Traveling is a favorite pastime for many of us, and many of us also wish we could do it more often. Traveling to Europe is very exciting and there are so many different places and countries to go, so many different climates between the far north and the far south. Also check my reviews on the best lightweight travel blazers and travel rain ponchos.
It’s no secret that travelling takes planning, and it can be stressful at times. This list aims to help with one part of that planning, which is finding a good, durable travel jacket that fits your needs.
A good travel jacket should be fairly lightweight, fit you well so it doesn’t chafe or hang off you, suit the specific needs of your journey, and last more than one trip. If you find a jacket like this, you’ll have a trusty companion on travels for many years to come.
The climate in Europe can be very different depending on where exactly you’re travelling, and during which season. This includes arctic temperatures in northern Scandinavia in the winter, and tropical temperatures around the Mediterranean in the summer. As such, we’ve included jackets for both cold and warm weather in this list.
We’ll start with the lightest ones and move on through to the ones suitable for very cold weather.
The Best Travel Jackets for Europe for Women
Let’s start with a brand we all know and love - The North Face never lets us down when it comes to outerwear. Many pro athletes such as skiers, endurance runners, and climbers, hail The North Face as their first choice.
Weighing only 1 pound, the Venture 2 is a super-lightweight yet fully weatherproof jacket. It’s made of nylon, polyester, and polyurethane. It has an adjustable hood, a storm flap, and Velcro-adjusted cuffs to protect you from the elements.
It boasts DryVent technology, which uses a polyurethane coating to ensure the fabric is both waterproof and breathable. Even more, it has additional vents under your armpits, known as PitZips, to add even more breathability. Neat, right?
The jacket has a relaxed fit which allows you to easily layer up underneath and use this jacket as an outer, waterproof shell. With internal pockets, secure-zip pockets on the front, and the ability to be packed away in one of the hand pockets, this is a perfect jacket for saving space and staying dry.
As two final cherries on top, it comes in a vast array of colors and it has a lifetime guarantee against defects!
Comfortably holding its own next to the Venture 2 is the Arcadia II. This much-loved, tried-and-true jacket is made from nylon but has an Omni-Tech polyester mesh lining that keeps you from getting too hot.
It is, of course, waterproof through complete seam sealing and covered front zipper. and has adjustable hood and cuffs, plus drawstrings both at the hem and around the waist.
It’s not packable into its own pocket like the Venture 2, but it’s lightweight enough to take up minimal space in your suitcase or hand luggage. The pockets are large and can comfortably fit your passport, phone, wallet, and any other necessary travel items. They also zip close for added safety.
This jacket can, just like the Venture 2, easily be sized up and used as a waterproof shell over thicker garments in colder weather. And just as a plus, the color names are super cute.
Have you had enough of weatherproof jackets that come in a whole rainbow of colors yet? We certainly hope not, because here’s another one! The New Englander is windproof, waterproof, and has reflective strips for high visibility at nighttime. It weighs less than a pound.
It’s made from polyurethane fabric to keep the weather out and like Arcadia 2, this jacket has a grey mesh lining that helps circulate the air and keeps you from getting too hot. Additionally, it has vents on the front and under the arms. This is needed because it’s perfectly protected against the elements with heat-sealed seams, a double front zipper, and adjustable cuffs, hem, and hood.
The pockets are large, and zip closed for safety, and the jacket is A-line which means a fairly roomy fit for layering up underneath. Consider this your new colorful love affair!
Promoted as the perfect jacket for an active outdoors lifestyle, the Precip jacket certainly does the job. It’s made from polyester with NanoPro technology which is designed to ensure long-term waterproofing and keep you comfortably dry even during heavy rain. It also helps circulate air properly and keep you from overheating, even during activity.
The seams are fully taped to prevent leaks, and the hood, hem and cuffs are all adjustable with Velcro or drawstrings. The hood also rolls up and can be packed away inside the collar when not in use. Both the front and pocket zips are covered.
There are PitZips for increased ventilation and the jacket boasts Angel-Wing Movement, which lets your arms keep their full mobility while wearing it. It can also be packed away completely into its own interior pocket. It’s the queen of convenience!
We’re slowly inching over into the slightly warmer portion of our list. Helly Hansen is right up there with The North Face when it comes to loved and trusted brands for reliable, durable outerwear.
The Crew jacket weighs 1.55 pounds and isn’t fully insulated but it does have a plush fleece lining in its collar and pockets which provide a bit of extra warmth. It’s especially nice to stick your cold hands into those, warm, fuzzy pockets to heat up.
The jacket is made from polyester and boasts the trademark HellyTech Protection, which will keep the elements out and comfortably circulate the air to keep you dry and happy.
The seams are fully sealed, the hem and cuffs are adjustable, and it’s windproof, waterproof, and breathable. It’s also treated with Durable Water Repellency (DWR) to ensure long term and reliable waterproofing.
The Crew jacket is a global bestseller from a top brand and honestly, what else can we say to convince you it’s a great jacket? It just is!
We like pockets. Do you like pockets? If you do, this is the jacket for you! It has 25 of them, isn’t that amazing? 6 external ones and a whopping 17 internal ones, all with zippers or Velcro, with plenty of space to keep all your personal items safe.
If you want to have your hands free, this jacket is your perfect companion as it eliminates the need to carry a purse.
