Bulky jackets are the bane of cold-weather travelers. If it’s not taking up precious space in your carry-on, you’ll have to lug it around the airport to avoid sweating profusely and looking like a nervous security risk. Fortunately, jacket technology has evolved, with thinner and lighter materials providing as much warmth as bulky down or wool (if not more).
Lightweight Winter Jackets for Travel
Here are seven lightweight winter jackets that are perfect for travel:
Obermeyer Winter Jacket
Based in the snow sports mecca of Aspen, Colorado, since 1947, Obermeyer knows a thing or two about cold and wet weather. It’s developed a patented HydroBlock Sport fabric tested to resist nearly 400 inches of rain (and roll stain-causing liquids right off). Find it in the Tuscany Parka jacket, which is longer for extra warmth and coverage. The Tuscany Parka uses another unique Obermeyer material: Thermore Classic insulation, which is thin and light but still warm. The hood is removable and adjustable, as is the faux fur trim.
Outdoor Research Lightweight Igneo Jacket
Weighing just 29.9 ounces, Outdoor Research’s Igneo Jacket is one of the most lightweight winter jackets on our list. It’s available in men’s and women’s versions. Designed to hold up from the first to last chair on the ski slopes, this jacket is stylish enough (thanks to a slim-cut silhouette) that it will work off-piste as well. The Pertex Shield outer will keep you warm no matter how much fresh powder (or rain) is falling.
The Igneo is packed with lots of thoughtful features: tons of pockets, a built-in goggle wipe, a removable powder skirt, a RECCO Reflector (to help locate you in the event of an avalanche), ventilator zippers for when you get hot, and a helmet-compatible, wire-brimmed hood that’s also removable.
Lululemon Non-Stop Lightweight Bomber Jacket
What could be more travel-friendly than a reversible jacket? Not only does Lululemon’s Before Dawn Jacket flip from a matte puffy style to a shiny and sleek flat fabric, but it’s also made from an incredibly light and airy fabric that can squish down to fit in a small bag. Even though it’s reversible, this jacket still has pockets on both sides, including a secret mesh compartment within the hand pocket to secure valuables. PrimaLoft insulation really retains body heat, making this one of the most lightweight winter jackets on this list.
Patagonia Lash Point Parka
Stay warm and dry without the weight in Patagonia’s Lash Point Parka, a waterproof coat that weighs in at just 26 ounces. There are plenty of travel-friendly features in the Lash Point, including an adjustable and removable hood, a hidden zippered security pocket, and hand-warmer pockets. I also love that this jacket comes in fun colors like purple, to help you stand out from a sea of black winter coats.
Craghoppers Inga Winter Jacket
Tired of looking like a walking sleeping bag in a puffy jacket? Craghoppers’ Inga Jacket will give you the same amount of warmth without that Michelin Man look. This lightweight winter jacket has an outer fabric that looks like wool, but instead is made from a soft, waterproof AquaDry Membrane fabric. The Inga jacket has seven pockets, so you can ditch your purse while wearing it.
Patagonia PrimaLoft Nano Puff Coat
Patagonia’s PrimaLoft Nano Puff Hoody (available for men and women) is by far the lightest jacket that I’ve ever owned. It weighs just 10.8 ounces, yet is ultra-warm and waterproof. Unlike some other methods of insulation, you can feel good about this jacket: Its 60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco is more than 50 percent recycled material.
The North Face Thermoball Triclimate Jacket
The North Face’s ThermoBall technology uses synthetic fiber clusters to trap heat within small air pockets, keeping you warm but not weighed down. The Triclimate Jacket (available for men and women) puts the ThermoBall technology into a three-in-one system that’s perfect for travel: It can be worn as a shell, lightweight jacket, or snow parka.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Great Travel Jackets That Are Easy to Pack
- 11 Performance-Wear Outfits You’ll Actually Want to Wear While Traveling
- 14 Best Shoes to Wear in Europe
Caroline Morse always packs lightweight winter jackets for travel to cold destinations. Follow Caroline on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for style and travel photos.
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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.