Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: You’re preparing to travel to a foreign country. A day or two before you leave, you find yourself staring at your bag, wondering what exactly you should take.
After gazing at your bag for a while, maybe you check weather predictions for your destination. And sometimes that can make things even trickier!
How are we supposed to pack for uncertain weather? Or for a week of travel when the weather’s supposed to be different every single day?
Unfortunately, the perfect formula doesn’t really exist. It depends on where you’re going, what kind of luggage you’re taking and the type of trip you’re going on. Above all else, it depends on your personal style.
Experienced travelers know to look for gear and clothing that can fulfill many different purposes on a trip. And travel rain jackets are no exception!
Why You Should Buy Multi-purpose Travel Rain Jackets
In my opinion, the best travel clothes are ones I can wear in multiple situations.
I can wear a white cotton shirt over my swimsuit or to a fancy dinner. Comfortable shoes accompany me on an island run in the middle of the Danube River, look stylish in Paris and keep me company during long days exploring Bangkok.
A beautiful jacket can blend in at the coolest hotel bar on Brooklyn, a group tour around the capital of Peru or a date in Singapore.
I like to have clothes that will serve many purposes when I travel. I feel especially strongly about this golden rule when it comes to travel rain jackets.
The perfect rain jacket isn’t made to be used only when it’s raining. It’s stylish enough to wear around during the day. It can be worn on a ferry to the Caribbean islands. It’s comfortable while hiking in Austria or whale watching in Big Sur.
While searching for the perfect travel rain jacket, think about how often you could wear it. A great jacket keeps you warm, dry and stylish.
Having a rain jacket that can be worn in all weather helps you travel light. You’ll only have to pack one jacket instead of two or three. Oh, and this can be a major plus for your wallet, too!
Wear These Multipurpose Travel Rain Jackets, Rain or Shine
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The North Face ThermoBall Hoodie
Women | Men
You’ve probably heard of The North Face before. It’s one of the most famous activewear and outdoor sports brands out there, and the company’s ThermoBall jacket is perfect if you’re heading to a place with chilly weather.
This jacket is made from synthetic insulation material, so it retains its warmth even when it’s wet. And it’s extremely light! Their technology was developed by Primaloft, so even though the jacket is warm, it isn’t bulky or heavy.
The North Face ThermoBall Hoodie is offered in multiple colors for both men and women.
Eddie Bauer Rainfoil Packable Jacket
Women | Men
Eddie Bauer offers premium-quality clothing, accessories and gear for both men and women thanks to its founder, Eddie Bauer, and his passion for the outdoors.
The brand’s Rainfoil jacket features a high neck, mesh lining and Velcro pockets. And it’s machine washable! And it looks relatively stylish and professional, so you don’t have to feel silly wearing a rain jacket on your tours around posh cities like Paris and Vienna.
The Rainfoil jacket comes in basic colors, but you can also choose from some cool patterns that will make you look even more fashionable.
This travel rain jacket is so lightweight that can be packed into its own pocket! This protects the rest of your luggage by minimizing your contents’ exposure to your wet rain jacket. When it’s folded inside the pocket, it can even work as a compact travel pillow. That’s what I’m talking about when looking for multipurpose travel gear!
Another great feature? The price range. Prices of all these rain jackets can vary on Amazon, but regardless, the Rainfoil will remain the most affordable travel rain jacket on this list.
UNIQLO Blocktech Parka
Women | Men
UNIQLO is a Japanese brand that offers stylish, casual streetwear for both men and women. If you’ve been in one of their stores, you might remember the straight cuts, basic color tones and interesting shapes the brand offers.
This 100% polyester parka is the perfect travel rain jacket if you’re looking for an attractive, stylish jacket that will make you feel fresh and casual. This parka has a slim cut but still offers plenty of space for you to wear layers underneath if necessary. UNIQLO offers a number of different colors you can choose from.
Water repellent, waterproof and windproof, this jacket is made with a smooth lining material. There are even hidden ventilation holes in the underarms to make sure you stay comfortable.
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
Women | Men
Patagonia’s founder is a rock climber who started the company in 1973. Little by little, the company has grown and become famous worldwide for its sustainable travel clothing and gear. If you’re an adventure traveler, you’ve probably already heard of Patagonia and even seen the company’s travel clothes.
They pride themselves in testing their products in labs and sending them to their ambassadors so they can actually try pieces on in the field and come back with suggestions for improvements.
Those field tests give them lots of insights to improve the quality of their products, making Patagonia one of the best brands out there when it comes to travel clothing.
This sleek jacket has two and a half layers is made from 100% recycled nylon fabric. It meets Patagonia’s own H2No® Performance Standard, which ensures complete durability, breathability and waterproofness of a product.
Need even more reasons to love Patagonia? They understand that you can be wary to buy clothes online because you can’t try them on first. So they have your back! They’ve provided a YouTube video that shows all the details of the Torrentshell jacket so you can see every detail before making your purchase.
Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket
Women | Men
The Beta AR jacket isn’t just a rain jacket—it’s the ultimate travel buddy. Made for serious adventurers and athletes, this is a lifetime investment.
Arc’teryx is a Canadian company focused on high-performance outdoor equipment. Inspired by coastal mountains and dramatic vistas, diverse climates and challenging conditions, this brand aims to develop the best outdoor gear out there.
The company’s Beta series is made for the mountains. So if your travels consist of a lot of time hiking, this is the jacket for you.
The AR stands for “all-round,” and AR jackets not only looks great but also protects you from a range of weather conditions, from city rain to heavy snowstorms. Even though the jacket has a very high price tag, it’s clearly an investment for the next 10 years of your life or more.
Travel rain jackets might sound like a very specific purchase—but they don’t have to be.
If you buy a jacket that’s capable of sustaining multiple kinds of weather, you’ll never have to pack a second one.
Forget about any bulky, unattractive travel rain jackets you’ve owned in the past. One of these five options will keep you dry, light and stylish on your big trip.
Debbie Corrano is a digital strategist and writer. She works remotely while traveling the world full-time with her two dogs. Over the past few years, Debbie has lived in more than 10 countries, learned a few languages and worked with dozens of agencies and brands.
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