The jacket is made of a cotton blend which is treated with Teflon to become resistant to water and stains. It has a long and fairly boxy fit, which is necessary to accommodate all the items you can carry around.
It has detachable arms that zip off, instantly converting into a vest which is convenient if the weather suddenly changes and you don’t want to leave your jacket and items laying around.
We’re not kidding when we say you can fit pretty much anything into this jacket - phones, tablets, water bottles, passports, wallets, cameras, drones, chargers, power banks - whatever your heart desires.
It even has one pocket made of specially engineered material which blocks 13.56MHz frequencies. This stops tech thieves from accessing your passport and credit card information through the fabric. Incredible, right?
We’re safely into the warmer portion of our list now, but please note that this jacket and the one after will take a little bit more space in your suitcase. However, if you’re travelling to the northern parts of Europe in the fall or winter, something like this is definitely needed.
The Systems jacket is very versatile, as you can wear just the fleece, just the shell, or both together. This makes it ideal for rapidly changing weather conditions and amazing at keeping you warm.
The shell is made with military grade Teflon material which is windproof and waterproof. The fleece is soft and breathable and keeps you warm all day. Both layers together weigh 2.55 pounds.
A high collar, adjustable hood and cuffs, and covered front zipper helps keep this jacket safe from the elements. The hood is also insulated and detachable.
A bi-directional zipper detaches and reattaches the two layers and there are three external pockets and one internal, all with zippers. Also, just look at the fun colors. You’ll definitely stand out in this jacket!
This is another tried-and-true brand in the outerwear category. Mountain Warehouse is known for its sturdy, warm clothing, so it’s no surprise that this jacket will take up a little extra space as well. However, if you’re travelling to the colder parts of Europe it’s totally worth it!
The Storm jacket is made of IsoDry fabric which is waterproof and has a breathable mesh membrane to keep you comfortably dry. The seams are taped, and the hood, hem, and cuffs are all adjustable with Velcro or drawstrings. Storm flaps also cover the zipped pockets and front zip on the outer shell.
Like the Systems jacket it’s 3-in-1, meaning you can detach the two layers and wear them separately if you wish. Both the fleece and the shell have two front pockets and two inside pockets.
The fleece is made anti-pill to prevent the appearance of the little ‘balls’ often caused by washing or just general use. This is a sturdy, trustworthy jacket that comes in some great gem-inspired colors. What are you waiting for?
As we start to reach the final stretch, we’re on to the really amazing stuff - the lightweight jackets that still keep you very warm. Sounds awesome, right? I assure you, it’s not too good to be true.
Under Armour is a well-established brand and the Reactor jacket is an excellent choice for travelling somewhere cold with limited bag space. It’s surprisingly lightweight, much more so than you think it’ll be when you first look at it. Despite this, it keeps you comfortably warm in temperatures of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
This jacket offers UA ColdGear Reactor intelligent insulation, which adapts to your level of activity and keeps you comfortable and warm throughout the day. It dries quickly after a downpour or after a wash, and the front pockets are fleece lined and secure-zipped.
The front zip is a US MagZip magnetic zipper which makes the jacket easier to take on and off. The hem is adjustable, and the collar is high with a chin guard for further protection from the elements. The jacket is also packable, it folds away completely into its own interior chest pocket. It comes in mostly neutral colors with a few bright ones, so just pick your favorite!
Last but definitely not least, we have the hooded down jacket from Wantdo. This jacket is as lightweight as the Reactor jacket and keeps you equally as warm while taking up minimal space in your suitcase.
It’s made from nylon, is breathable, and filled with (as the name suggests) down. The coating is water-repellent, and the hem and cuffs are stretchy, fitting around you perfectly to keep the wind out.
It has two side pockets that zip closed and two deep pockets on the inside where you can keep your phone, wallet, passport, or other personal items. It can also be packed down completely into the pouch that comes with it, making it easy to carry along with you.
You can even wear another layer on top since it’s so thin, making it suitable for even colder temperatures. The color range is mostly neutral with a few fun ones thrown in there. This is a jacket we can definitely get down with!
Weight/Thickness - Consider your travel destination and how much space you have in your bag. Do you need one of the bulkier travel jackets, or will a thinner shell do? Do some test packing and figure out how much space you have available and how much of it you can spend on a jacket.
Warmth - Again, consider your destination and your needs. If you’re travelling in the summer, chances are you won’t need a warm jacket unless you’re going quite far north. If you’re going in the winter, a warmer jacket is usually a safer bet. However, maybe you can combine a shell with sweaters or fleeces you already own to save money and space.
Size & Fit - This is more down to personal preference; do you prefer a looser or a tighter fit? A looser fit is especially good for shells as it allows you to layer up underneath if the weather is colder than anticipated. A tighter fit is usually more stylish and could be better if you’re mostly planning on being in cities, with limited physical activity that require freedom of movement.
Convenience/Versatility - Do you need loads of pockets? Maybe you want convertible clothing, like a jacket that can turn into a vest or a 3-in-1 garment for unpredictable weather. It’s impossible to see the future but consider what you might need once at your destination. And remember; it’s better to be over-prepared!
Durability - When you spend money on a travel jacket, you want something that lasts. The more you spend, the longer you want it to last. Read reviews, do your research, find out if you’re getting your money’s worth before taking the plunge. Happy shopping!
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