals says the eventual retail price will be affordable. However, if you act fast, you can back their Kickstarter campaign and get the jacket for at a discount.
For travelers looking for something lightweight, warm, and under $100—and who are willing to sacrifice a little bit on packability—look no further than the Fly Hawk Down Puffer Jacket. Simple, classic, and available in five different colors, this jacket features a 100% nylon shell with a filling that is 70 percent down and 30 percent feather. The Fly Hawk Down Puffer is not water resistant, so it’s probably best for travelers expecting cool, dry conditions. That said, you can easily apply a water-repellent spray at home, which should add some protection from light rain. And you simply cannot beat the price.
Inverse may receive a portion of sales from the post above, which was created independently from Inverse’s editorial and advertising team.